Archived Blog Posts
Halt Winter Heating Hazards
SERVPRO is ready for any size disaster. This is one of our trucks that is ready at a moments notice.
Halt Winter Heating Hazards
The winter season is here and with it comes shorter days and lower temperatures. No matter where you live, winter brings a change in the weather. In a effort to keep our homes and workplaces cozy, many people use alternative hear sources like fireplaces, portable space heaters, and wood burning stoves. Did you know, heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths? According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment fires cause an estimated $1 billion in direct property damage annually. Keep the following safety tips in mind to help reduce your risk of heating-related fire.
- Keep anything flammable at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or a portable space heater. Have a three foot “kid friendly zone” around open fires and space heaters.
- Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
- Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
- Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
- Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
- Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
- Test smoke alarms monthly.
50% of all residential heating-related fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.
If your property does suffer fire damage, contact the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton Professionals to help make it “like it never even happened.”
SERVPRO is quietly taking to the streets, every hour of every day, proving that whenever there is a house full of water or an office full of smoke, there is also a van full of clean.
This is the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton helping out a commercial building with a water loss.
Is Your Property Winter Ready?
Cold weather can have a huge impact on your home or business if you are not properly prepared. Whether it is heavy rain, freezing temperatures, damaging winds, sleet or snow, all can cause serious and costly property damage. While you cannot control the weather, you can take steps to be prepared and help take the sting out of winter weather.
To help prevent costly damages due to weather, consider taking the following precautions to protect your property before colder weather hits.
- Check your business property for downed tree limbs and branches. Weather, such as wind, heavy rain, ice and snow, can cause branches to fall, which could cause damage to the property and potentially cause personal injuries.
- Roofs, water pipes and gutters should all be inspected to ensure they are in proper order. Gutter downspouts should be directed away from your home or building. Clear gutters of debris that may have gathered during the fall. Leaves and other obstructions can lead to a damming effect, that can lead to roof damage and interior water problems.
- Inspect property, especially walkways and parking lots, for proper drainage to alleviate flood hazard potential.
- Inspect all handrails, stairwells and entryways to address and correct potential slippery or hazardous areas. Install mats or non-slip surfaces and post caution signs where water could be present.
- Protect water pipes from freezing by simply allowing water to drip when temperatures dip below freezing. If pipes are under a cabinet, leave the cabinet doors open allowing warm inside air to circulate around the pipes. If the building has outdoor faucets, consider shutting water off at the main valve in the basement or crawl space. Once the valve is off, open the outdoor faucet to ensure it drains, preventing any remaining water from freezing in the pipe.
- Ask the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton franchise business professionals about completing an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your business. The ERP is a no cost assessment to your facility, and provides you with a plan to get back in business fast following a disaster.
When winter weather strikes, call The SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton professionals to strike back.
Understanding The Behavior Of Smoke
This is a picture of a dishwasher that has been half cleaned due to a kitchen fire.
Understanding the Behavior of SMOKE
The damage to your property following a fire can often be complicated due to the unique behavior of smoke. There are two different types of smoke-wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are thoroughly trained in fire cleanup and restoration and know the different types of smoke and their behavior patterns. Knowing this information is vital to proper restoration. Before restoration begins, the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton Professionals will survey the loss to determine the extent of impact from fire, smoke, heat, and moisture on the building materials and contents. The soot will then be tested to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. Pretesting determines the proper cleaning method and allows SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton Professionals to focus on saving your precious items.
The SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton Professionals know smoke can penetrate various cavities within the structure, causing hidden damage and odor. Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. The following are additional facts you may not know about smoke.
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different types of Smoke
- Wet Smoke (Plastic and Rubber) - Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean
- Dry Smoke (Paper and Wood) – Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
- Protein Fire Residue (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) – Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
- Fuel Oil Soot (Furnace Puff Backs) – While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.
- Other Types (Tear gas, fingerprint powder and fire extinguisher residue) – Special loss situations require special care.
SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton Professionals are trained to handle even the toughest losses. If your home or business suffers fire or smoke damage, contact your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
Ready for whatever happens, SERVPRO storm team
SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton helping with the clean up in Elizabethtown, New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy.
Ready For Whatever Happens
When a storm or disaster strikes, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team is poised and “Ready for whatever happens.” With a network of more than 1,700 Franchises, the SERVPRO System strives to be faster to any size disaster. Strategically located throughout the United States, SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team, is trained and equipped to handle the largest storms and highest flood waters. Providing experience, manpower, equipment and other resources, the Disaster Recovery Team assists your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team has responded to hundreds of disaster events. In the aftermath of a disaster, there is only one objective, to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”
- 2016 Houston, TX Flooding- In April, a nearly stationary mesoscale convective system developed over Houston resulting in widespread rainfall rates of 2-4 inches per hour. This was a historic flooding event for Harris County which saw a total of nearly 18 inches per hour. The Storm Team dispatched 81 crews to over 360 jobs mitigation over $3 million in damages.
- 2015 Siberian Express: Record sub-zero temperatures caused major problems for a large portion of the country stretching from Florida to Maine. The Midwest also experienced record breaking low temperature3s resulting in frozen pipes and ice dams causing major problems for residents. The Strom Team dispatched a total of 257 crews from 108 Franchises to assist local SERVPRO Franchises completing nearly 2000 jobs.
- 2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding: Rainfall rates up to 2 inches per hour caused major flash flooding stretching from Northeast Ohio all the way up to Portland, Maine. Eastern Michigan and Baltimore, Maryland were also impacted creating over 1381 jobs for the Strom team to produce. A total of 82 SERVPRO Franchises and 173 crews mitigated over $4.3 million in damages while assisting the local Franchises.
- 2014 Polar Vortex: Record low temperatures caused by a break in the North Pole’s polar vortex resulted in an unprecedented freezing event, spanning from east of the Rocky Mountains to as far south as Central Florida, effecting all or part of 39 states and 70 % of the SERVPRO Franchise System.
- 2013 Colorado Floods: Heavy rainfall, with amounts up to 17 inches in some areas, resulted in the widespread flooding in Fort Collins, Boulder and surrounding Colorado mountain communities. The Disaster Recovery Team responded with 109 crews and 48 Franchises to assist the local SERVPRO Franchises in the emergency response.
- 2012 Hurricane Sandy: Affecting more than 20 states, Sandy left widespread damage and flooding from Florida stretching the entire eastern seaboard to Maine. The Disaster Recovery Team placed nearly 1000 crews in affected areas, representing over 300 SERVPRO Franchises from across the country. Teams traveled from as far as Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.
Fire, The Facts
SERVPRO Orange/Nederland/Lumberton cleaning up after a fire loss.
JUST THE FACTS
In 2014, fires caused 2745 deaths, 11,825 injuries, and $6.8 Billion in property damage.
Three out of five home fire deaths are caused by fires in homes with no smoke alarms or not working alarms.
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 94 percent of the time, while battery powered alarms operated 80 percent of the time.
When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead.
One quarter of home fire deaths are caused by fires that start in the bedroom. Another quarter result from fires in the living room, family room or den.
One-third of survey respondents who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. The time available is often much less. Only 8 percent said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out.
Facts provided by National Fire Protection Association, nfpa.org
WHAT TO DO UNTIL HELP ARRIVES
- Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
- Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
- Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas
- If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
- Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
- If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
- Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
- Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.
- Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
- Don’t attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting your SERVPRO® Franchise Professional.
- Do not attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
- Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water, as they may be contaminated.
- If ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create secondary damage.
- Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.
The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile
This is a picture of our SERVPRO crew working in a building that we had an ERP on. It took our SERVPRO crew only two days to get this building dry.
“Ready for Whatever Happens”
The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan for it NOW.
As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. And knowing you are “Ready for whatever happens” speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don’t necessarily have to be.
By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile® for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.
The SERVPRO® Emergency Ready Profile® Advantage
A no cost assessment of your facility.
-This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
-It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But will save a lot of time if ever needed.
A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
-This can help minimize the amount of time your business in active by having an immediate plan of action.
Established your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
-You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and is close by.
Identification of the lind of command for authorizing work to begin.
-This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
-Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”
Courtney Cropper and Jacey Ingham are SERVPRO® of Beaumont and SERVPRO® of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton Emergency Ready Profile specialists. Call our office today to schedule your 15 minute appointment!
“Thanks to SERVPRO® our office only assumed partial water damage due to a busted pipe. Why? Because I was able to locate the shut-off valve straight from the Ready Plan app. My boss what out of reach and we didn’t panic. Thank you SERVPRO® for making us “Ready for whatever happens.” –Tracy T.
New Way to Spell Water Disaster
Commercial flood loss SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton help get back in business.
Whether you live on the coast, near a lake, or riverside, the flood will find you. And when it does, it can leave you with years' worth of damage, not to mention credit card bills and bankruptcy.
Various news stories of commercial and residential properties drowning in murky waters, or sitting empty a year later look abandoned and still reeking with "remnants of saturated insulation and mold hanging from the beams' as on homeowner described it... will inject fear into anyone's heart.
For that reason, the Federal EMergency Management Agency (FEMA) has published a guide stating which materials are best used in certain situations.
It's interstesting because even safe materials, when combined with unsafe products such as adhesives, become undesirable. For example, vinyl tile is an acceptable surface but if it's applied over plywood it becomes unacceptable because there's no way for the plywood to dry after a flood. Even oil-based paint can inhibit drying of a wooden wall.
That's when you call the professionals at SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton to make sure the situation is handled so there are no surprises and no adverse effects on the occupants' health or safety.
SERVPRO Cleans Up the Mess after a Flood
FEMA says the following are not permitted in flood-prone areas:
- Nornal adhesives which are water soluble or not resistant to alkali or acid in water
- Materials containing wood or paper products, or other materials that lose structural integrity when exposed to water
- Sheet-type floor or wall covering (linoleum, rubber tile, wallpaper) that inhibit drying of the materials they cover
- Materials that are 'dimensionally unstable' of instance, a door jamb that swells and does not return to its original size
- Materials that retain excessive water after they've been submerged.
We have so much more to loss...
Homeowners tell us there is no greater devastation then seeing the house they've made a home destroyed by a quick moving flood. The fact that the flood could have been caused by something as innocuous as a leaking pipe behind the washing machine makes the destruction seem even more senseless.
FEMA's classification was based on the fact that a home constructed with the vulnerable materials may harbor mold, other fungi or allergens; that materials may absorb checmicals and continue to exude them even after the house has been thoroughly dried. In addition, water frenders some materials more susceptible to rot. These are just a few of the many after effects of a flood.
SERVPRO should be on speed dial
The SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton team has been trained to responed, swifly, and knowledgably. There's a resaon why FEMA and the EPA recommend consulting with professionals in the wake of water damage.
Back in teh day (as they say), houses were made of straw, stone, or brick. If they weren't blown down or burned up, they were abandoned by the time the children were grown. Today, the American home is our castle. It reflects our lives, interests, loves, travels, hopes, memories...and the most important people we share it with.
Let's hope you are not a victim of a home destroying event. But if it happens, don't panic. Keep our number handy: 409-729-2800. We're here 24/7 to answer the call...and make your loss like "It Never Even Happened."
Acquisition of the SERVPRO of Beaumont
This is a photo of our facility and some of the fleet we use to help those who have had water or fire losses.
The SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton is happy to announce that they have acquired the SERVPRO of Beaumont. The two companies will be ran out of the same building located in Beaumont, Texas. The owners Bill Callahan and Lucas Bell have each over thirty five years of living in Southeast Texas and pride their business with excellent customer service. The company is a fire and water clean up and restoration company that can do a turn key project with construction.
Flooded Italian Restaurant
This is the initial photograph that was taking by the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton.
A water value in the back of the restaurant broke during the middle of the night. When the employees of the restaurant showed up the next morning to open for business they found water all throughout the restaurant. They immediately contacted their insurance company to file the claim. The insurance agent who has a great trusting relationship with the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton was referred in to take care of the water loss. After three days of drying the restaurant was back open serving the awesome food it makes!