Recent Posts

5 Ways To Prevent a Cigarette Fire From Starting in the Home

7/15/2018 (Permalink)

House fires are more common than you’d think. Along with thunderstorms and neglected stoves, cigarettes are one of the leading causes of at-home fires, despite their small size. If you or a household member smokes, here are five things you can do to protect your home and avoid dealing with the fire cleanup process.


1. Smoke Outside.


The best way to prevent a fire within the home is to step outside while smoking. A cigarette fire often starts in the living room or bedroom. While outside, you can be sure that ashes or cigarette butts won’t ignite any flammable objects within your house.


2. Use Sturdy Ashtrays.


If you do decide to smoke inside, be sure to get an ashtray that is deep and sturdy. This will prevent any ash from encountering rugs, magazines, or anything else that could ignite. Another way to prevent ashtray fire is by putting sand in the ashtray to completely put out the cigarette.


3. Don’t Smoke in the Bedroom.


It’s dangerous to smoke in bed because there is a chance that you might fall asleep with a lit cigarette. Mattresses, blankets, and bedding are all very flammable. The bedroom should be a safe place to sleep, not an easy location to start a cigarette fire.


4. Keep Smoking Materials Out of Reach.


Kids are often too curious for their own good. To prevent any accidental fires from starting, stash your cigarettes, matches, and lighters somewhere where they can’t reach.


5. Completely Extinguish Your Cigarette.


If anything, always put out your cigarette completely. If a cigarette butt is still lit while left unattended, it’s easy for it to ignite something flammable close by. You can douse the cigarette in water or sand to help extinguish them.

Keep your home in Palestine, TX, safe by following these five tips when preventing a cigarette fire.

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

Preventative Steps for Mold Growth

7/10/2018 (Permalink)


It doesn’t take Florida for humidity to be a threat. When high levels of moisture appear in your business in Palestine, TX, mold may soon follow, creating a myriad of problems that can disrupt business and affect health. Fortunately, the best line of defense against mold growth is mold prevention. Here are three steps to keep mold at bay:


1. Know the Causes. 


Mold spores are a natural occurrence and can be found in most places both outdoors and inside. For the latter of these locations, limiting the opportunity for growth is what can prevent green (and hopefully not black!) décor appearing on your ceilings and walls. Mold requires just four ingredients to thrive:

• Darkness: piping, insulation, cabinets, subflooring, etc.
• Moisture: condensation from high humidity, water damage
• Organic nutrients: dust, dirt, spillage of food or drink
• A surface to grow on

Identifying places within your business that host these four ingredients can play a major role in your mold prevention.


2. Know the Spots.


Most are familiar with the spotty appearance of mold growth. However, before that aesthetic takes over your business, familiarize yourself with the common locations mold can thrive:

• Ceiling tile: Especially those located near the HVAC system, the porous material is easily susceptible to moisture and dirt.
• Carpeting: Spills, leaks and flooding make the carpet as well as the pad and subfloor beneath it a thriving spot for mold.
• HVAC system: The draining pans for accumulated condensation can malfunction, creating an environment of moisture and darkness just right for mold.
• Ductwork: The high levels of moisture during the cooling season can condense and leave ample opportunity for mold. Damaged insulation may have a similar effect.

Regular checks of the HVAC system are vital for mold prevention, as well as maintaining a clean space clear of dust and dampness.

3. Know the Pros.


Professionals in the cleanup and restoration business provide the knowledge, skill and equipment for a thorough inspection and cleaning of your business. Have contact information for a company in Palestine, TX, that can help your business keep mold microscopic.

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

Diagnosing Potential Problems With a Noisy Water Heater

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

A properly functioning water heater is one of the most important appliances in the home, especially for residents of Palestine, TX. And just like any other appliance, it’s bound to make noise as it operates. While some of these sounds are normal and should be no cause for alarm, others are early indicators of impending problems that need to be addressed. If yours is making suspicious noises, here are some things to keep in mind.


Identify the Sound.


Try to pinpoint the type of sound you are hearing. While every situation will be unique, certain noises are typically associated with the following common water heater problems:

• When valves are not fully opened, water being forced through the smaller-than-expected opening can lead to what may sound like screeching or screaming.
• If the heating element has become loose, the water flowing around it causes vibrations perceptive as humming.
• Sediment buildup near the heating element can cause popping, rumbling or crackling sounds. This occurs frequently with older units and could mean the tubes need to cleaned or replaced. Performing a water heater flush at least once per year will also help to avoid tank sediment.
• Tapping or ticking noises usually emanate from check valves or heat traps and aren’t generally a cause for concern.

Many of these issues are relatively minor at first but can cause serious problems if not rectified.


Contact a Professional for Emergencies.


If you’re still unsure about the noises you’rehearing, don’t be afraid to call a licensed professional for service. If a major failure has occurred and your tank has ruptured or is leaking, it’s crucial to contact a cleanup and restoration specialist as soon as possible to help eliminate the mess and avoid risk of water damage.

There’s no need to panic if you are hearing strange noises coming from your water heater. Regular maintenance can help to avoid many common problems and there are always licensed professionals available in Palestine, TX, that are ready to help.

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

Can the Spring Flood Be Avoided?

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

Is your commercial building often affected by flooding in the spring? As the weather starts to get warmer in Palestine, TX, many properties may see major water problems caused by the thawing ice and snow. While you can't stop the weather from changing, you can take a few steps to mitigate the damage done by the thaw. If your preventative steps aren't enough, you may want to call in a commercial water damage team to deal with the aftermath of the thaw.

• Sump Pumps: Installing a sump pump before the typical spring flood can prepare your lower levels for the oncoming water. This type of pump is designed to stop water from accumulating.
• Landscaping Tips: Did you know your landscaping can actually affect how much water enters your building during the thaw? Make sure your lawn is sloped away from the building to encourage water to flow away and don't store wood near the building.
• Insulation Checks: As the weather heats up and cools down in the early parts of spring, you may have to worry about a frozen pipe problem. If you keep your exterior pipes properly insulated, you may not have to worry about this particular issue.
• Cleaning Methods: Did you know that built up gunk in your gutters and downspouts can encourage a watery mess? Cleaning these areas prior to the warmer spring weather may stop water from flooding out of the gutter system.
• Storage Procedures: You may not be able to stop all water from getting into your building, but you can reduce the damage it can do. Keeping valuable items on high shelves or off the floor may reduce the damage you sustain.

Spring flooding cannot always be avoided, but you can take a few precautionary steps to help reduce your chances of having unexpected amounts of water fill your building. It may be a good idea to take these steps every year.

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

3 Tips for Creating a Business Continuity Plan

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

When a flood or other natural disaster causes damage to your Palestine, TX, business, there may be more to worry about than the cost of repairs. One major concern is the loss of business you may face and how to recover once you are ready to reopen. Being prepared for this situation by creating a business continuity plan can be highly effective in preventing the loss of customers and revenue and there are several factors you may want to consider as you develop one.


1. Work Closely With Your Managers .



As you prepare your strategy, working closely with your company’s managers may help you see risks that you may not have considered. It can be helpful to create a questionnaire for them so you can analyze how they believe a disaster like flooding could impact your business. Viewing the situation from different angles may be effective in creating a more comprehensive plan.


2. Create a Time Frame for Recovery.

 

How quickly you recover from storm damage can have a serious impact on your business, especially when it comes to retaining customers. As you craft the recovery portion of your continuity plan, it is important to consider how preparation might lead to a faster recuperation. For example, having a flood damage and restoration service on call to perform mitigation, tear out and mold remediation jobs may allow for a faster recovery in comparison to hiring these services individually.


3. Form a Recovery Team.



Forming a continuity team to assist you with testing, plan maintenance and viability and other details can prevent you from becoming overwhelmed with this project. Meet with your team at least once a month to analyze your current business continuity strategy and discuss whether any improvements can be made. This may be helpful in keeping your plan current and effective if the worst should happen.

Being prepared with a business continuity plan for your Palestine, TX, business can help you recover faster in case of a disaster. Learn more here to keep your investment protected.

Important Steps To Take After a Partial Loss

5/19/2018 (Permalink)

Your business owner’s policy probably explicitly details the coverage you can expect if a fire breaks out in your building. A partial fire loss, however, should also be covered by your insurance. Fire and smoke damage can affect your business in Palestine, TX, even if the fire occurs somewhere near your property. To receive the compensation you deserve, it is important to complete the following checklist.

1. Have your building inspected. When you file a claim, the insurance company sends an adjuster to inspect the property. Rather than settle for just the adjuster’s assessment, however, consider having restoration specialists conduct an inspection of their own. Professional technicians can assess all the areas of your building with potential fire damage:

• Interior walls, particularly if they border the area affected by the fire
• Plumbing, including pipes and supply lines
• Windows and frames
• HVAC system and air ducts
• Siding or any exterior features
• Roof

Your building may exhibit signs of fire loss even if the fire was in the building next door. Don’t depend solely on your insurance adjuster to note the damage.

2. Start the restoration process quickly. If there is damage to your building, you will need to hire fire restoration technicians to repair it. These repairs cannot wait. Even if you have a partial loss, unchecked damage that starts as a minor issue can become extensive if it is put on the back burner too long. Your insurance policy should pay for your business to be restored to a uniform and consistent appearance in a timely manner.

3. Keep your claim open. Smoke damage does not necessarily manifest at first. For example, the effect heat and smoke have on your landscaping can show up months later as plants eventually die as a result of a nearby fire. An open claim or supplemental claims allow you to ask for compensation.

Area disasters can result in fire loss on your property. Don’t neglect to be diligent just because the loss is partial.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com.

The Top 5 Bathroom Mildew Cleaning Tips

5/12/2018 (Permalink)

There are several effective solutions for eliminating bathroom mildew or preventing this fungal growth from forming. The most important step toward managing mildew in your bathroom is to resolve any underlying humidity problem. Once you have addressed this issue, you should take steps to clean and maintain your bathroom.

Here are five of the top mildew cleaning solutions for bathrooms, from the mildest to the most powerful:

1. Vinegar and warm water: This relatively gentle solution works for cleaning. You can also combine a mixture of one part vinegar to one part water in a spray bottle and use this solution to maintain a mildew-free bathroom between deep cleanings.

2. Baking soda: Form a paste by adding baking soda to vinegar or hydrogen peroxide or apply this gritty powder directly to grout in your bathroom. The abrasive and foaming actions of sodium bicarbonate make baking soda a powerful bathroom mildew cleaning solution.

3. Isopropyl Alcohol: Wiping down bathroom surfaces with alcohol can be an effective way to sanitize between cleanings.

4. Oxygen bleach: Powdered oxygen bleach is an even more powerful mildew cleaning solution. Do not mix this substance with other cleaners.

5. Chlorine bleach: Liquid chlorine bleach is one of the most powerful cleaning solutions. Dilute bleach to a safe concentration, but keep in mind that this solution may degrade grout over time.

In addition to these five options, you can purchase specialized anti-mildew cleaners for bathroom use at a store. You should also acquire the cleaning tools you will need to get rid of mildew in your bathroom. Use a stiff-bristled brush to rub the solution of your choice into grout lines and other problem areas.

If you are struggling to resolve a persistent humidity problem that is causing bathroom mildew to develop, contact a service that provides mold and mildew testing and remediation services in Palestine, TX.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com.

2 Easy Ways to Prevent Furnace Fires

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Modern heating systems are typically easy to maintain and trouble-free. Built for efficient operation, a good furnace requires little more than regular maintenance. Without proper upkeep, an inefficient unit could easily catch fire. To keep your furnace in top condition in Palestine, TX, and prevent a possible fire and the resultant fire cleaning, there are several things you can do.


Furnaces Need Space


One of the most common heating system problems is the lack of space. A furnace is often set in an area by itself for a reason. A crowded unit can be a danger to you and your family. These common items can become a fire hazard when placed near the furnace:

• cleaning supplies
• boxes
• brooms
• clothing

A fire can quickly catch from a stray spark onto any of these items and cause considerable damage to your home, and subsequent fire cleaning and restoration is generally no fun at all.


Furnaces Need Attention


There is an old adage that says, “out of sight means out of mind.” Never has that been truer than when applied to furnace filters. This can be a huge problem for busy homeowners who may seldom see the system; it can be easy to forget to provide regular maintenance. Once dirt begins to accumulate on the filter, it can cause the furnace to work inefficiently and overheat. As the filter becomes clogged, it can start a furnace fire with billowing smoke. To prevent smoke cleaning from walls and ceiling, and a possible home fire, inspect furnace filters monthly and replace as needed.


Furnaces Need Maintenance


These are only two of the many fire hazards associated with a poorly maintained furnace. To prevent possible system damages or fires, contact a technician and schedule an inspection at least once a year. If a furnace fire does occur, that same technician can probably help with the fire cleaning or suggest a fire restoration team that can. Most importantly, keep those filters clean and unclogged to allow your furnace to work efficiently.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com.

3 Steps To Prevent the Spread of Mold

4/16/2018 (Permalink)

Discovering that your Palestine, TX, commercial building has a mold problem can be worrisome. High humidity, flooding and plumbing leaks can all contribute to increased mold growth, and the fungi can then spread quickly throughout your property. However, there are a few strategies you can use during the mold cleanup process to keep fungi contained and prevent it from spreading to vital areas of your business.


1. Do Not Disturb Any Mold Patches


If you find any mold at your business, it is important that you do not try to clean it yourself or disturb it, if possible. Touching it might release additional mold spores into the air, where they can attach elsewhere and grow new colonies. While noting the location of the fungi is wise, it is best to leave its removal to a mold cleanup and remediation company.


2. Turn Off Your HVAC System


Mold contamination may occur more quickly when spores travel through your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Once they find their way into the ducts, they can easily seek out damp, humid places in your building to grow and spread. Turning off your HVAC system until mold remediation specialists arrive may hinder fungi from spreading to other areas of your building.


3. Report Findings to Mold Specialists


Once your mold eradication specialists arrive, you can report your findings to them so they can target and remove mold in a way that is both safe and effective. Your mold techs may also use a variety of specialized machinery to create negative air space, which helps prevent spores from spreading during the cleanup process. Once visible mold is removed, specialists may also use air filters to trap spores before they can travel and find new places to grow.

When mold invades your Palestine, TX, business, preventing its spread can be vital for slowing or stopping a major invasion. Taking steps to stop fungi in its tracks before a mold cleanup crew arrives may help you protect your business, your employees and your customers.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com.

How To Keep Pipes From Freezing

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

You may have heard horror stories about pipes freezing from friends, family and coworkers, but you cannot fully understand the extent of water damage broken pipes can do until you’ve dealt with it yourself. Hopefully, you’ll never have to deal with it, but if you do, it’s better to be prepared with the right information and the right water cleanup tools. To prevent pipes from freezing in your Palestine, TX, building, you need to take action at three separate stages:

• Before winter arrives
• When temperatures plummet
• Before you skip town


Before Winter Arrives


Before Jack Frost rears his ugly head, take measures to protect your building by updating its insulation, insulating the pipes in your building’s crawl spaces and attic, setting the thermostat to kick on at a certain temperature, sealing leaks and disconnecting any outside water sources, such as hoses.


When Temperatures Plummet


Water damage by broken pipes almost always occurs right at the start of winter, when temperatures drop. To keep your pipes from freezing during this crucial time period, keep a trickle of hot water running throughout the day. Keep the thermostat at a decent temperature, and open cabinet doors before you leave the office for the day to allow heat to circulate around uninsulated pipes.


Before You Leave Town


Before you go on vacation, or when you know you’re going to be out of the office for an extended period of time, set your building’s thermostat to kick on when temperatures dip to 55 degrees F. Ask a trusted associate to check on the office daily to make sure it’s staying warm. If you are going to be out of town for a significant period of time, shut off and drain your building’s main water supply.

Frozen pipes often result in broken pipes and subsequent water damage. Prevent such an adverse chain of reactions from happening to you and take action before winter arrives, when temperatures plummet and before you go out of town.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com.