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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.

Tips provided by ready.gov. 

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.

Will Your Solar Panels Stand up to a Storm?

8/6/2020 (Permalink)

Have you decided to join the many others in Lindale, TX, and installed solar panels on your roof? These panels provide many benefits, including an environmentally friendly way to generate power in your home. These panels are effective, but you may worry how they’ll stand up to adverse weather. Rest assured that they will continue to do their job and withstand panel damage in just about every weather condition. Here are a few weather situations you may be concerned about.

High Winds

If hurricane-force winds hit your home, there may be some significant roof damage. However, manufacturers put solar panels through thorough and rugged testing to ensure they will hold up in even the strongest of winds. In fact, you may be surprised at how secure the panels are once they are attached to your roof. Here are some surprising facts about solar panels and high winds:

  • Most panels are certified to sustain winds up to 140 mph.
  • Most panels will operate at peak efficiency following hurricanes. 
  • During the strongest storms, even if there is damage to the panels, you will probably only lose a few.

Hail

Likewise, when manufacturers build solar panels, they use the strongest, most durable materials to withstand hailstones. In fact, most manufacturers test the panels to continue to work even if stones 1 inch in diameter hit them at up to 50 mph. It is possible for the panels to break but ordinarily only if large hailstones repeatedly hit the same spot.

Rain

Large storms will also bring significant rain. Though this might threaten weak roofs, you shouldn’t have to worry about panel damage. Not only will the precipitation not cause harm to the panels, but the solar panels themselves should continue to function properly even during heavy rain storms. During the daytime hours and when the sunlight shines, your panels should gather enough solar energy to power your home when darkness comes and when rain falls.

3 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Storm

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Most days at work are uneventful. If you live in a coastal state, however, then your establishment is at risk of getting hit with a severe storm during the summer season. Disaster preparedness is key for minimizing the financial, aesthetic and emotional effects of storm damage. These three tips are easy to implement and can be lifesavers in an emergency.

1.Plan in Advance

Continuity planning can come in handy in a pinch. A carefully-crafted game plan should include the following:

  • Emergency payroll and accounting procedures to track costs during an unexpected event
  • An alternative succession of management with at least one person who isn’t at your company’s headquarters
  • Emergency plan of action for all employees on what to do when a storm hits

It may be necessary to speak with a consultant who is knowledgeable about business preparedness. Planning in advance can bring you peace-of-mind when dark storm clouds start to gather.

2. Stock Up on Supplies

A storm in Lindale, TX can cause extensive flood damage to your property. Physical damage can be repaired, but the cost to human lives is much more traumatizing. Therefore, it’s a good idea to store essentials such as water, food, blankets, and flashlights. Prudent disaster preparedness can also entail making portable kits for each employee that is customized to their needs.

3.Know Who To Call

The first few hours after a storm can be hectic. It’s helpful to have commercial property restoration experts on speed dial so that they can get to work as soon as possible. Research companies in your area that are Faster to any size disaster so that you don’t have to struggle through storm cleanup alone.
The few seconds that a hurricane sweeps through your location can change the course of your business if you let it. Disaster preparedness can help you understand what actions to take for flood cleanup and how to keep your staff safe.

What You Should Know About Category 3 Water Cleanup

7/1/2020 (Permalink)

Not all water is the same. In fact, some are just outright disgusting. Blackwater, the third category of impact, is one form that you simply don't want to have anything to do with. It's a filthy mess, full of microbes that love to invade your home, taking up residence in anything porous. Residents in Palestine, TX, should be aware of what it is and why it needs immediate attention.

1. It's Heavy in Bacteria
This liquid arrives in your space via an outside source. It's considered black, dirty, because it's contaminated from other places, picking up bacterial and fungal spores as it makes its way into your home. Therefore, this category may arise from rivers, streams, or oceans. This is common during a flash flood or severe weather system such as a hurricane where the water rises quickly. In addition, sewage cleanup also appears in this category. If the line backs up from outside or inside, you could see an overflow from a toilet or a pipe backup. All of these situations prove problematic, leaving you with a house full of growth.

2. It Is a Breeding Ground for Mold
Left alone, your space would not only begin to smell from lingering fluid, but the black water microbes find locations to reproduce. Breeding within 24 to 48 hours, homeowners don't have much time to waste. Very quickly a contamination can move to various spaces via the air ducts. Contact a water restoration company that can assist in establishing a border using negative air chambers, thus stopping the spread.

3. It Requires Drying and Extraction
Products such as bleach and vinegar are often used for cleaning; however, they aren't enough for category 3 flooding. These cleaners don't penetrate the objects. The best method is to dry up the impacted rooms and remove anything saturated. During this stage, the carpets, baseboards, and even drywall are torn out.
Don't mess with black water. When exposure occurs, seek aid from professionals, and be prepared to get rid of polluted items.

How to Find Hidden Mold

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

How To Find Hidden Mold

Water damage caused by plumbing or roof leak can cause mold to grow in places that are difficult to detect. If a mold smell is evident at a commercial property there is a good chance that fungus is growing. Building owners or managers should hire professionals to provide testing and remediation services.

Rely on Professionals

It is not a good idea for a non-professional to search for hidden mold on the basis of a fungus smell. Property owners and managers should rely on indoor environmental professionals for mold testing. It is necessary to determine several important factors:

  • Moisture sources
  • Type of mold
  • Extent of contamination

Different types of experts can identify the type of mold and severity of an infestation, locate and remediate growth. A few measures are necessary to eliminate mold in a building.

Identification and Location

The areas of a structure with a mold smell or mildew smell can give building owners and managers a general sense of where mold might be growing. An indoor environmental professional can perform precise mold testing and interpret results including the types of mold present and the concentration of spores, microbial volatile organic compounds and mycotoxins. Water damage specialists can use thermal cameras to detect the sources of moisture responsible for mold growth.

Cleanup and Remediation

Certified remediation professionals are trained in mold cleanup methods. A damage mitigation and restoration company that specializes in mold will also have access to personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies that are necessary to stop growth and prevent fungus from returning.

A mold smell may become evident as soon as mold starts to grow. This can occur within 24 to 72 hours after water damage at a building. The property owner or manager should arrange for mold testing and cleanup as soon as possible to limit the severity of contamination.

Four Important Tips to Improve Safety of Your Building

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Important Tips From The ICC (International Code Council) 

The general public may not be aware how codes and code officials "improve and protect the buildings we operate in" But these tips can help educate and improve the awareness and better prepare to deal with safety and mitigation. 

1. If you live in a high wind or hurricane prone area and do not have tested and code-approved shutters for protection from wind-borne debris, consider temporarily protecting your doors and windows by mounting exterior grade, 7/16'' minimum thickness plywood and fastening it into place. Visit www.flash.org for detailed instructions on how to use plywood for emergency board-up. 

2. Consider building or retrofitting to create a tornado-safe room in your building. Follow ICC/NSSA 500 Standard for detailed construction information and to ensure you achieve the highest level of protection for your family. 

3. In wildfire prone areas, remove fine (dead grass, leaves, etc.) and coarse fuels(dead twigs, branches, etc.) within 30 feet of a building to create a survivable space in case of wildfire. Be sure to remove dry leaf and pine litter from roofs, rain gutters, decks and walkways. Follow ICC's International Wildland-Urban Interface Code for detailed requirements. 

4. Flooded roads could have significant damage hidden by floodwaters or on flooded roads. Do not attempt to cross a flowing stream. It takes only six inches of fast flowing water to sweep you off your feet and two feet of water to move an SUV-sized vehicle. 

Source: iccsafe.org

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

What Your Kids Need To Know About Escaping a House Fire

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

A home fire can cause lots of damage in a short amount of time. Yet much of your property can be restored thanks to fire cleanup and restoration specialists. That is why protecting your family is more important.
Children, in particular, can get nervous or anxious when they see a blaze in their, house. You should thus teach them the below kids safety strategies.

1. Crawl Through the Home
To prevent burns and smoke inhalation, children can crawl underneath the fire. There are two common crawls you can teach them. The basic crawl involves getting on all fours and keeping the nose pointed at the floor.
If the heat from the fire is really powerful, however, the blaze could burn your child's behind while it is sticking up in the air. You should thus also teach your kids another crawl where they keep their legs parallel to the floor.

2. Roll Out of Bed
Fires often occur while your children are sleeping. If they sit up in bed while their room is ablaze, they could be exposed to intense temperatures. When practicing your kids safety plan, tell your children to roll out of bed and onto the floor.

3. Test the Doors
Make sure your kids understand that they should place the back of their hands against a door before opening it. If the door is hot, they should stay where they are or find another way out.

4. Get to Safety If Trapped
Your kids need to know what to do when a fire escape is not possible. Tell them that they should ideally get to a room with a door and a window. They should then close the door and open the window. They can then either climb out the window or yell for help.
You should regularly practice the above kids safety tips with your children. This way, they will know exactly what to do during an emergency.

Why Should I Hire a Professional for Storm Damage?

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Dealing with flooding, storm damage or other forms of natural disaster can be a difficult and frustrating experience. The damage done to homes and other residential properties can devastating and costly.

If you have experienced this type of damage in your home it is imperative to get professional assistance right away. Hire a reliable restoration company to provide the necessary repairs and immediate storm remediation.

Professional Storm Damage Restoration

Attempting to handle a storm or flooding on your own is not advisable. Even if you wrap your pipes, patch your roof, or board up your windows, you still will be left to deal with flood water or ground water, hurricane damage or localized river flooding and the damage inflicted on your home.

Home restoration projects require industrial flood pump to remove flood water, so it is always best that you leave this water restoration and storm restoration project to professionals who specialize in storm damage or river flooding remediation.

Professionals have the high-tech equipment and advanced techniques to address the situation appropriately. From local wind damage and river flooding to occasional issues like frozen pipes, pipe breaks, getting the best solutions for storm restoration is a crucial issue that should be handled carefully.

In certain situations, where there is roof leak or roof damage which may have resulted from hail damage, its extremely important to call home restoration technicians immediately in order to prevent further damage or the need for more extensive professional roof repair service.

Water Removal

Water restoration is an important step in a hurricane damage situation. This will help prevent flood water or ground water from entering the interior of the building. Flooding can be a serious issue and difficult to deal with and can often occur after a severe storm damage. Water can also enter a home from frozen pipes, a roof leak or nearby river flooding.

Professionals use a flood pump, powerful dehumidifier and other state-of-the-art equipment to provide successful storm remediation. Water restoration services that utilize a high-tech home restoration equipment like flood pump can often get the situation under control quickly.

Roof Repair

Hurricane damage, hail damage and even wind damage can result in a roof leak. If your home has suffered roof damage or if there is a roof leak, the situation should be addressed promptly. Storm restoration process that involves roof repair service is crucial for minimizing the extent of roof damage.

Ice damage, as well as hail damage or wind damage requires the expertise of a knowledgeable and experienced team of roof repair professionals. It is important to hire professionals who have great expertise in repairing roof damage and roof leak. These repairs should be done promptly, and professionals with a proven track record can provide effective and efficient storm remediation.

Hurricane Damage

Hurricanes can cause devastating damage to a structure. The resulting wind damage and flooding can disrupt normal daily activities, and will require immediate attention. Homeowners who have experienced hurricane and storm damage know it can cause severe roof damage, flood water and even ground water within the homes.

Use of a flood pump and other water removal equipment is usually needed after a major storm. Professional water restoration technicians have the resources and skills to remove ground water, clean up the affected areas, repair damaged roof and ensure a successful hurricane or storm remediation.

Storm Restoration

Professional home restoration services are available to address ice damage or hail damage and other issues, such as ice dam, ice damming and frozen pipes.

Snow and ice damage may be caused by ice damming or an ice dam and ignoring these issues is not a good idea. It is also advisable to address the issues caused by frozen pipes or burst pipes as in order to avoid more extensive damages.

Considerations

Professionals will conduct a thorough inspection of the property and assess the condition of the roof, the pipes and the entire plumbing system. Reputable and reliable professionals will take proper steps to ensure effective home restoration or storm remediation.

Visit SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine for more information about our services.