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Plan for Mitigating Water Damage

11/9/2022 (Permalink)

Air movers (fans) placed in a kitchen Residential water clean up

How to Clean Up Water Damage After a Water Leak

Water damage is one of the most expensive and time-consuming disasters you can experience. It's also one of the easiest to prevent: a little maintenance goes a long way toward keeping your home safe from water damage. This guide will walk through what you need to do in order to clean up after a water leak so that you can get back to normal life as soon as possible.

1. DOCUMENT AND MOVE

First, document the damage. Take photos of everything that was wet or damaged in any way. Also, if you can, take pictures of where the water came from and how it got there.

Next, move items to higher ground—or at least away from their current location on the floor—as quickly as possible. This will help prevent further damage and allow you to dry out your home more quickly later. Don't forget to move any valuables (like jewelry) out of harm's way too! After this initial step has been taken, remove all items that do need to be replaced due to water damage into a dry area (like another room), so they're not left sitting in puddles while they're drying out.

2. EXTRACT THE WATER

Once you've assessed the damage, it's time to start removing the water. There are several different ways to remove water from your property, it really just depends on the type of water and loss and the extent of the damage. 

Once you've removed all of the standing water, use your nose and eyes as indicators for whether or not there are still places where water has pooled. Remember: If a light bulb goes out in an area where there isn't supposed to be any power running, that could mean there's still moisture somewhere! 

3. CLEAN AND DISINFECT

Now that the area is dry, you can move on to disinfecting it. This will help to prevent mold and mildew growth, as well as other bacteria. It's important to note that not all disinfectants are safe for every surface—some can damage certain materials. So before buying a disinfectant, make sure you read the product label carefully so you know how much of the product to use and whether or not it will harm your floors or walls.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some disinfectants take longer than others to dry after application; most will dry within 24 hours but it's still best if you avoid walking on them until then.

4. SET UP DRYING EQUIPMENT

Use fans to circulate air. These will help speed up the drying process, especially in areas with high humidity. Set up dehumidifiers in your basement or garage to get rid of excess moisture and reduce odor. Place them on a timer so they turn off after they've sucked as much water out of the air as possible.

If you have a furnace fan, turn it on—it can pull in warm dry air from outside and push out old, damp air that's contributing to mold growth indoors.

5. INSPECT, REPAIR, AND REPLACE

You've got your water damage cleaned up. Now what?

It's time to inspect, repair, and replace items that have been damaged by the water. There are a few things you can do to help keep yourself on track when it comes to repairing things in your home:

  • Make a list of damaged items.
  • Keep it in one place so everyone knows what needs fixing and where they should look (remembering which rooms were affected by the leak).
  • Take pictures of everything as well! You'll want to remember how bad it was before starting any repairs or replacements."

Takeaway:

With a little bit of time and effort, you can clean up your water damage. If the extent of the damage is serious, it is wise to call your local SERVPRO experts for assistance.

Hopefully, this article has helped you understand more about how to clean up water damage after a water leak. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below!

Content cleaning and fire damage

10/2/2022 (Permalink)

chair and furniture in the room after burned by fire We use specialized equipment to clean smoke and soot from furniture, interior structures as well as personal.

Content Restoration and Fire Damage

After a fire, your most important job is to get the damage cleaned up as quickly as possible. SERVPRO of Stone Oak offers content cleaning services to help you restore the valuables inside your home or business after a fire incident.

Non-porous items, such as clothing, can be dry-cleaned

If your clothing has been near the fire, it is possible that they will smell like smoke. They might also be covered in soot.  In these instances, the clothes might feel like they are ruined. That is not the case! Sending your clothes to a professional dry cleaner can save your clothing.

The clothing should be dry-cleaned at least twice before being worn again. This will ensure that any residual odors are removed as much as possible before wearing them again.

High frequency sound waves are used to clean some items

Ultrasonic cleaning is an option for some items that are not porous. Porosity refers to the ability of an object to absorb moisture, so porous materials include clothing and carpeting. Non-porous objects include glass, mirrors, and ceramics.

The process involves placing the item in a tank with water and detergent solution, then vibrating it at high frequency with sound waves until dirt is loosened from the surface. This can be effective for removing dust from non-porous items like electronics or kitchenware, but it's not suitable for clothing or other textiles because they're too absorbent.

Content cleaning is an important part of fire mitigation

Content cleaning is an important part of mitigating fire damage because it reduces the amount of material that must be replaced. SERVPRO of Stone Oak can help with content cleaning and smoke damage.

Our SERVPRO technicians are highly trained to mitigate fire damage and clean up after a fire. We use specialized equipment to clean smoke and soot from interior structures as well as personal possessions, including clothing, furniture, and treasured family heirlooms. The goal of content cleaning is to restore your belongings to pre-fire condition as much as possible. If part of an item cannot be saved, we will work with you to replace those items within your insurance policy limits.

If you have fire damage, call SERVPRO of Stone Oak for help today.

SERVPRO of Stone Oak is a local company with many years of experience. We can help you get back to normal after a fire by assisting with insurance claims, content cleaning & storage, and cleanup & restoration. We are available 24/7, day or night. 

Our trained technicians will arrive on time to begin the process immediately. The sooner we start cleaning up your space, the more likely it is that we can save any important belongings from secondary damages, such as water damage or mold growth. 

While many companies might try and sell you on services they don’t actually offer (like water extraction), we at SERVPRO understand how important it is for our customers to trust us when they need us most — that’s why we only use certified professional technicians who are trained in both fire and water restoration services!

If you’ve recently experienced fire damage, SERVPRO of Stone Oak can help. We provide emergency cleaning services and work with insurance companies to ensure that the process is as smooth and stress-free as possible. Our goal is to restore your home or business to preloss condition as quickly as possible so that you can get back on track with your life. Contact us today to learn more!

How To Safely Use Candles in Your Home

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Candle lit up Never leave a candle lit if you leave the room or go to bed

With the holidays approaching, people love to decorate with candles. The light they provide adds ambiance to any room of the house. Candles scented with pine or spices can also bring back memories of holidays past, especially if you have an artificial tree. To enjoy candles safely, there are a few tips to follow this holiday season to avoid a candle fire.

Where To Burn Candles

The location of your candles is one of the most important steps to remember.

Place the candle on a flat, stable surface that is heat-resistant.
Make sure there are no objects near the flame that are flammable, such as carpeting or curtains.
Don't place a candle near a fan or vent. This can cause objects to blow too near the flame.
Never burn candles if someone uses oxygen in your home.
Always burn candles in a room that is fairly large and well-ventilated.

How To Burn Candles Safely
To avoid a candle fire, never leave a candle lit if you leave the room or go to bed. When you extinguish the candle, use a snuffer. Blowing on hot wax can cause it to splatter.
Keep children and pets at a safe distance from the flame. In addition, make sure you tie long hair back when lighting the wick.


How To Clean Smoke From Belongings
If you are dealing with smoke after a fire, call a fire restoration service right away. Trained professionals will assess the situation and devise a plan to safely remove the soot and smoke from your home in Timberwood Park, TX. Smoke cleanup must be handled by an expert who uses specialized equipment to ensure all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.
Candles are a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the holidays. If they aren't used correctly, however, they can cause a candle fire. Safely enjoy the holidays by following some simple safety tips when using candles.

Can Commercial Tenants Get Flood Insurance?

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Clipboard with an insurance form Call your agent to find out if you are covered

Flood Insurance

Renter’s insurance covers the contents of a space rented by a commercial tenant. A lessee can obtain insurance coverage that specifically applies to damage caused by flooding, which is often excluded from general commercial renters policies. The availability of National Flood Insurance Program policies varies based on the location of rented property in Stone Oak, TX.

Renters Policies May Exclude Flood Damage
Renters policies for commercial structures tend to cut out damage caused by flooding. Exposure to contaminated water can damage or destroy any of the following high-value contents:

  • Appliances and devices
  • Fixtures
  • Inventory

While a property owner and lessor is responsible for restoring a structure damaged by flooding, a tenant or lessee is responsible for replacing damaged contents. For this reason, it can be helpful to seek out dedicated flood coverage for commercial renters.

The NFIP Offers Renters Insurance
The NFIP is administered by FEMA. While this program does offer renter's insurance, a tenant must see whether the NFIP is available in the area in which a property is located. In general, the NFIP is more likely to be an option in designated flood zones.

Private Insurers Provide Flood Policies
If the NFIP does not offer policies that cover a rented commercial space, a business owner may want to obtain a flood policy through a private company. Check the limits and terms of any policy to ensure that it covers the costs of replacing ruined commercial contents. It may be possible to obtain a rider on a general commercial property insurance policy for rented premises or a business may have to obtain a separate policy.
Flood insurance coverage may be available through the NFIP for business owners who rent property located in a flood zone in Stone Oak, TX. If an NFIP policy is not available, a private insurer may offer renter’s insurance for flooding in addition to general commercial insurance.

Performing a Successful Water Heater Flush

8/10/2022 (Permalink)

Flushing a water heater Performing a successful water heater flush is an excellent way to help maintain your device

Steps To Perform A Flush For A Water Heater

Performing a successful water heater flush is an excellent way to help maintain your device and prevent unnecessary damage or repairs. The process is very simple, even if you don't have any prior plumbing experience. Follow the steps below to perform a flush for the water heater in your home in San Antonio, TX.

1. Turn Off the Heater's Power.
This process varies depending on whether you have a gas or electric models. For a gas model, simply extinguish the pilot light. If you have an electric model, turn off the line in the circuit box that supplies the heater.

2. Designate a Proper Drainage Area and Connect the Hose.
You need to designate an area where you can drain the water. It should be a spot that can handle lots of warm water flow, without running the risk of flooding your property. Connect one end of your garden hose to the drain valve before running the opposite end of the hose into your designated drainage area.

3. Drain Your Tank.
Open your drain valve to let the water out. Allow it to flow for several minutes. During this time, head into your kitchen and turn on the hot water faucet in the sink. This helps the water run more smoothly. After a few minutes, shut off the supply valve. The water flow will gradually begin to slow before it stops altogether. Reopen the drain valve to perform one more quick flush before shutting it off again.

4. Refill the Tank.
Close the valves and turn the water supply back on. Keep an eye on the faucet in your kitchen. Once the water starts running smoothly, you'll know that the heater's tank is full.

5. Reactivate the Heating Element.
Refer to step one to reactivate the power in your heater. You have now performed a successful water heater flush.
Proper water heater maintenance is essential if you wish to keep your device running properly for a long time. For more assistance or information, contact water remediation experts.

What That Smell From Your Washing Machine Means

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Woman covering her nose while opening washing machine Does your washer machine stink?

What Your Washing Machine's Odor Means

Nothing is worse than getting ready to wash a large batch of dirty laundry and getting hit by an overpowering smell emitting from your washing machine. That's a mold smell, and it could mean mold is elsewhere in your home, including:

  • The air
  • The walls
  • The pipes

It may be necessary to consult with a Timberwood Park, TX, mold remediation specialist to do the following:

Locate the Source
Finding the origin of the mold you smell is critical to containing its spread. Mold containment services can measure the number of mold spores in an environment and track their source by calculating their density. Infrared cameras can detect moisture in walls and ceilings, indicating the presence of mold in those spaces. Often, leaky pipes and clogged gutters are the cause of excess moisture.

Contain the Mold
Once you determine that mold is causing the odor in your washing machine, and you've located its source, you will want to prevent spores from spreading. Although mold-infested structural elements are not replaceable, state-of-the-art dehumidification methods can remove moisture from hard to reach places, inhibiting the spread of mold. Air filtration systems can be employed to address airborne mold spores that have likely spread through the air if you can smell them.

Mold Prevention
A mold remediation company can confirm that it is impossible to avoid mold entirely, but three conditions promote its spread:

  • High humidity
  • Poor airflow
  • Low light

It may seem counter-intuitive to lower the humidity in a washing machine, but this is possible when the machine is not in use. Immediately remove wet clothes and keep the door open to prevents stagnant water and allow the interior chamber to dry thoroughly. Running a cycle with white vinegar followed by baking soda periodically will help get you back to clean, fresh-scented laundry.
If a mold smell suddenly occurs in your home, contact a Timberwood Park, TX, mold remediation service immediately.

3 Ways To Make Home Landscaping Flood Resistant

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Fenced backyard. View of lawn and blooming flower beds Flood-resistant landscaping measures may prove useful for limiting the severity of flood damage

Three Home Landscaping Tips

The landscaping surrounding your home can be more than ornamental. If you reside in a flood-prone area of San Antonio, TX, you may want to pursue any or all of these three home landscaping tips for diverting outside flooding away from your home.


1. Adjust the Grade
Many homes that are located in flood-prone areas are situated on high ground or constructed on raised foundations. If water still accumulates around the foundation of your home during heavy rains or flooding, you may want to add swales. These channels dug into the landscape can redirect the course of water away from the foundation of your home during a heavy rainstorm or flood event.


2. Check the Drainage
The water that filters down from the roof of a home should also be directed away from the foundation. Gutters should connect to downspouts, and diverters can be useful for making outside flooding flow toward features such as swales, rain gardens or drainage rather than pooling around the foundation where it has the potential to damage the structure or interior of your home.


3. Cultivate Natural Barriers
Rain gardens and other natural plant barriers can be highly effective for managing water flow. The ideal location for these features is at least 10 feet away from the foundation of your home or in swales. Plant root systems slow the flow of water over the surface of the ground and absorb moisture to make rain drainage more effective. These gardens should ideally contain local plants that require a minimal amount of maintenance between rains.
Outside flooding poses major water damage risks. As heavy rainfall accumulates and bodies of surface water overflow, contaminated water may spread across flood zones in San Antonio, TX. If your home is located in or near one of these zones, flood-resistant landscaping measures may prove useful for limiting the severity of flood damage.

Techniques That Do Not Work for Mold Cleanup

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Mold containment. Plastic barrier on a door Mold remediation job in Stone Oak, TX.

If you find yourself with a mold problem in Stone Oak, TX, you want the most effective treatments for a lasting fungus cleanup. The wrong treatment will just waste time and money and will give the mold spores time to spread throughout your building. Or, the problem will return just when you thought things were getting better. A professional mold remediation team has the training, equipment, and cleaning agents to take care of mold effectively. Once the problem is stopped, the mold shouldn't return unless another instance of water damage happens to your business.

Mold Cleaning Methods To Avoid

A do-it-yourself approach to fungus cleanup often falls short for a number of reasons. Mold testing should be conducted and interpreted by a certified environmental technician and taken to an approved laboratory. Many common cleaning agents are not effective in the fight against mold. Plus, cleaning should be applied in a systematic and professional manner, in accordance with the highest standards of the cleaning and restoration industry. Here are a few methods used to clean up mold that could backfire:

  • The use of bleach. While this often will kill mold it is not approved by the EPA as a biocide.
  • The improper use of ventilation. Using fans and opening windows will often just result in spreading mold spores
  • The incomplete cleaning of surfaces. In some cases, materials affected by mold will need to be replaced.

Mold Cleaning by Professionals
A thorough fungus cleanup begins with an inspection and assessment of the problem, followed by a plan of action. Advanced techniques such as thermal imaging and moisture detection alert technicians to hidden areas of mold. Mold containment uses physical barriers and negative air chambers to prevent spread. Mold removal employs air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to capture mold spores out of the area. Approved, powerful, and safe cleaning agents wipe down impacted surfaces. Finally, complete restoration treats odors and replaces damaged belongings.

How To Clean Up Wood Floors Quickly After a Water Leak

6/21/2022 (Permalink)

wooden floor damaged by water Water-damaged flooring in San Antonio, TX.

How to Quickly Clean Wood Floors After a Water Leak

You chose wood flooring for your business to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. When you experience water leakage or a flood, it’s important to clean up quickly to avoid damage. Here are three recommendations to achieve the best results when the unfortunate occurs. 

1. Stop the Flow of Water from a Pipe Burst or Other Source
The first step in dealing with water on your floors is locating the source and controlling it. Some common problem areas to look for in commercial business settings include:

  • Leaking roof
  • Faulty sprinkler system
  • Clogged gutters
  • Old or malfunctioning HVAC system
  • Pipe burst

2. Clean Up Right Away
It is essential to begin cleaning up immediately upon managing the water flow to reduce or eliminate the potential for damage. Start by opening windows and doors to improve airflow. Depending on the amount of liquid present, the next step will be to wipe the area with towels or a mop. You can also use a rubber broom to push standing water through an open doorway to facilitate removal. Finally, place commercial fans throughout the space to begin the drying process.

3. Contact the Experts
As you’re assessing the wet floor, you may conclude that you need help. Working with a certified water restoration company will give you peace of mind knowing licensed professionals can help you clean and reopen your business safely. These teams have extensive training to get to the heart of the problem, mitigate further issues and prevent the need to replace your wood floor.
Handling a pipe burst or water damage in San Antonio, TX, is frustrating. Stop the flow, clean wet areas and call in the experts so you can get back to business as usual. By taking proactive steps to effectively deal with unwanted water at your building, you will help to lessen the possibility of damage. 

3 Ways To Keep Your Sump Pump Working

6/12/2022 (Permalink)

Water in the basin of a sump pump It's good to conduct a test as part of a pump maintenance routine.

Three Simple Ways To Keep Your Sump Pump Running

If your Timberwood Park, TX, home has a damp basement or if you sometimes have heavy rain or flooding, you know it can be a challenge to keep your house dry. The possibility of water damage is always lurking around the corner.

A sump pump can help you keep water out of your house and avoid the need for water damage repair. Here are three steps to maintaining this vital piece of equipment.

1. Check for Accumulated Debris
Depending on where your pump is located, it can get blocked or clogged with things such as:

  • Dirt
  • Rocks
  • Silt
  • A ball or toy
  • A small animal

Check the vent hole and discharge pipe for debris or objects. Even if your pump isn't completely blocked, the buildup can cause the motor to work harder to drain the basin. The result can be water overflow.
Inspect the intake screen and clean off collected dirt or clogs. Look in the pit for obstructions and ensure the float component has nothing to block it.

2. Inspect the Sump Pump Connections
Make sure your pump electrical cord is in good working order. It could have frayed wires or places where an animal chewed it. After inspecting the cable, ensure it is plugged into a working GFCI outlet.
If you have a backup battery in your appliance, change it every 2-3 years or check with the manufacturer for recommendations on how often to replace it.

3. Perform a Test
It's good to conduct a test as part of a pump maintenance routine. Fill a bucket with water and pour it into the basin. The float should initiate the pump as the water level rises, causing it to drain.
A sump pump can help you keep water out of your Timberwood Park, TX, home during heavy rainfall or melting snow. Maintaining your equipment ensures it works when you need it most.