Recent General Posts
What Does Your Adjuster Need?
As a homeowner, you do not plan for your home to catch fire or flood but if it does, it is important to know the critical first steps to take. Your home adjuster is tasked with assessing the damage, and there are a few key things you can document to assist with the analysis:
- Written list of all that is damaged or destroyed
- Cost to repair or replace damaged items
- Pictures of the damage
- Estimate from restoration specialists
If there is visible damage to the house itself, you need to make note of it. Make a list of every wall that has signs of water damage. Check your floor for warping or missing tiles. If there are cracks in your walls or in your foundation, put that on the list as well. Take pictures of everything you write down to back up your statements. It is advisable to contact professional water damage restoration technicians to get an estimate in writing of how much the repairs to your home are going to cost to give to your home adjuster.
The insurance claim you file is likely to include damaged items in your home. Make an inventory of everything that needs to be replaced as a result of the flooding. Beside each item, list when you purchased it and approximately how much it would cost to replace it. Keep the damaged items and take digital pictures so you can print them out or email them.
Once you have compiled an inventory of the damage to your home for your insurance claim, make a copy for your records before you hand it off to the home adjuster. That way, if there is a discrepancy between what the adjuster finds and what your records show, you have your own proof. Ensuring that you and the adjuster have the same information may help your insurance company settle your claim and get your home back to normal more quickly.
Warning, Overloaded Electrical Outlets Can cause Fires !
With the winter months coming, it's easy to forget that overloading circuits with multiple space heaters, electric blankets, Christmas lights, etc. can be fatal if proper wattage is not regulated in your home.
Overloaded electrical outlets, or circuits that supply power to several outlets, is a major cause of residential fires. Overloaded outlets and circuits carry too much electricity, which generates heat in undetectable amounts. The heat causes wear on the internal wiring system and can ignite a fire.
All wiring systems have circuit breakers or fuses that disconnect power when circuits become overloaded.
To prevent overloading, never plug more than two appliances into an outlet at once or use multiple extension cords or power strips to power devices. Use only outlets designed to handle multiple plugs.
Give special consideration to appliances that use 1,000 or more watts, such as air conditioners, refrigerators, hot plates, irons, microwave ovens, dishwashers, heaters, and deep fryers. Avoid plugging them into the same outlet or circuit. To use these appliances safely, know which outlets are connected to the same electrical circuit in your home. The electrical box in your home should be labeled to tell you where different circuits provide power. For devices, wattage requirements are listed in appliance manufacturer's instructions.
Begin a habit of regularly checking electrical cords and outlets. Fires that begin in these areas are difficult to detect, yet easy to prevent.
Understanding the Category of your Water Loss
Can you Guess what category we would classify this water loss?
Water is classified into 3 categories, and it’s important to be able to distinguish the differences among them.
The first category is “Clean Water.” Clean water is the least contaminated, and comes from a clean source, like a leaky faucet or water line. It can turn into a category 2 or 3 if left untreated and exposed to factors such as temperature and other contaminants.
The second category is “Gray Water.” Gray water is contaminated and can come from a dishwasher or washing machine overflow. It is important to remediate gray water as quickly as possible, as it may contain bacteria. And if left untreated, it can turn into a category 3- “Black Water.”
Black water is severely contaminated. Having contact with black water can cause serious illness, and in some rare cases even death. Black water may contain chemicals, microbes, and sewage.
Cleaner Fresher Air is Always Better
Ventilation systems are often the biggest perpetrator in poor indoor air quality. If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating odors, dust and other contaminates. Air pollutants can get into your home in many ways like, cleaning chemicals, mold, paint, etc. These pollutants among other kinds can cause health effects and unnecessary struggles for people with asthma. Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe. SERVPRO Professionals routinely inspect heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). keeping them clean can extend the life of your equipment. For more information on air duct cleaning contact SERVPRO Memorial West/Bear Creek @ 281- 463-9800. Our SERVPRO team is ready to serve you.
3 Reasons Why You Should Not Rely on a DIY Test to Find Mold Growth
The Microbial test kit
DIY mold testing kit are not accurate
Reasons Why You Should Skip the DIY Test
If you think that there is mold growing in your Houston, TX, home, then you might be tempted to try finding it on your own. There are many mold testing kits that you can buy in a store, but using one of these might not get you the results you are looking for. The following are a few reasons why you should skip the DIY test and hire a professional to inspect your home for you.
- There Are No Set Standards
Yes, there are a wide variety of mold testing kits for you to choose from, but this is part of the problem. These tests are all made differently and will, therefore, vary greatly in quality and price. There is not a set of strict standards for these tests, so the results you get will depend on the variety that you buy.
- They Are Not Accurate
Even if you did manage to find the best mold kit to use at home, it would still likely not have very accurate findings. This is because of the nature of mold. This fungus is incredibly common, and spores can be found in most environments, including inside of your home, so a test is likely to read positive even if you do not have any excessive growth. This may sound alarming, but most varieties are not harmful and will not cause any trouble unless you have water damage or high levels of humidity in the house.
- You Won’t Know What to Do With the Results
Assuming that the test you used was accurate, you would probably not know what to do next. It can be difficult to locate mold if it is growing behind the walls or underneath the floors, and DIY mold removal can actually cause it to spread further.
Mold is a common problem, but it is not one that you should usually take care of on your own. If you believe that you have an infestation, you should contact a mold remediation specialist to perform mold testing, removal and cleanup.
Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Killer Conclusion
Tips provided by the United States Fire Administration.
If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fuel engine or motor indoors, even if the garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice, or other materials.
- Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
- Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
- Use portable generators outdoors in well ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.
I hope that you have gained some insight into the dangers of Carbon Monoxide. If you have any questions or are in need of our service, please call SERVPRO of Bear Creek at 281-463-9800.
Source: Restoration Newsline Volume 30, Issue 8
CARBON MONOXIDE: A SILENT KILLER INTRODUCTION
You can't see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide (or CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, and propane burn incompletely. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning. It is estimated that another 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning.
All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups- including unborn babies, infants and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems-being more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide.
If you would like more information on the subject, please call SERVPRO of Bear Creek at 281-463-9800 or check out the next article about Carbon Monoxide.
Source: Restoration Newsline Volume 30, Issue 8
CARBON MONOXIDE: A SILENT KILLER CONTINUED
An excess of CO , leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers or idling cars left running in garages. Taking some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself by reviewing the following tips provided by the United States Fire Administration.
- Have fuel burning appliances like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional every year.
- Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your oven or stove-top to heat your home.
- Make sure all fuel burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked.
If you have questions or are in need of service, please call SERVPRO of Bear Creek at 281-463-9800. Stay tuned for the conclusion to Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Killer.
Source: Restoration Newsline, Volume 30, Issue 8
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
During this winter season take a little time to prepare your home for when Mother Nature knocks at your door. Frozen pipes are always a possibility. However, you can prevent water damage caused by a broken pipe as well as minimize the need for extensive cleanup. Don’t let a burst pipe ruin your Holiday activities.
Here are a few tips and facts to be aware of during the winter season.
To prevent frozen pipes from bursting, it is recommended that you take the following steps:
- For pipes located on the exterior of your home, cover them in an insulated material throughout the duration of the winter season.
- When the temperature drops below freezing, leave the faucets throughout your home at a slow, steady drip.
- Frozen pipes are especially dangerous because you do not know what has happened until it it too late.
- Frozen pipes burst when ice is created in the line and blocks the water, but the rupture is normally caused by the re-flux of pressure between the water source and the blockage.
As a trusted restoration company, SERVPRO of Bear Creek is ready to answer the call, and make it “Like it never even happened”
Out of (Hurricane) Season Emergency Kit!
In Houston, TX between June 1st & November 30th, you'll find yourself prepared for Hurricane Season with a Hurricane Emergency Kit. However, this isn’t the only time of year you should have an Emergency Kit on hand.
Although Houston may not see snow and ice very often, when we do it is always best to be prepared. During the winter months you should also be prepared with a Winter Emergency Kit.
Some items to include are a flashlight, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, extra batteries, a first aid kit, a multi-purpose tool, bottled water, non-perishable food and of course warm clothing/blankets.
Remember, a little preparation can go a long way!
Call SERVPRO of Bear Creek at 281-463-9800!
SERVPRO of Bear Creek has more drying equipment
As a restoration company, here at SERVPRO of Bear Creek we understand that your belongings mean everything to you and that you want the best equipment available to clean and restore both your house and belonging.
SERVPRO of Bear Creek has recently purchased additional drying equipment. We hope you do not experience a water loss situation. But if you do, you need the fastest response times and newest equipment available. SERVPRO of Bear Creek is ready!
Being that we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year SERVPRO of Bear Creek and our technicians will work hard to restore your property and belongings to its pre-loss condition and help you out of this disastrous situation.
Contact SERVPRO of Bear Creek now at (281) 463-9800 if you fire or water damage.
SERVPRO Emergency Mobile App
For a property owner, a worst-case disaster scenario involving fire or water damage can seem unthinkable and then suddenly become a reality. In the aftermath of a disaster, quick response time by a disaster recovery and restoration specialist can help minimize property damage as well as inventory or home contents loss. To provide home and business owners with a quick and convenient way to call in the experts when disaster strikes, SERVPRO announces the public release of their SERVPRO Ready Plan Mobile Application. The free App is now available to download from app stores across three mobile platforms: Android™, iOS® and Blackberry®. Just another reason to choose SERVPRO. If you have an emergency, don't wait, call SERVPRO of Bear Creek at (281) 463-9800 if you have any loss in your home.
What to do until help arrives
Having any loss to your home such as water damage or soot residue is always a stressful experience that no one wants to have happen to their home. But if you home receives a loss, here are some useful tips on what to do and what not to do until help arrives.
Water damage from contaminated water
- What you should do
- Avoid contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage
- Wash you hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items
- What not to do
- Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet area's
- Use household fans to dry affected area
- What you should do
- Wash or hose off egg damage as soon as possible
- Save bins or containers that contain and reveal ingredients of paint and ink
- What not to do
- Attempt to remove ink or paint stains as it could cause smearing.
- Operate damaged appliances
Harmful wastes such as sewage or bloodborne pathogens
- What you should do
- Stay out of affected areas
- Call emergency services if situation is still life threatening
- What no to do
- Attempt to clean the sewage or pathogens
- Handle contaminated body fluids or pathogenic material
Do not wait until it's too late, call SERVPRO of Bear Creek
Winter weather damages and what to do
The winter season is filled with joy and happiness both from Christmas and Thanksgiving but, this won't stop mother nature from striking and leave devastating damage. Here are some good tips and facts to be aware of during the winter season
- Frozen pipes
- Frozen pipes are especially dangerous because you don't know what has happened until it is too late
- Frozen Pipes burst when ice is created in the line and blocks the water, but the rupture is normally caused by the re-flux of pressure between the water source and the blockage
- Puff-backs only occur when a furnace malfunctions and sends soot all over you house.
As a trusted restoration company, SERVPRO of Bear Creek is ready to answer the call, and make it "Like it never even happened"