Recent Posts

Common materials that are salvageable and unsalvageable after water damage.

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

room with carpet that has standing water and chairs and tubs and office supplies Multiple contents and materials affected after water loss in local building.

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 of 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.

For more information on what to do with your contents and structure materials after a water damage visit our website at www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com

What you need to know when restoring your commercial property after water damage

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Narrow hallway with wooden floors covered in an inch of water Flooding at a local commercial property in Palestine.

SERVPRO is here to help!

As we are heading into the new year there are things we can do to prepare ourselves for weather elements that can impede our business and common hazards that could lead to water damage that must be remedied before business can resume. Flooding and water damage events at East Texas 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 Athens/Mineola/Palestine

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine 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.

For more information on dealing with damages at your commercial property visit our website at www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com

Trust the power of the professionals when cleaning your contents.

1/7/2020 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO Trucks in Driveway with blue sky behind and 4 gentlemen in white protective clothing Onsite at local job site

When your contents are damaged, you don't want to take chances or cut corners. That's why it's important to hire a qualified restoration company like SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine.

Even a small fire can leave behind a lot of damage as furnishings absorb moisture from fire hoses and smoke stains settle into the walls. Important documents and equipment may suffer because of the combination of water and chemicals used to put out flames. Heat from the fire can lead to discoloration and scorch marks. Before you bundle everything off to the dry-cleaning center down the street, consider hiring professionals to provide all necessary content cleaning services.

Why Hire Professionals?

What can fire damage remediation professionals do? There are several important benefits to hiring these experts.

  • Technicians conduct an assessment of the damages and work closely with your insurance company.
  • A quick response team will prevent further loss and damage from taking place, such as staining from moisture and mold growth.
  • Fire damage professionals have access to equipment and procedures to save much of your property. They may have their own dry-cleaning and ultrasonic procedures that are specific to the chemical and contaminant exposures caused by fire.

Look for Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification

As you consider your options in Mineola, TX, look for professionals with certification from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration. The IICRC sets the industry standard. Certification from this non-profit agency means that the damage remediation company has satisfied educational requirements, is willing to abide by a specific code of ethics, and consistently maintains proof of insurance.

What to Expect During Repairs

Once the assessment has been completed, the technicians will complete an inventory of your property and belongings. In many cases, these professionals are able to return your contents to their pre-fire condition. In some cases, equipment or furnishings may be discarded, but remediation professionals generally get your permission to throw anything out. Some of your belongings may be moved to content storage while other repairs are completed.

After dry-cleaning, re-painting, and other repairs have been completed, remediation professionals will return your furnishings to your business. The work of these professionals can often be completed while you continue to operate your business.

For more information about restoration at your commercial business please visit our website at www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com 

Managing plumbing at your commercial property

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

Large metal pipes filling large basement room with red floor and white walls Commercial Plumbing Pipes ready to move large amounts of water.

Commercial Property Plumbing

Plumbing problems are one of the most common issues for commercial properties, and depending on insurance coverage, each problem can lead to significant expenses. Fortunately, there is a simple way to reduce the cost of plumbing issues at your commercial property in Palestine, TX. by performing the necessary upkeep your system demands. Therefore, to save money and mitigate risks, follow these four steps.

1. Find a Plumber You Can Trust

Build a relationship with a plumber you can trust. Don’t wait for a crisis to seek assistance. You may even look into a disaster restoration company in the Palestine,TX area because they specialize in more than fires and floods from a broken pipe. These companies are equipped to handle routine inspections and maintenance issues, and they are essentially a one-stop shop in the event of an emergency.

2. Schedule Routine Maintenance and Inspections

Most plumbing problems occur because of neglect. It is easy to ignore plumbing, especially if everything appears to be working as it should. Unfortunately, basic functionality does not indicate a perfect system, and even brand-new systems may run into hiccups that can turn into thousands of dollars in damage. Be sure to schedule annual inspections and follow the maintenance guidelines provided by manufacturers and recommended by your plumber.

3. Walk Your Property and Test Your Faucets

Additionally, you can perform spot checks throughout your property on a weekly basis. Walk your property and make sure that all faucets are flowing, draining and shutting off correctly. Also, check that all toilets are flushing properly, taking note of any concerns and relaying them to your plumber.

4. Monitor Your Bill

While spot checks and routine maintenance are great preventatives, neither will guarantee permanent functionality. Unfortunately, your water main and other lines can create issues that are not immediately apparent, which is why you should monitor your bill for climbing costs.

Plumbing problems are a nuisance and a commonality for businesses. However, with a plumber you trust and routine inspections, you can reduce your potential costs and risks.

For more information on how to keep your commercial property running in tip top shape visit our website www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com

Are you Winter Weather Ready To Protect Your Property from Water Damage?

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

City Street with several different cars and trucks slowly making way down iced over streets Winter Weather In East Texas

Are You Ready For This Winters Weather Hazards? 

Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not ready for it. From heavy rain and freezing temperatures to 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 in Minelola, TX before colder weather hits. 

  • Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. 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 help 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 cause a damming effect, which can lead to roof damage and interior water problems. 
  • Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate a potential flood hazard. 
  • 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 facet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.

When winter weather strikes, call SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine to strike back against any damage your home or business might suffer. Let us make it "Like it never even happened."

Holiday Safety Tips for Parents

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

green Christmas tree in room consumed with flames. Red fire extinguisher sitting beside Christmas Tree Don't let your holidays go up in flames!

Holiday Safety Tips for Parents

Fire departments across the United States respond to an estimated average of 240 Christmas tree fires each year; holiday lights and lighted decorations are to blame for an another 150 house fires. Combined, these fires are responsible for over $25 million in property damages, and tragically, nearly two dozen deaths. Homeowners and apartment dwellers in Athens, TX., particularly those with children and pets, need to be alert to the hazards that can lead to the holiday glow going up in flames.

In the Kitchen

Kitchen fires, by far, are the leading cause of residential fires throughout the year. Around the holidays, this danger increases with increased cooking and baking for holiday festivities. Unattended food, especially foods frying on a stovetop, is the leading cause of cooking fires. Cooks should resist the temptation to leave the kitchen while preparing meals. It only takes a few seconds for hot oil to ignite. Pot handles should be turned inward so they do not hang over the edge of a stovetop where children can reach them, or passing adults can knock them to floor. Take care to keep the cords of small appliances out of reach of children and pets. Anything flammable, potholders, dishtowels, food packaging, should not be near the heat, and children should be kept three feet away from hot ovens and stoves.

Christmas Trees

It only takes 30 seconds for flames to fully engulf a Christmas tree with dry needles. To ensure you are purchasing a fresh-cut tree, look for dark green needles that are not easily pulled back from the branch. The butt of the tree truck should be slightly sticky. Bounce the tree a few times on the ground. If you are showered with falling needles, take a pass on that tree. Once home, maintain the tree’s moisture by keeping the tree stand filled with water.

Wrap a tree skirt around the tree stand to discourage pets from using it as water dish. Set the tree up at least one foot away from heat sources such as wood stoves, fireplaces, and heater vents, and keep the tree away from areas where playing children might knock it over. A toppled tree not only damages your holiday decor, sparks may fly when the tree lights are abruptly pulled from outlets. Do not keep a live, cut tree in the house for more than two weeks.

Christmas Lights

Inspect strings of Christmas lights for broken bulbs and worn wires. LED lights are a good choice for homes with children. The plastic bulbs are shatterproof and do not become hot like traditional bulbs. Purchase lights that are Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) approved for safety, and do not overload outlets with too many strings of lights. Once you have set up your lights, periodically check extension cords and light strings, they should not be warm. Select flame retardant ornaments and decorations.

Candles

Consider using flameless candles if candlelight is part of your holiday decorating scheme. They flicker like wax candles and are available in an assortment of scents. Some even come with remote controls. If you do choose traditional candles, keep them, along with the matches and lighters, away from children. Securely seat candles in sturdy holders and extinguish them when leaving the room. Make sure to keep candles at least one foot away from curtains and other combustibles.

Should a fire flare up in your home, the safest course is to get everyone out of the house, and call for help from a safe distance. Most home fire injuries occur when the homeowners attempt to extinguish a blaze themselves. And remember, if your home is affected by a holiday fire disaster;SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine is here to help.

For more tips on fire safety tips visit our website at www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com 

Keep Christmas Beautiful with these light safety tips.

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

fuzzy tree image with lots of little lights twinkling around Merry Christmas from SERVPRO of Athens, Mineola and Palestine.

Light the Night Safely!

The holiday season is full of beautiful lights, candles, and decorations to brighten your spirit bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season—however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening.

The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, and heat vents.
  • Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.

SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine wishes you a safe and happy holiday season!

For more tips on how to safely navigate your holiday season visit our website. 

www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com

Local Children Compete in Fire Prevention Week Poster Contest

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Two Young girls smiling for camera and holding up winning posters with large dog mascot in fire fighter uniform in background Local children competing in poster contest for Fire Prevention Week

Tammy Prater, executive director of the American Red Cross serving East Texas, gave a presentation. She encouraged the students and their families to put the information about fire safety that they learned while designing posters into real life practices. She said families should make a fire escape plan for their homes and practice it twice a year.

“Home fires kill more people than all other disasters combined,” Prater said.

Smith County Fire Marshal Jay Brooks advised those attending to change their smoke alarm batteries, to replace smoke alarms every 10 years and to keep smoke alarms clean from dust.

Since 1922, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has sponsored the public observance of Fire Prevention Week. In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed Fire Prevention Week a national observance, making it the longest-running public health observance in the country.

During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide education on lifesaving in an effort to decrease casualties caused by fires, according to nfpa.org.

In a typical home fire, there may be as little as one to two minutes to escape safely from the time the smoke alarm sounds, according to the NFPA.

This year's theme was, "Not Every Hero Wears A Cape." Here at SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine we couldn't agree more.

Overall Winners

Divison I

Westyn Hurst, Troup ISD, first place.

Justin Bond, Chapel Hill ISD, second place.

 

Parker Nichols, Owens Elementary, third place.

Division II

Lilly Hogland, Chapel Hill ISD, first place.

Olivia Anderson, Troup ISD, second place.

Clayton Morris, Troup ISD, third place.

Division III

Summer Turney, Whitehouse ISD, first place.

For more information about Fire Safety and Fire prevention visit our website SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine

Helpful Tips To Prevent A Sewage Loss At Your Home or Business

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Cement floor that has two green boxes for drying Sewage Loss at Residential Home in Palestine, TX.

Prevent Sewage Backup

A sewage backup can cause extensive water and bio-hazard damage. Some of them costly to repair in your home or business in Palestine, TX. We have put together some tips to help and there are several ways to prevent backups, whether the situation originates in the municipal sewer system or from a lateral line or septic tank on your property. Consider these five preventative methods to find the best solution for your property.

1. Prevent Lateral Blockages

Blockages that originate on your property are your responsibility. Tree roots can penetrate old sewer lines and cause rain water to enter and cause backups. Use foaming tree root filler twice a year to keep root blockages at bay. Avoid putting grease or unsuitable paper products down drains or toilets and use a snake to keep lines clear.

2. Use a Floor Drain Plug

Install a one-way drain plug below the grates of a floor drain. These plugs have a float mechanism and function only when sewers are overfilled. This may be the easiest and most cost-effective solution for a municipal sewer backup.

3. Use a Standpipe

Insert a standpipe surrounded by a watertight seal into a floor drain to prevent backups. Most standpipes are about three feet tall and may be removed when sewer water levels return to normal.

4. Consider an Overhead Sewer

An overhead sewer collects overflow in a sump tank and pumps it into overhead pipes that drain into the main sewage line. This method is an effective investment in preventing floods due to sewer backups.

5. Install a Backflow Valve

A backflow prevention valve can prevent sewer water from entering your home. A hand-operated gate valve can provide a stronger seal than a check or flap valve.

These five methods can help you prevent sewer backups at your home or business in Palestine, TX. If a backup occurs and results in flooding, rely on the expertise and equipment of a sewer cleaning and storm damage restoration service.

Cleaning your home after you've experienced a water damage

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Carpeted closet floor affected by water damage and device used to dry water Extracting and drying a carpeted closet after water damage.

While we all know the importance water plays in our every day life, it can cause devastating damage if it finds its way into the structure and contents of your home in Mineola, TX. Not only may you lose valuable and sentimental personal belongings before you begin water cleanup, but water damage can also render appliances useless, cause mold to grow and ruin sheetrock and insulation. The restoration process can be long and difficult, but following the five steps listed below can help make the process easier.

  1. Remove remaining water. The longer standing water stays in your home, the more damage it can cause. It is important to remove any water as quickly as possible to allow the building to completely dry. Depending on how much water remains in your home, you can use any one of the following items to remove it:
  • Sump pump
  • Trash pump
  • Wet vac
  • Buckets
  • Towels
  1. Assess the damage. Once the water has been removed, you can see the extent of the damage. You may have to tear out carpet to remove mold, rip out sheetrock and replace it, and scrub multiple surfaces and materials to get rid of bacteria.
  1. Remove mold and damaged materials. If water damage has caused mold to grow, it is important to remove the fungus as soon as possible. Evaporating moisture and treating the area with antifungal spray may help rid your home of mold.
  1. Clean non-porous items. After removing any traces of mold, you can begin the final, most time-consuming stages of cleanup. Any items that do not absorb water, such as furniture, counters, toys, or storage containers, that came in contact with the water need to be scrubbed thoroughly with warm water and disinfectant to remove potentially-harmful germs.
  1. Clean porous items. Items that may have absorbed water should be cleaned thoroughly to keep them from mildewing. Porous items may include anything from the following list:
  • Curtains
  • Stuffed animals
  • Clothes
  • Bedding

Dealing with water damage in Palestine, TX can be overwhelming, but following these five steps can make water cleanup easier. Visit our website http://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com for more information on water damage.