Recent Posts

Suggestions for Commercial Fire Damage Prevention

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

It is sometimes a small fire that can develop into massive fire damage destroying a building.  A small flare-up or flash fire can wreak havoc on a condo or multiple floors of an apartment or business building if safeguards are not maintained.

If you own a building, you do not have complete control over what residents or employees may be doing. You can develop a fire prevention plan to help lessen the risk of fire damage. The following are the most common fire hazards leading to fire damage in a Garland structure that forces a closure. SERVPRO agrees that the following measures can help prevent fire and water damage.

Smoking. Maintain designated areas for smoking when necessary. If possible, with the warm climate in Garland, this can be an outside area. Typically, inside smoking is no longer permitted.
 
Electrical Wiring and Equipment. Install equipment and wires in compliance with local codes and OSHA regulations. Make sure maintenance is done by licensed electricians. Do not overload outlets or use long extension cords.

Fuel Gas. Install equipment in compliance with local codes and OSHA regulations. Professionals oversee maintenance.

Heat-Producing Appliances/Equipment/Boilers. Install equipment in compliance with manufacturers' recommendations and local codes. Allow only trained personnel to operate equipment.

Flammable/Combustible Liquids. These should be stored in approved cabinets, containers, and well ventilated and fortified areas. All workers must be trained in how to handle these dangerous products.
There should be locking metal containers for waste, which should be disposed of daily. Assess areas as safe for usage. Contractors must follow facility procedures and report all use of flammable liquids.

Fuel Gas Cylinders.  These must be stored in a well-ventilated area, with any oxygen tanks a minimum of 20 feet away. Assess areas as safe for usage. Prevention mechanisms must be in place, such as chains so that they cannot topple over. They should be transported on cylinder carts in upright positions. They should be used at least 20 feet away from hazards with "Hot Work" or "Hot Work Procedure" signs. Only trained personnel should use them.

Oxygen Cylinders. These must be stored at least 20 feet away from flammable or highly combustible material and in well-ventilated locations. Cylinders should be secured to prevent tipping over. They should also be transported on cylinder carts in upright positions. Only trained personnel should use them.

Propane Vehicles. Only trained personnel should use them. They must be properly maintained. Drivers must be trained to handle the propane and the vehicle safely. Cylinders must be safely stored. Maintenance of cylinders must be done by a reputable supplier.

Electric Vehicles, with particular attention to golf cart barns. They must be properly maintained. They must be charged in well-ventilated areas that have been approved for this purpose. No arcing or sparks. This requires special care since it can be an open area to the public.

In the unfortunate event that your business or apartment building incurs fire damage along with water damage and smoke intrusion, call the experts at SERVPRO of South Garland. You will receive an immediate response from us, and we will get you back to pre-fire conditions as quickly as is possible. "Like it never even happened."

Call SERVPRO of South Garland for immediate assistance at the following always open line (972)278-7871.

Disasters Can Happen at Commercial Properties.

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Disasters Can Happen at Commercial Properties.

Here at SERVPRO of South Garland we know water and fire can cause devastation in the work place and for businesses. After a major loss, 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.  At SERVPRO of South Garland we do not want that to happen to you.  We want you to be ready to take on these disasters and have a plan to beat the disaster. 

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage is here.

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.

  • 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 it 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 is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line 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."

               These things could be the difference between staying open after a disaster or having to close down.  SERVPRO of South Garland wants to help your business have the tools that it needs to succeed. This Smartphone and desktop app gets you set up to have this information easily accessible to any personnel that may need it. It has pictures and directions so that it makes it easy to find and fix a problem.

The best part this is a free app and free service to help set it up. We would love to get to meet our neighbors and help them prepare for what we hope never will happen to them. But we always hope for the best and need to prepare for the worst.

If you would like to talk with someone about setting up an ERP for your Business give SERVPRO of South Garland a call at (972)278-7871 and we will set up a time for an appointment to get you set up or just talk about the details.

Stay Aware of Storms

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Stay aware of Storms

Living in Texas we can have all four seasons in one day, so it is best to be prepared for any type of weather.  Like today we are having very high winds but no tornado in the forecast but even high winds can rip shingles off your roof and allow rain to migrate into your home or business.

 And really, how many people take the time to look their roof over for missing shingles.  The only time we look is when we notice the tale-tale water stain on the ceiling and by then the damage is done. When the shingles are not replaced that allows more shingles to be raised up and blown off the roof.   It can take some time before the stain shows up on the ceiling especially if you have an attic space.  If it is not repaired and dried up quickly it can more issues, like flooding of the home, or leaking onto electronic items and frying the big-screen television you worked so hard to purchase; even organic growth can begin to grow. 

While some states have major snowfalls in the winter, some have ice storms and that can cause extra weight on your roof.  Not to mention the heavy snow and ice and knock out power lines so it is a good idea to have an emergency kit in your home and car to stay warm.  It can also freeze water pipes, so it is a good idea to cover your outside faucets with winter covers to keep them from freezing.   Burst frozen pipes can cause high dollar repairs to your home or business by flooding the building when they thaw out. 

At SERVPRO of South Garland we are here to help when a storm event happens and you need water extracted from your home or business or after a fire and we will make it “Like it never even happened.”

What is Mold?

1/28/2019 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO of South Garland we want you to be informed and to have an understanding not a fear of this organism and its impacts on your home. So to start lets learn a little about mold in general.

  • What exactly is mold? Molds are living microorganisms and forms of fungi like yeasts and mushrooms. Now that we have a basic definition of mold, let’s start debunking some common mold myths!
  • Most of the information you find in the media and internet on “Black Mold” is completely bogus and horribly misleading. The fact is that the color of the mold as it appears to the naked eye cannot tell you anything about whether it’s toxic or not.
  • With over 100,000 species, mold comes in about any size, shape, and color you can think of, making it virtually impossible to tell what type of mold you have without a microscope.
  • While there are over 100,000 species of mold, the good news is that you do NOT need to know what kind of mold you have to eliminate mold growth. All molds are treated in the same way. Since mold is a living organism, it requires food and water to survive. But controlling mold by eliminating food sources is very difficult since mold can feed off building materials, and the tiniest of organic matter like dirt, dust and debris. Thus the best way to eliminate mold problems is to eliminate water problems.
  • Texas requires a licensed Mold Inspector to test the organic growth to determine if it is mold and what type of mold it is and to write a protocol to remediate the mold.
  • Eliminating mold problems is important because the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates that we spend 90 percent of our time indoors, and that the air we breathe indoors is more polluted than the outdoor air. So indoor air quality matters a lot to our health.
  • Speaking of our health, so called “Black Mold” typically refers to molds that can produce toxins (specifically mycotoxins), such as groups of molds known as Stachybotrys.  Mycotoxins will not always be produced when these types of mold are present. To put it another way, the presence of mold does not necessarily mean mycotoxins are present. The conditions needed for mycotoxins to be produced are not fully understood. Further, mycotoxins can be produced by other types of molds besides Stachybotrys and these molds are not always black. But all visible molds, regardless of color, should be removed by a professional, like SERVPRO of South Garland.
  • Mold is a natural organism that serves many useful purposes in daily life. It breaks down dead organic matter; helps make certain cheeses, and antibiotics like Penicillin. Mold only becomes a problem when it is found in elevated levels. Then, mold removal and remediation should be performed.
  • Molds reproduce by releasing microscopic airborne spores that find their way to a habitable surface. Molds can grow on almost anything, including most building materials such as drywall, insulation, wood, etc. If enough water is present on these surfaces, the mold grows into active colonies and releases spores into the air.
  • While mold grows most easily on porous organic surfaces such as drywall and unfinished wood, it can also grow on inorganic surfaces such as metal, plastics and glass when organic nutrients such as dust and debris are along with moisture.
  • You can be exposed to mold by breathing in mold spores or touching and/or ingesting moldy items. And under ideal conditions, active visible mold colonies can grow in as little as one or two days.
  • Many homeowners’ insurance policies specifically list mold as an exclusion and will not cover mold-related claims. There are insurance policies that will cover mold related claims. You should not assume your policy covers mold. Chances are it doesn’t. If you want mold insurance, ask for it, and review your policy carefully to make sure you understand what is and are not included.

Fire – What to do first

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire – What to do first It's the holiday season, keep those trees watered.

Fire – What to do first 

Homeowners and business owners may be in shock from the initial devastation.  It is important to try and follow the proper steps to achieve a complete fire restoration.  SERVPRO of South Garland has the following distinctions:  current training, safety and health certifications, vast amounts of experience in restoration projects and the proper licenses and insurance information. 

After the initial shock from the fire has passed, a person thinks, “now what do I do?”  Since the process of fire restoration can be very involved. Private homeowners and companies can oftentimes be devastated by the damage caused by this kind of event.  One aspect that gives peace of mind involves knowing when the right professional has been hired. That is one of the reasons why it is important to hire SERVPRO of South Garland; we are associated with the IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.)

The first step in the process is to clean up as much of the existing area as possible. If the area is not immediately cleaned, soot residue and permanent damage can be left behind.  If the homeowner or business owner does the initial cleaning, it is important to follow these steps. When cleaning, always use dust masks and open the area for proper ventilation.  Wear gloves when packing up belonging because the oils in our skin and set the soot onto an object and it will not come clean.  Clean from the ceilings to the floors and vacuum all floors and upholstery.  Wash any items that are able to be laundered.  Clean the outside with a pressure washer if available.  

If immediate clean up is not done, it can lead to devastating effects.  Within minutes of fire and smoke damage, appliances and many items will discolor to a yellow hue.  After a few hours, acid will stain bathrooms and many other areas of the home or business.  Within days, walls will discolor permanently and items will begin to rust due to the acid residue.   Finally, after weeks the cost of clean-up will become substantially more expensive. The building and furnishings can be permanently damaged by the acid left behind.  Soot residue will be layered throughout the home or business.  For these reasons, it is vital to contact a professional associated with the IICRC to utilize fire restoration techniques in an effort to return the home or business to a preloss state.  One company or service provider should be able to handle the damage.  The seal of Certification by the Institute should be shown on any provider’s website.  This shows the customer the reliability and the expertise of the service provider.

Residue and smoky odors need to be removed immediately.  Professionals will use the process of fire restoration to achieve satisfactory results.  These providers will remove the source of the odor, clean any items that can be salvaged, get rid of any lingering odor with an odor counteracting and deodorizing fog.  Finally, the provider will seal salvageable items to encapsulate odor and prevent further re-contamination.

Homeowners and businesses that are educated in the fire restoration process are able to minimize the cost of repair. SERVPRO of South Garland should be contacted in a timely manner to return the area to a preloss state.   By hiring SERVPRO of South Garland the victims can have some peace of mind during a very stressful time.

SERVPRO of South Garland is a locally owned franchise and can be reached at (972)278-7871. We are always here to help no matter what the disaster.  We make it like it never happened.

Storm Season in Garland and Surrounding Areas

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storm Season in Garland and Surrounding Areas Are you ready?

Is your home ready to withstand powerful gusts of wind and pounding hail? SERVPRO of South Garland knows that while damage from strong storms is often inevitable, there are steps you can take to minimize harm to your property and protect your personal safety. You shouldn't wait until severe weather is predicted in your area to take action – plan ahead for hailstorms, wind storms and tornadoes by following these steps.

Facts about storms

About 3,000 hailstorms occur annually in the United States, and hail that develops during severe storms can reach softball size. An average of 1,000 tornadoes a year causes $1.1 billion in property damage, 1,500 injuries and 80 deaths. Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms, and while the vast majority of them are weak and short in duration, they can cause significant damage. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), about 2 percent of tornadoes fall under the most violent classification, meaning they can reach wind speeds of 205 miles per hour or more.

Plan Ahead

SERVPRO of South Garland recommends that prior to the arrival of a storm; you should take the following steps:

  1. Build an emergency kit. Your kit should include:
    A three-day supply (minimum) of water and non-perishable food for each family member, First-aid supplies, Personal hygiene items, Portable radio, Flashlight, Fresh batteries, Basic tools, Work gloves, Portable lanterns, Signaling device (such as an air horn), Prescription medications, Extra car keys, Extra eyeglasses, Cash, Important contact numbers (such as medical centers, insurance agents, utilities, neighbors and family members), Copies of important documents (such as identification, insurance policies, ownership certificates and banking information)
  2. Create and practice a plan of action for your family. Discuss where and how you will seek shelter during a storm, ensure that everyone is aware of the location of first-aid kits and fire extinguishers, and choose a place for your family to meet if you get separated. Establish a contact person to communicate with concerned relatives, and ensure that you know where and how to shut off utilities at the main switches or valves in the event of a disaster..
  3. Maintain trees and shrubbery in your yard, removing weak branches and eliminating trees that could fall on your home during a storm. Falling trees and blowing debris in storms often cause fatalities and severe structural damage.
  4. Replace rock or gravel landscaping material in your with shredded bark, which won't cause damage if it is blown around by strong winds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers additional information for protecting your property from strong winds.
  5. Stay tuned to local radio and TV stations for important weather updates. Tornadoes often accompany thunderstorm warnings, and the sooner you're aware that a storm is on the way, the sooner you can get your family to safety. Invest in a weather alert radio they will give storm alerts before local radio and television stations since they are tied into the National Weather Bureau.  They can be purchased at most major retailers.
  6. Identify the safest area of your home, a place where you can take shelter when the storm hits. In most structures, this will be the basement or a small interior room without windows, such as a bathroom. In a high-rise building, seek out a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. Close interior doors, and put as many walls between you and the storm as possible.
  7. Identify escape routes from your home or neighborhood, and note whether you need any additional equipment such as a rope ladder.
  8. Secure top-heavy furniture that could topple over, such as bookcases, to the walls. Before a storm arrives, move furniture away from doors and windows, if possible.
  9. Stay away from windows and doors when the storm arrives, and keep all exterior doors and windows closed to prevent rain and falling debris damage in your home's interior.

SERVPRO of South Garland is dedicated to helping our neighbors keep their homes and property safe. If you have storm damage or water intrusion in your home or business give the professionals, who are faster to any disaster, SERVPRO of South Garland a call at (972)278-7871

Restoring Commercial Properties

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Restoring Commercial Properties When Disaster Strikes call SERVPRO of South Garland. (972)278-7871
 

Commercial water restoration requires a vastly different approach than when dealing with a residential property. That is why you need to choose a restoration company that specializes in commercial structures as well.

On a commercial property, you need to consider a few different factors which include but are not limited to building size, occupant level, age of structure and any other limitations present in the building.

  • Building size: Typically, commercial structures are larger, which expose the building to larger affected areas. For example, if a pipe bursts on the 10th floor of a commercial building, you have 10 floors plus a basement that could experience water damage. Since water follows the law of gravity, the water from the burst pipe will saturate any insulation, drywall or concrete along the preceding floors. In a residential environment, you are typically only dealing with 2 or 3 floors at the most. When choosing a restoration company, you need to make sure they are trained to handle the severity of the situation. This includes being properly equipped with the right amount of equipment to handle the loss, having enough trained staff to mitigate the damage and can complete the restoration process quickly and correctly.
  • Occupant level: In commercial buildings, you also need to consider the number of occupants, and make sure that the environment is safe. Whether you own an apartment complex or office building, your top priority is to keep those occupants safe. This is why you want to choose a restoration company that has prior commercial water damage experience. Your choice will not only protect your occupants from health hazards, but will protect you from any lawsuits down the road. Keeping the environment safe is more than simply awareness. Special equipment and supplies can help keep affected areas contained and prevent hazardous particulates from spreading to other areas. When choosing a restoration company, make sure they are equipped with this capability.
  • Age of structure: The age of your commercial building is another factor a trained restoration company will consider. Older structures commonly have lead-based paint, asbestos or other materials that if disrupted could be hazardous to the occupants in the structure. You need to work with a company that understands these risks and can properly mitigate the situation to keep the indoor environment safe.

Restoration Preparedness

Chances are, your commercial building is going to experience water damage at some point. Bottom line, you need to be prepared. Instead of waiting for disaster to strike to make the call to a restoration company, make the proper plans beforehand.

SERVPRO of South Garland offers commercial plans and contracts specific to the needs of your commercial building. Call us before disaster strikes and we can provide a sound restoration plan to fit the needs of your building.

In this plan, we will identify the size of your building, electrical capabilities, areas we can load-in our equipment and develop a contingency plan to fit the scope of your building.

Of course all restoration projects are different, but having a company that is familiar with your building, and who will be available anytime you call will drastically save you time and money if water damage occurs.

Choose SERVPRO of South Garland

(972) 278-7871

Make It Out Alive

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Make It Out Alive After a Fire Call SERVPRO of South Garland at 972-278-7871 and we will help get you back into your home.

 

Make It Out Alive

During A Fire

  •  Stay Low Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • Get out fast when the smoke alarm sounds. You may have only moments to escape safely.
  • If there is smoke blocking your door or first way out, use another route.
  • Smoke is toxic. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.  Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands.  Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.  If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.  Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes.  Cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

Escaping the Fire

  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut. Make sure security gratings on windows have a fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from the inside.
  • Consider escape ladders if your residence has more than one level, and ensure that burglar bars and other antitheft mechanisms that block outside window entry are easily opened from the inside.
  • Teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping from a fire.
  • Clean out storage areas. Do not let trash such as old newspapers and magazines accumulate.

Fire Escape Planning for Older Adults and People Access or Functional Needs

  • Live near an exit. You'll be safest on the ground floor if you live in an apartment building. If you live in a multi-story home, arrange to sleep on the ground floor, and near an exit.
  • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you get through the doorways.
  • Make any necessary accommodations, such as providing exit ramps and widening doorways, to facilitate an emergency escape.
  • Speak to your family members, building manager, or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.
  • Contact your local fire department's non-emergency line and explain your special needs. Ask emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.
  • Keep a phone near your bed and be ready to call 911 or your local emergency number if a fire occurs.
  • Remember if you have had a fire and it was put out by the fire department there could also be hidden water damage, it is important that your home gets back to a safe living condition quickly. If soot stays in the materials in the home it can cause significant damage. If you have need of our services now, call us at (972) 278-7871. As a locally owned business, SERVPRO of South Garland is dedicated to restoring the homes of our neighbors.

Get IT out of my house!

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Get IT out of my house! Call SERVPRO of South Garland about your mold today. (972)278-7871
What is “IT”. Well It is mold, and everyone seems scared of the fact that there might be mold in their home, and rightly so I don’t want to promote an atmosphere where mold could grow in my home. So what does mold need in order to thrive in your home and how can you keep that from happening. The first and most important thing that mold needs is it needs moisture. Without this key ingredient mold cannot grow. But mold can grow in things that as humans we might think are dry if we touch them but they are holding moisture in the materials. This is where having a professional restoration expert from SERVPRO of South Garland can determine with moisture meters when  the building materials in your home are dry enough so you do not have to worry about mold growing on them after you experience water soaking through your home. The second thing that mold needs in order to thrive is food, this could be the natural fibers of the carpet you have, dirt in the carpet or sub floor, the paper on the sheet rock, or the wood holding your home together.  So why get the mold out first the mold is destroying your home by feeding on the material keeping it together. Second it smells bad and the spores are airborne. Third If you have allergies you should contact you physician to see if mold affects you. SERVPRO of South Garland is a mold licensed remediation company and we follow all state laws to keep that certification and will help you through the process of getting you home mold free.

Call SERVPRO of South Garland to talk about your situation today (972) 278-7871   

How does mold grow in a house?

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How does mold grow in a house? Call SERVPRO of South Garland (972)278-7871
So your house flooded and water was everywhere. Your husband said it would be just fine and he cleaned it up and it all seemed dry. Now it has been a few weeks and your starting to smell something that isn’t right. So you try and find where the smell is coming from and you notice something discoloring the walls around the area that was wet a few months ago. Well chances are that unless your husband was a water restoration expert he thought that the walls were totally dry but really they were still wet enough to support mold growth. So now you think that that you have mold in your home. It is recommended that no matter what type of mold you have in your home that you get the affected materials out of your house. So what now, the mold infection needs to be inspected and the inspection needs to be with a separate company that the one that will be doing the actual remediation work. The inspector sets up a scope of work that needs to be performed and will test the air for elevated amounts of mold spores, and test the surfaces to see how far the mold has affected. Once the inspector finishes the protocol he will give it to you and that is what you can take to remediation companies like SERVPRO of South Garland, and we can take care of the issue in your home by removing all of the affected porous materials such as carpet, pad, and drywall, then we will clean all wood or structure. After cleaning SERVPRO of South Garland will HEPA vacuum in the contained area.  After this process is complete the mold should be removed from your building, if needed you can have the mold inspector come back out to do a clearance test just to be totally sure that the mold is gone and your home and your family is safe.

SERVPRO of South Garland is mold certified and very professional call us at (972)278-7871 for all your mold remediation needs.