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September is National Preparedness Month

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

A Black and White Picture with a group of people in a circle joining their hands together in the center Hays County Emergency Services flyer showing a group of people in a circle putting their hands together in the center

September is recognized as National Preparedness Month to raise awareness throughout the community on the importance of planning ahead for different types of disasters and emergencies. One of the main objectives is to get families and businesses to participate by creating and testing an evacuation plan with the individuals under the same roof or even making kits containing essential supplies that will last for several days after a disaster unexpectedly hits your area.

As a trusted leader in the Restoration Industry, SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels responds daily to residential and commercial properties that experienced either natural or humanmade damages. Our website even offers emergency tips on what you can do until help arrives.

Another trusted source of valuable information during National Preparedness Month is Hays County Emergency Services.

Hays County has a month-long initiative called 30 Days 30 Ways to help raise awareness locally by doing daily social media posts on Facebook and Twitter with topics such as Creating Your Family Disaster Plan, Identify and be Familiar with Escape Routes, and Make a Plan to care for Your Pets.

In addition to sharing useful tips on their social media sites, the Hays County Emergency Service is hosting their 3rd Annual Preparedness Fair on Saturday, September 26th, that will take place virtually. Everyone is invited to join in this free online event via Zoom from 9 AM to 3 PM.

The Hays County Preparedness Fair is an opportunity for the Hays County Office of Emergency Services to reach out to our community about disaster preparedness for themselves, their family, and their community. We encourage our community to be trained, equipped, and empowered to help in an emergency before professional help arrives.

The virtual presentation schedule offers presentations given by either certified first responders, trainers, or the organization’s official representatives.

You can even watch videos on Haysinformed.com showcasing local First Responders, Law Enforcement, and Public Service Organizations. Even a few members of our SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels make an appearance on one of those videos to share some insightful suggestions that your family or business can utilize in the event of an unexpected emergency. 

A silent auction with donated items begins on September 18th and goes through the 26th. These donated items are viewable on https://www.biddingowl.com/VirtualPreparednessFair this is the bidding website. Items will be viewable before the bidding goes live on this website once we are able to get photos of the items. All proceeds will go to Hays County Fire Chief Association and the Blanco River Regional Recovery Team. 

To register for the Hays County 3rd Annual Preparedness Fair, click on the link provided here:

https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEudemsrTwqGdICrauHtB1cC0LEDRVu3gCJ

They will also be updating their fair’s website daily, which can be viewed online at http://haysinformed.com/virtual-preparedness-fair/ 

You can still donate items for the silent auction by emailing Kasin Riley, the Emergency Preparedness Specialist for this event: kasin.riley@co.hays.tx.us

4 Ways Hail Can Damage Your Commercial Roof

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Common Issues On Your Roof After A Hail Storm

Whether your commercial building in Canyon City, TX, uses metal roofing, Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer roofing, built-up roofing, or another type of popular roofing material, significant roof damage can happen in a hail storm. For this reason, it is very important for business owners to have their commercial roof inspected after being hit by hailstones and to look for the following common issues:

1. Dents and Bruising

Hail damage can manifest itself in several ways and may be either cosmetic or functional. It is very common for metal roofs to be dented when hit by hail. Dark spots on asphalt shingles indicate that roofing granules are missing.

2. Cracks and Punctures

Depending on the durability of the roofing materials used, it is possible for hail to puncture your roof and create cracks and holes on the surface. It is important to quickly patch any holes or replace damaged roofs as this leaves them vulnerable to even more problems occurring.

3. Water Damage

Since hail can cause serious roof damage and lead to punctures, you will need to look for any signs of storm damage to your roof and call a water damage restoration company if necessary. If possible, identify any leaks and fix the issue before extensive water damage or mold growth can occur.

4. Damaged Outdoor Items

Not only can hail damage affect the actual material of your roof, but it can also impact other outdoor items such as the air conditioner, roof vents, chimneys, or skylights. If you have any of these items mounted or installed on your roof, make sure to inspect them for dents or chips.
Many commercial roofs are not designed to stand up to the roof damage that hail can cause, especially if your business is located in an area that does not frequently experience hail. If a hail storm does hit your building, make sure to look for these four types of damage that can occur.

Preventing Mold in a Restaurant Kitchen

8/28/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth in your San Marcos restaurant can be bad for business.

Fortunately, a little preventive maintenance can go a long way toward keeping your commercial kitchen clean and mold-free. 

Mold Requirements 
Although mold spores are almost everywhere, there are specific conditions that must be met before the spores can develop into an infestation. Mold needs the following three things in order to grow: 

  • Food
  • Water
  • Warmth 

Kitchens, especially commercial kitchens, have all of these properties. Ovens and other appliances keep the area warm. Dishwashing and cooking steam lead to high humidity, providing mold with a source of moisture. Food is always abundant, whether in storage or in the trash. Because of this, a mold infestation may seem inevitable, but this is not necessarily the case.

Mold Prevention 
Even in kitchens where mold has everything it needs to thrive, it is possible to prevent mold growth. First, ensure adequate ventilation so that moisture is properly removed from the area. Make sure the HVAC system is properly maintained, and invest in a quality kitchen hood to remove excess moisture. Throw away expired food and any food with signs of mold. Take out the trash regularly. Make sure the kitchen is routinely cleaned and that all standing water, whether from leaks or spills, is cleaned up as soon as possible. Address sources of water damage promptly. Although keeping the kitchen clean and dry will go a long way toward preventing mold damage, it may be impossible to keep the area completely mold free. Therefore, it is a good idea to routinely check for signs of mold. Examine food products and areas that are especially prone to excess moisture. If caught early, the fungus can be removed before major damage occurs.

Unfortunately, even the most conscientious restaurant owner can suffer mold growth. Fortunately, an experienced restoration company can help you remediate the damage quickly and safely.

5 Essential Fire Sprinkler Maintenance Tips

8/28/2020 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler on ceiling Doing a regular fire sprinkler inspection can prevent costly water damage in the future.

Properly functioning fire sprinklers are essential for protecting your building in New Braunfels, against lethal fires.

As such, regular sprinkler maintenance can help ensure that the sprinklers in your building can do their job and protect your property. 

5 essential tips for keeping your sprinklers functioning as they should

1. Keep sprinkler heads clean
Odds are, your sprinklers don't really see a lot of action. Because of this, a coating of dirt, dust or some other type of grime can form over the sprinkler head that can impede water flow. Building owners should take the time to regularly clean their sprinkler heads, especially if the sprinklers are located in an area where a lot of grease tends to accumulate.

2. Keep non-electric control valves open
A closed sprinkler valve is not going to be distributing any water. Make sure to check the non-electric control valves on a weekly basis to ensure that they stay open.

3. Keep an eye on water pressure
Low water pressure means that your fire sprinklers aren't going to be able to evenly distribute water throughout the entire room. It's a good idea to request that fire professionals check this water pressure quarterly.

4. Keep high objects away from sprinklers
Objects near the sprinkler valves can block water flow, essentially preventing the spray from reaching the entire room. Keep the pathways clear and let the sprinkler system do its job.

5. Keep performing regular sprinkler inspections
Regular inspections are vital for sprinkler maintenance. Building owners should have fire service professionals perform full inspections at least once every year. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Fire sprinkler maintenance is a very important task for building owners. While you have to hope you never need to use the sprinklers, you definitely want to make sure they work properly, just in case. Building owners should stay on top of the tasks listed above, but only a fire service professional is able to perform a full inspection.

What To Know About Storm Damage and Taxes

8/28/2020 (Permalink)

Storm clouds lighting and SERVPRO SERVPRO is here to help you with Storm Damage!

Did you know that in some circumstances storm damage to your Dripping Springs, business may be deductible on your taxes?

If you meet the requirements filing a claim with your insurance may not only help you hire a local damage restoration service to help with repairs, but also may qualify you for a tax break. Here’s what you may need to know

1. What Qualifies
Filing a claim for a tax deduction on damages caused to your business by a storm may qualify you if the damages comes from a force of nature. These forces include earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and blizzards. The claim must be filed with the insurance company first before you can qualify.

2. What Does Not Qualify
A storm damage loss deduction will not include damages incurred by loss or deterioration which occurs over a length of time. In many cases your business may also not be eligible to get a deduction for any damaged which you have already be reimbursed for. It’s highly recommended that you talk to a professional prior to claiming a deduction to ensure the damages do not fall into one of these categories.

3. Conditions May Apply
Certain conditions may apply before storm caused damage to your business can be considered to be tax deductible. In most cases you must first have filed a claim with your insurance company. Other conditions may depend on which tax credit or break you are applying for. Some are only for non-reimbursable damages, while others are for damages sustained during specific storms. It’s best to talk to a professional about which deductions your business is eligible for.

If you need help claiming a credit for storm damage on your taxes a professional can help you know what qualifies, and how to correctly fill out that information. Remember, to use this option you will have need to have filed a claim with your insurance company first.

Mold Prevention and Cleanup

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold on carpet Mold growth in Dripping Springs, TX

Black mold and other varieties of fungi can cause serious problems for your Dripping Springs, TX, home. However, knowing a little about mold can help you protect your property.

Mold Prevention

Mold spores are invisible and can be found almost everywhere. However, three factors must coexist for the spores to thrive:

  • Food source
  • Water source
  • Warmth

Most indoor areas are warm enough to support mold growth, and the majority of homes have adequate sources of food for mold. Therefore, the easiest factor to control is the mold's water source. Keep the humidity in your home below 50%. You may need to run a dehumidifier in particularly damp areas such as bathrooms and basements. If you detect a moisture problem, address it immediately. Fix leaks and dry up spills as soon as possible. Additionally, check your home regularly for signs of mold. Such indications include visible mold, a musty odor, and discolored or deformed paint or wallpaper.

Mold Cleanup
If you are dealing with a toxic variety such as black mold or a large infestation, it is necessary to enlist professional help. For a small amount of mold growth on non-porous surfaces, you may be able to clean it using a commercial product, vinegar or a mixture of water and bleach. Wear protective gear, including gloves and a mask, and vent the space in which you are working. After the surface has been cleaned, be sure to fully dry the area. Most importantly, address the underlying moisture problem to avoid regrowth.
Don't use this method on porous materials since these items often have to be completely replaced. Always seek expert help and never attempt mold cleanup on building materials or home items on your own.
If you have extensive mold damage, whether black mold or another variety, a certified restoration company can help get your home back to normal quickly and safely. They have the skills, knowledge, and equipment to thoroughly remediate the problem.

How To Remove Smoke Odor After a Fire

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone generators work best in low-humidity environments

Smoke Cleaning Services

Smoke damage can affect your business long after a fire has been extinguished. A Sattler, TX, fire restoration company can provide smoke cleaning services to remove stains and odors from the following:

  • Air
  • Carpets
  • Upholstery
  • Art

Several methods can accomplish this.

Air Scrubbers
These air filtration systems can remove smoke odor from the air by passing it through a high-tech filter that removes contaminated particles. Purified air returns to the original environment without traces of the odor-causing contaminants.

Ozone Generators
Ozone is oxygen that has three oxygen atoms instead of two. The third atom attaches itself to malodorous particles and neutralizes them. The other two atoms remain in the air as pure oxygen. Ozone generators work best in low-humidity environments where there is less hydrogen to hinder the attachment of the third oxygen atom. They also work quickly, allowing employees to re-enter a business within hours. Ozone treatment is an effective smoke cleaning option because it can effectively penetrate porous surfaces that are difficult to reach.

Hydroxyl Generators
After a fire, a hydroxyl generator can remove smoke odor in high humidity environments flooded by water used to extinguish the flames. One oxygen atom and one hydrogen atom change the molecular structure of the contaminants that produce odor. Hydroxyl generators can purify a wide range of objects, including artwork. They are slower than ozone generators to remove smoke odors. Still, they do not require room evacuation, making them an excellent choice for businesses that don't require relocation after a fire.

Thermal Foggers
After a fire, smoke cleaning objects like rugs and upholstery can be challenging. Thermal fogging is a reliable method of hazardous particle and odor removal. A deodorizer is heated to create a fog that can penetrate the most difficult-to-reach parts of a room and its contents.
A fire restoration company can recommend the appropriate method of smoke odor removal for your Sattler, TX, business.

Teaching Kids To Escape a House Fire

6/27/2020 (Permalink)

Teaching Kids To Escape a House Fire

If your home in New Braunfels, TX, catches fire, your kids' safety is probably your number one priority. You can't expect them to instinctively know what to do, though. Here are a few important tips to teach them just in case a fire ever engulfs your home.

1. Get Low

Smoke and heat rise, so the lower your kids can get to the floor when they're trying to escape a home fire, the better. Practice the fire crawl and bed roll with them so they know exactly what to do. In the fire crawl, they should keep their heads down and crawl to safety on their hands and knees. If it's too hot to crawl that way, they should slide like a snake along the floor to the nearest exit.

2. Follow Plan

Have a conversation about the quickest route out of every room. To ensure kids' safety, teach them how to check doors for signs of fire damage on the other side. If they open the door slowly and see that the path is clear, they can proceed as planned.

3. Have Backup

A successful fire escape may require a backup plan if the planned route is blocked. Teach children how to open their windows and make their way safely outside if they need to. Reassure them that broken windows are okay in the event of a fire, because their lives are more important than avoiding fire damage cleanup.

4. Get Out

Impress upon kids that their main goal is to get out of the burning house and meet at the agreed upon safe point. Let them know that they will likely see firefighters entering the house to put out the fire and rescue anyone who can't get out on their own.

Before fire cleanup can begin, you must first ensure that everyone has gotten out alive. Teaching your children how to respond during a home fire helps ensure kids' safety.

How Allowing a Team to Pretest Property Reduces the Claims Expense

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

Servpro technicians downloading equipment from vans SERVPRO offers 24-hour aid

How Allowing a Team to Pretest Property Reduces the Claims Expense

Where do you begin when so much is lost? How can you recover from a disaster that ruins the place you've built up from the ground? When fire, water or mold harm your company in Kyle, TX, business owners desire direction and swift, competent assistance; therefore, it's important to turn to those that understand the complexity of the situation. Remediation teams like SERVPRO can investigate your property through pretesting measures, crafting a plan that can begin prompt, effectual cleaning and restoration.

1. They Review the Damages Quickly
Effective and prompt response to an insurance claim is vital as it can reduce those costs as well as the type of repairs. Water restoration companies such as SERVPRO offer 24-hour aid. The team arrives on the premises, surveys the destruction, and begins to determine the type and level of repair. This immediate response means the experts can begin drying walls and carpets, fix the origin of the problem, and block off the area. Their swift actions often deter the growth of mold, dry rot, and structural contamination.

2. They Emphasize Salvaging Valuables When Possible
Often, people may begin tossing objects to the curb, thinking that everything waterlogged must go. Pretesting, though, allows for an understanding of the type of water that infiltrated the building. With this knowledge, the technicians can discuss content cleaning services, saving these belongings, and avoiding replacement costs. In addition, high tech equipment such as vacuum freeze-drying and gamma irradiation has the ability to sanitize and preserve documents, photographs, and x-rays objects frequently perceived as lost causes.

3. They Focus on Minimizing Lasting Issues
Get it right the first time. An insurance agent wants to avoid residual aftereffects that could escalate the recovery bill. By completing an initial assessment, the specialists specify what has been harmed and what should be mended to avoid it in the future.
It's tempting to jump into reconstruction, yet, in doing so, people can miss significant elements or misunderstand possible recovery efforts. Pretesting, then, becomes a valuable guide in how to work efficiently and responsibly.

How to Protect Your Electronics From Water Damage

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Prise multiple Unplug as many of your electronics as possible

Take The Following Steps To Avoid Flooded Electronics

When it comes to your electronics, water damage is probably the last enemy you’ll consider. However, it can come from many sources, anything from faulty fire sprinklers or broken pipes to heavy rainfall. The key is to be proactive. Take these steps to avoid flooded electronics:

1. Save Data
Most importantly, make sure that all your essential data is backed up ahead of time. That way, if you suffer electronic damage, it won’t be a total loss. After all, you can replace equipment, but you can’t replace lost data. An automatic cloud-based data backup program is the best way to go, as you don’t have to remember to back it up and it’s stored off-premises. It’s also good to backup on an external hard drive for added security. Also, remember to back up any photos on your camera and phone data.

2. Unplug Electronics
If there’s flooding in the forecast, make sure that you unplug as many of your electronics as possible. This will not only protect the electronics but also keep an electric current from traveling through standing water. Remember to unplug surge protectors and power strips from the wall.

3. Elevate Electronics
It’s always good to keep all electronics somewhat elevated off the floor, as most flooded electronics will be destroyed. Elevation will also improve air circulation and protect against fire hazards. Be sure to also elevate surge protectors and power strips. You might not realize how much of this stuff is actually on or only a couple of inches from the floor until you walk around the building.

4. Waterproof Electronics
If there’s time to prepare before a flood, put any electronics or electronic equipment (e.g., chargers) in waterproof containers. If you can’t put them in waterproof containers, at least put them in areas that are less likely to flood or have excessive humidity.
If your building experiences a flood that results in flooded electronics or other water damage, you can count on restoration experts. They’ll return your New Braunfels, TX, property to its preloss condition as soon as possible.