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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.

When Disaster Strikes

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Disaster Strikes Call us at (972)278-7871 when a storm damages your property

Thunderstorms, Tornadoes, Floods, and fires: these are disasters that the people of North Texas are familiar. But what happen when one of those disasters happens to you or your neighborhood. Thankfully SERVPRO is ready to help get you cleaned back up. 
As soon as you call SERVPRO of South Garland we get teams on the way and headed out to assess the situation. Is the property secure, is there water that needs to be removed right away. Is a pack out necessary to store your treasures to keep them safe until your home can be put back together.  Our trained as certified restorers work hard to make sure that when disaster strikes we take care of you.  Recently there was a hail storm close to our location, and the calls started rolling in and out teams kicked into high gear to get everyone that we could stable and from getting more damage from secondary storms that were on their way. Here at SERVPRO of South Garland we are ready to be the hero that you need, and can trust to get you through any storm disaster. Call us at (972)278-7871 We will be there when you need us.

What are the Hazards of Water Heater Overflows?

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

What are the Hazards of Water Heater Overflows?

With the added elements of high temperature and late detection, the number of threats with water heater flooding exceeds that of normal flooding. Here are some things to look out for in the event of a water heater overflow:

  • Hot water burns– The initial burst of water from a heater is scalding hot, so be sure not to rush in, especially if you see steam. Use protective clothing before attempting anything. Ideally, call SERVPRO of South Garland to do the job for you. (972) 278-7871
  • Electrocution by water– A flooded basement carries the risk of having the water making contact with power outlets and exposed wiring. When this happens, the floodwater carries a strong electric current that’s enough to kill anyone. When you see your basement flooded, resist the impulse to dive into the water in an attempt to shut the leaking heater down. Contact SERVPRO of South Garland for help. Our professionals will be able to determine whether there’s an electrical threat or not. They’ll know the safest procedure for shutting down the water source and containing and extracting the water from your property.
  • Potential fire starter– Flooding doesn’t just create an electrical hazard, it can also short-circuit your electrical system and create sparks. Faulty electrical wiring is one of the most common causes of fire.
  • Water damage– When the water spills beyond the immediate surroundings of the heater and gets into your living and work spaces, the threat of water damage arises. Water can ruin carpets, damage wood, corrode metals and toast expensive appliances and machinery.
  • Mold growth– Mold spores can activate in places where there’s sufficient moisture and organic matter to sustain them. If your property was flooded by an overflowing heater, there’s a good chance that mold growth can follow suit. While seemingly harmless at first glance, mold can irritate our noses and skin when its spores are inhaled. But mold does not have to even get a chance to grow, SERVPRO of South Garland can stop it in its tracks.

Contact SERVPRO of South Garland now at (972) 278-7871

A water heater overflow is an emergency that should be addressed rapidly and decisively. The longer you wait the worse it can get and attempting to repair the water heater and clean up the water yourself could be dangerous and risky. Contact an experienced professional through SERVPRO of South Garland today for a quick and easy resolution to your problem. "We're Always Here to Help" 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year long.

Leaking Appliances

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Leaking Appliances Call us with any issues you have had from leaking appliances!

Most household  floods and water damage are caused by plumbing or appliance failure, according to a study by a U.S. plumbing and drain service company.

The bill for these disasters can add up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

This study shows that only about 8 percent of residential flooding claims are the result of weather. Thirty percent are caused by appliance failure like a dishwasher leak and 62 percent by plumbing failure a hose or pipe bursting.

So, in short, the majority of water losses are preventable.

Fortunately, there are some easy steps homeowners can take to protect their homes - and wallets -- from water damage.

  1. Dishwasher

Dishwasher lines and hoses can spring a leak or blow out, often in the middle of the wash cycle, and flood your kitchen with gallons and gallons of water. 

Prevent the problem: Never run the appliances if you're not going to be home, If a pipe bursts, you can minimize the damage by shutting off the water at the water supply line under the sink.

Prevention is key.

Rubber hoses commonly are used to supply water to a dishwasher, and they deteriorate over time. Replace the rubber hose with a much sturdier steel-braided hose found at most home improvement centers and hardware stores). Buying the hose and installing it yourself costs about $20.

  1. Washing machine

Malfunctioning dishwasher drains or water hoses result in some of the most common claims filed by homeowners, says Douglas Nadeau, a spokesman for State Farm. "Most homeowners leave washing machine water supply lines turned on so when a hose busts, water can discharge at up to 500 gallons per hour, causing major damage in a short period of time." Nadeau says.

Prevent the problem: Joseph King, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, suggests inspecting washing machine hoses often. "If they're original equipment and more than 5 years old, replace them with stronger steel-braided hoses," King says. These can be installed by a homeowner with a little guidance from a plumbing specialist at a home improvement or hardware store.

For added peace of mind, King suggests installing an automatic shut-off valve equipped with an alarm to alert you of any hose problems. This kind of valve costs about $100 but can save thousands of dollars if it detects a leak and prevents flooding.

  1. Leaky toilet

Any kinds of toilet leaks are signs of trouble. Cracks to the tank or toilet aren't common unless something hits the tank, such as a picture falling off the wall and hitting the "throne."

"More often than not, the supply line to the water tank develops a hole," Lazarus says.

Prevent the problem: it's better to replace a leaky toilet than to repair it. A new tank and bowl can run anywhere from $89 to $250 at a home improvement or hardware retailer. "If you hire a plumber to install the new tank or toilet, it may cost about $150 or more.

If the water supply line is the problem that's easy to repair. "Replace it with a metal-braided supply line because they tend to hold up better in the long run," he says.

Remember if all else fails call SERVPRO of South Garland (972)278-7871

Is Your Business Ready For Anything?

4/25/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Is Your Business Ready For Anything? Some of our fleet here at SERVPRO of South Garland

Did you know that it is estimated that up to 50% of small businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood, never reopen!

The unfortunate fact is, the chances of a business reopening after losing the amount of time it could take to recover form a disaster are very slim. 

However, of the companies that do survive, there is a defining factor at play; they almost always have an Emergency Readiness Plan. This plan will look different for each company, but it will touch on the following topics. 

  1. Training. Are your employees properly trained? Do your managers have the right numbers and protocols at hand to handle whatever situation may come their way? 
  2. Priorities. All employees must keep in mind as primary goal: stay safe, and preserve life. Buildings can be restored and damage can be fixed. However, there is no building or equipment that is worth a life!
  3. Have SERVPRO of South Garland at your fingertips to be there at any time in case of an emergency. So often, commercial owners and operators will be ready for the first phase of a disaster. We learned it when we were old enough to speak, and that is to dial 911. In the same way, your second. A true should be to call SERVPRO of South Garland to immediately begin remediating the damage caused. However, to save time in this unfortunate event, SERVPRO of South Garland offers a free Planning meeting to conduct a walk through of your business.  When we come to do this, we will be noting a few things:

A) what is the business type?

B) what are the operating hours?

C) who are our primary points of contact?

D) what are the possible risks in the current situation?

In addition to these points, we will do all in our power to be sure you are prepared and ready for whatever happens. 

For additional thoughts or concerns, please contact us at 972-278-7871!