The 3 D's of Flood Clean-up
What are the cleaning requirements after a flood? You hear that flood water is contaminated, full of pathogens that are harmful to your family. How do you know what you need to throw away and what you can sanitize? Remember the three D’s of flood cleanup: Dispose, Disinfect and Dry. Here is a brief guide for each.
Follow local guidelines for waste disposal. If garbage service is not yet running, you can bury contaminated food about four feet deep to keep the odor away. You should however dispose of the following items:
- Throw away any food, even canned or sealed, that has been in contact with flood water
- Throw away food from your fridge if power has been off for more than 2 hours
- Don’t use any garden produce that remain after a flood
- Discard dishes with cracks, as well as any plastic or wooden kitchen items
- Submerged drywall may need to be replaced
- Dispose of carpet padding
Depending on what materials need to be cleaned, the cleaning requirements will vary. For most disinfecting, use one cup of bleach to one gallon of water.
- Use bleach mixture and spray structural materials and personal items that were contaminated, rinse with clean water and dry
- Disinfect kitchenware and appliances by using hot soapy water, scrubbing to remove solids, then rinsing with disinfected water. Make sure appliances are unplugged before taking them apart and wiping them down. Allow them to dry completely before reassembling
Without a proper drying technique, your flood disinfectant effort isn’t complete.
Flood remediation professionals have powerful equipment to help accelerate the drying process and ensure that it is thorough. You should start the drying process right away to help prevent permanent damage or the development of mold.
- If power is back on, turn on fans and air conditioner unit to assist with drying until help arrives.
- Hang rugs and remove cushions to put them in a better area for drying
- Remove carpet and dry outdoors after cleaning
Trained restoration professionals can recognize what can be saved and what must be disposed of. They are trained in the proper cleaning requirements for specific materials.
Call SERVPRO of Texarkana, 24/7 for all your cleanup and restoration needs.
Water Damage is Serious
Severe water damage in a commercial building
Nobody ever thinks it can happen to them, but it can. Water intrusion may be more severe in commercial buildings than in a residential setting and the effects more extensive. Many commercial structures have a larger volume of water entering the premises through plumbing supply lines and at a higher water pressure. The quantity of outgoing sewage is greater than a typical residence, as well. Also, commercial buildings tend to be of larger square footage than a home, so entry points for water intrusion through areas like the roof, exterior walls or windows are commensurately greater in number, as well.
Water intrusion in commercial buildings can damage high-value equipment like computers and also building services such as HVAC, lighting, elevators and security equipment. Common long-term consequences of water damage like the growth of toxic mold may be even more problematic than in a home due to the larger occupancy of a business or other commercial enterprise. When a greater number of people with a wider range of sensitivity are exposed to mold and bacteria spores, health impacts may be significantly magnified, perhaps leading to an enforced closure of the facility until the situation is fully remediated.
Typical issues from water intrusion in the commercial environment include:
- Water from roof leaks penetrating through ceilings. Chronic leakage through the roof may proceed unnoticed for long periods, hidden by suspended ceiling panels or in electrical or HVAC service areas above.
- Ruptures of water supply lines typically release clean (white) water. Sewage backups or leaks in drain pipes release toxic (black) water that may be a biohazard and require evacuation of the premises.
- Flooding from external sources can result from heavy rains, storms such as hurricanes or local overflowing lakes, reservoirs or rivers.
- Moisture intrusion through the building envelope is typically more subtle. The humid outdoor air may be drawn in through structural cracks and gaps. Over a period, chronic dampness forms in spaces like wall voids, attics and service areas, spawning hidden mold growth that persists unseen.
For professional remediation of water intrusion in commercial buildings and to prevent secondary damages such as mold growth, contact SERVPRO of Texarkana at 903-832-4400.
Does Your Restaurant Have an Odor Problem?
Let us help you keep your restaurant smelling fresh for your customers and employees.
Does your Ark-La-Tex area restaurant smell like a bad recipe? Do you have customers come into your place and wrinkle up their nose? Or they walk in and then leave without ordering anything. You know you’re in need of odor removal when customers suddenly lose their appetite. Let SERVPRO of Texarkana help you get back that sweet smell of success in two steps!
Sometimes you need a bit more than the everyday cleaning job your staff does. Just like we do deep cleaning a couple times a year in our homes, it is essential to have this done in our restaurants as well. Restaurants enjoy a thorough cleaning of the floors, drapes, blinds, carpeting, and upholstery. Food smells can become trapped in fabrics leaving a sour or greasy smell. We have specialty cleaning services to ensure your restaurant gets deep cleaned.
Not only does your restaurant need a deep cleaning, but it needs an odor removal process using deodorization. Our staff is trained to discover what is causing the odors. This is an important first step in eliminating the odors. Once our staff knows where the smell is emanating from, then we can use the proper formula to remove it. We have several different deodorizing formulas created to get to the source of the bad smells. Odor removal is not just about hiding or covering up offending smells, but it’s essential to go to the root of the problem and neutralize it.
We make cleaning and restoration our expertise. We train and educate our staff to combat stinky smells wherever they may be. If you have a restaurant that does not smell too sweet, contact us today. SERVPRO of Texarkana 903-834-4400
Fire Can Cause More Damage to Your Home Than You Think
Excessive smoke and soot damage
There can and will be unexpected issues from any business or house fire. The fire itself is devastating, but the damage that comes after the initial fire can be severe. The most common of which, is smoke damage.
Smoke damage to your home or business can leave your walls, ceilings and other surfaces discolored and warped. These surfaces may have a smoky odor left by the fire, which can even be dangerous for your health. The smell is usually left by particles on partially or fully burned surfaces. The smell can also embed itself into articles of clothing, carpets, and curtains and will require the immediate professional cleaning that we can provide.
As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO of Texarkana is trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. We have specialized equipment, specific training, and certifications that allow us restore your home to pre-fire condition.
We have 24/7 emergency service
We are locally owned and operated
We have highly trained technicians
Have questions? Call us today- (903)832-4400
Take precautions during thunderstorms
All thunderstorms are dangerous and produce lightning. On average lightning kills 51 people and injures hundreds more in the US each year. Dangers associated with thunderstorms include strong winds, flash flooding, hail, and even tornadoes.
To prepare for a thunderstorm:
- Trim or remove tree limbs near your home. Remove any dead or rotting trees.
- Secure outdoor items.
- Postpone or cancel outdoor activities.
- Go inside - if you can't reach a building, get in a hard-top vehicle.
- Secure doors and windows. Close blinds, curtains, or shutters.
- Unplug electronics.
When a thunderstorm occurs:
- Remember this phrase: "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors". Go inside during thunderstorms.
- Listen to a battery-operated radio such as a NOAA Weather Radio for updates and information.
- Unplug electronics and appliances to prevent damage from lightning-caused power surges.
- Water conducts electricity. Water-based activities and chores should be avoided during a thunderstorm.
- Windows, porches, and doorways can be dangerous in storms - stay inside.
- If you can't get inside, try to avoid natural lightning rods - like a large tree in an open field, and try not to be the tallest thing on a hill, open field, or beach.
- Try not to touch metal - including your car - metal conducts electricity.
- Stay in your car if you're driving. Pull over and turn on your hazard lights until heavy rain ends.
After the storm passes:
- Never drive through a flooded roadway. Turn around, don't drown!
- Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
- Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions.
- Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or those with access or functional needs.
- Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
- Keep a close eye on your pets to keep them safe.
The professionals at SERVPRO of Texarkana are highly trained and certified. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO's Corporate Training Facility to regular IICRC industry certifications, our Professionals are equipped with the knowledge they need to help with any water or fire loss.
SERVPRO of Texarkana 903-832-4400
Mold Damage Linked to High Indoor Humidity
Mold damage found in a closet
How high humidity can cause mold damage in your home
Residents of the Ark-La-Tex area experience long hot and humid summers. High levels of airborne moisture and warm temperatures indoors can contribute to the increased likelihood of mold growth in your home, even if you have air conditioning operating. Working with a reputable mold remediation company can help you pinpoint the reasons mold growth is an issue in your home as well as remediating the current growth.
Water is the fuel that accelerates mold damage in your home. Mold spores are very opportunistic, gaining enough moisture from small amounts of dampness or small collections of condensation to begin growth. Running an air conditioner is often recommended to reduce interior humidity below 60 percent, the level where mold can find a supportive environment even without spills, leaks, or flooding.
Ironically, AC units can provide the moisture if operating inefficiently or if the wrong size for the space cooled. An air conditioner too small for the area is one problem SERVPRO sees, but an overly powerful system also can fail to reduce the humidity enough to halt mold development.
Air conditioning provides a cooling feeling when it removes moisture from the air, usually by condensing the water vapor on refrigerated coils. If adjusted correctly and draining properly, the system works well and prevents the conditions conducive to mold growth. Sometimes a larger than necessary unit does not operate long enough to reduce the humidity below the “sweet spot” for mold growth. It pumps cold air into the rooms too quickly and then cycles off before the humidity reduces. Mold then grows on the damp surfaces, necessitating mold remediation by our SERVPRO crews.
Keeping AC condensers and coils clean and the drains free-flowing is also key to preventing interior mold growth during a hot summer. If the drain is plugged, it may overflow, depositing moisture on a wall or floor nearby. Mold finds wood and drywall perfect organic surfaces to call home. SERVPRO inspects for these moisture sources when we arrive to assess and plan for mold remediation. If the homeowner does not address these issues, chances are good that mold can return even after we complete a professional treatment.
SERVPRO of Texarkana is eager to help community residents understand why mold finds a home attractive. We design strategies to remove current colonies while also inhibiting future outbreaks. Call us at (903) 832-4400 to schedule an evaluation.
Monitoring Job Site Conditions for Fast, Effective Water Damage Repair
Monitoring the drying process
Trust SERVPRO For Professional Monitoring of the Drying Process
The success of water damage restoration is based on patience, vigilance, and precision. It might be relatively straightforward to bring high-powered drying machines onto a site and set them up, but regulating their progress can be trickier. Fortunately, the experts at SERVPRO have years of experience in the water damage repair industry.
We know that successful drying requires a careful balance of equipment, timeframes, intensities, and temperature control measures. When we repair water damaged property, we make scores of mathematical calculations to ensure that dehumidification and circulation tools are working in perfect harmony.
At SERVPRO, we do not ask you to trust in promises, because we deliver demonstrable, verifiable results. Keep reading to find out why we think progress targets are such a big deal.
Why a Dynamic Approach is Effective:
The greater the size of the affected area, the more challenges it presents for remediation experts because there is likely more than one type of water damage. For example, in a sitting room or den, there may be soft furnishings, wallpaper, drywall, plaster, electronics, books and other paper documents to save. Each of these items requires a slightly different drying and cleaning technique. Dehumidifiers are ideal for all round drying, in large rooms, but they have to be used in moderation if there is a lot of wooden furniture around. Similarly, both wet and dry fogging can be applied to get rid of damp, musty smells, but wet fogging isn’t suitable for use around electronics. Then, there’s the question of whether water has intruded into the walls and ceilings or under cabinets.
The Value of On-Site Monitoring:
While the experts at SERVPRO have spent many years working with the effects of water damage, even they cannot guarantee that a particular drying approach will be successful until they see the results for themselves. For this reason, consistent, persistent monitoring of progress and the achievement of key drying goals is essential.
Our technicians may leave fans, air movers, and dehumidifiers running overnight (or for several days in the case of severe water damage), but they are onsite regularly to make sure that everything is going smoothly. If moisture levels are dropping and relative humidity is falling too, the drying approach is working.
To find out more about how we guarantee the quality of our repairs and remediation work, get in touch with the experts at SERVPRO of Texarkana.
How a Quick Response Can Benefit a Restoration
Drying an extensive water loss in a local home
When water damage strikes a residential or commercial property in the Texarkana, TX area, a lot of damage can occur over a 24 hour time period. A water damage restoration service company needs to have the ability to move quickly in order to prevent the worst. A quick response time can benefit a restoration in a number of ways.
Water Damage Grows Worse Over Time
Water damage has the ability to grow worse the longer it's left to sit. Some of the problems that could arise include the following:
- Staining from bleeding carpet, furniture
- Tarnishing in metal objects
- Warping in books and other paper goods
- Swollen drywall
- Warping in wood floors, sub-floors, and door-frames
- Potential mold problems
- Peeling paint
Quick Cleanup Can Prevent Further Problems
The quicker you can begin the drying and cleanup process, the fewer problems you may have. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Texarkana offers a 24 hour fast response time that can get a professional to your property to begin the assessment and plan for repairs before the damage becomes too great. In many cases that use of a dehumidifier may be incorporated to dry the property, and sanitation measures may be taken to prevent mold.
SERVPRO Can Get There Quickly
So much can happen over the course of a 24 hour time frame because the longer water sits, the more damage it can cause. Fortunately, cleaning it up quickly can help prevent many types of long-term problems.
Because the response line is open 24/7 and 365 days, you can reach a SERVPRO of Texarkana representative at any time. This allows us to mobilize quickly and help make it "Like it never even happened."
Five Things to Include in Your Business's Emergency Plan
Make sure everyone knows where your Fire Extinguishers are located
Business Emergency Plan
Your business may already have an emergency plan, but do you have everything included that you should? Formulating a complete evacuation plan may not be easy, but doing so can help protect you and your employees. Here are some things you may want make sure are included.
1. Fire Extinguisher Locations
Making sure everyone knows where the fire extinguishers are located can save precious time during a fire. The extinguishers should be easy to locate and easily accessible during an emergency.
2. Building Exits
An important part of an evacuation plan is knowing where the nearest exits are from any point in the building. This will allow your staff to quickly and safely leave in the event of an emergency. There should be at least two exit options from ever point in case one path is blocked.
3. A Meeting Place
Another thing to include in your emergency plan is a safe meeting location. This should be outside and a safe distance from the building. All employees should gather here so they can be quickly accounted for.
4. Emergency Information
While 9-1-1 is the emergency number everyone should have memorized, there may be other numbers you want to keep track of. For example, emergency contact information for your employees. You may want to include a note in your plan about where this information is stored to ensure it’s accessible when needed.
5. Post-Fire Information
You may also want to include the location of insurance or cleanup numbers in your plan so it’s easily available after a fire occurs. Having the number of a trusted fire restoration service may make fire cleanup easier.
With these things included in your emergency plan, you can help ensure that your employees will be able to safely evacuate the building during a fire. Also including your emergency numbers will help insure you know where they are when you need them.
SERVPRO of Texarkana is available for emergencies 24/7
A Commercial Fire Next Door Can Cause Unexpected Smoke Damage Issues
Heavy smoke that lingers in the air can often carry with it toxic particles
Did you know sometimes a commercial fire in the Texarkana area can cause enough smoke damage to your building that you may need to file an insurance claim? Fire is an insidious agent that sends out more than just flames. As the soot and smoke are thrown into the air, they may cast a large shadow as they settle again onto and into the surrounding buildings. That is how the damage can catch you unawares.
Extreme Vapors May Damage Your Building’s Interior
Heavy smoke that lingers in the air can often carry with it toxic particles, vapors, and gases that can expand with the heat from the flames. These are some of the most common areas that may be damaged by smoke and soot in nearby buildings:
Although outside building smoke damage is often expected from a nearby fire, the broken windows, stained inside walls, and soot-covered interior are generally a surprise. In fact, smoke and soot can be carried for miles in even a gentle breeze, leading to massive areas of soot damage from even the smallest of commercial building fires.
Smoke Odors May Cause Hidden Damage to Your Property
The lingering odors after a fire are often unpleasant due to the phosgene, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide that is typically produced as a result of the fire. As the gases spread, they can attach themselves to walls, furniture, carpeting, and clothing. To alleviate the hidden damage of extreme odors, call in a fire restoration specialist for a thorough building smoke cleaning. The professionals have all the tools needed to remove the offensive smoke odors.
Fire damage, whether it is visible or hidden, can be a source of angst for a commercial property owner. Don’t let the effect of a fire next door put you out of business for even one day. Call SERVPRO of Texarkana (903)832-4400, our trained and experienced technicians can take immediate actions to alleviate the number of repairs your building will need.