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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Conditions in Southeast Texas Might Be Right for Mold

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Conditions in Southeast Texas Might Be Right for Mold If you suspect mold in your home or business, call us at (409) 729-2800.

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.

Home Fires

2/28/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that each year more than 12,600 people are injured in home fires in the United States? It is important to be prepared and know the facts about home fires.

  • Home fires can be prevented.
  • Fire is fast. In two minutes, a fire could kill you. In only five minutes, a whole house can be engulfed in flames.
  • Fire is very hot! However, heat and smoke have the potential to be more dangerous than the flames.
  • Hot air can burn your lungs and fire produces poisonous gas that can make you sleepy and unable to escape.
  • Fire is very dark. This can make it difficult to find your way out of your house during a fire.
  • Fire is deadly! Fire uses up oxygen you need to breathe.

You can always be prepared to prevent deadly fires in your home. Just taking a few precautions can help save you and your family.

These fire facts were found on www.ready.gov!

The Science Behind Drying

2/22/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Science Behind Drying Warehouse full of state of the art drying equipment.

Most people do not know that there is a process behind the science of drying. One of SERVPRO’s goals is to help restore a water damaged structure back to its preloss condition. The knowledge of psychrometrics is a vital part of the restoration process. Here at SERVPRO, we understand the first reaction during any water loss is to grab a towel and to try and clean the mess up. SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton is trained in the science of drying and follow strict industry guidelines to help lower the chances of any secondary damage to your home. Allowing your home to dry on your own is possible. However, drying naturally make take too long and the moisture may can cause more damage to areas in your home. Our team is trained to help speed up the natural drying process, including equipment to help dry hardwood floors, difficult to reach areas, and spaces inside walls. Our team uses state of the art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help speed up the drying process. This process helps our customers get back to normal in no time!

How to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home

2/21/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home This wall shows mold growth due to a water loss that was not dried properly.
  • Keep humidity levels in your home relatively low–no higher than 50%. Keeping your A/C running or using a dehumidifier will help keep the humidity level low.
  • Make sure there is air flow throughout the home. Use exhaust fans that vent outside the home in kitchen and bathroom areas.
  • Fix any leaks that may be in the roof, walls or plumbing so mold does not have a moisture source to grow.
  • Clean up and dry out your home fully and as quickly as possible in the event of a water loss or flooding.
  • Clean areas with an antimicrobial to prevent any future mold or mildew growth
  • Remove or replace carpet and upholstery that have been saturated with water and were not dried properly and/or right away.

Source: www.cdc.gov/mold

If mold causes damage to your home, SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton is only a phone call away!

Severe Weather Safety

2/20/2018 (Permalink)

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

  • 10,000 severe thunderstorms
  • 5,000 floods or flash floods
  • 1,300 tornadoes
  • 2 land falling deadly hurricanes

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

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

Take Action. Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your home and business. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.

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

Emergency Water Damage Tips

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Emergency Water Damage Tips Extracting water from commercial water loss.

In the event that your business has a water loss; here are some steps to help minimize damage and get you back in business.

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
  • Don’t enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid shock hazards.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum cleaning to remove water; this could cause electrical shock or damage the vacuum cleaner.
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Be Prepared

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Is your business prepared in the event of an emergency or a disaster? As many as 40% of businesses may never reopen after suffering a disaster. Here are a few helpful tips to prepare your business for the unexpected.

Technology is a vital tool for most businesses. Many of us use technology on a day to day basis already. Did you know that this same technology can help prepare your business in the event of a disaster?

Store Information Online:

There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer free ways to store different types of files all at the touch of one button. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, etc.

Mark Yourself Safe:

The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish. Facebook also has a check in feature that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis.

Get an Emergency Ready Profile:

SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton is proud to offer free Emergency Ready Profiles (ERP) to help prepare you, your property, and your business for an emergency. By setting up and appointment with SERVPRO, our team helps set up your ERP to minimize business interruption by developing this immediate plan of action.

Contact us at (409) 729-2800 for more information about your FREE ERP!

Hurricane Harvey

2/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Hurricane Harvey Our flooded office due to Hurricane Harvey.

Here we are 6 months after the biggest storm event our community has endured in the many years. Hurricane Harvey affected our SERVPRO office in many ways. Our office flooded alongside with the rest of Southeast Texas. Our SERVPRO team strived to service as many of the affected community members as possible. With the help of our SERVPRO Storm Team, we were able to touch so many of those affected during this disastrous event. It has been truly amazing to see Southeast Texas come together; as many experienced loss on such a significant scale. Southeast Texas has done a wonderful job restoring the community and help place a sense of normalcy for our area. Our SERVPRO family is blessed to be a part of such a strong and united community!

Type of Smoke

12/21/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that there are different types of smoke? Each type of smoke can cause a wide array of damages to your home in the event of a fire. The damage resulting from a fire can be complicated due to the 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 the 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 of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton 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 is trained and certified in Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration. Our knowledge helps restore your home back to preloss condition.

Mold Remediation

12/6/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Remediation Mold Growth in a storage closet after recent flooding.

Fungi and Mold can naturally occur in our environment. In fact over 100,000 type of fungi have been identified. Moisture is the foremost factor that causes mold growth. It only takes a little bit of excess water or humidity for mold to form in your home or business. After all of the recent flooding throughout Southeast Texas, mold is a huge concern for homeowners and businesses.

If you think you may have a mold problem, contact a SERVPRO Professional and be alert for the following:

  • The presence of visible mold
  • Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth
  • Excessive humidity

Mold spores can colonize within 72 hours and multiply within just a few hours. Physically removing mold contamination is the primary means of remediation. In most water damage situations, excessive mold growth is not a problem and we can safely remediate your home or business to preloss condition. The need to address the presence of mold can only be determined by an on-site, indoor environmental specialist.

Call SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton with any questions that you may have. We are locally owned and operated, which means when you call us, we can respond quickly with the help that you need. Don’t try to tackle a mold situation yourself. Call the pros at SERVPRO (409) 729-2800.

Every Second Counts

12/5/2017 (Permalink)

Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place.  The American Red Cross suggests that families have a developed and practice a home fire escape plan. Here are a few suggestions to help you and your family to develop an emergency escape plan:

  • Draw a map of each level—Show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure that all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Consider escape ladders—This is something to consider for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
  • Choose an outdoor meeting place—Make sure the meeting place is a safe distance in front of your home, where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting place on your escape plan.
  • Teach children—Teach them how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.
  • Practice makes perfect—Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at nighttime, at least twice a year.

Light The Night

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Pretty lights, candles, and decorations are just a few of the items bringing charm and cheer to the holiday season—however, if they are not used carefully your holidays may go from festive to frightening.

The American Red Cross offers the following safety tips to help greatly reduce the fire risk in your home or business this holiday season.

  • Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, and heat vents.
  • Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Always unplug the tree and holiday lights before leaving the property or going to bed.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.

SERVPRO® of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton wishes you and your family a safe & happy holiday season!

Kitchen Cautions

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

November and December families are brought together to celebrate the holiday season by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don’t practice safe cooking habits, your holidays could become hazardous very quickly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

  • Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.
  • Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.
  • If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly. Remain in the kitchen while food is cooking and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
  • Keep anything that can catch on fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

  • Just get out! When you leave close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.
  • For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
  • If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.
  • Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

Celebrate Summer Safety

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

General Celebrate Summer Safety A fire on the beach enjoying the summer

SERVPRO is “Ready for whatever happens.”

You Can Be Too This Summer

Each year, families and friends across the country enjoy the summer months with barbecues, camping trips, or by cooling off in a pool or lake. To enjoy these occasions, it is important to keep safety top of mind to ensure you have fun in the sun.

According to a recent study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 11,900 Americans are injured by fireworks in 2015, with the majority happening in the month surrounding the Fourth of July. Another 8,700 are injured by charcoal/wood-burning and propane grill fires.  A grill should always be supervised when in use.  Keep children and pets a safe distance from the grilling area to prevent accidental burns or tipping of the grill.

Grills also cause an average of 8,900 home structure or outdoor fires. “These fires caused an annual average of 50 civilian injuries and $2 million in direct property damage,” according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

If you enjoy lounging by the pool or going for a boat ride to cool off from the summer sun, make sure you exercise caution, especially when children are present. Only swim in the approved areas and supervise children at all times when near the water.

The summer season should be a time to make memories and enjoy the great outdoors. Don’t become a statistic.  Take precautions to prevent these events from putting a damper on the your summer months.

CELEBRATE SUMMER SAFETY

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind. Consider the following tips, provided by the Nation Fire Protection Association, to keep you and your family safe all summer long.

  • When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbecue grills; do not add fluid after the coals have been lit.
  • When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight; check hoses for leaks. Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.
  • When camping, always use a flame-retardant tent and set up camp far away from the campfire.
  • Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area. Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.
  • Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire and only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.

Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professionals wish you a safe and happy summer.

Extreme Heat

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Community Extreme Heat Helpful tips to keep you save in the heat

Extreme Heat

            As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.

            According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50-90 degree F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces-often in more rural surroundings-remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure.”

            Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets that may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.

            If you must go outside, wear loose-fitting, light-colored clothing, and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103 degree F), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool, wet clothes or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids, and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).

            If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature fell 15 degrees hotter.

            Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.

Extreme Heat Safety tips to Prepare Your Home

  • Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
  • Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
  • Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes) such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or lovers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
  • Keep storm windows up all year.

Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup

5/2/2017 (Permalink)

Biohazard Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup This is a biohazard scene that SERVPRO was called into help and cleanup.

Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO Professionals also offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners.

                Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners.  A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. 

                The SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.

                Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, the SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes, and offices.

SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton professionals can help with the following issues:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Methamphetamine Labs
  • Crime Scene Residues
  • Arson
  • Vandalism
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation

Bloodborne Pathogens

SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Trained SERVPRO technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize, the structure.

Methamphetamine Labs

Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint power and evidence-gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton professionals can clean and restore your property and contents.

Arson and Vandalism

SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton also provides general cleaning and deodorization services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, egg, spoiled foods, and human or animal waste.

 

Do You Have Dirty Ducts?

3/24/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Do You Have Dirty Ducts? This is a picture of a commercial duct clean at a medical facility.

                 Do You Have Dirty Ducts?

Improve your indoor air quality with duct cleaning

                Did you know your ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality?  Inspecting the ductwork in your facility or home should be a high priority.  In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention.  Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

                A routine part of your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional’s service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC).  Keeping the HVAC and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may not always be necessary.  SERVPRO Franchise Professionals will inspect your HVAC system and ductwork and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns.  This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your HVAC system and ductwork.

                In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. In these cases your SERVPRO Franchise Professional can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.

                If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.

                The SERVPRO duct cleaning system is proven and cost-efficient.  Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, your SERVPRO Franchise Professional uses a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.

  • The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

For more information on duct cleaning, or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO of Orange/Nederland/Lumberton today at 409-729-2800.

Understanding Water Types

3/9/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Understanding Water Types This is a picture of a commercial water loss that occurred at a church.

Understanding Water Types


When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.


There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean.  The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water.  Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous.  Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more.  Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster.  Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.


Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.


Damage from Clean Water



  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.

  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.

  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.

  • Move any paintings, are objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.

  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.

  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.

  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.


Damage from Contaminated Water



  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.



  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.



  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.



  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure, air flow could spread contaminants.



  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas. SERVPRO’s network of more than 1,700 Franchises is ready to help in the event a fire, water, or mold loss occurs.


Call on our restoration system serving insurance companies and their insureds, as well as thousands of commercial property owners in North America. Don’t leave your property to chance.

Halt Winter Heating Hazards

1/23/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  4. Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
  5. Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  6. Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. 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.

Winter Ready

11/28/2016 (Permalink)

General Winter Ready 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

11/2/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 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

10/4/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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

SERVPRO Storm

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

9/23/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire, The Facts SERVPRO Orange/Nederland/Lumberton cleaning up after a fire loss.

JUST THE FACTS

ABOUT FIRE

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

DO:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer/refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome kitchen/bathroom faucets, trim and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Change HVAC filters; leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.                               

DON’T:

  • Don’t attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting your SERVPRO® 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

5/16/2016 (Permalink)

Building Services 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

4/22/2016 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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:

  1. Nornal adhesives which are water soluble or not resistant to alkali or acid in water
  2. Materials containing wood or paper products, or other materials that lose structural integrity when exposed to water
  3. Sheet-type floor or wall covering (linoleum, rubber tile, wallpaper) that inhibit drying of the materials they cover
  4. Materials that are 'dimensionally unstable' of instance, a door jamb that swells and does not return to its original size
  5. 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

3/8/2016 (Permalink)

General 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

1/12/2016 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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!