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Quick Response To Mass Catastrophic Loss

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Quick Response To Mass Catastrophic Loss

When flooding occurs, a hurricane strikes or a tornado rips through an area, more than just one or two buildings are negatively impacted. Loss on such a massive scale is referred to as catastrophic loss, something with which many smaller storm damage restoration teams are not equipped to deal. Though your Palestine, TX SERVPRO is locally owned by a member of your community, the fact that it's just one of many branches of a franchise means it can call on a larger network of restoration professionals in a time of need.

The SERVPRO Network Works Together To Restore Entire Communities

When disaster strikes, it is crucial that home and building owners can begin restoration within the first 24-hours. If they put off remediation any longer than that, their structures are at risk of developing secondary damage. Secondary damage is much more destructive than primary damage and therefore, expensive to remediate. Examples of secondary damage are as follows:

  • Mold growth
  • Warped hardwood floors
  • Cracked plaster
  • Deteriorating drywall
  • Rotted beams

When a catastrophic loss occurs, it can be difficult for smaller restoration teams to respond to home and building owners within that initial 24-hour period. This means that secondary damage has the chance to develop, which causes increased costs for both building owners and their insurance companies. SERVPRO, however, is not just a small, locally owned company. As a franchise, each branch has connections to other restoration professionals, which they can call on to help entire communities afflicted by natural disaster. When this network comes together, it can respond to the needs of a community before secondary damage has the chance to develop.

A Locally Owned Business With the Reach of a Corporation

Because SERVPRO is locally owned, it can respond to individual needs almost immediately. If your building is the only one afflicted by damage, you can count on the restoration team being at your door within one to four hours. If a catastrophic loss occurs, response times may be a bit slower, but know that, thanks to the franchise's extensive network, a disaster response team will be at your door before secondary damage has the opportunity to occur.

How Fire Sprinklers Work

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Every business in Athens, TX, should be prepared for a potential fire. Accidents can happen unexpectedly and fast, which is why it’s important to already be ready. Fire extinguishers and other equipment can be useful prevention tools. Another practical solution is a fire sprinkler system. If working properly, these systems can stop disasters and prevent a lot of damage.

How They Are Activated

Fire sprinklers were created to put out fires quickly and accurately, but how do they work? It all starts with the blaze. There are three basic factors of a fire:

  • Flame
  • Smoke
  • Heat

All three factors contribute to the activation of the fire sprinkler. While many people believe that smoke sets off a sprinkler system, this is an incomplete theory. Smoke doesn’t always mean that there is a serious fire. Instead, fire sprinklers are triggered by extreme heat. After the flame forms, smoke carries the high heat up to the ceiling where it reaches the sprinkler head and activates it. All three factors work together to trigger the sprinkler head.

What Makes Them Effective

Fire sprinklers have a complex network of pipes and valves that connect to a reliable water source. As soon as the system is activated, the valve opens, and pressurized water is pushed out.

This sprays the water directly onto the flames and reduces the risk of the fire reigniting. Although there will be water damage afterward, fire sprinkler cleanup isn’t too hard. Sprinklers don’t use as much water as firetrucks do when putting out a fire.

Once installed, periodic inspections of your fire suppression equipment are necessary to ensure that it is working properly. Check for any blockage or build-up around the sprinkler heads, and keep an eye on the pressure of the water. If the sprinklers are functional, they can prevent a lot of damage and keep your building safe.

A fire sprinkler system can be useful to many businesses. With proper installation and regular maintenance, it is valuable line of defense against the unexpected.

With Flooding Comes the Potential for Mold Growth

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Mold Cleaning Standards

With flooding in Jacksonville, TX, comes the potential for mold growth. If you’re cleaning up water damage in your place of business you may be wondering what mold standards need to be followed. Fortunately there are some recommendations you can follow.

1. There Is a Standards Guide for Mold Remediation

Many mold remediation specialists use set standards when performing a mold clean up. These remediation guidelines have been published by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), and are in compliance with the commercial building standards recommended by the EPA and OSHA.

2. These Standards Cover Various Aspects of the Process

The mold standards covered in the IICRC guide contain information for how to properly clean various types of mold, including black mold, from both commercial and residential buildings. The guide also includes proper protective equipment, cleaners and techniques, and the processes needed to prevent mold spreading and future growth. Following these standards allow for the removal of mold in a safe manner.

3. The Standards Also Cover Prevention Recommendations

Mold prevention is also covered by the standards. Since the occurrence of mold growth in certain conditions is predictable, it is possible to locate possible growth spots and take appropriate actions. Water damage should be cleaned as quickly as possible, and drainage systems should be utilized to move storm water away from buildings.

Having a set mold standards guide can be very helpful when it comes to clean up and prevention. Following these recommendations can help ensure that the mold is not only thoroughly removed, but prevented in the future. They also allow you to know what standards the expert chosen to take care of the mold remediation needs of your business is following. If you have any questions about mold clean up procedures, a professional may be able to help.

How To Use An Extinguisher?

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

How To Use An Extinguisher?

Being able to protect your home in Athens, TX , can give you peace of mind. While you want to leave large fires to the fire department, every home should have at least one fire extinguisher on every floor that is easy to access in case of a minor emergency. It's not enough to own the devices, however. You and your family should know how to use them properly by following the P.A.S.S. (pull, aim, squeeze and sweep) technique.

1. Pull

Every extinguisher comes equipped with a pin and a seal. When these items are intact, you know that no one has discharged or tampered with the device. In order to use it, you need to pull the pin out by gripping the tab and yanking it. This breaks the seal and prepares the extinguisher for use.

2. Aim

The nozzle of the fire extinguisher needs to be aimed at the right portion of the fire to work well. It may seem right to aim at the top so that the discharge rains down on the fire, but this is unlikely to put out a small kitchen fire. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.

3. Squeeze

Once you have the nozzle pointed in the right direction, squeeze the handle to release the contents of the extinguisher. Don't be afraid to use all of the extinguishing agent if that's what it takes to avoid as much fire damage as possible.

4. Sweep

The entire base of the fire should be covered. To accomplish this, you will need to sweep the nozzle back and forth from end to end of the fire. If you release all the contents and the fire is not out, fire mitigation specialists recommend that you call 911 to enlist professional help so that the fire doesn't get out of hand.

A large house fire is a job for firefighters, but small fires can usually be handled with a fire extinguisher. Knowing how to use it can help you put a fire out in a hurry.

Is Your Property Winter Ready

10/23/2020 (Permalink)

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.

To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
  • Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
  • Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
  • Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
  • Ask your local SERVPRO® Professionals about completing an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no cost assessment to your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine to strike back.

What Can Be Saved After Flooding?

10/9/2020 (Permalink)

It can be very upsetting to find your toilet or dishwasher overflowing into your home, and finding yourself ankle deep from over-used sprinklers or a broken pipe in your basement can be devastating. What can be done in Palestine, TX, to prevent swelling wood and other damage that often accompanies this situation? Different materials may require different treatments.

1. Dry Wall

Depending on the extent of the damage, if flooding was from a clean water source and has just happened, it may be possible to dry and repair drywall. Remove the water using a shop vac, towels and fans, but be sure not to place electrical cords or appliances in standing water.

2. Cabinets

Cabinetry may need to be replaced. Swelling wood can cause joints to weaken and threatens the integrity of your cabinets, and MDF or other composites may begin to fall apart. Fast action is often vital, and calling on professional assistance may be required in Palestine, TX. They can check to see if a supply line has ruptured or other repairs are needed to prevent a reoccurrence.

3. Subfloors

Subfloors are, unfortunately, the material that takes the brunt of the flooding, as flood waters can pool on the lowest surface. Because you have to walk on them to rescue other items, floors may be left the longest. A subfloor is usually lower grade plywood or MDF, and it won’t usually take much water before warping or separation occurs, which can weaken the product. If water pipe repair is required, the floor will likely not be replaced until afterward.

4. Real Wood

There is a good chance your wooden studs and framework can be salvaged. As with other materials, removing the water immediately and drying things out raises the odds that they can be saved.

The priority in an emergency, of course, is safety, so do a quick check to assure loved ones are safe. Then the removal of water and drying things out can be especially important to do right away. The longer water sits, the more swelling wood and other complications set in. Professional help is always a good idea if you are not sure what to do. With proper care, many parts of your home may be saved.

Important Steps After a Commercial Fire Loss

10/1/2020 (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 our website at SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine.

If a disaster strikes, will you be ready?

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO trucks loading in a parking lot Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Take action now to protect yourself and your property.

If a disaster strikes, will you be ready? It is important to prepare before a disaster occurs. Consider the following steps to help you better prepare for an emergency situation. n

  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
  • Develop and test emergency communication plans.
  • Assemble or update emergency supplies.
  • Learn about local hazards and conduct a drill to practice emergency response actions.  
  • Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or class.
  • Collect and safeguard critical documents.
  • Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
  • Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
  • Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.
  • Hold a scenario-based continuity of operations tabletop exercise for your organization.

Emergencies can happen anytime to anyone. Take action now to protect yourself and your property.

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Tips to Prevent Cigarette Related House Fires

8/6/2020 (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 resources see fire damage.

Storm Preparedness with the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

8/6/2020 (Permalink)

How do you keep your Building Prepared during a storm?

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens.” In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility.

The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations and priority areas.

Our technicians will be on your doorstep within just a few hours, even if you call in the middle of the night. We work 24/7 and will respond to your problem after hours, on holidays, and the weekends.

Call SERVPRO of Athens / Mineola / Palestine at 903-561-0168 to establish your Emergency Ready Profile! You'll be thankful that you did when the time comes.