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Mold Cleaning Standards: What You Need To Know

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold damage in Sattler, TX

Mold Standards

If you discover mold in your commercial building, you may try the old "wipe it with bleach and forget about it" trick. If you do this, not only are you putting your building at risk of developing costly and extensive damage but also, you're putting yourself at risk for a lawsuit. There are mold standards to which mold remediation specialists in Sattler, TX, must adhere, which is why it is always a good idea to call in such a specialist upon the discovery of black mold.

The ANSI/IICRC S520 Mold Clean Standards
The American National Standards Institute and the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification partnered to develop a procedural standard for mold remediation. The standards were based on the following:

  • Research and practical experience
  • Reliable remediation and restoration standards
  • Proven academic principles

The mold standards were developed for a number of professionals, including but not limited to remediation contractors, industrial hygienists, public health professionals and restoration service companies.

The Basics of Mold Cleaning

Mold cleaning involves several steps, beginning with the assessment. Before a remediation specialist can implement remedial actions, he or she must know the extent of the damage. The greater the extent of damage, the greater the need for more sophisticated controls during the remediation process. A thorough assessment typically begins with a visual assessment and evolves into sampling.
Once the mold cleanup specialist understands the extent of the damage, only then will he or she devise a remedial strategy. Strategies vary from situation to situation but often entail installing contaminants, equipping specialists with proper protective equipment and tools, sealing off the contaminated area, removing personal belongings from the building and, finally, removal and cleaning of the mold.
It is essential to the integrity of your building and to occupant's wellbeing that you hire a mold remediation team upon the discovery of black mold. An educated team is well-versed in mold standards can help you quickly and effectively resolve the infestation without further issue.

Be Warned: Homeowner’s Insurance Doesn’t Cover 2 Types of Fire Damage

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

A home fire resulting from arson is a crime

Homeowner’s insurance in Kyle, TX, isn’t just a requirement for a mortgage; it’s even more important to having peace of mind, knowing that your most expensive investment is covered from a major loss. In most cases, a home fire is going to be covered, including smoke and water damage, if it exceeds deductibles. However, there are two specific cases where your policy may not apply.

A Vacant Home Fire Isn’t Covered by Most Homeowner’s Policies

A vacant home in Kyle, TX, is usually defined as one that hasn’t been occupied for at least 30 consecutive days. If an insurance company determines that it’s vacant, the professional fire damage cleanup and losses won’t be covered by a normal homeowner’s policy. This is because vacant homes are a significantly greater risk of loss than occupied homes, for a few reasons:

  • Damages that occur are often reported later since they are less likely to be noticed, allowing further damage.
  • Vacant or unoccupied homes are more likely to suffer a break-in.
  • The average emergency response times are longer, since unoccupied homes are a lower priority.

Arson Is a Criminal Offense and Insurance Fraud

In all cases, a home fire resulting from arson is a crime. It’s defined as the intentional setting on fire of personal property. If fire investigators determine that the cause of your fire damage is intentional or even suspicious, that will trigger a criminal investigation.
The only time an arson may be covered is if the fire was set without the involvement of either the insured or any additional insured associated with the policy. In other words, if anyone listed on the policy has anything to do with starting the fire or if it was set at the direction of someone on the policy, the damage is not covered.
Often, the lack of coverage for a home fire is only discovered after a loss, and that’s sure a bad time to learn about it! Make sure you are prepared with comprehensive coverage, such as a special vacation home policy if you have a residence you leave vacant for part or most of the year.

Commercial Disaster Services

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Commercial Cleanup is 24 hours, 7 days a week.

SERVPRO of San Marcos/New Braunfels provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Hays and surrounding counties. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment 

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – (830)625-0578

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. 

Storm Flooding Isn’t Always Covered

7/12/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricanes are not covered by insurance home policies

Storm Flooding Isn’t Always Covered

Homeowners take comfort in knowing that they are protected against potential property perils through their insurance. However, many owners overestimate their coverage for flooding. While a homeowner’s policy may cover typical damages incurred during a storm’s high winds and heavy rains, like roof damage, only flood insurance may cover the sewer backup and mold growth caused by the surge. Unfortunately, many people do not purchase these integral policies, leaving their flood claim forever denied. Therefore, it is necessary to understand a homeowner’s coverage and how special policies may help in an emergency.

Wind

Many standard home insurance policies cover wind damage to an extent, meaning that they will cover damages typical to certain severe weather conditions. However, some storms may not be included in these plans, such as hurricanes. For hurricanes or other tropical storms, you may require an addendum to your existing policy or coverage from an outside source.

Water

Water can cause many problems during storms, some of which are covered by typical homeowner's policies. For instance, roof damage is likely covered, and that would include damage caused by standing water or water that made it through the membrane because of wind and debris damage. However, a storm surge that causes extensive flooding along with mold growth or sewer backups will probably require flood insurance.

Restoration

Once you understand what an insurer is likely to cover, you can get an idea of restoration costs. A restoration service in the Sattler, TX, area is likely more than capable of rebuilding your home. While these businesses focus on cleaning and restoring your structure, they will also make suggestions for preventative tools, like storm shutters.
A standard homeowner’s policy may cover typical storm damage caused by high winds and rain, like roof damage. However, most policyholders will require additional coverage for damage caused by storm flooding, like a sewer backup or even mold growth. For these other problems, a property owner will need to make a flood claim, which likely requires a flood insurance policy.

What To Know About Fire Sprinklers

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Install a fire sprinkler system in your Kyle, TX business

A Few Things You May Want to Know About Fire Sprinklers

If you have a business in Kyle, TX, then you may be looking into ways to keep your employees and customers safe. One step you may consider is the installation of a fire sprinkler system in the business property. Here are a few things you may want to know.

There are Several Types of Sprinkler Systems

Depending on your property's needs there are several fire suppression systems that may be available. These include:

  • Dry pipe systems
  • Wet pipe systems
  • Foam water systems
  • Deluge systems
  • Misting systems

Each type of sprinkler is meant for a specific scenario, so you may want to talk to a professional about which installation will best benefit your business property. You may also want to take into account if the building codes in your local area require any specific setup.

Building Codes May Have Specific Requirements

In many cases the local building codes may have specific requirements for any installed fire sprinkler systems. These codes may include placement specifications, requirements for certain types of systems to be used, or specifications for suppressant output.

They May Help Prevent Damage

In many cases having a fire suppression system in your place of business can help mitigate damage in the event of a fire. A sprinkler system puts out less water than a fire hose, but can still control, or even suppress, any fire that might break out. In the event of an emergency, a local restoration professional can help with both fire damage remediation and fire sprinkler cleanup

Choosing a fire sprinkler system that meets local code requirements and works for your building's specific layout is crucial for ensuring your property is well protected against fire damage. Make sure to do your research well before installation and consider consulting with the fire sprinkler professionals. Doing so can help to ensure that your system will perform as needed and meets any requirements for insurance coverage.

Tips for Handling Flushometer Troubles

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Flushometer-operated toilets are popular with commercial establishments

Most Common Problems Affecting Flushometer Toilets

Flushometer-operated toilets are popular with commercial establishments and for good reason. These in-line systems can help minimize flushes and water bills. But they are prone to all the ills that can affect any toilet. From leaks and toilet overflow to endless flushing, here’s a sample of the most common problems affecting flushometer toilets. Learn how to get the toilet at your Buda, TX, property back on track.

What is a Flushometer?

Easily recognizable, flushometers are metal water diverters. They use an inline handle to flush toilets or urinals that don’t feature a tank. In addition, flushometers:

  • conserve space
  • can sometimes require less water to flush

There are a handful of problems common to flushometer toilets, however. Fortunately, whether it’s flushing problems or toilet overflow/toilet floods, your issue may be an easy fix.

Keeps Running

If the toilet keeps running, the issue is likely the stop valve. Look for an elbow-shaped device attached to the flushometer. Pry off the cap and use a screwdriver to shut the valve – simply insert the screwdriver into the tip and turn. This should stop a toilet that keeps running.

Does Not Flush

Failing to flush is one of the most common issues. If it happens, the handle assembly is the first place to look, for signs of jamming or damage. Invest in a handle repair kit and replace the old assembly. If this fails to work, opening the water supply valve and make sure the supply is turned fully on. Finally, your last bet is taking off the flushometer’s cover and checking the relief valve. If it appears damaged, replace it.

Flushometers are commercial bathroom lifesavers but only if they work. When they fail, noise, mess and even toilet overflow are all potential problems that can arise. Try the above tips or call a water expert if your problem is beyond the scope of this article.

How To File a Water Damage Claim

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Arrange for an insurance adjuster to visit

Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim for Water Damage

In the unfortunate event of water damage, you want to make sure that you are handling the situation in the best way possible. Making a water damage claim is an essential step towards having peace of mind in a stressful situation. Here are some useful tips for filing an insurance claim for water damage in your Startzville, TX, home.

1. Review the Policy

Before taking any action, it is necessary to review the homeowners policy right away. Taking this important step can help give you a clearer idea of what your responsibilities are and exactly what to expect during the process. Whether you are dealing with damage from a flood or leak, make sure that you thoroughly read over all of the rules and procedures that you are expected to follow in order to make the job easier for you and your insurer.

2. Arrange for Insurance Adjuster To Visit

Make sure that your insurance company has arranged for an adjuster to visit your home and inspect the damage. When the insurance adjuster comes to your house, he or she will decide how much the insurance company has to pay for the damage after examining your property and asking you some questions. This process is crucial for your insurance claim to be supported, as the cost can vary depending on whether the damage resulted from a pipe burst, storm or other event.

3. Prevent Any Further Damage

Once you have prepared for the adjuster’s visit, you should do what you can to protect your home from additional damage. Take pictures of all signs of damage to support your claim, and then do your part to keep your home safe. Make temporary repairs such as turning off the water supply or having a restoration specialist remove excess water in order to keep any further water damage from causing harm to your space.

Water damage can devastate your property, so be sure to follow these steps for a smoother process when making an insurance claim. Being well prepared can help you have a more successful experience while you work with your insurance company.

Flood Preparation: Tips and Tricks

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

You can limit storm damage by setting up sandbags outside your building

How to Prevent Flooding on Your Property

Storm season in San Marcos, TX, can lead to extensive flood damage in your building. High winds, torrential rain and lightning can be destructive. While it's a good idea to have storm cleanup specialists on speed dial, there are some things you can do to prevent flooding on your property.

Outside the Building

You can limit storm damage by setting up a barrier to water outside your building. Place sandbags in strategic locations:

  • By doors
  • Next to windows
  • Around the perimeter of the building

Sandbags act as temporary levees to slow the flow of floodwaters toward your building. Unless the storm is particularly violent, these barriers should keep your building safe from flooding. Make sure you put them in place in plenty of time so that the storm doesn't arrive before your protection does.

Inside the Building

Strong storms may cause water to rise, particularly in your basement or on lower floors. You can prepare for this possibility ahead of time, though, thus lessening the number of items that have to be restored during flood cleanup.

You can protect valuable items by storing them in waterproof containers on high shelves. Equipment should be elevated off the floor, especially if it's electrical equipment that may be ruined or contribute to a dangerous environment if it is submerged in water. Make sure you have sufficient pumps in your building that can start removing water as soon as the sensors are triggered. You may not be able to prevent all flood damage in your building, but you can significantly decrease it by making sure your most vulnerable items are protected.

You can't control nature, but you can take precautions to fight back. There are measures you can take both inside and outside your building before a storm to lower its chances of flooding. Even if water enters your building, these measures can lower the amount of damage it causes.

Teaching Kids To Escape a House Fire

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

Fire crawl

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.

3 Reasons Mold Keeps Growing in Your Home

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

If you find mold or mildew growing in your home it could be for one reason

Reasons Why Mold Keeps Growing in Your Home

Mold grows when the humidity in your home is higher than 60%. Thanks to moisture in the air, all homes will have a little mold in the air. The situation becomes more serious if you have a common household mold or black mold growing extensively in your home. If you find mold or mildew consistently growing in your home in Kyle, TX, it could be for one of these reasons.

1. Excessive Moisture

Mold thrives in moist areas. Leaking pipes and flooding can cause continuous mold growth. If you find that the mold keeps coming back even after it was removed, it could possibly be because the source of the problem was never taken care of.

Bathrooms are a popular place for mold to grow. Be sure to frequently wash your towels, shower curtain and bath mats to avoid excessive mold or mildew. Using a squeegee after each shower may seem like a pain but can end up saving you from going through the mold removal process down the road.

2. It Wasn’t Properly Removed

Mold that has not been properly removed will most likely become active and continue to grow. This is why it is extremely important to hire a certified environmental hygienist to handle the mold cleanup. They have the proper safety equipment and knowledge to take care of black mold.

3. All Homes Have Mold

The fact of the matter is that all homes have a small amount of mold. If you do an at home testing kit, it will be positive. This is not something to be alarmed about. You should call a mold remediation company when you can visibly see mold growth in your home. Be sure to check the humidity level in your home on a regular basis if you are worried about mold growth.

It is always best to take preventive measures when it comes to mold. If you do end up with excessive black mold growth in your home in Kyle, TX, make sure to call someone right away to take care of the problem.