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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Tips to Prevent Cigarette Related House Fires

8/5/2019 (Permalink)

Cigarettes in Ashtray -Potential Firehazard

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.

4 Tips to Prevent Lightning Related Fatalities

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning Storm in Texas

Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Though the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk for being struck. Here are a few lightning safety tips. 

BE AWARE

Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If it calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate safe shelter is available. 

GO INDOORS 

Remember the phrase, "When thunder roars, go indoors." Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up. 

AVOID WINDOWS

As well as doors, porches and concrete. Do not lie on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring. 

AVOID WATER 

Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a buildings. 

For more information on ways to prevent lightning fatalities visit Centers for Disease Control; Cdc.gov 

How to prepare for Spring Flash Floods

6/25/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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.

Quick Response to Mass Catastrophic Loss

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Because SERVPRO is locally owned, it can respond to individual needs almost immediately.

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.

FAQs About Mold and Your Home

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

If you think there may be mold, contact a mold cleanup and remediation professional

FAQs About Mold And Your Home

According to the CDC, molds are found everywhere. There are an estimated tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of types of mold. While they grow best where it's warm and humid, they can also grow in cool climates and under somewhat dry conditions. It's no wonder mold is so common a problem for homeowners. Given the fact that mold appears everywhere, it isn't uncommon for people to have questions about mold growth.

What are the most common kinds of indoor mold?

There are many types of mold, but the most common are:

  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold

How do I know if there's mold in my house?

You might see groups of black dots, thread-like growths, or colorful stains without a cause. You may not see anything, but smell a mildew-y, musty odor. If you think there may be mold, contact a mold cleanup and remediation professional.

Can I control mold growth in my home?

The best things you can do to prevent mold are to reduce high humidity, repair leaks, remove materials that have been affected by water damage, seal up cracks, clean up any spills immediately, and completely handle any home maintenance.

Do air purifiers work on mold?

HEPA filters on vents, vacuum cleaners, and air purifiers can remove at least 99.97 percent of mold spores. Replace filters on a regular basis to prevent trapped spores from re-entering your home.

How should I clean up toxic mold?

Toxic mold is actually a misnomer. Some mold can produce toxins, but the molds themselves aren't toxic. However, the improper handling of mold could send tens of thousands of spores into the air. It's best to hire mold cleanup and remediation professionals to handle mold in your Palestine, TX home.

Mold growth is a serious issue that affects many homes. However, it doesn't have to be frightening. Get more answers and solutions from a mold remediation company near you.

Outside Resources for Recovering From Catastrophic Loss

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine team is always there to the rescue.

Storm-damaged areas often stretch for miles and miles. This makes it difficult for the families and individuals living in the area to get the recovery help they need. When disaster recovery teams are stretched to the limit, the consequences of the storm and the resulting catastrophic loss puts everything else on hold. Fortunately, some companies, such as local Tyler,TX , SERVPRO franchises, have adapted their plans to provide large loss services when new disasters hit.

Professionals Play a Vital Role

A quick response to storm damage and flooding isn't just for preventing further damages. Professional services are necessary for the safety of members of the community.

  • When streams and rivers overflow, the contaminated flood waters could be hazardous to the health of people in the community.
  • Flooded homes may conceal risks of electrocution. Entering water-logged properties requires the right protective clothing and specialized equipment.
  • Wet fabrics and upholstery become very heavy and handling the items with adequate preparation could lead to injuries.
  • Facing a catastrophic loss can be overwhelming. Trained technicians are prepared with step-by-step plans to prevent further damage and to speed the recovery process.

Franchises Share Resources

Large-scale disasters often require more labor and equipment than local franchises have on hand. Part of the plan to deal with these situations is a cooperative network. SERVPRO professionals from other communities and specialized equipment from remote locations are available. When the need arises, these resources are mobilized into affected areas. In the past few years, these teams have responded to wildfires, hurricanes, polar vortexes, and major floods.

Bringing Resolution to Communities

After storms clear out and the water recedes, Tyler,TX , residents may be able to return to their homes. With SERVPRO professionals on hand, communities can begin the work of cleaning up and restoring their lives. In addition to cleaning properties, the technicians work to put mold growth on hold and provide remediation to prevent further spread of mildew. From beginning to end, SERVPRO catastrophic loss teams offer vital services for helping communities recover.

Managing Mold - Part 2

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Severe mold growth

Managing Mold - Part 2

Here we continue on with the steps SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine will take to remediate any mold issues you may have at your home or business:

Air Filtration 

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. Our technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these spores while the mold remediation is in progress.


Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.


Cleaning Contents and Belongings

Our technicians clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. Our teams are also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs such as replacing drywall, painting or installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various rooms in your home or business.

Three Reasons Why Your Business Needs Flood Insurance

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

You should protect your business from all possible scenarios.

Three Reasons Why Your Business Needs Flood Insurance

When you are taking out insurance for your Palestine, TX business, you might wonder if you really need to get separate flood insurance. While it might seem like an unnecessary extra expense, it can be incredibly helpful in an emergency. If you need more convincing, here are a few reasons why you should purchase this type of insurance.


1. Floods Are Not Covered Under Other Types of Insurance


Perhaps the most obvious reason why it is a good idea to get this added insurance is that other kinds of commercial insurance do not cover damage caused by floods. Your standard commercial property insurance covers many kinds of damage, but if you are hit by a flood, you will not be covered unless you have a separate policy specifically for that purpose.


2. Water Damage Can Be Costly


If your business is flooded, you might end up with quite a bit of water damage. This can include damage to the building itself as well as the property inside of it. Floors and walls might need to be replaced by a professional water damage repair service which can take a lot of time and money. If you have expensive equipment or computers that need to be replaced, it will be even more costly. In this case, having flood insurance can save you from a huge financial loss.


3. It Might Be Required


In some cases, you might be required to get flood insurance. This will likely be the case if you have a mortgage on the property and you live in an area with a high risk of floods. The lender will want a guarantee that the property is protected in an emergency.

You cannot predict when bad weather will happen, and you should protect your business from all possible scenarios. Because other types of commercial insurance do not include floods, it is a good idea to purchase a separate flood policy.

How To Use an Extinguisher During a Fire

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Have an extinguisher in case of an emergency

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.

Storm Preparedness with the ERP Application.

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

The ERP ready application.

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.

How To Identify Black Mold

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold health effects can be more dangerous.

Black mold or stachybotrys is one of over 100,000 different species of mold. This species can be difficult to identify visually, as it is not always black in color. An environmental hygienist should perform a mold inspection and analyze samples to determine which type of mold is growing at a residence in Palestine, TX. Here are several guidelines for assessing the presence of mold.

Locate the Colonies

A homeowner may look for indications of house mold. Keep a few basic guidelines in mind:

  • Do not attempt to cut holes in walls or disturb contents to find hidden mold
  • Avoid touching or otherwise disturbing colonies, as this may release spores
  •  Note moldy odors, which may indicate the presence mold

Mold releases microbial volatile organic compounds during its growth cycle. The musty odor is not necessarily caused by the presence of spores, but by off-gases.

Consider Colors and Growth Patterns

Mold may vary in color at different points in its growth cycle. This is one of the reasons why attempts to visually identify fungi may not be accurate, and a mold inspection is necessary. Stachybotrys may be dark green in color during early stages of growth. This species is also not fuzzy and does not grow in geometrical patterns like some other species.

Hire an Environmental Hygienist

The best way to determine whether mold is present and identify the type of fungus is to have a specialist come to a residence and take samples. Depending on whether mold growth is immediately evident, a hygienist may take air samples to test for signs of mVOCs or spores to cultivate in a petri dish.

A mold inspection is the only way to obtain a definitive answer regarding whether black mold is growing in your home. Look for an environmental hygienist located in Palestine, TX, or schedule a consultation with a full-service mold remediation company.

After Your Home Flood

1/15/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen supply line burst and flooded the entire home in Jacksonville, TX

After Your Home Flood

No homeowner in Jacksonville, TX, should have to suffer from the disruption caused by water damage for any longer than is absolutely necessary. Get your life back on track with the following tips.

1. Sources of Flooding

Most insurers will not cover damage due to significant negligence. If the source of your standing water problem has gone unaddressed for a long period of time, your policy may not reimburse you for the various damages incurred. Be sure to stay on top of pressing issues such as broken pipes or cracks in the foundation that could allow water into the lower floors.

2. Secure Belongings

Be certain that no sensitive items remain under flood water, as the difficulty of recovering items such as documents and electronics increases as time elapses. Many qualified water damage restoration services specialize in processes such as vacuum freeze-drying and dehumidification to bring your belongings back to their original condition. Your insurer may require that you list any affected items on a comprehensive inventory of your losses and expenses, which will expedite the verification process when they send and adjuster to assess your claim.

3. Safety and Documentation

Remember to never enter a flooded home area for water cleanup purposes until all electrical lines have been disabled at the source. You might also consider some form of contact protection such as a pair of waders or boots, since gray water can host many harmful contaminants. After all water has been pumped from the premises, porous surfaces such as drywall and plywood may need special attention, since these can retain moisture. If you have a sump pump, check that it is in proper working order with no blocked drains or damaged pipes.

With a few simple precautions, the prudent homeowner can avoid many of the problems that typically arise from water damage. Take steps to familiarize yourself with procedures that can save you time and money in the event of a flood.

Trust the Pros With Your Content Cleaning

1/8/2019 (Permalink)

Contact a fire damage remediation professional company in Tyler, TX

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 Tyler, 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.

How To Clean Your Home After Water Damage

12/29/2018 (Permalink)

Drying after water loss in Palestine, TX

Having a Plan Ready For Dealing With Water In Your Home

Your home is your castle. Like with all castle moats, however, your home is at its best when water stays outside. If you have flooding due to a broken pipe or something else, you need a plan for dealing with water in the home.

1. Disconnect Electronic Devices

Water and electronic devices don’t mix. To stay safe and preserve your digital equipment, unplug devices in flooded areas. Be careful to take shock precautions whenever you have wet electronic equipment, though.

2. Remove Standing Water

If you have water in the home, you must act quickly. Generally, the longer standing water sticks around, the more damage you can expect it to do. Pumps can help you efficiently drain water. Note, though, that if your flood is in the basement, your sump pump may not have the capacity to remove all standing water. As such, you may need to add an additional pump or two.

3. Dry Wet Areas

Mold can grow in as few as one or two days. If you don’t completely dry wet areas, you may encourage mold to rapidly spread. As you probably know, eliminating mold without specialized equipment and expertise can be difficult. Consider contracting with a mold remediation service to be sure flooded areas are dry and mold-free.

4. Clean Personal Belongings

After you have removed standing water and addressed mold growth, you can turn your attention to cleaning or dry cleaning personal belongings. Unfortunately, not everything you own is likely to survive the flood. If you need to throw away items, be sure you do so responsibly. Ask a mold technician whether your belongings are salvageable to be sure you aren’t keeping something that may harbor mold spores.

No homeowner in Palestine, TX, wants to have to deal with water in the home. Still, floods are more common than you may think. By knowing how to deal with floodwaters, you can best restore your home to its pre-flood condition.

Can Lightning Start a House Fire? 3 Ways Lightning Can Impact Your Home

12/29/2018 (Permalink)

If you have been a victim of a lightning fire contact clean up specialists in Athens, TX

Lightning is magnificent, intriguing and, unfortunately, potentially destructive. Each year, this natural phenomenon kills nearly 100 people and leads to millions of dollars of property damage. While the natural force of a powerful strike can cause physical damage to your Athens, TX, home, there are numerous other ways it can destroy including causing lightning fires. Here are three of the top ways bolts can cause damage.

What Is Lightning?

It’s is best defined as a high-voltage, natural electrical discharge between a cloud and the ground or within a cloud. Whether you see it or not, the phenomenon accompanies nearly every thunderstorm. It does not, however, make ground contact during every storm. Other interesting facts about it include:

  • It’s about 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit
  • It flashes about 40 times a second worldwide
  • A bolt can power a 100-watt light bulb for three months

How It Damages
This phenomenon is powerful and truly awe-inspiring, but still quite dangerous. This is especially true for homeowners, whose homes can have many high points that are attractive to lightning looking to ground. Top threats include:

  • Fire – A lightning fire is easily the biggest threat this phenomenon can pose to your home. The materials that comprise most homes are largely flammable. That means the wood, insulation, siding and other core materials that make up your home can easily ignite. But house fire risk can also come from bolts passing through wiring or pipes.
  • Power Surge - A bolt that travels through your home’s wiring can result in a power surge that can damage anything connected to your home’s electrical system.
  • Shock waves - Bolts can also produce a huge shock wave that can also damage your home. You can’t see the shock wave, but you can hear it – it’s the cause of thunder. This powerful energy can shake free materials like concrete and stone, shatter glass and even create trenches in soil. This leaves windows, foundations, chimneys and more vulnerable to damage.

This natural occurrence is fascinating but also potentially destructive. Consider everything from a rod to a home protection system if you live in a strike-prone area. And if you’ve already been a victim of a lightning fire, make sure to connect with reputed clean up specialists.

Commercial Property Plumbing: Being Proactive and Saving Money

12/29/2018 (Permalink)

Our plumbers are ready to go 24/7 for emergencies in your Mineola, TX area

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 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 Mineola, 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.

Shocking Facts About Lightning

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Avoid any contact with water during a thunderstorm

Lightning Safety Tips

Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Though the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk of being struck. Here are a few lightning safety tips:

Be Aware

Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If it calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate safe shelter is available.


Go Indoors
Remember the phrase, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.


Avoid Windows, Doors, Porches and Concrete
Do not lie on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.


Avoid Water
Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing.


Avoid Electronic Equipment
Do not use computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves, or anything connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through electrical systems, and radio and television reception systems. Equip homes and offices with whole-house surge protectors to protect appliances.

How Your Solar Panels Will Stand up to a Storm

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Hail in Palestine,TX

Have you decided to join the many others in Palestine, TX, and have gotten 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 rainstorms. 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 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Wait for a Home Insurance Adjuster After Storm Damage

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Flood damage in Palestine,TX

Don't Wait for a Home Insurance Adjuster After Storm Damage

When flooding impacts Palestine, TX, and damages your home, you may be facing a tangle of problems. From handling ruined carpeting to soaked furniture and other belongings, potential losses may be considerable. If you have flood insurance this may help you cover some of the damage; however, waiting for an agent or an adjuster to come survey your home can cause more problems than it solves, no matter the source of the flooding

1. Mold Can Grow Quickly After a Flood 

Waiting for a flood insurance agent to contact you after a flood can give mold an opportunity to take hold and spread within your home. High humidity, standing water and other factors allows mold to form as soon as 24 hours after a flood, making severe mold damage a definite possibility if you wait more than a few days to file a claim or leave affected rooms untouched for the adjuster to view. Take photos instead and then call in a storm damage and mold remediation company to perform water drainage and prevent the spread of damaging fungi. 

2. Your Insurance Adjuster May Be Overtaxed

When weather causes flood damage, your insurance adjuster may become extremely busy with handling multiple claims and may not be able to get to your home right away. However, waiting for him or her to show before you take any action may lead to structural damage to your home. Perform mitigation if possible and document damage that occurs after the storm so you can update your claim. 

3. Standing Water Can Breed Bacteria 

Outdoor flood waters often contain bacteria that can cause illness. When this water sits in your basement or other rooms of your house, bacteria strains may multiply and increase the chance of illness. Ask your flood damage experts to remove standing water as soon as possible. 

Flooding in Palestine, TX, may require you to contact your flood insurance agent. However, it is wise that you try to prevent the spread of damage while you wait to prevent as much loss as possible. 

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine Smoke and Soot Cleanup

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your East Texas Home.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.

Smoke and Soot Facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 903-561-0309

Smoke Alarms: Life Savers

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries (NFPA).

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO® of Athens/Minoela/Palestine at 903-561-0309

Managing Mold - Part 1

12/10/2018 (Permalink)

Severe mold growth in a Palestine, TX, home

Steps for Mold Removal

When there’s a water intrusion such as a roof leak or broken water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Although each mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process:

Call SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine
The mold cleanup and restoration begins with a call to your local Mold Certified SERVPRO. The office staff will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.


Inspection and Damage Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.


Mold Containment
Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Check out our next blog post that will continue the steps of mold remediation!

What to Know About Mold Cleaning Standards

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Mold growth in commercial property in Jacksonville,TX

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 Fire Sprinklers Work and Why They Are Useful

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Aftermath of a kitchen fire in Tyler,TX

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.

5 Ways To Prevent Sewage Backup

11/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage in a Chandler,TX home after a sewage backup

Prevent Sewage Backup

A sewage backup can cause extensive storm and water damage at a residence in Chandler, TX. 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 home.

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 in Chandler, TX. If a backup occurs and results in flooding, rely on the expertise and equipment of a sewer cleaning and storm damage restoration service.

Stay Warm This Winter With These Space Heater Safety Tips

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Pick the right floor space for your heater

Space heaters can be a great way to stay warm over the long, cold winter months and save money on heating costs, but they can also be dangerous. Though small, space heaters can wreak havoc if their owners aren't careful. Here are a few safety tips you may want to keep in mind to prevent a burned space heater accident:

  • Pick the right place to put it.
  • Plug it directly into an outlet.
  • Shut off and unplug your heater when it's not in use.
  • Perform routine inspections.

If you keep the above tips in mind when heating your home, you should be able to enjoy a nice, cozy and event-free winter.

Pick the Right Floor Space

The number one cause of burned heater accidents is proximity to flammable objects. Curtains, table cloths, blankets and other fabrics can, when they get too hot, burst into flames. You can prevent this from happening by placing your mini heater in a spot all by itself.

Plug Directly Into an Outlet

Another common cause of burned space heater accidents is overheating via a power source. Space heaters use up a lot of energy. If you use a power strip that cannot support that kind of energy, you risk overheating, electrical shock and fire. Prevent this by plugging your heater directly into a wall outlet.

Shut the Heating Unit Off

When you leave your apartment or house, turn the heater off. You should take extra precautions to do so if you have animals in the home that can knock the heater over.

Maintain Your Heating Unit

Finally, keep your unit clean and free of dust and other pollutants. By regularly wiping down the heater you can ensure that it always performs to maximum capacity and does not go up into flames because it is clogged and overworked.

Burned space heater accidents are, unfortunately, all too common. You can prevent such an accident by taking precautions. If your heater does happen to catch fire, contact your Mineola, TX, smoke cleanup crew for immediate remediation assistance.

Understanding Content Cleaning Following a Business Flood

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

For a business, contents are assets that are inside the property but not part of the building itself. If a flood hits Mineola,TX, these assets often become damaged and typically receive content cleaning in accordance with insurance plans. This cleaning is an essential process for restoring a business towards its previously undamaged state.

Is Professional Cleaning Necessary?

There are many reasons to utilize a professional water damage recovery specialist instead of doing the processes yourself:

  • Lack of specialty knowledge required to repair certain items like electronics or upholstery
  • Lack of facilities at most businesses for restoring and detailing damaged items
  • Professional work succeeding the most when done early
  • Insurance coverage making the cost of restoration affordable

A flood that makes its way inside a building claims a variety of vastly different assets. Most companies will subcontract specialists for expertise needed to try and restore specific items.

What Does Cleaning Contents Entail?

After an authorization is given, an inventory is taken of your business to assess the severity of damage and necessary protocol. Most companies offer two types of content cleaning. There is on-site cleaning to immediately restore less damaged items and off-site cleaning for items that are more extensively damaged and require special tools or repair conditions. Unfortunately, some items, especially porous ones, may need replacement if left in standing black water for an extended time.

Off-site items are typically electronics, clothes and appliances that were damaged. They are stored in a warehouse where they are cleaned by using industrial machines. Every single item is individually restored, so this process can take some time depending on the severity of the damage.

What Happens Next?

Once every item is restored with content cleaning, your business will receive and relocate them in a now dry and clean building. Operations can resume, and the only flood after that will be of customers or business partners returning to utilize the location that was once unusable.

3 Steps To Stop an Under-Sink Leak

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

A leaky sink can cause severe water damage in your Palestine,TX kitchen

An under-sink leak can be a minor incident or a cause of major water damage. A severe leak that goes undetected can lead to flooding. Whether you discover dampness in your home’s cabinets or water has already spilled out onto the floor, a leaky sink calls for timely kitchen repair and may require water damage restoration. Follow these three steps to fix a leak under a sink.

1. Identify the Source

A leak involving a pressurized faucet supply hose may have an obvious drip or spray. However, a drain line leak may not be evident until you attempt to use the sink. Shut off the water supply to the sink to mitigate damage until you fix the leak.

2. Fix the Leak

You may need to tighten the compression fittings on the faucet supply hose shut-off valves. These connections are often located in cramped places and may be difficult to reach without adjustable or locking pliers. Drain leaks can result from blockage, corrosion of a metal trap or loose connections. Make sure the drain line is clear, and check the tightness and condition of trap compression nuts.

A faucet leak may flow down the back of the fixture and drip underneath the sink. Check gasket and washer seals if this seems to be the cause of an under-sink leak. Depending on the type of leak and severity of flooding, you may want to call a plumber.

3. Dry and Restore

You must thoroughly dry the affected area after any leak that results in water in home cabinets. Use a brush, sponge or towel to remove water, then fans or a dehumidifier to draw out moisture that can lead to mold.

Depending on the severity of the flooding in your home in Palestine, TX, you may want to contact your insurance provider as well as a residential water damage restoration service that specializes in kitchen repair.

5 Steps to Minimize Interruption Loss From Water Damage

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Your business in Palestine, TX, can face losses from a water-related incident other than just the cost of repairs. Operations are likely impacted for the foreseeable future if a commercial property is closed off for servicing. By following these five steps, you can prepare your business well to minimize losses from flooding.

1. Evaluate Your Business’ Circumstances and Risks

Your business has a unique set of risks to take into consideration. By meeting with every sector of your business for input, you can create a comprehensive plan of considerations for handling water damage. The risks should be triaged, but every smaller risk should be countered with a simpler rundown of what should be done.

2. Become Familiar With Your Insurance

Any business interruption coverage needs specific criteria met to pay out. Typically, it will cover damage to your property leading to temporary closure or inaccessibility. Every policy offers different limits and exceptions. If there are explicit exceptions in your policy, you should plan an alternative to handle those emergencies.

3. Don’t Allow an Interruption to Occur With Prevention’s Help

Preventative measures are helpful for stopping both small and large water damage. Regular maintenance can catch any leaky or broken pipe that could inevitably lead to flooding. Without a source of leaking water to damage your business, you can stop an interruption from happening.

4. Prepare Templates for Simplified Communication

Acting quickly to start the process is important for mitigating losses for business operations. You should have templates prepared beforehand to inform every employee and business partner of your situation. These finalized messages should be readily available to immediately deploy when disaster strikes.

5. Finalize Your Plan

An emergency plan should include what to do to ensure operations can continue in the absence of your commercial building. This includes backup of important computer data and working out with business partners how to best serve them in a potential emergency.

Repairs are an unfortunate reality when flooding occurs at your business. An expert water damage restoration service can make your building operable again once it’s fully treated. Planning ahead and minimizing your interruption losses while your building is repaired will ultimately save you money and time. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com/.

How To Prevent Extra Damage to Your Roof After a Storm

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

The mitigation process for roof damage involves not only taking care of the problem but also protecting the roof during downtime.

The roof on your house in Palestine, TX, is your home's first defense against water damage from storms or heavy precipitation. When the storm causes roof damage, your home can become vulnerable to all kinds of problems, including ruined insulation, weakened structural materials and mold growth. By calling flood restoration specialists as soon as you suspect your roof has damage, you are likely to prevent further damage that neglecting the compromised roof would allow.

Inspection

The first thing that the specialists are going to do is inspect your roof. When they do, they are looking for specific issues that need to be addressed:

• Core components of roof, such as decking, shingles or the membranes that seal out the elements
• Level of saturation in insulation
• Condition of the flashing
• Condition of drains, gutters and rain spouts

Once technicians know the extent of the roof damage, they can formulate a plan. Any time they're not working on the roof, they use measures to protect your roof from taking on more issues.

Overnight Protection

From the time the mitigation specialists arrive to look at the roof to the time they completely finish repairs, there are going to be long blocks of time when they are not actively repairing the roof. Therefore, it's important that something be done to protect the roof while it's under repair. Some areas can be boarded up as long as the edges of the board are sealed with a waterproof tape or film. A tarp can also cover the roof to provide protection from rain and further wind damage. No matter what measures are used, the roof should not be left open if it has damage.

The mitigation process for roof damage involves not only taking care of the problem but also protecting the roof during downtime. Boards and tarps prevent further damage by isolating the roof from those who mean it harm. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com/. 

Benefits of Hiring a Certified Remediation Expert

9/15/2018 (Permalink)

You want your home to get back to normal as soon as possible.

When you discover a mold problem in your home, you need to hire someone to take care of it. Rather than pick a random name out of your internet search for specialists in Palestine, TX, consider seeking the services of a certified mold expert backed by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Certified technicians are guaranteed by the IICRC to have the training necessary to perform mold remediation at the highest standard and as a result, insurance companies are more likely to work with them.

Certification Process

When a company says its specialists have mold certification, it promises that the technicians who come to your house have undergone three phases:

• Extensive training in certified mold remediation
• Hands-on, supervised experience
• Examination by those who set the industry standard in mold growth eradication

Certified mold experts don't just think they know what they are doing. They have been put to rigorous testing to ensure that their service is of the highest standard. This ensures that you are getting the best service available.

Objective Appraisal

When you hire a certified expert to take care of your mold problem, you don't have to rely on hearsay or online reviews. You don't have to take the company's word for it that their technicians are thorough and effective. Their service has the backing of the globally recognized entity for quality assurance.

Insurance Compliance

If you are filing a claim with your insurance company regarding your mold problem, your claim is more likely to be accepted if remediation is being conducted by certified experts. The insurance company has a vested interest in your mold infestation being fixed right the first time. Certified technicians tend to look better on insurance claims.

You want your home to get back to normal as soon as possible. By hiring a certified mold expert, you can take care of your mold problem completely without worrying if the job was done right.
For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com/.

Protecting a Business From Fire Damage

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Thought and planning are free endeavors and can go a long way in bringing about the optimal response to a workplace blaze.

Owning a business in Palestine, TX, or anywhere else offers a degree of independence not always found in working for others. Successful entrepreneurs understand and anticipate risks to their livelihood, and many develop fire preparation measures as a plan of action should the need arise.

Prepare for the Worst

A commonsense approach to organizing your business can be summed up with the adage “hope for the best, but plan for the worst.” When it comes to disaster preparation, consider the following:

• Identify the most probable cause for a fire and work to reduce risk. A routine checkup of the electrical system, for instance, is a prudent measure, as is banning smoking on the premises. Flammable materials will require careful storage.
• Determine who might be likely to be vulnerable if a fire breaks out and how to mitigate the danger.
• Practice evacuation procedures on a regular basis and encourage other fire preparation measures by all employees. Training and practice can reduce risk of injury and death.
• Carry sufficient business insurance to cover losses of property and interruption to operations.
• Develop a storage plan for data that includes offsite options to avoid loss of records and files.
• Consider alternate storage options for inventory or equipment if the building that houses them were to become compromised.

It is wise to think about whom to call for cleanup, repair and restoration services before you need them to get the doors reopened without excessive delay. Moreover, maintaining up-to-date lists of inventory and equipment can make it easier to begin the claims process with your insurer.

A proactive stance is likely to put your firm in a better position to respond to fire damage if it should happen. Aside from insurance premiums, fire preparation need not be an expensive proposition. Thought and planning are free endeavors and can go a long way in bringing about the optimal response to a workplace blaze. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com/.

Is It Time To Replace Your Supply Line?

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Supply line damage can cause major flooding in your Palestine, TX, home.

You may not think about the plumbing in your house very often. After all, when it is working well, you do not have to think about it. Supply line damage can take years to form or it can happen overnight. As a homeowner in Palestine, TX, you may need to work with a water damage specialist to figure out the best time to replace your bathroom supply line.

Look for Damage

One way you can tell it's time to replace your piping is by looking for signs of a problem. You may be able to tell you have a supply line leak or other issue by checking for the following signs:

• Musty odor
• Low water pressure
• Standing water

Of course, these signs could point to other water-related problems in the bathroom. It may be a good idea to work with a plumber or another professional to inspect your piping.

Consider the Material

As you try to figure out if it is time for a replacement, you need to think about the material of the line. Most supply lines are made of plastic or braided steel. Plastic lines usually last between five and eight years while steel braided lines can last a decade or more. Figuring out whether you have supply line damage requires you to know what type of piping is in your home.

Think About Other Renovations

Have you had to fix a bathroom leak recently? Maybe you replaced an overflowing toilet or redid your bathtub. Either way, recent renovations could have weakened your supply line. It is a good idea to replace this piece of plumbing whenever you do other renovations. The seal that connects to your sink, tub or toilet often cannot be redone when you replace a fixture.

Supply line damage can cause major flooding in your Palestine, TX, home. Knowing when it's time to replace this piece of plumbing can help save you a headache in the future. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com

Do I Need a Flood Cut for My Water Damaged Commercial Property?

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Your Palestine, TX, business is worth protecting from flooding, even if it means a little surgery to restore it to how it once was.

When a storm breaks down outdoor protection and finds its way into a commercial property, the drywall may become compromised. The flooding warps the drywall and creates an ideal location for mold to grow. To remedy this, a storm damage restoration service will “flood cut” the drywall. Understanding the appropriate time to do a flood cut allows you to know when it’s the correct choice.

What Merits a Flood Cut?

Flood cuts are the preferred method of repair and containment for situations involving one of a few types of water:

• Clean water stagnated by the drywall for an extended time
• Dirty blackwater with contaminants
• Damaged insulation within the walls
• Suspicion of interior wall damage

Any form of contamination will need a tear out of the wall to validate its structural integrity. Severe flooding may merit repairing the entire section of drywall rather than a sliced section. Clean water damage treated early is often safe from having to do a flood cut in favor of less invasive wall pumps.

Why Even Go With a Flood Cut?

Drywall is porous and easily absorbs water from a flooded floor. Since the bottom of the material is likely where the water entered, it’ll be severed over a foot up above the flood damage’s peak. Without the material in the way, the moisture within the wall can be fully removed. The drywall is then repaired or replaced at the location of the cut.

What Happens If I Deny a Flood Cut?

The interior of the walls is worth letting restoration specialists evaluate if they ask. Mold grows very rapidly. A flood cut early on can become unfeasible later once the drywall crumbles and mold spreads. It’s easy to overlook hidden problems. Ignoring it will leave your business with a moldy odor and more property damage.

Your Palestine, TX, business is worth protecting from flooding, even if it means a little surgery to restore it to how it once was. If the water isn’t clean, the damage is often unseen. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com.

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.

Want to Keep Mold Away? Watch Out for Water Damage

3/24/2018 (Permalink)

When you own a home, you’ve got a lot of responsibilities. It seems as though renovations, updates and repairs never end. One of the biggest things homeowners worry about is mold growth. This invader can cause significant damage. If you want to help ensure mold prevention, you need to maintain a dry environment. Water problems will almost certainly bring mold into your home in Palestine, TX, so make sure you do your best to fend off these issues.


Watch Where You Plant Shrubs, Trees and Bushes


Any property looks better with beautiful greenery, but it’s important that you plant in the right spots. If you place a tree or bush near underground pipes, septic tanks or sprinkler systems, the roots could grow right into them and create some serious flooding and water damage.


Don’t Ignore Leaks


Have you ever been awoken in the early morning hours by a dripping faucet? This isn’t just annoying, but it’s a signal that a more pressing issue could be down the road. If you don’t take care of slow leaks, they’ll eventually turn into worse problems. You can’t expect to implement sound mold prevention if you can’t stop water from consistently dripping in your Palestine, TX, rooms.


Keep an Eye on Your Utility Bill


This may not seem like a big deal, but if you notice your utility bill rising swiftly, it may mean you have a broken pipe somewhere. If you don’t address this quickly, mold growth could accelerate. Call an expert today to assess the cause for your increasing bill. If you discover plumbing problems, a specialist can take care of the leak before mold creeps in.

Mold prevention is essential to the well-being of everyone that lives in your home. Controlling water issues is key factor in keeping mold away.

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

Can These 4 Materials Be Salvaged After Flooding Occurs in the Home?

3/17/2018 (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.

Black Water: Minimizing the Damage to Your Business

3/12/2018 (Permalink)

No one will argue that flooding within any commercial building is a desirable circumstance. Water damage can take a toll on the flooring, walls and any belongings that come into contact with excessive moisture. It’s even more imperative that the situation is quickly and sufficiently tended to if you’re dealing with a black water issue.


Where Black Water Comes From


Oftentimes contaminated by a number of microorganisms and bacteria, this dirty water can infiltrate a building in a number of ways:

• Flooding from storms will often carry contaminants and debris into interior spaces.
• The overflow or rupture of sewage or septic systems can leak waste into your business.
• Standing clean water can quickly become dirty and contaminated with mold and bacterial growth if left unchecked for a period of time.

It is especially important to handle the situation immediately if water has appeared inside your building due to any of these circumstances.


What To Do If Your Business Is Contaminated


Mold can begin to form quickly, often within 48 hours, so taking fast action is imperative. Make sure people are evacuated from contaminated areas to limit their exposure to bacteria and mold if water has been left standing. The following steps should then be taken to begin the cleanup process:

• Remove any standing water as soon as possible
• Thoroughly dry areas affected by water damage to limit the spread of mold and bacteria growth
• Clean all salvageable affected items and dispose of those that can’t be adequately cleaned and disinfected

When Help Is Needed


Depending on the size of the area suffering from water damage or the level of black water contamination, working with professionals in Palestine, TX, can supply peace of mind that cleanup will be completed properly so that your business can return to normal. Beginning immediate water remediation is the key to quickly bouncing back from a flooding incident.

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

Can These 4 Materials Be Salvaged After Flooding Occurs in the Home?

3/8/2018 (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.

Visit our website for more information on water damage.

Black Water: Minimizing the Damage to Your Business

3/8/2018 (Permalink)

No one will argue that flooding within any commercial building is a desirable circumstance.

Water damage can take a toll on the flooring, walls and any belongings that come into contact with excessive moisture. It’s even more imperative that the situation is quickly and sufficiently tended to if you’re dealing with a black water issue.

Where Black Water Comes From

Oftentimes contaminated by a number of microorganisms and bacteria, this dirty water can infiltrate a building in a number of ways:

  • Flooding from storms will often carry contaminants and debris into interior spaces.
  • The overflow or rupture of sewage or septic systems can leak waste into your business.
  • Standing clean water can quickly become dirty and contaminated with mold and bacterial growth if left unchecked for a period of time.

It is especially important to handle the situation immediately if water has appeared inside your building due to any of these circumstances.

What To Do If Your Business Is Contaminated

Mold can begin to form quickly, often within 48 hours, so taking fast action is imperative. Make sure people are evacuated from contaminated areas to limit their exposure to bacteria and mold if water has been left standing. The following steps should then be taken to begin the cleanup process:

  • Remove any standing water as soon as possible
  • Thoroughly dry areas affected by water damage to limit the spread of mold and bacteria growth
  • Clean all salvageable affected items and dispose of those that can’t be adequately cleaned and disinfected

When Help Is Needed

Depending on the size of the area suffering from water damage or the level of black water contamination, working with professionals in Athens, TX, can supply peace of mind that cleanup will be completed properly so that your business can return to normal. Beginning immediate water remediation is the key to quickly bouncing back from a flooding incident.

For more information on water damage visit our website.

Simple Steps to Keeping Your Restaurant Kitchen Free of Mold

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

The last thing you want to see is unsightly mold growth in your restaurant kitchen in Athens, GA. Unfortunately, kitchens are known to be highly active areas of mold development with prime conditions for growth due to high humidity and possible water damage. Help keep your restaurant free of mold by following these simple steps to a clean and pristine kitchen space.

1. Clean the refrigerators on a regular basis. Using only one tablespoon of baking soda mixed with a quart of water, you can easily wipe down, rinse and dry the interior of your fridges every 2-3 months and prevent any traces of mold. If mold is visible, it’s best to call professional mold removal specialists to handle the task of eliminating any significant growth and mold spore buildup.

2. Use vinegar more generously around the kitchen — and not just in meals. Vinegar has always been praised for a variety of reasons, but it acts as a powerful disinfectant, making it especially handy for cleaning purposes. Prevent mold growth by using vinegar throughout your regular cleaning regimen, including washing your cutting boards with it weekly and pouring a small amount into the garbage disposal once a week before running it.

3. Leave exhaust fans and vents running while you cook. Moisture is a calling card for mold, and places with higher than average humidity levels are guaranteed to see it grow over time. Keep ventilation systems open and activated while preparing and cooking food to avoid excessive humidity.

4. Take extra precautions to keep food mold-free. Avoid potential mold on your food by paying more attention to what you buy. Follow expiration dates, pass on bruised produce and cover cooked foods after they’re served to deflect any mold spores in the air.

Never let mold become an added ingredient. Avoid mold growth by following these steps to a clean restaurant kitchen in Athens, GA or call experts in to take care of any mold development. Make changes like lowering high humidity levels and storing fresh foods to ensure more pristine conditions and a happier environment. Visit http://www.SERVPROathens.com for more information on mold.

How To Prepare Your Company for a Fire

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

To ensure the safety of your employees in Athens, GA it’s important to prepare everyone in your workplace for a potential fire. Because fires can be fast, unexpected, and chaotic, creating a fire contingency plan is a valuable part of your company’s safety procedures. Here are a few things you can do to prepare everyone in your workplace for a disaster:

Have an Evacuation Plan

Employees should be able to identify several escape routes, especially if your building has more than one floor. Some vital parts of your company’s escape plan should include:

* A way of accounting for your employees
* A designated assembly area for those in your workplace
* A list of individuals who are authorized to take charge in the event of an evacuation

By including these important parts in your escape route plan, you can help ensure the safety of your employees during an evacuation.

Install an Alarm System

Having smoke detectors and fire alarms can notify and protect employees from harm. Be sure to install any needed alarms, and check them regularly. Your employees should be taught the distinction between alarms so that they know which actions to take. Informing your company of a fire is a vital part of a smart fire contingency plan.

Inform Your Employees

Hold a meeting or conduct training sessions to help prepare your employees for a fire in the building. Present the escape plan and discuss evacuation procedures. You can also inform your company about the various ways to report a fire, such as pulling a manual fire alarm or calling an internal emergency number. By teaching your workers what to do when a disaster occurs, you can reduce risk and confusion.

With these steps, you can prepare each of your employees for a fire. Be sure to take precautions to stop fire hazards from even beginning. Having a fire contingency plan and an evacuation plan for the whole company is one of the best ways to be prepared. Visit http://www.SERVPROathens.com for more information on commercial fire damage.

4 Tips To Stay Safe When Using Space Heaters

2/10/2018 (Permalink)

Many people rely on space heaters during the winter to stay warm. It is an efficient way to stay warm, and you will not have to worry about your electric bill being as high because space heaters do not use as much power as your HVAC system. However, there are dangers associated with these products. A burned space heater is extremely dangerous, so follow these tips to avoid having a fire in your home in Athens, GA.

1. Turn Off When Not in Use

You do not want to leave your heater running when you are not in the room. Turn it off every time you leave. Many heaters come with a timer feature, so if you want to run it while you are asleep, you can set the timer to shut it off shortly.

2. Keep Heater Three Feet Away From Furniture

You can decrease the likelihood of having a burned space heater and needing smoke cleanup by keeping the device at least three feet away from furniture, bedding, clothes, drapes and rugs. You should also ensure your heater is on a level surface. You do not want to risk the heater tipping over and coming into direct contact with carpeting.

3. Keep Away From Moisture

Never set your heater in an area that is at risk of flooding. That means you should keep it out of basements and bathrooms. You should never touch a heater when you have wet hands.

4. Inspect Regularly

You should inspect your heater when you first purchase it to ensure there are no defects. After that, you need to continue maintenance to prevent dust and other allergens from building up on the heater’s filters.

Heaters are a great asset when you are shivering from the cold. However, a burned space heater is a safety issue you never want to expose your family to. With a few preventive actions, you can use your heater for years to come. Visit http://www.SERVPROathens.com for more information on fire damage.

Mold Removal Tips From the Experts

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

The flood is over, the water is drained and it’s time for you to start thinking about the cleanup effort. How you handle the cleanup is dependent on a few different factors. First, has the mold growth spread over 10 square feet? If it has, it’s suggested that you have the remediation performed by professionals in Palestine, TX. The following are four tips on how to deal with mold damage after a flood.

1. Perform Quick Mitigation

In 24-48 hours, mold growth can occur in standing water. If it wasn’t possible to drain the water in time to prevent the growth, then as soon as the water is extracted, it’s time to act. The cleanup should occur quickly to stop the mold from spreading or growing in severity.

2. Fix Any Leaks

Imagine putting in all the hard work to disinfect your home from the bacterial growth after a flood, only to have it all come back because of a leaky pipe. Before you start the cleanup process, make sure that there aren’t any leaks or broken pipes to contend with.

3. Clean Hard Surfaces

Hard, non-porous surfaces can be scrubbed clean of mold. A mix of warm water, detergent and vinegar is generally all homeowners need to clean mold from their furniture or walls. In some cases, a stronger formula may be necessary.

4. Tear out Porous Materials

Soft, absorbent materials may need to be tossed out. Carpets, ceiling tiles and padded furniture often have to be removed from the home. In porous materials, mold can grow into the empty spaces and can’t always be removed completely.

After a flood, the moist environment and standing water usually leads to mold growth. It can be impossible to stop it from happening. However, with these tips and the help of a professional remediator, your home will be as good as new in no time. Visit http://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com for more information on storm damage.

Cleaning Up Your Home After Water Damage

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

While water is healthy to drink and useful for cleaning and bathing, it can cause devastating damage if you have to deal with broken pipes. 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

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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. Broken pipes may be your worst nightmare, but the damage can be repaired with the right tools. Visit http://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com for more information on water damage.

What To Do After Experiencing Water Damage on Commercial Property

1/18/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage is stressful and messy enough when it is in a private residence, but broken pipes in a commercial property can be catastrophic. Lost inventory and damaged interiors mean the business owner and any employees are out of an income until things are clean again. If you are dealing with this situation, here’s how to get your business back on track as soon as possible.

Protect Yourself and Your Building From Further Damage

As soon as you notice flooding, unplug anything electric in the area and shut off the circuit breaker that powers the space. Doing so ensures you do not further damage anything by causing an electrical fire. Never turn the electricity back on until a professional ensures it is safe. Remediation companies work with digital meters that can detect moisture behind walls or in other hidden areas to ensure there are no dangers lurking where you can't see them. Be sure to protect yourself as well by taking these measures:

• Wearing boots high enough to prevent water seepage
• Wearing long gloves while you are cleaning
• Keeping a lookout for snakes or other dangerous animals or insects attracted to water

Document the Damage

Before your insurance company pays for damages, it will want to see proof of the extent of it. Start at the front door of your business and walk through any damaged areas that are safe to enter. Take pictures of any damage and any standing water as you go along. It is also important to ensure your insurance company covers flooding before water damage becomes a problem. Some flood-prone areas require separate insurance policies.

Contact a Professional

Never attempt large water cleanup jobs on your own. A professional water remediation company in Palestine, Tx has the tools and knowledge necessary to ensure your business will be safe for you, employees and customers. Professionals can help you salvage items and remove all water to prevent mold or other ongoing problems related to water damage. Always hire a reputable, licensed and insured company.
Visit http://www.SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com for more information on commercial water damage.

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.

Facts About Smoke and Soot

1/5/2018 (Permalink)

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage? Call Us Today – 903-561-0309

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 903-561-0309

Water Damage During the Holidays

12/20/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 903-561-0309

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

Light the Night Safely

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

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

Pretty lights, candles, and decorations are just a few of the items 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!

Managing Mold- Part 1

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property.

When there’s a water intrusion such as a roof leak or broken water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Although each mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process:


Call SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine
The mold cleanup and restoration begins with a call to your local Mold Certified SERVPRO. The office staff will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.


Inspection and Damage Assessment
Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view.


Mold Containment
Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.


Check out our next blog post that will continue the steps of mold remediation!

Managing Mold- Part 2

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine to walk through managing mold in your home or business.

Here we continue on with the steps SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine will take to remediate any mold issues you may have at your home or business:


Air Filtration 
Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. Our technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these spores while the mold remediation is in progress.


Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.


Cleaning Contents and Belongings
Our technicians clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. Our teams are also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.


Restoration
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs such as replacing drywall, painting or installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various rooms in your home or business.

Are You Winter Weather Ready?

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

Are you prepared for the coming cold weather?

Are you prepared for the coming cold weather? 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 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 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 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 SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine 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.

Winter Water Land: Types of Damage to Commercial Properties From Freezing Storms

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

Steps for commercial property owners in Athens, Mineola and Palestine to prepare for winter weather freezing storm.

Winter Water Land: Types of Damage to Commercial Properties From Freezing Storms

Despite steps that commercial property owners in Athens, Mineola and Palestine take to prepare for a winter storm, damage from frozen pipes can happen quickly. The extent of destruction of a pipe burst can range from minor to devastating. Roof damage is another danger property owners face during the cold months.
Here’s why you need to take these winter hazards seriously and prepare accordingly.

Frozen Pipes

Responsible business owners care for their commercial structures just as they do their homes, including insulating pipes against bitter cold temperatures. However, even wrapped pipes may sometimes freeze.
Some pipes can get caught in freezing drafts, especially in older buildings, or property owners may not turn on the heat in time or fail to leave it on long enough. Sometimes, early winter storms may catch property owners by surprise, meaning plumbing does not get winterized before cold weather hits.

When pipes freeze, the ice inside expands and the pressure causes the pipes to crack open. In addition to having no water, a burst pipe can cause water damage and even flooding. If not cleaned up right away, this damage can lead to mold growth.

Roof Damage

Winter storms can also wreak havoc on roofs. Fierce wintry winds are a major cause of roof damage.
Commercial structures may also suffer destruction to roofs from a phenomenon known as ice dams.
These blocks of ice form along gutters, with icicles being a tell-tale sign of their presence.
As a result, water can begin to pool on the roof and, if left standing, may eventually seep into the attic.
These damp conditions can lead to mold growth.

Restoration

Business property owners should keep an expert restoration specialist on speed dial. Then, should their buildings sustain roof damage or water damage from frozen pipes due to winter storms, they can quickly call a specialist out for assessment and repair. In fact, the right restoration company can make business owners forget the damage ever happened. Visit SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com for more information on storm damage.

Why It's Important To Hire Professionals For Storm Damage Restoration

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

Why It's Important To Hire Professionals For Storm Damage Restoration

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 SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com for more information about our services.

Restoring Commercial Property after a Water Damage

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

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.

Can a Fire-Damaged Home Ever Get Back to Normal?

12/11/2017 (Permalink)

Here are four steps most fire restorers use to fix fire damage.

Can a Fire-Damaged Home Ever Get Back to Normal?

Few things are more heartbreaking than going through a home fire. If your home in Texas has gone through a blaze, whether due to bad electrical wiring or an oil fire, it may be a literal shell of its former self. You may wonder if your smoke-damaged home can ever get back to normal.

Fortunately, by working with a fire restoration company, you can increase your chances of returning your home to its
pre-burn state. Here are four steps most fire restorers use to fix fire damage.

1. Survey the Damage

As you may know, fire restoration firms play no part in extinguishing your home’s blaze. Instead,
firefighters work hard to check your house for inhabitants and stop the destructive fire. After firefighters leave, restorers survey damage. They also board up doors and broken windows to keep criminals from causing additional damage.

2. Clean Personal Belongings

Because your smoke-damaged home is likely not safe or inhabitable, restorers remove salvageable
belongings to clean them off-site. Then, using specialized cleaning products and techniques, restoration technicians remove smoke from your keepsakes.

3. Restore Walls and Floors

Homeowners are often surprised to realize that fire-suppression activities can cause more damage than the fire itself. Restorers work hard to remedy smoke and water damage. Often, they must paint walls and renovate flooring.

4. Tackle Lingering Smoke Odor

Even weeks after a fire, smoke odor can linger in your smoke-damaged home. To encourage a fresh, clean scent, restorers use ozone and thermal fogging techniques. They also spend time deep cleaning your home’s heating and air conditioning systems. Likewise, with the help of high-powered filters and fans, fire restoration techniques remove small soot particles from your home’s air. After workers finish, homes often smell like they never burned.  Returning your fire-damaged home to normal involves more than simply cleaning soot from walls.

When you work with a skilled restoration service, you take advantage of expertise and equipment to recover from your devastating East Texas home fire.

Visit SERVPROathensmineolapalestine.com for more information.

Shocking Facts About Lightning

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Lightning is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities. Though the odds of being struck by lightning in a given year are only around 1 in 500,000, some factors can put you at greater risk of being struck. Here are a few lightning safety tips:


Be Aware
Check the forecast before participating in outdoor activities. If it calls for thunderstorms, postpone your trip or activity, or make sure adequate safe shelter is available.


Go Indoors
Remember the phrase, “When thunder roars, go indoors.” Find a safe, enclosed shelter when you hear thunder. Safe shelters include homes, offices, shopping centers, and hard-top vehicles with the windows rolled up.


Avoid Windows, Doors, Porches and Concrete
Do not lie on concrete floors and avoid leaning on concrete walls. Lightning can travel through any metal wires or bars in concrete walls or flooring.


Avoid Water
Do not bathe, shower, wash dishes, or have any other contact with water during a thunderstorm because lightning can travel through a building’s plumbing.


Avoid Electronic Equipment
Do not use computers, laptops, game systems, washers, dryers, stoves, or anything connected to an electrical outlet. Lightning can travel through electrical systems, and radio and television reception systems. Equip homes and offices with whole-house surge protectors to protect appliances.

Commercial Water Restoration

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

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 Tyler

SERVPRO of Tyler 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.

Until Help Arrives

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine professionals arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

Do:

Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.

Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.

Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.

Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.

If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.

Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.

Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

Don’t:

Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Athens/Mineola/Palestine professional.

Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine professional.

Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.

Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.

If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.

Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

More fire tips from SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine

What is Mold?

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Molds are microscopic organisms commonly found both indoors and outdoors. Molds, along with mushrooms and yeast, are known scientifically as fungi. Their purpose in nature is to break down dead material and recycle nutrients in the environment. For molds to grow and reproduce, they need a food source - any organic material, such as leaves, wood, paper, or dirt - and moisture. Since molds grow by "eating" the organic material, they gradually destroy whatever they are feeding on.

Mold growth on surfaces can often be seen as a colored spot, frequently green, gray, brown, black or white. It commonly appears as a powdery, fuzzy, or hair-like material. Actively growing molds typically produce odors, sometimes described as earthy or moldy, or like mildew, old dirty socks, or ammonia. Molds release thousands of microscopic spores, which are lightweight, easily airborne and carried by air currents to surrounding areas. The spores must have both food and moisture to actually start growing, similar to plant seeds.

If you think you may have a mold issue in your home or business, call SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine today!

Be Storm Smart. Be Storm Ready.

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:


• 10,000 severe thunderstorms
• 5,000 floods or flash floods
• 1,000 tornadoes
• 2 land-falling deadly hurricanes


Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year, and nearly $15 billion in damages.* Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.


Know Your Risk
The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Station, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.


Take Action
Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit, and keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.


Be An Example
Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers, family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.


*Facts provided by http://www.stormready.noaa.gov

10 Ways to Be Prepared

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

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. 

Tools to be Storm Ready

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

One of the best precautions you can take is to purchase a good quality weather radio. A weather radio is designed to alert you to a potentially dangerous weather situation, such as an approaching tornado, massive hailstorm, or hurricane. It allows you to be warned ahead of storms, providing you time to seek shelter. A weather radio is the most reliable source for weather alerts.


Weather radios have made many advancements over the years and are very affordable. Most basic weather radios average around $30 and can be programmed to only alert you for the weather alerts you choose.


When shopping for a weather radio, look for the following key features:


• Reviewable alerts (you can scroll through alerts and turn off the siren for alerts you do not wish to hear)
• Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) alert programming- alerts when specific counties are threatened, ensuring you only receive alerts from your county.
• Ease of programming


If you need help programming your weather radio, you can always contact your local National Weather Service Office or for additional information, including county codes for your state, visit the NOAA Weather Radio website at www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.

Frozen Pipes

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Tips to prevent pipes from freezing at your home or business:

  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets connected to pipes that run through an unheated or unprotected space. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe.
  • Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes with caulking.
  • Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Insulate pipes that pass through unheated spaces (crawlspaces, basements, garages).
  • Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating drafts near doors.
  • Know where your main water shut-off valve is. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut the water off immediately.
  • When away from the house for an extended period, be careful how much you lower the heat. A lower temperature may save on the heating bill, but there could be a disaster if a cold spell strikes and pipes that normally would be safe, freeze and burst.

Weatherproofing your home against the cold will help protect your indoor plumbing against the threat of breaks.

Source: Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Stay Safe This Summer

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

Summer is synonymous with barbecues, parades and fireworks displays; but along with all the festivities are plenty of visits to emergency rooms-especially during July. In 2013, eight people died and about 11,400 were injured badly enough to require medical treatment after fireworks-related incidents, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In addition to causing injury, fireworks are also responsible for thousands of house fires each year with millions of dollars in property damage. There is nothing like firing up the grill during the summer months! Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren’t considered. Your local SERVPRO® of Athens / Mineola / Palestine Professionals want you to have an enjoyable and safe summer. Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Firework Facts

  • In 2011*, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 structure fires, 400 vehicle fires, and 16,300 outside and other fires.
  • These fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage, with no reported fire deaths.
  • On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, more than any other cause of fire.

*Most recent statistics available-provided by the NFPA

Can Flooding Cause Mold Growth?

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Mold can cause health effects and significant damage to your property.

When there is a water intrusion, like a roof leak, storm flooding or leaking waterline, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property.  Fortunately, SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle you mold problem.  Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same.  The following steps illustrate a "typical" mold removal process. 

1. Call SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine at 903-561-0309

2. Inspection and Damage Assessment

3. Mold Containment

4. Air Filtration 

5. Removing Mold and Mold Infested Materials 

6. Restoration 

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine's professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business. 

Mold Damage Tips: What to do until help arrives.

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Have a Mold Problem? Call Us Today – (903) 561-0309

In as little as 48 hours, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business when there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. SERVPRO of Athens / Mineola / Palestine has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem.

Have a Mold Problem?
Call Us Today – (903) 561-0309

If you have a mold problem in your home or business, consider the following facts:

  • Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.
  • Mold may present a greater risk to children, the elderly, and anyone with respiratory problems.
  • A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold behind drywall or under carpeting.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Athens / Mineola / Palestine for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

Mold Remediation Services

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Athens / Mineola / Palestine has the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

The Mold Mitigation & Remediation Process

6/8/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine Professionals understand mold and mold growth.

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can affect your health and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different, requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

Call the SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine Professionals

The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed.

Inspection & Damage Assessment

Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water which can be hidden from plain view.

Mold Containment

Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. 

Air Filtration

Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold & Mold-Infested Materials

The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents & Belongings

SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine Professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration

Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet, or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine Professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.

East Texas School Closings Due to Flu Outbreak

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

Many schools across East Texas are closing for days due to flu outbreaks.

It's the time of year when we may experience localized influenza outbreaks at homes, businesses and schools. Luckily,SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine uses the best cleaning solutions available to remedy toxic and germ saturated situations.


SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine uses the Benefect suite of products, an all-natural, safe, bacteria killing cleaning solution. This 100% natural disinfectant is safe to use on just about anything. 
 
Some commercial applications would be in food preparation areas, day cares and nurseries, hotels and restaurants, schools and fitness gyms and kennels and barns.


Many schools across East Texas are closing for days due to flu outbreaks.  


If your home, business or school experiences an influenza outbreak this season, call SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine to safely disinfect the area and help fight the flu! 
 


Call SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine 903-561-0309.

March is Red Cross month

2/22/2017 (Permalink)

Founded in 1881, the American Red Cross is a charitable organization that relies on donations and volunteers to carry out their mission.  Whether it is disaster relief, blood donations, military family support, or training and certification in CPR, lifeguarding, first aid and more, the Red Cross is committed to helping those who need it most. The American Red Cross is part of the Global Red Cross Network, the world's largest volunteer network found in 187 countries, according to redcross.org.  

Every year, March is declared Red Cross Month by the President of the United States. The American red Cross celebrates by honoring the "everyday heroes" who support and carry out the mission of the Red Cross by donating, giving blood, taking a class or volunteering. 

SERVPRO began a partnership with the American Red Cross in 2013, and became an official Disaster Responder partner in 2016.  The Disaster Responder provides families and individuals immediate support, comfort and assistance when disaster, such as a house fire, happens to them.  Disaster Responders also help communities prepare for disasters ahead of time by participating in preparedness activities such as the Smoke Alarm Installation Campaign.  

To learn more about the American Red Cross, or about how you can get involved, visit redcross.org.

SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team®

2/22/2017 (Permalink)

Faster to any size disaster. This is not just another catchy tag line for SERVPRO®. It is a commitment from each SERVPRO® Franchise Professional to be there when you need them most. Whether you are a small business or home owner facing minor fire or water damage, or a property manager dealing with a widespread disaster, the SERVPRO® System has the resources to respond quickly and efficiently. The sooner help arrives, the sooner restoration begins and the sooner you can resume life and business as usual. Your local SERVPRO® Franchise is just the tip of the iceberg. Should a major disaster such as a flood or wildfire occur, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team® is always poised and ready to go where they are needed. Learn more about this elite team and a few of the events they’ve responded to inside this issue of the Restoration Newsline. If a fire, water or mold damage strikes, no matter the size, call your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professionals. Backed by a system of Franchises more than 1,700 strong, we’ll help make your property disaster “Like it never even happened.”

Tips to Prevent Frozen Pipes

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

Tips to prevent pipes from freezing at your home or business:



  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets connected to pipes that run through an unheated or unprotected space. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe.

  • Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes with caulking.

  • Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.

  • Insulate pipes that pass through unheated spaces (crawlspaces, basements, garages).

  • Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating drafts near doors.

  • Know where your main water shut-off valve is. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut the water off immediately.

  • When away from the house for an extended period, be careful how much you lower the heat. A lower temperature may save on the heating bill, but there could be a disaster if a cold spell strikes and pipes that normally would be safe, freeze and burst.


Weatherproofing your home against the cold will help protect your indoor plumbing against the threat of breaks.

Source: Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Emergency Fire Damage Tips

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO® will help you take it back.

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into carpet and avoid tracking.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from metal kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Remove soot particles from plants with a damp cloth.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

DON’T:

  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet, rugs, or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water. (They may be contaminated.)
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

When fire and water damage take control of your life, SERVPRO® will help you take it back.

Resolve To Be Ready

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine to schedule your Emergency READY Profile today.

With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profi le® (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens” in 2017.

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. The ERP also establishes your local SERVPRO® Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 45 years experience and a System more than 1,700 Franchises strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO® READY App, this information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting help at your fingertips.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes—resolve to be READY. Call SERVPRO® of Tyler to establish your Emergency READY Profile®, and be “Ready for whatever happens” in 2017. 

Advantages of the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile®

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
  • A concise profile document containing only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO® Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.

Call SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine to schedule your Emergency READY Profile today. 

Is Your Property Winter Ready

2/14/2017 (Permalink)

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

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.

Frozen Pipe Burst In East Texas

1/23/2017 (Permalink)

Weatherproofing your home against the cold will help protect your indoor plumbing against the threat of breaks.

Tips to prevent pipes from freezing at your home or business:

  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets connected to pipes that run through an unheated or unprotected space. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe.
  • Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes with caulking.
  • Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Insulate pipes that pass through unheated spaces (crawlspaces, basements, garages).
  • Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating drafts near doors.
  • Know where your main water shut-off valve is. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut the water off immediately.
  • When away from the house for an extended period, be careful how much you lower the heat. A lower temperature may save on the heating bill, but there could be a disaster if a cold spell strikes and pipes that normally would be safe, freeze and burst.

Weatherproofing your home against the cold will help protect your indoor plumbing against the threat of breaks.

Source: Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Faster to your Athens, Mineola, Palestine Water Damage Event

12/14/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Tyler and surrounding areas.  

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

 

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 903-561-0309

 

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or 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.

 

What Is Mold?

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

Molds are microscopic organisms commonly found both indoors and outdoors. Molds, along with mushrooms and yeast, are known scientifically as fungi. Their purpose in nature is to break down dead material and recycle nutrients in the environment. For molds to grow and reproduce, they need a food source - any organic material, such as leaves, wood, paper, or dirt - and moisture. Since molds grow by "eating" the organic material, they gradually destroy whatever they are feeding on.

Mold growth on surfaces can often be seen as a colored spot, frequently green, gray, brown, black or white. It commonly appears as a powdery, fuzzy, or hair-like material. Actively growing molds typically produce odors, sometimes described as earthy or moldy, or like mildew, old dirty socks, or ammonia. Molds release thousands of microscopic spores, which are lightweight, easily airborne and carried by air currents to surrounding areas. The spores must have both food and moisture to actually start growing, similar to plant seeds.

If you think you may have a mold issue in your home or business, call SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine today!

Understanding WEA's

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through your mobile carrier. Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA and the FCC, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather service. Alerts received at the right time can help keep you safe during an emergency. With WEA, alerts can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in harm’s way, without needing to download an app or subscribe to a service. WEA shares extreme weather warnings, local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action, AMBER alerts, and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.


A WEA comes like a text message would come to your phone, and will typically show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert. The message will be no longer than 90 characters long.


Visit www.ctia.org/wea to learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts, including how to determine if your mobile device is WEA capable.

Tools To Keep You Safe

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

One of the best precautions you can take is to purchase a good quality weather radio. A weather radio is designed to alert you to a potentially dangerous weather situation, such as an approaching tornado, massive hailstorm, or hurricane. It allows you to be warned ahead of storms, providing you time to seek shelter. A weather radio is the most reliable source for weather alerts.


Weather radios have made many advancements over the years and are very affordable. Most basic weather radios average around $30 and can be programmed to only alert you for the weather alerts you choose.


When shopping for a weather radio, look for the following key features:


• Reviewable alerts (you can scroll through alerts and turn off the siren for alerts you do not wish to hear)
• Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) alert programming- alerts when specific counties are threatened, ensuring you only receive alerts from your county.
• Ease of programming


If you need help programming your weather radio, you can always contact your local National Weather Service Office or for additional information, including county codes for your state, visit the NOAA Weather Radio website at www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr.

Be Storm Smart. Be Storm Ready.

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms:


• 10,000 severe thunderstorms
• 5,000 floods or flash floods
• 1,000 tornadoes
• 2 land-falling deadly hurricanes


Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year, and nearly $15 billion in damages.* Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.


Know Your Risk
The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you, your business and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Station, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.


Take Action
Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Put together or purchase an emergency kit, and keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.


Be An Example
Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with co-workers, family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others to do the same.


*Facts provided by http://www.stormready.noaa.gov

Document Drying & Restoration

12/6/2016 (Permalink)

Does your home or business have important documents that are important to your well-being? In the event of a water at your home or business, SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine offers document drying services for those important files or personal papers.


Vacuum Freeze Drying
Items containing moisture are frozen and dried using various vacuums and pressures to achieve sublimation (direct conversion of a solid into gas without passage through a liquid stage – think dry ice).


Digitizing
With the new age of technology, digitizing records and documents has become a standard practice in most industries. This eliminates the need to have massive file storage rooms and allows us to access records at the click of a button. If your file room was damaged by water and needs to be cleaned, dried, or decontaminated, digitizing might be a good choice to eliminate the need to have hundreds or even thousands of documents and records in storage.


Gamma Irradiation
Gamma irradiation is a process used for cleaning/disinfecting and decontaminating documents or other consumer goods. In gamma irradiation, high-energy photons are emitted from an isotope source (cobalt 60) producing ionization (electron disruptions) throughout a product. In a category 3 water loss situation (sewage or flood water), documents are not only dealing with that water, but also are infected with all types of bacteria. If this is the case, decontamination is a must. In living cells, these disruptions result in damage to the DNA and other cellular structures. These photon-induced changes at the molecular level cause the death of the organism or render the organism incapable of reproduction. The gamma process does not create residuals or impart radioactivity in processed products.


Certified Destruction
Unfortunately, many business and government agencies have to dispose of counterfeit, faulty, expired or contaminated materials. All entities need to be certified that their products and materials are destroyed. The guarantee of certified destruction is to protect one’s liabilities, brand image, or proprietary information. We guarantee certified destruction to give you peace of mind that your documents are disposed of properly.

Your Business and Indoor Air Quality

11/7/2016 (Permalink)

Dirty ducts can work to circulate odors, contaminates such as mold, and irritating dust throughout the building.

In the 1970’s, a syndrome called sick building syndrome became apparent as groups of people displayed symptoms after having spent extended periods of time in buildings with poor air quality. Prudent judgement and immediate attention can save you money in the event of any type of litigation- healthy air saves you money.

By having your business cleaned on a weekly, or monthly basis, you are creating an impact on first impressions with your customers. Using safe and biodegradable products, SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine can create a clean, fresh lasting impression! By cleaning dirty and stained ceilings, scrubbing floors, cleaning furniture and textiles, and establishing a maintenance plan for your business, your first impression will be a lasting one with your customers.

The other action item to ensure that your business has clean, healthy air is an annual duct cleaning. Dirty ducts can work to circulate odors, contaminates such as mold, and irritating dust throughout the building.

It's the Water you Don't See

10/31/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine has the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine has the equipment, training and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss. When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform. SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine.

  • Moisture Sensors are used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls.
  • Moisture Meters are used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine to monitor the drying process.
  • Thermohygrometers measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized.
  • Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers will atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas.
  • Thermal Foggers dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solution that attach to and neutralize odor- causing particles.

The bottom line? SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine has the training and equipment to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Learn more about water damage.

10 Ways You Can Be Prepared

10/31/2016 (Permalink)

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. 

Be Ready with the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program

10/31/2016 (Permalink)

The ERP is a no cost assessment, all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future. Call SERVPRO®

National Preparedness Month is the perfect opportunity to share the benefits of having a readiness plan in place with your customers, business and family.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) will help ensure you and your business are “Ready for whatever happens.”

In the event of an emergency, the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile®, 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 Contact Information, Shut-off Valve Locations and Priority Areas. The ERP is also accessible online using your computer or tablet; download SERVPRO’s free Ready Plan app to access this information at any time using your smartphone or tablet.

The ERP establishes SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to over 45 years experience and a system more than 1,700 Franchises strong. Knowing what to do and who to call in advance is key to quick response and timely mitigation. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in the building following a disaster.

Preparation is the key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but now, you can plan for it.

The ERP is a no cost assessment, all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save a lot of time in the future. Call SERVPRO® of Tyler to establish your Emergency READY Profile®.

Do you have a plan?

10/31/2016 (Permalink)

Being ready will make a difference in how you handle an emergency.

As a member of the Ready Campaign’s National Preparedness Coalition, SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine is on a mission to help people be prepared.

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. The following are basic measures business owners and managers can take to begin preparing. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.

 Develop a Business Continuity Plan.

Your organization’s risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.

Review Insurance Coverage.

Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary; check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruption. Understand what your policy does and does not cover.

Prepare your Emergency Plan.

Your employees and co-workers are your business’ most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools.

Practice the Emergency Plan.

Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, customers and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a small strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.

Secure Your Facility and Equipment.

Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and detectors in appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.

Improve Cyber Security.

Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Don’t open e-mails from unknown sources. Use hard-to-guess passwords. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Back up your computer data and download security protection updates known as patches regularly.

Information provided by ready.gov.

For Immediate Service in Athens, Mineola or Palestine, Call SERVPRO

10/25/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Athens, Mineola, Palestine and surrounding areas. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 - 903-561-0309

Residential Services

Whether your Athens, Mineola or Palestine home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us. Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Athens, Mineola or Palestine commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services: 

Commercial Water Damage Restoration

17th Annual Red, White & Blue Festival

10/25/2016 (Permalink)

Honor. Respect. Remember.
The City of Bullard will once again be painted with patriotism as community members and local businesses recognize and honor the sacrifices and service of veterans and active duty personnel, as well as celebrate American Freedom, at the 17th annual Red, White and Blue Festival on Saturday, November 5th, 2016.
Schedule of Events:
7:30 am - 9:00 am Military and Veteran Family Breakfast (Free)
10:00 am - 11:00 am Patriotic Parade
10:00 am - 2:00 pm Car Show
11:00 am - 11:05 am Military Plane Flyover
11:00 am - 12:00 pm Veteran Appreciation Ceremony
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm Live Music - TUXEDO CATS
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm Live Music - TEXAS REBELLION
5:00 pm - 5:30 pm Flag Retirement Ceremony, Boy Scouts of America Troop 366
All Day Events: Carnival Rides and Amusements, Retail, Craft and Food Vendors
For information: call Tracy Barnes at 903-894-4238 or send email to her attention at bullardchamber@gmail.com.

Fighting Flu

10/25/2016 (Permalink)

It's the time of year when we may experience localized influenza outbreaks at homes, businesses and schools. Luckily,SERVPRO® of Tyler uses the best cleaning solutions available to remedy toxic and germ saturated situations.

SERVPRO® of Tyler uses the Benefect suite of products, an all-natural, safe, bacteria killing cleaning solution. This 100% natural disinfectant is safe to use on just about anything. Some commercial applications would be in food preparation areas, day cares and nurseries, hotels and restaurants, schools and fitness gyms and kennels and barns. If your home, business or school experiences an influenza outbreak this season, call SERVPRO® of Tyler to safely disinfect the area and help fight the flu! 903-561-0168

Make This Fall Fire Free

10/25/2016 (Permalink)

This fall season brings cooler temperatures, Beautiful colors and abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe an

This fall season brings cooler temperatures, Beautiful colors and abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire free.

  • Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric. If you are making your costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or a flame.
  • It is safest to use flashlights or battery-operated candles in a jack-o-lantern. Use extreme caution if using a real candle. Place lit pumpkins away from anything than can burn, and out of the way of doorsteps, walkways and yards.

Facts and information provided by the National Fire Prevention Association, nfpa.org

Water Damage Doesn't Float Anybody's Boat

10/25/2016 (Permalink)

Biohazard damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into your home or building.

Any water damage in your facility is bad-especially when the water contains potentially harmful bacteria that can affect the health of occupants and the value of your property. Toilet overflows, sewage backups and other black water intrusions are more than nasty, smelly messes; these biohazardous damages also introduce harmful microorganisms into your home or building, as well as the moisture necessary to support their continued growth.

Your SERVPRO® of Tyler professionals understand how disruptive black water damages can be for your holiday gatherings, everyday life, or your business. For this reason SERVPRO® of Atgens/Mineola/Palestine offers 24-hour emergency response, and under normal circumstances, will have trained, uniformed technicians on-site within four hours to begin emergency mitigation services. By responding quickly with a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine can help you regain control quickly while drying, deodorizing, and protecting your home or facility and contents.

Are you Prepared?

10/14/2016 (Permalink)

More Fire Prevention Tips for kids at Sparky.org

October is Fire Prevention Month-a perfect time to examine emergency preparedness plans, including your home fire escape plan. Do you have a plan? Have you changed or tested your smoke alarm batteries within the last year?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) designates a week each October to focus on fire prevention awareness. The 2016 theme is “Don’t Wait-Check the Date! Replace Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years,” designed to educate the public about the basic but essential elements of smoke alarm safety. The NFPA recommends installing smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement. Smoke alarms save lives. In fact, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half!

Visit Sparky.org for more fire prevention tips.

Make This Fall Fire Free

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

The fall season brings cooler temperatures, beautiful colors and an abundance of outdoor activities. Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe, and fire-free. By following these safety precautions, your fall festivities will be safe and fun!

  • Fall decorations such as dried flowers and cornstalks are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume. Consider avoiding billowing fabric, and if you choose to make your own costume, choose material that won’t easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame.
  • It is safest to use a flashlight, or a battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. If you are going to use a real candle, use extreme caution, and don’t forget to put it out if you are not going to be around. Place lit pumpkins away from anything that can burn, and out of the way of doorsteps, walkways and yards.

At SERVPRO® of Tyler, we wish you a happy and safe Halloween.

Facts and information provided by National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org

What To Do Until Help Arrives

9/30/2016 (Permalink)

Fire damage in an elementary school

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until your SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine professionals arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of a successful restoration.

Do:

Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.

Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.

Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.

Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.

If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.

Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.

Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

Don’t:

Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Athens/Mineola/Palestine professional.

Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® of Athens/Mineola/Palestine professional.

Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.

Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.

If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.

Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

More fire tips from SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine

Free Insurance Continuing Education

8/18/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine offers multiple CE classes.

Insurance Professionals join SERVPRO of Tyler for a free insurance CE 

When: September 14, 2016

Time: 8:00-12:00pm

Where: SERVPRO of Tyler

20966 FM 2493

Bullard, TX 75757

Mitigation Awareness & Response-2 hours # 86896

Deodorization of Malodors-2 hours #26205

Please call or email RSVP to 903-561-0168 or smm@SERVPROoftyler.com

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your East Texas Home

8/12/2016 (Permalink)

We are an IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine

SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.

Meet the SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine Crew

Company Profile

Restoring Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

6/23/2016 (Permalink)

Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

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 Tyler

SERVPRO of Tyler 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.

Managing Mold

5/24/2016 (Permalink)

When there is a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking waterline, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property.  Fortunately, SERVPRO of Tyler has the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle you mold problem.  Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same.  The following steps illustrate a "typical" mold removal process. 

1. Call SERVPRO of Tyler at 903-561-0168

2. Inspection and Damage Assessment

3. Mold Containment

4. Air Filtration 

5. Removing Mold and Mold Infested Materials 

6. Restoration 

SERVPRO of Tyler's professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business. 

Disaster Recovery Team

5/24/2016 (Permalink)

During major weather events or disaster situations, SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team is activated to assist residents and business owners in the affected areas.  SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team has responded to large loss and storm events across the country. 

Be Storm Smart

5/24/2016 (Permalink)

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Each year, Americans cope with an average of the following intense storms: 

-10,000 severe thunderstorms 

- 5,000 floods or flash floods

- 1,000 tornados

- 2 land falling deadly hurricanes

Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others. 

Frozen Pipes

1/22/2016 (Permalink)

Tips to prevent pipes from freezing at your home or business:

  • Keep a slow trickle of water flowing through faucets connected to pipes that run through an unheated or unprotected space. The cost of the extra water is low compared to the cost to repair a broken pipe.
  • Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations near water pipes with caulking.
  • Keep cabinet doors open to allow warm air to circulate around pipes.
  • Insulate pipes that pass through unheated spaces (crawlspaces, basements, garages).
  • Eliminate sources of cold air near water lines by repairing broken windows, insulating walls, closing off crawl spaces and eliminating drafts near doors.
  • Know where your main water shut-off valve is. If a pipe freezes or bursts, shut the water off immediately.
  • When away from the house for an extended period, be careful how much you lower the heat. A lower temperature may save on the heating bill, but there could be a disaster if a cold spell strikes and pipes that normally would be safe, freeze and burst.
Weatherproofing your home against the cold will help protect your indoor plumbing against the threat of breaks.

Source: Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day

10/14/2015 (Permalink)

It is a 3-Peat of the 3 Day!

I am very excited to walk the 3 day this year. It is a personal achievement to complete the training and walk 60 miles in 3 days by joining the fight for a cure for 3 years in a row. This cause is personal. My mother died of breast cancer. Lee's mother died of breast cancer. I have wondered how the conversation must have gone when the spouses heard the words "I have a lump that needs to be checked." I never thought I would be on the receiving end of that conversation. It was the week of the 3 Day walk last year. Spoiler alert here!!! There is a happy ending to this story. Because of the advances in today's technology, research, breast cancer awareness in males and females, and donations from people like you, all is well. Many people go for a mammogram or breast sonogram and then face the race against cancer. My spouse does not face that race. I want there to be a cure for breast cancer in my lifetime. I will be walking for the Jo's and the Lou's and for the Linda's and the Linde's and this year for the Lee's.


What can you do to fight breast cancer? You can support me as I walk for Jo Lou, Susan Jo, Abbe Jo, Sadie Jo, Linde, Linda, Abbe Lee, Lee, Joy, Camille, Caroline, Melissa, Janice, Evelyn, Jennifer, Suzan, Taylor, Jamie Lee, Susan Anne, Kathy, Nelda, Marion's sisters, Kitty, and for you.


For those we have lost and those we love,
Cindy Lou Browning

Make This Fall Fire Free

10/14/2015 (Permalink)

This fall season brings cooler temperatures, Beautiful colors and abundance of outdoor activities.  Plan ahead this season to help ensure it is safe and fire free.

  • Fall decorations, like dried flowers and cornstalks are highly flammable.  Keep these and other decorations away from open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters. 
  • Keep emergency exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Teach children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire.
  • Remember safety first when choosing a Halloween costume.  Consider avoiding billowing fabric.  If you are making your costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or a flame.
  • It is safest to use flashlights or battery-operated Candles in a jack-o-lantern.  Use extreme caution if using a real candle.  Place lit pumpkins away from anything than can burn, and out of the way of doorsteps, walkways and yards. 

Facts and information provided by the National Fire Prevention Association, nfpa.org

Storm Damage and Cleanup

4/21/2015 (Permalink)

With recent tornados, flooding and storm damage in East Texas SERVPRO of Athens/Mineola/Palestine is helping many commercial and residential customers with cleanup.  

If you or your customers need assistance remember SERVPRO is always here to help. 

Avoiding Holiday Hazards

12/6/2013 (Permalink)

December is the peak month for home candle fires.

Avoiding Holiday Hazards


Pretty lights and

decorations add to the feel of the holiday season, but if they are not used properly your holidays can quickly go from festive to frightening. Fortunately, by following a few simple safety tips, you can greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.


Candle Safety
Candles are widely used throughout the holidays, and December is the peak month for home candle fires. The National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) statistics show, more than half of all candle fires start because the candles were too close to flammable objects. Consider using flame-less candles instead of real candles. However, if you do use traditional candles, keep them at least 12 inches from anything flammable, and remember to extinguish them when leaving a room or going to bed. Use sturdy candle holders that are not likely to tip over and place candles on clear, uncluttered surfaces.
 
Christmas Tree Safety
The NFPA also reports, local fire departments respond to an average of 250 Christmas tree related fires each year, with the majority of these fires caused by electrical problems. If you have an artificial tree, be sure it is labeled, certified, or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant. If you choose a live tree, pick a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched. Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights. The tree should also be clear of all exits. Make sure the tree has plenty of water every day. After the holidays, properly dispose of your tree. Dried-out trees can be a fire hazard and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside the home.
 
Decorative Lights
When purchasing decorative lights, make sure they are properly labeled and have been inspected by an independent testing laboratory. It is also important to ensure you have the correct type of lights; some lights are designed for only indoor or outdoor use, but not both. Carefully inspect light strands before placing them. Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more than the number of light strings recommended by the manufacturer. Remember to turn off outside decorative lights and Christmas tree lights before leaving or going to bed.

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