Recent Posts

Understanding Mold: An Overview of What it is and How to Prevent it

5/14/2023 (Permalink)

Mold spots growing above a window. Mold requires moisture to grow, and therefore it is important to address any sources of moisture in the home if mold is present.

Mold is a type of fungus that can be found both indoors and outdoors. It is a natural part of the environment and plays an important role in breaking down dead organic matter. However, mold can also cause damage to buildings and homes if it is allowed to grow unchecked.

What is Mold?

Mold spores are microscopic and can be found in the air both indoors and outdoors. They are commonly found in areas with high humidity or dampness, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements. Mold can grow on a variety of surfaces, including wood, drywall, and carpeting.

Identifying Mold

Mold is often visible and can be identified by its fuzzy or slimy appearance. It can come in a variety of colors, including black, green, white, and orange. While some types of mold are harmless, others can be toxic and pose a serious risk.

Types of Mold

There are several types of mold that are commonly found in homes and buildings. Aspergillus is a common type of mold that can be found in soil, plant matter, and other organic materials. It can also grow on walls, insulation, and other building materials. Stachybotrys, also known as black mold, is a type of mold that is often associated with water damage and can grow on materials like wood and drywall. Other types of mold include Cladosporium, Penicillium, and Alternaria. These molds are commonly found in areas with high humidity and can grow on a variety of surfaces.

Preventing Mold Growth

Preventing mold growth can be achieved by addressing any sources of moisture in the home. This can include repairing leaky pipes, ensuring proper ventilation in areas like bathrooms and kitchens, and using dehumidifiers to control humidity levels. Regular cleaning and maintenance can also help to prevent mold growth.

Addressing Mold Presence

If mold is present in the home, it is important to address it promptly. This can include hiring a professional, such as SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch, to remove the mold and address any underlying sources of moisture. It is also important to take steps to prevent mold from returning in the future.

Understanding Mold and Taking Preventative Measures

In conclusion, mold is a type of fungus that can be found both indoors and outdoors. While some types of mold are harmless, others can be toxic and pose a serious risk. Mold requires moisture to grow, and therefore it is important to address any sources of moisture in the home if mold is present. Preventing mold growth can be achieved by addressing sources of moisture, regular cleaning and maintenance, and prompt removal of any mold that is present. By understanding mold and taking preventative measures, homeowners can ensure that their homes remain safe and mold-free.

Get Your Grill Ready for Summer: A Guide to Cleaning Your Grill

4/10/2023 (Permalink)

A house on fire. An uncleaned grill can be a major fire hazard.

Summer is just around the corner, and that means it's time to fire up the grill and enjoy some delicious outdoor cooking. However, before you start grilling up a storm, it's essential to make sure your grill is clean and ready to use. Here are some tips on how to clean a grill and get it ready for the grilling season.

Gather your supplies

Before you start cleaning your grill, make sure you have all the necessary supplies. You'll need a wire brush, a grill scraper, some soapy water, and a sponge or cloth. You may also want to use a specialized grill cleaner or degreaser.

Preheat the grill

To make the cleaning process easier, preheat the grill for about 10-15 minutes on high heat. This will help loosen any stuck-on food and grease.

Scrub the grates

Once the grill is hot, use a wire brush to scrub the grates thoroughly. This will remove any leftover food particles and debris. For extra tough stains, use a grill scraper to scrape away any residue.

Clean the interior

After cleaning the grates, it's time to clean the inside of the grill. Use a soapy water solution and a sponge or cloth to wipe down the interior of the grill. Be sure to remove any grease or other residue that may have accumulated.

Clean the exterior

Don't forget to clean the exterior of the grill too. Use a soapy water solution and a cloth to wipe down the outside of the grill. If your grill has a stainless steel exterior, use a specialized stainless steel cleaner to prevent any scratches or damage.

Clean the burners

If your grill has burners, it's essential to clean them as well. Remove the burners and use a wire brush to scrub away any debris or grease. If necessary, use a specialized grill cleaner or degreaser to remove any stubborn stains.

Check the drip pan

Finally, don't forget to check the drip pan. This is where grease and other debris collect, and it can be a fire hazard if it's not cleaned regularly. Remove the drip pan and dispose of any accumulated debris. If the pan is dirty, use a soapy water solution to clean it.

In conclusion, cleaning your grill is an important part of preparing for the grilling season. By following these tips, you can ensure that your grill is clean and ready to use. Remember to clean the grates, interior, and exterior of the grill, as well as the burners and drip pan. With a little bit of effort, you can enjoy delicious, grilled meals all summer long.

3 Most Common Causes Of A Fridge Leak

3/10/2023 (Permalink)

kitchen water damage A leaking fridge can cause a water loss in your kitchen

The fridge is one of the most vital appliances in your home. It helps you store and preserve food, keeping it fresh so it lasts longer. But what happens when your fridge starts leaking? There are many different reasons for a refrigerator, and here are 3 of the most common causes.

Why you should be cautious of a leaking fridge

A leaking fridge is not something to take lightly. The damage it can cause to your home and wallet is both severe and expensive.

So what should you do if you discover that your fridge is leaking? If it's a minor leak, you can try resolving the issue on your own. If this doesn't work and the leak continues, consider calling in an expert who can help assess whether or not it needs fixing before buying a new one.

1. Malfunctioning Water Supply Line

If your refrigerator is leaking water, it's possible that the supply line has malfunctioned. This can happen for a number of reasons:

  • The hose may be clogged with sediment from calcium or other minerals in your water supply. You'll need to remove any obstructions and then flush out the line.
  • The hose could have been damaged during installation or by accident. If this is the case, you'll need to replace it.

2. Clogged Defrost Drain

The most common cause of a fridge leak is a clogged defrost drain. The fridge has an internal fan that blows air over the coils to keep them cool, and this process also helps prevent ice buildup on the coils. If your defrost drain is blocked, usually by food debris, it can prevent condensation from escaping your fridge. Instead, the water will pool at the bottom or on the shelve of the appliance.

3. Refrigerator is Placed Unevenly

If your refrigerator is placed unevenly, water can pool underneath the fridge and leak out. This is often a result of uneven floors or the fridge isn't leveled. If you suspect this to be the cause of your leaky fridge, call a professional to fix it before more damage occurs.

Knowing the Cause of the Leak is Important

A refrigerator leak can not only cause damage to the appliance itself but also to the floors and walls around it. Water damage, if not mitigated quickly, can cause extensive damage, even from a small appliance leak.

We hope this article has helped you understand the most common causes of a leaking fridge. If you do find yourself with a leak, don't panic! You may be able to fix it yourself if you know what type of problem it is. However, if your refrigerator is still under warranty or if there are other issues with its functionality then we recommend calling in an expert who can help identify and fix the problem as quickly as possible.

Business Interruption when facing Smoke Damage

2/15/2023 (Permalink)

business insurance Business interruption insurance can help cover cost after a disaster in the workplace.

Smoke damage can wreak havoc on your business. It involves more than just the fire itself, with the full scope of damage often only becoming apparent after the smoke has cleared. That's why it's so important to act immediately after a fire occurs in order to prevent further damage to your building and contents. Doing so will limit business interruption and save you time and money in the long run.

Smoke damage can be a real challenge

Smoke damage is serious, but it can be hard to detect and even harder to clean up.

Smoke damage can cause serious fire damage, which will require removal of the drywall and installation of new drywall or other materials by a contractor that specializes in fire remediation and reconstruction. The cost of repairing smoke-damaged areas is often high—hiring an experienced contractor who specializes in this type of work is important because they will know what materials are needed and how best to use them as they work on each area that has been damaged by smoke residue buildup.

Structure Damage

Smoke from a fire can cause serious damage to the structure of your business and critical equipment. Structural damage can be minimized by limiting or eliminating exposure to smoke, heat, or water. Critical equipment should be evaluated and repaired/replaced as necessary after being exposed to high temperatures and smoke. The contents of the building should also be evaluated for damaged items that may require replacement or repair.

The structural integrity of your building may be compromised by smoke damage, making it unsafe for business operations. Smoke damage also causes electrical, plumbing, fire and water damage that can lead to mold growth on your property. These problems could delay your return to business if left unaddressed.

To prevent further loss of income and productivity during this time, you should hire a professional restoration service to clean up the mess as soon as possible. A restoration company will assess the situation within 24 hours after initial contact with you so that they can start work right away with minimal interruption to your daily routine.

Permanent Stains on Content and Equipment

It's important to note that smoke contains acidic particles that can leave permanent stains on your goods and equipment. Smoke damage is also responsible for corrosion, which can cause metal surfaces to rust or corrode. This includes metals like copper and steel, both of which are commonly used in the construction of electronics. Smoke damage can also corrode batteries, which may lead to an explosion if not addressed quickly enough.

In addition, plastics will melt when exposed to high temperatures from firefighting efforts or just from proximity to a blaze itself. In some cases, plastic objects have melted entirely into one another as a result of intense heat exposure, this happens most often with PVC pipes (which contain chlorine). When a pipe melts or collapses during firefighting efforts it can lead to flooding in nearby areas where there is water pressure already present due to water lines connected directly below ground level somewhere else on property grounds (like inside your building).

Act Immediately

That's why it's so important to act immediately after a fire occurs in order to prevent further damage to your building and contents. The sooner you act, the less damage there will be. The longer you wait, the more damage there will be. The longer you wait, the more expensive it will be to fix. And finally: the longer you wait, the more business interruption you will suffer

Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance is a type of coverage that can help you recover from the financial impact of a fire. It can help pay for temporary space, equipment and supplies while your business is being repaired. It can also help you pay for lost income while your business is being repaired.

Business interruption insurance covers some or all losses caused by property damage caused by a fire or vandalism, but not necessarily theft or other criminal acts.

Smoke damage can cause significant business interruption if left untreated. If you suspect your business has been affected by smoke and fire damage, it is important to act quickly. This will help ensure that your company can continue operating until repairs are made.

Signs of a leaking pipe in your home

2/14/2023 (Permalink)

pipe damage Contact a professional for your water damage emergency.

A leaking pipe is not only a huge hassle, but it can also be quite expensive to fix. To avoid the added costs of a repair or replacement project after the fact, it's important to know what signs to look for before calling in a plumber.

Look out for puddles of water.

If you see puddles of water around the home, it's likely that you have a leak. However, it's important to determine whether those puddles are caused by evaporation or a leak before calling in a plumber.

Evaporation can cause small amounts of water to collect on surfaces such as concrete and cement floors. This happens when warm air causes water droplets to evaporate into the air without going through their natural cycle.

Sound of rushing water.

If you hear water running or rushing in your home, that could be a sign of a pipe leak. If you hear gurgling sounds coming from pipes and plumbing fixtures throughout the house, it's likely that there is some sort of blockage in the line or pressure buildup caused by excessive use. Leaks can also cause splashing noises as they spill out onto floors or counters below them.

A change in your water bill.

If you notice that your water bill is higher than usual, or if it's lower than usual, this can mean one of two things, either there is something wrong with the plumbing system and water isn't being used efficiently. In order to determine whether or not this is true, check around water meter for running water.

Wall or ceiling damage.

There are a few signs that you can look for if you suspect a leaking pipe in your home. First, look for drywall or plaster damage on the walls and ceiling of your house. You might also notice water stains on these surfaces as well as cracks in the drywall or plaster. If there is an odor coming from somewhere in your home, this could be another sign of trouble with one of your pipes. Look for these signs in your yard to check for leaks in the underground portion of your plumbing.

Look for these signs in your yard to check for leaks in the underground portion of your plumbing.

  • Look for damp spots on the ground. If you see a moist area that looks like it's been there for more than a few days, there could be a leak somewhere underground.
  • Check for signs of mud or dirt build up around the foundation of your home, especially if it's near an area where water tends to pool (like under a porch). This can indicate that water is seeping into an exterior wall and causing damage to internal walls as well as support beams inside your house that are made from wood rather than concrete or brick.

Be alert for these key signs to catch a problem with your pipes early. It's important to note that not every leak will cause damage to your home or property, but it is best to address them as soon as possible. If you do find evidence of a leaky pipe, contact a professional plumber immediately!

Everything you Need to Know about PPE

1/24/2023 (Permalink)

Man in PPE. SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch is here with the right PPE to make sure everyone stays safe and your property is restored to its original condition.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary for the health and safety of restoration professionals. PPE is designed to protect workers from potential hazards in their workplace. It can also be used to prevent injuries from occurring if a worker does get injured due to exposure to these hazards. In order for restoration professionals to use this gear properly and effectively, it's important that they understand what kinds of equipment exist and why they're needed.

What is PPE?

When you hear the term PPE, it’s likely that you associate it with safety gear. That’s because PPE stands for personal protective equipment. It refers to any type of equipment that will help protect the wearer from certain risks, including those related to chemical hazards and other environmental conditions.

For example, if your job has a lot of exposure to harmful chemicals or involves working in extreme temperatures (like in cold storage), you may need to wear special clothing and gear like goggles and respirators so you don’t hurt yourself on the job.

Who Needs to Use It?

PPE is needed by anyone who works with harmful chemicals, dangerous equipment, or both. For example:

  • Restoration professionals will need to wear PPE if they are using harsh chemicals that are toxic or flammable or working on properties that have suffered from mold, fire, or sewage damage. They may also need protective clothing when using heavy machinery and other tools that can cause injury if not handled correctly.
  • People working in construction, plumbing, and electricity should wear special PPE on the job. 

How to Use PPE

PPE is a collection of gear designed to protect you from dangerous contaminants. It's not just a uniform, mask, gloves, or eye protection—it's all of those things together.

When you're wearing PPE correctly and consistently, they can help keep your body safe from harmful substances on a job site. This is especially important when you're working in contaminated buildings where mold may be present. You need PPE to protect yourself from these materials so that they don't enter your body through the air or via contact with the skin.

Personal Protective Equipment Standards

When it comes to developing standards for personal protective equipment (PPE), organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and many others have a role in writing safety regulations. When these organizations create standards they often have input from associations like the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and ASTM International.

There are also numerous other organizations that develop their own PPE standards including ECG Environmental Consultants Group; the European Committee for Standardization; the Association of Contractors & Consultants U.K.; and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. 

When you need restoration work done in your San Antonio home or business, SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch is here with the right PPE to make sure everyone stays safe and your property is restored to its original condition.

How to Prevent Wildfires?

12/5/2022 (Permalink)

Two men on top of a roof doing inspection of the roof Make sure your roof is in good condition and will resist fire.

Preventing Wildfires

Wildfires are devastating, but they can be prevented by taking simple precautions. Wildfire prevention is a shared responsibility between homeowners, local governments, and the communities in which we live. Here's how you can prevent wildfires in your community:

Pay attention to the fire danger levels.

Know what your local fire danger level is. This will tell you whether or not burning is recommended or not. The different fire danger levels each have their own set of requirements in terms of burning. You can find your fire danger level by googling it with location services on. 

Establish a Defensible Space 

Defensible space is the area around your home that has been cleared of flammable materials. It should be at least 100 feet wide, but trees and vegetation can be removed to make it wider. Defensible space can also be created by removing dead trees and vegetation from around your home. You can create an even larger defensible space by clearing the ground within 200 feet of your home, provided you don't leave any standing dead trees or shrubs within this boundary.

Maintain Your Roof

You should also make sure your roof is in good condition and will resist fire. The roof is the first line of defense when it comes to preventing wildfires, so you want to make sure it's up to par. Check for missing or damaged shingles, loose nails and screws, dry rot, mold, or other signs of decay.

If you have an older home with a metal roof that's showing signs of rusting or corrosion, consider replacing it with new material. Metal roofs are not as fire-resistant as asphalt shingles because metal heats up faster than other materials do (especially at higher temperatures), making them more likely to catch on fire during a wildfire event.

Store Combustibles Appropriately

Store combustibles away from structures. If you have a shed or storage area for wood, paper, and other combustibles, keep them stored in the shed or storage area. Metal sheds are recommended because they are more fire-resistant than wooden structures. Additionally, keep your fuel source at least 30 feet away from any structure on your property to help prevent sparks from starting a fire near your home.

Use Your Grill Appropriately

To keep a fire from getting out of control, it's important that you:

  • Use your grill on level ground. Never use a grill in an area that is uneven. You should also be sure to move the grill away from anything that could catch fire, such as overhanging branches or anything else that could be ignited by sparks.
  • Never leave your grill unattended while cooking or not in use, even if it has been extinguished and cooled down completely.
  • Always use water to extinguish a grill after you are done cooking; never use sand, baking soda, dirt, or any other non-water substance.

Never Leave a Campfire Unattended

If you're setting up a campfire, it's important to make sure that you have done everything possible to ensure that the fire is out before leaving. Do not use dirt to put out the fire--use water instead! Once the flames are extinguished, make sure that you soak the area with water so that no embers remain. If there are any lingering sparks or embers, they could reignite when exposed to oxygen and start another fire. Finally, never leave a fire unattended while camping!

Fires are a natural part of the landscape. However, there are many ways that you can prevent wildfires and protect your home from them. By following these steps, you will be able to reduce the risk of fires in your area as well as keep yourself safe if one ever does start nearby!

If the worse comes to worst and your Alamo Ranch, TX home or business is affected by a fire, call SERPVRO of Alamo Ranch. We will get you back to normal quickly! 

Power Strip - Fire Hazard!

11/10/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch would like to remind everyone of the potential dangers of using power strips. Power strips have become a necessity in the world we live in. Everything runs on electricity and we just plug it in and let it go never realizing how many amps or the load that the power strip can handle.

At this time of the year with the temperatures dropping, some may want to use their small space heaters. If so, DO NOT plug them into a power strip. These devices are not designed to handle the energy load of a space heater and can overheat causing a fire hazard. Plug these devices directly into the wall outlet and never leave it on while nobody is at home.

Have a safe and happy holiday season.

Draining a Flooded Basement

11/9/2022 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement A flooded basement can ruin your property.

Taking Care of a Flooded Basement

A flooded basement can ruin your property. Luckily, it is possible to dry out a flooded basement. If you're prepared for the job and know what to do—along with what not to do—you'll be able to stop the flooding and restore your home as soon as possible.

What Should I Do First If My Basement Floods?

If you have a flooded basement, the first thing you should do is shut off any power sources that may be connected to it. This includes shutting off water valves if you have them in your basement and making sure there are no gas pipes or appliances that can be damaged by a flood.

Next, determine the source of the water (if it was caused by heavy rain or stormwater). If your home has been affected by flooding due to heavy rains or storm drains clogging up with leaves and debris, this will need to be addressed before you can begin cleaning up or hire professionals who specialize in water removal from flooded basements.

1. Pump water out of the basement as soon as possible.

In order to prevent mold growth and other damage, it is important to remove standing water from your basement as soon as possible after it has been flooded. You should use a sump pump or dehumidifier with a pump attachment (available at home improvement stores) to remove any standing water that may be present in your basement. A dehumidifier also helps keep humidity levels low so that mold does not grow on drywall or other surfaces exposed to moisture in your home or business.

Sump pumps are designed specifically for these types of situations: they're made for pumping large amounts of water out of basements because they can handle much more than just what would be coming out of an average sink drainpipe! These devices are fairly inexpensive and easy to install; there aren't many reasons why anyone wouldn't want one installed by their local plumber if they live somewhere prone to flooding during heavy rainstorms or winter thaws.

A wet/dry vacuum is a good tool for sucking up water from your basement. It can also be used to clean up drywall dust, wood shavings, and any other small particulates that are on the floor. If you have a large area of dampness or standing water, consider renting a pump-out system that will remove all the water from your home.

2. Don't run electrical equipment in pooling water.

Don't run electrical equipment in standing water. If you are using a generator to power your home's essential systems during the flood, do not use it in standing water. The National Electrical Code prohibits this practice because of the risk of electrocution from submerged and exposed wires.

3. Start this process as soon as possible to prevent mold from growing.

After taking care of any potential leaks, you can begin draining your basement by removing any furniture or appliances that are in contact with dampness—and anything else that could be affected by standing water if left for too long (for example books, papers). This will make things easier when it comes time to clean up after yourself! You will want to start the process as soon as possible. This will help prevent mold growth and secondary water damage. 

4. Contact a professional for proper cleanup.

If you're in a situation where you need to dry out your basement and remove any standing water, it's important that you contact a professional such as SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch for help.

They will be able to drain the water and make sure it doesn't remain inside the basement. They'll also remove any wet items from the basement, including furniture and carpeting. This is critical because mold can grow on these materials if they aren't dried properly. In addition, professional help will ensure that your belongings are safe while they're being cleaned up after a flood.

If you follow these steps, you can help prevent further damage to your San Antonio basement. If you need more information on how to deal with a flooded basement, contact a professional.

Who Pays for Fire Damage in a Rental Property?

10/7/2022 (Permalink)

Green van parked in a property If you experience damage in your rental home, give SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch.

Fire Damage and Rental Properties

Whether you're a landlord or tenant, a fire can be devastating. But even more so if it happens in your rental property. A fast response and working with the right company to fix the damage are key to minimizing costs and getting back on track quickly.

Structural Damage Is Covered by the Renter

Structural damage is any damage that occurs to the building’s structure and framework. This can be caused by fire, smoke, water, mold, and wind. Damage from these sources can include cracks in walls and ceilings; broken floors or foundations; plumbing leaks; electrical short circuits; buckled walls or ceilings; collapsed plaster or drywall. Structural damage is always covered by the property owner.

Content Damage vs. Structure Damage

The primary difference between content damage and structural damage is that the former is limited to personal belongings, while the latter includes structural components of a building.

Content damage typically refers to damage caused by fire or water, such as smoke-stained walls or ruined clothing. In cases of extreme fire damage where the structure itself can no longer be used for its intended purpose (e.g., if all electrical outlets are destroyed), this type of loss will be considered an example of structural damage.

The landlord is ultimately responsible for paying for any repair costs related to structural damages that occur in their rental property—but this does not extend to tenants' personal belongings: renters are still responsible for replacing items damaged or destroyed by fires or floods even if it results from negligence on their part (for example, leaving candles burning unattended).

Time Is of the Essence After a Fire

The most important thing to remember about fire damage is that time is of the essence. The longer you wait before contacting a restoration company, the more damage your property will sustain and the more expensive it will be for you to get it repaired. It’s always best to call your insurance company as soon as possible after discovering that you have been affected by fire—even if you aren’t sure exactly what happened yet or how bad things are going to get. You should also expect your insurance provider to ask lots of questions about what happened so they can determine whether or not they need additional information from you before they start paying out on claims related to any damages sustained by your rental property due to this incident.

If you do have any doubts about whether or not something qualifies as accidental damage caused by fire, then make sure these doubts are addressed immediately so there isn’t an unnecessary delay between finding out about them and reporting them when talking with your insurer or other relevant parties involved in helping resolve claims relating specifically with these kinds of situations (such as real estate agents).

Call the Professionals

If you are renting a home, your landlord is responsible for the property. If fire or smoke damage occurs in a rental property, it is important to contact a trusted restoration company as soon as possible. This will help to reduce the cost and time to repair.

In addition to personal property losses, rental properties can also experience structural damage from fires. As with most insurance policies, there may be exclusions pertaining to certain types of structures or materials used in building them—and this could lead some landlords into an unfair situation if they were not aware of such exclusions before purchasing their policy. It is critical that landlords make themselves aware of what type of coverage will exist for their tenants after purchasing an insurance policy so that they know how much protection they have when one of their tenants experiences fire damage at home!

As you can see, a fire can cause serious damage to your San Antonio property and belongings. If you experience damage in your rental home, give SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch a call, and we will be happy to help! We work closely with your insurance too, so you don’t have to worry about it.