April Showers Bring May Flowers
April showers help to bring us the most vibrant May flowers and we are so happy with this change of season.
However, when April showers are more like torrential, relentless downpours we could face water damage causing costly repairs. Flooding generally occurs in the springtime as the result of heavy rains that cannot be adequately absorbed by the still thawing earth. Particularly formidable are the flash floods resulting from thunderstorms, swiftly melting snow and ice jams in creeks. Consider if more than one of these circumstances happens at the same time, you have the potential for a catastrophe with flooding waters and raging mudslides.
Homeowners you can take some simple precautions to secure your property and keep your possessions safe.
Elevate: Keep your furnace, water heater, electrical panels above predicted water levels to protect yourself from costly home replacements.
Install check valves: These valves close to prevent the backward flow of liquid and prevent water from backing up into the drains in your home.
Build barriers: Use sandbags to create flood walls to prevent or reduce flow of water into your home.
Waterproof the basement: Use a waterproofing compound to seal the walls of your basement.
Clean: Clean gutters, drains and downspouts for proper water flow.
Purchase flood insurance: Most standard homeowners' and business insurance policies unfortunately do no cover flood damage. In the event of a flood, you would be responsible for covering the full cost of repairs and replacing items damaged.
SERVPRO of Texarkana provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays. You can expect an immediate response time, day or night.
Will Drain Cleaner Damage My Pipes?
Leaking or burst pipes can cause extensive damage to your property
As a homeowner, you most likely will encounter a clogged drain at some time. Your first inclination might be to go to the store and pick up some drain cleaner. This may seem like a simple solution, but can cleaning products damage your pipes?
How They Work
There are three different kinds of chemical cleaners:
- Oxidizing - includes peroxides, bleach or nitrates
- Acid - muriatic acid or sulfuric acid
- Caustic - caustic potash or lye
These cleaners use an electron transfer process to either give or take away electrons from the organic substances blocking the pipe, thereby creating heat, which breaks down the materials and clears the clog. This process can, however, cause harm to your pipes.
How They Cause Harm
The heat from these chemicals can warp or soften the pipes, especially when they are older metal pipes or plastic pipes. There's a higher danger of damage if the clogged drain is completely blocked. If there's nowhere for these caustic chemicals to go, they will just sit in the pipes, eventually eating through them if not removed.
Besides harming your pipes, these chemicals can be harmful to you and to the environment. They can irritate your throat and eyes, and if improperly handled, can cause burns. Once they go down the drain, they can end up in waterways and landfills, causing harm to wildlife.
Before using a chemical in the drain, try to clear the blockage using a snake or augur. If this doesn't do the trick, try using a non-toxic solution such as an enzymatic drain cleaner. These cleaners work by actually eating the clog with bacteria or enzymes. They work best on organic blockages such as soap or hair, but can take as long as 24 hours to work.
If you are not able to clear the clog by yourself, it's best to call a plumbing professional to assess the problem and clear the clogged drain. If the blockage is further down the pipes, they can do a thorough sewage cleaning to make sure your drains stay clear for a good, long time.
For water damage repair and restoration, call SERVPRO of Texarkana 903-832-4400
Are Home Mold Testing Kits Accurate?
Trust the experts at SERVPRO of Texarkana for mold testing and remediation
Homeowners may consider using home mold testing kits due to the comparatively low cost of these tests relative to professional testing and analysis. There are several reasons why expert testing is more accurate and useful. Learn more about the shortcomings of DIY mold tests and why it is worth it to seek the services of a certified environmental hygienist or full-service mold restoration company in your home.
Home mold tests vary in sensitivity. Many tests are prone to return positive results for several reasons:
- Mold spores are everywhere
- Some kits are not properly calibrated
- Results may be ambiguous
A home mold testing kit may react to the presence of spores without factoring in whether microbial volatile organic compounds are present. These off-gases are released during the active growth cycle of fungi and indicate that mold is actively growing.
Inaccurate Species Identification
Most home mold tests are not precise enough to identify the species of mold. It is not possible to make a positive identification based on color. Black mold or Stachybotrys is actually dark green early in the growth cycle. As there are more than 100,000 known species of mold, lab testing is necessary to obtain an accurate identification.
No Expert Opinions
Environmental hygienists and mold specialists can offer informed opinions throughout the professional testing and remediation process. Insight into the following factors may be helpful:
- The location of mold growth
- Potential causes
- Whether a species of mold is toxigenic
All of these factors will impact the type of cleaning methods and equipment necessary to remediate mold damage. Remediation may be more affordable and successful if expert knowledge is available.
A home mold kit may be affordable, but it is unlikely to be as accurate as professional testing. Homeowners should put the money they might spend on attempts at DIY mold tests toward expert mold testing and remediation services. SERVPRO of Texarkana can fix the problem "Like it never even happened."
Oven, Microwave and Electrical Fires
Kitchen fire damage in Hooks TX
Oven, Microwave, and Electrical Fires
Fires can happen anywhere in the kitchen — near an electrical outlet, in the microwave, or in the stove. Here are some tips to help you know what to do in case of any of these kitchen fires:
- Oven fires. Immediately close the oven door and turn it off. If the fire doesn’t go out right away, call the fire department. Have the oven inspected and repaired before you use it again.
- Microwave fires. Close the microwave door and keep it closed. Turn the microwave off and unplug it if you can do so safely. Leave it closed and don't use it again until you can have the appliance checked out by a technician.
- Electrical fires. Prevent electrical fires by not overloading your electrical outlets with appliances. If a fire starts, use a fire extinguisher; never douse it with water. Always call the fire department for an electrical fire, even if you have already put it out with the fire extinguisher
If you are in need of fire damage repair and restoration, call SERVPRO of Texarkana, available 24/7 at (903)832-4400
National Work Zone Awareness Week
Be alert when traveling through work zones
NATIONAL WORK ZONE AWARENESS WEEK
National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is an annual spring campaign held at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. The key message is for drivers to use extra caution in work zones.
Summer and fall are the peak seasons for road construction. Road work can be a very dangerous occupation as motor vehicles speed by, often in excess of posted speed limits, with drivers distracted and not focused on the road around them.
HOW TO OBSERVE
When driving, be alert to signs that a construction zone is ahead. Follow the directions on any signs to stop, merge or slow down. Watch for flag persons who will direct you through work zones.
National Window Safety Week
The first full week in April is National Window Safety Week
Each year, the Window Safety Task Force of the National Safety Council takes the first full week in April to educate on the importance of practicing window safety year-round. National Window Safety Week is designed to increase awareness on helping to prevent window falls and the proper use of windows for emergency escape purposes.
Every year, about eight children under the age of five die from falling out a window. And over 3,300 are injured seriously enough to need to visit the hospital.
HOW TO OBSERVE
- When young children are around, keep windows closed and locked.
- When opening a window for ventilation, use those located out of a child’s reach. For example, the upper sash of a double-hung window.
- Avoid placing furniture near windows to prevent young children from climbing.
- Don’t allow children to jump on beds or other furniture to help reduce potential falls.
- Don’t rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall. Insect screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep children in the home.
- Supervise children to keep child’s play away from windows, balconies or patio doors.
- Keep play in the center of a room, if possible, Install code-compliant devices designed to limit how far a window will open or window guards (with quick-release mechanisms in case of fire) to help prevent a fall.
- Teach children how to safely use a window to escape during an emergency, such as a fire.
For more information you can read more on the National Safety Council website.
Hail can cause significant damage to your home
Hail is a common occurrence around Northeast Texas during storm season each year. Hail was the number one cause of homeowners insurance losses in Texas during the period from 1999-2011, at $10.4 billion. Knowing more about hail can help you be better prepared for the next time a storm hits - here are some interesting hail facts and tips:
- According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) hail is responsible for over $1 billion dollars of property and crop damage each year.
- Hail can vary in size from pea-sized to pieces larger than grapefruits. While pea size hail is not particularly dangerous, it can cause roof damage over time that may eventually lead to a water damage.
- Hail comes from a specific type of thunderstorm cloud called a cumulonimbus.
- Hailstorms rarely last longer than 15 minutes, and typically last an average of 6 minutes.
- Meteorologists consider hail that has a diameter of 3/4 an inch or greater capable of causing significant damage to buildings and humans.
Call SERVPRO of Texarkana for all your mitigation and restoration needs.
Available 24/7 (903)832-4400
Texarkana, TX Spring Weather
Tornado damage to a home in Hope, AR
Quick Response plus High Standards
Spring is here and we all know what that means here in North East Texas: Thunderstorms, high winds, hail, lightning strikes and possible tornadoes.
When these types of weather events happen, it means possible property destruction and loss for many residents in Texarkana and surrounding communities. This can be very devastating to you as the homeowner and your family. Following a severe storm which may include: high winds, damaging hail and lightning, these can cause major damage to your home both structurally and with the exterior. It is very important to have the damage inspected. SERVPRO is here to help you during this time.
By choosing SERVPRO of Texarkana you will receive local support with personal care for your situation. Here at SERVPRO we are ready for whatever happens.
We use state of the art equipment that will clean your home and help ease you and your family’s peace of mind. SERVPRO technicians are qualified and highly trained with Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) . We work side by side with your insurance company, insuring that communication about the handling of your home is done to your satisfaction and in a timely manner. We work hard to make it “Like It never even happened.” Your satisfaction is our goal.
*Call SERVPRO of Texarkana (903)832-4400 to schedule an inspection with our trained and qualified technicians.
A Plan of Action for When Your Kitchen Sink Floods
Kitchen sink leak causes problem in this local residence
There are few things people dread more than finding a leak under the kitchen sink. Whether it be a slow leak or a burst pipe, flooding of any form can cause serious damage if not taken care of quickly. If you have a leak in your home, follow these steps to help minimize damage.
1. Shut Off the Water
There can be many signs of a leaking sink; these may include a pool of water under the sink or water spilling out of cupboards onto the floor. Your first priority as soon as you spot a leak is to shut your water off. Find your water main and turn it off immediately. Always make sure when you move to a new house that you know where the water main is in case of emergencies. Shutting your water off as soon as possible can help prevent further damage from flooding and water in the home.
2. Call Your Insurance Company
Once you have shut off the water, your next step is going to be to call your home insurance company, which can then open a claim and offer assistance throughout the process. Water leaks can cause major damage that can require kitchen repair. Your insurance company can ensure the correct steps are taken to help you get the problem fixed.
3. Call a Restoration Company
Your last step should be to call a restoration company. As much as you might be among the homeowners that seek to do things for themselves when something threatens their home, situations like water damage require professionals with the right training and equipment to ensure that the job gets done adequately. SERVPRO of Texarkana technicians are available 24/7 for any need you might have by calling 903-832-4400.
SERVPRO of Texarkana is here to help area commercial and residential property owners with all of their emergency fire and water restoration needs
SERVPRO of Texarkana serving the Four States Area for more than 10 years
Our number one goal is returning damaged areas and items to preloss condition, doing all we can to make it “Like it never even happened.” Every SERVPRO of Texarkana Professional is dedicated to restoring both the property and the lives of the customers being helped. Like it was never dirty, like it never overflowed, like it never caught fire, like it never spilled, like it never smoldered–whatever the case, with SERVPRO our goal is to make it “Like it never even happened.”
What is the SERVPRO difference?
More locations means faster response. A SERVPRO Franchise Professional can usually be on-site within four hours to help protect the structure, business and personal property.
We have earned the trust of the insurance industry by serving thousands of their policy holders and clients with respect and integrity. The more we restore the less that needs to be replaced. This helps our clients save millions of dollars each year. That helps lower your insurance rates too!
In our business, you need us fast! The sooner we arrive, the better the chance we can reduce damage and save money. Franchise Professionals are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
A trained, uniformed and equipped SERVPRO of Texarkana Professional will walk you through the job process and then work quickly to restore your property to preloss condition whenever possible.
You Can Trust SERVPRO of Texarkana!
SERVPRO Franchise Professionals Put Property Owners Back in Control. Call us at (903) 832-4400 today for all of your water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, bio-hazard restoration needs.