Archived Blog Posts
Fire safety for kids
Parents! Teaching your kids the importance of knowing fire safety is something that has to be taught on a yearly basis. As kids grow, they might forget what they learned 2-3 years ago by you going over and over this information it’ll stay fresh in their mind.
Here’s a safety checklist you can follow with your kids:
~ never play with fire
~ show the kids where the alarms are
~ replace 10 year alarms
~ test alarms every 6 months
~ have a list of emergency contacts nearby, eye sight level
~ practice stop drop and roll (covered face at all times with hands )
Children can easily get distracted and forget a set or 2 under difficult scenarios it’s important to teach them to stay calm.
Bye Bye Germs Hello Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned
As the year progresses and we move onto another year of COVID we want to remind our businesses weather local or cooperative of our CERTIFIED: SERVPRO cleaned services!!
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, our new defensive pathogen cleaning program, goes way beyond standard janitorial cleaning practices. This is proactive viral pathogen cleaning. With over 50 years of experience in biochemical spill remediation and decontamination, you can trust SERVPRO of McAllen Professionals to bring a higher standard of clean to the places we gather.
We are locally owned, we know that your business is as important as coming the home you go to AFTER you close up shop. We want to be able to give you a sense of reassurance when you and your cob workers are working a full shift.
available 24/7 always puts the cherry on top! We can send a crew to do a cleaning before production, let’s say 5 am? We’ll be there! Let’s say you prefer after closing hours let’s say 9-10 pm? Heck, lefts make it 11 pm it doesn’t matter what time you need us we’ll be there!
Preparing your home for a winter storm
When you have a cleaning or restoration need, we’re already nearby and ready to help. 956-747-3020
In the event your home suffers any damages due to a winter storm, call the 24/7 company that can assist you no matter the time or temperature. The storm gets clearer after, when you call SERVPRO, that you can be assured of.
We will take all precautions necessary from sending out crews to the site to handling the actual insurance 1x1 claim process. We promise, you will see a rainbow after the storm when we take your home into our hands and provide it back to you, “Like it never even happened.” (And that’s just the best feeling isn’t it?)
Although we stand by your side in the event of any disasters striking your home, I’m sure you’re asking yourself “what can I do to PREPARE my HOME before a WINTER STORM hits?”
Here are a few tips you can take into mind to be one step ahead of the storm:
- More insulation in your attic
- Seal off any leaky windows/doors
- Clean up any rain gutter
- Protect water pipes
As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO has over 1,700 Franchises in the U.S. and Canada that are ready to help.
SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island professionals have the advanced training and equipment needed to clean or restore your home. We also have the resources to respond faster to any size of the disaster
How it works at SERVPRO of McAllen
We are part of a NATIONAL NETWORK of over 1,700 Franchises.
Water damages, don’t knock at the door and let us know that they will be arriving at 3 am causing you to not only miss work but spend money. As much as a little “heads up” sounds great, it just doesn’t work like that.
When disaster hits, it hits. Whether it was caused by mother nature or just a pipe burst that lead to an unwanted indoor pool of water.
Regardless of the scenario, what do you do when that happens?
First things first, don’t panic. CALL SERVPRO. As a 24/7 emergency water restoration company, it doesn’t matter what day of the week time it is, as soon as we receive your call the process begins.
Following that, we begin the paperwork and insurance calls to get the ball rolling.
The fun part begins when we get started on providing you the best services, “Like it never even happened.”
Have water or flood damage?
CALL US NOW 24/7 emergency services available, not a holiday nor weekend can stop us from getting to you.
Use Caution with Holiday Lights This 2021
Have Questions? Call Us Today – (956) 631-0348
Lights are a staple for decking the halls. When used improperly, however, they create a fire hazard.
Keep some of these suggestions in mind when decorating;
- Purchase lights tested by underwriters’ laboratories.
- Dispose of lights when cords begin to fray or look worn.
- Go over the instructions to know how many strands can be connected together. Use extension cords sparingly to avoid overloading a circuit.
- Use indoor lights indoors and outdoor lights outside.
- Turn your lights off before heading to bed.
- Hang lights with plastic clips, because nails can damage lights causing a fire risk.
We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster. Immediate action is crucial when dealing with fire damage. We’re dedicated to responding immediately when you need help. A fast response helps lessen the damage, limits secondary damage, and reduces cost. CALL NOW, 956-631-0348, for more information on our fire clean up and restoration process.
One Spark, One Fire, One Team; We are HERE to HELP!
We proudly serve McAllen, TX, and surrounding areas. If you have any additional questions about fire, smoke, or soot damage? Call (956) 631-0348
When it comes to fires, we all know what to do. We call 911 and follow our fire escape plan or simply go to a safe area away from the fire. Right? But what happens after the fire, what do YOU do after the firefighters have left your property?
Simple. Call SERVPRO of McAllen, that’s where we step in. You see there's nothing you need to worry about when you contact our team of professionals who, when it comes to fires, are 110% ready and high trained. Our technicians handle everything from;
-Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment
-Immediate Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service (if needed)
-Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)
-Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces
-Cleaning and Repair
Trust in SERVPRO of McAllen we are locally owned and operated—so we are part of the McAllen community too. We are also part of a national network of over 1,700 SERVPRO Franchises and special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country to respond to large-scale disasters.
Disaster Happens. We Can Fix It.
If you have any questions on our available 24/7 emergency services call 956-631-0348
It's Saturday, 3 am. You’re starring at the ceiling, but all you can really think of is the trickling droplets of water as they form a pool of water at the end of your bed. You’re also thinking about how everyone and everything is closed because it’s a weekend.
Don’t wait for regular business hours, SERVPRO of McAllen offers 24/7 emergency services!! Our highly skilled and trained technicians have the ability to tackle any job no matter the size of the damages! We handle it all from insurance claims to the arrival of the crews to the very end when the job is done, we stand by your side 100% of the time.
The best part of our job is when we provide our clients an experience, “Like it never even happened.” Water damages don’t keep track of a calendar and come at the most unexpected times but we understand that and are always ready for anything that mother nature throws at us.
... and now it’s a hurricane
Check out our STORM truck
prepped and ready to use in the event we're ever caught off guard by mother nature!
It might not be hurricane season anymore in TEXAS but living in the valley for over 25 years has taught me 3 things;
- Mangonadas are a MUST try
- It’s Hot
- And when it rains… it RAINSSSS!
The best way to be prepared for a storm in the RGV is to have a good roof or roofer. Having a strong steady well-built roof of course is always going to be the best way to go. But sometimes materials do fail, & roofs get old and weary. This can lead to cracks allowing water and wind to get into the home easier.
Now, if at that point you do suffer from a leaky roof leading to other damages. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of McAllen. Where our main focus is to provide our clients with 24/7 emergency mitigation & restoration services. We can help from beginning to end; from the insurance claim to the drying out part to even the damaged items in your home.”
“Items in my home??” you may be asking. Yes, items in your HOME, what this basically means is if any of your personal belongings are damaged i.e., your couch, carpet, purse, clothing… etc. We have a team of experts who keep an inventory of the items damaged, if needed damaged items are taken for inspection. This determines if the items can be salvageable or not.
We provide our clients an experience, “Like it never even happened.”
If you have any questions about any damages caused by a storm within your residential/commercial business give us a call at 956-631-0348!
Emergency Services Available 24/7!
Would you be shocked, to learn today, that flood damage is not considered a form of water damage? “What?” “How?” or “Why?” are probably all the questions going through your head right now. You’re not alone though.
Homeowners/business owners sometimes don’t know or realize that water damage and flood damage are 2 different kinds of coverages. It’s important to know that if you own a home but do not have flood insurance, you will not be compensated by your insurance company for flood damage.
We’re going to break down some components for you here and explain some causes and key items your insurance WONT cover in the event of either flood or water damage.
Potentially covered by homeowner’s insurance. Affects only your home.
- Common causes:
- appliances, busted/frozen/leaking pipes, bathtub/toilet overflow
- Key items not covered:
- Repair of the source of the leak (i.e. washing machine)
- Flood damage
Potentially covered by flood insurance. Rising water OUTSIDE the home as well. You and your neighbors where effected (2 or more properties)
- Common causes:
- Body of water overflow
- Heavy constant rain
- Key items not covered:
- Outside Property (trees, fences)
Get in contact with your insurance to get a personal breakdown, if you’re facing water damages. They can determine if for your scenario, you’d be covered.
One step ahead of the storm with SERVPRO of McAllen
We use TOP of the line equipment to provide YOU the BEST experience, "Like it never even happened."
One step ahead of the storm with SERVPRO
Do you remember singing “Rain rain go away come again another day…” back in elementary, with the illusion it would actually make the rain stop and let us go outside and play? Oh, those where the good days. Now as adults we are faced with the reality that there’s so much more behind “rain”. The damages that can come from continues rainfall a long with hurricanes, tropical storms and thunderstorms can be severe depending on the catastrophe itself.
These are a few things you can do to keep you one step ahead of the storm:
Keep an emergency kit prepared: You want to be prepared with essentials you know you may need. Varying from germ x, Clorox wipes/sprays, important medications, woman hygiene, band aids, gauze, face masks
Keep an emergency FOOD kit: be prepared with canned food and waters. Food in general that you can store for a good period of time is what you want to go for. Note: when you keep an FOOD kit you are to replace the food before the experitation date to avoid any rotten food being stored in your ki.
Keep an available spare change of clothes: You don’t have to do this, BUT if you want to be extra prepared or have gone through these scenarios before and know you might be away from home for a long period of time due to being evacuated its always a smart idea to keep a spare change of clothes.
Keep all important documentation together: (In the event of evacuation) These documents can vary from personal documentation to any other documents you feel you may need in the event you must travel; out of city, county or even state.
Know of available shelters: (or relatives) in the event you have to relocate.
In the event you are faced with severe damages after the storm has passed DON’T hesitate in calling and counting on the ones who face catastrophe for a living. ONE of our job’s expertise is to provide clean-up and restoration services after any WATER damages your home suffers. We can provide you back a home, “Like it never even happened.” We offer emergency 24/7 services, and are ready to assist you! Call now, at 956-631-0348 and check out our websites picture gallery for past jobs!
KNOCK KNOCK! Who’s there?
Check out these sandbag locations for local valley residents and commercial business owners!
ACCORDION. According who? Accordion to the forecast, it's going to rain tonight!! Ha ha ha! (okay, maybe I should stick to blogging) Here we go:
We can all agree that when it comes to rainfall, we might be able to predict how MUCH rain we might receive (thanks to our friendly local weather channels) but will it get in the house? THAT is the real question, if it continues to rain at a heavy pace will the water come in through the door or bust a pipe outside my house etc... we don’t even think of these questions till the day of to be honest. Some of us don’t even realize such things till were standing in a puddle of water in our hallway. needless to say, we need to be prepared. Weather it’s a home or a BUSINESS you don’t want any damages due to water coming in through the doors. The best solutions to this problem (and to be able to sleep better at night) is to be prepared with SAND BAGS! This is one thing that you can do to help prevent water from making its way into your home! Check out the locations in the image attached to this blog, for valley residents and commercial businesses! Follow us on Facebook for daily posts and pictures!
Your floor’s forever companion is in need!
Feel safe, knowing our equipment is TOP of the line to provide the BEST service for YOU!
Having your home carpeted is probably one of the best feelings ever! Dealing with damages to it is a different story. The idea of a moist carpet is just awful, and if let alone could lead to mold growth. With that being said if you see the interior of your carpeted home suffer any water damages, it is crucial you seek professional water damage restoration services. (LIKE US!!)
Although not all water damages are severe to where you require outside services. For example, if you spill something small, like a glass of water, or have wet foot prints within the home; here’s a couple of steps you may want to follow:
- Extract the water: this will vary on the amount of water needed to be removed from the carpet. If excess, you may need to use a shop vac.
- Follow-up with an absorbent towel: after removing the excess water, press down with absorbent towels on the carpet. (If at this point you are struggling to remove the excess water it's time to consider calling water damage professionals.)
- Air dry the carpet: placing fans and dehumidifiers will help circulate the air and assist with the evaporation. (Check back on this process hourly) (if minimal water a hair drier can be used)
NOTE: in the event of a flood, it may be near impossible to salvage both the carpet and the padding underneath it. In these cases, the removal and replacing of both the carpet and padding is recommended.
- Replace the carpet padding: assure that when drying your carpet, not just the top fibers are dry. The carpet padding needs to be dried completely or it could lead to mold damage which will speak quickly.
Know that when you contact SERVPRO of East Mission and South Edinburg you are hiring a group professional. Our employees are trained and educated to be able to identify when and if your carpet can be salvaged. They are trained to know what process is necessary to restore everything back to look, “Like it never even happened.” Call us, at 956-585-3433, if you have any severe water damages within your home and your interior belongings are where there are damages.
Let's talk MOLD!
Emergency services available 24/7, call 956-631-0348 for more information on our mitigation process!
When it comes to mold there’s some things that you should be aware. One thing is that mold is everywhere. It can be found outside, inside and even in commercial spaces. Mold will typically grow in wet or damp areas and can cause structural damage, rot wood even damage drywall. If you find signs of mold or suspect of mold in your commercial space, call a professional immediately before it causes serious problems or interrupts the production of your business.
What Are the types of MOLD?
In order to fully understand mold, its important to know the common mold types that are out there which include:
Alternaria- This type of mold propagates outdoors but can be carried indoors by the wind
Aspergillus- This type of mold is found indoors.
Cladosporium- This is not as severe as aspergillus but should keep an eye out for it as well.
Penicillium- This is easy to spot because it is either green or yellow.
Stachybotrys- This is known as black mold. This type of mold can cause structural damage to properties and produce a foul odor.
These types of molds can be found within your commercial with uncontrolled moisture issues. The best way to prevent mold is to monitor for leaks and patch them up immediately. Proper ventilation will also prevent the growth of mold.
Its important to know and practice preventative measure to prevent mild outbreaks in your indoor spaces. If your mold problem is recurring, a remediation can help solve your problems and ensure you that the mold won’t grow back.
A clean start is always a great start, with SERVPRO of McAllen!
DID YOU KNOW??
It's back to school and work time and with that being said, we know how crucial it may feel to go back to a safe working environment. We have been dealing with Covid-19 for about a year and half now, and with DELTA variant adding itself to the equation, staying clean seems to be the safest choice.
Staying clean doesn’t just mean washing your hands and using germ-x every chance you get. We are talking about a DEEPER clean one done to the school your children attend, your workplace or even your home.
At SERVPRO of McAllen, we use top of the line equipment to eliminate and prevent the spread of germs. We want to provide YOU the security to not just you but those around you like your employees or children.
Our employees #1 goal is to focus on detail, to provide an experience, “Like it never even happened.” Whether it's from cleaning or disinfecting the area, count on us to provide you back a sense of safety when it comes to cleanliness. CALL US, 956-631-0348!!
Go BACK TO SCHOOL with SERVPRO and with EASE!
Choose SERVPRO of McAllen the professionals, when looking for a top of the line home/commercial disinfecting service!!!
Did you know the flu virus can travel up to 12 feet through the air, at 100 miles per hour? That’s faster than a running cheetah, hitting a max speed at about 70-80 mph, THAT’S CRAZY! But with that being said, flu season is right around the corner along with BACK TO SCHOOL. Weather your littles ones remain taking classes from home, or go back to school it’s important to realize that we may not be able to prevent our kids being exposed to germs and viruses.
Here at SERVPRO we understand the safety of our children is #1 priority over all, so we handle our disinfection cleaning services VERY seriously. Weather you’re using this service to prevent viruses or even after a covid-19 exposure, you can count on us to handle the job 100% to the fullest.
Our disinfection services are highly requested from schools, daycares to personal homes for the same reason that it provides an assuring feeling that our children will be safe inside the building or home as well.
We work 24/7/365, viruses don’t take vacations and neither do we! Being a family-owned franchise, we understand our children’s health and our own cant be delayed. Call us! For more information on our disinfection cleaning services!!
“It's 5 o'clock on the dot so….”
CALL NOW FOR MORE INFORMATION!!
It's 5 am and for some reason you’re awake... Why is there a busted pipe in my kitchen? Why did I just wake up in a pool of water…? It is silly to think we could plan ahead of time a leaking fridge or sink. It is even MORE silly to think there was a company that provided 24/7/365 services in remediation and restoration. Oh, wait? THERE IS!
At SERVPRO, forget about having to wait for normal business hours! We work around the clock for our customers, so believe in us, the professionals, to make your experience trouble-free. Odor control, water mitigation, cleaning sanitation, debris removal, textile cleaning and more are just some of the services we offer for your home and/or business!
If you are undergoing some home/business damages or you are curious to know if you have water damage or you see mold growing give us a call, we’d be happy to take a look at it!
Fire Safety for Kids!
Call us today, (956) 631-0348, for your FREE quote!
Although the thought of our children going back to school might be lingering in the air, that may not be quite the scenario just yet. With summer school ending in most school, at this point in the summer, we all have our homes busy with the little pitter patters of our little ones. Take a moment during this down time you have and go over some safety tips with them! Give yourself the peace of mind knowing they know what steps, and directions, to follow in the event of a FIRE!
First things first, you want to have an escape plan ready. It's important to provide and easy escape route for children, for they sometimes need help in getting out of the house. They may not know what to do, or how to, unless an adult shows them so.
- Have a plan ready for children who cannot go outside by themselves. In this scenario, if you have younger children or babies who can’t exit without the actual help of someone, talk to one another to know who will help each child to safety.
- It's important to have 2 ways out of each room in your home, in the event one exit is blocked or not safe to exit from.
- Have a meeting place outside your home. Kids should know what to do when they hear a smoke alarm and they are alone. Help them practice going to the meeting place, and discuss the importance of never going back inside a building, that is on fire.
We don’t want to think of our children being put through such scenario, but unfortunately the possibilities aren’t zero. For the safety of our kids, (peace of mind to us, the parents) it's always better to be extra prepared!!
In the event your home suffers from any fire damage, call SERVPRO (insert franchise) .At SERVPRO, we understand family means everything. When you’re a family-owned franchise you want to be able to provide this feeling of safety and peace of mind. We are here to help you! To help restore your home, and RESTORE you that feeling of safety back! When we provide 24/7/365 service, it isn’t hard to do either!!
5 easy ways to be prepared for storm season!
If your home suffers any damage due to a catastrophic event don’t hesitate in calling SERVPRO McAllen for a free quote at, (956) 631-0348!
We may not experience many hurricanes or tropical storms, but we want to have all the necessary tools to be prepared for such scenario, when we do. And hey, sometimes, storms don’t have to mean hurricanes or tornado watches!! Constant rain, after a long period of time, may lead to floods or damage to your home, if it wasn’t ready for such impact.
Let’s jump right into the good stuff on, “How to Prepare Your Home for Storm Season”!
- Trim your trees: one of the most common ways a house suffers from damage is from fallen tree branches and/or limbs. While it may seem impossible to know which tree mother nature which choose to knock off her path, inspect those trees around your property and trim any necessary branches.
- Clean out gutters and check your roof: When your gutters aren’t cleared out regularly, you’re taking the risk that rain water will be backed up and end up pouring through the sides of the house, or even make its way to your roof line. Clearing out this task before a storm, might just save you damages and money beyond compare.
- Emergency kit ready: these can literally be a life saver if, in the event, you lose power during a storm.
Check list of items you may want to keep in your kit:
- Battery operated flashlights/headlights
- Battery operated radio
- Emergency cash
- First aid kit (from Band-Aids, pain killers, alcohol to gauze) be prepared
- Medications (for this scenario if you’re taking any daily crucial medications consider storing some in your kit just remember expiration wise when u stored them in the even u don’t use them you will need to swap them for a recent up to date dose)
- 3-day supply of food and water (same for food with shelf life, check the dates on your cans to assure if not used within their time frame they are replaced)
- Generator: this might just be your best investment in the event you live in an area prone to storms.
- Evacuation Plan: worst case scenarios can happen and you may be asked to evacuate your home. Familiarize your self w the different evacuation routes in your city. Also, keep close to you a list of family members and numbers where you may seek shelter. (Maybe having a listing nearby hotels in the event family isn’t an option for whatever reason)
Who you gonna’ call? SERVPRO!
Call SERVPRO McAllen NOW for more information!
That’s got to be the biggest question, you may ask yourself, when you’re standing Infront of a busted pipe in your kitchen or your husband tried building his own hot tub and now your whole living room is starting to look like a small kiddie pool? Who do we call??? SERVPRO!!
But, why? There’re multiple reasons why, but let’s start with the obvious.
Two words, 24/7. The fact that we are answering our phones no matter what time of the day it is, provides a relief to all our customers. That’s what were here for, to provide you a safe and restored home for you and your family!
Depending on the damage, taken by your home we take immediate action.
From clearing out your home; i.e., from all its interior belongings, cleaning and sanitizing.
To insurance claims, also! SERVPRO's claim services help us communication between the property owner, insurance company, and restoration professionals. The claims information is provided electronically, so it is available even after business hours.! Loss photographs, job cost estimates, necessary paperwork, and other important documents are all available electronically, making thigs easier to manage.
Your home is returned “Like it never even happened,” and I think that’s the best part for our customers! A fast quick process, in which you can claim your homes restoration process is done faster than ever!
Don’t think about it to much next time you ask, “why SERVPRO”? Being a family-owned franchise, the decision should come easy when choosing who to work in your home.
Prevent the storm damage! BE PREPARED and sign up for weather alerts TODAY!
in the event of a catastrophic event, call SERVPRO McAllen! we open 24/7 allowing us to take your call at any time of the day !!
Sign up for weather alerts TODAY!
We have been having more and more storms through out this summer, in the valley, and with that being said we always want to be prepared and safe. Let’s dive right into the good stuff, these following weather alerts can be the difference between being stuck in a thunderstorm, for example while driving, as per getting to safety with enough time.
Here are 6 weather alerts you might want to check out
Commercial Mobile Alerts(CMAS) or Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) is the simplest way for you to register for local weather text alerts. These alerts are sent by the national weather service. Go to your mobile phone’s SMS setting and simply search WEA or CMAS. You can also register by dialing ##2677## NOTE: Your phone must be enabled to be able to receive these alerts.
Emergency Broadcasts are by default enabled on all new android phones. If you think that the alerts aren’t enabled, simply go to your
Settings > Emergency Alerts.
Here you’ll be able to see all kinds of different alerts and you can decide to turn specific ones depending on your region or situation.
Emergency Mass Notification System is a great way to enroll with your EMPLOYER who uses a multi channer emergency mass notification system such as RedFlag. This business software will allow a company to send emergency/crisis alerts and internal notifications to employees, vendors, and stakeholders whenever there’s a weather-related emergency in your region via text, email. Social, voice or any other communication channel.
The weather channel app is also one of the easiest ways for you to stay up to date with your region. With your location being inputted in the app no matter where you go, feel safe as the weather channel updates you on any warnings. Apart from severe weather warnings, it even sends out alerts for less-severe weather i.e fog and freeze. You may also get alerts about nearby lightning strikes, which can help you decide whether to stay outdoors or indoors.
weatherUSA Alerts sends out alerts whenever these alerts are sent from a federal agency including the national weather service. They sent out real time alerts whenever there’s a weather-related warning in your area. You can choose to receive these alerts via SMS or email, and also add your county. They also provide a “quiet time” option silencing all and any alerts. NOTE: premium memberships have the option to receive voice call alerts on your phon
Weather Radio is one of the best apps out there for receiving alerts on your phone. This app will read your alert out loud to you. This can come in handy if you spend yourself on the road a lot. You can also select what alerts you want to receive. NOTE: this app requires a subscription fee of $4.99 and additional lightning strike data can also be added for a yearly fee of 4.99
“Can you please make sure the burst pipe happens during business hours?”
At SERVPRO we know this will never be the scenario and that the worse case scenarios happen when we aren’t ready. Count on SERVPRO McAllen to be ready no matter what time or date of the year it is. Our shop light be off, our vehicles might be parked, but best assure that in your emergency need we will be there. We provide our services 24/7/365 for this reason. We want to be able to assure our clients that we are ready to tackle on the task no matter how big or small the job is. Rest assures the climate won’t stop us from sending out crews to inspect start and finish the job. Our services offer from helping you restore your home to helping you restore your textiles; know you will be receiving an experience where you’ll walk back into your home thinking, “Like it never even happened.”
Ready Plan App by SERVPRO NOW AVAILABLE!!
Search for the green and orange icon, that's us!
Check it out! We have an app called, Ready Plan! We offer this for any home and/or business owners so they can be ahead of the game in the event of a disaster. We all know disasters can be overwhelmingly devastating, but it’s always a relief to know you have a plan and someone to count on in this event. SERVPRO!
PERKS of downloading our app
- We provide a free assessment of your facility, (look at that instant budget save!)
- Build a profile document in seconds where you will be provided with critical information you will need in the event of a disaster.
- A detailed guide to help you get back into your home or business after a disaster.
- Set your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration.
- The app will also provide you details in case of a disaster on immediate actions you can take for example shut off valve’s locations, priority areas and contact information (which will have u prepared and ready before a disaster)
Think about how all the information within our app, can help you and your business! With some of the tips we offer, you may even be avoiding any actual damage to your property! Also feel relieved, knowing we would be there by your side in the event anything does go wrong. Offering services 24/7, this app will lead you directly to the professionals and have you saving more than you ever imagined!
Downloading SERVPRO, Ready Plan has never been easier follow with these easy steps!
- Visit SERVPRO.com/ready and in seconds register for an account, using your email address as your username and choose a password. (save your password and email you’ll need to have this information close by for later)
- Choose your local SERVPRO Franchise representative to contact in the event your home or business experiences fire, mold, water or other type of damage.
- Begin creating an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) for your property (you will also have the ability to add more than 1 property or business if that’s the scenario)
- Go to your app store and download the SERVPRO, Ready Plan application on your tablet, blackberry, android or iPhone.
- Log in using the email and password you created for your account back in step 1
And that’s it, it’s that simple! You’re now in and able to browse through all the above-mentioned features! Stay safe and welcome to the family!
Celebrate Independence day safely following these tips!
From our SERVPRO family to yours we want to thank our veterans, and wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July.
We experience about 18,500 fires a year. Most of these fires are reported on 4th of July than any other day of the year.
Here are 5 easy and important tips you can follow to help protect your home from a fire.
- Clean gutters- Don’t forget your roof! Your summer cleaning should include a little maintenance time to your roof top. By doing this, you are playing it safe and removing any kind of debris that could be used as fuel for a fire.
- Put a sprinkler in the front and back- Keep your lawn moist! You want to prevent a spark or even a falling (but still lit firework on your yard.
- Remove dry brush from your home and surroundings- People often don’t think of this one as we may keep up with our daily yard cleaning, but always take a double look outside for any bark, branches or twigs. Even if you are not planning on having fireworks this year in your home, falling fireworks may still land lit and can lead to an unexpected fire
- Trim Trees- Removing any hanging branches will help prevent any trees getting lit by a fly away spark or firework.
In the event you do encounter a fire, call SERVPRO! We are here to provide you with the best 24/7 service, you can call us anytime for a free estimate! "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO stands by your side
SERVPRO team suit ready!
Here at SERVPRO we provide all our employers with proper training and courses throughout the year to stay up to date on the many services we provide to our customers. Our employers are trained in various courses with The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). These certificates i.e include fire and smoke restoration, odor control, trauma, water damage (are just a few of the courses our employers are certified in) This help us to be able to provide efficient, effective and quick services. From when you place your first call to get your free estimate to the very end when we hand over your home back to you looking, “Like it never even happened.” We even handle any paper work with your insurance making the call even easier to SERVPRO! SERVPRO stands by your side during these times of need, so you don’t have to worry about a thing!
SERVPRO is One Team
When the south-central region of the United States endured below-freezing temperatures for multiple consecutive days, they turned to one brand to help restore their homes and businesses that were affected by burst pipes and water damage: SERVPRO. As the temperatures dropped, the number of customers affected by flooding caused burst pipes to quickly increase. By the end of the week, tens of thousands of home and business owners were calling SERVPRO to mitigate the damage. There’s a reason why during the most historic cold snap in 70 years, residents of the south-central and southwestern part of the United States called SERVPRO. In fact, there are about 1700. These 1700 reasons show up in the form of franchises and crews that have left their home states, some for extended periods of time, to travel with their equipment and assist local franchises in the restoration of these homes and businesses that suffered water damage. The amazing thing about choosing SERVPRO of McAllen is that our customers don’t just get access to one restoration company, but they partner with a trusted name in the restoration industry that has access to a network of franchises that are willing to come and assist in historic events such as the one we as a region experienced in February of 2021. So no matter if it’s hurricanes or freezes, SERVPRO is always ready to unite forces to help a region restore its communities, living true to the tagline: One Team.
Changes in Office Space Procedures & Cleaning Practices due to COVID-19
As states are beginning to reopen and lift some of the restrictions set in place for the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are assessing how and when they’re going to reopen. Many are tasked with not only navigating the guidelines set forth by their state but are also working to establish an entirely new way of doing business. Regardless of industry, every business in America has had to make difficult but necessary decisions to develop a strategic plan of action for reopening.
For some, it’s allowing employees to continue to work from home for the remainder of the year. For others, it’s implementing a phased approach of reintroducing both employees and customers to their business environment. For all, a plan that involves a high standard of cleanliness and sanitation is of the utmost importance. Transparency and clear communication of reopening plans, both internally and externally, is proving to be critical for success and support during these trying times.
SERVPRO recently surveyed business owners and upper-level managers who work for organizations with 500+ employees. The questions covered how they are keeping their work environment clean and their employees and customers safe. The responses are illustrated in the included graphic here.
It’s clear that most businesses are listening to the CDC guidelines and recommendations and placing a higher emphasis on cleanliness and sanitation—for not only their employees to feel safe, but for the safety of their customers as well. These actions and higher standards are becoming the new norm in nearly every industry worldwide and will pave the way for the future of hygienic standards in business overall.
Commercial Mold Damage Tips
If your commercial building recently experienced water damages, you're probably unsure of the next step. Not only are you worried about property damage from the water, but you also have to worry about mold in your business. Mold can affect indoor air quality, can cause significant property damage, and can cause a foul smell that even the best deodorization techniques can't get rid of! Follow these tips if you're dealing with residential or commercial mold.
- Get Rid of Moisture - This is the very first step! Before the mold can be properly addressed, as much moisture as possible needs to be removed. If there is standing water, it can be dangerous to walk into your home or commercial property, so please make sure you can safely enter the building or structure.
- Protect Yourself - You just never really know what can be floating around in standing water that can hurt you. For example, electrical wiring. You don't want to endure an electrical shock. Once you know you can safely enter, protect yourself by wearing protective clothing, such as gloves and a face mask.
- Hire a Professional - The best thing you can do is leave it to the experts. Rely on a team of professionals to help get your home or business back in tip-top shape. Experts can come in and assess the true extent of the damage and help ensure all of the molds are properly remediated. We promise it could save you a lot of time, money, and headaches in the future.
SERVPRO of McAllen is ready to help you ensure your commercial property is cleaned and ready to support your business. Give our team a call at 956.631.0348
Tips for Fireplace Safety
A poorly maintained or improperly used fireplace can be dangerous. Here’s how to enjoy your fire safely.
4 tips for fireplace safety
1. Have your fireplace cleaned and inspected regularly
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 28 percent of heating fires are caused by failing to clean equipment, especially chimneys. Over time, creosote (a sticky, flammable substance that’s released when wood’s burned) can build up in the chimney. If the creosote isn’t removed, a chimney fire can result. This is not only dangerous in itself, but it can also cause damage to the chimney, increasing the risk that flames will reach the frame of the house.
Debris such as fallen leaves and animal nests should also be removed, since they can restrict airflow and cause carbon monoxide to back up into the house. (Besides, if your chimney’s blocked, how’ll Santa get in?)
If you have a wood-burning fireplace or stove, you should have the chimney professionally inspected at least once a year (before you use it). Ask for a Level 1 inspection, which involves a visual examination of readily accessible parts of the chimney. The inspector will ensure the chimney is sturdy and perform any necessary cleaning.
Have a gas fireplace instead of a wood-burning one? You should still get a regular inspection, as corrosive deposits can build up and prevent your fireplace from venting efficiently. Debris can block this type of chimney as well.
2. Burn only dry, seasoned wood
Properly seasoned firewood contains around 20 percent water. Freshly cut wood can contain up to 45 percent water, so it takes a lot of heat to get it to catch fire (which means less heat inside your house). Burning wet wood also creates large amounts of smoke and causes creosote to build up more rapidly.
To be properly seasoned, firewood must be cut to length and allowed to dry for at least 6 months (up to a year in damp climates) before being burned. If you’ve gathered a stockpile of wood, be sure to protect it from rain and snow. If you’re buying wood to burn, look for dark edges with visible cracks. Well-seasoned firewood’s fairly lightweight and makes a clear, sharp sound when clapped together.
Resist the temptation to toss wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, or foam containers into the fireplace. Paper and cardboard can cause flames to burn too high, while foam releases toxic smoke and particles into the air.
3. Make sure your damper’s properly adjusted
The fireplace damper is a plate or valve that controls airflow in your chimney. When the fireplace isn’t in use, keep the damper closed completely to prevent heat from escaping. When lighting the fire, open the damper wide to help create a good blaze and get smoke flowing up the chimney. Once the fire’s burning well, partially close the damper to keep in warmth while still allowing smoke to escape.
4. Install and regularly check carbon monoxide detectors
Burning wood creates carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas) — but this poses little danger if your chimney’s properly maintained and free from obstructions and if your damper’s letting smoke out. Nonetheless, it’s wise to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors close to your fireplace as well as in your bedrooms.
Now that you know how to use your fireplace safely, you can relax, toast some marshmallows, and find other way to winterize your home.
Understanding the Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Each year in America, unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning claims more than 500 lives and sends another 15,200 people to the hospital emergency rooms around the country for treatment. These accidents tend to peak during the winter months, but there are several everyday items that can put you and your family at risk, too. Read on for some simple steps you can take to help protect yourself or your customers from deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
An odorless, colorless and toxic gas, carbon monoxide cannot be seen, tasted or smelled. Since it is often impossible to detect, CO can cause harm or become fatal before you realize it is in your home. When exposed to lower levels of CO, the gas causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu, including headaches, dizziness, disorientation,nausea and fatigue.
It's also important to note the effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending in age, health, and the concentration and length of exposure.
Where does it come from?
- Gas-fired appliances
- Charcoal grills
- Wood-burning furnaces or fireplaces
Consider installing at least one carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal. The ideal placement for these alarms is near the sleeping areas of your home. Since CO alarms measure CO levels over time, the alarm will sound before an average, healthy adult would be experiencing symptoms. If you are not experiencing symptoms when the alarm sounds, please consider ventilating the home and contacting a service professional to check the CO level. If you are experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning, experts say to evacuate immediately and contact emergency personnel.
If you drive a vehicle with a tailgate or rear hatch and are travelling with he hatch open, make certain to open vents or windows to create adequate airflow. And, of course, never run your vehicle inside your garage with the door closed. Even with doors open, refrain from running your vehicle for extended periods of time, as garages with a door on only one side often do not provide adequate air flow.
Restoring Your Commercial or Residential Property
Flooding and water damage events in commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.
Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges
Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.
About SERVPRO Of McAllen
SERVPRO of McAllen specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Be Prepared When a Storm Hits Your Property
Sever Weather can happen at any time, anywhere. Being prepared to act quickly is very important when it comes to staying safe during a weather event. Below are tips to help you be prepared for a storm.
Know Your Risk
- The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business an your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
- Take the Next step in sever weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Be an Example
- once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers and family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same
Commercial Cleanings in the Time of Covid-19
Thousands of restaurants, retailers, and offices have remained shuttered for over two months to combat the spread of COVID-19. Reopening your business safely is critical from both a health and financial standpoint moving forward into this “new normal”. Staying ahead of the curve requires business leaders to be proactive; instituting new protocols of how employees interact with customers and most importantly assuring patrons that they’re not at increase risk of contracting coronavirus in your establishments.
Before opening cleanings and late-night disinfecting is a great deal to ask from your workforce especially as they adapt to the guidelines set by the CDC. Leading your business includes protecting the health of your employees and of your customers choosing to patronize your business with the continuing threat of coronavirus. Therefore, it’s your responsibility for the necessary actions to protect their health and safety. Your local SERVPRO of McAllen has partnered with multiple businesses and organizations in the last two months as they’ve taken proactive steps to safeguard the health of their employees.
Along with SERVPRO’s experience, we’re equipped with the equipment to efficiently execute your pre-cleaning or post-cleaning to grant you and your staff peace of mind during these uncertain times.
If your home or business is in need of our services whether for fire, water, or mold damage; perhaps even deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of McAllen, (956) 631-0348.
Protecting Your Business During The Upcoming Winter Season
Winter Season is on its way to the RGV
Often times when discussing property damage, people often refer to their homes which makes sense since the home is where the heart is”. Nevertheless, if you own a property for business purposes whether it be an office, retail shop, restaurant, etc. It’s important to be concerned with that financial investment as well as being that the weather doesn’t pick and choose which buildings to impact.
With the winter season upon us, many business owners will close for a week, or two to spend time with loved ones and honestly, probably take a break from running a business. Being away from the office though for a substantial amount of time may result in unattended consequences one you and your staff return after the holiday. If Snow and ice storms occur it can render your property inaccessible leading to you being unable to evaluate any damage until local municipalities clear the roads. Water damage may happen from the interior as well as pipes may burst due to freezing temperatures and lack of water flow.
Being aware of these possibilities is the responsibility of any business owner and taking a few simple steps may help reduce the likelihood of the situations happening as stated above.
- Plan for the possibility of a weather event cutting off your access to your property. Are there any other routes to gain access to your property and see if there are any of your staff members that live near your property to check on it regularly during the holiday break
- It may be best to leave a faucet slightly turned on in order to keep water flowing through your pipes in order to prevent the possibility of your pipes bursting.
Electric Fire Prevention For the Winter Season
Christmas Lights Hanging on Homes Roof
The holiday season is in full swing and homeowners will decorate their homes inside and out with an assortment of lights and decorations to contribute to the overall atmosphere of the residence. With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, it is very easy to lose track of everything going on; forgetting the finer details that will help the family, and keep a safe home. Increasing the electrical utilization of a home inevitable increases the likelihood of any residence catching on fire and following these tips may equip to fully enjoy this holiday season.
All electrical equipment purchased or utilized is required to have a statement on the box stating this equipment is acceptable to use by the federal government. Utilizing government-approved equipment for decorations is a key step and not doing so can put familys at risk. If the equipment instructions specify for indoor or outdoor use it is paramount to follow those instructions and not just take it under advisement.
Be sure when setting up lights and decorations that they’re placed away from any standing water or snow to reduce the risk of causing an electrical fire to any residence. The placing of electric equipment near any standing water may also cause electrocution. Also, keep any Christmas decorations away from community power lines to reduce the likelihood of over-usage.
Lastly, turn off the Christmas decorations or unplug them completely when sleeping or leaving any residence for an extended period of time. Although an inconvenience the inability to respond immediately if a fire was to occur when the amount to more damage overall.
Did You Know There are Four Different Types of Fires?
Flames Grow During the Stages of a Fire
By basic definition, Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction products. (Slower oxidative processes like rusting or digestion are not included by this definition)
By most standards including according to the International Fire Service Training Association (IFSTA), there are 4 stages of a fire. These stages are incipient, growth, fully developed, and decay. The following is a brief overview of each stage.
Incipient – This first stage begins when heat, oxygen and a fuel source combine and have a chemical reaction resulting in a fire. This is also known as “ignition” and is usually represented by a very small fire which often (and hopefully) goes out on its own before the following stages are reached. Recognizing a fire in this stage provides your best chance at suppression or escape.
Growth – The growth stage is where the structures fire load and oxygen are used as fuel for the fire. There are numerous factors affecting the growth stage including where the fire started, what combustibles are near it, ceiling height, and the potential for “thermal layering”. It is during this shortest of the 4 stages when a deadly “flashover” can occur; potentially trapping, injuring, or killing firefighters.
Fully Developed – When the growth stage has reached its max and all combustible materials have been ignited, a fire is then considered fully developed. This is the hottest phase of a fire and the most dangerous for anybody trapped within.
Decay – The longest stage of a fire, is usually the decay stage. It is characterized by a significant decrease in oxygen or fuel, putting an end to the fire. Two common dangers during this stage are first – the existence of non-flaming combustibles, which can potentially start a new fire if not fully extinguished. Second, there is the danger of a backdraft when oxygen is reintroduced to a volatile, confined space.
If you’re home or business has experienced fire damage then call us, SERVPRO of McAllen at 956-631-0348. We are available 24/7 and 365 to assist you with cleaning up, salvaging, and restoring your property.
Your Storm Cleaning and Disaster Recovery Experts
Summer is a time to make boatloads of memories from evenings grilling out on your deck. The incredible investment you’ve made in your property has created an emotional tie to it and protecting it as well as the memories created are important. Nevertheless, being aware of the potential harm that can come to your property are thoughts best kept in mind also. A possible threat to your property is a hurricane which can cause crippling damage.
Hurricane season began in June and it’s critical homeowners prepare for the storms that may impact their area. Whether it’s a property you own or a second home out on the Coast it’s paramount you do all you can to safeguard the integrity of the structure. Hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions may bring strong winds, inches upon inches of rain, and possibly tornadoes which can all spell disaster for your property.
When the Storm Hits, just know SERVPRO of McAllen will travel miles to make sure we get your home back to normal. We go into action as a storm clean and disaster recovery crew. We’re experienced in this arena not only from these two hurricanes but storms and tornadoes that have impacted the RGV previously. We’re equipped and available to respond to your disaster situation when it happens.
Why Did My Pipes Burst In My RGV Home?
Several seasons can be experienced in a day. From chilly mornings with lows in the forties to afternoons reaching into the seventies; the temperature range can be quite large. While that may become a hassle and knowing how to dress for the day it also may become a headache if your pipes burst. The wide temperature swings can cause water in your home and businesses’ pipes to freeze causing damage to your walls, basement, or attic.
To prevent your pipes from freezing during the colder months of the year SERVPRO of McAllen has a few tips . . .
- Leave a faucet running when temperatures get below freezing.
- Keep your doors, windows, and garage shut when you aren’t leaving or entering the house.
- Seal cracks or any other sort of openings that will allow cold air to seep in.
Pipes bursting may also lead to other unattended consequences impacting the structural integrity of your home or business’s foundation. Mold growth may also be possible if the water coming out of the pipe is left unattended for a substantial amount of time. Be sure to give our SERVPRO of McAllen team a call if you experience any sort of water damage.
If your home or business is in need of our services whether for fire, water, or mold damage; perhaps even deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of McAllen, 956-631-0348.
Is Water Coming Out of My A.C Unit?
Blasting the AC feels like a great idea on a hot summer day in the RGV. But after lowering the thermostat the temperature of your home continues to rise. Running upstairs to the attic you find watermarks staining the walls caused by condensation and a pool of water around the HVAC system. Come to find out water has been leaking from your unit.
An overflowed drain pan, clogged drain lines, and a dirty evaporator coil are all potential reasons your air conditioning unit is leaking. Maintaining an AC unit and assuring it’s performing correctly is a homeowner’s responsibility. Checking in on your unit regularly is an important preventative measure as the cost to repair may need to come out of your pocket and not your home insurance company. A leaky AC unit located in your attic may also deplete the integrity of your roof adding to the cost overall, reinforcing the importance of upkeep.
Responding promptly to the water damage that has occurred includes hiring a professional water restoration crew. Waiting may increase the severity of the damage to your attic and the investment needed in order to remediate once production begins. Our team is experienced in both mitigating the water damage to your attic and effectively remediating the area impacted. We’ve also earned several certifications in water cleanup through the IICRC.
Pandemic Pipe Problems
COVID-19 has hit the RGV and, in many ways, changed the way we live. However, that does not mean that life or problems just stop. Even though you may be at home more, real life problems still happen! Water heaters can leak, as well as A/C units and water pipes.
If you have any issue, SERVPRO of McAllen wants you to know that we are still open, working, and taking on new jobs. Our highly trained and experienced staff is here to help you with whatever issues may arise. We are a locally owned company that seeks to put the communities we serve first, especially during this unfamiliar time. We are all in this together, and we want you to know that we are Here to Help.
Please do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of McAllen at 956-631-0348
How can residents Deal With House Fires
What Methods Reduce Fire Losses?
a property fire in your Mission home can be a harrowing experience. Many items in your house hold can become permanently damaged or ruined by soots, odors, and smoke residue. Structural soiling can often be impossible to remove without using cutting-edge cleaning technologies and methodology. We understand that the residents need to continue with their lives regardless of fire-incidents and work with you to minimize personal disruption.
Why are subcontractors enlisted for Fire Damage recovery?
Subcontractors are often enlisted for the following;
- A building or general construction expert may need enlisting when significant parts of a structure sustain a large amount of damage.
- Remodelers and architects are usually reserved for the most extreme fire loss scenarios but can sometimes be necessary.
- Electricians are used to re-circuit or restore power to a home if there is damage to the fault box or wiring.
Are Subcontractors essential to fire loss recovery?
It can be frustrating to need multiple services for fire damage in your mission home. Numerous subcontractors are not required as SERVPRO technicians can perform extensive cleaning, restoration, and deodorizing tasks in many situations. In specific instances enlisting a subcontractor may be critical to returning your home to its preloss condition. We can enlist trusted third-parties on your behalf and task them with their specific requirements, such as artwork restoration or remodeling.
What considerations are useful for subcontracting?
- The infrastructure of the vendor including location, expertise, insurance, licensing, and financial stability.
- Vendor reputation for outstanding work and quality.
- Verifying subcontractors by using the better business bureau, city council, or the contractor license board.
Your Laundry Room is for Washing Clothes and... Water Damage?
RGV homeowners are well aware of the expenses that can be incurred by water damage in their homes, but they may be surprised to know that the average cost of a home water damage claim is 6,965. Many residents do not typically have thousands to spend on home repairs after a disaster, which can add to the stress of the claims filing process. However, there is a team that can aid in lowering damage though emergency-response cleanup.
If your Mission/Edinburg home has suffered water damage to a pipe leak or appliance failure in your laundry room, SERVPRO technicians are one phone call away from providing a comprehensive cleanup service that restores your home. It only takes 24 to 48 hours before water damage creates an environment that allows mold, bacteria, and odors to thrive. Fast Action is necessary to eliminate the risk these contaminants can bring into your home.
How to avoid flooding during a storm
While water damage is typically associated with events like flooding or plumbing malfunctions, heavy rain can also cause its own set of issues regarding water damage around the house.
While any level of moisture can cause damage, heavy rain is considered rainfall at rates over 0.3 inches per hour and can work its way into much smaller vulnerabilities in your home. To help you better prepare and avoid water damage, we have put together a list of how these rapid rainfall rates can cause issues.
How Heavy Rains Cause Household Water Damage
Backup of clogged gutters
Clogged gutters can cause significant damage to your home after heavy rains. If there is debris in the gutters, it will be difficult for water to drain away, which can then result in leaks from puddles as the water is left standing against the roofline.
Leaks around windows and doors
Windows and doors are supposed to be sealed against the elements, but as their weatherproofing ages, it can deteriorate as well. When heavy rains roll through, water can find its way into minuscule cracks and cause damages.
Poor drainage around the foundation
If your home is at the bottom of a hill or does not have adequate drainage around the foundation, heavy rains can build up against the base of your home and lead to leaks in your basement or crawl spaces.
Leaks in and around the roof
Roof leaks are one of the leading consequences of heavy rains, and they can sneak up suddenly. All it takes is for a shingle to be scraped away or a weak spot to form and rainwater can begin seeping in as it falls.
Malfunctioning of a sump pump system
For homes with sump pumps, doing regular maintenance and checking for issues is key—otherwise, the pump system can get overwhelmed and will not be able to effectively move water away from the home.
Leaks around chimneys and skylights
Houses with chimneys and skylights tend to be more vulnerable to heavy rains than homes without them. While they are nice features to have, the seals where they meet with the roof can grow vulnerable over time and become overwhelmed when rainfall is heavy.
Remember to stay safe and get excess water cleaned up professionally to minimize the chance of mold growth. Our Team at SERVPRO of East Mission/South Edinburg is ready to assist at a moment's notice with any of your water mitigation emergencies. Give our team a call at (956)585-3433.
Protect Your Business With Our Help
Your Problem Is Our Solution
When natural disasters happen suddenly without warning, it can be tough as a business owner to know what steps to take. Today we’re providing you with a couple of tips to ensure that you’re not left unprepared if your business is victim of a disaster.
First – Protect your workers!
Talk with each employee to ensure they know just what to do if a disaster hits during work hours. Plan evacuation routes, emergency shelter areas, and have regular drills to practice your safety plans.
Secondly – Secure your Assets!
Protect your facilities, equipment, and more by contacting us to see what we can do for you in case of disaster. Back up data and software regularly, and maintain an up-to-date inventory of all equipment.
Third – Remember Us!
Keep SERVPRO of McAllen's contact information handy so you can get back to work as soon as possible following the disaster. SERVPRO of McAllen is ready to respond immediately and work quickly to clean or restore your business. We understand that your property’s appearance is important and that every hour spent restoring is an hour of lost productivity. When you need a restoration or cleaning professional, SERVPRO of McAllen has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Whether it be small offices or large restaurants, we can help with it all. We’re available 24/7 to get your business back up and running. Have Questions? Call us today at (956) 631-0348!
Need a Cleaning? Get SERVPRO Clean!
You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, you should call SERVPRO of McAllen for prompt service.
Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on us to make your workspace look its very best.
SERVPRO of McAllen offer cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Our cleaning services include the following:
Learning The Many Types Of Water
When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.
There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.
Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.
Damage from Clean Water
- Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
- Move any paintings, are objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
- Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
Damage from Contaminated Water
- Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
- Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
- Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
- Do not use household fans to dry the structure, air flow could spread contaminants.
- Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas. SERVPRO’s network of more than 1,700 Franchises is ready to help in the event a fire, water, or mold loss occurs
- Call on a restoration system serving insurance companies and their insureds, as well as thousands of commercial property owners in North America. Don’t leave your property to chance.
Causes Of Drain Issues Stated From Plumbers
As a homeowner you should never underestimate the seriousness of drainage issues. Plumbers have weighed in and have given their expert opinion on what causes these issues and some tips on how to avoid them. Here are the four things to look for.
- Recurring Clogs- If a clog returns, chances are that there is a deeper clog.
- Multiple Clogged drains-If you have several clogged drains, you may have a clog in your main drain.
- Foul odor-Persistent sewer odors coming from your drain or drains can be a major sign of a drainage issue.
- Flooding-One of the worst problems associated with clog drains is sewage backup. Getting a professional on the site as soon as you can will help you avoid a big problem.
Routine maintenance is key to keeping those drains open. Use drain catchers or less toilet paper. Also make sure that you run plenty of water into the garbage disposal after use. Just those few things help a lot. If you ever do have water damage, call SERVPRO of McAllen with your water needs. We will be there to clean up the mess those clogged drains made.
Lightning Storm Safety Tips!
Although lightning can strike anytime, the chance for lightning increases in the summer months. Stay safe with these basic tips:
- Have a safety plan, and cancel or postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are expected.
- If you do get caught outside, avoid high ground, open spaces, and all metal objects (this includes electric wires, fences, etc). Seek shelter in a substantial building, or a fully enclosed vehicle.
- If you are indoors, stay away from doors and windows. Do not use the telephone, and consider unplugging computers, power tools, and television sets. Lighting may strike exterior electric or phone lines, and send jolts of electricity to inside equipment.
If a storm has damaged your house and you need help cleaning or repairing the interior or exterior of your home, don't hesitate to give us a call. You can reach SERVPRO of McAllen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (956) 631-0348.
Storm Roof Damage? SERVPRO of McAllen can help!
Our technicians at SERVPRO of McAllen, are always ready to help! Heavy rains and strong winds can accompany just about any storm and they can cause a ton of storm damage. Winds pick up debris and move it through the are sometimes landing in power lines and or on top of houses. Rain floods homes that sit low and can make things really messy really quick!
We recently had a strong storm which prompted our SERVPRO of McAllen crews to be dispatched to help one resident with a huge tree branch that fell through the roof of his house giving him a very unwelcome skylight!
SERVPRO of McAllen came in and packed out all of the residents belongings then did a major cleaning of the residence. We arranged for roofers to come in and repair the roof and our crew packed all of the residents belongings back inside the home once all repairs had been completed/cleaned.
If you have had storm damage in the McAllen area and need help, call our office @ (956) 631- 0348.
What is the Best Way to Restore Fire Damaged Cabinets?
Cabinet Restoration for Kitchen Fire Damage in your Home
Leaving a stove unattended in your kitchen can be a prime cause of house fire. High temperatures can result in animal fats or other forms of grease to ignite, resulting in rapid naked flames, which can damage both the stove as well as the immediate surrounding area. Often you may see severe blackening on the ceiling directly above the stove as well as soot or smoke residues on cabinets. Since hot smokes seek out cooler areas, there is a strong chance that interior cabinets may become soiled with smoke damages.
The impact of kitchen fire damage in your home is likely to concentrate on appliances and fittings in the immediate vicinity. Removing these soots can be tricky without the requisite experience in dealing with different types of material and different types of smoke. Heat and pressure may also wear away finishes both on appliances and cabinet. These can then expose surfaces to soots, which can become ingrained. SERVPRO technicians recommend that homeowners not repair, clean, or restore the surfaces and walls before an inspection by professionals.
While SERVPRO promise to arrive on-site within four hours of notification of loss, many homeowners may attempt to repair some damages themselves. We recommend that you lay down any protective sheeting like tarpaulin or old bed linen on surfaces and floors in the affected area. This process can help to prevent falling soots from causing damage. Minimizing foot traffic in the affected area may also be a useful consideration for homeowners while awaiting professional assistance.
In performing kitchen fire damage restoration, the first task of our restorers is to decide which items are salvageable and which are not. The outer layers of your cabinets may become charred beyond repair, in which case SERVPRO technicians may need to remove and dispose of the offending areas. Other aspects of a fitting may respond well to restoration. SERVPRO technicians can use sandblasting equipment to remove surface layers and embedded soots before re-finishing the surface appropriately. We always conduct pre-testing of materials before cleaning solutions, or other chemicals are applied to avoid causing further harm.
We Are Available Day Or Night!
Quick, Effective, and Friendly Local Water Removal Services
Many potential situations could happen in your home that may lead to needing professional water removal services. It is nothing to be ashamed of; it happens to many people every day. Accidents happen. What is important is how you quickly you can respond to the water damage. After all, it is imperative to clean up a spill of any kind swiftly to avoid future problems.
Imagine a scenario where the sink in your bathroom suddenly begins to leak and leaves your home in desperate need of local water removal services. It is essential to know where the water shut-off is in your home, in case a situation like this was ever to occur. Imagine how much worse the standing water in your bathroom would be if it took you significant time to turn off the water.
Promptly calling for professional help is also important to prevent other problems from occurring, such as the growth of a mold colony. At SERVPRO, we understand how imperative it is to arrive at your home in a timely manner. For this reason, we can gather a team of our highly certified water damage restoration technicians (WRT) and send them to your location as quickly as possible. Our technicians use advanced equipment and can walk you through the process of remediation step by step, keeping you informed the entire time we work in your home.
Once inside of your home, our SERVPRO WRT could quickly bring wet/dry vacuums and extractors to your bathroom to clean up the standing water damage. You may think that our job might be done once the puddle is gone, but that isn't necessarily true. To help ensure that water damage doesn't set in, SERVPRO can use dehumidifiers, heaters, and air movers to ensure that any excess moisture in your bathroom is removed, especially from the floor tiles. Once finished, we can return your bathroom to you, "Like it never even happened."
Our Certified Technicians Have The Experience To Service Your McAllen Home
How We Train for Mold Remediation in McAllen Homes
Addressing mold growth in your home should not be something that you leave to chance or to the inexperienced handymen that you might designate for other repairs and upkeep. As tempting as it might be to save yourself some money and work on removing mold colonies yourself, many lack the expertise and extensive training available to our Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians (AMRT) obtaining their endorsements through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC.)
Choosing among the professional teams in the area might not be as challenging as you might think, as many have built their names on false claims like mold removal instead of mold remediation for RGV properties. We have an honest approach to the way that we do business, and our SERVPRO professionals cannot and do not remove all mold from your home, because mold spores exist naturally in nearly every environment. These microorganisms only become a threat when dampness feeds these spores and allows them to root themselves into organic materials in the immediate area.
While the process takes up to 72 hours to complete, mold damage can often go unnoticed in its earliest stages, leaving homeowners contending with a much more substantial situation once colonies eventually get discovered. The education of our technicians involves the best approaches for removing active colonization, including our line of potent antimicrobial solutions, media blasting, sanding, and lastly, controlled demolition. Removing colonization is only part of the solution, however.
Our technicians must also address the moisture and dampness concerns that allowed for mold organism production in the first place. Between our team of general contractors and our experienced SERVPRO Water Restoration Technicians (WRT), we can provide immediate solutions to dampness and moisture concerns, including plumbing repair, reconstruction, and rapid drying for lingering water loss effects.
SERVPRO Professionals Are Always Ready to Help
At SERVPRO of McAllen, our Team of Professionals are always ready to help. It doesn't matter where the loss is, when the loss happens or what the loss is, we are always loaded and ready to head out and help assist our RGV Community with any or their Cleaning and Restoration needs.
We are equipped to help numerous people and agencies at any given time, and we are equipped to help for long periods of time, until our help is no longer needed. We will be the first onsite and the last to leave.
With Hurricane season around the corner, When natural disasters or large commercial losses happen, make the SERVPRO of McAllen Team your first call! Trust the Professionals at SERVPRO to Get the Job Done in an efficient, correct, and Professional Manner!
24-Hour Emergency Board Up Services
No Matter the Time or Day, We are Ready to Help Assist you With your Emergency Board up Needs.
Boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through, especially if it is your property that has been damaged.
Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making your stressful situation even worse. Not to mention boarding up after damage, can be as dangerous as the damage itself.
SERVPRO of McAllen has many years experience is boarding up both commercial and residential properties. Board-ups after fires, or abandoned homes are something that we are called out often to do. SERVPRO of McAllen will also board up commercial properties if a car runs into your building, a rock is thrown through your window, or any other situation that would benefit from closing the damaged space.
Your SERVPRO of McAllen professionals can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind. Make SERVPRO of McAllen your FIRST call. 956-631-0348
Customer Service Is Top Priority for SERVPRO of McAllen
When disaster strikes you or your family, your home or your business, the first call you should make is to SERVPRO of McAllen. We have a 24/7/365 business phone that one of our SERVPRO of McAllen employees will answer, no matter what time of day or night...even on holidays.
Once you are on the phone with our office, we will ask you some questions about your home and your loss, which helps our crews know what equipment and supplies will best work for your situation at that time. We will get your address and ask for insurance information as well, as we work directly with insurance agents so that all parties are aware of what is happening throughout the process.
After assessing your loss, we will schedule a SERVPRO of McAllen crew to come out to your home or office as soon as possible to begin assessing the loss and to answer any questions you may have.
Making SERVPRO of McAllen your first call after a water, fire, smoke, mold, biohazard, storm or commercial loss will always be the best call you'll make! 956-631-0348
We are your Local Cleaning Experts!
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of corona virus (also know as COVID-19) this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC's guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the corona virus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product line tested against this particular strain of the corona virus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today-
SERVPRO of McAllen, (956) 631-0348
The Difference Between "Mold Removal" vs. Remediation
What's the Difference?
Since microscopic mold spores exist naturally everywhere, indoors and outdoors, removing all mold from a home or business is impossible. Some restoration business advertises "mold removal" and even guarantee to remove all mold. This is a fallacy.
A qualified restoration company understands the science behind mold and mold growth. SERVPRO of McAllen has the training and expertise to remediate the mold in your home or business. Mold remediation focuses on getting mold levels back to normal, natural levels.
Every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same.
Step 1:Emergency contact (956) 631-0348
Step 2: Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
Step 3: Mold Containment
Step 4: Air Filtration
Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings
Step 7: Restoration
Signs of Mold? Call SERVPRO of Mcallen today! (956) 631-0348
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SERVPRO of McAllen Acts Fast To Restore Mold Damage in your home!
Moisture allows mold growth to grow rapidly! our team has the right tools to remove and restore the damage it has caused.
Fast Mold Removal for McAllen Properties
When your home falls victim to microbial and mold growth, you do not have much time before the situation can get out of control, if it is not already. These organisms can spread quickly throughout a home and can continue to feed and thrive off of the organic materials used to construct your house. Finding the right professional remediation service quickly is critical to protecting the investment that you have made in your house and restoring the damage that the mold growth has caused to the affected areas.
Many McAllen homeowners when dealing with mold damage have become misguided into believing that is not as serious or as pressing of a concern for their property. Moreover, they assume that without direct intervention that these conditions naturally improve on their own. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Our SERVPRO professionals have the experience and the training to assess mold damage and to deliver the appropriate remediation and restoration tactics to return your home to pre-mold conditions.
While we cannot entirely remove mold from your home, as microscopic spores exist naturally in the environment, we do have effective and efficient removal techniques for colonies. While we work to preserve affected materials and structural elements whenever possible, sometimes controlled demolition efforts are the best option for reducing the cost and time spent restoring the property.
The moisture that allowed mold growth can occur from a variety of sources, reducing this dampness on your property is critical to preventing recurrences. Our professionals assess the source of the moisture during our inspection and can work to offer effective solutions to eliminate or dramatically reduce dampness in this affected area of your home moving forward.
Finding mold growth in your home might be alarming, but with the right professional assistance, this situation can get resolved quickly and efficiently. Our SERVPRO of McAllen applied microbial remediation technicians have the tools and experience to remove colonies and restore the damage they have caused. Give us a call anytime that you need us at (956)631-0348.
Did You Know?
Residues (such as burning plastics or the soot from furnace disorders) form long chains of ionized smoke particles that assemble in corners or at junctions of walls and ceilings which are called smoke webs!
Does your business have a plan? Check out these tips:
Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.
- Fire Plans: Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol.
- Evacuation Plan: In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs.
- First Aid: In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.
HVAC Tips For Your Commercial Property.
It’s always a good idea to hire a professional to come inspect your HVAC system; if any maintenance is needed, that same company can take care of it right away. You will want to have an inspection done every fall and again in spring, after the heavier use months during winter and summer. A professional will inspect and clean all of your unit’s wiring and mechanisms, which would be a bit challenging for anyone without the training or expertise. Using a professional ensures that the future of your business’ HVAC is bright!
As a business owner, there are several simple maintenance chores that you can do to prolong your system’s life and increase its efficiency between professional inspections and maintenance, such as:
- Get a high-efficiency, pleated air filter for your system
- Keep your heating units and AC free of pollen, leaves, and grass
- Keep two feet of space clear around your outdoor AC and heating units
- Inspect refrigerant lines every month
- Replace air filters at least every 90 days
- In the summer, turn off the water running to the furnace humidifier
- In the fall, replace the humidifier filter and turn the water back on
- Replace the carbon monoxide detector battery
- Make sure your outdoor AC unit is on firm and level ground
- Clean AC condensation with a bleach and water mixture
Caring for your HVAC properly throughout the year will keep your work environment air quality and atmosphere pleasant, which keeps your staff happy and content. It will also save you money by improving and maintaining your energy efficiency throughout your building.
The team at SERVPRO of McAllen is always ready to inspect and maintain your HVAC system, and we are here to answer any questions you might have. We are also experienced in large cleanup jobs such as those needed because of fire damage or water damage, and we are pros at mold remediation. Call us today at (956) 631-0348
Some Warning Signs of Fire Damage Issues in the RGV.
Whether the fire damage stems from an electrical issue or started in a different way, team SERVPRO has you covered. Call today.
Something that no homeowner expects to happen is a fire, but this is often an unfortunate and tragic event. Few emergencies are as catastrophic and costly as a house fire, but it can help to hire trained professionals to assist with the restoration process.
To address fire damage in McAllen, you can trust our team at SERVPRO. We have trained restoration professionals that work hard to clean the soot and smoke left behind after a fire. Rather than immediately removing your walls and other materials, we formulate a plan to do our best to clean everything using a range of tools, agents, and trusted methods.
Spraying and wiping most surfaces is often the first order of business when our SERVPRO technicians start the cleanup process. Water or cleaning agents can be used to help break down any fire damage residues that are left behind. Another option is foam cleaning on materials where the color could run, including drapes, curtains, and upholstery.
In the event that there are items in the home that are too fragile to be cleaned with water or cleaners that are solvent-based, absorption techniques can be used. SERVPRO technicians put down a layer of fine powder that helps to absorb and pull up residue so that it can be vacuumed away without causing surface damage. The same cleaning powder is also beneficial for use on porous surfaces, including marble, concrete, and brick.
Whenever fragility or color fastness is not an issue, our technicians can immerse items in an ultrasonic cleaning tank that helps to break down residues for easier removal. This tool uses sound waves to create agitation that forces bubbles over surfaces and throughout woven fabrics. Due to the nature of the immersion cleaning process, it is usually used after all other cleaning methods are exhausted.
These and other methods are waiting whenever you need help with fire damage restoration. To set a team into action, give us a call at (956) 631-0348. We can send our technicians out to your location as soon as possible to get started.
Fire Damaged Homes DO Need Odor Removal and Restoration.
Call SERVPRO to Remove Odors after a Fire in Your McAllen Home!
Drying Out and Deodorization are Essential Parts of Fire Damage Mitigation
Performing mitigation services to help restore damaged homes in McAllen includes different approaches to the harm a home or business sustains. Two of these steps focus on the secondary results from the event.
McAllen homes that sustain fire damage often end up with standing water and the presence of foul odors. Both of these problems require mitigation, in addition to the extraction of fire-damaged materials and belongings. SERVPRO technicians must remove all of the water used in extinguishing the flames, and also destroy the odors that pervade a residence after a fire. Smells come from the soot that spread, burnt materials, and the water, as well. Steam produced when water hits anything burning also creates a powerful odor by carrying pungent particulates.
We use machines that efficiently pull water out of your home by eliminating water vapor and moisture from the air and absorbent materials. Fans, desiccant machines, and moisture-trapping heated extraction units restore normal dry conditions quickly. Removing such moisture keeps areas of your residence that remained directly unaffected by fire damage from sustaining damage from the water. Microbial infestation and other secondary water damage types can occur in homes that do not receive such desiccation treatments after fire damage.
Air scrubber, outfitted with HEPA and charcoal filters remove still-airborne soot particles, keeping the air clean and odor-free while we work. Restoration of a healthy indoor air quality is crucial for the well-being of occupants. These machines further protect a home after fire damage from the additional risk of exposure to mold spores that quickly flourish after exposure to water used in firefighting efforts. To finish odor control efforts, we often choose to use thermal fogging for its strength in penetrating areas directly invaded by smoke during a fire. We use agents that bind chemically to soot particles and make them too heavy to re-enter the home's air currents and become noticed as bad odors. During the actual work, we can also place hydroxyl generators to neutralize foul odors.
SERVPRO of McAllen works with residents in the R.G.V, in mitigating fire damage in homes and other residential properties. Contact us to help restore your dwelling by calling (956) 631-0348. Our service line is answered 24/7 throughout the year.
Problems Caused By Flood Damage That A McAllen Property Might Experience
We are Here to Help Make damage caused by a storm "Like it never even happened"!
Weather-related damages that a McAllen home might suffer range from slight warping of framed screens or missing shingles on a roof to massive flooding throughout the entire home. Various events can cause flooding in our area, but we help many homeowners when they encounter such disastrous circumstances.
Valley homes can suffer flood damage whenever nearby bodies of water overflow.
SERVPRO can help your family, and your home, after any type of flooding event. Flood damage requires a proper and prompt response to prevent the spread of destruction and disease. Our employees receive extensive training that results in the attainment of IICRC certificates in Water Damage Restoration (WRT) and Applied Microbial Remediation (AMRT). These certificates ensure that our technicians know and understand how a flood can affect your home, and the proper mitigation methods to use to rectify the damage.
No matter where the water came from, we can get it removed and restore your home's dryness once again. Working as a team, we work as quickly as possible to
• clear your home of debris (pathogens to mud, sand, and silt to larger items)
• remove materials that we cannot restore (carpets and warped or buckling materials)
• sanitize your home's surfaces
• combat the development of odors.
We must remove anything that can hold moisture from your home. Moisture allows microbes to flourish, and this can cause severe problems for your family home. Soil and mud, as well as carpeting, padding, drywall, insulation, and other now-saturated materials, can all create the perfect environment for mold, mildew, bacteria and other pathogens. Removing these items removes the water and these microorganisms' chance to thrive. Other items, such as broken shards of glass, twisted metal, and broken boards, can pose safety risks.
After we begin restoring the dryness your home requires, we can concentrate on sanitizing your home. Wiping down surfaces, including walls and shelves and removing caked and dried on mud around door frames makes your home ready for your return. Deodorizing the living area, so you do not experience the dank smell that many floods leave behind helps your family quickly recover from the flooding event and move forward. Our goal is to help make everything “Like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO of McAllen has the dedicated professionals who can restore your home after any degree of flood damage. SERVPRO is always available to answer your call at our local number. Contact us, 24/7, 365 days a year, at (956) 631-0348, for our 24-hour, round-the-clock services.
How Applied Structural Drying Can Help to Heal Storm Damage in RGV Properties
Drying is Key after Flooding. Call SERVPRO of McAllen Quickly to Help avoid secondary damages.
Perla Chapa ~ Marketing Support Coordinator.
Complete Drying can Help to Prevent Secondary Damage
The term Applied Structural Drying refers to one of the most sophisticated methods used by modern water damage restorers. It provides a non-evasive form of drying after structural components in a home have been compromised by flooding.
A series of highly specialized tools are used, in a sequential manner, to extract the moisture from materials like drywall and return them back to their original condition. A.S.D (Applied Structural Cleaning) is critical because it allows homeowners to recover from storm damage in R.G.V properties and keep the cost of water damage low by salvaging as much as possible.
This guide to the four key stages of Applied Structural Drying will explain why it is a powerful weapon in the fight against storm damage.
The first stage of A.S.D is always straightforward and complete extraction. If you choose to work with the experts at SERVPRO, you’ll benefit from a fast and speedy response. We understand that the longer standing water remains, the more destructive it gets. So, our technicians will start packing up pumps and heading out to your location as soon as we’ve taken your call. The pumps are powerful and can remove liquid at a surprisingly rapid rate.
Evaporation by Airflow
The next stage is to bring in industrial air movers and high powered fans. These machines are placed around the damp area and circulate clean, dry air throughout the space. In some cases, the carpet is lifted, in order to dry out sub flooring materials.
Evaporation by Dehumidifiers
Any vapor or moisture in the air is then captured with the use of dehumidifying devices. These machines circulate the heavy, wet air and direct it over specific ‘collection’ components. The water molecules are either cooled until they become liquid again (and can be contained) or they are passed into a silica gel desiccant.
This final stage doesn’t actually represent the end of the A.S.D process. It occurs throughout. The SERVPRO technicians must work hard to maintain an optimal temperature in the rooms where the dehumidifiers and air movers are placed. Some machines operate most efficiently under certain conditions and they are sustained while drying is being carried out. A portion of your home may need to be sectioned off and contained in order to achieve this.
If you would like to learn more about the tools and machines used for storm damage restoration, you can easily get in touch with our team. They have spent years dealing with both minor and very severe cases of water damage. SERVPRO of McAllen is based in your area, so we are the best choice for emergency repairs. Call 24/7 at (956) 631-0348.
A Swift Response Is Crucial When Dealing With Fire Damage In Your McAllen Property
We are faster to any size disaster!
A Quick Response To Fire Damage Helps Contain The Scope And Size Of Property Loss
Perla Chapa - Marketing Coordinator
Fire is unpredictable, and it can strike your property at any time. Dealing with fire and smoke damage can be an emotionally overwhelming and devastating experience. Fires ruin the things they come into contact with. They also cause secondary destruction from smoke odor, soot residues, and the water used to extinguish the fire. Therefore, you need to clean up your property as soon as you can.
Some problems that can occur if you allow smoke and soot to remain on specific structures and contents of your home include permanent discoloration, staining, and etching. After a fire damages your property, it is advisable to hire restoration professionals to perform the cleanup since this process can be daunting. SERVPRO offers fire restoration services around the clock, and we can clean up your property so you can concentrate on recovering from the event. The fire and smoke damage restoration services we offer include:
We inset the affected structures to determine the degree of damage and then use specific equipment and cleaning products to clean and protect the different surfaces in your home. We use state of the art cleaning techniques like dry ice blasting, sanding, and H.E.P.A.vacuuming.
It is possible to salvage and restore many items that a fire has not destroyed directly. We can clean and restore items with smoke damage. Our crew inspects the contents of a house to determine the most appropriate cleaning methods. We provide both dry and wet cleaning.
Most times, we can clean up structures that soot has destroyed. However, in cases of severe charring, demolition is necessary. Our technicians remove the parts of a house that a fire has ruined like walls, cabinets, and flooring.
Our SERVPRO technicians often use various strategies to remove odors from a home. We can use pairing agents, which are chemicals that combine with odor particles to deal with bad scents. We also use equipment like Ultra Low Volume (ULV) foggers and hydroxyl generators to eliminate odors present in a building.
We itemize and inventory the fire-damaged contents of a house and take them to our facilities for cleaning and restoration. We maintain accuracy when packing, tagging, and listing contents. We also deliver your inventory after it has been cleaned and restored
After a fire damage emergency, a fast response is critical. SERVPRO of McAllen has trained technicians who can respond to your fire loss with compassion and competency. Contact us at (956) 631-0348 for restoration services.
Three Types of Fire Damage That Affect Homeowners in McAllen
Sometimes your treasures can be restored after a fire. Call SERVPRO today!
Things to Take Care of After a Fire Damages Your Milford Property
A fire is devastating, and when it occurs, an immediate response can prevent damage from spreading throughout your home. After a fire loss, you should assess the extent of the damage in the structures and contents of your home. It is also essential to learn if your insurance firm can compensate you for all the relevant destruction.
Fire damage in your McAllen home can be of three types. All three kinds of destruction come with their issues, so it is crucial to understand what they are and how they can affect your property.
Various types of flame destruction can occur based on what caused the fire. For instance, an electrical fire can have a different effect on your house when compared to a fire caused by a naked flame like a match or candle. Improper restoration can cause unseen structural damage or hidden electrical problems. SERVPRO has expertise in restoring homes after any fire.
Smoke and soot damage
The destruction that soot causes is long-lasting and may hang around for weeks or months after extinguishing the fire. The smoke scent can linger on different structures in your house, including ceilings, walls, furniture, and flooring. Smoke turns into soot, and it may discolor surfaces in your home. Some smoke residues can cause some surfaces to corrode. Our technicians can wipe off light-colored painted surfaces, plastic surfaces, tops of furniture with finished surfaces, Formica counter tops and fiberglass surfaces properly to eliminate residues. We can also use air scrubbers to remove the smoke scent from your home.
3rd party damage
A house fire brings about other vulnerabilities and problems. For instance, the water that firefighters used to extinguish the flames can get absorbed in the drywall, flooring, and carpeting. Our SERVPRO technicians can use infrared cameras to check for hidden moisture and then dry the affected areas. Firefighters often use dry chemicals like sodium bicarbonate, monoammonium phosphate, or potassium bicarbonate to extinguish fires. These can leave a corrosive powder on the affected areas. We can clean up the powder quickly to prevent further damage.
After a fire loss, SERVPRO of McAllen is ready to help you deal with it. We can work with you to restore your property to normal quickly. Call us today at (956) 631-0348.
Who's Responsible for Water Damage: Tenants or Landlords?
When your ceilings or walls are affected by water damage, our techs use a penetrating meter.
Repairing extensive water damage can cost a fortune. That’s why it’s critical to know when exactly the landlords or tenants are financially responsible for restoration activities. While there are state-specific differences, you’ll find all the main guidelines in this article. SERVPRO of McAllen goes over the main facts regarding water damage responsibilities in order for you to make the right decisions as soon as possible.
What are the tell-tale signs of water damage?
When water damage is mentioned, most people imagine river-like streams flooding the rooms and soaking every inch of your belongings lying on the floor. But that’s just one way to imagine water damaging the rental property.
1. Brown spots
In reality, many cases of water damage start as a subtle process. You may notice brown spots and discolored blotches appearing on the walls or ceilings. The surfactant used to bind the paint is usually brown and the intruding water separates the brown liquid from the surfaces. This is the reason behind the brown marks.
2. Different surface textures
You may also start noticing changes in the surface textures of your home. If you notice bends, bubbles, and cracks, these are all indications of an underlying disturbance that’s often caused by excess water.
3. Strange smells
Even strange smells alone may give off a warning signal that should be interpreted as a water emergency. When there’s too much moisture in the air or inside porous materials, then mold growth is a real possibility. If you notice any of these signs, act on the first signs and contact your landlord immediately. You can work together to find out the underlying causes. Not notifying your landlord after the first signs have clearly appeared could be interpreted as negligence. This situation could turn more expensive in the long run.
As a universal principle, landlords need to provide a rental space that’s safe for habitation. Lack of maintenance creates issues, making the landlord responsible for the outcome of improper care. For example, when the pipes burst because they hadn’t been changed for a long time, then the tenant isn’t clearly at fault. The landlord should have organized the plumbing works and repairs. The same goes for neglected roof problems. Upon being notified of the first issues, the landlord should have decided to get the roof fixed. That is the landlord’s responsibility.
But you should also not forget that there are situations that minimize or entirely remove the landlord’s responsibility. When the tenant has done something wrong, neglected the property, or failed to notify the landlord of the first problems, then the landlord is not responsible for paying for the repairs.
Note that not all cases are clear-cut, which means that sometimes big disagreements need a middleman to decide who’s exactly in the fault.
Grey areas of responsibility
Yes, landlords do need to keep their properties safe and fit for habitation. Once the water problem unfolds, the tenants still need to do everything they can in order to restrict the extent of the damage. For example, let’s say that your roof starts leaking during the rainstorm, and the water gushes into the house. The landlord is surely responsible for the fact that the roof wasn’t properly maintained. But your responsibility is to remove all of your personal belongings out of the water’s way.
Also, you should take every step to minimize the water from making serious damage to the property. Even taking these practical steps inside the home isn’t enough. You need to call your landlord immediately. Not having an active attitude could seriously harm your chances of getting fully reimbursed for the damage to your personal things.
Yes, landlords may sometimes carry out improper maintenance and repairs. But tenants might be neglectful as well. You are responsible when you go to the countryside and leave your apartment’s bathtub faucet on, flooding the whole rental along with your neighbor’s property downstairs. In this and similar cases, you have to accept the whole responsibility and the owner doesn’t need to pay a dime. Does that mean overflowing sinks and toilets are always the tenant’s fault? Not so fast. Again, if the situation is caused by bad maintenance, then the landlord is assumed to be responsible. But when the tenant has been throwing garbage into the sink or flushing things that are not toilet safe, then it’s their own fault. In many cases, the responsibility depends on the particular root causes, not the situation itself.
Balancing the risks
In fact, the answer lies in signing contracts that are detailed enough to cover the grey areas. While not every single situation can be possibly covered by the contract, there are many common scenarios that result in opposing views. Insufficiently detailed contracts lead people to consult the law and this can become quite expensive. It’s much cheaper to focus on the contract straight from the beginning, protecting yourself against unusual situations that could end up creating costly disputes in the court.
So, is the tenant or the landlord responsible for water damage? Landlords should provide a property that’s safe and fit for habitation. Reckless attitude towards any maintenance issues can result in situations where the property along with the possessions inside gets seriously damaged. In these cases, the landlord clearly needs to bear the weight of the financial responsibilities. Keep in mind that the tenant always carries responsibility when they have created an issue themselves. Also, in an emergency, they need to take necessary actions to minimize the damage and notify the landlord immediately.
SERVPRO of McAllen ERP
SERVPRO Says Our ERP Protects Your business in McAllen from Mold Damage
Perla Chapa - Marketing Coordinator
McAllen has much to offer in terms of entertainment. Regardless of your preferences, you are bound to find a restaurant, performance, or gallery to reflect them. It is also a great place to run a business. With just a few personal touches, you can create a welcoming environment with good friends, music, and even art. The key to your success is providing an experience, one that touches every sense and leaves your customers feeling relaxed and happy as they leave your business .
What you do not want in your business is the smell of mold. Mold remediation in McAllen is not uncommon, given the climate and age of many structures, but you do not need to fall victim to the spread of bacteria and other micro-organisms. Our SERVPRO mold remediation technicians come equipped with the latest industry best practices to eliminate the issue. Relying on a professional crew can help you avoid a re occurrence and acting fast is essential to a successful process. As soon as you see or smell something irregular, it is time to reach out to our team to take a look and offer their guidance.
Even before mold becomes an issue, you should protect your business by watching the following-
-Humidity. Track the moisture levels in your store and be mindful of any unexplained changes as they may point to a more significant problem. Our SERVPRO crew carries advanced moisture sensors to help you assess proper levels.
-Utilities. Make sure your utility bill does not point to a potential leak. Even a small constant drip of water can become breeding ground for mold and close attention to your monthly charges can help prevent it.
-Prevention. Ask your service provider to review air ducts regularly. This simple task can prevent mold growth when kept clean and in good working order. Ask us about our ERP Emergency READY Profile Plan to ward off potential losses from mold, fire, or water damaging events to your business.
SERVPRO of McAllen is your guide through the mold remediation process. Just give us a call at (956) 631-0348 and let us leave your business "Like it never even happened."
Your Most Burning Questions About Fire Damage Answered!
Fire damage to your McAllen home can leave many lingering residues and odors. Contact the professionals at SERVPRO today for help.
Odor Removal in Your McAllen Home
Perla Chapa - Marketing Coordinator
While there are many lingering effects after a fire loss incident in McAllen homes that property owners can overcome with elbow grease and the right focused cleaning efforts, there are other symptoms that ensure that returning a house to preloss condition is a significant challenge. Odor damages, for example, can spread far beyond an ignition source to affect multiple areas of a home, even rooms otherwise unaffected by the disaster. Reducing or eliminating the presence of these harsh scents often requires a higher grade of cleaning agent and units designed for deodorization in the restoration industry.
When overcoming fire damage like lingering odors, SERVPRO professionals like ours must utilize multiple pieces of equipment. The best approach for professional deodorization gets determined by the severity of the condition, the affected materials, and the timeline to protect the rest of the household. While there are multiple units and approaches available to our professionals, the most commonly used by our team are:
These machines utilize both an onboard HEPA filtering system and produce free radicals to break down the molecular structure of foul odors on contact. These units are safe to use around people, pets, and softer materials.
These units (and the larger chambers at SERVPRO facilities) produce a gas comprised of three oxygen atoms. These irregular compounds bond with odor molecules to neutralize them. This practice is not safe to use around humans and pets.
As you might expect from the name, thermal foggers generate heat which vaporizes a compound the fogger can use. In these applications, the fogging solution is a highly effective deodorization agent. This practice is ideal for open areas and softer materials.
- Material Removal/Cleaning
Cleaning can help to noticeably reduce the presence of harsh odors in a fire-damaged area of your home. It is always the last resort of our SERVPRO professionals to allow for material removal and later replacement, and this decision only gets made with areas too severely damaged to preserve.
While there are some aspects of fire damage that homeowners can address on their own when first responders leave the scene, symptoms like odors pose a much more challenging obstacle to overcome. Let our SERVPRO of McAllen team help you make it “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call at (956) 631-0348.
What to Do During, and After a Commercial Fire.
Never fear SERVPRO Professionals are here! When our green trucks arrive just know we are here to eliminate all your stress and worry!
Perla Chapa- Marketing Coordinator
Preparing for a home fire is a wise time investment, but how many of us prepare for a fire at work?
Below, the fire damage repair experts from SERVPRO of McAllen explain what to do during and after a commercial fire.
Safety Steps for Employers & Employees
Contrary to popular belief, fire alarm and fire sprinkler system are not directly connected. This means that when the fire alarm goes off, the sprinkler system will not necessarily activate at the same time. Moreover, some buildings don’t have a fire sprinkler system.
The fire alarm is your primary warning to evacuate the building. Don’t assume that because the sprinklers aren’t activated that no fire exits. Because commercial buildings lack the compartmented features of a house, the fire has the potential to grow much larger, much faster.
Once the alarm sounds, help inform others who may not hear the alarm. If you’re not working on the ground floor, do not attempt to use an elevator.
Look for the closest stairwell exit. Hold your hand to the door knob (don’t touch it), and check for heat. If the doorknob feels warm, there may be fire on the other side. If possible, find another exit.
Once outside, do not attempt to go back inside the building. If someone is missing, wait for emergency responders to arrive.
Some commercial fire alarm systems will contact emergency services automatically. Once it’s safe to do so, call 9-1-1 to ensure help is on the way. Inform first responders of anyone who might still be inside.
How to Handle Fire Cleanup
Burned or damaged buildings are vulnerable to break-ins and other offenses. Once the building has been cleared for re-entry, it’s critical that anything valuable is removed. This includes the personal belongings of employees as well as expensive business property.
Once valuables have been removed, damaged and destroyed property must be carefully documented. You’ll also need to contact your insurance company.
Business owners who want to be sure they’re getting the most out of their insurance policy trust SERVPRO of McAllen to document and negotiate with greedy insurance companies.
Plus, SERVPRO of McAllen can repair damage, clean, and sanitize a fire-damaged work space and restore it to like-new condition—this includes expensive property contents like furniture, electronics, paper documents, and more.
Avoid the impulse to clean up the property before a thorough investigation has been completed. Insurance companies will want documentation of everything in your claim. If you clean up evidence, you could lose money in the claims process.
There are pros and cons to contacting a restoration company before speaking with the insurance company.
Stay Informed; Be Prepared
Every minute counts when it comes to your business. One of the best ways to avoid further damage after a commercial fire is to stay informed and be prepared.
In addition to coordinating a fire safety plan with employees, knowing who to call and when can save you time and money on commercial cleaning and restoration.
SERVPRO of McAllen is available 24 hours , 7 days a week. We’ll be there when you need us, so you can get back to work faster after an unexpected disaster.
September is National Preparedness Month!
September is here, and its time to be prepared for any natural disaster!
September is National Preparedness Month!
September is here! September is recognized as National Preparedness Month to remind everyone that " We must all take action, now and throughout the year, for the types of emergencies that could affect us where we live, work, and also where we visit:.
With the recent flooding in Harlingen in mind, the last thing you want to worry about is how to communicate, and what to do during a disaster like this horrific event that left many families homes affected with severe water damage, and having to evacuate from their homes.
What you can do:
. Make a Family Plan- You may not be together with your family during a disaster.
Set up emergency alerts from local officials.
Discuss family plans for disasters, and plan where to go for safety
Collect Information on paper including phone numbers, emails, social media , medical facilities, doctors, service providers , and school
Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection and if you have pets, think about animal-friendly locations.
. Take Action- Ensure you can go for at least 3 Days without electricity, water service, access to supermarket, or other local services
Prepare a disaster supply kit (water, food, battery-powered radio, flashlight, first aid kit, whistle, local maps)
Bookmark weather.gov to stay informed o severe weather
Learn about wireless emergency alerts, messages that will be sent to your phone during an emergency.
Consider the following disasters that can occur at any time: Learn more about hazards which can affect your community and ways you can take action to prepare.
Earthquakes - Can occur suddenly and be deadly. Most earthquake- related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
Floods - Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the united states and can happen anywhere.
Hurricanes - Have the power to cause widespread devastation, and can affect both coastal, and inland areas.
Tornadoes- Are one of the most violent storms, and can cause death, injury, and destruction within seconds
Wildfires- Can occur anywhere, and can destroy homes, businesses, infrastructure, natural resources, and agriculture.
Why Hesitation Leads To Mold Growth
This Home Was The Victim Of Water Damage Due To A Pipe Leak that busted under the kitchen sink.
SERVPRO of McAllen professionals handle water damages on a daily basis and the most important thing to them is to take action as soon as possible to prevent mold growth.
Mold is likely to spread in an environment that has been subject to moisture for an extended period of time. If your property has sustained recent water damage, it is vital to extract any excess water/moisture and dry out the structure right away.
In an area like ours, down here in the RGV, quick action is especially critical. Since we have a warmer climate, combined with almost 100% humidity pretty frequently, it is crucial that we respond without any hesitation.
Here is a list of things to be on the watch for once you notice that there is moisture present:
- The presence of visible mold,
- Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present.
- Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
- Excessive humidity.
- Stagnant or “stale” air.
Certain conditions may even require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems.
Now, after seeing just how much effort goes into mitigation work, it’s clear to see why these are situations that require special professional attention.
If you have an emergency water loss, don't hesitate to call the Professionals at SERVPRO of McAllen
24 hour emergency services
Top 3 Things You Should Know About Water Damage
Our Rubber Duck is Always Ready To Tackle Any Water Damage Disaster
Water Damage can be a huge hassle if not handled correctly. A surprise flood or leak, whether big or small, can cause major issues with your walls, flooring, and furniture. SERVPRO of McAllen would like to provide you 3 things to keep in mind when facing a water damage situation at home.
1. Don't Wait To Get Help- Its important to get help as quickly as possible once any water has affected your home to prevent any mold to start growing throughout your home. The sooner you get professional help, the better!
2. Start Drying The Area Right Away- The more you can dry the affected area's before help arrives, the better. Mopping up extra water with towels and rags will help the area dry faster. When drying the area, don't use a vacuum to remove water or use other fans or electrical appliances as they can be potentially dangerous if floor was affected with water.
3. The Damage Can Spread Deeper Than The Surface- Even if you clean up all the standing water, it's likely that more water seeped through the floor and base boards. If this extra water underneath your floor is not taken care of, It can quickly become a bigger problem, leading to mold and damage to the structure of your home.
Tips for Dealing With Storm Damage
Water From a Storm Came Into Our Customers Home Which Affected Carpet Leaving Them With Standing Water.
The most common mistake regarding dealing with storm damage is calling your insurance company first. While you do need to be sure to call them within the window of time they allow for you to file a claim after a storm, There are some things you should do before you call them.
First of all, start with a high-quality, reputable storm damage restoration company. They will often find storm damage that your adjuster would not have noticed, of perhaps even hoped you didn't. By giving the adjuster a full property storm damage inspection report upfront, You avoid missing out on repairs that should have been covered.
It is always best to find your own storm damage restoration company rather than go with one that the insurance company has " approved" because you want one that is working for you rather than the insurance company. You have paid your premiums so you deserve the best repair rather than the cheapest, which is what the insurance company would prefer.
You should also read over your policy before calling the insurance company so you know exactly what they should cover. All too often, homeowners hold back on claims out of fear they will be singled out for a rate increase after a storm damage claim, but this is not the case.
If you have suffered storm damage, Give us a call at SERVPRO of McAllen, we represent your best interest, yet can work directly with the insurance company for claims up to 500,000 to make the process easier for you. We can provide you with an inspection and then complete the restoration for you. Our team has years of experience in restoration, so we are confident we can restore your home to your complete satisfaction.
What to do to protect your home from storm damage
Call SERVPRO of McAllen for any storm damage repair.
Harsh weather can cause unexpected problems & damage to your home when you least expect it. It may seem like there's little you can do to protect your home from huge storms with lots of rain, snow, or strong winds, but often, a small amount of effort & upkeep on your home can make a big difference during a storm. The main thing to keep in mind when preparing your home to resist major storm damage is making sure loose spots or small area's that are already damaged make it much easier for strong winds and other elements of a storm to create further damage from a weak spot on your home. This doesn't necessarily mean the entire roof of siding on your home needs to be replaced, nut small repairs now can help prevent further storm damage.
Another way from keeping your home safe from any storm damage is by making sure there isn't any opening or ways that water can get into your home. Keeping gutters and other drains clear is critical for the free movement of water. If the water is being taken away from the sides, windows, and doors from your home, you are much less likely to experience flooding and other water damage . In addition, Proper sealing around doors or windows is key to keeping rain, snow, and hail outside of your home. Any small opening or crack also provides a way for wind to get in and possibly damage windows and doors.
Taking these small steps before a storm hits can help save your home from expensive destructive storm damage and repairs afterwards.
Commercial Cleaning Services
Our Technician performing the hot water extraction method with Safe shampoo free cleaning in a local commercial business
Maintaining a clean office space not only helps create a positive first impression with customers and clients but can also increase employee morale. The overall appearance of your work space affects the way your company is perceived. A dirty or messy environment could send a message to potential customers and clients that your company lacks professionalism and is unorganized. If you can’t be trusted to keep your office tidy, how attentive will you be to the details of their account?
Additionally, keeping your employees happy is essential for any business. A clean office is a happy office, and happy and healthy employees are often more productive and enjoy coming to work each day, which reflects well on your business.
Some of the services we provide are as follows:
We pioneered the hot water extraction method which removes dirt from carpet to improve your building’s overall appearance and cleanliness.
- Extends the life of your carpet
- 25 out of 27 commercial carpet manufacturers recommend the hot-water extraction method
- No shampoos or harsh chemicals, which may leave behind sticky residues
Air Duct Cleaning
Improve air quality and system efficiency in your building with professional air duct cleaning services, which uses source removal and negative pressure techniques.
- Duct Work Cleaning and Decontamination
- Indoor Air Quality System Inspection
- IICRC Certified Technicians
Cleaning and Sealing of Air Ducts
- Allergens are removed
- Source removal method
- Improves the efficiency of your heating and A/C systems
Tile & Grout Cleaning
Our certified technicians make use of specialized cleaning solutions combined with a hot water rinse and vacuum system that helps ensure grime is extracted from the surface
Cleaning of Drapery, Furniture, and Carpets
- Family safe shampoo free cleaning
- Hot water extraction methods
- Safe for fabrics that are delicate
- Cleaning products that are hypo-allergenic
Our certified technicians make use of specialized cleaning solutions combined with a hot water rinse and vacuum system that helps ensure grime is extracted from the surface.
Types of Water Damage, and How to prevent them
This home owner had a roof leak in her home, which resulted in customers carpet to be affected
Water damage describes a large number of possible losses caused by water intruding where it will enable attack of a material or system by destructive processes such as rotting of wood, growth, rusting of steel, de-laminating of materials such as plywood, and many others.
The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface, or it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a major contributor to loss of property.
An insurance policy may or may not cover the costs associated with water damage and the process of water damage restoration. While a common cause of residential water damage is often the failure of a slump pump, many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover the associated costs without an addendum which adds to the monthly premium of the policy. Often the verbiage of this addendum is similar to “Sewer and Drain Coverage”.
In the United States, those individuals who are affected by wide scale flooding may have the ability to apply for government and F.E.M.A grants through the Individual Assistance program. On a larger level, businesses, cities, and communities can apply to the F.E.M.A Public Assistance program for funds to assist after a large flood.The program allows the city to purchase the water damaged properties, demolish the structures, and turn the properties into public green space
Residential water damage is one of the most stressful situations for a homeowner. Dealing with it is very devastating and if not addressed on time, may lead to costly home repairs and reconstruction. In the majority of the cases, the people do not even know, and the water damage is damaging their homes from within. Therefore, it is best not to ignore any signs of water damage. The moment one understands that water damage is happening, SERVPRO of McAllen is here to help with your water damage needs.
CATEGORIES OF WATER
Before the cleaning and restoration process begins, it is important to have a clear idea of the category of water damage.
Category 1 – Water
Category 1 Water – Refers to a source of water that does not pose substantial threat to humans and classified as “clean water“. Examples are broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows or appliance malfunctions that involves water supply lines.
When the cause of water damage is clean water. It is easy to handle, as there are not many microbes to deal with in this situation. If a home is not properly cleaned and dried, it may result in the growth of fungus and mold infestation. Leaky roofs that cause rainwater to seep into the homes is one the causes behind the category one water damage. It is best to inspect the drains on the flat roofs regularly to prevent such water damage. For sloped roofs, the shingles need regular inspection to prevent roof leaks from damaging a house. Other causes of this category damage are bursting of water pipes or any appliance malfunctions.
Category 2 -Water
Refers to a source of water that contains a significant degree of chemical, biological or physical contaminants and causes discomfort or sickness when consumed or even exposed to. Known as “grey water“. This type carries microorganisms and nutrients of micro-organisms. Examples are toilet bowls with urine(no feces), sump pump failures, seepage due to hydrostatic failure and water discharge from dishwashers or washing machines. The gray water contains contaminants and is difficult to deal with as compared to the category one water damage. Exposure to such water may cause discomfort and illnesses. The possible causes of category two water damage include dishwasher discharge, toilet runoff, or washing machine discharge. Water that may contain any hazardous elements is difficult to clean up. When dealing with this type of water damage, it is best to wear gloves to prevent the spreading of any microbes. To prevent category two damage, regular inspection of the dishwasher, washing machines, and toilets is necessary.
Category 3 – Water
Category 3 Water – Known as “black water” and is grossly unsanitary. This water contains unsanitary agents, harmful bacteria and fungi, causing severe discomfort or sickness. Type 3 category are contaminated water sources that affect the indoor environment. This category includes water sources from sewage, seawater, rising water from rivers or streams, ground surface water or standing water. Category 2 Water or Grey Water that is not promptly removed from the structure and or have remained stagnant may be re classified as Category 3 Water. Toilet back flows that originates from beyond the toilet trap is considered black water contamination regardless of visible content or color
Sewage damage and damage due to flood are what causes black water to enter. Black water contains toxic materials, dangerous chemicals, microbes, pesticides, and even bacterial diseases. Only the professionals at SERVPRO can deal with category three water damage as they have the required equipment and personnel. Ensuring the main waste water pipe has a back flow pipe. Inspection of the sewage system of a house after every few months is important to prevent black water damage.
Water damage is a huge concern for homeowners, especially if the cause of it is gray or black water. A homeowner must always hire a professional at SERVPRO of McAllen to deal with all categories of water damage. Even if one decides to deal with the category one water damage themselves, they must completely dry the water off as it may cause fungus and mold growth. If you have any question feel to call our office at (956)631-0348
Let us help with sewage cleaning; Category 3 Water loss
This Backroom of a Local business was affected with sewage damage.
If you have had a toilet leak, a sewage pipe burst, or a mishap with your sewage system that has resulted in a flood in your home, it is important to get it cleaned up right away. But sometimes it can be difficult to know exactly what needs to be done to clean the mess up and get everything sanitized and put back together. Most people do not know the best way to do sewage cleaning, and if not done properly, it can make you and your family sick.
Because sewage water is not clean and is full of bacteria and germs, it is very important that you hire a professional cleaning and restoration company to handle all sewage cleaning in your home. They have been trained to specifically clean up sewage and waste messes and they have all the tools and equipment to get everything cleaned up and back to normal.
Your restoration team will be able to clean and sanitize the entire area where the sewage leak or flood occurred. They will be able to tell exactly what can be saved and what needs to be disposed of. They can treat the area with a special sanitizing solution to make sure that you and your family will not get sick from being exposed to the bacteria in sewage. They can also help get rid of the smell for you so that your home can smell clean and fresh again.
Contact us today at SERVPRO of McAllen if you need sewage cleaning done in your home. Our technicians are expertly trained and can get the job done quickly, effectively, and safely.
Fire loss in Local Motel Room.
Our Team Responding to a local fire loss in Mission, TX
If your commercial property suffers fire damage, quick action is vital to limiting the amount of damage that is inflicted on your property. You may think that once the fire is put out, the damage has been done and you can start getting things cleaned up at your leisure. Unfortunately, fire damage continues to eat away at materials even after the fire has been put out.
More porous materials often can’t be saved and have to be thrown out and replaced. Less porous materials can be saved if the ash and soot are removed from the surface in a timely manner. A matter of hours can make a difference between an item that can be saved versus one that cannot. This is why our team at SERVPRO of McAllen offers 24-hour emergency services, so you can call us anytime day or night, and we can start the restoration process immediately.
When we begin the restoration process for fire damage, we offer a number of services depending on the extent of the damage your commercial property needs. Typically, we begin by bringing in air filtering machines that will remove ash and floating particulate matter from the air to make sure your air is safe to breathe again. As this starts working, we will remove ash and soot from your property and dispose of any materials that can’t be saved.
The amount of restoration you want and need depends on the amount of damage your commercial property sustained from the fire. Give us a call at (956)631-0348 for complete restoration from any fire damage on your commercial property.
Steps to Take Immediately After a Storm Damage
When disaster strikes, we are always here to help.
Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding and powerful winds can cause roof damage and downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.
Take Safety Precautions
Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact a reputable property restoration company to help do basic tasks to secure your property and make it safe to use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living condition.
Photograph the Damage
If it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph the damage so that you will have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjuster to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.
Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance
The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to normal. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.
When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, to normal. At SERVPRO of McAllen, we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm,fire damage, and smoke disaster.
What to do to protect your home from storm damage
When a storm hits your McAllen home, SERVPRO is here to make it "Like it never even happened."
Harsh weather and the elements can cause unexpected problems and damage to your home when you least expect it. It may seem like there is little you can do to protect your home from huge storms with lots of rain, snow, or strong winds, but often, a small amount of effort and upkeep on your home can make a big difference during a storm.
The main thing to keep in mind when preparing your home to resist major storm damage is making sure loose or damaged shingles or siding are repaired. Loose spots or small areas that are already damaged make it much easier for strong winds and other elements of a storm to create further damage from a weak spot on your home. This doesn’t necessarily mean the entire roof or siding on your home needs to be replaced, but small repairs now can help prevent further storm damage.
Another important way to keep your home protected from storms is by making sure water can be directed away from your home. Keeping your gutters and other drains clear is critical for the free movement of water. If the water is being taken away from the sides, windows, and doors of your home, you are much less likely to experience flooding and other water damage. In addition, proper sealing around doors or windows is key to keeping rain, snow, and hail outside of your home. Any small opening or crack also provides a way for wind to get in and possibly damage windows and doors.
Taking these small steps before a storm hits can help save your home from expensive, destructive storm damage and repairs afterward. If you have any questions about storm damage and how to prevent or repair it, Call SERVPRO of McAllen.
We make fire damage "Like it never even happened".
This business was affected by fire damage, and we quickly made it "Like it never even happened".
Every fire is different, even the smallest fire can cause significant damage. Trust our trained staff to arrive promptly, survey and determine the extent of the damage. We then offer and provide the next steps to getting your home and property secured, through board up, and/or structural stabilization. Fire and the resulting smoke and water damage to your home and property is both devastating and overwhelming. Trust our damage-restoration specialists to inspect and evaluate your circumstances and guide you through every step of the process. We have the experience, expertise, equipment and the manpower to effectively respond and repair your resulting damage. No matter what time or the size of the work to be done, we offer 24-hour emergency and full restoration services, and have over years of experience dealing with fire damage restoration in the Valley.
Here’s Why Your Business Needs a Disaster Plan
We are always on the look out for our community to make sure they are safe, and ready for when disaster strikes. Would your business be prepared to face all that Mother Nature can throw at it through floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and earthquakes? The most important key to survive these natural disasters is to be prepared for these situations. Being prepared for those situations involves creating a natural disaster plan for your business, and we are using this blog to list some aspects to consider when designing that plan.Where to Begin
There are many things you will need to consider when developing a disaster plan for your business.
Some of the things you need to include in your considerations should be:
- Ways to protect your employees
- Ways to secure your assets
- Getting your business back up and running again
Many checklists have been made available through sources like the Red Cross, FEMA and Ready.gov that offer information that will help you identify areas that need to be included in your natural disaster preparedness plan. These sources will also help you see just how prepared you truly are.Ways to Protect Employees
If disaster were to strike without warning, that very disaster plan could be the difference between life, and death. Hence it is important to have a plan in place that lays out procedures and safety measures for employees, and visitors to follow. Ensure that evacuation routes, and exits from your facility are all clearly marked, and visible, identify an area that will serve as a shelter, consider the installation of emergency lighting, and have designated staff “safety wardens” properly trained that will be ready and able to guide, and assist with all emergency efforts.
When picking out a shelter space, a basement or storm cellar is ideal in case of tornadoes or other high-wind situations. If you have no basement space, find a small interior room on the lowest level of the building, such as a closet or interior hallway.Asset Protection Planning
Even if the business is located in a brick and mortar location, there will be decisions that need to be made concerning protecting the assets inside the building like equipment or merchandise, for example. Everything is at risk when a natural disaster strikes.
Always have a comprehensive, and up-to-date inventory of these items, and if possible, take photographs prior to a disaster as this is always helpful if insurance claims will have to be made. If you keep your assets stored on a computer server, take the steps necessary to ensure that your backup system is doing regular backups and utilize a cloud storage system, which cannot be damaged.
If you own your building, contact a contractor to uncover areas needing structural integrity improvements, who can walk you through possible safety upgrades and offer advice on any areas that may not withstand certain weather situations.Getting Back to Business Quicker
Natural disasters can cause businesses to shut down for days or months until repairs can be made and structures are safe enough to enter and resume business. Every day you remain closed is another day of lost profits. Take precautions and set up an emergency fund to cover any additional costs that your insurance may not cover.
Locate and establish a relationship with a list of contractors who would be available for construction matters, and find a cleanup and restoration service that will be available to quickly respond to your emergency situation.
With SERVPRO of McAllen, you can count on us to get to the disaster faster, and make it "Like it never even happened". Our training, and expertise have prepared us to help with water damage, storm damage, fire damage, and mold remediation quickly, and effectively.
Knowing what to do when disaster strikes your business is of the utmost importance. When it comes to the cleanup & restoration aspects. You can depend on SERVPRO of McAllen to be there for you.
We Are Always Making Sure Your Family Is Prepared for Severe Weather
Always be prepared for disaster, Remeber SERVPRO of McAllen is always here to help!
Making Sure Your Family Is Prepared for Severe Weather | SERVPRO® of East Brownsville & South Padre Island - SERVPRO OF EAST BROWNSVILLE & SOUTH PADRE ISLAND Blog
Advanced warning is important for some types of severe weather, but unfortunately, there are also those occasions where Mother Nature allows no chance for advanced warning.
Take a look at some of these steps you can take as well as safety tips to follow that will ensure your family is prepared for various severe weather happenings.Where to Start
Establishing a family emergency plan is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the weather and the havoc it can wreak.
It’s great if your family does have an emergency plan in place, but be sure to regularly discuss and review it when the weather seasons change so that everyone is on the same page and knows exactly what to do.
If you’ve not yet created a family emergency plan, we’ve listed some considerations for creating that plan:
1. How will emergency alerts and warnings be received?
Thanks to today’s technologies, emergency alerts, and warnings are “at our fingertips” through the use of smartphones equipped with a weather app or Google to quickly give emergency alerts, which provides you with valuable time in severe weather situations. If there is no smartphone available, warnings, and alerts are also still broadcast over the radio, and television.
2. What type of storm shelter do you have?
Determine where you will take shelter if you live in an area where tornadoes are common, and you have no basement. In that situation, you’ll want to be in the lowest part of your home in an interior room that is away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Tornadoes aren’t the only weather situation that require a form of storm shelter, and you can get more information about those situations that call for them by visiting ready.gov.
3. What is our evacuation route?
When faced with evacuation as a result of hurricanes, flooding or fires, which can quickly force you out of your home, you should always have routes mapped out that can serve as an evacuation route. It’s wise to have multiple routes in the event that one is impassable, and make sure you have found places to stay with your pets along the way if you have furry family members to evacuate with.
4. How will the family stay in touch?
Your family needs to stay connected and it is easy to rely on cell phones for that purpose, but in a severe weather situation that may not be the way to stay in contact with each other. Weather can damage cell towers and cause power outages, phones could be lost or left behind, and batteries will die when there is no power to recharge them.
Your family needs an emergency communication plan, as well as a pre-arranged safe meeting place so that you can all meet there if separated.
If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO of McAllen to get the cleanup & restoration process started.
Why SERVPRO of McAllen? What We Offer
If you are faced with a huge cleanup, and restoration after disaster strikes your home or business, time becomes an especially precious commodity. We understand the stress damage can cause. Whether its a water loss or a fire loss, we are always faster to your disaster! Disasters require a quick response, especially when it comes to your belongings, home, and business is on the line. It only takes minutes for damages to spread throughout your property. What separates us from our competitors is that we are more than just a cleanup, and restoration company. We provide mold remediation, duct cleaning, bio hazard & trauma cleanups, construction, and board-up services. All of our technicians are highly trained, and certified to take care of any kind of job whether its a big loss or a small loss, we have the ability to get your life back to the way it was. We will continue to make water or fire damage "Like it never even happened."
We Make Our Applicants Our Priority.
Water or Fire damage in your home? Don't Worry we make damage "Like it never even happened".
Flood damage, burst pipes, and storms, OH MY! It feels like between all the crazy weather we have had in the past year, we have enough to worry about when it comes to potential water damages affecting your home or businesses. However, there is a hidden danger that lies within your home or business's walls that needs to be paid attention to. Leaking, and blocked appliances may not seem like a big deal, but it does not take a lot of time for a little leak to cause a lot of damage to your business. Taking the time to pay attention and keeping your appliances up to date can not only save you a lot of money in the long run, but it can also ensure you are keeping your property doors open and operating. Here are some helpful tips on how to make sure you're making your appliances a priority.
Mark Your Calendar
When you purchase new appliances, make sure you write down the expiration dates and recommended replacement dates on their parts and hoses. You have enough to remember throughout your busy days, so this allows you to write it down and forget about it (until the time comes to make replacements that is).
Make a Date Every Friday Afternoon
Cut out 30 minutes every Friday afternoon and walk around and check all your appliances that are hooked up to a water source. Check for blockages, the hoses, and any leaks, so that you can make sure you are not leaving them unattended for a whole weekend. A small leak over a two-day span could not only create a large amount of damage, but it could be the cause for you having to close your business's doors for a few days. Keeping up with your appliances will help keep your weekend as stress-free as possible.
Don't Put it Off
When you find the problem, fix the problem. Replace a leaky hose, or call a plumber to clear the blockage in your drains or sinks before it is too late. Finding and fixing an issue early on will save you a lot of trouble, time, and money, so don't put it off!
If you do find yourself with a water damage due to a faulty appliance, make sure you give SERVPRO of McAllen a call at (956)631-0348
We Are The Leader in Fire & Water Damage Restoration
SERVPRO of McAllen is always here to help!
With over 1,700 Franchises nationwide, SERVPRO is a leader in the restoration industry, and its professionals are faster to any size disaster. SERVPRO of McAllen professionals are available 24 hours/7 days a week, and are ready to restore or clean your property. When it comes to our customers home or business, our main priority in every job is to try, and restore everything back to preloss condition vs having to replace our customers valuables. Another reason to consider SERVPRO is that we have the training, experience, and equipment to quickly get your home looking its best. We take pride in our work to make sure that all of our customers are happy with the results of or work. We are a locally owned, and operated company so we’re already close by and ready to respond immediately when you need us. Day or night, rain or shine, we are always here to help make any kind of damage "Like it never even happened."
Water or Fire Damage? SERVPRO Has Got You Covered!
Whether you are building a new commercial structure from the ground up, or simply taking on a long overdue renovation project, it is a big job! The entire construction process can be lengthy, stressful, and messy! After the job is complete you may be left with an even bigger mess to cleanup before you get your business up and running. Let SERVPRO of McAllen take care of that headache for you. Our full line of specialized cleaning services includes post-construction cleaning. You wouldn’t hire a car mechanic to repair an airplane, so why hire a maid service to tackle the big stuff? You need a specialist with the staff, equipment, and techniques to handle a large job. Our highly trained team members will clean every inch of your newly finished project, and make it shine for your opening day. As part of a national franchise system with over 40 years in the cleaning industry, SERVPRO of McAllen knows how to deliver on our promise of outstanding results. Call us today at (956)631-0348 for more information
Ways to Protect your business from Fire Hazards
Local Commercial business affected by fire damage.
Business owners have many things, including plenty of safety factors to consider, regarding risks to their business, staff, and visitors. If you are a business owner, one of those risks you need to spend a little extra time planning for and working toward preventing is a Fire!
Common Causes Of Commercial Structure Fires:
According to the National Fire Protection Association, The leading causes of structure fires in office properties include..:
1. Cooking Equipment- 29% of fires.
2. Electrical Distribution, and Lighting Equipment- 12% of fires.
3. Heating Equipment- 11% of fires
4. Intentional- 10% of fires
5. Smoking Materials- 9% of fires
6. Exposure- 4% of fires
7. Electronic, office, or Entertainment Equipment- 3% of fires
Out of those, Namely three causes accounted for the most property damage are intentional fires, Exposure, and Electrical distribution and lighting equipment fires with 20%, 18%, and 15% respectively.
Protecting your Business:
There are many steps to follow to protect your business from the risks of fires, But focusing on fire risk assessment, Fire prevention, and Staff education, you can help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out. First you need to make sure to assess the fire hazard risks in your facility. In some areas, the local government may even provide a visit from a fire marshal who will help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan. You'll want to make sure that the right fire protection equipment is in place. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor. Most importantly, consider your employees and visitors. Creating a fire plan and reviewing it with your staff will ensure that you are making sure everyone knows what to do in the event of a fire. Conduct fire drills at least once a year to keep that fire safety protocol fresh in their minds, and take time to review evacuation plans and the location of first-aid kit.
Despite best efforts with fire prevention and safety tips, the worst could always happen at your business, if a fire has damaged your business SERVPRO of McAllen is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."
Understanding the three flood water classifications
Call us for any of you cleanup and restoration needs!
All water is not created equal when it comes to Water Damage. There are three different classifications or water: Clean Water, Gray water, and Black Water. When you learn about the differences in these types of water. It will help you better understand how to handle the situation. There will always be a cleanup and restoration process that will follow a water damage situation no matter what type of water has caused damage. It is important, However, to be quick about removing all of the of the moisture and damp items to hamper the growth of mold since moisture is its ideal environment.
Intro to Clean Water
Much like its name states, clean water is considered just that. Clean, and not the type to pose an immediate threat to your health. This water is free of contaminants and can come from:
. Broken water lines.
. Malfunctioning appliances .
. Toilet holding tanks.
. Snow melt and Rain Water.
This type of water damage is the easiest type to work with, since you wont be dealing with many microbes living in the water but remember after 48 hours and following contact with the surfaces of a building, clean water will change to gray water.
Intro to Gray Water
With Gray water damage, cleanup and restoration can become a bit more involved and may pose a health risk as it may contain chemical or biological contamination. The slight contamination in gray water means that the water would have to be thoroughly treated before it is safe for consumption. Gray water is water that comes from dishwashers, Aquariums, showers, etc. Again, the 48 hour exposure rule applies here as well as because gray water will turn into black water if not treated.
Intro to Black Water.
Black water is the most serious and dangerous of the three classifications and is considered highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter. This type of water includes flood waters containing soil and all sewage waters. Sewage is contaminated with microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, Fungi, and more, Many of which are harmful to humans.
Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:
. Gastroenteritis- Type Illnesses.
Remember in a flood situation, it must be assumed that the water involved is black water since it picks up contaminants along its path. These three different classifications of flood water are recognized by the institution of inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification, an organization that certifies and sets the standards for cleaning and restoration industries to follow. All of our technicians study IICRC standards and best water restoration practices and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.
It doesn't matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO of McAllen is here to help get the situation under control, Don't hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services.
Keep Your Home Or Business Safe & Clean With Expert Mold Damage Repair
Mold can spread throughout your home, Get it removed quickly as possible.
Mold is well known for causing respiratory & other health issues if you are exposed to it constantly in your home or business.When this is the case and the damages are deeper than the surface level, mold growth can also lead to structural and safety issues.In some cases, mold can't always be seen spreading throughout your home of business. Mold can quickly start to affect your home or business after a flood or major water damage, so Its always safe to have your home inspected after any water loss and get mold removed from your home or business as quickly as possible to avoid the health risks and safety issues mold can cause.
Taking care of mold damage can be difficult and dangerous especially if you don't know what to expect or don't have any experience getting rid of mold. Its best if you leave it to a professional with mold damage repair experience because they have the knowledge & skills needed to remedy the problem completely.
If you are in need of any mold damage repair, Call SERVPRO Of McAllen today, We are the restoration company you can trust!
Telling signs that you need mold removal services
In home water damage mold.
Discovering mold can be very stressful. Once mold has started to grow, it spreads aggressively. Since mold grows very quickly, you need to be highly observant of what's happening in your home.
Actually seeing mold growth is always a telling sign that you need mold removal services. However, it may be hard to spot sometimes, so its important to know what you're looking for.
- If your home has recently had flooding caused by a broken pipe appliance, of excessive rain, there is a chance of mold growth. This is especially true if you did not have professional services come to clean up the flooding.
Pay attention so that you'll notice these telling signs of mold growth as early as possible. This will help you avoid serious mold issues & keep your home safe & healthy for you & your family!
Benefits Of Fall Office Cleaning.
Air duct fall cleaning from SERVPRO.
While the warm and inviting summer season is drawing to an end, looking forward to crisp autumn air is right around the corner. If your office building has an abundance of dust and dirt that was trapped in throughout the summer months, now is the time to think about fall office cleaning. Here are a few benefits of having your office professionally cleaned before the winter months settle in.
Refresh Tile And Grout
If you happen to have tile entryway in your office, this area can take a real hit when it comes to foot traffic from employees and customers. If your tile and grout is not sealed, the entire porous surface attracts dirt and soil. This means that stains can settle down deep into the grout lines and the sheen from the tile can wear off overtime. To replenish the look and create a cleaner work space, Request professional tile and grout cleaning from SERVPRO Of McAllen. We use special cleaning solutions that get your tile looking squeaky clean. After the floor is dried, we finish off by adding a sealer to keep your floor looking like-new for months to come.
Improve Overall Air Quality
Over the summer months, there's a good chance that windows and doors may have been left open. While the breeze helps to bring some fresh air in, It also attracts pollen, airborne viruses, smoke and other organic allergens that can cause respiratory issues. Having air ducts in your office cleaned regularly will result to a cleaner work space to work and breathe in. Getting your air ducts cleaned also helps to remove airborne pathogen, dust, and dirt that has made its way into the office space. Adding an air purifier to your building can also help with removing air impurities and dust. SERVPRO Of McAllen also provides services for commercial and residential duct cleaning.
Restore Carpeting Appearance
Carpeting can also take a beating in your office space. Heavy traffic along with dirt and spills can leave the carpeting looking dull and worn. Rejuvenate tired carpet by having your carpets cleaned professionally using SERVPRO'S carpet cleaning solutions. We offer a variety of different cleaning methods depending on the type of carpet you have. we use solution's that reach all the way down into carpet fibers and targets the tough stains and dirt. The solution is then extracted, leaving a dry surface that lifts up carpet fibers, giving the carpet a like-new appearance, and also stays cleaner longer and stains resist returning.
Remove Upholstery odor
For couches and chairs that see consistent traffic on a day to day basis, dirt build up is expected. The pros at SERVPRO Of McAllen will use green cleaning agents during their office cleaning to tackle the tough stains and odors on your upholstery. This helps to restore the overall appearance of your furniture and provides a stain resistance to future wear and tear.
Work In A Sick Office? Sick Building Syndrome Is Real
Sick building syndrome is real.
During cold and flu season, your workplace may seem filled with people who cannot stop sniffling and sneezing. Whether they caught a flu bug, are reacting to dust from the heating system, or are showing symptoms from what has been labeled “sick building syndrome,” Your workplace deserves a proper cleaning to make sure germs are not spreading. Here is what you can do to stop a sick office this flu season.
How Sick Building Syndrome Happens
“Sick Building Syndrome” Is a phenomenon occurring when many people in a workplace experience health problems but there are no exact causes identified. These complaints may be tied to a single room or come from people working throughout the building. Needless to say, any situation creating discomfort for people in the workplace will eat away at productivity, increase absenteeism, and may affect your company’s bottom line.
Chemicals outside the building entering the workplace (vehicle exhaust, plumbing vents) may cause these problems. Contaminants from indoor sources including copy machines, cleaning solutions, and upholstery can cause office sickness as well. Biological pollutants such as bacteria, mold, and viruses may also be at the root of the discomfort. Proper commercial cleaning can help reduce the impact of these workplace pollutants as long as heavy chemicals are not involved in the process.
Avoiding A Sick Office On Flu Season
While you cannot control vehicles idling outside your building or block a neighbor’s plumbing vents, you can make sure your office is clean to prevent the spread of illness and reduce respiratory problems. SERVPRO Of McAllen uses a cleaning system that removes the soils in carpets, office furniture, and desktops. In addition to floor and surface cleaning, SERVPRO Of McAllen also provides duct cleaning and solutions for water damage that leads to mold. You cannot guarantee that you can avoid “sick building syndrome” by removing the majority of soils, but it is your best bet for a healthy work place environment.
Hidden threats like stagnant water in air ducts, damaged carpets breeding bacteria, and soaked insulation are capable of producing mold and other harmful bacteria. Choosing the green cleaning system from SERVPRO allow you to address these problems without inviting bacteria and dirt back into your carpets after cleaning. By employing a no-residue cleaning method, carpets stay clean longer than they do from steam cleaning. In addition, your team won’t have to worry about cleaning chemicals making office air difficult to breathe. SERVPRO delivers chemical-free cleaning with superior results!
Home Fire Prevention & Safety Tips
Fire safety awareness,
Fire safety is of very critical importance. Reason being is because fires can strike anywhere at anytime! SERVPRO of McAllen would like to provide you with some of the top tips for fire safety to help prevent a fire from happening in your own home to keep you, and your family safe.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas to alert you in case of any fire that's happening inside your home.
- Test smoke alarms EVERY month! This is very important.
- Make a fire escape plan, and practice the plan at least twice a year.
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT, and CALL FOR HELP right away.
Prevent a fire from happening in your home by:
- Inspecting heating sources in your home.
- ALWAYS keep the stove and oven clear, and never leave the kitchen unattended while stove or oven is on.
- Maintain cords. Whenever you have finished using any appliance, make sure to unplug the appliance.
- Store flammable products properly.
- Be very cautious with candles. Turn them off after you have finished using it. NEVER leave a candle on overnight.
STAY SAFE! From your friends at SERVPRO Of McAllen.
3 Ways To Escape From A Fire.
SERVPRO Fire Escape Plan.
Remember to always think ahead by Being prepared, having a plan, and practicing that plan. these are essential to escaping a fire. Craft your plan by taking into account your home's particular layout and your household members. Let's look into the 3 different ways you can escape from a fire:
- Have an escape plan and practice it.
Start off by developing a fire escape plan and making sure everyone in your household knows what to do in case of a fire. Your plan should include all available exits from each room, and routes that lead from the room to a safe, open-air space. Be sure to designate a meeting space away from your home.
- It's important that your exit routes do not lead to a closed-in area that would prevent being able to escape.
- Make sure that everyone in your household knows how to unlock or unlatch any doors, windows, gates, or fences.
- Practice your escape plan every 2 months.
2. Plan Around The Abilities Of Everyone in Your Household.
When making an escape plan, Take any handicaps or abilities into account. If you of someone in your household depend on glasses or hearing aids, and will need them in order to find their way out, make sure they're always on a nightstand or other easy access spots.
- It's best for anyone mobility issues to sleep on the ground level of a multi-story home.
- Contact your local fire services non-emergency number and tell them about anyone in your household with special needs that should be kept on file.
3. Stay Low And Crawl To An Exit To Avoid Smoke Inhalation.
Stay as low to the ground as possible while you swiftly make your way to the nearest exit, Especially if there is smoke in the area you're located. Smoke inhalation can cause you to lose consciousness, and the freshest air will be closest to the group since smoke, and toxic chemicals rise. In addition, staying low below the smoke will increase your ability to clearly see your escape plan.
Remediation After The Storm
This home was affected by storm damage.
Severe storms, Overflowing rivers, Coastal flooding, Tornadoes, and Hurricanes Sandy, Katrina, Irma, ad nauseum. These days it seems as if the news is always carrying some story or another about our unpredictable weather and its disastrous after-effects. Whether or not climate change is the root cause of all these natural disasters, is debatable. However, what is not debatable are the astonishing costs that these bad weather incidents wreak on the US economy.
Whether the levee breaks or a storm surge inundates our customer’s house or office, flooding can quickly overwhelm the best maintained water purification and sewage disposal systems, which often results in garbage, assorted waste even toxic waste sites, and stored chemicals that end up finding their way onto your client’s property. While it’s true that the majority of most floods do not cause serious outbreaks of infectious disease or chemical poisonings, they can trigger sickness in those who come in contact with contaminated floodwaters probably you and Our workers. For instance, floodwater often contains infectious organisms, including intestinal bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A Virus, and agents of typhoid, paratyphoid and tetanus, so it is very important That you contact SERVPRO Of McAllen Immediately so that service can be started in your home or business as soon as possible.
Before Starting Clean-Up
Here are a few Tips before beginning actual Clean-Up.
- Open all doors and windows when you are working and leave as many open as is safe when you leave.
- Open inside doors, especially closets and interior rooms, to let air flow to all areas. Take doors off their hinges if you need to.
- Open kitchen cabinets and bathroom vanity doors; remove drawers, wipe them clean, and stack them to dry.
- If, and only if, your electrical is safe to use, use fans and dehumidifiers to remove any moisture.
Once Remediation (clean-Up) Has Begun
Here is where we come to save the day no job is too big or too difficult for us here at SERVPRO, we have seen it all.! Once our SERVPRO employees have begun clean up, The most important thing that we do first for your health and safety is DESINFECT! We gather any important documents that have been affected by the storm damage and get them back into their condition "like it never even happened"! after we have taken out and re boxed all important documents we clean up everything and anything from your home from upholstery to textiles as well! We have a variety of disinfecting sprays and products that are very affective that act as both an insecticide and fungicide. We take time to treat all affected areas because here at SERVPRO of McAllen, your health and well being is important to us.
Recovery After The Storm
Arriving to a home after storm damage.
Being Affected by storm damage can be very devastating and cause you a lot of stress and worry, But what if I were to tell you that relying on an emergency and disaster response team can save you the hassle of finding equipment and a support services?
If you have been affected by storm damage, then you might want to consider SERVPRO of McAllen. We have a 24-hour emergency service that specializes in Clean-Up, Restoration, and remediation as well.
Today, I'd like to cover the following applications available for cleaning up after a storm:
- Emergency Dewatering
- Remediation and Restoration
When a hurricane hits or any other storm that can cause some water damage to occur, water can seem endless. SERVPRO of McAllen has High Performance pump products and pump accessories that can help de-water your site. SERVPRO can help you identify the correct equipment, design plan, and maintenance options for all emergency pumping needs That we provide to help make that stress go away.
Remediation and Restoration.
After being hit with a storm, it’s critical to get your home, facility, and/or community building back to its entirety as soon as possible. The equipment SERVPRO most often uses in an emergency includes: generators, pumps, aerial work platforms, vacuums, air scrubbers, and dehumidifiers. Our staff is highly trained and ready for any remediation and restoration service situation.
Hurricane Safety Tips
Hurricanes are powerful storms that can cause considerable damage to homes, buildings, and even entire communities and for those living in the Southern and Eastern U.S., there is a consistent threat of a hurricane for much of the year. Hurricane season lasts from the earliest days of spring to late in the fall and it is very important for those that live in hurricane prone areas to always be ready for the possibility of a storm. This includes preparing your home just before hurricane season, and knowing what to do before, after, and during a hurricane to keep yourself and your family safe. Below are some important hurricane safety tips that can protect you, your family, and your property throughout the hurricane season.
Early Preparation and Supplies
Hurricane safety should be taken seriously from the very beginning of hurricane season to ensure that your family and property are prepared. It is important to know the evacuation routes in your area in case you have to evacuate, especially if your home is near the coast. You should also have your home inspected to ensure that it is up to code to handle the strong winds of a hurricane. Perhaps the most important preparation for hurricane season is putting together a supply kit so you and your family have everything you need to make it through the storm. A hurricane supply kit should include the following:
1.-Non-perishable foods such as soups, cereal, and dry goods as well as a can opener
2.-Blankets, pillows, and sleeping bags
3.-Flashlight and batteries
4.-Gallons of water
5.-Toiletries such as toilet paper, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc.
6.-Family prescriptions and first-aid kits
7.-Important documents such as birth certificates, credit cards, social security cards, etc.
Hurricane Watch Or Warning
When a hurricane watch or warning is issued in your area, you must immediately go on alert. At this stage, you should make sure your supply kit is in order and take steps to board up your home while you still have time. You and your family should also be ready to evacuate along the planned evacuation route if residents in your area are advised to do so. You can effectively board up and prepare your home with the following steps:
1.-Turn off the water, electricity, and gas
2.-Lock all windows and doors
3.-Draw drapes and close blinds
4.-Secure loose, outside objects such as furniture, lawn decorations, potted plants, etc.
5.-Board up your windows with plywood boards that are ¾ inch thick or thicker
6.-Secure your doors with head and foot bolts and use straps or clips to contain your walls and roof.
If a hurricane has become imminent in your area, your home should be boarded up and your supplies should be available in case you need them. You should also pay attention to local weather reports to stay updated on the progress of the storm. It is best for your family to take shelter in the most secure area of your home as it might be too late by this point to safely evacuate. If you are forced to evacuate before the storm hits, make sure you follow these steps:
1.-Leave as soon as possible to avoid traveling when the storm hits. Keep in mind that many others in your area may be evacuating at the same time.
2.-Make sure you leave with your entire family and have your hurricane safety kit ready to go.
3.-Take your cell phones to keep in constant contact with your family through the evacuation.
4.-You may need to make special accommodations for your pets because many shelters do not allow animals.
Eye of the Storm
1.-Do not leave the secure room
2.-Avoid going near windows
3.-Get weather updates from the radio, TV, or internet
4.-Have your supplies ready for use
5.-Do not be fooled by the eye of the storm, stay in your home as the storm will continue.
Aftermath and Returning Home
If you spent the storm taking shelter in your home, you should remain inside until the hurricane has passed completely. If your family was forced to evacuate, make sure the municipal government has deemed it safe to return as floods, mud slides, downed power lines, property damage, and other resulting disasters can continue to make the area dangerous after the storm. It is just as important to exercise safety precautions in the aftermath of a hurricane as it is during the storm and it may take a while for your home or area to return to normal. In the meantime, try to stay safe in your home and use your emergency supplies if necessary.
Hurricanes vary widely in strength and have the potential to cause all types of problems from damage to your home to widespread flooding and destruction that can disrupt entire communities. Following these safety tips will help you keep your family and your property safe in the event of a hurricane. If you experience significant property damage as the result of a hurricane, make sure you call SERVPRO immediately to help repair the damage. We professionals., will stabilize your home or building to prevent further damage and repair the home quickly so you can resume your normal life.
Signs of a Water Leak Behind The Walls
There are many potential causes of water damage in your home. Some sources of water damage, such as floods, burst pipes, and sewage backups, are obvious and homeowners notice them right away. However, there are some sources of water damage that are much more difficult to detect such as water leaks behind walls. Homeowners typically do not notice hidden leaks until they have already caused a considerable amount of damage.
Regardless of the source, it is crucial to react to water damage immediately. The damage caused by excess water or moisture will continue to spread and get worse until the source of the water is repaired and the affected materials are dried and restored. Hidden water leaks behind walls can be especially dangerous because the water will get absorbed into flooring, drywall, and ceilings, as well as wooden support beams and sheetrock. If given enough time, a slow leak can result in very serious structural damage that will make the restoration process longer and more expensive. Mold is also a very serious issue that results from extensive water damage.
While water leaks behind walls happen out of view, there are often several signs that can help you detect these water leaks. The following are common signs of water leakage behind your walls.
The flaking paint and damaged baseboard are signs of a hidden water leak.
Excess water or moisture can create a musty smell when it gets absorbed into building materials like sheetrock, wood or drywall. Wall cavities affected by water damage are vulnerable to mold growth which also has a pungent musty odor. If there is a strong musty smell near a certain area of your wall, there could be a water leak or mold growth behind it.
Mold on Walls and Baseboards
Mold growth normally appears in areas with excess moisture such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. If mold appears on your walls, ceilings, or baseboards, it is very likely that there is a source of moisture behind the walls.
Water from a leak within the walls will get absorbed in the drywall and sheetrock which will cause a noticeable stain. If the stains on your wall continue to get bigger, this is usually a good indication that there is a hidden plumbing leak.
Paint or Wallpaper Peeling
Too much moisture behind the walls can eventually cause paint and wallpaper to start peeling. This normally happens when the sheetrock behind the wall has absorbed too much water. Check for separation in the wallpaper along the seams or flaking paint to help locate a hidden water leak.
When the sheetrock behind a wall absorbs too much water, it will bend and curve which causes the wall to warp. If there is warping on your walls, this is a clear indication of a water leak.
Stained or Buckled Ceilings and Floors
If the sheetrock has absorbed too much water or moisture, it can affect the connected ceilings and floors. Check your floors and ceilings for signs of stains and buckling and if you notice a problem, check the nearby walls for signs of water damage.
Testing for Hidden Water Leaks
The signs discussed above are normally indicative of a hidden water leak, but it can be difficult to know for sure if you have a hidden leak from these signs alone. If you find some of the signs of a hidden leak in your home and you want to know for sure, follow these tips to test for a hidden water leak by using your water meter.
Turn off all faucets in your home as well as appliances that use water.
Check the water meter and record the usage number.
Leave the water off for approximately 3 hours inside and outside the home.
Look at the water meter again to see the usage numbers.
If the water usage has gone up, then there is a hidden water leak.
What To do When You Find A Water Leak
A water leak behind a wall is an issue that requires immediate attention, and it is usually better left to SERVPRO. Addressing a hidden water leak yourself involves removing the wet drywall or sheetrock and either drying out the affected materials, or replacing them. You also must find and fix the source of the water which may be difficult to do. By contacting SERVPRO of McAllen, you can trust that the job will be done effectively and that the technicians will handle all necessary repairs and mold removal. Make sure to check your home regularly for signs of a hidden water leak so you can react before it causes serious damage.
Getting to the Root Cause of Mold in Schools
Have you ever been driven crazy by a young child who keeps asking “Why?” That kid may be onto something. Developed by Sakichi Toyoda and used by automotive companies and other industries to improve safety, quality, productivity and cost, “5 Whys” is a tool used to identify the root cause (origin) of a problem. Simply asking “Why?” at least five times can help you move past looking at symptoms of the problem and onto addressing the root cause of the issue. For example:
Why is there mold in this classroom? Mold grew where condensation formed on the ceiling.
Why did condensation form on the ceiling? When chilled air entered the room through a diffuser in the ceiling, it came in contact with warm, moist air and condensation formed around the diffuser.
Why is there warm, moist air in the classroom? Humidity permeates the walls of the building during warm weather. Since air conditioning was installed, the windows aren’t opened much anymore and some of the window seals are no longer tight.
Why isn’t the moisture being removed by the air conditioning? The HVAC system is set not to run between midnight and 6 a.m. on weekdays, and it does not run on weekends.
Why doesn’t the HVAC run during the evenings and on weekends? To reduce consumption of electricity.
Once you know the root cause, you’re in a better position to address the real issue.
Renovated Schools, Real Issues
Renovation can be a cost-effective way to get few more decades of use out of an old building. Schools that are more than 50 years old were designed and built during a time when energy efficiency was less of a concern. Since buildings from that era “breathed” more and classroom windows were opened and closed during the school day, moisture build-up and mold growth was less of an issue.
When old schools are renovated, improving energy efficiency often involves the installation of vapor barriers and additional insulation, tightly sealed low-e windows, high efficiency HVAC and low energy consumption lighting. Properly engineered, installed and operated, these upgrades can improve both the learning environment and operating budget. Unfortunately, mold still occurs in renovated schools and the mold growth can often be traced back to one or more of these root causes:
moisture that gets trapped between the outer layer of the building and the vapor barrier
improperly set supply air that causes negative pressure and/or moisture issues
HVAC that operated in a manner which allows moisture to build up during times when the building is not occupied.
Of these root causes, preventing moisture from permeating the building is likely to be beyond the scope of the immediate mold remediation project. Adjustments to the HVAC system will probably be done by the Maintenance department or the HVAC contractor. However, the principal or administrator of the school will probably appreciate knowing that running their HVAC at reduced levels during evenings and weekends will probably save them from having to call you back in for another mold job.
Minimizing Collateral Damage
Because “concerned parents” tend to bring a lot more attention to situations than teachers and administrators want, consider the following when conducting your site assessment and preparing your project plan:
Be prepared to complete your work in one evening or over the weekend. Concerned parents will be alarmed if they see people in PPE at school.
When setting up containment, hang an additional poly film visual barrier outside of your transition zone. This visual barrier will give your team a place to stage equipment and supplies in the clear zone and keep curious eyes off your gear.
Remind the newer members of your team that we don’t discuss the work that we do with people who are not on the team. It’s especially important to keep the details of school jobs confidential.
The younger children are, the more sensitive they tend to be to environmental contaminants and to the chemicals that are used to remediate. If the classroom or area is used by special needs students, recognize that this population has a higher rate of being immunocompromised and may have additional health considerations. Cleaners and disinfectants that meet US EPA Safer Choice or Design for the Environment (DfE) requirements meet federal standards for low environmental impact and greener chemistries.
Observe the level of cleanliness in the building before you start the project. Mold needs a food source and inadequate housekeeping tends to promote mold growth. Some schools are kept very clean and others are not. This may be an opportunity for improvement that needs to be discussed with the administrator as part of the project conclusion.
Hazardous Building Materials 101
It is important to identify hazardous building materials before beginning a restoration or remediation project. Hazardous building materials include asbestos, lead, mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), chlorofluorocarbons, and radioactive sources; they are found in buildings of any age or condition. The uncontrolled disturbance of such materials can result in dangerous over exposures for contractor employees, contamination of the building, project delays, additional expenses and even regulatory violations. Understanding the health, safety and environmental regulations that apply to the disturbance and disposal of these materials can help owners and contractors prepare for and successfully navigate potential issues.
It is important for any professional contractor, no matter the specialty, to recognize the primary hazardous building materials and understand applicable federal regulations. Remember, state and local agencies often adopt the federal regulations, but can also set specific, more stringent standards. Regulations at the local, state and federal levels should be identified before undertaking a building remodel, renovation, or demolition.
Although certain uses of asbestos have been banned, the U.S. continues to import raw asbestos for use in roofing materials, coatings and compounds, plastics and other applications. Other finished asbestos-containing products that continue to be imported include drywall, floor tiles, and similar building materials.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) asbestos regulations found under 40 CFR 61-National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) require an inspection regardless of the age of the structure before any renovation or demolition activities are undertaken. Certain asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) must be removed before any work begins.
The EPA also requires notification 10 business days in advance of structural demolition, regardless of the presence of ACMs. If asbestos is present in the structure, the contractor or property owner submitting the notification must have documentation that an asbestos survey was conducted. If suspect ACMs are discovered, the work must stop until the materials can be sampled and analyzed for asbestos. Should ACMs be found, an abatement contractor must be hired and the 10-day notification submitted before abatement work can begin again.
Local and state asbestos regulations are often more stringent than federal regulations, which may dictate the need for more thorough surveys and more complex abatement methods, both of which can lead to increased costs if not properly accounted for at the beginning of the project.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has established permissible exposure limits (PELs) to protect employees in general industry and in construction. The regulations require initial exposure monitoring to evaluate representative eight-hour time weighted average (TWA) exposures and periodic monitoring where exposures may be expected to exceed the PEL. Specific control measures are required to prevent asbestos fibers from being released from the ACM during abatement.
Federal regulations do not require surveys for other (non-asbestos) hazardous building materials, but the EPA regulates them as hazardous waste so they generally cannot be disposed in construction and demolition landfills (with the exception of lead-based paint in whole building demos).
Although not regulated at the federal level, many hazardous building materials are regulated by local and state authorities. Pre-renovation / demolition surveys allow the building owner/contractor to anticipate costs to safely remove, segregate, and dispose of hazardous building materials and comply with specific local and state regulations for the materials. Safe removal may require specialty contractors with appropriate training, personal protective equipment, and exposure monitoring capabilities.
Lead-based coatings are common in older buildings. In addition to paints and varnishes, lead-containing building materials can include window glazing putty; batteries for lighting, exit signs, and security systems; solders and pipes; mortar; acoustic materials; flashing; plastic coloring (wiring and blinds); and ceramic glazes.
While the EPA defines lead-based paint (LBP), it does not require an inspection for lead-containing materials. It does, however, recognize that common renovation activities like sanding, cutting and demolition can disturb LBP and create hazardous lead dust and chips which can be harmful to adults and children. To protect against this risk, the EPA issued the lead-safe practices rule aimed at preventing lead poisoning. The rule requires contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes, childcare facilities, and schools built before 1978 to be certified and follow specific work practices to prevent lead contamination.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulates LBP in target housing that is federally owned and target housing receiving federal assistance. Requirements vary with the age of the structure and type of HUD assistance.
OSHA does not define a specific hazardous level of lead in paint: any concentration of lead triggers some portion of the standard. OSHA’s construction standard requires specific respiratory protection based on how the lead-containing material will be disturbed. Initial exposure monitoring is required to evaluate representative eight-hour TWA exposures.
Mercury is used in many types of equipment and devices including batteries (smoke detectors, emergency lighting systems, elevator control panels, etc.); lighting (fluorescent and high intensity discharge lamps and “silent” wall switches); heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems (thermostats, fire stats, manometers, thermometers); and switches (sump pumps, pneumatic controls).
The EPA regulates mercury as a hazardous waste. A spill of just one pound of mercury (a little more than one fluid ounce) triggers a federal reporting requirement. Mercury spills are difficult to clean up, making it easier to identify and remove mercury-containing building materials prior to demolition and renovation activities.
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
PCBs are mixtures of synthetic organic chemicals that are non-flammable, chemically stable and have high boiling points and good chemical insulating properties. They were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications including electrical, heat transfer, and hydraulic equipment; as plasticizers in paint, plastics and rubber products; and in pigments, dyes and carbonless copy paper. The EPA banned certain uses (i.e., plasticizers, adhesives, paints and waterproofing) in 1973 and banned U.S. PCB production in 1979; however, PCBs may still be present in older transformers, capacitors, and light ballasts.
Recently, the EPA learned that caulk containing PCBs was used in buildings in the 1950s through the 1970s. Based on construction dates of schools and commercial buildings, as many as 60 percent are estimated to have caulk containing PCBs. PCBs may be found throughout building structures including windows, doors, vents, walls and possibly school sidewalks. PCBs may leach and contaminate indoor air, masonry and other building materials they contact.
The EPA considers PCBs hazardous waste and requires proper disposal.
Chlorofluorocarbons and Radioactive Sources
Chlorofluorocarbons and other ozone-depleting substances used in stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning systems must be recovered by technicians certified according to EPA regulations. Additionally, smoke detectors and some exit signs contain radioactive sources. Disposal of radioactive sources in these items is regulated by local and state governmental authorities.
Regardless of which hazardous material(s) encountered on a project, dealing with them proactively is the best way to ensure a restoration project proceeds smoothly, avoiding unexpected costs, budget delays, health and environmental hazards, or regulatory violations. Such measures include:
Identify locations of hazardous materials in the building. Suspect ACM and LBP must be sampled and analyzed to confirm their presence, while other materials can be visually identified and quantified.
Evaluate the material’s condition and understand factors that may affect condition and potential exposure.
Determine what local, state and federal regulations apply to the project.
Remove any known damaged or suspected hazardous building materials.
Mold Plays Big Role in Home Water Restoration
There is one character that is in the news nearly every single day— and it’s not who you might think. It’s Mr. Mold. He may have been in hiding for much of the past 100 years, but suddenly, he is a celebrity. He’s the reason the school was condemned. He’s the reason your neighbor couldn’t sell his home. He’s the Sneaky Pete who is making your nephew sick.
There are several fundamental reasons why mold awareness has skyrocketed, including mold-related ailments and contemporary home design and construction.
Why has Mr. Mold gotten so popular? At SERVPRO of McAllen, we deal with mold issues every day. We’ve seen the field develop, and awareness increase over the past 15-20 years. There are basically three reasons why mold has become a public health issue:
Contemporary houses are built to conserve energy, so less fresh air is allowed to circulate inside the home.
Illnesses such as asthma and allergies have risen sharply, and some of these are caused or worsened by mold.
Housing construction now uses organic materials such as plywood and laminates instead of tile, stone or concrete. Any organic material can harbor mold, which feeds on it.
As the EPA points out, mold can grow in drywall, ceiling tiles, ductwork, roofing, paneling, wallpaper, inside a wall, carpets, under sinks . . . . Any space that has gotten wet is a prime breeding ground for mold.
Our clients’ first clue that they have mold may be a home inspection, or when someone in the home develops a chronic cough or infection. Or a visitor may comment on the ‘musty’ odor. This stealthy invasion by Sneaky Pete is especially likely if the homeowner has experienced a flood or has had a leaking pipe that wasn’t fixed promptly.
Mold is invasive. It is persistent and tough. Its presence increases the longer it is left untreated. We have seen basement walls that looked as though someone had painted a floral motif over the entire surface. It was alive with colorful and bizarre ‘flowers’ that were in reality, mold.
Before you ever get to this point, call the experts. Don’t waste your time with home remedies. They often don’t work, and then the problem worsens
At SERVPRO , we are mold specialists. If you have mold in your home, the EPA strongly suggests you hire a professional contractor. Without remediation, mold spores can go dormant until the next wave of moisture revives them. The old wives’ remedy of pouring chlorine bleach on mold turns out not to be effective in the long run. Especially for mold that is growing on carpets or other multi-dimensional surfaces, this type of treatment does not address the problem in its entirety.
If you have a mold problem or if you’ve had water damage and you believe Sneaky Pete might be lodging in your home, Call SERVPRO of McAllen at 956-631-0348.
Removing Mold in your Home or Business
When first spotting mold in your place of residence or business, removing this should be at the very top of your list. Mold can be a danger to the health of you, your family, or employees. When your health is at risk, you need to make sure that you get this handled as soon as possible.
To make sure that you fully remove mold, you should call a restoration company such as SERVPRO. With mold removal, you need to make sure that you identify mold, and make sure that you get rid of both small and big infestations as they both can be extremely dangerous.
The Overview of Mold and Mold Removal
Mold is a big deal. And its removal is key. It can be spotted in a variety of ways. Sometimes it discolors your ceiling or walls, sometimes it shows up as black spots on areas throughout the home, sometimes it rots on damp wood.
When mold is present, health effects include allergic reactions, sneezing, watery eyes, runny noses, and much more. On top of the health issues, it can leave an odor in your home – primarily a musty, unpleasant smell throughout your home.
When you spot mold in your home, it isn’t the end of the world, as the problem can be handled, and you can continue enjoying your home —- like you should be doing.
At times, it can simply be removed by using household cleaning products especially when you catch them early – before they spread. But you must be extremely careful when engaging in the process of mold removal.
Identifying Mold Before Removal
Mold is extremely dangerous – it’s a fungus that grows from tiny spores, and they float all through the air. It can grow anywhere that spores land, has moisture present, and a temperature between 40 and 100 degrees. This is almost every place inside of your home or business, especially when you have some sort of water damage.
This is why identifying and correcting water damage problems should be at the very top of your list, as soon as they happen. Visible types of mold are called mildew. To make sure spots are “mildew” and not “dirt,” you can simply sprinkle a few drops of bleach on the area. If the spot lightens a few shades after a couple of minutes, this is indeed: mildew (a form of mold). If it remains the exact dark shade, more than likely, it is dirt.
High concentrations of mold definitely cause an unpleasant smell. If you smell mold, you should immediately check for mold in damp carpets, damp walls, or wet wood underneath you floors.
Mold Removal: Home or Business
Following the protocol of the state of Texas, an area larger than 25 sq. Ft. Affected by mold has to be remedied by a mold contractor certified by the state, and has as a priority to safeguard the health of the habitants of the structure.
The protocol can change according to the situation, but the most common is to separate the affected areas from the area without mold. In this process, plastic barriers are installed and an air filtration system (HEPA) is set up, proceeding with the removal of materials Affected, cleaning and sealing of non-affected materials.
It is worth mentioning that the Technicians must use at all times the required PPE, all the removed materials have to be properly bagged to avoid cross-contamination.
Time Duration of Smoke & Fire Damage
Restoration professionals will agree that the longer it takes for the neutralization and cleaning processes to start, the higher the risks for more potential damage and restoration costs. Prolonging the restoration of your home will amplify the effects brought on by the smoke exposure. Here is a timeline of the effects of fire and smoke on a home.
Within minutes – Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow. Small appliances located close to the source of combustion and highly porous materials (marble, alabaster) will discolor permanently.
Within hours – Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms. Fiberglass bath fixtures, uncoated metals, counter tops, finishes on appliances, and furniture finishes will discolor and tarnish.
Within days – Acid residues cause painted walls to yellow permanently. Metals will corrode and rust; wood furniture and vinyl flooring will require refinishing or replacement. Clothing becomes soot stained and upholstery stains permanently.
Within weeks – Restoration costs will increase dramatically. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently. Silver plate is corroded permanently; glass, crystal, china may require replacement due to severe etching and pitting caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues.
How Fire Smoke Can Affect Your Health
Smoke is a complex mixture of gases and fine particles when wood and other organic matter burn. The biggest health threat from smoke comes from fine particles. They can get into your eyes and respiratory system, causing such health problems like burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses such as bronchitis. These particles can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases, and are linked to premature deaths in people with these conditions.
Some people are more susceptible than others. If you have heart or lung disease, you may experience health effects earlier and at lower smoke levels than healthy people. Older adults are more likely to be affected by smoke and children are more susceptible to smoke for several reasons: their respiratory systems are still developing and they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults.
Smoke can irritate the eyes and airways, causing coughing, a scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, headaches, stinging eyes and more! With a heart or lung disease, smoke will make your symptoms much worse. Heart disease patients can experience chest pain, palpitations, or fatigue. Lung disease patients may not be able to breathe as deeply or as usual, and they may experience symptoms such as coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort, and wheezing. When smoke levels are high enough, everyone (healthy or non-healthy) can experience some of these symptoms.
At SERVPRO of Mcallen we are trained and certified by IICRC to mitigate and clean structures affected by fire or smoke, to request an inspection call us at 956-631-0348 or go to www.SERVPROmcallen.com
Will Your Homeowner Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Most people learn a great deal about their homeowner’s insurance policy after there’s been an event— which is not the ideal time to have a crash course in coverage. We see quite a few policies and situations. Although the details vary from one state to another and from one policy to another, we can share some general guidelines.
If you live in a flood-prone area— not just near a waterway or the ocean, but in an area that’s frequently hit by major storms— you should get flood insurance. Most insurance policies don’t cover floods, which are the most common natural disaster in the nation. Between 2008 and 2012, the average flood claim was $42,000-plus. Not something you want to pay out of pocket!
Water Damage v. Flood: What’s the Difference?
Water damage, as covered in the homeowner’s policy includes ‘instances of water hitting your home before touching the outside ground’. (No, we’re not making this up.) Damage from a leaky roof or broken pipe are insured. So too is mold that results from those accidents. But mold resulting from a flood won’t be covered unless you have separate flood insurance.
It’s important to note that it is the damage to your home that’s insured, not the actual item that failed. So if a busted pipe was the source of the problem, the ruined carpet will be covered but not the broken pipe.
FEMA estimates that just six inches of water can cause $20,000 in damage.
After the hurricanes of the past decade, the government started tracking storm damage. This website not only shows you scary videos of hurricane damage and houses surrounded by water, but offers assistance in finding low-cost policies. Check it out: https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/.
Here are some things flood insurance generally does cover:
some things flood insurance generally covers
Building & foundation
Electrical & plumbing
Permanently installed carpet, paneling & furniture
Removal of debris
Homeowners do have some protection. And remember, you are not required to accept the lowest bid on restoration work. Repair rates should reflect the prevailing charges in your area for quality work. It’s easy enough to find a fully licensed and insured firm to take charge of the clean-up work. Just call us!
While the first day or so after a catastrophic flood may seem like Armageddon, make sure you take the necessary steps to prevent further damage. We can help you identify what needs to be done. Also ask about time requirements. Most policies stipulate that preventive measures and restoration work be done within a certain time frame.
Water Damage Starts Working Immediately to Destroy Your Home
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you arrive home and are shocked to find a flood? If you imagine yourself calling your mother, your insurance agent and maybe the neighbor to find out whether she has damage, we’d like to re-align your priorities.
Water damage grows exponentially worse, the longer you wait to call SERVPRO of McAllen.
Within a matter of hours, the damage spreads its muggy little tentacles.
mold & mildew get a foothold in your carpets, furnishings and inside the wallwater damage mold removal
standing water breeds microorganisms that cause rot
odor grows more noxious and permanent
drywall is soaked, warped and rendered useless
wood swells and becomes malformed
metal tarnishes and rusts.
At this point, insurance claims start to rise astronomically and the chances of recouping full value drop dramatically. And that’s just the beginning of this horror story. Water damage is real!, within a day or two, fungi appears, showing up as green or black mold or some especially creative-shaped mushrooms. Adhesives lose their grip on your ceramic tile. Wallpaper peels. Wooden door casings swell up. Floors buckle. Fabrics are stained beyond preservation. Papers must be discarded. Paint peels. Electronic components fail. The occupants are at risk from air-borne and water-borne contaminants.
Priority Call to SERVPRO
We have seen this timeline unfold time and time again and have made a profession out of mediating water damages to homes. That’s why we feel a sense of urgency when a homeowner calls to report a water-damaged home or business. For most people, this is their first go-round with the horror. They are confused and don’t know where to turn. Should you call your brother in Dallas and ask if he’s ever seen such a mess? Call your friend who owns a Construction company ?
We are perfectly sincere when we say, No! SERVPRO should be your first call.
Even if the water entering your home was clean (from a broken water intake pipe, for instance), it quickly turns into a cesspool. Stagnant water is a prime breeding site for organisms that cause disease and damage. Water-soaked materials, even after they start to dry, provide a fine environment for growing a good crop of mold and fungi.
If your first call is to SERVPRO of McAllen , we can arrest the growth of mold before it becomes a serious situation, detracting from your home’s safety, comfort and value.
It’s crtical to attack the situation ASAP. Homeowners sometimes try to dry the affected areas themselves and learn afterward that it’s more complicated than just wiping up the kitchen floor after a spill. Mold spores are all around us. It takes a good soaking to revive them. And then they get the upper hand.
SERVPRO are experienced mold clean-up, restoration and mold removal experts. You don’t need to call a contractor or your brother-in-law in California. One call to SERVPRO is enough to launch a professional clean-up job.
Inspecting Your Property For Storm Damage
Lightning and thunder, heavy rains and strong winds, violent hailstorms, and ice storms usually instill fear and awe in the hearts of all who witness their great power and savage beauty. A storm, however, is typically forgotten as soon as it passes away and people give it no second thought, completely unaware that their property might have been damaged during the adverse weather conditions.
Homeowners often fail to inspect their properties after a storm, especially when they have no apparent reason to suspect a problem. Unrecognized storm damage, however, will eventually compromise the integrity of the home.
Property Damage Inspection
Your first step is to check your home and its surroundings for any signs of damage. So, once the storm is over and it is safe for you to go outside, make sure you inspect each and every part of your property for potential problems.
Checking your roof should be your top priority after a storm. It is the roof of your home that will keep you safe and dry when a storm hits. Quite predictably, it is the roof of your home that is most vulnerable to storm damage. Ensuring the excellent condition of the roof system should be your top priority.
Tree limbs or other large debris on the roof;
Holes in the roof or missing sections of the roof;
Bruises or dented asphalt shingles;
Cracked or broken tile, slate, or concrete shingles;
Torn or split seams;
Displaced metal pieces from around the chimney;
Roofing granules in the gutters or downspouts;
Water stains on the ceiling or walls.
Any of these common signs of roof damage indicate potential risk and probable water damage to your home.
Storm damage to the siding or stucco is quite difficult to notice, so you should be very careful when inspecting the walls of your home. Possible signs of exterior damage include:
Cracking, chipping or splitting;
Dings or dents in the siding;
Breaks or holes in the stucco;
Torn metal siding or missing sections of the vinyl siding;
Cracked wood finishes;
Stripped paint or discoloration.
Fascia and Soffits
The fascia and soffits are usually made of painted wood or wood wrapped in metal or PVC. When inspecting your property for storm damage, have in mind that both metal and PVC are quite susceptible to dents and cracks. Painted fascia and soffits, on the other hand, can be easily chipped in a storm.
Cracked or broken windows and damaged window casings are the most commonly experienced types of storm damage. So, after a storm, make sure you check your home for:
Make sure you fix any problems as soon after a storm as possible.
Broken windows may present greater hazards than cutting yourself on the shards of glass.
Shattered windows or broken panes;
Fogging between the panes of thermal windows;
Dents and cracks in the window frames;
Holes and tears in the screening.
Good to remember:
1) Watch out for shards of glass;
2) Immediately board up any shattered windows.
To prevent serious problems in the future, you are recommended to install protective storm shutters and ensure that all the windows in your home are properly caulked and counter-flashed.
After a storm, you may notice dents and/or discoloration on the metal or wood door panels and damage to the trim around the door frame.
Check for water getting into the crawl spaces of your home. If you find any, remove it quickly with the help of a sump pump or underground drainage system (otherwise it may result in mold growth and water damage to your property).
Gutters and Downspouts
Metal gutters will dent and PVC gutters can crack when hit by hail or high winds. Detached or broken trims, gutters and downspouts are also commonly seen after a storm.
Driveways and Walkways
Severe storms can cause concrete and other walkway materials to chip, crack and split. This type of damage can pose considerable safety hazards, so you should take immediate measures to fix your driveway (as well as the walkways around your home).
Decks, Railings and Fences
Wooden decks, railings and fences can be splintered or broken by hail or flying debris during a storm. The paint may get stripped or chipped, exposing the wood and reducing the lifespan of the deck or fence. To protect your investment and preserve the value of your property, you need to promptly identify and repair even such seemingly minor storm damage.
FINDING THE RIGHT HEAT/HUMIDITY BALANCE IN YOUR FACILITY
Indoor comfort during the winter months is not simply a matter of supplying heat to your commercial facility. It also requires maintaining an indoor humidity level that keeps occupants comfortable while also striking a balance between too much and too little humidity. Here are some factors to keep in mind while working to establish the indoor humidity level that will work best for your needs.
What is Humidity?
Humidity is the amount of moisture or water vapor contained in the air. Relative humidity, which is an important component of indoor comfort, is the percentage of moisture in the air relative to the amount of moisture it would take to completely saturate the air. Overall humidity levels tend to be higher in the summer and lower in the winter. This means that it is often necessary to remove humidity from your indoor environment during the summer months and add humidity during the winter heating season.
Effects of Humidity
Humidity levels too low: When indoor humidity levels are too low, occupants of your facility can experience several types of physical discomforts. Low humidity causes moisture to leave the skin, creating a cooling effect similar to that you experience when you perspire. In the winter, this makes individuals feel cooler than they should based on the temperature of the room. Low humidity can also produce dry, itchy skin; irritated eyes, noses, and throats; and respiratory problems. When indoor humidity is low, there is a greater chance of static electricity being produced, making those startling electric shocks more common.
Humidity levels too high: If your facility's humidity levels are too high, even in winter, it can produce overall feelings of sluggishness and illness. The additional moisture in the air creates a perfect environment for the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. Many types of insects also thrive in a high-humidity area. High humidity can also damage electronics, papers, books, paneling, and furniture.
An indoor relative humidity level of 35 to 50 percent is a good baseline range to strive for inside your commercial facility. Adjustments within this range, or even the need to maintain humidity levels outside of it, will depend largely on the comfort level of the individuals occupying the facility. If you need to increase or decrease humidity inside the building, there are two common and effective options.
Increasing indoor humidity: Humidifiers allow you to add humidity to your indoor environment, either in a small area or throughout the facility. Room-level humidifiers are designed to work in a single room or similar area, while whole-building humidifiers function at a larger scale to add humidity everywhere in the building. They work by adding moisture to the air, usually in the form of water vapor. Room-level humidifiers spray this vapor directly into the air. They have a tank that must be refilled with water regularly. Whole-building humidifiers are installed within your HVAC system's airflow. The airflow from your heating or cooling system is diverted into the humidifier. Moisture is added via water vapor.
The moistened air then leaves the humidifier and continues on its regular path through your HVAC system and into your facility. These types of humidifiers are usually connected directly to your building's water supply.
Decreasing indoor humidity: Dehumidifiers are devices designed to remove moisture from your indoor air, reducing humidity levels. As with humidifiers, you can find dehumidification equipment that works at either the room level or at the whole-building level. Moisture is removed from the air moving through these devices and the drier air is sent along its normal route to the inside of your building.
IS IT REALLY NECESSARY TO CLEAN A COMMERCIAL BUILDING'S AIR DUCTS?
With everything that's involved in the maintenance of a commercial building, cleaning an air duct system that's not showing any obvious problems can seem like an unnecessary expenditure of time and money. While air duct cleaning isn't a job you need to do every year, it's not something you can afford to ignore entirely.
Why Air Ducts Need Cleaning
Poor indoor air quality, inefficient air filtration, and duct leaks can all result in dust entering the duct system. This dust can accumulate to the point that it starts to break off and re-enter your air. When this happens, you may notice your workspaces become dusty faster.
High humidity in the building or water leaking into the ducts provides the moisture needed for mold to develop. Mold in the ducts releases tiny spores that will end up circulating through your whole building. In addition to aggravating allergies and asthma, exposure to mold spores increases risk of upper respiratory infection.
Pest infestations are another reason to have your ducts cleaned. It's not uncommon for mice, squirrels, bees, and other pests to find their way into a duct system. Once inside, they leave behind nesting material, hair, and dead insects. Particles of these are then blown out into your rooms.
If the air quality in your building is high and you use high-efficiency HVAC air filters, your ducts could stay clean for years. Even in the ideal situation, though, there's always a chance of unexpected issues. At least once every three or four years, have your duct system professionally inspected to check if it's due for a cleaning.
How Air Duct Cleaning Benefits You
Keeping your building's ducts clean protects the heating and cooling system, and the health of the building occupants.
Improved indoor air quality — When your ducts are clean, you'll have less dust, mold spores, pollen, and pest debris floating in your air. While air duct cleaning hasn't been proven to improve any health condition, cleaner air can help those with allergies and asthma.
Greater HVAC system efficiency — Debris in the ducts impairs airflow through your system, so the fan motor has to work harder to distribute conditioned air to your rooms. With the ducts clean, the air will flow freely and the motor will consume less energy moving it. Clean ducts deposit less dust on your air conditioner's evaporator coil. Even a millimeter of dust on the coil reduces its efficiency, so clean ducts really pay off in summer.
Longer HVAC component lifespan — Dust and debris blowing through your ducts can find its way into your system's fan motor and other components and cause excess wear. Keeping the ducts clean prevents this wear, helping the components last longer.
Professional Duct Cleaning Makes the Difference
Duct cleaning isn't a job to leave up to a regular building maintenance crew armed with a few vacuums. Attempting to clean the ducts without the right tools can worsen your indoor air quality because the debris dislodged will end up floating away into your rooms. You're also likely to miss a lot of the debris.
A professional will bring in equipment specially designed to thoroughly clean the ducts without contaminating your air. A powerful truck-mounted vacuum with an attached hose is commonly used for smaller buildings. For large buildings, portable equipment is often a better choice because it allows the crew to more effectively access all parts of the building's extensive duct system.
What To Do If Your House Floods.
The most pervasive natural catastrophe on US soil is flooding.
Torrential thunderstorms, overflowing riverbanks, and Category 2 hurricanes all possess the incredible power to unleash massive amounts of floodwaters into homes. Natural disasters are not the only cause of house floods. Burst plumbing pipes, faulty appliances, and foundation leaks are also responsible for devastating home flooding.
When your house floods, here’s what to do:
1.-Re-enter with caution
2.-Document the damage
3.-Contact your insurance company
4.-Evaluate affected items
5.-Pump out floodwaters
3.-Protect the property
7.-Be alert to fraud.
1.-Re-Enter With Caution
Take extra precautions when stepping foot inside your home after floodwaters subside. The surge of floodwater can cause holes in the floors, warped walls and a cracked foundation. Visually inspect the home prior to entering.
Be alert to lingering odors of gas. The home’s electricity should also be shut off before you step inside. Water and electricity are a lethal combination. As a safety measure, enlist the services of a licensed electrician to inspect the home before walking in.
- Document The Damage
As a homeowner, you’re likely to be motivated to start repairs as quickly as possible. Hold off on the impulse and instead take ample photographs and digital videos of the damage caused by the flood. Your homeowner’s insurance company requires proof of the flood damage in order to provide proper reimbursement. Insurance coverage could decrease if you start repairs before documenting the loss.
- Contact Your Insurance Company
Flood insurance has a major impact on whether homeowners recover or become financially ruined. Homeowner’s insurance rarely covers flood damage. Rather, as homeowners with properties located in flood zones know, flood insurance must be purchased separately through the National Flood Insurance Program. Call your insurance representative immediately after the flood. Work with your insurance adjuster to pinpoint the cause of the flood and any degree of coverage.
- Evaluate Affected Items
Floodwaters are polluted with waterborne bacteria, sewage, and harmful pathogens—all of which can cause disease. As a result, food, medicine, and cosmetics that have come into contact or have even been in close proximity with floodwaters should be discarded.
Mattresses that have been soaked by floodwaters should also be tossed out. Floodwaters can contaminate toys and stuffed animals, which also should be thrown away.
- Pump Out Floodwaters
Once your insurance representative has approved the cleanup, you can use a sump pump to gradually remove the water. A wet vacuum and even buckets will also help remove excess water. Water is heavy, so use extra caution when lifting water.
Slowly remove the water in stages. Removing the floodwaters in haste is likely to cause the walls or floors to collapse. Wooden floors, too, should be dried gradually to prevent the wood from cracking or splitting.
SERVPRO of McAllen will be able to help with this process and finish the job properly.
- Manage Mold
Mold flourishes on moisture rich surfaces within 24 to 48 hours. Spores can latch onto wet carpeting, bedding, rugs, and upholstered furniture. Mold colonies can be controlled with a disinfecting solution applied to the surfaces. Ammonia and bleach should never be mixed, as the solution will produce lethal fumes.
- Protect The Property
Floodwaters can shatter glass and damage the building’s structures. Homeowners should make every effort to prevent further damage to the home. Board up broken windows and doors to stop the elements, like rain, snow and wind, from causing more ruin. The process will also deter wild animals, snakes and even criminal intruders from entering your home.
- Be Alert To Fraud
Fraudulent calls from imposters threaten flood victims with voided insurance policies if additional payments are not made. FEMA’s Director of the National Flood Insurance Program, Roy E. Wright, confirms that these calls are fraudulent and should not be given any consideration.
Those recouping from a flood are advised to only accept calls from FEMA representatives, local officials, insurance companies and the adjusters assigned to your property.
Emergency Water Damage Restoration
When floodwaters permeate your home, you may seek professional help to return your property to its pre-damaged condition. SERVPRO of McAllen is a local water damage restoration company with the experience, equipment and dedication to restore your home when floodwaters strike. Our team stands by 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to emergency calls.
How To Prevent Water Damage From Appliances And Plumbing Fixtures
Many cases of water damage in homes and buildings are caused by inclement weather such as rain, floods, and even humidity. When wet weather conditions are imminent, homeowners will take actions to prevent seepage and indoor flooding. While it is important to protect your home from rain and flooding, you cannot forget about the other common causes of water damage that can happen at any time. The plumbing system is one potential source of water damage as fixtures like sinks and toilets may overflow or leak. The pipes may spring a leak as well or burst due to ice or general wear and tear. There are also several large appliances that could leak and cause water damage including water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers.
Fortunately, it is easier to prevent water damage from plumbing fixtures and appliances than from severe weather or flooding. If you check your plumbing fixtures, pipes, and appliances regularly for signs of damage or leaks, you can prevent widespread water damage that will result in expensive restoration services. The following tips will help you prevent this type of water damage.
A lot of water passes through your shower, bathtub, sinks, and toilets on a daily basis. If any of these fixtures are leaking or damaged, you could end up with major water damage in your home. You must inspect the plumbing fixtures in your home regularly so you can find damage or signs of leaks before they lead to widespread water damage or structural issues. Turn on each faucet in your home, including your sinks and bathtub, and look for leaks coming from the faucet or handles. You should check under all sinks as well to make sure there is no water leaking from the bottom. When you check the toilet, look for water leakage around the base and connecting pipes when you flush. If you notice any leaks or damage to your fixtures, call a plumber to help fix or replace them.
There are pipes all throughout your home, some of which are in hidden or inaccessible areas. If a pipe bursts or starts leaking, it can cause hundreds of gallons of water to spill into your home within a day. It is very important to check your pipes for damage, loose connections, and wear and tear that could lead to a burst. During the winter, it is also important to check for frozen pipes because frozen water within the pipes will expand and cause a burst. Make sure you check the pipes around the appliances and plumbing fixtures as well. If you notice swelling or discoloration of your walls, this could mean that a pipe behind the wall is leaking.
Just like with your plumbing fixtures, you should be checking your appliances regularly for leaks. Refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters are vulnerable to major leaks that can cause damage to the surrounding area. When you check your washing machine and dishwasher, make sure you inspect the hoses. It is a good idea to replace these hoses every 3 years to avoid damage from wear and tear. The high-pressure metal-mesh hoses are the best option for replacements because they are extremely durable.
Water Shut Off Valve
All homeowners should know where the emergency water shut off valve is and how to use it to shut off the water. If one of your appliances or plumbing fixtures suddenly breaks and causes a major leak, shutting off the water is your best option to prevent major damage. It is also a good idea to shut off the water in your home if you will be away for a week or longer.
While your plumbing fixtures, pipes, and appliances can cause very serious water damage in your home, you can prevent it from happening with routine checks. If you notice damage to your fixtures or appliances, repair the damage if you can, or call a plumber for assistance. You can take some preventative measures yourself such as replacing broken parts or caulking your bathtub. If you have sustained water damage in your home because of a leaking fixture or appliance, call SERVPRO of McAllen.
Lightning Safety Awareness
This blog is to raise awareness about the dangers of lightning and what individuals can do to stay safe.
The dangers of lightning are often not taken seriously. Just behind tornadoes and flooding in number of lives claimed annually, lightning is the #3 storm-related hazard, causing 51 deaths each year nationwide. Shockingly, there are an estimated 25 million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes in the US each year, with an addition 500+ injuries reported annually. But since lightning doesn’t tend to cause mass destruction all at once like a tornado would, and only 0.002% of lightning strikes actually hit people directly, its danger is often unappreciated. But that doesn’t mean that lightning safety should not be taken seriously.
According to the NWS, if you can hear thunder, then you are close enough to be struck by lightning since lightning can, and occasionally does, strike away from the storm. The safest place to be during a lightning storm is indoors. There are no safe spots outdoors. Your best bet when outdoors if you can’t get inside is to get into a vehicle and close the windows.
If a person is struck by lightning, call 911 and get medical care immediately. Cardiac arrest and irregularities, burns, and nerve damage are common in cases where people are struck by lightning. However, with proper treatment, including CPR if necessary, most victims survive a lightning strike, although they may be left with serious and lasting effects. You are in no added danger when helping a lightning victim, and you may safely do so immediately. Lightning victims do not carry a charge.
How Powerful is Lightning?
A typical lightning flash is about 300 million Volts and about 30,000 Amps. In comparison, household current is 120 Volts and 15 Amps. There is enough energy in a typical flash of lightning to light a 100-watt incandescent light bulb for about three months or the equivalent compact fluorescent bulb for about a year.
How Hot is Lightning?
Technically, lightning is the movement of electrical charges and doesn’t have a temperature; however, resistance to the movement of these electrical charges causes the materials that the lightning is passing through to heat up.
If an object is a good conductor of electricity, it won’t heat up as much as a poor conductor. Air is a very poor conductor of electricity and gets extremely hot when lightning passes through it. In fact, lightning can heat the air it passes through to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5 times hotter than the surface of the sun).
When lightning strikes a tree, the heat vaporizes any water in its path possibly causing the tree to explode or a strip of bark to be blown off.
Myths & Facts
Myth: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
Fact: Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it’s a tall, pointy, isolated object. The Empire State Building is hit nearly 100 times a year.
Myth: If it’s not raining or there aren’t clouds overhead, you’re safe from lightning.
Fact: Lightning often strikes more than three miles from the center of the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud. “Bolts from the blue” can strike 10-15 miles from the thunderstorm.
Myth: Rubber tires on a car protect you from lightning by insulating you from the ground.
Fact: Most cars are safe from lightning, but it is the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, NOT the rubber tires. Remember, convertibles, motorcycles, bicycles, open-shelled outdoor recreational vehicles and cars with fiberglass shells offer no protection from lightning. When lightning strikes a vehicle, it goes through the metal frame into the ground. Don’t lean on doors during a thunderstorm.
Myth: A lightning victim is electrified. If you touch them, you’ll be electrocuted.
Fact: The human body does not store electricity. It is perfectly safe to touch a lightning victim to give them first aid. This is the most chilling of lightning Myths. Imagine if someone died because people were afraid to give CPR!
Myth: If outside in a thunderstorm, you should seek shelter under a tree to stay dry.
Fact: Being underneath a tree is the second leading cause of lightning casualties. Better to get wet than fried!
Myth: If you are in a house, you are 100% safe from lightning.
Fact: A house is a safe place to be during a thunderstorm as long as you avoid anything that conducts electricity. This means staying off corded phones, electrical appliances, wires, TV cables, computers, plumbing, metal doors and windows. Windows are hazardous for two reasons: wind generated during a thunderstorm can blow objects into the window, breaking it and causing glass to shatter and second, in older homes, in rare instances, lightning can come in cracks in the sides of windows.
Myth: If thunderstorms threaten while you are outside playing a game, it is okay to finish it before seeking shelter.
Fact: Many lightning casualties occur because people do not seek shelter soon enough. No game is worth death or life-long injuries. Seek proper shelter immediately if you hear thunder. Adults are responsible for the safety of children.
Myth: Structures with metal, or metal on the body (jewelry, cell phones,Mp3 players, watches, etc), attract lightning.
Fact: Height, pointy shape, and isolation are the dominant factors controlling where a lightning bolt will strike. The presence of metal makes absolutely no difference on where lightning strikes. Mountains are made of stone but get struck by lightning many times a year. When lightning threatens, take proper protective action immediately by seeking a safe shelter â€“ don’t waste time removing metal. While metal does not attract lightning, it does conduct it so stay away from metal fences, railing, bleachers, etc.
Myth: If trapped outside and lightning is about to strike, I should lie flat on the ground.
Fact: Lying flat increases your chance of being affected by potentially deadly ground current. If you are caught outside in a thunderstorm, you keep moving toward a safe shelter.
What is Heat Lightning?
The term “heat lightning” is commonly used to describe lightning from a distant thunderstorm just too far away to see the actual cloud-to-ground flash or to hear the accompanying thunder.
While many people incorrectly think that heat lightning is a specific type of lightning, it is simply the light produced by a distant thunderstorm.
Often, mountains, hills, trees or just the curvature of the earth prevent the observer from seeing the actual lightning flash. Instead, the faint flash seen by the observer is light being reflected off higher-level clouds. Also, the sound of thunder can only be heard for about 10 miles from a flash.
Although lightning storms don’t tend to spark the same panic as tornado warnings, it’s still a storm hazard that needs to be taken seriously and should be a part of your storm safety preparation. Take this Lightning Safety Awareness Week as an opportunity to learn about the threat of Lightning and how you can prepare yourself and your home when a storm comes through.
Flood Safety & Severe Weather Preparedness
Being in an industry that often deals with property damage as a result of severe weather and flooding, we wanted to take a moment to write about the topic and share some ways that you can prepare for severe weather. And while severe weather can occur any day of the year, we often see a spike in thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding in the Spring.
Lightning is unpredictable and dangerous.
While lightning fatalities have decreased over the past 30 years, it is still one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States.
*Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors.
*At the first sign of lightning or thunder, seek shelter.
*Do not resume outdoor activities for at least 30 minutes after last observed lightning or thunder.
*Avoid the following areas: water, high ground, large open areas, isolated trees, and all metal objects or electrical wires.
If Someone is Struck by Lightning
*Have someone dial 9-1-1 immediately.
*People struck by lightning carry NO electrical charge and can be safely attended to immediately.
*Give first aid. If breathing has stopped, begin rescue breathing. If the heart has stopped beating, a trained person should give CPR. If the person has a pulse and is breathing, look and care for other possible injuries.
*Stay with the victim until medical professionals arrive.
During a Thunderstorm
*If a thunderstorm is coming postpone or cancel outdoor activity.
*Do NOT go near tall trees or any other tall objects.
*Seek shelter inside a building or in a hardtop vehicle, but don’t touch any of the metal inside.
*Do NOT use the telephone. Stay away from other electronic devices, bare metal, and water.
*Do NOT go near downed power lines.
*Keep your eye on the sky and listen to weather reports on the radio or TV.
*If caught out in the middle of a large body of water, return to shore as soon as possible. Get off the water immediately.
*When caught in the middle of an open field: If walking with others stay a minimum of 10 feet apart, keep low and move quickly to seek shelter. If there is no shelter lay in a ditch or get to the lowest place around.
Tornadoes are violent rotating cylinders of air that can reach speeds in excess of 300 mph, be more than a mile wide, and cover up to around 50 miles during their short path of destruction. Tornadoes can cause millions of dollars worth of damage and rip buildings off their foundations leaving only debris in their wake. They can appear suddenly and with little warning.
Tornado Watch: Conditions are right to have a tornado. Maintain a close look out for changes in the sky and stay tuned to local weather stations.
Tornado Warning: This means there is an actual tornado reported or radar indicates one could develop within a few minutes. Seek shelter quickly.
During a Tornado:
*Basements, inner rooms of a house, and storm sellars provide the best protection.
*Stay away from exterior walls, windows, and doors. Stay in the center of the room.
*If you are in your car do NOT try and outrun the tornado because it can switch direction and can cover lots of ground quickly.
*Get out of vehicle and go into a strong building if possible. If not, lie flat in a ditch or low area and cover your head.
*Do NOT go under overpasses, wind speeds actually increase under them and can suck you out!
*If you live in a mobile home, get out IMMEDIATELY. Take shelter in a building with a strong foundation.
*Listen to radio or watch TV so you can be alerted about your current situation.
Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. Floods can develop over the course of a few weeks or happen at a moments notice.
Flood Watches: Conditions to have a flood in your area are favorable.
Flood Warnings: A flood is occurring or is very likely to occur very soon.
During a Flood
*Get to higher ground.
*Evacuate your house if flooding is possible.
*Know your town and make sure you know alternate escape routes in case one is blocked.
*Take pets with you if you evacuate. However, many shelters usually do NOT allow pets inside due to sanitary conditions so plan accordingly.
*Do NOT try and drive through water. As little as 2 feet can cause most cars to float, and as little as a few inches of moving water can wash most cars away with the current.
*Do NOT try to cross moving water on foot. As little as a few inches can knock you off your feet.
*Watch TV or listen to the radio to find out what actions to take next.
Preparing for A Flood
*According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. In the past several years, about 60 percent of all declared disasters involved flooding.
*Develop a family emergency plan and put together a disaster preparedness kit
*Safeguard your possessions
*Create a personal flood file containing information about all your possessions and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should have:
*A copy of your insurance policies with your agent’s contact information
*A household inventory that includes written and visual documentation of all household items and valuables.
*Copies of all other important documents
Prepare your house
*If you have a sump pump, make sure it is working and has a battery operated backup system.
*Clean debris from gutters and downspouts
*Raise electrical components at least 12 inches from your home’s projected flood elevation
People often think, “It will never happen to me.” And hopefully you are right. But the fact of the matter is that tornadoes, lightning, and floods are not too uncommon, especially during this time of year. You should always expect the unexpected.
Dealing With Mold in Crawlspace
Removing mold of any kind in any part of your home is not only expensive, it is a delicate process. But it surely won’t go away by itself. In fact, it will only grow worse with time, worsening the conditioning of your home.
While this is certainly a big problem to face, crawlspaces are often one of the most common places for mold of all types to develop. Due to the fact that moisture can accumulate in this small, unventilated area, it won’t take long before mold spores start feeding on your home’s building materials.
So mold remediation can be expensive if it’s not covered by insurance, but as long as it hasn’t infested the entire area, there are ways you can attack the problem. Here you will learn all of the following about mold in the crawlspace:
1.-Preventing Mold in the Crawlspace
2.-Identifying Mold in the Crawlspace
3.-How to Remove Mold in the Crawlspace
Preventing Mold in Crawlspace
Mold is able to grow almost anywhere in the home as long as there is a moisture and organic food source (AKA your building materials). But due to the lack of air circulation, high humidity levels allow the mold to prosper in the crawlspace.
So the best ways to keep mold out of the crawlspace is to limit the moisture. To limit the moisture in the crawlspace, check out the following:
1.-Ensure that there are no cracks in the foundation walls
2.-Ensure that gutters and downspouts are clear and guide water away from the foundation
3.- Make sure that there is adequate ventilation in the crawlspace. If not, consider installing open vents to make the area “breathable.”
4.-If the crawlspace is vented, insulate against the sub floor above. Make sure to use fasteners or else it will just fall out over time. The vapor barrier part of the insulation should also be facing the sub floor.
5.-If there is insulation already installed, make sure that it is dry and not sagging. If it contains water damage, it will need to be replaced.
6.-Ensure that there is plastic sheeting that covers the bottom of the crawlspace, lining the foundation walls. Check the walls to make sure that there is no water standing between the plastic sheeting and foundation walls.
7.-Inspect the air ducts and plumbing work for leaks.
8.- Make sure that the dryer vent leads air outside and not to the crawlspace.
Stay Safe While Preventing Mold
These tips and tricks should guarantee to keep mold out of the crawlspace when followed correctly, but remember that your health and safety always come first.
If you haven’t been in the crawlspace of a home before, or don’t have any experience with mold, it’s best to call SERVPRO of McAllen to perform the inspection.
Identifying Mold in Crawlspace
1.-While mold really only needs moisture and an organic substance to grow, all of the conditions mentioned to grow create the perfect breeding grounds for the fungus to prosper:
2.-Moisture – caused by plumbing leaks, burst pipes, and humidity
3.-Warmth – this is why mold prospers in the spring and summer time
4.-Food – any type of organic material, such as drywall and insulation will promote mold growth
5.-Darkness – Mold loves to grow undisturbed in darker areas – but keep in mind that it cannot grow in UV light.
6.-Time – Mold growth can start in as little as 24 hours after water damage
How to remove mold from the crawlspace:
1.- Inspecting the Damage. Make sure to put on protective clothing, especially a face mask, before crawling under the property. Look closely at what you are dealing with; depending on how far it has spread, it can be a long or short cleanup process.
2.- Preparing for Mold Remediation. Before even thinking about tackling mold, make sure that there is proper ventilation so you won’t be inhaling mold spores of any kind. You will also want set up some flood lights as well as a plastic barrier.
3.- Applying the Mold-Removing Chemicals. There are a number of chemicals that can remove mold.
4.- Blasting Mold. For larger cases of mold, you will want to use a surface blaster. Homes that are usually vacant for long periods of time or are poorly ventilated will likely have this problem. When using a surface blaster, you will be removing the mold from a number of surfaces using high-pressure particles.
Removing Mold Professionally
Despite the cheapest way to remove mold, doing it yourself is not always the best idea. Mold remediation can be an extremely dangerous job.
To make matters worse, letting mold grow into an infestation will only result in extra time and money spent in remediation.
So often times it is best to work with a professional mold remediation specialist, such as SERVPRO of McAllen. Their specialists have years of experience in removing mold with professional products. They will locate all affected areas, assess the damage, contain the area, and effectively restore them to their original conditions.
SERVPRO of McAllen can also mitigate the property from water damage, which is often the case with many mold remediation projects. As soon as you notice the damage, be sure to give us a call right away.
Principles of Mold Remediation
Mold in a Mechanical room
Mold becomes a problem inside a home or business when there’s excessive humidity or moisture for an extended period of time. The problem can originate from sudden water damage, like a burst pipe or large spill that goes untreated, or from a chronic condition, such as a leaking roof or plumbing. Even high humidity or warm, moist air condensing on cool surfaces can trigger mold problems. It’s always best to have the mold evaluated and removed by a certified professional, as is SERVPRO of Mcallen.
Mold can grow almost anywhere in a home or business if conditions permit. If there is visible growth on painted wall surfaces, property owners should be concerned about what may be growing on the wall’s opposite side. The environment inside the walls of a house often differs drastically from the outside and could create a perfect haven for mold. If the wall remains wet for a prolonged period, it’s almost guaranteed that the mold growth on the back side will be worse than on the front. At that point, containing the work space and removing moldy materials, followed by cleaning of salvageable framing, are the best options.
Certified professionals have the training and experience to:
1.-Identify moisture sources
2.-Evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected)
3.-Contain damage to the smallest area possible
4.-Physically remove contamination
5.-Dry materials to ensure that mold will not return
Perform or recommend procedures for returning property to a preloss condition
The IICRC outlines five major principles of mold remediation.
Make sure safety and health precautions are taken by cleanup professionals and occupants. Mold-contaminated buildings can be associated with a number of health problems. Anyone involved in the mold remediation process must be protected from exposure through a combination of practices and controls.
A post-cleanup assessment by an independent environmental expert. An effective mold remediation cannot be developed without first determining the extent of the contamination to be removed. To ensure that remediation work is being properly performed, it is highly recommended that appropriate documentation of the remediation process be kept by project management
Control of mold before it spreads further. Eliminating mold at the source of contamination is essential. Once mold spores spread through the air, it will be much more difficult to capture.
Oversee the proper physical removal of the mold. The mold must be physically removed from the structure. Attempts to isolate mold or remove signs of mold on the surface are not adequate. Note that bleach alone cannot kill mold.
Ensure that moisture is controlled to limit future contamination or recontamination. Mold growth is virtually inevitable if moisture is not controlled. Moisture problems must be identified, located and corrected or controlled as soon as possible.
Application of these principles may involve multiple disciplines and professionals from a wide range of restoration and indoor environmental fields.
Kitchen Safety: How to Put Out a Grease Fire
Cooking doesn't normally present a lot of danger. You might nick your finger while chopping vegetables or manage to burn a pan of roasting potatoes, but in terms of actual danger to ourselves or our homes, not so much. Except for grease fires. Do you know what to do if your cooking oil catches fire?
A grease fire happens when your cooking oil becomes too hot. When heating, oils first start to boil, then they'll start smoking, and then they'll catch on fire. Most vegetable oils have a smoking point around 450°F, while animal fats like lard or goose fat will start smoking around 375°F.
The very best safety is prevention. Whenever you're heating oil for pan-frying or deep-fat frying, stay in the kitchen. Use a heavy pot with a lid and clip a thermometer to the side so you know the temperature of the oil.
Keep an eye on the oil as it's heating. If you see wisps of smoke or smell something acrid, immediately turn down the heat or remove the pot from the burner completely. The oil won't immediately catch fire once it starts smoking, but smoke is a danger sign that it's well on its way to getting there.
If the worst happens and your oil does catch on fire, do the following:
- Turn the Heat Off - Don't try to move the pot. You might accidentally splash yourself or your kitchen with burning oil. And that would be bad.
- Cover the Pot with a Metal Lid - Fire cannot exist in the absence of oxygen. With the lid on (and the heat off), the fire should quickly consume all the oxygen and put itself out. Use a metal lid since glass will shatter.
- Pour on Baking Soda - Baking soda will extinguish grease fires, but only if they're small. It takes a lot of baking soda to do the job.
- Spray the Pot with a Class B Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher - This is your last resort, as fire extinguishers will contaminate your kitchen. Still, it's better than the alternative if the fire is getting out of control.
- Get Out and Call 911 - If the fire does break out of control, don't try to be a hero. Get out and find a phone to call 911.
Whatever you do, DO NOT do the following:
- Do Not Use Water - Pouring water can cause the oil to splash and spread the fire. The vaporizing water can also carry grease particles in it, also spreading the fire.
- Do Not Move the Pot or Carry It Outside - Throwing the pot outside might seem logical in the frenzy of the moment. But trying to move the pot might splash burning oil on you, your home, and anything outside.
- Do Not Throw Any Other Baking Product On the Fire - Flour might look like baking soda, but it won't react the same. Only baking soda can help put out a grease fire.
Phew, now that we're clear on all of that, hopefully you'll never be in a situation where you have to actually use this advice. But, if you do happen to go through such an event, feel free to call on the cleaning experts at SERVPRO of Mcallen. Our highly trained and certified technicians will clean and deodorize your structure to preloss condition. We will work diligently to make your fire event “Like it never even happened.”
Be safe, fellow cooks!
The Different Categories of Water
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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.
How Flood Water Affects Your Health and Safety
While flood waters can certainly destroy a property structure and its contents, they can also be extremely dangerous to your health. There are 3 different categories of flood damage, including fresh water, grey water and sewage water. If any contact is made with the floodwater without proper protection equipment, you will face the risk of severe illness.
In addition, floodwaters can carry sharp objects and chemicals that may not be seen below the surface. But despite these severe threats, it is crucial to be aware so that you and your family or staff can be properly prepared when it does happen. Watch out for these risks as to how flood water can affect your health.
While deeper waters will pose higher threats than those that are a few inches, any amount is dangerous and can cause serious harm to you and your loved ones.
Injury from Sharp Objects
While you may not see sharp objects at first, treading through murky water is extremely dangerous. If your house was flooded, any nails, screws, broken glass, or any other small metal pieces can cause an injury and even infection.
To protect your own safety, wear long clothing and thick shoes if you have to tread through the water. Otherwise, it is better to stay away.
Safety Threats from Structural Damage
Because water is heavy, it can put a ton of pressure on a property structure – especially if it contains porous materials – that makes it weak to collapse at any minute. That’s why it is highly recommended to stay away from homes and buildings with severe structural damage.
Safety Threats from Electrical Damage
Even if you are not in any building, any fallen power lines pose a huge risk of electric shock. While many have been submerged underwater, it will be extremely difficult to see them as the water will be murky.
If you do see any power lines that have fallen into the water, be sure to report them to your local electric company and stay away from them. If for any reason that you have to enter the water, make sure that all power in your area has been shut off.
Open Wounds Allowing for Diseases
If you are treading through water and are cut with any sharp objects, get out immediately. Any open cuts or wounds will be exposed to millions of harmful bacteria in the water, discounting any harsh chemicals that can irritate the injury.
If you have any healing sores or injuries, try to avoid the water, or at least ensure the injuries are properly protected before entering.
Harmful Chemicals and Substances Causing Infection
Even if you don’t have any open wounds, anybody who enters floodwaters are still facing the risk of serious infections and diseases caused by a variety of dangerous substances. These can include any of the following:
If any of these were to become ingested, it is likely experience a number of negative health effects, such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and gastroenteritis. If you notice any of the substances in the water that are mentioned above, stay as far away as possible.
Emergency Help after Experiencing a Flood
Without a doubt, floods can devastate homes and buildings, but the safety risks they pose to humans can make the situation much worse. Due to the varying amounts of sharp objects, chemicals, bacteria, animals, loose wiring, and insects contained in the flood waters, it is essential to avoid as much contact as possible.
Instead of treading through the water, it is best to wait for a rescue team to come instead. There will also be flood cleanup professionals, SERVPRO of McAllen , We can help repairing and restoring homes and buildings with significant structural damage. Because we understand the feeling of losing a home and belongings, they will work tirelessly to return your property to its original condition. Don’t hesitate to call as soon as you notice the damage.
10 Most Likely Places to Find Water Leaks
Finding water damage can be one of the most annoying problems to find for property owners; it’s one more task to add to the never ending to-do list and it can be costly to fix, depending on where it has spread. But it is highly recommended by water damage restoration professionals to have it restored as soon as possible to prevent the problem from becoming worse over time. Mold can also develop from any untreated areas containing high amounts of moisture.
Common Places To Find Water Leaks:
Hot water heaters. About 70% of all water heater failures have been caused by a water leak or sudden burst. This can occur after 10 – 15 years of having the water heater, depending on the quality and size of the tank. To check if this is the source of the water leak, remove the drain pipe and listen for a hissing sound. You may also notice a puddle underneath the tank.
Toilets clog all of the time and can become messy if they overflow. But they can also seep water around the seal in the floor. If you find a small puddle around the toilet, turn the water off and inspect the tank. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may have to call a plumber.
Water Pipes . Especially in the winter time, pipe bursts are extremely common as the water expands and adds more pressure to stressed pipes. Be sure to inspect each one thoroughly for any drips or small holes.
Refrigerator and Freezer . Because it is constantly pouring water, ice maker leaks are very common. To see if there is a leak, unplug the appliance and inspect the back of the freezer or freezer to find any water damage on the wall. There could also be a small hole or two in the pipes if they are plastic. If you see any dripping, consider replacing the tubes with copper pipes.
Air Conditioner . While moisture around this appliance is common and won’t hurt anything as long as there is not any moisture on the drywall, excessive dripping can cause significant damage. To see if there is a problem, check the condensate pump, refrigerant, and drain line for any leaks.
Washing Machine . During each cycle, there are about 15 to 30 gallons of water running through the washing machine. Any small hole within the appliance, drain, or tubes can result in major water damage.
Gutters . Not all water damage sources are located within the home. Any gutters containing significant amounts of leaves, dirt, and other debris can cause water to flow over the side and seep into the foundation; this is a very common source of basement flooding.
Showers and Sinks . Next to washing machines, sinks and showers are among the most common sources of water damage. Any holes in the water supply lines or worn-out caulking can spring major damage at any time.
Sump Pump . Especially after a big storm, sump pumps can fail and create the risk for basement flooding, if it hasn’t happened already. After repairing the pump, it would be best to schedule annual maintenance and inspect its condition to prevent future failures.
Air Ducts . Because they are connected to the air conditioning unit, it is common for moisture to accumulate within the ductwork and spring a leak. If you notice any condensation on the air registers or ducts themselves, you may find a leak in another area. Professional air duct cleaning can also prevent this problem in the future.
Restoring Water Damage From Leaks
While you will need a plumber to fix any pipes or leaks, fixing the water damage is crucial to prevent additional destruction. Once an area has been affected, the water will spread and damage additional areas. But as soon as the source has been removed, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of McAllen to do the mitigation process.
How To Stay Safe in case of Thunderstorm.
Each year, the majority of the United States will experience at least one thunderstorm. While they are more prevalent in certain areas than others, due to the differences in the climate and weather conditions, they can also prove to be very dangerous if precautions are not taken.
How to Stay Safe Before the Thunderstorm
- Secure all outdoor belongings to avoid them from blowing around and causing property damage.
- Remove any large debris from the yard, such as large branches, construction and gardening tools, etc.
- Shut all outside windows and doors.
- Unplug all electrical equipment.
- Bring all pets inside.
Staying Safe When Not at Home During the Storm:
- When in the car, close the windows. Do not touch any metal part of the car. Also, do not attempt to drive anywhere safe as flash floods are known for causing severe damage to cars.
- When in an open area, find lower ground as fast as possible that is away from tall objects. Crouch down with your head between your knees while keeping your ears covered.
- If you are in a forest, find an area with smaller trees that are covered by taller ones. If possible, get to lower ground.
- When with a group of people, try to stay at least 15 feet from them at all times.
- Stay away from all metal objects, such as outside equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, bikes, etc.
- Stay out of all areas with water, including the beach, lake, pond, ocean, etc.
How to Stay Safety at Home During the Storm
- Stay away from all windows, doors, porches, and gazebos. Close all blinds and drapes and stay in the center of the home.
- Do not turn on the water or any water-related appliances, such as the sink, washing machine, dishwasher, hose, etc.
- Do not lie or lean against any concrete floors or walls as they may contain wires that conduct electricity.
- Safety After the Storm
- Do not drive through a flooded area.
- Do not drive anywhere with large amounts of debris on the road.
- Help others if they need assistance.
- As pets can be afraid of storms, keep them indoors.
- Report all fallen power lines.
Recovering After The Storm
As you can see, there are many precautions that can be taken to be prepared for and stay safe during a storm. But unfortunately, some storms may be strong enough to still cause damage to a home or building. While strong winds are able to rip off roofs, siding, doors, etc., flash floods are also able to seep into foundations and cause severe water damage.
If you have found significant damage to your property after a thunderstorm, do not hesitate to call SERVPRO of McAllen to help with the water damage restoration or storm damage cleanup services.
Tips To Prepare For Hurricane Season
Hurricanes are among the most dangerous types of weather conditions and for six months out of the year, the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are prone to these severe storms during what is known as hurricane season. Hurricanes are dangerous because they dump heavy rain in a short period of time and have very powerful winds. The heavy rain can quickly cause severe flooding and the winds are strong enough to damage buildings and knock down large objects like trees and power lines. These storms are responsible for billions of dollars in property damage each year as well as injuries and death. Most deaths that happen in a hurricane are caused by the flooding.
Hurricane season officially begins June 1 and ends on November 30, but a hurricane can strike land any time of year. If you live in a hurricane prone area near the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico, it is important to prepare for the possibility of a hurricane. A hurricane can happen at any time and having a plan in place and emergency supplies ready will help you evacuate to safety much quicker. The following hurricane preparedness tips will help you get ready for hurricane season. You must address any damage to your property from a hurricane immediately by calling a storm damage restoration expert.
How To Prepare For A Hurricane
County evacuation map and shelters
Evacuation routes are mapped out in hurricane prone areas.
Review your plan: At the beginning of each hurricane season, review your plan for preparing and reacting to a hurricane and update it if needed.
Review your insurance policy: Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it covers hurricane damage. You may need to purchase separate flood insurance to cover flood damage.
Protect important documents: Put important documents like birth certificates, titles, house deeds, and others in a water proof safe. This safe should be stored on the upper floors of your home for more protection.
Discuss the plan: Share the plan with your family so everyone knows what to do when a hurricane is imminent.
Emergency supply kit: Put together emergency supplies that you will need in case you are trapped in your home without power or forced to evacuate. See the section below for more on what to include in your emergency supply kit.
Evacuation routes: Hurricane prone areas typically have mapped out evacuation routes. Make sure you are familiar with the evacuation route in your area in case a hurricane forces you to evacuate.
If a Hurricane is Imminent
Move objects like furniture away from doors and windows.
Unplug electronics and small appliances. Be ready to shut off the power in your home if necessary.
Water: You should have one gallon of water per person each day for between 3 and 7 days.
Food: Your food supply should consist of non-perishable items and snack foods as well as paper plates, a can opener, and cooking tools.
Clothing: Pack clothing that can withstand the rainy conditions.
Blankets and pillows: Have enough blankets and pillows for each member of your family.
First Aid Kit: Pack necessary medication and prescription drugs as well as bandages and other supplies to deal with minor injuries.
Toiletries: Include personal hygiene products.
Special items: Make sure to pack any special items needed or young children or the elderly.
Flashlight batteries: Pack a flashlight and extra batteries to keep it working.
Radio: Include a small battery operated radio to listen to weather reports.
Cell phones: Keep your cell phones charged and bring extra batteries and a charger.
Cash and credit cards: You may not be able to visit a bank or ATM if the hurricane has caused significant widespread damage.
Keys: Make sure you have your keys for your car and house.
Toys, book, games: These items will help keep your kids occupied.
Important documents: Insurance records, medical records, bank documents, social security cards, and other important documents should be secured in a waterproof container.
Pet care: If you have pets, you must have supplies for them too. Make sure you have the proper identification documents, food and water for several days, a leash, and cage if necessary.
Tools: Having a simple tool kit handy can be useful.
Gas in vehicles: Make sure your car is filled with gas before a storm so you can evacuate without making any stops.
The effects of a hurricane can be devastating but by following these hurricane safety tips, you can help ensure the safety of you and your family. Hurricane season is quickly approaching so make sure you get yourself prepared for the possibility of a hurricane if you live in a hurricane prone area. While these hurricane preparation tips can help you protect yourself and your family from harm, there is not much you can do to protect your home from damage. If your home sustains damage from a hurricane or flood, you must call SERVPRO for storm damage restoration services immediately. SERVPRO can repair the damage to your home or building and provide restoration for flooding.
Flood Preparedness and Response: Strategies for Families
Floods are an inevitable and natural part of life, especially for those who live along streams and rivers. Counties that border rivers are the most flood prone, but serious floods have occurred throughout the state. It is important to be prepared and know what to do before disaster strikes.
Find out if you live in a flood-prone area. If you are new to the area, ask your local public works or emergency management office about local flood history. Ask whether your property is above or below the flood stage water level.
If you live in a frequently flooded area, stockpile emergency building materials. These include plywood, plastic sheeting, lumber, nails, hammer, saw, pry bar, shovels and sandbags.
Plan and practice an evacuation route. Contact your local emergency management office or local American Red Cross chapter for a copy of the community flood evacuation plan. This plan should include information on the safest routes to shelters. Individuals living in flash flood areas should have several alternate routes to higher ground.
Have emergency supplies on hand.
- a) Flashlights and extra batteries
- b) Portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries
- c) First-aid kit and manual; essential medicines
- d) Emergency food, water, cooking equipment, can opener
- e) Cash and credit cards
Develop an emergency communication plan. In case family members are separated during a disaster because of work or school, choose a long-distance relative or friend who can serve as the family contact. After a disaster, it is often easier to call long-distance than to place a local call. Make sure everyone in the family knows the name, address and phone number of the contact person. Make sure that all family members know how to respond after a flood or flash flood.
During a Flood
Listen to the radio for further information.
Fill bathtubs, sinks and jugs with clean water in case water becomes contaminated.
Bring outdoor belongings, such as patio furniture, indoors.
Move valuable household possessions to the upper floors or to safe ground if time permits.
If you are instructed by authorities, turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve.
Join with neighbors and volunteers to put sandbags or other protection in place. Stack sandbags away from the outside walls of houses to prevent floodwaters from entering.
Do not attempt to walk through moving floodwaters. If moving fast enough, water one foot deep can sweep you off your feet.
Do not attempt to drive over a flooded road. Turn around and go another way.
During an Evacuation
Listen to the radio or check the Web for evacuation instructions. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately. Evacuation is much simpler and safer before floodwaters become too deep for ordinary vehicles to drive through.
Follow recommended evacuation routes -- shortcuts may be blocked.
After a Flood
Don't return home until authorities have indicated it is safe. When entering buildings, use extreme caution. Potential hazards include:
Gas leaks. Leave your home immediately and call the gas company if you smell the putrid odor of leaking gas. Lanterns, torches, electrical sparks and cigarettes could cause an explosive fire if there is a leak. Do not turn on any light switches.
Electrocution. Wear rubber gloves and rubber-soled shoes to avoid electrocution. Do not turn on any lights or appliances if the house has been flooded. Turn off the electricity when checking electrical circuits and equipment or when checking a flooded basement.
Structural damage. Watch for falling debris and the possibility of collapsing ceilings and basement walls.
Food and water. Do not use water or eat food that has come in contact with floodwaters.
The answers to 9 frequently asked questions about mold in homes
- What is mold?
Mold is a type of fungus that lives almost everywhere there is moisture, oxygen, and organic matter. Mold plays an important role in nature as it helps decompose organic material. However, mold found indoors can cause health problems, as well as structural problems to buildings.
- Why does mold grow in homes?
Mold releases microscopic mold spores into the air. Since mold spores are airborne, all homes have mold spores in them, some more than others. Mold grows in homes because almost all homes meet the requirements of mold growth: moisture, nutrients (such as cellulose), and time.
- Where does mold grow in homes?
Mold commonly grows in areas that are prone to moisture, such as the basement and bathroom. However, mold can also grow in hidden areas of the home, such as behind walls, under the floor, in the air conditioning system, in the crawl space or in the attic.
- When does mold become a problem?
Although all homes have mold spores in them, larger patches of mold growth can cause health issues and structural damage. Signs of mold in homes include a musty odor and the visible black or white specks in areas of your home that have a water problem.
- Am I exposed to mold?
If there is mold growing in your home, you can be exposed to it. When mold is disturbed, it releases spores into the indoor air that you breathe.
- How does mold affect our health?
Mold-sensitive individuals may exhibit allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, coughing, itchy eyes, wheezing, and skin irritation.
- Should I test for mold?
When you suspect that there is mold growing in your home, you don’t have to know which type of mold it is, but you should have it removed as soon as possible.
- Can I clean up mold myself?
Although it is always better to hire a certified mold removal company like SERVPRO, you might be able to remove small patches of mold yourself (which are smaller than 10 square feet). When you’re not sure how to remove mold, or if the infested area is larger than 10 square feet, contact SERVPRO of McAllen .
- How can I prevent mold growth in my home?
Preventing mold requires fixing moisture problems in your home. Repair leaks in the walls, roof, gutters, and plumbing pipes, keep indoor humidity at 30-50% by using a dehumidifier, ventilate appliances that generate moisture, and keep the gutter system clean.
Quickly Identifying And Remediation Mold in Your Home
Mold Growth due a water damage
Mold causes the deterioration of organic matter. Dampness creates ideal conditions for mold, and it feeds off of organic materials such as drywall, wood or cloth. After water damage has occurred, mold can begin growing in as quickly as two days.
When you encounter mold, your ability to breathe properly should be your top concern. Mold can create health problems through the spores it releases into the air. You may be required to evacuate the area when the presence of mold becomes too much.
This means that standing water needs to be removed and cleaned up as soon as you notice it. This eliminates the ideal growing conditions that allow for mold to take root.
SERVPRO of McAllen is a company that has undergone extensive training and is certified in IICRC-the most trusted certification for mold removal.
Their training includes the ability to:
– Determine where water is coming from
– Identify the presence of mold
– Ensure mold does not spread any further
– Remediate mold
– Utilize thorough drying techniques to ensure mold does not return
– Restore property or advise on methods necessary to do so
Identifying the Mold
Mold has no set appearance and it can be any number of colors, including black, gray, white, green or pink.
One sure sign is visible identification of mold. But if the mold is unusual-looking you might not even realize what you are seeing. Mold can form in clusters or spots and it can grow in places you may not be able to see.
Determining the Presence of Mold
Our experts can find mold wherever it may be hiding. They know which signs to look for to determine if mold is present. These include:
– Visible signs of mold
– Musty odors
– Humid conditions
– Symptoms of mold, including itchy eyes and runny nose
– Symptoms of a neurological nature, including dizziness and headaches
– Signs of long-term dampness
– Stained or discolored floors and walls
– Peeled paint and bubbling wallpaper
– Warped walls and bowed supports
– Damp surfaces
What Causes Mold?
Mold is likely growing in your home if you have moisture there. Many types of moisture problems can lead to mold growth. These include damp clothing, leaky pipes, roof leaks, a lack of ventilation, floods, water in the basement, and condensation.
Signs That It Is Time For An Air Duct Cleaning
Dirty Air Duct
The air duct system is an important system of the house because it is responsible for air circulation and distributing the heating and cooling throughout the house. Like most household systems, air ducts need to be cleaned and maintained every now and then to ensure that it continues to function properly and efficiently. Air ducts do not need to be cleaned as often as other areas of the home but it is beneficial for homeowners to be aware of when they need to be cleaned. The following are common signs that it is time to get your air ducts professionally cleaned.
Mold or Mildew
If you notice mold or mildew growing anywhere in your home or within the air duct system, it is a good idea to have the air ducts cleaned. Mold produces spores that spread to other areas by traveling through the air and they can very easily end up within the air duct system where they can get distributed throughout the house or cause mold to grow within the ducts. Having your air ducts cleaned after eliminating a mold problem will help ensure that the mold growth does not reoccur.
Health and Respiratory Problems
Over time, dirt, dust, and other debris accumulate within the air ducts and end up getting distributed back into the breathing air of the home when the heat or air conditioner kicks on. Breathing in this debris can lead to allergic reactions such as coughing, runny noses, or trouble breathing and it can also trigger asthma attacks and other more serious health problems. If people within your home are experiencing these symptoms on a more consistent basis, cleaning the air ducts could help alleviate the symptoms.
Excess Dust and Debris from the Registers
The accumulated dust and debris within an air duct system can reach up to almost 40 pounds on average over the course of one year and this excess dust might gather around the vents or be released back into the breathing air. If you notice excessive dust build up in the vents and registers, it may be beneficial to have the air ducts cleaned.
As the dirt and debris builds up in the air ducts, it contaminates the component parts and slows the air flow, forcing the system to work harder to circulate air. This not only decreases the energy efficiency of the system leading to higher bills, but also increases the risk of breaking down. If you notice that the heating or cooling is turning on more than normal or that your energy bills have increased, it may be necessary to have your air ducts cleaned.
It is easy for homeowners to forget about their air ducts but it is important to look out for these signs to make sure you have your air ducts professionally cleaned when it is needed. Professional air duct cleaning can improve the indoor air quality of your home and the energy efficiency of the HVAC system. Contact a SERVPRO of McAllen to have the air ducts in your home professionally cleaned.
Restore your Carpet with These Spring Carpet Cleaning Tips
Carpet Cleaning in Process
During the winter, people close their homes to keep out the cold weather and heat their homes more efficiently. However, with your home closed up, dirt, dust mites, and other airborne debris will circulate through the home and settle into the carpet. By the time the spring arrives, your carpet is full of dirt and debris from the winter that needs to be removed. This is why carpet cleaning should be part of your spring cleaning effort. Effective carpet cleaning will remove the debris that has been accumulating in your carpet all winter and help restore its look. Removing this debris from your carpet will also contribute to a healthier environment in your home. As you begin spring cleaning in your home, make sure you work in the following carpet cleaning tips to clean and restore your carpeting. If you would like additional help cleaning your carpet, you can always call a professional for carpet cleaning services. spring-carpet-cleaning Start by Vacuuming Hopefully, you have been vacuuming your carpet regularly throughout the winter. Regular vacuuming is the most effective way to maintain your carpet and remove much of the embedded debris from the fibers. By removing the embedded dirt and debris, you can prevent your carpet from deteriorating or looking discolored. You must continue to vacuum your carpet regularly in the spring and throughout the year to keep it in good shape. Vacuuming does not remove everything though which is why you should consider annual professional carpet cleaning. Use Welcome Mats One way to protect your carpet from dirt and debris is to prevent the dirt from being tracked into your home in the first place. Placing welcome mats by every entrance will encourage people to wipe their feet when they enter your home, reducing the dirt and debris being dragged in. People will be walking in and out of your home more frequently in the spring and summer so make sure you have your welcome mats in place. Remove Stains Carpet stains are tough to remove and using an over-the-counter carpet stain remover can be damaging to your carpet if you don’t use it properly. There are a couple of ways you can try removing carpet stains yourself without risking damage to the carpet. Try treating the stains with a solution consisting of one cup of cold water and 1/4 teaspoon of liquid detergent with no bleach. You can also try removing the stain using vinegar and an iron. Make a solution that is one part vinegar to three parts water. Dampen a towel with this solution and lay it over the stain. Iron the towel over the stain until the stain transfers to the towel. If these methods do not remove the stain, you can call a carpet cleaning professional to treat the stain with their specialized products. Protect your Carpet from Stains Applying a stain protector will help you prevent stains in the carpet, but these protectors wear out over time. The spring season is the ideal time to re-apply a stain protector to your carpet. Restore your Carpet with These Spring Carpet Cleaning TipsClean Up Spills Quickly If something spills on your carpet, you must clean it up immediately. The longer you leave a spill to soak up in the carpet fibers, the higher the risk for a stain. Make sure you blot dry a spill as soon as it happens to prevent staining. Remove Odors Like other types of fabric, carpeting can absorb foul odors that can make the room smell bad. Fortunately, you can remove odors from your carpet safely using a mixture of essential oils and baking soda. Add 10-20 drops of essential oil to 16 ounces of baking soda and mix the solution so that the oils become absorbed completely into the baking soda. Sprinkle the baking soda mixture onto the area of your carpet with the odor and let it sit for 5 minutes before removing it with the vacuum. If the odors are persistent, you may need help from a carpet cleaning professional. Fluff the Carpet Heavy foot traffic and furniture can flatten or indent the carpet fibers which will make the carpet look worn out. You can fluff the carpet fibers using only an ice cube, towel, and iron. Start by letting the ice cube melt into the flattened or indented area. Once the ice cube melts, use a towel to softly blot up the excess water and leave the moist towel laid over the area. Turn the iron on a low setting and iron the moist towel until the fibers are mostly dry. Let the carpet continue to air dry and then fluff up the fibers with your hands. Call SERVPRO By working these carpet cleaning tips into your spring cleaning routine, you can help you improve the look and condition of your carpet. However, it is important to remember that while these tips do help, it takes professional carpet cleaning services to completely remove embedded debris and tough stains. Carpet cleaning professionals use advanced cleaning equipment and methods that are designed to lift stubborn stains and debris safely out of all carpet types. As you get your spring cleaning started, follow these tips to clean your carpet and call a professional if you need extra help.
Spring Cleaning in McAllen,TX
Spring is here
In an effort to assist McAllen residents with their spring cleaning, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 29 the city will provide trash bins at select locations “for those who cannot make it out to the Recyling Center or for those items that do not fit in the trash.”
According to a Wednesday news release, the city will provide six locations for residents to drop off bulky items, trash and debris. Items not included are paints, pesticides, chemicals, motor oil, construction material and electronics.
The event is free and only open to McAllen residents. Residents must bring proof of residency such as a Texas ID or utility bull. For more information, visit mcallen.net or call (956) 681-3111.
Roll-off bin locations:
Bill Schupp Park, 1300 Zinnia Avenue
McAllen Recycling Center, 4101 North Bentsen Road
Las Palmas Community Center, 1925 North 25th Street
Old Compost Site, 4101 Idela Road
Sundance Mobile Park South, 33rd Street and Erie Avenue
Development Center, 311 North 15th Street
Cascade Park, 1000 Bales Road
- Paints,pesticides & chemicals
- Motor oil
- Construction material
How To Remove Soot Damage From Household Surfaces
Soot on Structure
Fires are often a comforting sight during the winter as fireplaces and candles can provide warmth during the freezing temps. But with this type of warmth comes a hidden danger to your home; Soot. Soot is a black residue that is left behind when various materials are burnt such as plastics, synthetics, foam and wood. Depending on the material burnt, the soot can have a damaging effect on your walls. This precarious clean up requires precise attention. While it is best for professionals to clean up soot damage, you can make the cleanup process easier by following these safety guidelines.
Removing Soot: Always Be Concerned about Safety
Soot is easily transferred onto various surfaces so ensuring it doesn’t spread is imperative to the cleaning process. To protect your walls, follow these protocols before the professionals arrive:
- Refrain from touching anything during the first inspection of the room. This prevents accidental soot transfer to unaffected rooms and surfaces.
- Always wear protective gear, such as gloves, masks, and long clothing that covers the skin when working in rooms affected by soot damage.
- Keep the room properly ventilated to minimize inhalation of the soot particles.
- Clear unnecessary debris from the room to allow for easier cleanup.
Soot Cleaning and Removal
It is important to use proper cleaning methods to remove soot from your walls, ceilings and surfaces. Improper cleaning can cause the damage to spread or get worse. The first thing many homeowners think to do when cleaning is use basic soap and water, accompanied with a sponge. Always test in a small, discreet location, to see if it incurs any damage. When in doubt, always call SERVPRO of McAllen to avoid serious damage.
When soot is caused by high oxygen fires, using a dry-cleaning sponge or chemical dry sponge is the best method for cleanup. If you attempt a wet method, the soot will smear, leaving a hideous stain. In comparison, low oxygen fires are best met with the wet sponge cleaning method.
When vacuuming soot residue from your surfaces, always hold the nozzle at least one half inch away from the area. Avoid contact with the surface because your touch can smear the soot.
Steps To Take If Your Water Heater Breaks
Busted Water Heater
A broken water heater is a nasty surprise, especially if you’re in the middle of a shower. If yours starts making unusual noises or stops working completely, take these steps immediately to minimize the impact on your home.
Turn off the power supply.- For a gas water heater, look for a dial on the top of the thermostat. For an electric water heater, turn the circuit breaker off water heater
Turn off the water supply.- Turn the water valve clockwise (“righty tight”) until it stops. It’s very important to turn off the supply of water to the heater. If you can’t turn the valve to the heater, you’ll have to turn off the water supply to the house.
Drain the water heater.- Find the drain valve at the bottom of the water tank and attach a hose to it. Run the other end of the hose to a lower area where dirty water can safely drain, such as a basement drain. Open the drain valve, using a screwdriver if necessary.
Open the pressure relief valve.- Flip the valve on to keep a vacuum from forming while the water is draining. Caution – the water may be very hot.
Rinse the water heater with cold water.- Once the water heater has been completely drained, rinse it with cold water to flush out any remaining sediments.
If your water heater breaks and leaks water everywhere in your home or business in McAllen, TX and surrounding area, call the experts at SERVPRO of McAllen. Their certified, licensed, and insured professionals are specially trained in water damage restoration. Using non-invasive moisture detection probes and sensors, they will determine the extent of the damage, and then develop a comprehensive water damage restoration plan. From water extraction and drying to repairing drywall and cabinets, they can return your home or business to its preloss condition.
The costs to repair a water heater vary, depending on location and market competition. It is estimated the national average is $509.00.
How to replace subfloor after water damage
Removing damaged subfloor.
How to Replace a Water-Damaged Subfloor
Subfloor is commonly misunderstood. There are different variations. The subfloor for residential homes is typically 5/8- or 3/4-inch-thick plywood or oriented strandboard. The subfloor is nailed directly to floor joists. In some cases a thinner material -- overlay -- is nailed to the subfloor to level subsequent floor coverings. Common problems with water damage to subfloors include leaky fixtures such as toilets, sinks, water heaters and washing machines. When subflooring is exposed to excessive moisture it delaminates, swells or rots, compromising floor integrity and damaging coverings. If your subfloor has an overlay, you must replace it along with water-damaged subfloor.
Things You'll Need:
Screwdriver Circular saw Jigsaw(optional) Straightedge Prybar Clawhammer Diagonal pliers Two-by-four studs Mitersaw Drill or power screwdriver 3 inch screws Plywood or oriented strandboard Overlay(optional) 2-inch screws 1½inch screws Reciprocating saw (optional)
Remove a floor vent using a screwdriver. Look inside and examine the cross-section of your existing flooring to determine the thickness and type of subflooring material. Set the blade of a circular saw to the thickness. If it has overlay, include that in the measurement. If you don't have a vent, set the blade to cut 1 inch deep.
Draw a rectangular or square pattern using a straightedge at least 6 inches bigger than the damaged area. Subfloor must be supported by joists. If the cutout is not supported, extend the pattern to the nearest joint or seam.
Cut through the subfloor, or the subfloor and overlay if applicable, following the drawn template using the circular saw. If it's an area bigger than about 36 inches square, cut the pattern in half. If the drawing has a curve, use a jigsaw to cut along the curve.
Tap the tip of a pry bar into any crack or seam using a hammer. Pry up the sections slightly to loosen nails. Remove any exposed or raised nails with a claw hammer. If nails break off, hammer them down or use diagonal pliers to remove them. Continue to pry, lift and remove the section or sections, pulling up stubborn nails with the sections.
Measure unsupported sides of the cut out area. Add blocking by cutting two-by-four studs to the measurements using a miter saw. Screw the studs flush to the sides of the joists to provide support for the subfloor using a drill or driver and 3-inch screws.
Measure the cutout area and subtract 1/8 inch from all four sides to allow a 1/8-inch gap between the existing subfloor and the new subfloor. Cut new subfloor and subsequent overlay if applicable, using a straightedge and a circular saw. Use the same type of material, and the same thickness, as that you removed. If it's a curved piece, cut it to fit with the jigsaw. Place the new subfloor in the cutout area.
Screw the subfloor to the joists and blocking using a drill or driver and 2-inch screws. Screw the overlay, if needed, to the subfloor using 1½-inch deck screws.
Draw out 24-to-36-inch sections to replace subfloor in a complete room. Cut through the sections using the circular saw. Cut along the wall where the circular saw will not work using a reciprocating saw. Remove the sections using the pry bar.
Place the new subfloor on the joists, centering the edges and joints over the joists, splitting the difference so that two pieces are supported by a single joist if necessary. Add blocking if needed. Screw the subfloor to the joists using a drill/driver and 2-inch screws. Screw the overlay to the subfloor using 1 1/2-inch deck screws if applicable.
Tips & Warnings
Park a refuse container outside the door. Throw in the pieces as you remove them.
Wear gloves and eye protection when working. Watch out for exposed or broken nails.
Fire Damage Restoration Process- Start to Finish
Residential Fire Damage
Each fire is different and every home requires its own specific approach, but the following is the general process we follow in a typical fire damage restoration situation:
Emergency response. When you make your call to us, the restoration process begins. Our customer service representative will ask the right questions so that we can respond quickly and bring along the right resources and equipment.
Inspection and assessment. We inspect the impacted area and adjoining rooms to find out the extent of the soot, smoke and other fire damage, then we can develop our plan of action.
Securing the structure. Preventing further damage is essential, so we take immediate action to board up broken windows, shore up damaged walls and put tarps over damaged sections of the roof.
Water removal. When water damage is present, we immediately start water removal. Dehumidifiers and air movers are used to get all the water from your home and complete the drying process.
Surface soot and smoke removal. Using special equipment and time-tested techniques, we get rid of soot and smoke from the ceiling, all walls and other hard surfaces.
Cleaning and disinfecting. Restorable items require cleaning and sanitizing. A variety of cleaning products and techniques are used to accomplish this as appropriate. This process includes odor removal using foggers and industrial-strength air scrubbers.
Restoration. Getting things back to normal is the final step in the process. This can involve small repairs, drywall replacement, new carpet installation, painting and more. Major construction may sometimes also be required.