Recent Posts

Professional Clean Up After Sewer Damage

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Immediate Steps

Floodwater is divided into three categories: Category 1, Category 2 and Category 3. The first type is from a clean water source, while the second may come from leaking appliances. Categories 1 and 2 won't be fatal; however, category 3 water, or black water, can be lethal because it contains hazardous materials, including human waste. If you have a sewer backup at home, do the following:

  • Get everyone safely out of your home.
  • Do not come into contact with the water.
  • Call a company that specializes in sewer cleanup.

Removal

Professional crews in Houston, TX will come to your home and assess the damage. The technicians have the proper safety gear and equipment to remove all sewer water from your property. The team will use industrial-strength extraction machines to suck up standing water and water from saturated areas such as carpet and furniture.

Drying

Whether from a flooded toilet or a broken sewage pipe, the presence of water can encourage mold growth. After removing the water, the technicians will completely dry the area with high-powered fans so there is no moisture in your home.

Sanitizing

It is not enough to dry floors, walls, ceilings, and furniture. The cleanup company will disinfect all surfaces and materials to kill all bacteria and harmful substances. The final part of the sewer cleanup process is to rebuild and restore any damaged materials such as drywall and flooring.
If you have black water in your house, make sure you leave the sewer cleanup to the pros. You can count on these crews to use their skills and experience to make your home safe once more.

6 Clean Water Sources That Can Cause Category 1 Water Damage

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

Six Common Causes for Water Loss

While even clean water can be damaging and require the need for water damage restoration services, it’s reassuring to know that unwanted water in your building is not contaminated or unsafe to handle. Here are six common causes of water loss in Houston, TX that are considered Category 1 water.

Broken Supply Line

Supply lines can start to leak around fittings and connections, or a sharp object can cause a supply line: broken pipe to break completely and start to gush out. Deterioration, freezing temperatures, and earthquakes can also can a water line to break.

Cracked or Broken Pipe

Broken pipes are a common cause of water damage. While an undetected leak that has been sitting for a long period time is likely contaminated, a recent pipe burst is a clean water source.

Overflowing Sink or Tub

If a sink or tub is accidentally left leaking or a drain is plugged, water can overflow and cause extensive damage. As long as there were no contaminants in the sink or tub, this water is considered Category 1.

Clean Toilet Bowls

An overflowing toilet with no urine or feces in it is still considered clean water. If only urine is present, the water is labeled Category 2. Water with feces is grossly contaminated Category 3 water.

Melted Ice or Snow and Rainwater.

As long as it hasn’t come into contact with contaminants, water from melted ice or snow is safe to handle. Additionally, rainwater is considered clean enough to touch and even consume.

Appliance Malfunction

While water that leaks from a dishwasher or washing machine may be slightly contaminated, other appliance leaks are considered safe. However, you will need to be careful to avoid electrical hazards.
A positive sign that floodwater in your building is Category 1 is that it came from a clean water source. While there are other potential causes of flooding or leaks, these water sources are some of the most common.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/23/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – 

[SERVPRO of Bear Creek, 281-463-9800]

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Facts about Smoke and Soot Damage

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot Damage can cause a long-lasting odor in your home

Smoke and soot can cause hidden damage and odor. Our Production Technicians are experts when it comes to smoke damage who can accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a plan of action.   

Facts about Smoke and Soot

  • 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 Did you know there are actually different types of smoke? There is what is called wet smoke and dry smoke! Check out the two types below in more detail. 

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. 

Fire Safety for Pets

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

Pets can be considered family, too!

At any given moment, a fire emergency can take place in the Houston area or abroad, and though unexpected; it can be beneficial to already have a plan in place for everyone in your home to evacuate and meet in a safe location. While you should always be most focused on keeping yourself and your family safe, you can also spend some time on pet preparation so that you can have a better chance of getting your pets out of danger as well. You can be better prepared to keep your pets safe during a fire emergency by following these safety tips:

In the confusion caused by a fire, it can be hard to think of everything you need to do right away. If you have a plan in place and practice it a few times, you can be better prepared to handle a fire emergency. This can not only be helpful for pet safety, but also for the safety of everyone in your household. 

Notice Where Your Pets Are 

An important part of the planning process can be noticing where your pets usually spend their time. It can be especially helpful to note where they hide when frightened. You don’t want to put yourself at risk by spending too much time searching for your dog or cat during a fire emergency, but you can be better prepared to get yourself and your pets out as soon as possible by having a checklist of areas you can look. 

Keep Collars and Leashes Handy

Fires can be especially frightening to pets. By keeping their collars and leashes handy, you can more easily guide them out of the house. If you are unable to find them, it can be easier for the fire department to get them out if they are wearing collars. It can be a good idea to hang leashes by the door you are planning to evacuate through.

Taking On Storms With Technology

1/31/2020 (Permalink)

These days, it is important to be ready for a storm and disaster can strike at a moment’s notice! Technology works hard to help us become aware of danger with more time to prepare before it hits! Technology can also be a vital tool in preparing for emergencies or disasters, as well as during or after to stay informed of the situation and in communication with others. From common technology you already use on a day-to-day basis to taking a few extra steps to prepare. Below are a few things that will help you be ready in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Store Information Online

There are many places to store important information securely online. Services like Google Drive and Dropbox offer a free way to store different types of files, from a Word document to images of important documents. Ready.gov suggests saving an electronic version of insurance policies, identification documents, medical records, and information on your pets, if necessary.

Follow the News

Stay informed by following agencies such as FEMA, local news channels, and local government on Twitter for the most up-to-date information in a disaster situation. You can also alert first responders if a rescue is needed through Twitter.

Mark Yourself Safe

The American Red Cross offers a Safe & Well check-in site to list yourself as safe or find family and friends in situations where communication is difficult to establish. Facebook also has a feature called Safety Check that is activated after natural disasters or a crisis. You will receive a notification from Facebook if you’re located in the affected area at that time.

Get in Touch

Make sure your contact information is up to date in your phone and e-mail for communication with family, friends, business contacts, and others whom you may need to get in contact with before, during, or after a disaster.

Charge Up

Keep a portable charger in your car and home in case of an emergency. You may need to recharge this from time to time, but you can also buy solar-powered chargers as well. Get an Emergency READY Profile® SERVPRO® of Bear Creek is proud to offer Emergency READY Profiles® (ERP) for free at ready.SERVPRO.com to help prepares you, your property, or your business for an emergency. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile® for your property or 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 property or business. Put help in the palm of your hand with the Ready Plan App.  Get in touch with SERVPRO® of Bear Creek today for more information on developing an ERP for your property or business!

Call us, SERVPRO of Bear Creek at (281) 463-9800.

Why Mold Loves Your Home

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

Indoors and outdoors, mold isn’t too picky. These common fungi only need a few ingredients to turn your home in Houston, TX into its own. Even if you begin to see signs of mold damage or mildew growth, it doesn’t mean it is time to panic. Mold cleanup and prevention are easier to deal with than most people imagine, especially when you have a trusted professional by your side.

Why Is It Growing?

Surprisingly, mold spores can often be dormant, just waiting for the right conditions to begin spawning and spreading. The environment it prefers is one with just the right amount of humidity and temperature, moisture and food. In a home, any organic material that is porous can provide the sustenance these fungi need to grow. This can include:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Carpet
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Ceiling Tiles
  • Leather
  • Drywall

Where Is the Musty Smell Coming From?

Unfortunately, not all mold damage makes its presence visibly known. It can often be hidden behind the walls where condensation can get trapped and this creates ideal conditions for it to grow. High levels of humidity or leaking pipes behind the walls are in the ceiling are typically main culprits. Before it gets to the point of having to perform black mold cleanup, inspecting your home at the first signs of a musty odor can help avoid extensive mold remediation.
When faced with that distinctive smell, the following are key areas of the home prone to mold growth:

  • Basements – Leaks, flooding condensation and lack of ventilation
  • Kitchens – Appliances that use water, exhaust fans and sinks
  • Bathrooms – Malfunctioning exhaust fans, leaks, seal damage around showers and tubs
    Attics – Insufficient ventilation and circulation and roof damage that allow excess moisture in
  • Crawlspaces – Poor ventilation, flooding, soil erosion and leaks

Although the right conditions can create mold damage in any home, understanding how common its presence is can make handling it easier. While prevention is key, be rest assured that with the right help, your mold problem can be eradicated.

If you have questions or concerns regarding mold or mold remediation contact

SERVPRO of Bear Creek (281) 463-9800 today!

How Can Homeowners Assess Mold Damage?

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

How To Assess Mold Damage?

A complete mold assessment involves determining the type of mold and extent of growth. Accurate analysis can be difficult and risky for non-professionals. Here are a few measures homeowners can take in preparation for an expert assessment.

Look for Visible Mold

Homeowners can look for signs of visible mold. Do not attempt to find mold hidden in places where colonies may be disturbed by a search:

  • Behind wallpaper
  • In wall cavities
  • Under carpet

A musty odor may indicate the presence of hidden mold. This odor originates with microbial volatile organic compounds, which are off-gases released during the fungal growth cycle.


Schedule Testing

An environmental hygienist or mold specialist can contribute to an accurate mold assessment. Experts may take air or spore samples for lab analysis to determine which types of mold are present, such as black mold or more than 100,000 other species.

Identify the Cause

Mold and mildew thrive where moisture is present. A homeowner can try to identify the source, which may involve one or more of the following factors:

  • Leaky pipes
  • Roof leak
  • Other water damage

Mold is a common type of secondary damage that results when water damage is not properly mitigated. It is important to remove standing water and residual moisture to prevent fungi from starting to grow.

Determine the Extent

Mold remediation experts can determine the extent of an infestation. A minor mold problem covers less than 10 square feet and is accessible without opening large sections of closed surfaces. Major problems affect larger areas and may involve hidden mold or black mold.

Minor mold growth can cost over $1,000 to remediate, while major damage can range up to tens of thousands of dollars. A mold assessment may impact a homeowner's ability to file an insurance claim or pay for remediation that will resolve a mold problem at a residence in Houston, TX.  

Is Your Business Prepared for a Fire Emergency?

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

The best time to plan your evacuation plan is now

A fire is one of the most unpredictable forces in nature, so knowing how to escape one if it should break out at your Houston, TX business can be key for reducing injuries to your employees and customers. Even if you have fire safety measures in place, such as ceiling sprinklers and fire extinguisher stations, a contingency plan can be as equally important when a blaze gets too big for you to handle alone. Asking yourself a few questions about your building’s layout and workforce can help you create an effective and viable escape plan.

Where Is Your Company Located?

The location of your business within a building can affect your evacuation plan, so this is a factor you will probably want to consider. Take a quick tour of your office space and note the specifics that might affect your planned route:

  • The number of exits
  • The floor your company occupies
  • The condition of accessible stairwells

If you rent a building, ask your landlord to assist with creating the plan and whether you can modify any exits to make them safer during an evacuation.

Does the Plan Include Handicapped Routes?

Handicapped employees and customers can have difficulty reaching safety during an evacuation, so it is important to include special considerations for them in your contingency plan. Assign handicapped workers an evacuation partner to assist them in case of an emergency and create at least one route that is wheelchair accessible.

Are All Shifts Aware of the Plan?

If you have more than one shift working at your business, it is important that each understands the details of the evacuation strategy. Call in a fire damage and cleanup service to help you organize a company-wide information meeting on safety so you can perform drills and ensure all of your employees are prepared in case of fire.

Fires can break out without warning, even if your Houston, TX, business is normally at low risk for such an event. Having an effective contingency plan in place helps to protect your employees and customers while offering you peace of mind as a business owner.

How Can You Minimize the Risk of Space Heater Fires at Home?

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

If you stop and consider the ways in which your Houston, TX, home may be at risk for fire, you could come up with a startlingly lengthy list. Near the top of the list of these potential causes is the dreaded space heater. A burned space heater can be a nasty culprit for disastrous fires. Understand how these heaters can cause fires and what you can do to eliminate the risks.

An Overview

While it’s true that space heaters are common causes for fires and needed for smoke cleanup, reducing fire risks doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, with a few simple steps, you should be able to avoid a burned space heater in most circumstances.

• Turn off your space heater if you leave the area for an extended period.
• Clean the filters regularly.
• Leave plenty of space around the heater.

Turn it Off

A space heater can be your best friend on a cold day if your furnace isn’t working well or if you don’t have one. You may be thinking leaving it on all day will help warm up your home faster and more effectively. However, this will only increase the likelihood of it having problems or starting fires. When you leave your home, or if you don’t plan on being in a certain part of your house for a while, always remember to turn off your space heaters when you leave the house.

 

Clean the Filter

Don’t put off this important step. Keep extra filters handy and replace them as they become dirty. When in doubt, consult your owner’s manual. It’s better to change it out unnecessarily than to leave it in too long.

Situate it properly

Don’t put your space heater in a cramped space or near blankets. Also, don’t plug in multiple space heaters in a single outlet.

If your space heater does cause a fire, get in touch with a professional smoke cleanup crew right away. However, if you follow these guidelines, you shouldn’t have to worry about fire or smoke concerns from a burned space heater.

Contact SERVPRO of Bear Creek today if you have questions about fire prevention.