Recent Posts

What are Flood Cuts?

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Hallway, flood cuts performed on both drywalls On the right side, you see a 2 foot flood cut, on the left, a 4 foot cut.

Whether you’re dealing with flooding for the first time in San Antonio, TX or you’re a veteran storm survivor, there’s always something new to learn. While reading about restoration options, the term “flood cut” may have peaked your interest. Here’s why professionals consider it an essential mitigation technique.

Damage Isn’t Always Obvious

Once a storm has passed and you survey the wreckage, it’s easy to see how high the water level reached. Before you start the demolition stage, though, it’s important to consider a subtle aspect of tear out projects. In the case of drywall, the flooding was likely wicked up well above the visible dirt line. That’s why the standard flood cut for discarding damaged walls is 12 inches above the high water mark.

Amplifying Your Circulation Area 

Even after the waters have receded, you’ll need to work fast to get rid of excess indoor humidity. Those who don’t act decisively risk dealing with widespread contamination and greater repair costs. For this reason, your cleanup and restoration company will put an air movement plan into place. To decide how many fans are needed, where to place them and at what velocity they should be run, a professional will calculate an evaporation rate based on the following parameters:

  • Current ambient humidity
  • Wet material temperature
  • Air movement across moist surfaces
  • Water vapor pressure differential
  • Wet surface accessibility

By using flood cut to open walls well past the water line, you’ll be in a better position to prevent additional damage to structural members and utilities that were left vulnerable by the storm and its aftermath. It’s also part of the process of removing unpleasant odors from your building.

Take Back the Control

Although you may have done everything in your power to take the needed precautions, flooding makes it necessary to work incessantly to get your site back into shape. Extended cuts are key to doing a thorough job to make your facility look and smell like new again.

Pretesting Reduces Your Claims Expenses These 4 Important Ways

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a hallway, left drywall with flood cuts Water cleanup in Alamo Ranch, TX.

Pretesting Saves You Money on Claims in These Four Crucial Ways

A disaster from a fire or flooding is traumatic for your clients and expensive for your insurance company. Fortunately, the pretesting SERVPRO provides can reduce the expenses from an insurance claim saving you and your company time and money. Here's how.

1. Pretesting Professionals Arrive Quickly
Assessment professionals are available around the country and can arrive at an Alamo Ranch, TX, site quickly. They inspect the site for an accurate assessment of the damage. They have the know-how to stop further harm from occurring due to mold growth or intruders. 
Restoration professionals do a complete safety inspection. They alert your customers of any potential risks to keep your clients safe and prevent further harm.

2. They Restore Rather Than Replace
SERVPRO's team members focus on restoring damaged property whenever possible. By restoring rather than replacing damaged property, they save you and your insurance company money. 

3. They Provide a Detailed Assessment
While pretesting, assessment professionals also make a detailed assessment of the damage. They provide a claims inventory complete with photographs. Because they're on the scene, you don't have to be. It saves you time. They provide you with detailed information so that you can process your client's claim accurately, providing them with the help they need while saving your insurance company money.

4. Their Claims Information Center Makes Processing Easier
Every time staff members take a note or a photograph, that information is logged into the claims information center. You as the insurance agent, have access to that information 24/7 at the click of a computer mouse. You'll have the data you need when you need it.
A disaster in the form of a fire or flood or other catastrophes can be stressful for your clients and for you. With the help of professionals, you can help your clients recover and restore their properties "Like it Never Even Happened."

Preparing Your Home for Flood Damage

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Hand with orange glove cleaning a gutter with leaves Keep your gutters clean.

Four Ways To Avoid Flood Damage

Imagine a fierce rainstorm pounding outside your home in San Antonio, TX, waking you from your sleep. You decide to get up to get a snack from the kitchen, but when your bare feet touch the carpet in the hallway, you discover it’s soaking wet, and your linoleum floor in the kitchen is covered in standing water. Could these raging waters have been avoided? Possibly. Here are four ways to avoid flooding and the damage it can bring.

1. Take inventory of your possessions. Make a list of your personal belongings, supported with photographs and/or video. This will be valuable in the event you have to report an insurance claim for flood damage. This inventory should be stored in a waterproof container, with a backup copy in a secure off-site location, such as a safe deposit box.

2. Have your roof inspected and repaired if necessary. It is a good idea to have a reputable roofing contractor inspect your roof for any hidden leaks and make any necessary repairs. This can prevent you from having to make costly repairs at a later time, such as after flooding.

3. Have your trees trimmed. To prevent storm damage caused by overhanging tree limbs blowing against your house, have your trees trimmed ahead of time. Remove any dead limbs or trees. They are more likely to be broken during a storm, leading to damage to your home.

4. Make sure gutters and downspouts are cleaned. Your gutters should be cleaned and any leaks repaired. Check gutters regularly to make sure they are draining properly. Downspouts should be inspected and any clogs removed. To make sure rainwater is directed away from your home, use splash blocks or downspout extension pipes.

Hopefully, your home will never be devastated by flooding. Being proactive and taking steps ahead of time to prepare your home is a decision that can pay off in the long run. In the event that your home does take damage, however, an emergency restoration company can help you in the storm's aftermath.

Emergency Ready Profile (ERP)

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan to be 'Ready for Whatever Happens'.

The Best Way to Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster is to Plan For it NOW.

As many as 50% of businesses close down following a disaster, according to the latest research.  Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place.  Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.  And knowing you are 'Ready for Whatever Happens' speaks trust to your clients and employees that in the event your business is affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action.  Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business.

ARE YOU READY?

Preparation is a key component for making it through any disaster, whether is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood.  The best time for planning for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.  No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it.  Now is the time to ask yourself, "Are you ready for whatever happens?"

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services.  It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information.  By working with SERVPRO's Emergency READY Profile, your business can receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster.  SERVPRO is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage:

-> A no-cost assessment of your facility.
This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost!  The ERP is an absolutely FREE service.

-> A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects.  But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.

-> A guide to help you get back into the building following a disaster.
This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.

-> Establishes SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch as your disaster mitigation restoration provider.
You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and is close by.

-> Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.

-> Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it, and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for Whatever Happens".

-> Completed ERPs are available free of charge in hard copy and electric formats
Every free ERP is available in hard copy or through a free app for tablets, phones, and desktop with a simple registration process.

CALL SERVPRO OF ALAMO RANCH TODAY TO GET STARTED ON YOUR FREE EMERGENCY READY PLAN!  

210-670-9591

San Antonio, Beware the "Silent Killer"

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Carbon monoxide, considered 'the silent killer', is a gas you cannot see, taste, smell.  It can be created when fuels, such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood do not burn properly.  According to the US Fire Administration, around 150 people die every year from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.  Often times, it is the result of faulty, improperly used or vented consumer products like furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters, and engine-powered equipment, such as portable generators.  However, there are precautions you can take to help protect yourself, your family, and your employees from deadly CO fumes.

Reduce the chance of CO exposure in your workplace by performing regular maintenance on equipment and appliances that can produce CO.  Consider switching from gasoline-powered equipment to equipment powered by electricity or batteries.  Prohibit the use of gasoline-powered engines or tools in poorly ventilated areas.

To protect your home, install carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the home, including outside of all bedrooms.  Consider having all fuel-burning heating equipment and chimney serviced annually by a professional.  Use portable generators only in well-ventilated areas away from doors, windows, vents, and any other openings to prevent fumes from entering the home.

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

How do I create an office emergency escape plan?

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

chalk outline of escape plan on green backboard An Emergency Action Plan can help protect you, your employees, and your business.

Emergency Escape Plans for Business

Although an emergency escape plan is not required for all businesses, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends building an emergency action plan to protect yourself, your employees, and your business during an emergency situation.  OSHA suggests the following steps when developing such a plan.

ORGANIZE AN EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS PROCEDURES REVIEW WITH EMPLOYEES TO REVIEW YOUR COMPANY'S EMERGENCY PLANS.  You may wish to select an individual or team of individuals to lead and coordinate your emergency plan.

ONCE A PLAN IS DEVELOPED, POST EVACUATION PROCEDURES, INCLUDING ROUTES AND EXITS, WHERE THEY ARE EASILY ACCESSIBLE TO ALL EMPLOYEES.  Ensure all exits and routes are clearly marked and well lit, wide enough to accommodate the number of evacuating personnel, and unobstructed and clear of debris at all times.

CONDUCT OFFICE EVACUATION EXERCISES AND DRILLS.  Designate a safe spot outside of the facility where employees can regroup, recover, and conduct a head count.  Once completed, evaluate how well the plan worked and if additional training or exercises are needed. 

Tips provided by the National Fire Protection Association.

3 Ways to Discover Growth in Your Air Ducts

7/28/2022 (Permalink)

Mold is everywhere. There is no such thing as a mold-free environment. Without regular HVAC cleaning in your commercial property in San Antonio, however, it could attach to the dust molecules in your air ducts and result in poor air quality. You can usually see or smell an insidious mold problem, but to be certain, you can also have your HVAC system tested for mold.

1. Professional Testing

The most thorough and foolproof method for discovering whether or not there is a mold problem in your air ducts is to have your building professionally tested. This process can be a little costly, but it is well worth the price if it means you catch the problem early before mold causes damage to various parts of your HVAC system. It is less expensive in the long run to pay for minor mold testing and HVAC cleaning than to incur the cost of the extensive damage that could result from a long-term mold issue.

2. Visual Survey

There are two things that you should be on the lookout for when you check for mold. Of course, seeing patches of mold itself when cleaning vents is a clear sign that you need mold remediation. Another issue to watch for is excess moisture. If you see any condensation or if the building is extra humid, you may have found a breeding ground for mold.

3. Olfactory Cues

If your commercial building in San Antonio, smells musty or reeks of mildew, chances are that you may have a mold problem. You can run an informal test of whether the problem is in your air ducts or not. Turn your HVAC unit off for a little while. After you turn it back on, compare the intensity of the mildew smell. If it smells stronger when the unit is on, you may have pinpointed the location of the growth.

Whether you see it, smell it or test for it, a mold issue must be remediated. A professional HVAC cleaning can improve air quality by ridding your system of mold growth.

For more on San Antonio click here.

Commercial Fire Damage - Essentials

5/17/2022 (Permalink)

What You Should Know About Commercial Fire Damage

An individual who loses their fortune through an electrical fire can be starting one of the worst times of their life. Fire is a disastrous event that could destroy the whole business. Not only do you suffer the fire damage to the structure itself, but you can also lose crucial business assets, such as office furniture or electronics. When a company could stand to lose a large amount of goods due to soot damage and smoke smell, it is good to stop heavy losses before they become too severe.

Emergency Contact

Having an emergency fire restoration contact is crucial when you’re facing a fire damage situation. SERVPRO is always here to help when you need them most. Consider adding us to your list of emergency contacts. This can be advantageous, because we can reduce the risk of ongoing rooftop damage. Damaged rooftops can lead to rainwater entering the business, or possible electrical fires. It is always best to aim to reduce the losses your company might suffer as much as possible. That’s our goal too! The faster we can get out to you, the less likely it is that you will suffer massive damage from a disaster.

Assessment

After you schedule an appointment with SERVPRO a restoration technician will check on the extent of soot damage, and to what extent the fire spread. The amount of smoke damage on the property is directly proportional to the amount of fire that was in the business. Most fire damage and smoke damage destroys cabinets and interior walls of the business premises, the technician will check all of this to further reduce the spread of the fire damage, therefore minimizing the cost of redecoration and reconstruction.

Please visit www.SERVPROalamoranch.com, or give us a call at (210)-670-9591 for more information on fire damage.

Hoarding: A Serious Condition

5/15/2022 (Permalink)

Technician in full protective gear A technician wears a white Tyvek suit, gloves, mask and goggles

According to The Mayo Clinic, "Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items, regardless of actual value, occurs." Many people with hoarding disorder do not find their habits to be a problem.

Hoarded items are often things other would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail, or packaging.

Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats, and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.

SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch encounters hoarding situations several different ways. Often we are called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when we arrive on site. Web will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored so that the work can begin on the fire or water loss.

SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch also encounters hoarding jobs through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items of importance while they clean the job. Sometimes family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.

Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations. If you encounter a hording situation and are looking to make it "Like it never even happened." Call SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch at 210-670-9591.

Source: Restoration Newsline Volume 30, Issue 6

Restoration 101: Identifying and Repairing Damage-Prone Spots After Heavy Rain

5/10/2022 (Permalink)

Blue tarp secured to a flat roof Blue tarp secured to a flat roof

While storms may be exciting to watch, their high winds and torrential rainfall can cause severe damage to homes and businesses. There are several things for restoration contractors to look out for following a heavy rain, such as;

Roof or Awning damage: when heavy rains or storms occur, things like branches, small rocks and other debris can damage your roof, even if the storm is not very severe.

Water and mold damage: When there’s a heavy storm, if your home is not secured adequately against the rain, then water can infiltrate and damage your home even if the standing water recedes after the initial storm. Damp floors and walls can lead to mold and mildew. Keep an eye out for any water entering your home during or after a storm.

Clogged drainage systems outside the property: With heavy rains and high winds come a lot of debris scattered about. This debris, usually leaves, branches and other small minutia, can and will get stuck in drainage ditches and sewer lines on your property. This can be especially tricky, because if you have another loss, it might not be something that you immediately think to check.

The crew at SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch is experienced, intuitive, and expertly trained on everything to watch out for after a storm. Call SERVPRO of Alamo Ranch at 210-670-9591 to assist with any water related damage!