Do You Have a Funky Smell In Your Home After a Storm?
The water damage from a natural disaster in your home often comes with odors and mold growth that can be hard to find. If you suspect you have mold but don't see any growth, we recommend finding an industrial hygienist who can find out what mold may or may not be in your home. Other measures you can take to help with the funk are below:
Air It Out
Open all doors and windows to allow air to circulate in your residence. This should help dissipate any lingering smells that remain and will also facilitate the drying of the affected areas.
Dry the Wet Areas
You may install dehumidifiers to speed up the drying process. Removing moisture from porous and absorbent surfaces such as carpet and upholstery can greatly reduce the chance of foul aromas remaining after the flood and can mitigate the appearance of mold.
Deodorize Your Home
There are natural methods that you can utilize to expedite the deodorizing process in your house. Baking soda sprinkled into carpets or other absorbent surfaces can be vacuumed up, greatly with getting rid of foul odors. On less porous surfaces, vinegar applied liberally can aid in combating persistent smells.
Keep an Eye Out for Mold
As with any area that has had prolonged exposure to moisture, mold growth can be a threat that, if not addressed immediately can become a huge problem. It is imperative that proper steps are taken to ensure that mold and spores do not have the opportunity to spread in your home.
Sewage loss can lead to your home being contaminated by sewage contents when floodwater finds its way past your threshold. This can leave behind an overpowering smell even after the moisture has been removed due to the bacteria in the water. These horrendous smells often cannot be removed by household cleaners and require the services of a professional flood restoration company.
Eliminating odors can be a tricky thing, so give us a call at (915) 234-2614 and leave the restoration to us!
3 Most Common Commercial Water Damage Problems
No matter what the cause of the water damage in your building is, it is important to address it as soon as possible. Regularly inspecting your business for water damage can save you a lot of time and money down the road. The three most common types of water damage we see in businesses are:
1. Roof Leaks
Leaking roofs are a common source of damage that can cause a lot of damage indoors. In addition to the damage caused directly by water entering your building, the excess moisture can lead to mildew or mold growth, electrical fires and structural damage. To avoid additional damage, it is important to make repairs to your roof and dry out wet areas promptly.
2. Damaged Plumbing
A broken pipe can be caused by deteriorated water supply lines, pressure changes, cold weather and other issues. Because pipes are usually hidden from sight and may not be easily accessible, leaky pipes can be difficult to detect. If you see bulging walls, cracked or loose tiles, water stains on walls or floors, unexplained flooding, or notice a musty smell, these can be signs of a leaky pipe. You may notice unusual increases in water usage or the size of your water bill.
3. Sprinkler System Leaks
Sprinkler systems are an invaluable tool for mitigating fire damage but can develop leaks over time, particularly if they are not maintained regularly. Standing water, wet carpets or walls and mold or mildew growth may be signs of a sprinkler leak. To prevent this problem, have your sprinkler system regularly inspected and maintained.
If you are experiencing water damage, call the commercial water experts today. (915) 234-2614
How to Create an Effective Fire Escape Plan
We often think that disasters won't happen to us, even though disasters can happen to anyone! We will neglect planning because we have convinced ourselves we are safe from disaster. If this sounds like you, you are not alone. Ensuring your family has a plan reduces the risk of injury and death. If you need help coming up with a plan, contact your local fire department or fire remediation company.
A fire escape plan is a crucial part of family safety. Follow the steps above to create and practice your ideal plan.
1. Multiple Exits
You never know where a fire will start or how it will spread. If you only have two exits from your home, you up the chances you will become trapped.
An effective escape plan requires a minimum of two exits PER room. You do not have to get overly creative here. A window and a door are good escape routes; just make sure that every space in the home has a minimum of two ways out, including hallways.
2. Escape Routes Must Remain Clear
As you design your escape routes, remember the paths need to remain clear. Do not place bookshelves in front of windows or couches in the direct line to the front door.
When you come up with an escape plan, please do not shy away from talking about it. Quiz your kids on the routes out of their rooms and the house. Ask your spouse to explain to your children how to make quick choices during a fire. By having conversations, even repetitive ones, you ensure your escape strategy remains a priority in the minds of your family.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice!
Similarly, the physical practice is crucial to developing muscle memory. In a genuine emergency, your brain can freeze, wasting the few precious moments you have to escape a fire. By practicing at least once per month, you ensure your family knows how to get out of the house.
Dirty Ducts In Your West El Paso Business?
The fact of the matter is your office air is filled with dust, dust mites, animal dander, mold, and other unhealthy elements. Unless you address the situation now, the air quality will continue to deteriorate.
Your local franchise wants to ensure that you, your employees, and customers are breathing healthy air. Unnecessary dirt and debris can pose a serious threat to the health of your employees if they are not properly maintained.
Some things to consider by scheduling a duct cleaning for your business:
Improved Health Poor indoor air quality ranks among the top five environmental risks to your health.
Energy consumption Clean ducts help lower your utility bill and help your HVAC unit last longer.
Smelly air Odors will continue to plague your business long after you remove the offensive item if the odor is in your ducts.
Microbial growth can grow in your duct system especially if your business suffered recent water damage from the hurricane.
For the sake of your customers and employees, you need to know the air you breathe at your business is free from contaminants.
SERVPRO’s licensed technicians can provide all of the remediation and cleaning services. Give us a call today.
What To Expect From an Adjuster After an Insurance Claim Has Been Filed
Both commercial and residential water damage can happen from a variety of issues such as a pipe burst, roof issues, and storm surges. Many times water losses are unexpected so it is important to always be aware of what's covered if your insurance policy changes.
Although each insurance is different, you can usually expect a visit from an insurance adjuster after you have filed a claim. The adjuster comes out on behalf of the insurance company to see any damages first hand and make a proper recommendation about claim approval.
During their visit to your home, the insurance adjuster will be looking for several things, including:
- Evidence of structural damage
- Cause of the damage
- Receipts for claimed losses
- Estimates for repairs
- Mitigation attempts
To save yourself time, ensure you have the proper documents for when the adjuster arrives. You should put together a loss inventory. This document will include an itemized list of all damaged or destroyed items. If possible, include pictures of all the items along with copies of receipts. Additionally, you should compile a list of any structural damage to your home. The list should identify the specific location and any damage. Finally, you will want to have copies of repair bids. The adjuster will need to see estimates of the damage done to the property. A remediation company can help you gather any necessary information.
Even though a water loss can be a lot to deal with, the insurance company will expect the property owner to have made attempts to mitigate the water damage. Whether that means reaching out to a disaster mitigation company and getting estimates, or patching up a hole in the roof, they want to see you've made an attempt. Be aware that failure to mitigate further loss can result in the denial of your claim.
Remember, the insurer is not your friend; they do not want to give you money, and they especially do not want to give you more than they have to.
It is also important to remember that while an insurance company might have preferred contractors, you do not need to work with them for a claim to be approved. It is important to hire the professional you feel most comfortable with.
Learn About SERVPRO of West El Paso's Advanced Techniques for Water Damage
What sets SERVPRO of West El Paso apart is our advanced technology and techniques that allow us to be pioneers in the restoration industry. The technology and best practices we use allows SERVPRO of West El Paso to get your home or business back to its preloss condition in no time!
When we first get to a job we need to measure the water damage using infrared cameras and moisture detection and measurement devices. The infrared camera allows us to see what the naked eye cannot see.
Our powerful extraction equipment speeds the drying process by removing the water from your home or business. SERVPRO of West El Paso uses both Truck-mounted and portable extraction units to perform efficient water removal.
Our drying equipment includes Industrial-grade dehumidifiers that help prevent secondary water damage like swelling and warping of floors, walls, and furniture and High-speed air movers create airflow across walls, carpets, pads, and furniture, which accelerates the evaporation of moisture.
Our professionals will use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers to dry your home or business. We’ll carefully monitor the progress using moisture meters until the materials return to acceptable drying goals.
If you are experiencing water damage in your West El Paso home or business call us today!
Commercial Fire Drill Tips | SERVPRO of West El Paso
Most companies require yearly fire drills in order to ensure safety and follow fire department guidelines. Many employees and managers dislike fire drills due to the interruption during the day. However, these drills could save lives at some point.
Here are some tips to follow to help with fire drill seriousness.
Always take them seriously. Leading by example is a great way to get employees on board. Also having drills without warning will allow for employees to take them more seriously.
Prepare your team ahead of time. Before there ever is an actual drill, make sure employees know what the fire plan is. Especially if you work in a high-rise building, making sure employees know where exits and emergency stairwells are is important.
For employees that could be dealing with customers during a fire drill, provide them with a few bullet points they can use during their conversation. For example, due to a local emergency, the call must be disconnected and we will return your call once we are back.
If your business experiences a fire, we have the resources in order to mitigate both fire-damaged items and smoke-damaged items. We can get your employees back into the office in no time.
When is it Safe for Employees to Return to Work After a Flood?
It's natural to want to return to work as soon as possible after your business suffers from a costly incident, such as a "black water" flood. After all, you have this big expense to pay off and you're losing money just by not being at the office. No matter how eager you are, you still have to consider your employees' personal safety. Keep the following safety considerations in mind before you send your employees back to your West El Paso office.
1. Sweep Up Any Physical Debris. The physical damages should be the first task you address during flood cleanup. Strong floodwaters can introduce harmful objects into the office, such as stray nails and glass shards. Make sure to sweep the office floors thoroughly to ensure every hidden danger is taken care of. As a business owner, your employees' personal safety should be your number one priority. Taking the time and effort to thoroughly clean and disinfect your office building following a black waterflood is a non-negotiable task for you. Contact flood remediation experts for assistance during the cleanup process.
2. Clear Out the Flood Water. Both black and gray water floods pose major safety concerns for your employees. Black water is characterized by the presence of harmful biohazards, such as human/animal fecal matter, raw sewage, and dangerous chemicals. You have to make sure you clear out all of the contaminated floodwaters and thoroughly disinfect every exposed surface before you allow your employees to return to the office.
3.Check the Air Quality. It's very possible that the biohazards introduced with the floodwater are now in the air. Make sure to set up fans and other air filtration devices throughout your building to help eliminate harmful agents. As an additional safety measure, you may want to consider keeping these filtration devices running even after your employees come back.
If your business is experiencing a flood, call the professionals at SERVPRO of West El Paso today!
3 Ways to Avoid Cigarette Fires in Your West El Paso Home
Cigarettes are a common cause of fire even though these fires are easily preventable. Here are three ways to prevent a cigarette fire.
1. Smoke outside. Most cigarette fires start when a smoker falls asleep. Bedrooms and couches are the most common places for cigarette fires to break out. Keep in mind that the same risks apply to smoking on a screened-in porch or a deck with furniture. It is best to smoke away from the house in an outdoor chair. You may be less likely to get comfortable enough to fall asleep outside with a lit cigarette.
2. Use stable, enclosed ashtrays. An ashtray fire is a common type of cigarette fire. This type of blaze can occur if a pet knocks over an ashtray that contains smoldering butts or if burning butts get blown out of the ashtray onto combustible materials outdoors. Choose an ashtray that is hard to knock over, and that is enclosed.
3. Completely extinguish cigarettes. If you do not put out the burning end of a cigarette, you will greatly increase a fire risk inside or outside of your home. Take an extra moment to make sure that your cigarette is completely extinguished before leaving the area. Some ashtrays feature sand or other materials that can help to ensure that the ends of cigarettes are no longer burning. This is the most important step in preventing fires whether you choose to smoke indoors or outdoors.
These are three simple and effective ways to prevent fires caused by cigarettes in or around your home. If a cigarette fire does break out, and your home sustains damage, contact West El Paso's premier fire damage, experts!
Typical Standby Generator Maintenance
Typical Standby Generator Maintenance
With the crazy weather patterns in El Paso the past year, it is important to be prepared in the event of another disaster. We recommend having a generator handy in the event the storm impacts last days on end. In order to ensure your generator is functioning properly take these maintenance tips into consideration.
The typical life expectancy for a generator is between 20,000 and 30,000 hours, serving a crucial role while waiting for a storm restoration company to come to your business.
You are going to need to perform small maintenance tasks every week. These include:
- Running the engine
- Checking for alarms or warnings
- Ensuring adequate fuel levels for an emergency
- Setting the engine to auto mode
- Checking that the circuit breaker is closed
- Ensuring there are no leaks
On a monthly basis, you will need to spend more time checking fluid levels, such as the coolant and oil. You should also check the battery to ensure you are ready for a disaster.
You are going to want to check the thermal protection levels every six months. At the same time, inspect the drive belts to ensure they have the proper tension and are in good condition.
A certified technician will need to come out every year and perform crucial tasks, such as changing the engine oil, fuel filter, air filter, and spark plugs. If any extra maintenance is needed, like a coolant system flush, your technician will perform these items at your annual service.
Taking precautions like this can have many benefits for your home or business. The primary one is that you put off replacing your equipment longer. If you are looking to push the maximum number of hours and avoid generator problems, you need to consider required preventative maintenance.
For any storm related damage, call the storm professionals at (915) 234-2614.