Recent General Posts

Too Hot To Handle

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

On June 21, we can all sit back, enjoy the longest day of sunlight in 2019, and officially welcome in summer! So what can we do to help our lawns survive in the 100+ degree weather that is sure to come our way and still stay Water Wise?  We are so glad you asked!

Plant Right. Some grasses do better than others in our heat. The best options for our area are Bermuda, Zoysia, and Buffalo. They also have the advantage of being able to develop a deep root structure which is important to developing a drought resistant lawn.

Go Blonde! Really. When it gets hot out, plants naturally slow their growth in order to conserve moisture. This means that your grass will “blonde” during the peak of heat. This is natural and does not harm your lawn.

Forget the Fertilizer. Putting fertilizer on a blond lawn in order to green it up will encourage your grass to grow. But doing so, will make it thirsty. This will put stress on your lawn’s root system and cause your water bill to soar with the high temperatures.

Mow Higher. Once your grass goes blonde, its growth has slowed and leaving it a little taller may even help it to stay greener a little longer during hot spells, as your grass can spend more energy on expanding its root system (making it more drought tolerant) instead of trying to recover from a short cut.

Most of all, remember to take care of any yard work early in the day to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. Come up with a plan the night before, get organized, stick to your plan, and finish quickly.

While no one looks forward to the days when temperatures soar above 100 degrees, with a little planning and a little understanding, we can all reach the other side with our lawns intact and a sense of accomplishment for staying Water Wise.

10 Ways to Save Energy in Your Home

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Summer is here and the heat waves have started! Below you will find ten inexpensive and practical steps you can take to save money and energy as things begin to heat up:

  1. When cool nights allow, turn off the cooling system and open the windows while you sleep.
  2. In the hot summer months, set your thermostat to a temperature as high as you can comfortably stand.
  3. Use ceiling fans to cool the room that you are in and turn them off when you leave the room.
  4. Use the exhaust fan in your bathroom to remove heat and humidity while you shower or bathe.
  5. In the hotter summer months, grill outside as opposed to using the oven.
  6. Make use of the natural lighting that is provided during the daylight hours.
  7. When washing clothing or dishes, avoid washing partial loads, when possible.
  8. Air dry clothing and dishes when possible.
  9. Instead of taking a bath, take a short shower.
  10. Turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting (120°F). You'll not only save energy, you'll avoid scalding yourself   

Put these strategies to work and begin to enjoy the savings!

SERVPRO of Texarkana 903-832-4400

Will Drain Cleaner Damage My Pipes?

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

General 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.

Alternatives

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

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

2/26/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house.  Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.

Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan.  A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation. 

Review the following tips regarding smoke detector installation and maintenance.  

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms.  Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
  • Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year.  We have found it useful to change the batteries when daylight savings time either begins or ends.  If an alarm "chirps," the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Just the Facts: Smoke Alarms

  • Three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or when the alarms are not working
  • Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

SERVPRO of Texarkana wants you and your family to be safe.  If you have a home or business fire, we are here for you and are a phone call away. 903-832-4400

Cabon Monoxide: A Silent Killer in Texarkana

2/21/2019 (Permalink)

Carbon monoxide is a gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. According to ready.gov, an average of 430 Americans die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Oftentimes, it is the result of faulty, improperly used, or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water
heaters, room heaters, and engine-powered equipment, such as portable generators.


However, there are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family, and your employees from deadly CO fumes.


Reduce the chance of CO exposure in your workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce CO. Install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside of all bedrooms.

Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys serviced annually by a professional. Use portable generators only in well-ventilated areas away from doors, windows, vents, and any other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.


For additional CO safety information, visit usfa.fema.gov or osha.gov.

Here's Why You Should Never Use Bleach on Mold

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

General Here's Why You Should Never Use Bleach on Mold Bleach won't stick around on surfaces long enough, or will it seep into the surface to fully kill all of the mold

Did you know that you should absolutely 100% not use ANY bleach to kill mold? That’s been the common trick for years. You have mold? Use bleach. But that can actually do more harm than good. If you read the label on your bottle of bleach, it’ll probably say don’t use on non-porous surfaces like tile or ceramic. Basically, for bathrooms or kitchen countertops.

Chlorine bleach is diluted with water to make it safer for household use, and it evaporates much faster than normal water does. So, it won’t stick around on surfaces long enough, nor will it seep down into the surface the bleach is on to fully kill all of the mold. Mold has little roots that stretch down into the surface, like a weed. Don’t get all of the root and the mold will come back. The surface may also look clean, but bleach is just doing what it does best: stripping the color. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean its not there.  

If you suspect you’ve got mold in your home, give SERVPRO of Texarkana a call today and we can come out and give you an estimate and a plan of action. 903-832-4400

Weather Summary

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

MARCH 2019 LONG RANGE WEATHER FORECAST FOR TEXAS-OKLAHOMA

Dates

Mar 1-9:Rain, then sunny, cooler

Mar 10-13:Sunny, warm

Mar 14-19:Rain, then sunny, cool

Mar 20-26:Sunny, warm

Mar 27-31:T-storms, then sunny, cool

March

temperature 63° (4° above avg.)

precipitation 1.5" (1" below avg.)

Winter will be milder and drier than normal, with below-normal snowfall. The coldest periods will be in late December, late January, and mid-February, with the best chances for snow in mid- and late December, early January, and mid-February. April and May will be warmer and slightly rainier than normal. Summer will be cooler and rainier than normal, with the hottest periods in mid-June and early and mid-July. Watch for a tropical storm threat in mid- to late August and a hurricane threat in early September. Otherwise, September and October will be slightly cooler and rainier than normal.

https://www.almanac.com/weather/longrange/zipcode/75501

Emergency Ready Plan

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

General Emergency Ready Plan Get the ERP APP now to start planning!

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW. As many as 50% of businesses may never recover following a disaster, according to the latest industry research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind. By developing a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for your 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 business. Are You Ready?

Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire or an area flood. The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens. No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, “Are you ready for whatever could happen?” The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order. The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile Advantage A no cost assessment of your facility. – This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost. A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency. – It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed. A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster. – This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action. Establishes your local SERVPRO® Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider. – You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by. Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin. – This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money. Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information. – Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are “Ready for whatever happens.”

Faster to any disaster!

10/19/2017 (Permalink)

Structural Cleaning

After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. Your experienced local SERVPRO® of Texarkana Professional will pretest to determine the extent of damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found in your insured’s structure.

Contents Cleaning

All of the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies, and upholstery. SERVPRO® of Texarkana Professionals can provide wet or dry cleaning services. Additionally, all the other restorable contents will be cleaned and deodorized to preloss condition. This includes electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding, and much more. Finally, SERVPRO® of Texarkana Professionals can provide an inventory list of all “to be claimed” items for your insured.

Deodorization

SERVPRO® of Texarkana Professionals provide specialized services that rid your insured’s home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. SERVPRO® of Texarkana Professionals do not merely cover up lingering odors with a fragrance; they seek out the sources of the odor and remove them.

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Texarkana Home

2/2/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Texarkana is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Texarkana

SERVPRO of Texarkana specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.