Recent Posts

How to prepare for Spring Flash Floods

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How to prepare for Spring Flash Floods rising waters in neighborhood

Is your home or 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.

Got noisy water heater problems?

6/25/2019 (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.

3 tips to get your business back up in running after water or fire damage

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 tips to get your business back up in running after water or fire damage flooded business

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.

Steps to take if your office has suffered a fire loss

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Steps to take if your office has suffered a fire loss Office affected by Smoke and Fire

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.

Don't let your furnace heat you out of house and home. Easy ways to prevent Furnace Fires

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Don't let your furnace heat you out of house and home.  Easy ways to prevent Furnace Fires Furnace in need of Maintenance

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

When assessing potential fire hazards,
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. Check filters regularly to prevent this build up and a possible fire. 

Furnaces Need Maintenance


These are three 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.

Mildew Blasting Cleaning Tips For The Bathroom

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Moldy Humor:

The other day my daughter said, "Mold is so gross."

I told her to "respect its culture."   We all know a mold and mildew problem in the bathroom is no laughing matter. Here 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 problems. 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.

3 Steps to Filing a Flood Damage Claim

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 3 Steps to Filing a Flood Damage Claim A flood is a life-changing event.

A flood in Mineola, TX is a life-changing event. After a natural disaster like that, you want to return your life back to normal. One of the most important ways to do that is by filing a flood claim. There are a few simple steps to follow to ensure the process is completed without delay.

1. Contact Insurance Provider

Get in contact with your insurance company or agent immediately after the flood. Provide basic information, such as your policy number along with a phone number and email address. You want to make sure you can be reached at any time. An insurance adjuster will be scheduled to visit your home within a few days to assess the flood claim damages.

2. Document Damages

An insurance adjuster needs a clear picture of how much flood damage occurred in your home. Prior to the adjuster's visit, spend a day or two taking photographs, recording videos and making a list of all the damages. Here are the most common things to document:

  • Standing flood water levels
  • Discarded objects
  • Lost items
  • Property and structural damage

Take note of anything affected by the flood. Whenever possible, provide receipts, value and purchase date of damaged or lost items. The more detailed information you provide, the better able the adjuster will be to prepare a repair estimate.

3. Consult With the Adjuster

An insurance adjuster can walk you through the insurance claim process. He or she can tell you what your homeowners' policy does and doesn't cover as relates to the flood. Once all the necessary paperwork is submitted, processed and proven accurate, the next step is that you'll receive payment.

A Return to Normal

A house flood is a stressful experience. However, things can return to normal quickly when you follow the simple steps for filing a flood claim. Once the claim process is completed, you can begin rebuilding your life. Often this involves hiring a restoration company to clean up the mess the disaster left behind.

How To Shorten a Business Interruption

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Shorten a Business Interruption Trained and certified mitigation and restoration experts can respond to flooding faster and more effectively than non-professionals.

The interruption of business following large water damage can be very costly. A business owner may end up needing to make a business interruption insurance claim to limit losses due to flooding. A high interruption claim can significantly raise rates for this coverage in addition to increases due to primary water damage and heightened risks of secondary damage. Here are three tips for shortening an interruption and limiting claim amounts.

1. Start Mitigation Quickly

Primary damage becomes more severe the longer floodwaters remain in a structure. Standing water from a broken pipe should be extracted as soon as the pipe is fixed. A slow start to mitigation will ultimately push back the date by which restoration will be complete.

2. Relocate Operations

A business may be able to operate out of a portion of a building unaffected by water damage or a temporary location during cleanup and restoration. Interruption insurance may help to cover relocation costs, and the total claim amount will be much lower than it would be if the business could not operate during this period of time.

3. Hire Restoration Professionals

Trained and certified mitigation and restoration experts can respond to flooding faster and more effectively than non-professionals. Business and building owners should rely on a one-stop shop to provide both services, starting with a comprehensive estimate and schedule. A business owner can use this information to choose the best solutions for shortening an interruption due to large water damage and reducing the amount of an interruption insurance claim.

A shorter mitigation and restoration process can result in a lower interruption claim. If a business can operate out of a portion of a building unaffected by flooding or another temporary location in Mineola, TX it may be possible for the owner make a much smaller claim or even avoid the necessity of filing an interruption insurance claim.

3 Major Restaurant Mold Risks

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Major Restaurant Mold Risks Mold requires moisture and nutriment to grow, both of which are found in a kitchen.

3 Major Restaurant Mold Risks

Restaurants have a uniquely high risk of mold growth. Food, moisture and heat combine to create an environment in which many types of fungus can thrive. There are three major mold risks that property owners and restauranteurs should take measures to mitigate.

1. Moisture and Residue Buildup

Mold requires moisture and nutriment to grow, both of which are found in a kitchen. Managers should develop and maintain a regular cleaning schedule. Surfaces or crevices where debris and moisture collect should be scrubbed, sanitized and wiped down. It is also important to clean floors in the kitchen and dining area and prevent water from pooling around a dish tank. Mold or mildew can also form beneath sinks or refrigeration units, which may be exposed to condensation and spills and overlooked during cleanup.

2. Inadequate Ventilation

A commercial kitchen requires a hood vent or other ventilation equipment. It is important to factor in the amount of cooking and dishwashing equipment in a facility when determining the proper rating for exhaust fans. Ventilation that breaks down should be repaired as soon as possible. Stagnant air and high humidity levels support mold growth at a restaurant.

3. Irregular Inventory

Restaurants use a variety of supplies. Without regular and accurate inventory, ingredients may be overlooked until mold starts to grow. All food items should be properly stored and dated to ensure that stock is moved before it goes bad and increases the risk of cross-contamination in a refrigeration unit or another storage area.

Unsanitary conditions, a lack of ventilation and omission of items from regular inventories are three of the most common risks for mold growth at a restaurant. Any type of water damage can also cause mold to grow in a structure. A restaurant or building owner should contact a remediation company if mold becomes a problem at a foodservice establishment in Athens, TX.

What You Should Know About Filing an Insurance Claim for Water Damage

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What You Should Know About Filing an Insurance Claim for Water Damage Call a professional water damage restoration company to do the job right.

What You Should Know About Filing An Insurance Claim For Water Damage

There are a lot of unexpected expenses in life. You try to roll with them as much as you can and juggle between bank accounts, credit cards or personal loans. If bursting pipes disrupt your life, you may panic about the costs, so take a look at these guidelines to help you make your way through the murky water of insurance coverage in Athens, TX.

What You Should Do Before Filing

  • Fix broken pipe
  • Make sure to remove items from the wet area to avoid further damage
  • Properly record proof of the water damage
  • Read through your insurance policy
  • Inventory any possessions that were damaged by the bursting pipes

What You Must Not Do Before Filing

  • Dispose of anything that could be used as evidence in a claim
  • Make permanent repairs without insurance company’s approval

Filing Your Claim

File your insurance claim as soon as you gather your evidence. It may take a couple of days to hear back from your adjuster. If you are not happy with the results you can hire a public adjuster, who may give you a better shot at getting coverage, as he does not work for the insurance company.

Types of Coverage

Your coverage amount may depend on what type of policy you have. There are two main categories. The first is a replacement cost policy, where the rebuild or repair cost of your home is repaid after you pay your deductible.

The second type is an actual cash value coverage policy where you will be reimbursed for whatever the repair and restoration costs are, minus any depreciation. The payment may not be enough to cover all costs and you may end up with a good share of it yourself.

Get the Right Help

Most insurance companies prefer that you have the work done by a professional company, not your helpful neighbor, Fred. When you need some help putting things back together after bursting pipes cause damage, Call a professional water damage restoration company in Athens, TX to do the job right. It will soften the blow of a difficult situation.