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Tips to Help Educators Handle Property Damage at Schools and Educational Facilities

9/5/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth offers tips to help schools and educational facilities deal with a property damage disaster.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth rapidly provides cleanup and damage restoration services to schools suffering a property damage disaster. The SERVPRO team understands that the impact of property damage not only interrupts the educational process, but it also disrupts the fabric of a community.

Educational activities touch every area of life. From the youngest students in K-4 elementary to local technical colleges and the largest universities, education is a part of life. Thirty-five colleges are located within fifty miles of Keller, TX, with a total enrollment of almost 430,00 students. Extended interruptions of the daily school schedule send shockwaves throughout the community, affecting thousands of people and businesses. A fire damage, smoke damage, water damage, or storm damage disaster can bring life to a halt. If the water damage disaster is extensive but not severe enough to halt classes, a mold infestation can shut down the educational facility until the hazard is remediated. Every day the institution is empty, the hardship on families and the community increases. A rapid response and a quick cleanup and restoration are top priorities if educational activity is to return to normal.

A water damage disaster can flood tens of thousands of square feet of classroom and activity space if the leak goes undetected over a weekend or vacation period. A burst water pipe or fire sprinkler malfunction on an upper floor can flood the entire complex. A massive response is needed to address the scale of the disaster. Principals, facility managers, and custodial staff charged with the care of the facility should consider SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth as a dedicated service provider in case of a property damage disaster in Park Glen, TX, or surrounding areas. Because SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is a member of a large franchise family, the SERVPRO response can not only be rapid, but it can also be massive to meet the challenge of an extensive fire damage, smoke damage, and water damage disaster. Dozens of crews can respond within hours, with the first crews arriving in about an hour to begin the cleanup and restoration.

When school officials pre-qualify SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth as the dedicated provider, a disaster response plan can be formulated to deal with any size and type of disaster. A team of property damage restoration specialists arrives on the scene, poised to take action. For large-scale disasters, a central command and control center can be set up to direct the efforts. A detailed and well-documented estimate is created that will prove useful for the insurance claims process. SERVPRO leads the way when it comes to large-scale deployments to clean up and restore large-scale disasters.

What to Be on the Alert for Following Fire, Smoke, and Water Damage in a School

A water damage disaster involves more than wet floors or sagging ceilings. Water finds its way between walls, under flooring, and into HVAC ducts and crawl spaces. In a fire damage disaster, smoke and soot contamination remains well after the flames are put out. Water damage restoration involves so much more than a few hours of filling and emptying a wet-dry vacuum until the visible water is removed. Likewise, a fire damage cleanup and restoration effort requires more than the removal of smoke with fans. School officials and property maintenance staff need to be aware of the following issues when dealing with a property damage disaster.

#1. Pay attention to persistent unpleasant odors.

A water intrusion creates a scenario where stagnant moisture and mold can become an issue in about a day or two. Pathogens in the carpet multiply exponentially in the presence of excess moisture, leaving behind a musty, mildewy smell. Smoke and soot leave behind a different set of odors depending on the different items and materials that were burned. These odors can be difficult to eliminate entirely.

#2. Look for damage to instructional materials and equipment.

Textbooks, electronics, and other educational materials are at risk when exposed to water, fire, smoke, and soot. If immediate attention is not given to these damaged items, they may not be salvageable.

#3. Inspect classrooms and activity areas for damaged furniture.

Heat, smoke, and contaminated water from a fire can render plastic, wood, and cloth furniture useless or unsafe. The key to salvaging rather than replacing furniture is quick action with state-of-the-art equipment, cleaning techniques, and deodorizing and sanitizing solutions.

#4. Contaminated food and water must be discarded.

When external floodwater enters an educational facility, the cleanup and restoration stakes are high. Floodwater is heavily contaminated, often with E. coli and other harmful pathogens. If floodwaters have affected water foundations, food stores, and the cafeteria, the problem is serious and requires skill, knowledge, and the right equipment and cleaning products to make the learning environment clean, safe, and odor-free.

#5. Watch and smell for a mold infestation.

A mold infestation can erupt in 24 to 48 hours. A musty mildew smell and black, green, or brown stains indicate mold growth. Physical contact with and inhalation of mold spores is to be avoided. A professional cleanup and restoration company with experience dealing with mold will anticipate the likelihood of a mold problem and address it immediately.

#6. Be aware of fire and electrical risk hazards.

A water intrusion from a roof leak is inevitable where educational facilities have tens of thousands of square feet of roof space. A roof leak creates slip-and-fall risks and can also lead to electrical hazards. Only authorized personnel should enter areas affected by the water intrusion or flash flooding.

How to Prepare for a Fire, Smoke, or Water Damage Disaster

The best course of action is to pre-qualify a reputable, locally owned, bonded, and insured property damage cleanup and restoration company, before disaster strikes. Unnecessary delays allow the damage to spread, increasing the scope and expense of the project. A rapid response, quick cleanup and restoration, and the capacity to scale to address the disaster are crucial.

For more information about the property damage restoration company, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth, TX, by emailing office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com. The office can also be reached by calling (817) 741-5737.

Why Dish Soap in the Dishwasher Is a Recipe for a Water Damage Disaster in the Kitchen

9/5/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth highlights the consequences of using dish soap in the dishwasher. The team also offers water damage restoration services to clean up the water damage disaster that results.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth explores the consequences of using standard dish soap in a dishwasher and offers tips on what to do if a water damage disaster occurs when dish soap finds its way into the dishwasher. On occasion, the dishes in the dishwasher need to be washed, but the supply of dishwasher detergent or soap tabs is depleted. With the best of intentions, the homeowner, in desperation, loads the soap compartment with standard dishwashing soap, closes the door to the dishwasher, and starts the cycle. However, the water damage consequences of using standard dish soap can be disastrous.

The experts at House Digest report: “The most important reason why you should never substitute dish soap for dishwasher detergent is that the amount of suds dish soap generates is far greater than that of a dishwasher detergent. In fact, a dishwasher detergent hardly produces any suds at all.”

What to Do If Dish Soap Finds Its Way into the Dishwasher

Not all dish soap disasters are intentional. After a long day of entertaining in the kitchen, it is all too easy to grab the bottle of dish soap without thinking and squirt a generous stream into the soap holder in the dishwasher, close and lock the door, turn the unit on, and head to the recliner, sofa, or backyard hammock to relax. If the appliance has been operating for only a couple of minutes when the mistake is realized, there are measures the homeowner can take to avoid a sudsy disaster. Below are some helpful steps to correct the problem and avoid the impending disaster.

Step #1: Turn off the appliance to halt the production of suds and stop the overflow. This action should prompt the unit to drain off any water and suds at the bottom of the appliance. If necessary, adjust the settings to complete this task.

Step #2: Mop up any overflow and place towels around the base of the appliance. Keep several towels in reserve to deal with the sudsy mess in the unit.

Step #3: Once the unit has pumped out the water and suds and has shut down, remove the dishes, glasses, utensils, and other items from the unit.

Step #4: Remove any trace of leftover dish soap inside the appliance. Use towels to absorb water and wipe suds from within the machine. Rinse the inside of the unit with tap water using a cup or the sink sprayer if the hose is long enough. Rinse, wipe, and repeat until suds and residue are eliminated.

Step #5: Run a rinse cycle to ensure all dish soap residue is eliminated.

Step #6: Rinse the items removed from the dishwasher to eliminate any residual, high suds dish soap. Reload the dishwasher and wash the dishes using a low-suds dishwasher detergent. Wait and watch for a few minutes to ensure that no problems arise.

Step #7: Relax in the recliner and breathe a sigh of relief!

How to Respond to a Dishwasher Water Damage Disaster

What if the dish soap misstep causes a water damage mishap? If caught in the early stages, much of the water and suds can be mopped up with towels. A fan or two can complete the drying process. Residual water and moisture may be trapped under the dishwasher. If access to the floor under the dishwasher is available, wipe up the area with dry cloths and position a fan to circulate air under the unit. The excess water may have spread to any cabinet space to the sides of the dishwasher. These areas will need immediate attention to prevent damage to the baseboards, cabinets, or flooring.

If the spill is unmanageable for the homeowner, a call to SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth can take care of the situation. A crew can be on the job in about an hour to begin the water removal and drying process. Highly-trained technicians equipped with the right equipment, advanced cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved cleaning and deodorizing products can take care of the water damage disaster with minimal disruption and limited inconvenience. The SERVPRO team can also handle the insurance claims process from end to end.

For more information about Haltom City, TX, water damage restoration, contact the SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth office at (817) 741-5737 or email office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com

Storm Damage Cleanup for Property Damage Caused by Late Summer Storms

9/5/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth provides damage restoration services for storm damage stemming from late summer tornadoes, derechos, hurricanes, and flash flooding.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is dedicated to assisting homeowners and businesses recover from storm damage in Keller, TX. A knowledge of the types of late summer storms that can cause storm damage in Keller, TX, can help residents be prepared and know what kinds of damage to look for after the severe weather.

Types of Late Summer Storms

Residents of Keller, TX, and Northeast Fort Worth can experience severe weather in late summer. Weather experts describe the severe weather risk hazard: “Tornado risk persists in late summer, especially in parts of the northern tier. Derechos can still result in widespread destruction. The Southwest monsoon lasts through September and brings several hazards. Flash flooding concerns remain high through late summer. The peak of hurricane season occurs in late summer. Severe weather, including tornadoes, derechos, and flash flooding, can result in dangerous conditions through late summer in parts of the United States.”

Below is a closer look at several types of severe weather that can cause property damage in the Northeast Fort Worth area.

Tornadoes

Thankfully, by late summer, the frequency of tornadoes in North Texas is on the decline, though a real and present danger still exists any time tornadic weather is in the forecast. The presence of a hurricane barreling through the region may cause an uptick in the frequency of tornadoes during the months of August and September.

Derechos

The Spanish word “derecho” means “direct” or “straight ahead.” The term was adopted to make a distinction between the damage caused by straight-line winds and the damage produced by the rotational winds of tornadoes. A derecho is a large cluster of severe thunderstorms with straight-line winds. Windspeeds must be at least 58 miles per hour for a storm pattern to be considered a derecho; some derecho windspeeds have been clocked at 130 miles per hour. The damage path of a derecho can be tens of miles wide and hundreds of miles long.

Flash Floods

In the United States, flash flooding reaches its peak in late spring and continues through summer. Warm, moist air east of the Rockies, combined with the Southwest monsoon effect and the occurrence of hurricanes and tropical storms, creates a convergence that increases moisture levels and heightens the risk of flash flooding. Flash flooding can be experienced within minutes of heavy rainfall. On average, more fatalities occur from flash floods than from hurricanes and tornadoes. Most flash flooding deaths occur while the victim is driving.

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

June through November are the official dates of the Atlantic hurricane season, but the peak of the season occurs in late summer. These turbulent, dynamic storm systems produce heavy rains resulting in flooding and can also generate tornadoes. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan spawned the most tornadoes on record, 120 over nine states, and in 1967, Hurricane Beulah left 115 known tornadoes in its wake.

Property Damage from Severe Weather

A knowledge of the features of late summer severe weather can help homeowners and businesses know what types of storm damage to be on the lookout for when severe weather strikes.

The straight-line winds associated with a derecho, though slower than a typical tornado, are concentrated and sustained. Look for serious roof damage. Shingles, underlayment, and sheathing can be ripped off from the roof. Siding can be peeled from a house, and standard glass windows may be shattered. The high-velocity winds can drive rain at angles approaching vertically, resulting in unique roof leaks at eaves, exhaust vents, and ridge vents.

High winds from derechos and tornadoes can topple trees. The rotational dynamics of a tornado can wrestle a tree into the air and drop it on a roof. The heavy downpours associated with a tropical storm or hurricane can saturate the soil to the point that a moderate wind gust can uproot a tree.

A hurricane or tropical storm can dump a dozen or more inches of water on a city like Keller, TX, whose average annual rainfall is 39 inches. This much rain overwhelms gutters, floods crawl spaces and turns neighborhoods and parking lots into lakes. Water, silt, and sludge can ruin carpets, upholstery, furniture, electronics, appliances, and drywall.

What to Do When Disaster Strikes

When storm damage wrecks a home or business, call SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth as soon as possible. Crews are available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays. Every lost minute allows for advanced secondary damage. Warped flooring, swollen baseboards, collapsed ceilings, and mold can significantly increase the time and money needed to clean up and restore a storm damage disaster. The SERVPRO team has the equipment and training to quickly remove bulk water and dry out a structure so cleanup and restoration can move forward.

Homeowners, property managers, and businesses should pre-qualify a dedicated property damage restoration company so that should a disaster occur, only one call needs to be made once first responders have been alerted. SERVPRO crews arrive in about an hour to inspect and assess the damage. Cleanup and restoration begin immediately.

For more information about storm damage restoration in Carter Riverside, TX, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth, TX, at (817) 741-5737 or email office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com

The Importance of Understanding and Following Hurricane Evacuation Orders in the Event of Severe Weather

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth shares information to help local residents communicate the importance of evacuation to family and friends who live in the path of an oncoming hurricane.

The storm damage cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth stress the importance of understanding and following evacuation orders when hurricane landfall is imminent. Although Fort Worth is not a coastal city, Northeast Fort Worth residents may have family members or friends who live on or near the coast of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida and who are in the path of an approaching hurricane. An estimated 7 million people live in the Gulf Coast region of Texas and will need to evacuate their homes to stay safe during the severe weather.

Information gathered after Hurricane Katrina illustrates how many people can be affected by a major hurricane. “The storm displaced more than a million people in the Gulf Coast region. Many people returned home within days, but up to 600,000 households were still displaced a month later. At their peak, hurricane evacuee shelters housed 273,000 people and, later, FEMA trailers housed at least 114,000 households. The population of New Orleans fell from 484,674 before Katrina (April 2000) to an estimated 230,172 after Katrina (July 2006) — a decrease of 254,502 people and a loss of over half of the city’s population.”

Although Texas avoided any direct impact from Katrina, an estimated 220,000 people from Louisiana sought refuge in Texas. Fort Worth is not a coastal city, but residents may have family members or friends who live on the coast, are in the path of the hurricane, and will need to evacuate. When opening one’s house to evacuating friends and family, extra stress may be put on the plumbing system, placing the home at risk of flooding unrelated to the hurricane.

The tips listed below will help homeowners prepare for additional guests and avoid water damage and potential sewage backups.

Tip: Repair any leaky faucets and dripping drains.

Tip: Inspect toilets for leaks. Replace any parts that are showing signs of wear. Rusty chains and hard flapper valves are quick fixes that can save many, many gallons of water.

Tip: Install water-saver shower heads. Unclog slow-moving shower drains, and inspect the caulking and seal around the drain. Replace worn seals. Remove old caulking and replace it with a fresh bead. Repair any broken shower or bath tiles. The caulking around the tub may need some attention, as well.

Tip: If there is even a hint of a leak in an upstairs tub, shower, toilet, or sink, repair it before the guests arrive.

Tip: Be on the lookout for any signs of a leak. Look for water stains, bubbling or peeling paint, and warping in sheetrock and drywall. Listen for dripping, the sound of water continuously running, and gurgling noises in drains. Sniff the air for musty, moldy, mildewy smells. A faint smell of raw sewage inside the home could indicate a leaky sewer pipe in the crawl space.

Tip: Consider pumping the septic tank BEFORE guests arrive to pre-empt any messy situations, especially if it has not been pumped out in four years and usage has been heavy. Prices can vary widely depending on the size of the tank and the service provider. Make several calls. If the septic service will not provide a pricing structure, do not give them the business. Make another call.

Tip: Unclog any slow drains. Hair, grease, and soap residue can build up in the drains and slow down the flow of water, resulting in a backup and overflow.

Tip: Put down plenty of bathroom mats at the shower and tub to catch excess water spillage. Purchase an extra set of mats for when the water-logged mats are being washed and dried.

Tip: Immediately mop up any excess water that spills or puddles in the bathroom or shower.

Tip: Avoid overloading the washer with too many clothes or towels. Consider taking items to a laundromat with high-capacity washers and dryers, which will conserve water, energy, and time.

Tip: If severe weather in the form of a tropical depression or tropical storm is heading in the way of Northeast Fort Worth, inspect gutters, downspouts, and downspout extensions to avoid any water damage from overflowing gutters.

Tip: Pre-qualify a property damage cleanup and restoration company before guests arrive. Make the first call to the industry-leading professionals at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth. The franchise is locally owned and locally operated by people who care about their community, their neighbors, and those who have been displaced by an evacuation order or by the destructive forces of a hurricane.

If, for some reason, a property damage disaster occurs while the host family is away, guests need only make one call to SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth, the service professionals that were carefully vetted by the homeowner.

For more information about storm damage restoration in Haltom City, TX, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth at (817) 741-5737 or email office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com

Fire Sprinklers: An Essential Fire Damage Prevention Strategy for Businesses

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth explains four misconceptions about fire sprinklers for businesses and commercial facilities.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth highlights why businesses in Keller, TX, need sprinklers to protect against a commercial fire damage disaster. A fire damage disaster is a complex cleanup and restoration process. The fire damages or destroys all or portions of the facility, and the damaged areas often must be demolished and rebuilt. Smoke damage can extend far beyond the burn site. If the fire department used water to extinguish the blaze, thousands of gallons of water were likely sprayed into the building, causing extensive water damage. Portions of the facility may be without water and power. The toxicity of a fire damage disaster can render parts of an office complex, distribution center, retail store, or factory uninhabitable until demolition, cleanup, and restoration have made the building structurally sound and healthy for occupation.

Fire prevention strategies to identify risks and eliminate hazards are foundational in any fire safety plan. The goal is to prevent or avoid fire in the first place. When prevention strategies fail, the fire must be suppressed and extinguished in its earliest stages. Failure to do so results in extensive damage. In a commercial setting, the disaster disrupts the business enterprise with potentially devastating financial consequences. A fire sprinkler system is one of the most effective tools to suppress or extinguish a fire before much damage occurs. The benefits of a fire sprinkler system far outweigh the detriments or downside of not having such a system. However, many misconceptions about fire sprinkler systems cause businesses to shy away from adopting this fire protection technology.

Four Myths about Fire Sprinklers

A fire sprinkler system is a simple, effective means to suppress and extinguish a fire and should be a key feature in every commercial fire safety and prevention plan. Yet, where building codes do not require sprinkler systems, builders and business owners sometimes do not include sprinklers in new builds, expansions, and renovations. Misconceptions about the effectiveness, functionality, and expense of the system drive these decisions. These determinations are unfortunate because of the many benefits a sprinkler system provides when installed in a structure.

Listed below is an overview of the common misconceptions surrounding the need for and the benefits of a fire sprinkler system in commercial buildings.

#1. MYTH: Sprinklers are too expensive.

Many business owners and property managers are of the opinion that the installation costs of a fire sprinkler system are too high and should not be included in the construction blueprints in regions where building codes do not mandate sprinklers. A closer look at the actual situation reveals that in new construction, the installation cost for fire sprinklers in commercial buildings taller than five floors is only about $1.00 per square foot. Installation costs in existing buildings are understandably more expensive but still reasonable. Installation prices to retrofit existing buildings range from four to five times more than new builds. These prices may vary as construction costs rise and fall due to inflation, supply chain disruptions, and changes in building codes.

Sprinkler installation incorporated in a new residential building is about 1% of the overall project cost. Sprinklers are a long-term solution that lowers insurance premiums, and the savings can offset the cost of the sprinklers, yielding a better ROI. Sprinklers can be a strong selling point if building codes require a retrofit with sprinklers.

#2. MYTH: Accidental discharges are unavoidable.

Contrary to common belief, an overcooked meal in the breakroom or burnt food in the office kitchen cannot activate sprinklers. Sprinklers activate only when exposed to high heat from a fire. Temperatures generated by stovetop cooking or opening an oven door simply cannot activate a sprinkler. Also, only sprinklers directly affected by flames will activate. In many cases, only one sprinkler activation is needed to extinguish the fire.

#3. MYTH: Smoke alarms are enough.

Smoke alarms alert occupants of fire but do nothing to extinguish the flames. Sprinklers reduce heat and smoke while working to extinguish the fire. Alarms reduce the likelihood of fatalities by about one-third, and sprinklers reduce the risk of death in a fire by approximately 80%. A life is priceless.

#4. MYTH: Sprinklers require expensive maintenance.

Commercial sprinklers involve sophisticated technologies that enhance performance, reduce the likelihood of a false activation, and require less maintenance to prevent malfunctions and leaks. Inspection and testing are necessary, but advances in technology and monitoring make commercial sprinklers a worthy fire protection strategy. Sprinklers in a residential facility also require upkeep and inspections.

A sprinkler system is an effective strategy to reduce property damage when a fire breaks out. Fire damage, smoke damage, and water damage will still occur, but the effects of the fire will be greatly reduced in many cases. When property damage services are needed in a commercial setting, the team at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is available 24/7, 365 days a year. The rapid response and quick cleanup and restoration help a business resume normal operations as soon as possible.

Contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth for more details about residential and commercial fire damage restoration services in Keller, TX. The office can be reached by calling (817) 741-5737 or emailing office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com

Six Hidden Fire Hazards That Have the Potential to Cause Fire Damage in Fort Worth, TX, Homes

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth brings attention to hidden fire hazards that could cause a fire damage disaster in the home.

When a fire damage disaster occurs, SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth springs into action 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays, to provide customers with a rapid fire damage cleanup and restoration process. To help homeowners avoid a fire damage disaster, the team at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth exposes hidden fire risks that could cause a fire damage disaster.

Hidden Fire Hazards around the House

A quick, high-level inspection of the home may yield the conclusion that the house is safe from the risk of fire. However, fire risks can be found on kitchen counters, behind walls, and around the workbench in the garage or shop out back.

Most people are aware of common fire risks such as an overloaded electrical outlet or an unattended lit candle and take steps to avoid the unsafe practices. Yet, first responders still are called out to an average of over 1000 home fires a day. Here is a list of surprising fire hazards and instructions on how to avoid fire hazards in the home.

1. Clutter in the Kitchen

The kitchen is a hub of activity. The sink bustles with activity as pots, pans, dishes, and utensils are rinsed and re-used while cooking. Food prep on the counters is a whir of chopping, dicing, slicing, and mixing. Paper towels are used and then pushed to the side to be used again to prevent waste. Recipe cards dangle precariously above the stove as the meal preparation progresses. Potholders pile up next to the stove.

Four out of ten residential fires originate in the kitchen. To reduce the fire risk, keep combustible materials at least three feet away from hot burners. Avoid the temptation to leave meals cooking unattended on the stove or in a countertop oven, toaster, or air fryer. Have a fire extinguisher nearby in case a fire breaks out. Ring in the new year and celebrate Independence Day by putting fresh batteries in the home smoke alarms.

2. Overworked Wiring

Electrical wiring winds its way throughout a home hidden out of sight behind walls. On average, this hidden and unnoticed fire hazard is responsible for almost 1,000 housefires a week. Home electrical fires cause $1.5 billion in property damage each year. Activities such as hanging the family portrait, plugging a power strip into a power strip, or running an extension cord under a rug can burn the house down. Replace aging circuit breakers with arc-fault circuit interrupters to avoid electrical fires from overworked circuits. Any licensed, bonded, and insured electrician can handle this upgrade.

3. Sawdust

A day in the woodworking shop in the garage can produce mounds of sawdust on the floor and a fine coat of imperceptible dust on everything. The gritty sawdust and especially the fine, powdery dust are highly combustible, even more so than typical dust.

Install a dust-removal system, or remove excess dust with a shop vacuum designed to handle combustible dust. Vacuum up the dust several times during the day. Avoid disturbing the dust with an air hose or leaf blower since these methods send the dust airborne where ignition is much easier.

4. The Clothes Dryer

The lint tray captures highly combustible fibers from clothes tumbling in the dryer. Fibers that escape collect inside the dryer cabinet. The heating element can ignite the fibers if the buildup is excessive. Minimize the danger by hiring a professional to clean the dryer cabinet every two years.

5. Loose Outlets

When an outlet begins to wear out, blades hidden from view inside the electrical outlet lose their ability to snugly grip plugs from appliances and electronic devices. The loose connection can result in intense heat buildup that can cause a fire. When plugs fail to stay in an outlet, replace the faulty outlet immediately.

6. Antique Appliances

Vintage appliances make excellent décor pieces that add character to a home. However, the dated appliances were manufactured to less stringent codes, and the electrical components may have degraded over the decades. By rewiring the appliances, fire hazards can be greatly reduced. The best practice is to use modern appliances and machinery with a UL mark, indicating that the device has met or exceeded tight quality controls and is safe for consumer use.

An awareness of the hidden risks of an electrical fire in the home can lead to prevention strategies that make and keep the home safe. In case of a fire damage disaster, reach out to the cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth. After providing fire damage restoration services, the SERVPRO team can handle the insurance claims process from beginning to end, allowing the homeowner to focus on recovering from the disaster and moving on with life.

To learn more details about Fort Worth, TX, fire damage restoration, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth at (817) 741-5737 or email office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com

Seven Elements That Make a Water Damage Restoration Project More Complicated and Expensive

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth explains the factors that cause a water damage restoration project to be costly to clean up and restore.

A water damage disaster in the home is no small matter and can have serious consequences if not immediately addressed. When ignored or neglected, a water intrusion can cause extensive cosmetic and structural damage. Delays in cleanup and restoration may also negatively affect coverage by the insurance company. The many sources of a water release or water intrusion in a home call for vigilance on the part of the homeowner. Some potential causes of a water damage disaster include weather-related damages, clogged gutters, plumbing and sewage issues, appliance malfunctions, and HVAC leaks.

Water and moisture can damage just about everything it touches, including furniture, flooring, the foundation, and electrical wiring. In as little as 24 to 48 hours, advanced secondary damage can occur. Baseboards swell and must be replaced. Wet carpet becomes loaded with bacteria and must be discarded rather than salvaged. Mold growth explodes into an infestation. When a water damage disaster strikes, a rapid response by a professional property damage cleanup and restoration company is crucial to mitigate the water intrusion, start the cleanup, and prevent advanced secondary damage.

Several factors can make a water damage cleanup and restoration more complex, and these complications impact the cost of cleanup and repairs. Haltom City, TX, homeowners should consider these factors when evaluating an estimate of the expenses for cleanup and restoration.

Factors That Make a Water Damage Restoration Project More Complex and Costly

1. Extent of the damage

A leak in the bathroom from a tup overflow is less complicated than a whole-house disaster from a ruptured washing machine supply line or a flash flood. A large disaster area requires more time, labor, equipment, and materials to clean up and restore. Water damage encompassing several rooms requires more dehumidifiers, rapid-spin fans, and time before other steps in the restoration can take place.

2. Quantity of water

Not all water releases are equal. A ruptured appliance supply line can release several hundred gallons of water per hour into a home, causing widespread damage. A slow leak from an upstairs shower drain over several years may involve a similar quantity of water but do greater damage. Generally, though, the more water involved, the greater the complexity of the cleanup and restoration.

3. Source and type of water

Water from a sanitary source such as a ruptured ice maker line presents fewer issues than cleanup from a tub overflow of soapy water. A sewage backup involving fecal matter is the most serious risk hazard. Whether a water damage disaster involves clean water, gray water, or black water affects the complexity and cost of a cleanup. If clean water and gray water are not immediately removed, both types of water degrade into toxic, black water.

4. Delay in water removal, extraction, and drying

Time is a homeowner’s enemy in a water damage disaster. A delay in water cleanup allows walls, flooring, baseboards, furniture, and other porous items to absorb water and moisture. Warping, swelling, blistering, pathogens, and mold infestation can increase the restoration costs exponentially.

5. Types of materials

Waterproof vinyl or linoleum flooring may not need to be replaced, but laminate flooring may need to be ripped out and replaced. Custom luxury vinyl or CLV is waterproof and can be removed and reinstalled very easily. If the water damage involves hardwood flooring, immediate drying is crucial for salvaging the flooring. Carpeting contaminated with gray water must be replaced. If black water is present, both carpeting and padding must be replaced. Tile floors that are sealed and well-grouted may need the least attention as long as the water does not penetrate to the subflooring.

6. The location of the home

A home in a hot, humid area will be more difficult to dry out. Homes located in urban areas where the cost of living is elevated will find that cleanup and restoration services will reflect the elevated cost of living.

7. Mold growth

A delay in response time, cleanup, and restoration allows water damage to expand. Advanced secondary damage can develop. Baseboards swell and must be replaced. Flooring warps. Paint blisters and peels. Wet carpeting cannot be salvaged but must be removed from the home or business. Even worse, the risk of mold and bacterial growth skyrockets.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays, to provide customers with a rapid response and the water damage cleanup and restoration services needed to prevent a water damage disaster from becoming more complex and costly to restore. SERVPRO sets the bar very high when it comes to responding to customers’ needs, beginning with a rapid response.

For more details about water damage restoration in Haltom City, TX, email SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth at office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com or call (817) 741-5737.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth Explains Commercial Storm Damage Coverage for Medical Facilities

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth explains what commercial storm damage coverage hospitals and medical facilities need.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth provides commercial damage restoration services for all types of businesses, including office buildings, retail outlets, professional offices, banks, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, schools, and daycares. The team at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth also takes on the challenges of cleanup and restoration for hospitals and medical facilities. Certified, experienced, and well-equipped technicians understand the complexities involved in dealing with property damage cleanup and restoration in an environment with expensive and delicate diagnostic and treatment equipment, pharmaceuticals, biohazards, patient care, and food services. Clients and patients may have medical conditions requiring care ranging from minimal attention to full nursing care. Hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities need a rapid response and quick completion of the cleanup and restoration process so that medical services and patient care can resume as soon as possible.

Commercial storm damage such as flooding can have a localized impact on a building or devastate a major metropolitan area or region. Water damage, a mold infestation, and structural damage are some of the consequences of a storm and flood damage disaster. Medical facilities bear a unique risk hazard in the event of a flood or storm damage disaster that interrupts operations and the provision of services. The administration may be compelled to relocate the current patient population while turning away new patients and people needing immediate medical attention.

A solid, well-configured business owners policy (BOP) is sufficient for most property damage disasters. However, many private insurers limit water damage coverage to certain types of water damage, such as damage from a ruptured pipe or roof leak. Losses from a hurricane storm surge (not an issue for the metro Dallas/Fort Worth area) or a natural disaster may end up being paid for by business owners. If financial resources are inadequate to cover the losses and make needed repairs, the entity may end up shutting its doors and declaring bankruptcy.

Full protection for a healthcare facility from flood damage may require the acquisition of coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Flooding caused by an extreme weather event, such as a severe weather cell, tropical storm, or hurricane, would be covered by an NFIP policy.

Further protection may entail purchasing additional special policy endorsements. Listed below are some examples and a brief description of additional coverage the owners and operators of a medical facility should consider in consultation with their insurance agent.

  • Building ordinance coverage
  • Business vehicle coverage
  • Special equipment coverage
  • Spoliation and service interruption
  • Rental coverage
  • Inland marine coverage
  • Business interruption coverage

Building ordinance coverage

This coverage pays for structural updates that must be made to a damaged building to maintain building code compliance. Covered upgrades can include ramp and elevator installation for patients in wheelchairs.

Business vehicle coverage

Vehicles such as patient shuttles, ambulances, delivery vans, or other business vehicles require insurance coverage for destruction and liability. A comprehensive commercial auto policy covers non-collision losses. An example of a non-collision loss would be windshield damage from a fallen tree branch or water damage to parked vehicles.

Special equipment coverage

The loss of one costly medical device could exhaust the BOP policy limit. Separate coverage of highly expensive medical equipment may make sense for a medical facility, especially if the equipment is essential for daily operations.

Spoliation and service interruptions

Flooding can interrupt utilities, causing the ruin or destruction of perishable goods. Utility and spoilage coverage may pay for the replacement of industrial items in industrial refrigerators and freezers. For a medical facility, this endorsement would cover not only food and drinks for food services but also human organs, blood bags, and possibly refrigerated pharmaceuticals.

Rental coverage

Leased dental chairs, x-ray machines, and other medical equipment, as well as any equipment not directly owned by a medical facility, should be protected under a rental insurance policy. A single piece of equipment could be valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Inland marine insurance

Transportation and cargo insurance replaces any inventory or supplies destroyed or lost in transit to or from the medical facility. Examples would be custom prosthetics, medical supplies, or other items washed away by floodwaters or otherwise lost in transit.

Business interruption insurance

The most important commercial property damage insurance is business interruption insurance. Each day a medical facility is unable to provide services could be thousands if not millions of dollars in lost revenue, depending on the size of the facility or the medical system. Business interruption insurance can replace income lost during cleanup and restoration. Projected income from canceled procedures, payroll expenses, and out-of-pocket costs would fall under this coverage.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is a leader in commercial property damage cleanup and restoration for medical offices, clinics, outpatient surgical facilities, and hospitals. Availability 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays, a rapid response, a quick cleanup and restoration, and the ability to scale to meet the challenges of any size disaster make SERVPRO an excellent choice when flooding, water damage, fire damage, smoke damage, or a biohazard disaster occurs.

To learn more about commercial storm restoration, contact the SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth office at (817) 741-5737 or email office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com

Four Tips for Making an Effective Emergency Call to a Restoration Company after a Disaster Strikes

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth offers advice on how to contact a damage restoration company when emergency services are needed after property damage.

The team at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth has received countless calls from property owners who have suffered water damage, fire damage, or storm damage to their homes or places of business. Calling a Keller, TX, restoration company to provide emergency restoration services can be stressful for someone who has never needed restoration services before. To help local residents prepare, SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is offering tips on how to place a call to a damage restoration company after a property damage disaster strikes. Listed below are some tips to consider when reaching out to a property damage restoration company after a disaster has struck.

Step #1: Stay safe.

The top priority in any type or size of disaster is to make sure everyone is safe and stays safe while waiting for first responders and the arrival of the cleanup and restoration crew. A fire damage disaster is a toxic environment. Wading through flood waters to collect personal belongings is treacherous. Activity under a water-logged and sagging ceiling is ill-advised.

Step #2: Select a damage restoration company to call.

This step is easy with internet access, but if the power is out or if communications are knocked out, then an internet search is impossible. The delay could add to the extent of the damage and the expense of the cleanup and restoration.

Step #3: Call as soon as possible.

As soon as everyone is safe and it is evident that the cleanup and restoration process is not simple, quick, and easy, place a call to a damage restoration company. Water may be streaming into the home through the roof, which sustained significant damage from high winds. The fire department may still be on scene fighting the fire. Flood waters from a flash flood may be a foot deep throughout the home or business. If the disaster is widespread, waiting until the storm has passed and the skies are clear is an unnecessary delay that can lead to extensive advanced secondary damage.

Step #4: Follow up on any information the customer representative may have offered.

There may be some special instructions or general advice provided by the customer representative. As long as the situation is safe, follow through on these matters, if able. Remember, safety is the top priority.

What happens when a call is placed to SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth?

The call is answered by a customer representative who is trained to interact with the customer on two levels. The customer representative gathers information for a “First Notice of Loss.” This information includes contact information, the address of the damaged structure, insurance information, and a detailed description of the damage, including any special instructions about gaining entrance to the location. This initial phone call sets in motion a series of events that results in a crew arriving on the scene in about an hour or so after the call is placed.

Pre-qualify a damage restoration company before disaster strikes

SERVPRO customer representatives are trained to help customers deal with the anxiety, stress, and trauma of a property damage disaster. Many customer representatives have earned certifications in fire damage and water damage and have hands-on experience working on water damage cleanup and restoration projects.

The best time to reach out to a damage restoration company is before a disaster strikes. Stress, anxiety, and distractions are low or non-existent. The SERVPRO professional can address important questions from the prospective customer, such as:

  1. Is the company locally owned and operated? If so, for how long?
  2. Are crews available to respond 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays?
  3. How long will it take a crew to arrive on the scene at the customer’s address?
  4. Will a detailed, well-documented estimate be presented before contracted work begins?
  5. Are technicians IICRC-certified?
  6. Can the company handle damage disasters involving fire, smoke, water, flood waters, mold, storm damage, emergency tarping, sewage backups, biohazards, crime scene cleanup, drug scene cleanup, and suicide scenes?
  7. Is the company able to manage all facets of a repair and restoration acting as a general contractor?
  8. Are references, reviews, and a portfolio available for perusal by potential customers?
  9. Is there a mechanism to handle complaints?
  10. Can the cleanup and restoration company handle the insurance claim process from end to end?
  11. Is the company bonded, licensed, and insured?
  12. Can the damage cleanup and restoration company scale to any size or type of disaster?

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is locally owned and operated, and the team is available 24/7, 365 days a year. IICRC-certified technicians arrive on the scene in about an hour with the right equipment to tackle the project. A detailed, well-documented estimate will be presented to the customer, and the staff can handle the insurance claims process from beginning to end. The dedicated team at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is committed to helping homeowners and businesses recover from disaster and return to normal as soon as possible.

Contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth to learn more about the damage restoration company. The office can be reached by calling (817) 741-5737 or by emailing office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com

How Keller, TX, Residents Can Avoid Fire Damage and Injuries When Celebrating with Fireworks

6/17/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth warns the local community about injuries that can result from the misuse or improper operation of fireworks.

Firework safety and the prevention of fire damage from the misuse of fireworks are important during the Fourth of July celebrations. SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is sharing safety tips to help local residents avoid personal injury and fire damage from a fireworks mishap.

Celebrate Safely

Summertime brings hot weather, pool time, grill time, picnics in the park, Fourth of July celebrations, and fireworks. Inevitably with the fireworks comes the potential for personal injuries and fire damage.

Small fireworks such as firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers cause most of these injuries. A typical sparkler gets hot enough to melt metal. This favorite firework is not a child’s toy and should be used with extreme caution and only under adult supervision.

Personal firework safety is the most effective means to avoid or prevent injury. Consider these simple tips when around fireworks:

  1. Leave the fireworks display to certified, licensed professionals who have the training, experience, and protective gear to safely discharge the various items.
  2. Enjoy the fireworks from a safe distance.
  3. Keep fireworks at a safe distance from vehicles and structures.
  4. Avoid discharging fireworks under trees, awnings, in the garage, or on the back deck or patio.
  5. Always have multiple options close at hand to extinguish any small fires that might erupt, including a garden hose at the ready, pre-filled buckets of water or sand, and one or more fire extinguishers.
  6. Have a basic first aid kit on hand. Eyewash, burn salve, and antiseptic should be included in the kit.
  7. A fire blanket is always good to have on hand should someone’s clothing catch fire.

Common Injuries from Fireworks

USA Today reported the following statistics on injuries related to fireworks: “In 2020, an estimated 15,600 people were hospitalized with injuries related to fireworks – the highest number in the last 15 years, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported. Sixty-six percent of the injuries happened between June 21, 2020 and July 21, 2020.”

Be aware of the most common fireworks injuries and what to do in case of an accident.

1. Burns to the hands

Understandably, a burn on the fingers or hand is the most prevalent wound from a fireworks mishap. A first-degree burn is minor in nature, affecting only the top layer of skin and causing redness, pain, and discomfort. Second-degree burns are serious burns resulting in the formation of blisters. Third-degree burns are the most severe burns. The burn area takes on a white leathery appearance and texture, and burn damage extends under the skin, affecting the underlying flesh.

To avoid burns to the hands and fingers, never handle a firework that has not fully discharged. Fireworks may smolder for several seconds or even longer and then explode. Minor first-degree burns can be treated at home, but more severe burns should receive prompt attention from a physician. For minor burns, clean the wound and apply an over-the-counter topical pain medication. Seek further medical attention if signs of infection appear.

2. Injuries to the eyes

A firework such as a firecracker can send debris flying at very high speeds. Heat and debris from fireworks can injure the eye and could cause total loss of vision. Protective eyewear can provide adequate eye safety when handling fireworks. Seek immediate medical attention should an eye injury from a firework occur.

3. Broken bones and deep cuts in the hands

Fireworks can inflict severe hand wounds, including deep lacerations, the loss of a finger or thumb, tendon damage, and fractured bones. In case of a hand injury, remove any jewelry from the fingers and wrist. Protect the hand with a clean cloth, and apply an ice pack to reduce swelling. Keep the hand elevated. Seek emergency medical attention.

4. Facial injuries

Powerful fireworks can burn the nose, lips, and ears. Facial bones may be fractured, and teeth may be chipped or dislodged if an impact is taken to the head. Light a rocket or tube-launched firework from the side, keeping one’s head well away from the firework. A firework can reach speeds well over 100 mph upon ignition. An impact with the head can cause severe injury. If an injury occurs, cover the wounded area with a clean cloth and apply an ice pack. Seek medical attention without delay.

5. Hearing loss

Temporary or permanent hearing loss may be induced by very loud fireworks. The impulse sound from a firework three feet away can range from 145 to 170 decibels, or nearly two times the safety limits (85 decibels) for the human ear. The wearing of ear protection when fireworks are being discharged is strongly advised for children from infancy to mid-teens.

Before using fireworks around the home, take the necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s safety. In addition, pre-qualify a reputable property damage cleanup and restoration company in the event of a fire damage disaster. SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays. The fire damage restoration company has the latest equipment, cutting-edge technology, superior cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved products to handle any size or type of disaster. The SERVPRO staff can manage the insurance claims process from end to end with no headache and no hassle for the customer.

Contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth for more information about fire damage restoration in Keller, TX. The office can be reached at (817) 741-5737 or office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com