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Tips for Addressing Mold Growth on Hardwood Floors and Securing Mold Remediation Services

9/8/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian Restoration Company highlights ways to effectively stop the growth of mold on hardwood floors.

The IICRC-certified property damage restoration technicians at SERVPRO® of Waxahachie/Midlothian have the training and experience to handle property damage disasters of any size and type, including mold on hardwood floors. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, EPA-approved products, and advanced cleaning techniques, technicians are able to tackle the toughest challenges.

Dealing with mold on wood floors

Hardwood flooring, one of the most versatile and durable flooring products available in the market, still requires appropriate care and maintenance as prescribed by the manufacturer to ensure long-lasting beauty and service. After years of service and exposure to spills, moisture, and humidity, wood floors may likely experience some mold growth. When issues are suspected, Red Oak, TX, homeowners must take quick action to identify and remove mold growth under wood flooring and preserve the floor’s beauty.

Causes of mold on and under wood flooring

Mold needs darkness, warmth, organic matter, and especially moisture to grow. Moldy flooring may have many causes in a home, including:

  • a slow water leak from an appliance
  • splashing at the kitchen sink
  • beverage spills in the kitchen, den, or home office
  • increased humidity levels due to poor indoor ventilation
  • leaks around windows and doors

The excess wetness and moisture can seep through cracks and crevices under the floor, providing the wet, dark, food-rich environment mold needs to grow. Mold on the surface of wood flooring may go undetected due to concealment under furniture or in the shadows of the room. Mold under the flooring is impossible to see unless the floor is partially dismantled for inspection. If undetected or neglected, mold on and under the flooring can damage both the flooring and the substrate.

How to identify mold growth on and under wooden floors

When inspecting for mold growth on and under wood flooring, pay attention to the following signs:

  1. Musty and mildewy odors

Mold growth has been taking place long before the spores are visible to the unaided eye. Often, the nose will detect the smell of mold before the eyes see the telltale black, green, or bronze mold stains.

  1. Standing water and moisture buildup on the surface of the flooring

Puddles of water, beads of moisture, or a thin film of condensation on the flooring, especially if left undetected or neglected for hours or days, should be a signal to the homeowner to look for mold growth in those areas.

  1. Water damage

Water stains, warped flooring, and spongy flooring should alert the homeowner to the likely presence of mold in the affected areas. A more aggressive approach to mold detection may involve removing portions of the flooring to inspect for mold in areas with any signs of water damage. Inspection at this level may require the services of a professional floor installer to remove the flooring and then replace it once the inspection and any remediation have been completed.

How to remove mold under wood flooring

Limited surface mold can be handled by the homeowner. More extensive mold infestation calls for advanced mold-killing technology, PPG, special cleaning techniques, and products designed to effectively remove and kill the mold. These factors demonstrate the wisdom of having professionals take care of remediating a mold infestation in and under hardwood flooring.

It is important to determine the extent of a mold infestation. The experienced professional is best qualified to make this assessment. In many instances, the identification of the source of the moisture requires experience and skills only professionals have acquired over the years. The goal is to remediate the mold and resolve the moisture issues that promote mold growth.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian inspect and assess the situation. They provide a detailed, well-documented estimate of the remediation. Any insurance claims can be handled by the staff from the beginning of the project to the end. When the job is completed, the home is clean and safe for humans and pets. The remediation project can also include efforts to avoid the recurrence of a mold infestation. The SERVPRO team can take care of any structural damage, including demolition, removal, repairs, and rebuilds. The mold remediation professionals strive to accomplish long-term solutions.

For more information about Red Oak, TX, mold removal services, email SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com or call the office at (972) 935-0827.

Six Steps to Repair a Water Cooler Leak and Deal with the Water Damage in the Office Environment

9/8/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian highlights ways to diagnose and repair a water cooler leak at the office.

SERVPRO® of Waxahachie/Midlothian can handle any size commercial water damage disaster, whether the water damage is a 5-gallon water leak at the water cooler or a 5,000-gallon water leak from a water fountain over a long holiday weekend.

The company water cooler serves many positive purposes. The filtered water it provides makes for a great pot of coffee for the management team after several hours of strategizing. Discussions around the water cooler foster comradery and build company morale. The unit is also good at what it was designed to do: dispense cool, refreshing water to thirsty employees and visitors.

If the water cooler is out of commission or springs a leak, the results are not only inconvenient but can also be disastrous. A water cooler can accommodate a five- or ten-gallon water bottle. Should the unit spring a leak, water damage is limited to whatever amount of water remains in the bottle and spills onto the floor.

Reducing the risk of a water fountain water damage disaster

On the other hand, a water fountain connected to a water line has the potential to continuously release one-half gallon of water per minute as long as the water is on. Over a typical weekend, as much as 2,000 gallons can spill onto the floor. If the facility is multi-story and the leaking water fountain is on an upper floor, the water damage could be catastrophic.

Two thousand gallons is much more than the four gallons from the water bottle on the water cooler. The water leak from the water cooler may not need anything more than a mop and bucket to remediate. The water fountain spill may require heavy-duty pumps, wet-dry vacuums, rapid-spin fans, and commercial dehumidifiers to remediate. Installing a water leak detection device on a water fountain provides an effective way to prevent a severe water damage disaster in a commercial setting.

Diagnosing a water cooler leak

Usually, a water cooler is leaking due to a crack or hole in the bottle. Also, pressure changes may be the reason for the water release. Here are some simple steps to identify the source of the leak and repair the device.

Common causes of a leaking water cooler

Some of the common causes of a leaking water cooler may include:

  1. A pinhole leak or hairline crack in the water jug due to age, abuse, or a manufacturing defect

Typically, the cooler unit is not the problem.

  1. A spout malfunction

The spout mechanism may be damaged from stress or from an impact. A valve in the spout mechanism may be failing due to age or wear.

Steps to repair the leak

Once the leak is diagnosed, here are some steps to take to repair the device.

  • Locate the physical owner’s manual or download a version from the web. This manual may contain a parts list. If not, a parts list can be obtained from the manufacturer, probably from the same website from which the owner’s manual was obtained.
  • Tools needed for the repairs include a screwdriver, pliers, wrenches, and a flashlight.
  • Have a towel or two available if the water inside the unit spills out.

How to repair a leaking water cooler in six steps

Step #1: Shut off the water supply.

This step may involve making sure the faucet or spigot is snugly turned off or shutting off the water if the cooler is connected to a permanent supply line. The unit may have an inline shutoff valve which makes this step very simple.

Step #2: Mark the water level.

Mark the water level on the bottle with a piece of tape or a non-permanent marker. The speed of the water loss may help reveal the cause of the leak. A very slow leak may involve a defective or damaged seal, and a fast leak will leave a trail to its origin. In any case, put down towels to absorb any water and thus, prevent unnecessary water damage.

Step #3: Carefully remove the bottle and monitor its contents.

Remove the bottle from the cooler. Place it in a large sink or take it outside. The goal is to prohibit any further water damage. If the water level in the bottle drops, the leak is in the bottle. If the water cooler unit continues to release water with the bottle having been removed, the leak is in the internal components of the device. Place a cup or pan under the spigot to catch any dripping water. The goal is to prevent water damage and avoid any slip-and-fall hazards.

Step #4: Check the reservoir for a clog.

If the reservoir is clogged, water can back up and spill onto the floor, causing water damage and a slip-and-fall hazard.

Step #5: Check the spout and spigot for leaks.

If a crack or leak is discovered, then replace or repair the part.

Step #6: Replace the unit if it is beyond repair.

Sometimes the damage may be so severe that the best recourse is to simply replace the entire unit rather than risk a water damage disaster.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian can handle any size disaster, from a leaky water cooler and ten gallons of water on the office floor to several thousand gallons from a leaking water fountain over several floors. Crews are available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays.

For more information about Midlothian, TX, commercial water damage restoration and mold mitigation, contact SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian by phone at (972) 935-0827 or by email at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

Causes and Effects of a Fire on a University Campus and the Importance of Rapid Fire Damage Restoration

9/8/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian explains how university and college campuses in Midlothian, TX, can address a fire damage disaster.

SERVPRO® of Waxahachie/Midlothian provides fire damage cleanup and restoration for college campuses in the Midlothian, TX, area. In many ways, a college or university campus is like a small, tight-knit community with a population ranging from just a few thousand to over 100,000 students, faculty, and staff. The comfortable, cozy accommodations are a home for the co-eds to experience life, learn skills needed for a successful professional or technical career, and earn a prized degree from the academic institution of their choice. However, an unanticipated fire can shatter this idyllic educational environment in a matter of minutes. A fire at a university can have consequences that reach into every facet of campus life, depending on the location and extent of the property damage.

The majority of fires on university campuses occur in dormitories. The most frequent causes of fire are listed as follows:

  • Smoking
  • Cooking
  • Overloaded electrical outlets
  • Alcohol-related activity in which inebriated students engage in behaviors that elevate the risk of a fire

Fire safety in the home is much less complex than fire safety in a housing facility with hundreds of rooms, multiple stories, and limited exits. Lack of familiarity with fire survival and escape protocols can lead to dangerous or fatal consequences. A dorm room fire can quickly spread from one room to another, causing extensive damage to the facility and the loss of students’ personal belongings. Fire and smoke damage can render large sections of a dormitory or high-rise student apartment complex uninhabitable for days, weeks, or even months. Smoke damage and water damage from fire suppression sprinklers and the fire department’s efforts to extinguish the blaze may cause damage far in excess of the actual damage from the flames.

The dormitory may be determined to be uninhabitable until the damage cleanup and restoration process has been completed and the building has been inspected and declared safe. In the meantime, alternate living accommodations must be obtained for the student population displaced by the fire. The services of area hotels may be enlisted to meet these housing needs. If the restoration process is extensive or delayed, the cost of alternative housing could be massive.

A fire in a classroom setting may damage equipment, curriculum, and student projects, so a substitute classroom must be located. If a course requires special equipment, as in the case of a chemistry or biology class, the challenges may be insurmountable in the short term. A virtual classroom works for lectures, but hands-on activities like animal dissections and dangerous chemical experiments do not work in a virtual setting. Postponement may be the only option until the restoration project is completed.

Campus dining halls are not immune to fires and fire damage. However, the fact that personnel and staff are well-trained in fire prevention and mitigation means that the fires that do occur are usually extinguished quickly with little to no interruption of services.

Fires occurring in administrative offices are often quickly suppressed by fire sprinklers or employees who have fire prevention training. Quick, decisive action with a fire extinguisher or fire blanket may prevent the activation of the fire sprinkler system, preventing or greatly reducing water damage associated with the activation of the system. A negative consequence of fire damage in an administrative building may involve the damage or destruction of vital documents, computers, copy machines, or other electronics. Cloud storage capabilities, remote work from home or another location on campus may make the disruption and relocation a minimal and temporary inconvenience.

Disruptions on a college campus can be disastrous, especially disruptions from a fire. Listed below are reasons to pre-qualify SERVPRO of Waxahachie as the dedicated property damage cleanup and restoration service provider for the entire university or college.

  1. Availability 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays

The SERVPRO team of well-equipped, experienced, and IICRC-certified technicians are always available on weekends, holidays, and game days which is important since the population of the university may increase by as much as 100,000 if the football stadium is at capacity.

  1. Rapid response and quick cleanup

The one call the university decision-maker places to SERVPRO of Waxahachie yields a rapid response. Crews arrive on the scene in about an hour to inspect and assess the damage and begin the cleanup and restoration project.

  1. A detailed and well-documented estimate

A highly trained technician inspects and assesses the damage, creating a detailed estimate that includes images and videos. The estimate eliminates surprises and is very helpful in the insurance claims process, which SERVPRO can handle from beginning to end.

  1. Ability to scale

The concentration of SERVPRO service providers in the DFW metro area means that SERVPRO is an excellent choice for a dorm room fire or a dormitory fire involving extensive damage on multiple floors or the entire facility. No other property damage company can provide a large-loss response on a par with the SERVPRO franchise family. Whether the situation calls for two crews or twenty crews, the response is still rapid and the cleanup and restoration quick.

  1. Experience facing challenging situations

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian and the larger SERVPRO franchise family have a proven track record of success working on large-loss cleanup and restoration projects. This success with large-scale disasters breeds excellence.

For more information about fire damage restoration in Midlothian, TX, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

Seven Secondary Water Damage Issues That Can Arise after Fire Damage

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian offers tips on dealing with advanced secondary water damage after a fire.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian specializes in water damage repair after water intrusion from a ruptured supply line, severe weather, or efforts from the fire department to extinguish a blaze by pumping thousands of gallons of water into a burning home or business. Secondary water damage presents serious issues that must be addressed. Failure to identify and resolve these issues can leave Red Oak, TX, homes unsafe and unfit for the family to live in.

After a Fire Has Been Extinguished

When the fire department arrives on the scene, the goal is to extinguish the fire as quickly as possible. A standard fire hose can deposit hundreds of gallons of water per minute into a burning home. The pumping pressure is between 800psi and 2000psi, which sprays water out of the nozzle at 70 miles per hour. Large amounts of water pumped under high pressure into the home will cause serious water damage issues that must be addressed immediately to prevent advanced secondary water damage.

Restoration after the Fire

Never enter a fire-damaged structure until the fire department declares that the site is safe. The utmost caution is advised. Portions of the floor and ceiling may be unstable, and wet or moist flooring increases the risk of a slip, trip, or fall injury. Surfaces and the air may be contaminated with VOCs, which can cause health effects. Even if the power is still on or the sun is shining, the interior of the home will be blackened by smoke and soot, making it difficult to navigate through the debris. Narrow hallways and stairs can be treacherous. Once the damage is inspected and assessed, a detailed and well-documented list of damages, repairs, and replacements must be compiled.

Hidden Water

Large quantities of water streaming into a home, as is the case with water from a fire hose, will soak everything in sight and much of the structure that is not readily visible such as behind walls, in ceilings, in the HVAC ductwork, and in the crawl space. If hidden water and moisture are not addressed, advanced secondary water damage can have a significant impact on the overall cost of cleanup and restoration.

Seven Issues That Need to Be Addressed after a Flood

These issues are common to structures experiencing a blaze extinguished by the fire department using high-pressure hoses to quickly deliver water to the flames. A small fire confined to a particular room such as the kitchen still requires much water to be thoroughly extinguished. A fire damage disaster, whether large or small, that also involves water intrusion is best left to trained, experienced, and well-equipped professionals. The scale of the disaster and the contaminants from the fire, smoke, and soot create a hazardous environment unsuitable for a DIY cleanup and restoration project.

1. Mold Damage

Mold thrives in a warm, moist, dark environment with lots of organic matter for food. A fire-damaged, water-soaked home is highly susceptible to mold infestation. Rapid removal of excess water and thorough drying are essential. Cleanup using EPA-approved cleaners follows the drying process. After the cleanup and restoration process is completed, regular inspections are necessary to spot and treat mold growth before an infestation occurs.

2. Damaged Carpet

Carpets retain moisture and toxins after a fire. If the floor covering is not quickly and properly dried and cleaned, pathogens in the wet carpet will make it unsalvageable.

3. Wood Damage

Wood is porous and readily soaks up water and moisture. Floor covering, substrate, studs, cabinets, doors, and furniture are prone to water damage. Efforts to dry out wood and wood products should receive immediate attention. Dehumidifiers and rapid spin fans effectively mitigate the damage, and moisture-detecting technology can confirm when the drying process has been successful.

4. Ceiling Damage

Water-damaged ceilings are risk hazards and should receive immediate attention. Areas that appear to be about to collapse should be secured or removed before anyone is injured or further damage is caused in the home should the ceiling collapse.

5. Drywall Damage

Drywall and sheetrock will bear the brunt of the water and fire damage. Severely damaged areas can be cut out and replaced. Drywall and sheetrock repair requires special tools and skills. Here is where a full-service cleanup and restoration team can help.

6. Caulk and Seal Damage

Standing water will weaken seals around appliances, toilets, and bathtubs. Cracked or loose seals can result in leaks both at the time of the fire and later down the road. Replace damaged seals and re-caulk where needed to prevent leaks after the cleanup and restoration.

7. Electrical Damage

Electronics, appliances, and the wiring behind the walls and in the electrical panel may have received extensive damage and pose a separate fire risk. Electronics, TVs, and some appliances can be dried and repaired. However, due to the fragile nature of the components, the drying and cleanup must be accomplished very quickly.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian is a full-service property damage cleanup and restoration company. They can manage the project from end to end, including all phases of restoration and replacement. The process starts when the team arrives on the scene to inspect and assess the damage. A detailed and well-documented estimate is prepared for the homeowner. The capable staff can handle the insurance claims process from start to finish.

For more details about fire and water damage restoration, contact SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian by calling (972) 935-0827 or emailing acarey@SERVPRO10932.com

Tornadoes and Flash Flooding: A Double-Barreled Storm Damage Threat

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian helps homeowners and businesses prepare for, survive, and recover from a tornado and a flash flood property damage event.

When a weather system spawns heavy thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flash flooding, the team at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian is ready to provide flood and storm damage restoration services 24/7, 365 days a year, including on holidays and during severe weather. The team quickly and safely restores the damaged structure, enabling the homeowner or business owner to return to normal life without delay.

In tandem, tornadoes and flash flooding create a double-barreled threat of storm damage. According to Physics Today, “Tornadoes and flash floods pose substantial threats by themselves, but when they strike simultaneously, the danger is compounded. Another concern for overlapping tornado and flash-flood events (TORFFs) is that the procedures recommended for dealing with each hazard are contradictory: Tornado safety practice advises taking shelter in the lowest central room of a building, and flood safety protocol recommends moving to higher ground. Those conflicting instructions can increase confusion over what to do.”

This confusion is illustrated during an incident that happened during a tornado in Oklahoma in 2013. Prior to the lethal tornado, the storm system also caused flash flooding, which proved to be even more lethal than the tornado. The investigation conducted after the tandem disasters uncovered that many people did not comprehend the significant threat from flash flooding, even though ample warnings were issued by authorities. One survivor reported she remained in her shelter until the flood water left her no alternative but to flee the shelter, hoping the tornado threat had passed.

The Challenges to Meteorologists

A TORFF event (tornado and flash flood occurring simultaneously) also challenges meteorologists tasked with identifying the warning signs that point to a TORFF. The challenge arises from the fact that the early warning signs for a tornado differ significantly from the warning signs of flash flooding.

Tornadoes are spawned by fast-moving storm cells, but flash flooding is usually caused by a slow-moving storm cell.  Forecasters must closely monitor weather conditions, watching for the overlapping of characteristics that can produce both flash flooding and tornadoes in the same weather event.

Safety during a TORFF Event Depends on Several Factors

Real-time knowledge of changing weather conditions accompanied by an appropriate and timely response to the alerts posted by weather forecasters can save lives and avoid personal injury.

Weather forecasters must:

  • Closely monitor weather conditions and identify the early warning signs of both tornadoes and flash flooding
  • Accurately predict both the path and development of a storm cell which has the potential for both tornadoes and flash flooding
  • Promptly communicate the appropriate alerts to the affected communities
  • Swiftly notify communities of any changes in predictions and alerts

Communities potentially impacted by the impending weather must:

  • Pay close attention to weather forecasts
  • Swiftly respond to alerts issued by the National Weather Service for their areas
  • Remain aware of and instantly respond to changing weather conditions

Practical Tips for Weathering Severe Weather

Listed below are some practical tips to help Midlothian, TX residents survive severe weather involving heavy rain, tornadoes, flash floods, power outages, and storm damage to a home or business.

Always Be Prepared for Any Size or Type of Disaster

Have an emergency plan that includes but is not limited to:

  • first aid and personal hygiene supplies
  • food and water
  • flashlights and batteries
  • stocked knapsacks for emergency evacuation
  • phone charger (solar-powered)
  • weather radios

Businesses Can Execute an Emergency Response Plan

SERVPRO offers an Emergency READY Plan at no cost. The plan minimizes business interruption in the event of a disaster and guides the business owner or manager through an assessment of the facility that generates a concise profile of critical information needed in the event of a property damage disaster. Also, the plan outlines a clear, fast path to recovery. It establishes the local SERVPRO as the dedicated disaster mitigation and restoration provider. Facility details, including shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and essential contact information, are identified and archived. The plan also helps streamline the insurance claims process. With an emergency plan in place, a business only needs to make one call to secure professional property damage cleanup and restoration services when a disaster strikes.

For more information about storm and flood damage restoration, call SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian at (972) 935-0827. The office can also be reached by emailing acarey@SERVPRO10932.com

How SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian Provides Property Damage and Cleaning Solutions for Carpet Odors

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: The team at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian provides deodorization solutions for carpets in Midlothian, TX, homes.

The water damage repair specialists at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian highlight common causes of carpet odors and what to do about these unpleasant smells. The question must be asked, “What is causing the carpet to smell?” Do not be lulled into thinking that just because food and drink spills and puppy “accidents” are immediately cleaned up that the carpet will not smell. There are other causes of carpet odors that homeowners might not be aware of.

A Leading Cause of Carpet Odor: Moisture

Is there a musty, mildewy smell in the home? It could be the water and moisture in the carpet. Common sources of wet and moist carpeting include:

  • naturally occurring humidity in the air from moisture-laden weather patterns such as a tropical storm or the remnants of a hurricane
  • moisture from multiple showers and baths for the family each morning or evening
  • excess water dripping from indoor plants, rain-soaked pets, or kids coming into the home from playing in the pool or under the sprinklers
  • leaks around windows, doors, and the chimney
  • leaks from window AC units or the condensate pan of the HVAC system
  • flooding during a stalled thunderstorm or weather system
  • a spilled beverage

The carpet and padding will thirstily soak up the moisture. If the moisture and wetness in the carpet are not immediately dried out, mold, mildew, and a host of pathogens can grow in the carpet, causing it to have a musty, mildew smell.

The smell may go unnoticed after a few minutes in the home because the residents’ sense of smell will become accustomed to the odor and disregard it. The smells may only be noticed after the homeowner returns home from a vacation. The musty odor is a key indicator of a mold issue in the carpet. Other clues or warning signs of mold and mildew in the carpet may include frequent dampness and discoloration.

Mold, mildew, and other pathogens will begin to grow in damp carpeting in a day or two. Mold, if left untreated, will eventually discolor the carpet. Look for black, green, or white splotches that are not part of the carpet’s color pattern.

Solutions to Carpet Odors

  1. Inspect the home for leaks and resolve any issues that are discovered, such as roof leaks, chimney leaks, clogged gutters, missing or damaged siding, leaky windows and doors, leaky faucets, sewage drain pipe leaks, leaky showers and tubs, and leaky toilets.
  2. Repair or replace structural damage, such as rotted wood, warped or buckling flooring, swollen baseboards, and unsalvageable carpet and padding.
  3. Install a moisture barrier in the crawl space. Install a heavy-duty dehumidifier and a sump pump if needed. The level of difficulty for this solution is generally well above a DIY project. Equipment selection and installation require experience in plumbing, wiring, and possibly foundation repair.
  4. Set boundaries for eating and drinking in carpeted areas of the home. When a spillage occurs, clean it up immediately.
  5. Clean up pet accidents as soon as they occur. Sanitize and deodorize the area, as well.
  6. Make sure exhaust fans in the bathrooms and over the stove are working. Older fans may need replacing. Install new fans that are strong enough to handle the moisture levels in the bathrooms and kitchen.
  7. Inspect the dryer to ensure the hot, moist air is vented outside the home. A leak in the dryer vent can dramatically increase moisture levels in the house.
  8. Install a whole-house dehumidifier or purchase a room dehumidifier and run it during periods of high humidity in the weather or when cooking, bathing, and showering are driving up the humidity levels in the home.
  9. Finally, once water leaks have been resolved and moisture levels are under control, have the carpet cleaned, disinfected, and deodorized by a professional carpet cleaning company with a solid reputation and proven results. After examining the carpet, the technician may recommend the carpet be replaced in order to achieve satisfactory results.

Other Causes of Carpet Odors

Carpets give off odors for reasons other than moisture and mold. Repeated food spillage, recurring pet accidents, smoke from cigarettes of a fire, and aging carpet material cause the carpet to smell. A quick cleanup can take care of most food particles. A reputable carpet-cleaning professional can take care of pet urine and feces. Carpets smothered in smoke from cigarettes or a fire can be effectively cleaned and deodorized. However, the interior of the home, including walls, doors, cabinets, bare floors, and ceilings, must be cleaned as well, or the house will still smell. Aging carpet and padding need to be replaced since mold could be growing underneath the carpet and padding.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian has been serving the area since 2000. They offer a wide range of property damage cleanup and restoration services, including water damage cleanup and professional carpet cleaning services by IICRC-certified technicians using industry-standard equipment and cleaning techniques.

To learn more information about SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian’s deodorization, mold remediation, and water damage restoration services, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com

Five Ways Water Damage Affects a Fire-Damaged Home

7/16/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian highlights several reasons why a housefire requires both fire damage restoration and water damage restoration after the flames have been extinguished and the fire department has come and gone.

When fire damage occurs, a combination of factors complicates the situation, and a fire damage disaster frequently requires both fire and water damage restoration services. A house fire is a traumatic experience, and the devastation is often heart-wrenching. Fire, smoke, ash, soot, and water touch everything in the home. Where the visible signs of the disaster are not evident, the smell of charred wood, melted plastic, and burnt fabric permeates the house. The situation calls for the services of property damage restoration professionals who are trained, certified, experienced, well-equipped, and protected. Because a fire damage disaster is so complex and hazardous, cleanup for fire-damaged homes in Red Oak, TX, must be thorough.

A grasp of the complex factors comprising a fire damage disaster must not lightly dismiss or inadvertently overlook the significance of water damage in a fire damage disaster. Fire damage restoration and water damage restoration are inseparably linked. The water may have been introduced by a fire sprinkler system or by high-pressure hoses on the pumper truck. Either way, the water damage will be extensive, escalating the risk hazards and complicating the cleanup and restoration process. On occasion, the water damage from extinguishing the fire exceeds the actual fire damage.

How Water Impacts a Fire Damage Disaster

The amount of water used to extinguish the fire and the application method have a bearing on the extent and type of water damage. A fire hose can stream hundreds of gallons of water per minute into a burning structure. A home should receive a comprehensive inspection for both fire and water damage. Most of the water damage will be in the vicinity of the fire, but the water, like the fire, will have an impact on the entire structure. Some of the water damage will be from direct contact with the water. The moisture, water vapor, and steam from the fire and water mixing will present challenges different from a less complex water damage situation, such as puddled water on the floors and in the crawl space.

Drywall

Drywall is porous and soaks up water. As a result, cleanup and drying may not be sufficient. The drywall may need to be cut out and replaced. Cleaning and restoration professionals can discern what drywall can be dried and salvaged and what must be replaced.

Flooring

Floors are vulnerable to serious damage from water if water removal, drying, and dehumidification are not immediately implemented. Delays can lead to swelling and warping, making the floor beyond recovery. Carpeting and rugs are the most vulnerable to damage from soot, smoke, and water. A combination of extensive water damage, toxins from the fire, and delays in water damage cleanup means the carpet will have to be removed and replaced. Baseboards and floorboards should be examined for swelling and warping. A delay in water removal can lead to the ruin of baseboards that swell to the point that salvaging them is impossible.

Ceilings

If the roof is pierced to allow firefighters to extinguish flames in the attic, then the ceiling will receive extensive water damage. A sagging ceiling may be on the verge of collapsing, which puts occupants in the residence at risk for personal injury. Water spots, signs that water is trapped above the ceiling, may be difficult to identify if the ceiling is discolored with smoke and soot. Qualified fire and water damage cleanup and restoration professionals will be able to spot danger signs on the ceiling.

Personal Belongings

Water in a home damaged by fire will be highly contaminated by smoke and soot. Certain personal belongings are porous and will soak up contaminated water. These items include books, documents, fabric, cushions, and pillows.

Mold

A fire damage disaster that involves water is prone to a mold infestation. Within about 24 to 48 hours, mold can gain a foothold and make a bad situation worse. A rapid response and quick cleanup process that uses the latest equipment, advanced moisture-detecting technology, and EPA-approved cleaning products is crucial to prevent a mold infestation.

A fire damage disaster that also involves water damage is a complex and contaminated disaster scene requiring knowledge, experience, special equipment, cutting-edge moisture detecting technology, and advanced cleaning techniques. Fire leaves behind smoke and soot residue, and everyone working in the environment must be safety-conscious and wear personal protective gear. The professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie thoroughly and safely clean and restore any size of fire damage disaster.

To learn more details about water and fire damage cleanup, contact SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian. The office can be reached by calling (972) 935-0827 or by emailing acarey@SERVPRO10932.com

How Does “Act of God” Flood Damage Affect Insurance Coverage?

7/16/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian helps customers understand the term “act of God” and how the “act of God” classification could affect flood damage recovery.

The technicians at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian have the training, experience, equipment, cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved products to handle a storm damage and flood damage restoration project. Locally owned and operated, the team of IICRC-certified professionals can arrive on the scene in about an hour to inspect and assess the damage. An estimate with detailed documentation needed for the insurance claims process is provided to the customer. The cleanup and restoration process begins immediately because any delays allow for advanced secondary damage. A rapid response enables many items, such as carpeting and rugs, to be salvaged rather than discarded. Removing the water and dehumidifying the damaged areas deal with mold before it can gain a foothold. Technicians clean, disinfect, sanitize, and deodorize the flood-damaged home.

A Confusing Insurance Term

In the insurance industry, the term “act of god” can be a source of confusion and frustration for current policyholders and homeowners seeking adequate storm damage and flood damage insurance. The odd term generates a flood of inquiries to insurance agents and insurance claim attorneys because of the confusion surrounding the concept. People ask questions such as:

  • What are the factors surrounding a flood that result in the disaster being treated differently than other natural disasters?
  • Why is not every natural disaster referred to as an “act of God?”
  • Why are some events “acts of God” while others are not?

A formal, legal definition of “act of God” is as follows: “…an overwhelming event caused exclusively by natural forces whose effects could not possibly be prevented (e.g., flood, earthquake, tornado).  In modern jurisdictions, ‘act of God’ is often broadened by statute to include all natural phenomena whose effects could not be prevented by the exercise of reasonable care and foresight.”

Within the insurance industry, an “act of God” involves several factors:

  • The event is unpreventable and destructive.
  • Natural causes alone account for the event.

Within these parameters, many floods, other severe weather events, and natural disasters may technically be regarded as an “act of God.”

Insurance Coverage and “Acts of God”

Not every unpreventable and destructive event qualifies as an “act of God.” Every “act of God” may not be covered by every insurance policy. Some caveats and exceptions apply. “Act of God” coverage offered by a specific insurance company depends on what is outlined in detail in a specific insurance policy. The solution to avoid any confusion is to read the policy carefully. Look for the exact phrase “act of God.” Seek to fully understand how the term “act of God” is used in the policy. Upon gaining a comfortable understanding of what is contained in the policy, consult the agent issuing the policy to ensure that a proper understanding has been achieved. Do not be overwhelmed by the legal terminology. A competent agent can bring clarity to the situation.

Events Often Not Covered in Standard Policies

Standard home insurance or business insurance policies do not cover flooding. When seeking to obtain a suitable home policy or a business policy, be sure to ask two crucial questions:

  • Is flooding covered under this policy?
  • If some types of flooding are covered under the policy, which types of flood damage are and are not covered by the policy?

Be able to accurately identify any and every exclusion in the policy. A misstep in this area could cost a homeowner or business tens of thousands of dollars in losses. By understanding exclusions in a general policy, the homeowner or business owner can add riders to the policy to ensure proper coverage. A homeowner residing in an area with a history of flooding may need to purchase flood insurance separately through the National Flood Insurance Program.

When Is a Flood Not an “Act of God?”

By definition, an “act of God” is an unpredictable event. If a flood has occurred near the home or business or if the structure has been damaged by a flood in the past, flooding may not be considered an “act of God” under the policy. If a flood occurs, it is not technically an “act of God” since there was a prior history of flooding. For example, if the structure is located near a river or in a valley that has suffered a flood in the past, a flood event may not be technically identified as an “act of God.” Do not be one of those homeowners or businesses who is shocked to learn that the flood damage disaster was not covered by the existing policy. Consult with an insurance agent or an attorney for clarification.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian has been serving the local area since 2000. Being centrally located in Ellis County means they are within a thirty-minute drive or less of any location in the community. The team of restoration experts specializes in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

For more information about flood and storm damage cleanup, contact the office by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com

How Frequently Should Midlothian, TX, Restaurants Have Their Ducts Cleaned to Avoid Fire Damage?

7/16/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian offers insight on scheduling inspections and cleaning of exhaust systems in restaurants and other commercial cooking operations such as senior centers, churches, day camps, and schools.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian explains how frequently restaurants should have their exhaust system and ducts cleaned to prevent fire damage. Regular duct cleaning at restaurants and commercial kitchens is essential to reduce the potential for commercial fire damage.

In the restaurant and food services industry, clean ducts are crucial for preventing fire damage. Every commercial kitchen should maintain clean ducts whether usage is high or low. Dirty, greasy ducts are a fire hazard. As time passes, even commercial kitchens that are used infrequently need attention.

Duct cleaning frequency is a vital component of a fire prevention strategy in a restaurant or commercial kitchen. Important questions that Midlothian, TX, restaurant owners or commercial kitchen managers should address are:

  • How often should ducts be inspected?
  • How often should the ducts be cleaned?
  • Who should inspect and clean the ducts?

Inspection Frequency

Activities in commercial kitchens create fire hazards. Open flames and hot burners are numerous. Flammable liquids used in the cooking process raise the risk hazard of fire, and combustible materials such as the food being cooked, paper and cloth napkins, rags, and clothing are everywhere. If the fire and heat in the kitchen ever become uncontrolled, serious structural damage and personal injury to the staff and customers can result.

Inspections are the key to a safe kitchen. Frequent inspections monitor a situation that only worsens over time. Key indicators will signal the need to schedule a cleaning. Vigilance is the key ingredient to a safe kitchen. How frequently should the exhaust system be inspected? The answer is largely determined by the volume of cooking that takes place in the commercial cooking operation. The higher the cooking volume, the more frequently the system should be inspected. Higher usage yields greater grease and grime buildup. When inspections reveal that the conditions in the exhaust system need attention, a cleaning can be scheduled. Not every inspection will call for a cleaning. Cooking frequency may be reduced. The menu may have changed or shifted emphasis, resulting in decreased preparation of grease-producing foods. Inspections are still instrumental in determining when an exhaust system should be cleaned.

Cleaning Frequency

Restaurants and other commercial cooking operations that are active around the clock will require more frequent inspections and cleaning. Both inspections and cleaning should be conducted on a quarterly basis in cooking operations that are around the clock. As soon as an inspector determines that cleaning is needed, prompt action should be taken to make the exhaust system safe from fire hazards and compliant with any applicable regulatory code.

Commercial and institutional cooking operations that sustain a moderate cooking volume, such as only one meal a day, would require less frequent inspections and cleaning. Inspections and cleaning need only take place two or three times a year. The nature of the food being prepared may have a bearing on the cleaning schedule. A breakfast-only restaurant or a lunch-only short order diner with a heavy menu of fried and grilled items would need extra inspections and cleaning to remove the heavy grease buildup.

Light duty cooking operations that are only open seasonally should have the exhaust system cleaned annually. A commercial kitchen at a church may fall into this category. Food prep may consist of a weekly fellowship meal or an occasional breakfast, fish fry, or wild game dinner. Grease and grime buildup may not have reached the critical point of creating a fire hazard, but cleanliness and odor do become a factor when grease becomes rancid and begins to smell.

An inspection and cleaning schedule that reflects cooking volume, type of cooking equipment, and the typical menu can be determined by thoroughly cleaning a duct and then returning in thirty days to measure the accumulated grease. When in doubt, clean it out! Cleaner is always safer, especially when lowering the risk of fire damage is a factor in the inspection and cleaning equation.

Why Call SERVPRO When a Fire Damage Disaster Strikes

Locally owned and operated, SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian has been serving the area since 2000. Available 24/7, 365 days a year, the team of fire damage cleanup and damage restoration professionals provide a rapid response and a quick cleanup to get fire-damaged businesses up and running as soon as possible.

To learn more about Midlothian, TX, commercial fire damage restoration, contact the SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian office by email at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com or by phone at (972) 935-0827.

Water Sensors: A Prevention Strategy to Avoid Extensive Water Damage in the Home

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian explains how integrating water sensors into a home water damage prevention strategy can help avoid a major water damage disaster.

The certified property damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian highlight the benefits of integrating water sensors into a water damage prevention strategy for the home. As is the case with most risk hazards such as water damage, prevention of a property damage disaster is far less costly in terms of time, money, and inconvenience than an actual fire, smoke, flood, or water damage disaster.

If an intervention does not occur quickly after a pipe breaks or a supply line ruptures, the flooding can cause extensive damage to a home. If the homeowner is away on vacation or on an extended business trip, the leak may go undetected for days or even weeks. Each day, nearly ten thousand gallons of water will flow out of the burst water line. The consequences are potentially catastrophic.

After 24-48 hours, mold begins to grow on the walls, cabinets, and upholstery. Water-soaked personal belongings become unsalvageable after only a short time. Advanced secondary damage includes warped flooring, swollen baseboards, contaminated carpet, blistered paint and finishing on wood products, and ruined electronics. Water and moisture negatively impact every surface in the home. Modern, affordable technology can prevent this water damage disaster scenario from becoming a sad, traumatic reality.

By instantly alerting the homeowner to a water leak, the smart technology in water-sensor systems can avert a potential major water damage disaster, avoiding the need for expensive, disruptive, and time-consuming property damage cleanup and restoration.

Water damage is a frequent and expensive cause of loss in the home. Forty percent of homes suffer some form of water damage. Property management analysts offer the following water damage statistics: “The average home insurance claim for water damage is $11,098. Ninety-eight percent of basements experience some sort of water damage. 14.6 million U.S. homes are at risk of flooding….Nationwide, household water damage costs up to $20 billion annually.”

Cutting-edge smart home technology assists the consumer in managing personal risks. Water sensors serve to mitigate water damage. By doing so, this amazing technology empowers the homeowner to avoid suffering the loss of personal belongings. When water sensor technology works, homeowners are freed from the inconvenience and headache of managing the cleanup, restoration, and repairs needed to recover from a water damage disaster.

Water Sensors and How They Work

As the name implies, a water sensor detects the presence of water or moisture. When Wi-Fi is enabled, the sensor can send a notification to the homeowner’s smartphone warning that a water release is in progress. Alternate recipients can be designed to receive and act upon the text message if the homeowners are unavailable to respond or are out of town.

More sophisticated water-sensor systems are capable of being programmed to turn off the water to the house. This auto-shutoff feature provides a shield against a major water damage disaster where the sensors are in place. Consult with a qualified plumbing professional before installing the sensor-activated water shut-off devices.

The Best Locations for Water Sensors

Place sensors in areas near appliances or devices that have water connections, such as:

  • Washing machine
  • Water heater
  • Dishwasher
  • Supply line to the automatic ice maker
  • Toilets
  • Supply lines to faucets
  • Fish tanks
  • Indoor spas or hot tubs

Regular inspections and scheduled maintenance of connections, valves, and supply lines are effective preventive measures to avoid a water damage disaster in the home.

More Helpful Tips about Water Sensors

Tip #1: Product options and availability are extensive.

Most big box home improvement stores carry a variety of water sensors and their control modules. The online marketplace for water sensor technology offers a variety of choices and can be confusing for the typical DIY homeowner.

Tip #2: Research options before making a purchase.

Define the needs and determine budget limitations. Identify the options that meet the specific needs within the prescribed budget.

Tip #3: Options are varied.

Not all water sensors are equal. The simplest and most economical devices work only once and then must be replaced. More expensive units are engineered to provide multiple alerts and extended use.

Tip #4: Consult with a professional for product selection, placement, and installation.

DIY-savvy homeowners may want to select, place, and install water leak sensors by themselves. However, the homeowner or property manager who is not comfortable installing the water sensor devices should hire an experienced, licensed professional to install the sensors and set up the notification app if the system uses Wi-Fi.

When homeowners need water damage cleanup in the aftermath of a property damage disaster, the professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian are ready to spring into action. They have served the area for over twenty years, providing round-the-clock service 365 days a year, including holidays. Because the SERVPRO franchise is centrally located in Ellis County, the team can respond quickly, usually within an hour or less. The restoration experts specialize in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

For more information about SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian’s water damage restoration services in Red Oak, TX and surrounding areas, contact the office at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com