Recent Posts

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.

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.