Recent Posts

What Happens if Water Damage Restoration is Ignored?

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: The experts at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian, a leading water damage restoration company, detail five reasons why the water removal process should never be delayed or ignored.



If a home or business suffers water damage, time is of the essence. While some water damage might seem insignificant at first, delaying or ignoring the water damage restoration process can have costly consequences.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian, a leading water damage restoration company, recommend beginning the water removal process as soon as possible and offer five good reasons to do so.

5 Reasons Why Prompt Water Damage Restoration is Important

#1 Water Damage Can Cause Hidden Structural Damage

Water damage isn’t always out in the open where home and business owners can easily see it. Sometimes, the damage is hidden beneath flooring or inside drywall. Wooden beams and drywall that are left wet will warp, rot, and eventually break apart, potentially causing thousands in additional repair labor.

An experienced water damage restoration company can locate and address this structural damage before it causes additional issues. These professionals have tools to detect and remove water from non-visible areas.

#2 Water Damage Can Cause Electrical Malfunctions

Moisture from rainstorms, flooding, and leaks can contribute to electrical malfunctions. Electrical components like sockets, fuses and circuits can be damaged, leading to severe and potentially dangerous situations for everyone in the building. Removing any moisture promptly can reduce the chances of electrical damage and potentially even fires.

#3 Water Damage Can Contribute to Mold Growth

The moisture from ignored water damage can contribute to the growth of mold in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Mold can cause health effects for anyone, but especially children, elderly folks, and those that have respiratory issues. Home and business owners can rely on water damage restoration services to find and remediate the mold situation to bring peace of mind.

#4 Water Damage Can Cause Staining and Unwanted Odors

When water damage is ignored rather than dealt with immediately, it can cause stains and odors. While these issues might not be dangerous, they can make a space feel unwelcoming at the least or be an indicator of potential mold, as previously mentioned.

Water damage restoration involves the use of specialized tools to remove stains. Most restoration companies also include deodorization with their services to help remove the unwanted odors caused by water damage.

#5 Water Damage Can Indicate Leaks 

Leaks are among the most common causes of water damage. Water pipe leaks can begin small and nearly unnoticeable. However, these leaks can increase substantially over time. Addressing water damage will require finding these small leaks and repairing them, which, in turn, prevents them from escalating to bigger problems. 

Even if a known leak is present, there's always a possibility of additional damage in the line that a plumber may not spot. Water damage restoration specialists have the skills to notice patterns that suggest multiple leaks.

About SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian

The professional and experienced team at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian provides prompt, 24-hour water damage restoration services across Ellis County, TX. They also offer storm damage restoration, fire restoration, and mold remediation. Call (972) 935-0827 or follow SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian on Facebook to learn more.

Contact Information:

SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian

3650 S Hwy 287

Waxahachie, TX 75165

acarey@SERVPRO10932.com

Why Choose SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian for Odor Control Services?

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian provides odor mitigation services performed by highly-trained and certified Odor Control Technicians. These services attack the odor at its source to restore a fresh, clean, and odor-free environment.

The team of certified fire damage restoration, water damage restoration, and cleaning professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian witness all types of property damage disasters on a daily basis. Water and fire damage often causes obvious devastation to a property, and the urgency of the situation is clearly visible. However, in the case of foul odors in a home or business, the underlying cause is not always apparent, and as a result, the issue might not be dealt with promptly. The best-case scenario for dealing with an odor issue is to call in an odor removal and cleaning company to remediate the unpleasant smell.

Odors: Good and Bad

According to a recent poll, some of the best smells in the world include fresh air, vanilla, coffee, barbecue, melted chocolate, bacon, freshly cut grass, a campfire, and popcorn. Freshly baked bread and cookies received an honorable mention.

On the other hand, some of the most offensive odors included human waste, decomposing animal carcass, skunk spray, household garbage, raw sewage, pet urine, and cigarette smoke.

Odors that are difficult to remove include:

  • smoke and soot from a cooking or electrical fire in the home
  • pet odors, such as urine and feces from dogs, cats, or birds
  • skunk spray
  • cigarette smoke
  • mold odor from a mold infestation or water damage
  • dead animals in the attic, wall, or crawl space
  • sewage spill
  • oil, grease, and gasoline odor on carpet, flooring, and cloth furniture
  • odors from drug use and drug manufacturing

Several factors are involved in odor removal, including the chemical composition of the odor-causing substance, the surface on which the substance is located, and how long the substance has been allowed to stay on the surface.

Why Choose SERVPRO for Odor Control Services?

The need for odor remediation is universal. At some point in time, every home, every business, and every vehicle will need industrial-strength, professional-grade odor remediation. Annually, property loss due to odor issues is in the millions of dollars. SERVPRO technicians know how to salvage and restore personal belongings that would otherwise be discarded.

Odor Control Technicians undergo rigorous training to attain certification from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). The IICRC writes about the training program, “The Odor Control Technician (OCT) certification covers olfaction and odor, odor sources, detection process, theory of odor control, equipment, chemical options, and applications. Upon completing the certification, students will know how to address odors caused by biological sources such as decomposition, urine contamination, mold, combustion sources such as fire and smoke damage, and chemical sources such as fuel oil spills or volatile organic chemicals.”

IICRC Odor Control Certification is comprehensive in scope. It covers the science of smell and the chemistry of odors, and technicians are introduced to the causes and sources of odors. SERVPRO trainees receive industry-leading training in odor detection technology. The technicians emerge from the classes skilled in the most advanced techniques to mitigate odors of all sorts and sources in a property damage disaster.

Training seminars highlight specialized topics such as:

  • How to locate the origin of odors
  • How to manage light, moderate and heavy odors
  • How to effectively remove odors caused by smoke from various types of fires
  • How to remove pet odors
  • Odor theory
  • Odor mitigation trade secrets

Mitigating noxious smells is complex and requires an understanding of the science of odors. Expertise in cleaning techniques, knowledge of the proper use of equipment and technology, and the correct application of sanitizing and deodorizing solutions make the SERVPRO team an excellent choice for odor removal services to remedy bad odors in the home or business.

Since 2000, SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian has been serving the local area with cleaning and restoration services for property damage disasters, including water damage, fire and smoke damage, mold infestation, and storm damage. When there is an odor issue or a property damage disaster, the victims of the disaster are a part of the community and may even be a neighbor or family member of one of the technicians who responds to the service call. Centrally located in Ellis County, SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian is within a thirty-minute drive or less of any home or business in the community. The team of restoration experts specializes in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

To learn more about odor removal services, as well as fire and water damage restoration in Red Oak, TX, contact SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

What Are Some Common Workplace Fire Hazards in an Office Building?

9/1/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian highlights factors that can lead to a fire damage disaster in an office building.

Commercial fire damage is a concern for office complexes in Midlothian, TX. Business owners and property managers want to make sure that their facilities do not fall victim to the devastating effects of a fire.

According to a report from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), “During the five-year period of 2007-2011, NFPA estimates that U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year. These fires caused an annual average of four civilian deaths, 44 civilian fire injuries, and $112 million in direct property damage. The vast majority of the fires in this category were in business offices.”

The report, entitled “U.S. Structure Fires in Office Properties,” went on to offer the following observations: “Fewer fires occur in this occupancy on the weekends since they are less likely to be fully populated. The peak times of day for these fires were between noon and 2:00 p.m. Less than one-third of the fires (31%) occurred between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., but these fires accounted for 67% of the direct property damage. Similarly, 19% of fires occurred on weekends, but these incidents caused 31% of the associated property loss.”

A foundational aspect of fire safety is identifying potential fire hazards in a facility. Listed below are common sources of fire damage in an office complex.

Overloaded Power Strips and Sockets

When a power strip or electrical socket is overloaded, it can overheat and cause a fire. Use only one plug per electrical socket. Frontier Fire, a fire protection company, provides the following advice: “...you shouldn’t use more than 13amps or 3000 watts per power socket.” Also, beware of worn or malfunctioning extension cords.

Electrical Appliances and Equipment

Regularly check electrical devices for damage and wear. When these devices are not in operation, make sure they are turned off and unplugged. Do not let clutter accumulate near electrical equipment and keep paper and other combustible materials away from electrical devices.

Dust Buildup

Dust buildup can be an easily overlooked fire hazard. Clean up dust regularly, including in crevices and places that are out of sight. Be sure to keep dust away from devices that heat up as they are used, such as computers or microwaves.

Frontier Fire notes, “If there isn’t proper ventilation in your building and a fire occurs, the dust and debris can cause an explosion. That’s why you should always keep your office building clean. It’s also a good idea to invest in extraction fans, which can help clear the dust out of the air.”

Office Supplies

Materials like paper, plastic, and cardboard burn easily and enable fires to quickly ignite and spread. Keeping the workspace clean is a simple but effective fire prevention strategy. A corporate culture of tidiness and organization also ensures that the facility is easy to navigate and that exits are not blocked by clutter.

Flammable Substances and Liquids

A flammable liquid, a stack of copy paper, and a single spark can be a deadly combination. Flammable substances should be kept away from potential ignition sources. Store these substances in a cabinet or closet that is dry, ventilated, and securely locked. If a combustible liquid is spilled, the spill should be thoroughly cleaned up without delay.

Cigarette Usage

Careless smoking practices are a significant fire hazard, and an improperly extinguished cigarette can quickly ignite flammable materials. The office complex should set aside a designated smoking area located at a safe distance from the building and equipped with receptacles and ashtrays that smokers can safely deposit their cigarettes into.

Human Error

Human error and negligence on the part of the office building’s occupants are a real concern, especially when it comes to food preparation. The NFPA report mentioned above notes that over one in four office fires resulted from cooking equipment, and “over one-fifth (22%) of the reported fires in office properties began in the kitchen or cooking area…” The risks of human error can be combated by educating office personnel about the importance of paying attention to fire hazards and acting in a safe and responsible manner.

How to Deal with Commercial Fire Damage

From a preventative standpoint, business owners can make sure that proper safety strategies are implemented, including smoke alarms, sprinkler systems, and fire escape equipment. The property manager may also want to secure the services of a fire protection company to analyze the building’s current fire safety protocols and systems and to inspect the premises for any potential fire hazards. Also, knowledge of fire safety tips, as well as the building’s evacuation plan, are indispensable for the office building’s occupants.

Once fire damage has occurred in the workplace, business owners do not want to find themselves caught in a situation where they have to choose a damage restoration company in the immediate aftermath of a fire damage disaster. The best approach is to prequalify a commercial fire damage restoration company before disaster strikes so that the business owner only has to make one call to the prequalified company in the event of fire damage.

For more details and information about Red Oak, TX, fire damage restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian by email at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com. The office can also be reached by phone at (972) 935-0827.

What to Do When a Water Damage Disaster Strikes in the Home

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian offers tips on how to prevent water damage. In case of water damage, these steps explain how the restoration process works.

The team of knowledgeable, experienced professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian understands the critical need for water damage restoration when a ruptured water line sends water streaming throughout a home. Time is the greatest challenge the homeowner faces when dealing with water damage. The longer water is permitted to saturate floorcoverings, baseboards, walls, ceilings, upholstery, clothing, furniture, electronics, important documents, insulation, and ductwork, the larger the scope of the water damage disaster becomes. In the end, the restoration process will take longer to complete and will be more expensive. Listed below are some tips to help the typical homeowner meet the challenges of a water damage disaster.

Expect the Expected

Every six seconds, a home or apartment experiences a water damage emergency. Fourteen thousand times a day, a pipe bursts, a roof leaks, an appliance floods the kitchen or laundry room, the toilet overflows, or some other weather-related or non-weather-related water damage disaster occurs. It adds up to $13 billion per year. For the homeowners in the North Dallas area who have basements, ninety-eight percent of basements will suffer some type of water damage incident. Anticipate the inevitable. These suggestions are geared to help the typical homeowner cope with the reality that a water damage emergency is inevitable.

  1. Be aware of the many sources of water in and around the home.

Water is already found throughout the home, but it is usually contained in a pipe, supply line, or toilet. Water can intrude into the house through windows, doors, or the roof.  Water can seep into the basement or crawl space.

  1. Know how to spot water damage.

Look for brown, dark green, bronze, or yellow spots or stains on walls and ceilings. Scan walls for blistered paint, peeling wallpaper or warping drywall. Conduct a sniff test for a moldy, earthy odor. Feel for moisture around fittings and under plumbing connections for unexplained dampness or moist spots.

  1. Regularly inspect the areas where a leak would be most expected.

The three rooms most prone to suffer water damage are the kitchen, the bathrooms, and the laundry room. The three appliances most likely to cause a flood are the washing machine, the dishwasher, and the garbage disposal. The ice maker earns an honorable mention.

  1. Diagnose a leak and trace it to the source.

Attic and ceiling leaks can be difficult to identify since water may travel a great distance before pooling. Water intrusions that penetrate the foundation to flood a basement or crawl space may require the expertise of a professional. Likewise, a plumber may need to be called in to trace a sewage leak to its source.

  1. Repair the leak while it is small and the damage is minimal.

If caught early, the leak repair and damage restoration are manageable DIY projects for the homeowner.

  1. Replace pipes and parts before they create problems.

Anticipate the worst. Replace supply lines before they burst. A ruptured washing machine supply line can spew as much as seven or more gallons of water per minute onto the laundry room floor. The dishwasher can create similar water damage havoc in the kitchen. The unseen ice maker supply line can discharge from three to five gallons per minute when it ruptures. These water line connections have a limited lifetime. Replacement of the lines in compliance with the manufacturer’s recommendations can prevent a major water damage disaster.

Water Damage Response

A rapid response to a water damage disaster results in the water intrusion being quickly identified and stopped. The solution may be as simple as shutting off a valve or as dangerous as tarping a damaged roof. A shorter response time results in less primary and secondary damage to the house.

Step 1 - Emergency contact

Upon calling SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian, a highly skilled SERVPRO representative guides the homeowner through the crisis and may ask several questions to help the response team determine the equipment and resources needed for the situation.

Step 2 - Inspection and water damage assessment

A certified technician inspects the site to determine the scope of the water damage. The homeowner is presented with an estimate complete with documentation, images, and video.

Step 3 - Water removal and water extraction

Powerful pumps and vacuum units immediately begin removing the majority of the water to help prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.

Step 4 - Drying and dehumidification

Advanced air movers and dehumidifiers dry the home or business.

Step 5 - Cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing

Restorable items are treated using advanced cleaning techniques and EPA-approved cleaning, sanitizing, and deodorizing products.  SERVPRO technicians are adept at cleaning water-damaged contents.

Step 6 - Restoration

The restoration of a home or business to its pre-water damage condition may involve minor repairs or major reconstruction.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian has been serving the local area since 2000. They are locally owned and backed by a nationwide system of qualified franchises. The team is available 24/7/365 to respond to property damage emergencies. SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian can manage all phases of the water damage remediation process, including handling insurance claims.

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

How Red Oak, TX, Homeowners Can Take Steps to Prevent Property Damage From Hurricane-Force Winds

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian explains how to protect Red Oak, TX, homes from storm and water damage during hurricane season.

Water damage and storm damage in Red Oak, TX, and the surrounding area are sources of stress for homeowners. The professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian regularly witness the impact of a property damage disaster on homeowners and their families. Technicians are ready 24/7 to respond rapidly and provide cleanup and restoration services in the aftermath of a tropical storm, hurricane, or other form of severe weather.

North Texas is no stranger to hurricanes, tropical storms, and other regional weather events. Local residents are often reminded by urgent weather alerts that the threat of severe weather requires property owners to take measures to protect their homes from storm damage during hurricane season.

What do weather alerts mean?

The National Weather Service defines the three types of tropical disturbances as follows:

  • A tropical depression has maximum sustained surface winds of up to 38 miles per hour. At 25 mph to 31 mph, a strong breeze causes large branches to sway continuously. Near gale winds are rated at 32 to 38 mph. At this point, entire trees are in motion, and walking against winds with this sustained velocity is uncomfortable.
  • A tropical storm has maximum sustained surface winds from 39 mph to 74 mph. The term “tropical storm” can lead property owners to underestimate the power of this tropical disturbance. At 39 mph to 46 mph, gale-force wind litters the ground with broken twigs and small branches. Walking is impeded and can be dangerous for people who have difficulties with balance. Strong gale winds at velocities ranging from 47 to 54 mph cause structural damage. Roofing tiles are blown off, and light residential flag poles and TV antennas may sustain damage. The ground is littered with many small twigs and broken branches. At 55 to 63 mph, whole gale winds cause substantial structural damage to roofs. Small trees may be toppled and uprooted. Storm force winds at 64 to 75 mph cause widespread damage. Larger trees are toppled, potentially damaging homes, sheds, and vehicles. Personal injury can be caused by flying debris, falling limbs, and hail traveling at high velocity.
  • A hurricane has maximum sustained surface winds of 74 miles an hour and above. Hurricane-force winds cause severe and extensive property damage and put lives in danger. Entire roofs can separate from a structure and cause severe collateral damage to other homes, vehicles, and buildings. Windows shatter from debris impact and the sheer force of the wind against the panes. Trees are snapped off at the trunk or are entirely uprooted. RVs and small mobile homes are overturned and destroyed. Moving vehicles can be forced off of the roadway.

How to prepare for hurricane season

The key to being prepared for hurricane season is to take one step at a time. Otherwise, the effort may grind to a halt under the weight of everything that needs to be accomplished to prevent property damage. Begin by making the landscape hurricane-proof.

At velocities of 75 mph and above, hurricane-force winds can make dangerous missiles out of landscaping materials. Once launched by the fierce winds, these “missiles” can shatter windows and doors. The bulk of the property damage from hurricanes is caused by rain entering the structure through broken doors, windows, and openings in the roof. Upgrading the home to protect against hurricane damage is expensive, but it can be accomplished in affordable stages.

Steps to protect against property damage from a hurricane

  1. Remove rock or gravel landscaping material. Airborne gravel and rocks can not only break windows, penetrate siding, and damage doors, but they can also damage vehicles. Instead, use bark mulch which is lighter and less likely to cause as much damage.
  2. Hire a certified, bonded, and insured arborist to remove weak or dead branches and trees and to maintain the overall treescape. In addition to improving safety, well-manicured trees can also add as much as twenty percent to the overall value of a home and should be treated as an investment.
  3. Install storm shutters to protect windows from breakage. Plywood panels cut to fit each window can be installed in advance of an oncoming storm or hurricane.
  4. Reinforce exterior doors so that they are hurricane-proof. Doors should have three hinges and a deadbolt lock that is at least one inch in length.
  5. Cover sliding glass doors with plywood during a storm.
  6. Replace older garage doors and tracks with wind-rated and impact-rated products to protect the contents of the garage from water damage and to prevent massive structural damage to the roof from wind pressure.
  7. Seal outside wall openings such as outdoor electrical outlets, vents, garden hose bibs, and other openings for pipes and cables. A high-quality urethane-based caulk is best to prevent water penetration.
  8. Securely anchor boats, canoes, or kayaks so that they do not become dangerous projectiles. Review the boat insurance policy for the terms and conditions of coverage. Transporting the boat to another location may be the best solution.

Since 2000, SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian has been serving the community, and the company is locally owned. Centrally located in Ellis County and backed by a nationwide system of qualified franchises, the water damage restoration company specializes in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

For more information about storm damage restoration in Red Oak, TX, contact SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com

The Connection Between Water Damage and Foundation Damage

8/18/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian helps homeowners avoid foundation damage from a water intrusion.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian urges homeowners to be aware that water damage can compromise the foundation of a home. Homeowners are advised to periodically inspect the perimeter of the house for signs of water intrusion around the foundation, in the basement, and in the crawl space. The structural integrity of the foundation potentially impacts the entire home. As a water or moisture intrusion deteriorates the foundation, more severe water damage can occur. What was a moldy, musty smell last week could escalate into a flooded crawl space, damaged ductwork, a flooded basement, and a mold infestation.

In the aftermath of a sudden water damage disaster, life is filled with stress and worry. The damage restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian live and work in the Midlothian, TX, community. When a neighbor’s home suffers water damage, the SERVPRO professionals quickly restore the damaged property.

Foundation water damage is usually the result of processes at work over time. Sometimes a single event such as a flood can cause catastrophic failure. Sturdy, durable concrete foundations may remain structurally sound for a century or more and may not need any repairs or modifications. Several factors may undermine the integrity of a foundation. The composition of the soil and bedrock under the foundation, local weather patterns, and the quality of the maintenance are variables affecting foundation water damage.

How natural groundwater can damage a foundation

Whether seasonal or year-long, the geological rise of groundwater exerts continuous upward pressure on a foundation. The natural groundwater may eventually permeate the foundation concrete. The pressure can create foundation cracks that allow seepage into the basement or crawl space. The dynamics of pressure and the presence of moisture will eventually compromise the structural integrity of the foundation.

How water-absorbent soil can damage a foundation

Soil types that efficiently drain water and dry rapidly pose little or no threat to a building’s foundation. On the other hand, clay soils retain moisture during rainy seasons and expand. The water-logged clay soil exerts lateral pressure against foundation walls. The rhythmic expanding and contracting of the ground can cause fractures in the foundation. If left unchecked, the damage to the foundation may result in a home shifting off of its foundation. This “heaving” causes severe structural issues that may lead to a massive water intrusion and severe water damage.

How plumbing leaks can damage a foundation and cause water damage

A ruptured or leaky water or sewage line within or below the foundation accelerates structural deterioration, including fissures, cracks, and fractures. The foundation damage caused by a plumbing leak resembles damage caused by the natural rising of the water table from time to time. A constant intrusion of water from a chronic plumbing leak leads to a rapid progression of damage.

How floodwaters can damage the foundation

Localized floods caused by severe thunderstorms and overtaxed drainage systems can cause serious damage to the foundation of a home or business. Water flowing at ten miles per hour generates a force equivalent to winds in excess of 250 miles per hour. Floodwater can dislodge a house from its foundation in minutes. Floodwaters are rapidly absorbed into the ground around and underneath the foundation, so the foundation is quickly undermined. Pilings shift and break. If the stress from the water continues, the foundation can shift, leading to the collapse of the structure.

It is never welcome news to hear that a home’s most fundamental structure may be compromised in any way. However, the homeowner must know the facts about the situation and take corrective actions as soon as possible to prevent the situation from worsening.

Dealing with water damage to the foundation

First, decrease the moisture content of the soil around the foundation. Make sure gutters are clear and free-flowing. Downspouts should be connected and carry the water at least six to ten feet or more away from the foundation. Landscape grading should slope away from the foundation at one inch per foot for at least six to ten feet. Water should be prevented from pooling near the foundation. The installation of an underground exterior drain tile may be needed in severe cases of high soil moisture content.

Second, make the basement waterproof. If the foundation has already sustained damage, such as cracks in the wall or floor, proactive steps may need to be taken to seal the cracks. In some situations, an exterior waterproofing membrane may be needed.

Third, remove any water that makes its way near the foundation or inside the basement or crawl space. A sump pump system with a backup feature can effectively prevent rising groundwater from further damaging the foundation.

When water damage does happen in the basement or crawl space, take immediate action to remove the water. Flooring, furniture, upholstery, baseboards, and walls must be dried out, cleaned, and restored. Delay on the part of the homeowner can lead to advanced secondary water damage. A mold infestation is quite likely to occur if standing water and moisture are not removed or mitigated.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian has been serving the area since 2000. They are locally owned and operated and can respond to any disaster in thirty minutes. The water damage restoration experts specialize in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

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

Five Kitchen Fire Hazards That Can Cause a Fire Damage Disaster

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: To help homeowners avoid fire damage in the kitchen, SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian warns people about fire hazards involving the stove, microwave, refrigerator, and dishwasher.

Years of experience responding to kitchen fires and other fire damage disasters have given the fire damage restoration team at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian great compassion for people affected by fire damage. A fire in the kitchen can be a frightening and devastating experience for homeowners and their families. One moment the family is enjoying the rich, complex aromas of a lovingly prepared meal; the next moment smoke and the smell of burnt food fill the kitchen as smoke alarms screech in a deafening clamor of high-pitched peals. To help homeowners prevent a disaster from occurring in their kitchen, SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian is highlighting five causes of fire damage in the kitchen area.

  • Stove fires

Leaving the stovetop unattended is a major cause of fire damage in the kitchen. If the chef does not keep a careful watch on the stove, food can quickly become overheated and catch fire, engulfing the kitchen in a conflagration.

Another stovetop safety hazard is the failure to keep the area around the stove clean and free of flammable materials. A cluttered or dirty counter around the stove is an invitation for a small stovetop fire to spiral out of control.

  • Oil and grease fires

Oil and grease are notorious for their flammable properties, and anyone who decides to use these cooking methods should exercise great caution. Home cooks must learn how to properly deal with an oil and grease fire in order to prevent personal injury and fire damage.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) shares the following recommendations for safely cooking with oil or grease: “Keep an eye on what you fry. If you see wisps of smoke or the oil smells, immediately turn off the burner and/or carefully remove the pan from the burner. Smoke is a danger sign that the oil is too hot. Heat the oil slowly to the temperature you need for frying or sautéing. Add food gently to the pot or pan so the oil does not splatter.”

  • Microwave fires

Microwave fires can ignite in a variety of ways. Beware of overheating foods or inputting the wrong heating time into the microwave. Homeowners can easily prevent this mistake by quickly checking the microwave countdown to ensure that their food is heating for forty seconds, not four minutes.

Arcing, also known as sparking, is a fire hazard in microwaves that are malfunctioning or defective. In 2016, Good Housekeeping reported that Whirlpool, a home appliance company, had to recall over 15,000 microwaves because the appliances posed a potential fire hazard due to arcing. According to Good Housekeeping, “Whirlpool received five reports of fire incidents, including one home fire, two fires involving surrounding cabinets, one report of smoke and another of burning odor.”

Heating food in dishes or containers that are not microwave-safe also poses a fire risk. The National Institutes of Health provides the following advice: “Remove food from packaging before defrosting in a microwave oven. Do not use plastic storage containers, foam trays, and plastic wraps in microwave ovens because they are not heat-stable at high temperatures. Melting or warping can occur which may cause harmful chemicals to migrate into the food. Never use recycled paper products in microwave ovens unless they are specifically approved for microwave use. Some recycled products including paper towels and even waxed paper may contain minute metal flecks. When a microwave oven is operating, the interaction between microwaves and the metal can cause sparks and even flames.”

  • Refrigerator fires

It may surprise homeowners to learn that the refrigerator is a leading cause of fires in the kitchen after the stove and microwave. While the purpose of refrigerators and freezers is to keep things cool, the electrical components in these appliances give them the potential to make things hot.

Consumer Reports elaborates on refrigerator fire damage statistics: “From 2006 to 2010, the latest statistics available for the U.S., refrigerators and freezers were the cause of 1,710 home structure fires that resulted in two deaths, 19 injuries, and $23 million in property damage. Typically the fires were caused by the relay switch short-circuiting or the lightbulb remaining on when the door was closed, according to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System.”

  • Dishwasher fires

The dishwasher is another unexpected cause of kitchen fires and should be regarded as a potential fire hazard. Dishwashers rely on heating elements to clean and dry the dishes, and these elements can turn into a fire hazard when they become old and worn out. As a precaution, never leave the dishwasher running when no one is at home.

The fire hazards in a kitchen are not always obvious sources of fire damage. What is obvious is the need for a trustworthy and reliable damage restoration company in the aftermath of a kitchen fire. SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian is proud to serve the local community with damage restoration services, including fire and smoke damage restoration services, that instill confidence and give hope to homeowners in need.

To learn more about fire damage restoration in Midlothian, TX, call SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian at (972) 935-0827 or email the company at acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

Dealing With Water Damaged Insulation After Storm Damage

7/1/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian explains how to deal with wet insulation from a roof leak caused by storm damage.

Storm-related water damage in Midlothian, TX, can often strike without warning. When severe weather leads to a water damage disaster, the SERVPRO professionals can quickly restore the damaged property. The restoration experts specialize in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

How to deal with wet insulation resulting from storm damage in Midlothian, TX

If insulation is exposed to water and moisture from a leak or roof damage, it loses its insulating capacity. The same wet insulation also becomes a health hazard. If the water intrusion is allowed to continue, the insulation can retain enough water to collapse ceilings and weaken the structural integrity of the home. In most cases, when a roof leak saturates insulation, the insulation almost always requires replacement.

Wet insulation harms the roof, the building, and its occupants

Attic insulation is situated immediately below the roof. A leak permits water seepage through the roof’s outer membrane. The saturated insulation has the potential to cause the roof to deteriorate on many fronts.

  • Water-saturated insulation puts a heavy burden on the entire structure. Over a long duration, the constant weight causes warping and other structural damage.
  • Moisture trapped in insulation gradually degrades the entire roofing system. The damage will not stop at the decking but will spread to the rest of the structure, compromising the integrity of the entire building.
  • Long-term exposure to moisture causes roofing fasteners to corrode. Steel studs and wall ties begin to rust, crack and break. The resulting loss of structural integrity reduces wind-uplift ratings in the roof. In severe weather, the results could be catastrophic.
  • Wet insulation is a prime breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which can cause health effects.

Wet insulation negatively impacts R-value and the energy efficiency of a home or business

Dry insulation functionally repels energy. Hot air stays outside. Cool air stays inside, or vice versa. Wet insulation conducts energy. In other words, the wet insulation fails to perform its intended task. Heating costs will reflect the loss of efficiency. Summer cooling costs will also reflect the price impact of the lost efficiency.

Water-logged insulation will have a diminished “R-Value.” The “R-value” gauges thermal resistance. Insulating materials with a higher R-Value are more effective at resisting heat transfer. Water-saturated insulation forfeits up to forty percent of its R-Value. The increase in energy bills can be dramatic and financially painful for the bottom line.

How do different types of insulation respond to water intrusion?

Insulation types vary widely in cost, application, efficiency, and response to water saturation.

  1. Wood fiber insulation, for example, can soak up surrounding moisture and compromise a wide area of a roof.
  2. Isocyanurate, a rigid thermal foam insulation, can be dried out and put back in place.
  3. Open-celled foam insulation, which is relatively economical, contains tiny cells that are not entirely closed. This insulation contains minimal trace chemicals and performs well as an air barrier. Best for interior applications, it is often found in walls due to its sound-reduction qualities. Because of its sponge-like texture and absorption qualities, open-celled foam insulation is inappropriate for exterior applications.
  4. Closed-cell foam insulation has a more compact structure that provides an excellent barrier to both air and moisture. Roofers favor this type of insulation because it withstands the elements without compromising R-value.

What if storm damage leads to water-saturated insulation?

A water intrusion incident can create a nightmare for the homeowner or business if certain types of insulation are involved. These tips will help property owners navigate their way through a storm damage disaster that results in wet insulation.

  1. Know the types of insulation in the structure, how each type responds to exposure to moisture, and whether or not the insulation can be restored.
  2. After severe weather, inspect the roof for damage from high winds, hail, debris, and perforations from fallen limbs or trees.
  3. Inspect the attic for subtle roof leaks that may have introduced water and moisture into the attic insulation.
  4. If water or moisture intrusion is detected, enlist the services of a property damage restoration company with the knowledge, expertise, and equipment to mitigate the water intrusion and appropriately manage the wet insulation.

Hidden water and moisture that is left untreated can slowly undermine the structural integrity of a home or building and lead to a mold infestation that can put residents, employees, and customers at risk for health effects. Each roof has its own set of unique insulation requirements. Among all these variables, one thing is certain when a roof leak is discovered: wet insulation must be addressed as soon as possible.

For more information about water damage restoration services by SERVPRO of Waxahachie/Midlothian, contact the water damage restoration company by phone at (972) 935-0827 or email acarey@SERVPRO10932.com.

How Midlothian, TX, Homeowners Can Detect and Deal With Water Damage in a Closet

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian offers tips for identifying water damage in a closet and provides strategies for dealing with the effects of the damage.

The professionals at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian deal with water damage and other property damage disasters on a regular basis, so they see firsthand how life can suddenly be filled with stress and worry. SERVPRO is a trusted cleanup and restoration company in the region, and the team can quickly restore all types of property damage situations, including water damage in a homeowner’s closet.

Water Damage in a Closet

Suffering water damage in a closet seems improbable to most homeowners since a closet does not have a direct water source such as a sink, bathtub, or toilet. Yet, water damage in a closet can occur, and it often does. Since a closet is dark, closed off from airflow, loaded with organic matter, and seldom inspected, this tiny room is susceptible to large-scale mold infestation resulting from water damage.

How to Detect Water Damage in a Closet

Detecting water damage in a closet can be difficult, especially if the closet is seldom accessed. Some signs of water damage in a closet include:

  • a damp, musty smell inside the closet or on items in the closet
  • brown or yellow stains or discoloration on the ceiling and walls
  • difficulty opening and closing the closet door
  • swollen or warped baseboards or door framing
  • bubbling paint, peeling wallpaper, warping in the drywall
  • moist or wet clothes and other contents
  • flooring in the closet that is wet or moist to the touch
  • floor substrate that is soft or buckled

Causes of Water Damage in a Closet

Homeowners may be surprised by some of the many causes of water damage in a closet. Knowledge of how a water intrusion can occur in a closet can help prevent a future water damage disaster. Some causes of water damage in a closet include:

  1. An adjacent bathroom
  • moisture from an adjacent bathroom’s shower or bathtub
  • flooding from a cracked tub or shower base
  • leaking supply lines to the shower, tub, toilet, or sink
  • a leaky drain pipe
  • an overflowing toilet
  • an overfilled sink basin or tub
  • second story bathroom leaks
  1. HVAC leak in the attic above or near the closet

Homeowners should always be aware that a water leak in the attic can travel many feet before the water is deposited on the interior ceiling.

  1. Clogged gutters near closets with an exterior wall
  2. A roof leak from storm damage
  3. Storing wet items in the closet
  • coats
  • shoes
  • umbrellas
  • swimwear

Effects of Water Damage in a Closet

Though most closets are relatively small compared to other rooms in a home, the damage can be extensive, severe, and very costly. The water intrusion can damage clothing, shoes, handbags, other leather goods, keepsakes, important documents, photographs, jewelry, electronics, tools, firearms, and other items stored in a closet.

Failing to discover and mitigate water damage in a closet can result in a mold infestation that could result in health effects for the occupants of the home. Closets are often in bedrooms where people spend nearly one-third of their lives, and mold in the closet can also be spread throughout the entire home.

The best and safest solution for dealing with water damage in a closet is to secure the services of a qualified, reputable water damage restoration specialist who is skilled in dealing with the restoration of personal belongings such as clothing, leather goods, electronics, keepsakes, documents, photographs, artwork, and other items typically stored in closets. Also, the homeowner should verify that the property damage restoration specialist is competent to identify and mitigate any mold issues since mold growth often accompanies water damage.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian has been serving the local area since 2000. The company is locally owned and is backed by a nationwide system of qualified franchises. Technicians undergo rigorous training and continuous education to stay on the cutting edge of property damage restoration technology, techniques, and safety protocols. The team of restoration experts specializes in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

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

How to Spot Signs of Secondary Water Damage in a Commercial Setting

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian explains the signs of advanced secondary water damage and how to prevent it.

The commercial water damage specialists at SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian know that a water damage disaster in a commercial setting can strike at any time with a sudden and dramatic impact, disrupting the provision of services or the production of goods at a business or factory. In contrast, a water damage disaster can also result from a slow leak in the sprinkler system or roof that goes unnoticed and unresolved for days or months.

What are the two types of water damage?

Facility repairs for a water damage disaster can be disruptive, time-consuming, and expensive. Business owners, operations managers, facility supervisors, and property managers need to be aware of the two types of water damage. Both types of water damage create different challenges and should be resolved immediately for the sake of the business, employees, vendors, and customers.

  • Primary water damage: This damage is the result of the initial water intrusion. Signs of primary water damage include wet or moist flooring, warped sheetrock or drywall, wet furniture, brown or yellow stains on ceilings and walls, and collapsed ceiling tiles.
  • Advanced secondary water damage: When primary damage is hidden, neglected, or not completely resolved, advanced secondary water damage may occur. Signs of this type of water damage include advanced warping of walls and ceilings, bubbling or peeling paint, and significant staining and streaking on vertical and horizontal surfaces. Structural issues such as rotted wood support beams, black mold, and warped flooring are common.

What are the unintended consequences of delaying water damage repairs?

When water damage issues are left unattended, the consequences can be costly and dangerous. Business owners know the pressures of deadlines. Sometimes margins are minuscule. Customer service and on-time delivery are what win service or manufacturing contracts. Circumstances sometimes require working in and around water damage to meet customer demands. However, the potential negative consequences of laboring in an environment compromised by a water intrusion loom large for the employer. Consider the following consequences:

  1. Slip-and-fall accident resulting in a settlement.

An industry expert reported, “Commercial insurer CNA reports that between 2007 and 2012, the average cost of a traumatic brain injury in a general liability claim was $269,643. The average cost of a traumatic brain injury in workers’ comp claims was $259,153. Individual cases can be much higher.”

  1. Loss of raw materials needed in the manufacturing process. The introduction of moisture outside the production process can ruin the raw materials required to manufacture the business’s product line. A fifty-five-gallon drum of raw material may cost thousands of dollars to replace.
  2. Electronic devices in the office or on the production floor can suffer a cataclysmic failure when exposed to moisture or wetness.
  3. Production line equipment, forklifts, and delicate conveyor line sensors can be damaged by sudden, continuous, or intermittent exposure to moisture or water.
  4. Mold issues can corrupt product integrity and cause health effects. Commercial water damage restoration is a complex process. Business owners and those individuals tasked with facility repair and maintenance should secure the services of a reputable, qualified, and certified commercial water damage restoration company. If an incompetent company fails to fully resolve the water and moisture issues, secondary damage in the form of a mold infestation can occur.

Products contaminated with black mold and shipped all over the country could possibly cause infestations along the entire supply chain. The product liability nightmare could spell the demise of a small business, distribution center, or manufacturing unit.

How can these potential consequences be minimized or prevented?

Here are several best practices businesses should follow when dealing with primary and secondary water damage issues.

  1. Foster a corporate culture in the workforce that encourages early reporting and immediate resolution of any water intrusion events.
  2. Alert the pre-qualified water damage restoration company and schedule an immediate response. This step assumes a disaster plan is in place, performance criteria are in force, and a competent team of mitigation and restoration professionals has been vetted. This step also assumes that the selected company knows the facility and the parameters surrounding the presence of non-employee personnel in the facility. Corporate policy sometimes restricts the use of video on the grounds of or within the facility. Images and video may be essential for job performance verification, quality assurance, and insurance claims validation. A competent, experienced water damage restoration team will identify these challenges and resolve them before a fire, smoke, water, flood, mold, or storm damage disaster strikes.
  3. Do not release the water damage disaster team until the restoration is completed.
  4. Take steps to prevent any secondary water damage. Follow up with an inspection shortly after the restoration is complete to ensure mold infestation is not an issue.

These steps highlight the importance of working with a property damage restoration company that has the experience, training, and professionalism required to operate at the commercial level.

SERVPRO of Waxahachie / Midlothian has been serving the area since 2000. The company is locally owned and backed by a nationwide system of qualified franchises. Being centrally located in Ellis County means that the response teams are within a thirty-minute drive or less of any location in the community. The restoration experts specialize in residential, commercial, and large-scale disaster cleanup and restoration.

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