Making and Keeping the Home Safe: Seven Simple Steps
Here to help!
Summary: SERVPRO of Bent Tree offers seven simple steps to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in the home.
Recently, a new strain of the coronavirus has been in the news, COVID-19. What is COVID-19? Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
The disease has spread globally since 2019, resulting in the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic. A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population.
Common symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Muscle pain, mucus, and sore throat are some of the less common symptoms. While the majority of the cases result in mild symptoms, some do progress to pneumonia and more serious illness. The fatality rate is estimated at between 1% and 5% but varies by age and other health conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness.
This infection, as with other infections, is spread from one person to others through respiratory droplets, often produced during coughing. Once a person has been exposed to COVID-19, the onset of symptoms is generally between 2 and 14 days, with an average of 5 days.
SERVPRO of Bent Tree encourages everyone to protect themselves and others by taking steps such as are suggested here by the CDC. The CDC recommends that people:
- Washing hands often with soap and water or using a hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Seek medical attention if one becomes sick, then self-quarantine until recovery.
- Cover the mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or use the inside of the elbow.
- Wear a facemask if one becomes sick.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
What can families do to protect their homes and prevent the outbreak of COVID-19 or other infectious diseases?
Implementing a consistent path of prevention helps keep a household safe. Washing hands with real soap for at least 20 seconds is a top priority. Quarantining sick family members can contain the illness. Avoid eating or drinking after each other. Use the dishwasher or disposable cups and plates. Caregivers would do well to wear disposable gloves when taking care of sick family members. These measures are very basic, yet they go a long way to keep the family healthy and happy.
When is it time to call in a professional cleaning service to clean, disinfect, and sanitize a home?
Seek advice and assistance from a highly trained, well-informed, and experienced cleaning professional to answer this question. It may be that the danger of re-infection is absent or very low. A competent cleaning professional can provide prevention strategies for a family, as well as a business, school, daycare, or church. People recognize SERVPRO as the industry standard for water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, and disaster recovery. The SERVPRO team also specializes in commercial and residential cleaning at a level that exceeds other cleaning services. Using advanced cleaning tools, technologies, and techniques, the SERVPRO professionals clean to the deepest level. They follow CDC guidelines and use only safe, hospital-grade cleaning solutions that wipe out germs and bacteria.
When SERVPRO comes into a home for a deep clean to address germs and infection, they offer a whole-house solution that includes disinfecting all floors and flat surfaces. Cleaning air ducts, the HVAC system, and blinds remove dust and mites that can cause or worsen a reaction. COVID-19 causes inflammation in the entirety of the lungs. Removing dust reduces exposure to particles that cause or exacerbate inflammation. SERVPRO can clean drapes, upholstery, and carpet where dust, dirt, and germs hide.
Also, when sickness has affected multiple family members in a home, sometimes a professional response is called for. Removing pathogens such as COVID-19 and allergens such as dust might be just what is needed for everyone to get better.
SERVPRO can make any home look, smell, and feel clean and fresh while also making it a sanitary and safe environment. Most people think of a flooded basement, a sewage spill, a fire, or disaster recovery when they think of SERVPRO. However, the professionals at SERVPRO have been providing deep cleaning and regular maintenance for businesses, schools, daycares, nursing homes, churches, and homes for decades. They are the pros who know how to serve.
When a SERVPRO team leaves a site, whether it is a commercial building, a school, a daycare, or a residence, the client can rest assured that their home, school, or business is clean, disinfected, and sanitary. SERVPRO professionals have received advanced training in restorations, cleanups, and cleaning maintenance.
For more information about cleaning services in Bent Tree, TX, call SERVPRO of Bent Tree at (972) 386-3808.
We are Cleaning Experts-
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Bent Tree (Far North Dallas), 972-446-0383
How to spot Water Damage in your home.
In general, a house is one of the biggest investments you will make in your lifetime. In order to protect that investment, you should vigilantly look out for household problems and address them before they worsen.
One such dreaded homeowner issue is water damage. If left unattended, residential water damage can detrimentally impact the structure or spawn other complications, including mold that poses a health risk to inhabitants. Here are several methods for detecting water damage within your house.
1. Check the Floors
No matter what kind of flooring you have, it will manifest signs of water damage. For tile and wood, look for cracked, buckling or warped flooring. When it comes to carpet, be wary of damp spots, gradual rises, soft spots or the smell of mold and dampness.
2. Look for Stains
Water stains on the floor around the bathtub, toilet or sink, as well as stains on ceilings and walls, are some of the most obvious signs of water damage. Unusual stains could indicate there is a leaky pipe or drain inside the wall. Cracks in the drywall or areas that appear swollen and are soft to touch also may signify trouble. Peeling paint is another sign of loose water within wall spaces. As the drywall gets saturated, paint can lose adhesion.
3. Inspect Outside
Observe the exterior of your house. What you want to look for are pools of standing water that can indicate poor drainage in the yard, gutter spouts that aren’t transporting water far enough from the house or leaky rain gutters. Any of those issues could threaten the foundation of your house. Additionally, common signs of water damage on the roof may include pools of water; cracked, curled or missing shingles; or broken flashing.
4. Watch for Rust and Mold
Inspect your water heater and check for rust on the tank or damp spots on the floor. A rusted tank could indicate a slow leak. Additionally, corrosion around pipe connections could be caused by water seepage. Visual signs of active mold growth mean moisture is contacting microscopic mold spores, often in the nooks and crannies of your home. Finally, don’t rely solely on sight. When water stagnates, mold and bacteria can grow, producing a musty, unpleasant smell.
If you are looking for water damage mitigation contact the experts at SERVPRO of Bent Tree today for all you property restoration needs.
Signs of Mold
Mold on Basement Wall.
Signs of Mold-
Signs of mold can mean you need a mold inspection. If mold is hidden then you will only find out about it by noticing mold signs.
By noticing mold signs you can find mold early. This can save you a lot of money and a lot of trouble, since you can stop mold before it becomes a much bigger problem.
Another sign of hidden mold is a moldy smell. If the smell is worse in certain rooms then the mold is probably growing near that area.
If the mold smell gets worse when the air conditioning or heating is on then there could be a mold problem in the HVAC, or in your air conditioner or heater.
Sometimes people see mold without realizing. You might have to look closely to identify mold. People often have mold growing in their bathroom, on the grout between tiles. However they do not realize it is mold.
People also might ignore small amounts of mold, even though they can see it. However small amounts of mold means there is enough moisture for mold to grow. It can mean there is more mold in the home.
For example, mold hidden behind a wall eventually grows through. This leads to small spots of mold on the inside wall.
Another potential mold sign is humidity. High humidity can lead to condensation and water accumulation. Things also take longer to dry out when the air is humid. Some molds can live off humidity in the air.
A humidity level above 60% can lead to mold growth. It's best to keep humidity between 30% and 60%. You can buy humidity monitors to keep an eye on the humidity in your home.
If you live near water, such as the coast or a lake, the humidity may be high. Using air conditioning and HVAC can also change the humidity levels indoors.
Condensation may create moisture problems, because the water from condensation can build up. Condensation is also a sign of humidity.
Condensation often occurs on cold surfaces, such as windows and metal pipes. This is because when water vapour in the air touches a cold surface, it cools and becomes liquid.
If you often see condensation, it could be a sign of a moisture problem, and perhaps a mold problem.
Water leaks can be a sign of mold. Leaks in pipes and roofs are the most common. Cracks in walls can also let in moisture. Leaking taps can also create moisture problems.
Leaks are often hidden (for example inside wall cavities or in the attic). If a leak is undetected for a long time, it is very likely to cause mold. If you discover a leak then you should check for mold.
Leaking Roof or Attic
Signs of a leaking roof are water damage on the ceiling below the attic. There will also be signs of water damage in the attic.
Cracks and splits in the roof are another sign. Beams that have gotten moisture in them become weakened. This can lead to the roof sagging.
Another sign you could have mold is if your house has been flooded in the past. Flooding that left materials, like drywall, wet for more than 24 hours probably caused mold.
Past flooding can be a sign you have hidden mold (eg inside wall cavities). It can also be a sign of mold problems in the basement.
The basement is one room which usually doesn't get much ventilation. It is usually cold too, which can lead to condensation. Water can end up running down into the basement, also. If it floods, the basement is usually the worst affected room.
If you notice your basement is often damp, this could be a sign of a mold problem.
Another sign of a water problem is water stains on walls, ceilings and other surfaces. Often stains will be yellowish. If there is mold growing the stain might be darker.
Ceiling leaks often cause water stains in the walls and ceiling. Stains around windows can also be a sign of water intrusion.
Each morning at 8:00 am sharp, the entire staff of SERVPRO of Bent Tree begins with a meeting in our conference room. We use this morning meeting to discuss the calls that have come in from the previous day and to assess what work is scheduled for the day ahead. This daily meeting is just one example of the team approach SERVPRO takes in providing quality work to our customers. As the Corporation celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we take the corporate theme of “One Team” to heart by making sure that all team members, from the front office to the crew of technicians, know that they each play a role in getting the job done. SERVPRO of Bent Tree is locally owned and is recognized as a Top 100 franchise among over 1700.
SERVPRO handles restoration work on both residential and commercial structures for damage from water, fire, smoke, sewage, and mold. Many of our jobs come from everyday mishaps such as leaky supply lines, busted pipes or backed-up toilets. We have staff members who deal directly with insurance claims submitted for damages and with an on-site showroom of flooring samples, tiles, cabinetry and more, we can take the stress out of getting a property back to preloss status.
One service SERVPRO offers to businesses is the Emergency Ready Profile (ERP) mobile app. Business owners can schedule a free, no strings attached appointment with an account manager to assess their properties and identify where shutoffs are located and whom to call should disaster strike. Having an ERP can help give business owners peace of mind should they need to take days away from their property for vacations or other absences.
We're a business no one hopes to need, but our hope is that we can assist both homeowners and business owners to be prepared, and to know who to call in such an emergency.
We are always here to help!
How is Hail Formed?
Hail storms occur as a result of severe thunderstorms. Hail forms when the strong updrafts in thunderstorms send falling precipitation back towards the top of storm clouds, where temperatures are below freezing. Drops of precipitation freeze, forming small hailstones, which continue to grow as they rise and fall with the storm drafts. Hail finally falls to the ground when the winds can no longer support the weight of the hailstones.
When and where do hail storms occur?
Hail storms are more likely to occur in the spring and summer months, when temperatures and humidity soar, creating ideal conditions for thunderstorms and, therefore, hail.
If your property is damaged during a hail storm and you need advice on the restoration process, please give SERVPRO of Bent Tree a call at 972-446-0383.
The Do's and Don'ts of Fire and Smoke Damage!
Seek professional advice after a fire in your home.
While fire damage restoration is better left in the hands of professionals, there are some things you can do on your own. Take note, however, that DIY fire restoration is something you want to do only when the severity of the fire and smoke damage is small.
Fire damage can be a devastating experience both for home and business owners. Fire damage is difficult to overcome and repair, but there are simple things you can do to motivate the process. When you’re wondering what to do after a fire, here’s a look at things to do (and things not to do) during the fire clean-up process.
HOW TO CLEAN SMOKE OFF WALLS AND CEILING
In the aftermath of a house fire, you might be tempted to start cleaning your home right away. However, take note that cleaning smoke damage, as well as fire damage, involves some health and safety precautions. Before getting started, call a fire marshal to know whether it is safe to enter your home.
Be sure to open doors and windows whenever possible to allow air to circulate when performing a fire and smoke cleaning project. Toxic fumes and chemical compounds from burnt objects can harm your health. Wear proper gear and clothing, including gloves and mask. Additionally, place a drop cloth, plastic sheet or tarp on the floor to prevent the soot stains from the ceilings.
The first step on smoke damage repair is to clean loose soot on the surface of the walls using a vacuum cleaner. Aside from using a vacuum, effective soot and smoke cleaner is a dry chemical sponge. Wipe the soot off the walls and ceilings. Trisodium Phosphate (TSP) is another effective cleaning solution. Add a tablespoon of TSP in gallon warm water. Using a sponge, wipe off the soot vigorously from your walls and ceilings. Alternately, you can mix a solution of white vinegar and warm water to clean soot.
CLEANING SMOKE DAMAGE FROM HOUSEHOLD TEXTILES AND CLOTHING
Many people struggle with how to get smoke damage out of clothes.
- The first step to cleaning smoke damaged clothes is to remove those that are beyond repair. Next, sort the smoke damage clothes according to their fabric type and washing instruction.
- Remove as much soot as you can before washing the clothes with water. This can be done by giving each clothing item a gentle shake or using a vacuum cleaner.
- Different types of fabric require different methods of removing soot and smoke damage. For example, 50/50 polyester-cotton blend is best cleaned using a liquid detergent while 65/35 polyester-cotton blend may require powder detergent and bleach.
- Lastly, deodorize your clothes. Even after washing and drying clothes and household textiles, they may still have a residual smoke smell. Usually, it will take up to five launderings before the smoke odor is fully removed.
REMOVING SMOKE ODOR FROM YOUR HOME
Even after a fire cleanup, the odor from smoke can linger for long if not addressed properly. In fact, odor removal is the most exhaustive part of fire damage cleaning.
The best way to clean smoke damage is to remove soot and charring. Of course, you first want to asses the extent of the damage and whether it is more practical or reasonable to hire a professional or do it on your own.
It is critical to remove the source of the odor. Items that can no longer be salvaged should be discarded immediately while those that can still be rescued should be cleaned as soon as possible. To clean them, you will need a wet sponge for hard, porous surfaces and a dry sponge for hard, less porous surfaces. Use air movers to improve ventilation.
Thoroughly clean all furniture and other items in your home to get rid of the smoke odor. Mix a solution of water, some baking soda, vinegar, and detergent to clean various surfaces. You can also place odor absorbers such as charcoal, baking soda, odor-neutralizing gel beads, and an air purifier. You can use air freshener or scented air filter as well.
DOS FOR FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION
Your checklist for after a fire should contain certain non-negotiable tasks, including:
- DO contact a certified restoration specialist: Make sure you immediately contact a certified fire and smoke restoration professional for remediation services
- DO turn off utilities: Turn of water, electricity, gas, and any other utilities until a professional can evaluate if any of these systems were damaged during the fire.
- DO break out the vacuum: A professional should provide service, but you can enhance the professional’s chances of success by doing the first pass on your own. Use a vacuum with a brush attachment and go over your upholstered furniture. Your furniture will look better as soon as the soot is removed. Also, cover your furniture with a sheet if you need to sit on it while waiting for professional help. This will prevent the soot and ash from grinding into your upholstery.
- DO address your carpets, floors, and countertops: Give similar treatment to your carpets. Vacuum them for an immediate and superficial improvement over the damaged state. It will help prevent soot from grinding deeper into the carpet’s roots. Countertops and hardwood floors should be wiped clean to prevent the soot from deeply staining and clinging to the surfaces.
- DO check your appliances: Your utilities should be off. Make sure empty your freezer and refrigerator, and leave the doors open to prevent mold and mildew. Likewise, winterize your plumbing and drain your hot water heater and boiler. In the absence of heat during the fire damage restoration process, fluids can freeze and cause burst pipes and other damage.
- DO take care of pets: Remove pets from your fire-damaged home. Lingering soot and smoke can be harmful to them.
DON’TS FOR FIRE DAMAGE RESTORATION
Your checklist should also include several things to avoid at all times, including:
- DON’T use your AC, heater or electronics: Wait until a professional arrives on the scene — same with electronics like the television, computers and DVD players. Turning on electronics can create greater damage.
- DON’T clean walls or clothing: Also, do not clean walls, ceilings and other similar surfaces, and wait to clean your clothing and similar garments. A professional should examine them first and provide advice.
- DON’T eat leftover food: Never eat anything that was in the home during the fire. It is most likely not safe to consume due to contamination from smoke, soot, or contaminants introduced to the environment when the fire was being extinguished.
- DON’T wipe away powder from extinguishers: Forgo trying to clean up any staining from the powder discharged by a fire extinguisher. It is best to let professionals guide the clean-up of these areas.
These are some basic guidelines for preventing further damage and get a head start on cleanup, but they are not a substitute for professional restoration services. When in doubt, wait for the professionals. Upholstery, carpets and counters are fine to begin cleaning, but the rest is best left to the pros. And remember, never reenter a home until it has been cleared by the fire department or other local officials.
Only when you have been given a “go” signal by a fire marshal should you consider to start the clean up after fire damage. Always practice proper caution when handling fire restoration work. Wear proper clothing, gloves, and mask. The walls and ceilings are the surfaces that are most commonly damaged by fire and smoke. Insulation should be removed and replaced at any instance of a house fire.
Seeking professional fire restoration services is highly recommended if the extent of the damage is serious enough to address on your own.
ALWAYS CALL AN EXPERT
If you’re wondering what to do after a fire, it’s always tempting to start the cleanup process immediately, and do as much as possible. The best course of action is to hire a certified professional to provide expert knowledge and service. The situation requires specialized equipment and knowledge that only a professional can provide. A trusted professional will offer an after-fire checklist that will help speed along the fire and smoke damage cleanup process. Consulting a professional will help you restore your property back to like-new condition as quickly as possible.
SERVPRO of Bent Tree (Far North Dallas) is always HERE to HELP! You can reach us at 972-0446-0383!
What To Do Until Help Arrives -Water Damage At Your Home
Flood Water can be Dangerous
If you experience a water damage or flood at your home, there are steps that you can take to minimize damage to your property and keep your family safe while you wait for help to arrive.
First, determine if it is safe to remain in your home. Water and electricity are a deadly combination and it is vital that homeowners understand these risks after a flood. Avoid areas of standing water where there are electrical outlets or devices. Never enter a room where you can see sparks or hear popping or buzzing sounds. If you see downed power lines, avoid them and contact your local power company immediately. If the flood waters have come in contact with any of your appliances, wiring, electronics or HVAC equipment, always have these items inspected to determine whether they are damaged or safe for use.
Also, be aware of areas where standing water or moisture have made areas slippery. It's better to avoid these rooms rather than risk a dangerous fall. Avoid rooms where ceilings are wet and sagging.
While you wait for help to arrive, remove any moisture you can from furniture and by mopping up floors if possible. Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions and remove brightly colored rugs from wet carpeting. Pick up books, magazines and other items from the floor and if possible hang wet fabrics. Be aware that items become very heavy when wet. If you are unsure about whether you can safely move your belongings, wait for the restoration specialists at SERVPRO to handle the job!
We at SERVPRO of Bent Tree understand that when you experience a flood or water damage in your home, you need help NOW. Call us at 972-446-0383 and our crews will be onsite quickly to start the drying process and make your home "Like it never even happened."
Do you have an Emergency Ready Plan for your Business in 2020?
Are you Prepared?
With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster or a water or fire damage to strike, but you can be better prepared if you have SERVPRO of Bent Tree in Far North Dallas set up an “Emergency Ready Plan”. With an ERP in place, your business is "Ready for whatever happens," in 2020.
In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize the business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas.
The ERP also establishes SERVPRO of Bent Tree's professional team as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider, giving you access to more than 50 years of experience and a system of more than 1,700 franchises strong.
The ERP is a no-cost assessment. By downloading the SERVPRO READY mobile app, this important information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting immediate help right at your fingertips.
Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in your building faster following a disaster. Don't wait until disaster strikes- resolve to be READY by contacting SERVPRO of Bent Tree today to establish your Emergency Ready Profile and be "Ready for whatever happens" in 2020.
Smoke and Fire Damage Restoration
Furniture Damaged by Smoke.
The first substantial step is calling a knowledgeable fire damage restoration expert to assess the damage and develop an action plan to restore your home. The quicker you act, the faster we can get your family back into and comfortable in your home.
SERVPRO of Bent Tree in North Dallas is a preferred restoration company for many major insurance carriers meaning we have the experience and knowledge of working with your insurance company and adjusters. You have enough stress, let us offer our expertise and get you back into your home.
What does the Experience of SERVPRO of Bent Tree mean for You and Include?
It means you will be treated with dignity, respect, and receive customer service above your expectations.
Our experience includes:
- Securing your home and any belongings that may still be salvageable.
- Repair and restore any portions of the home to the original condition.
- Keep you informed the entire process of what is upcoming
- Deodorizing and neutralizing the smoke and soot damage.
- Work with your insurance company to get your home back to its original condition.
Moreover, the following services are completed concerning your home and its mitigation and restoration:
- Complete Structure Repair & Rebuild
- Odor control and deodorization to remove all traces of smoke odor
- Board-Up Structure / Temporary Fencing / On-Site Security
- Debris Removal
- Structural Drying
- Soot, smoke and residue removal
- Carpentry / Structure repairs
- HVAC Cleaning and Decontamination
One call to SERVPRO of Bent Tree in North Dallas can offer you the peace of mind that comes from knowing professionals are on the job and restoring your smoke damaged home to the home you once loved!
You can reach us by calling 972-446-0383 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.