Recent Posts

Honey, the Sewer’s Backing up Again: The Three Main Reasons for Sewage Backups

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Water drops on basement ceiling. A flooded basement, especially one caused by a sewage backup, is never any fun.

A flooded basement would be a nightmare for most homeowners, and not just because of the damaged belongings and lost memories. A flood brings about many concerns, primarily when the cause is a sewer backing up. The beautiful thing is that a backup is preventable, especially when you know the leading reasons for them developing in the first place.

1. Blockage

The number one cause of a sewer line backup is a blockage stemming from household items. These items can be anything from feminine products, non-flushable paper products, and even grease. Grease is a biggie. Many people assume that because oil is a liquid after cooking that it remains a liquid, but it doesn’t. Oil and fat solidify when cooled and even expand, causing buildup and eventual blockage in your pipes.

2. Roots

Tree roots have caused many a flooded basement because roots expand where the most moisture is, and if there happens to be any flaw in your waistline pipes, roots will take advantage of it, growing into and eventually blocking the flow and causing a backup. Many people think that roots are not dense enough to break through pipes, but old clay pipes often have disparities that make it easier for dense root systems to take advantage.

3. Collapse

The third most likely reason for a sewage backup is a collapse in the line. A line collapse most often occurs in old, decaying clay pipes, and is usually exacerbated by other external elements like tree roots. While there are things you can do to prevent and resolve blockages, a line collapse will typically require a restoration or plumbing professional from Tyler, TX.

A flooded basement, especially one caused by a sewage backup, is never any fun, creating both a financial burden as well as a sentimental nightmare. Fortunately, this type of issue is preventable when you know the most common causes because you can change your habits and perform the necessary inspections to ensure that your basement stays as dry as it should.

3 Steps for Media Blasting: Eliminate Mold Under Your Home

9/9/2021 (Permalink)

Green & white mold growth. Your Tyler, TX, home’s crawlspace can house important systems like your fuse box or HVAC controls.

If your Tyler, TX, home has a crawlspace, you may already know that it can be prone to moisture damage. Over time, flooding and wet weather can cause mold to grow under your home, which can damage the structure and create unpleasant odors. However, professional cleaning techniques, such as media blasting, can remove mold from this area in a safe and permanent manner.

1. Determining the Mold Problem

Once you call in a mold damage and remediation service, the technicians will likely come to gauge the severity of the problem before they begin the blasting. They may inspect the entire area within the crawlspace to determine how far the mold has spread and what type they are dealing with. This preliminary exam can help them exterminate the fungi with more efficiency.

2. Preparing the Media

Next, your mold techs will probably explain how they will eliminate the mold with media blasting. In most cases, mold blasting is performed with baking soda. Not only is this more effective than using bleach or other water-based chemicals, it is also safer for people, pets, and the environment. The techs will use pressurized spray machines to blast away the mold, which can also be more efficient than scrubbing it away by hand.

3. The Spraying Process

Once the blasting begins, the treatment can take up to several hours, depending on the severity of the mold growth. The baking soda can remove mold from wood and other surfaces without leaving any lasting damage. Afterward, your techs will likely clean the area and remove any excess media. Once the treatment is complete, you may get a report on the results and whether your home might need future treatments.

Your Tyler, TX, home’s crawlspace can house important systems like your fuse box or HVAC controls. Soda blasting can protect these components and the rest of your home from the serious damage mold can do.

4 Ways To Restore Your Home After Water Damage

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

Flooring removed due to water damage in a living room, drying equipment has been placed on damaged area Living room affected by water.

4 Methods for Restoring Your Home After Water Damage

There are few things that are more distressing than the discovery that bursting pipes in New Hope, TX, have caused damage to your home. Make sure to call a residential restoration company as soon as you identify the problem. Quick action can make all the difference in restoring the condition of your home and precious valuables. Here is what you can expect when a restoration company comes to your house to assess and mitigate water damage to your home.

1. Identifying the Source and Assessing the Damage

The source of the water should be identified and the flow of water stopped. For example, bursting pipes are the source, and the water shutoff valve should be turned off. Then, your home can be inspected to assess the extent of the damage. In most cases, the damage can be treated in 3-5 days. In special circumstances, such as if you have wood floors, the restoration can take 7-10 days.

2. Water Extraction and Drying

Excess water should be removed to minimize additional damage and mold growth. Then specialized equipment can be used to dry and dehumidify the home while moisture levels are measured in the walls and floor.

3. Deep Cleaning

After the water has been completely removed, your home can be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, along with furniture and other household items, as needed. A deodorizing treatment can completely remove any leftover odors.

4. Making Needed Repairs

After everything is dried and cleaned up, some repairs may be necessary to restore your home to its original condition. Because the restoration company likely has thoroughly inspected the damage to your house, they have first-hand knowledge of what repairs are needed. For example, they may need to a fix broken pipe or replace flooring that has been damaged.

It’s often important to treat water damage from bursting pipes as soon as possible. A good residential restoration company can not only treat the damage, but it can restore your home to as good as new.

Plant Mildew: How You Can Deal With It

8/12/2021 (Permalink)

Plant with mildew Plant mildew

Plant Mildew: What You Can Do About It

If your house plants or outside vegetation is coated in what appears to be white powder, your plants may have mildew. Plant mildew is a fungal disease that affects a surprising number of greenery in Flint, TX. The mildew, like all fungi, feeds off its hosts and drains plants of nutrients. Over time, affected plants may become too weak to bloom. Fortunately, there is a way you can combat mildew growth on plants. If you want to ensure that your houseplants and garden growth flourish, here is what you need to know:

  • There are several different species of plant fungus, the most common of which is powdery mildew.
  • Powdery mildew can thrive in warm, dry environments as well as wet, humid ones.
  • Powdery mildew typically affects the leaves of plants but in severe cases can spread to the buds, flowers and fruits.
  • At-home remedies can help but usually don’t cure the problem.

Controlling Plant Mildew

If you discover powdery mildew on your plants, you may be tempted to try the much-touted baking soda trick. Many plant owners claim that spraying a mixture of one tablespoon baking soda, half a teaspoon of liquid dish soap and one gallon of water on their plants can keep mildew at bay. While this method may help control mildew growth, it’s not a cure.

Curing Plant Fungus

If a fungus has already taken hold of your plants, you need to employ a more aggressive technique. No, you don’t need to invest in pesticides; rather, all you need to do is go to your refrigerator or local dairy section. Mix one parts milk with two to three parts water and spray the mixture on your plants every 10 to 14 days. If that doesn’t kill the fungus (though it should), you may try chemicals, such as potassium bicarbonate or copper fungicides. These are stronger treatments and require careful handling.

Plant mildew may not kill your plants, but it is unsightly and it can reduce the number of blooms, fruits, or vegetables your plants produce. Fortunately, the issue is usually easy to combat. If you have an extensive case of plant fungus, professional remediation may help.

Flood Safety Tips for First Responders

7/30/2021 (Permalink)

wet floor, green hose on the floor Rainwater floods Bullard, TX home.

First Responder Flood Safety Tips

After a storm in Bullard, TX, floodwaters may contain hazardous materials such as raw sewage or chemicals. Individuals choosing to participate in flood response actions need to be aware of the potential health risks and take proper precautions. If you are a first responder after a flood event, here are four tips to help keep you safe from injury and illness.

1. Obtain recommended immunizations before exposure. If you have not received a tetanus shot within the last 10 years, the Center for Disease Control recommends getting a booster before beginning your flood recovery efforts. Additionally, if you have the potential to be exposed to human bodily fluids while caring for victims or patients, the Hepatitis B vaccine is also strongly encouraged.

2. Wear protective gear and clothing. Gloves should be worn at all times when dealing with the aftermath of a flood. Ideally, gloves should be both cut-resistant and waterproof. Eye goggles can protect the eyes from infection or injury. If floodwater is still present, wearing waterproof coveralls over your clothes can provide additional protection.

3. Follow hygiene and sanitation procedures. Frequent handwashing is essential for a first responder due to the potential exposure to toxic materials. If clean water and soap are not readily available, hand sanitizer with alcohol can be used as a substitute.

4. Remain aware of hidden dangers. After a heavy flood, the ground may become unstable due to oversaturation of water, leading to unanticipated sinkholes or slides. Additionally, some areas are at higher risk due to pesticides or other chemical-related runoff. Mold can rapidly set in after a flood event, so be aware of potential mold exposure. In any case, professional restoration specialists can help mitigate the risks of mold and lingering bacterial or chemical contamination.

In the aftermath of a storm, it’s important to stay safe if you plan to participate in first responder activities. By following a few safety tips like the ones listed above, you can help make an impact on the cleanup efforts without jeopardizing your health.

4 Guidelines To Place a Hold on Mold

7/21/2021 (Permalink)

Worker using a vacuum extractor on a carpet in an office Prevent microbial growth in your building.

Four Ways to Put a Stop to Mold

The most important step in dealing with mold damage is mold prevention. If the fungus never gets a foothold, its consequences can never occur. Mold can be stopped from becoming a threat to your Whitehouse, TX, commercial property by following these four guidelines.

1. Identify and Fix Leaks on Sight

Mold growth relies on moisture. You and your employees staying vigilant of any wet flooring or leaky foundation allows you to clean up the wet environment mold desires. Finding the source also allows you to remedy the problem and prevent potential water damage from becoming a mold habitat.

2. Keep Your Building’s HVAC in Good Condition

A properly functioning HVAC system will dispose of condensation as it filters the air. Unfortunately, if it malfunctions, the water can stagnate in air ducts and create a place where mold thrives.

The main culprit of HVAC water problems, the drip pan, should occasionally be cleaned. Filters should be replaced on schedule and reseated if loose. If the leakage continues despite the pan being free of debris and no filter problems, the property’s HVAC should be serviced.

3. Remove Carpet From Areas That Use Water

For adequate mold prevention, carpet should be removed from any area where water is used. Whether it’s a drinking fountain or sink, the area around the utility should be cleared of carpet that will absorb any water spillage. If water were to flood and facilitate the need of commercial mold cleanup, an investment in removing carpet now will ease the recovery procedures later.

4. Control Humidity

In humid environments, a business stands at more risk of mold problems. If the humidity at your property is high, it is worth inspecting the HVAC system to make sure it is functional or needs to be adjusted. If the HVAC does not control humidity on its own, a dehumidifier may be worth incorporating into your facility.

Adding mold prevention to your maintenance routine is a cost-free way of preventing a more major issue later on. Your business is the only thing that should grow, not the mold.

How To Choose a Fire Extinguisher: 3 Tips

7/20/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher There are four classes of fire extinguishers – A, B, C and D – and each class can put out a different type of fire.

Tips For Choosing A Fire Extinguisher

There are many ways to keep your Troup,TX home safe from the ravages of fire. Keeping an effective fire extinguisher in your kitchen or utility room can reduce the risk of a fire spreading or growing into something you cannot douse on your own. However, there are many different types of extinguishers available, so knowing how to choose the best one for your home’s size and circumstances can be an important factor when it comes to putting out fires.

1. Review the Label

Most fire extinguishers have different labels and are classified as either A, B or C. Each letter stands for the type of combustible it puts out, including whether the unit can put out electrical or flammable fires. You may want to choose one that has each of these classifications so you can put out a variety of fires that may spring up around your home.

2. Ask a Professional

If you are unsure which fire extinguishers are the best choice to put out a home fire, consider asking your local fire damage and restoration service advice about which units are the most suitable and what to look for as you shop. Experienced technicians can assess the fire risk around your home and then advise you on which extinguishers might be the most useful.

3. Consider the Size

Fire preparedness includes knowing which size fire extinguisher is best for different areas of your house. While a ten-pound unit may be stronger than one that weighs five pounds, consider which is easier to lift and use for each member of the family. A model that weighs five pounds can put out kitchen fires effectively, so remember that bigger is not always better.

Finding the right fire extinguisher for your Troup, TX, home can be challenging. However, with a little research and solid advice under your belt, you can make the best decision possible when it comes to keeping your family safe.

4 Signs You May Have a Shower Leak

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

flooding bathroom interior ( 3D rendering ) A shower or bathtub leak is something you want to catch as soon as possible.

What Damage Can a Leaking Shower Do?

When you walk into your bathroom in Tyler, TX, you expect to see a functioning tub, shower, toilet and sink. Sometimes, however, these fixtures spring a leak and cause unexpected water damage. You may be able to notice signs of a bathtub leak before the damage becomes detrimental to your home. Working with a residential water cleanup team can help you find flooding issues quickly.

1. Water Stains: Water stains can show up around the walls of your tub and shower, but they may also make their appearance below your bathroom. If the bathroom is on the second floor, you can check for signs of a shower pan leak by looking at the ceiling under the bathroom. If it's on the first floor, you may need to go into the crawlspace or basement to look for signs of water stains.

2. Grout Cracks: Tiled showers can show signs of a leak too. When the moisture gets trapped behind the tiles, it tries to come out wherever it can. This leads to cracked grout lines. Sometimes you may even notice cracks in your tiles.

3. Loose Flooring: A bathtub leak can also mess with the flooring in your bathroom. Whether you have tiles or vinyl floors, you may notice the building materials have become loose. If tiles wiggle when you step on them, it could be a sign there's a leak. Laminate flooring, on the other hand, may start to curl up when introduced to too much moisture.

4. Peeling Paint: Look at the walls around the tub and shower. Do you notice peeling paint or falling down wallpaper? This could be a sign that there's moisture being released into the walls.

A shower or bathtub leak is something you want to catch as soon as possible. If you leave this problem to fester, it can cause major damage to your walls, insulation and flooring.

Cleaning Out Flood Water From Difficult Places With the Right Gear

7/8/2021 (Permalink)

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system. A sump pump is typically installed in the basement area of a building.

Four Types of Equipment Used To Relocate High Volumes Of Water Or Debris

Your Troup, TX business could have storm lead to unwanted flood water. Knowing the types of hardware needed to remove water and debris allows you to prepare your property or know what to expect for restoration. 

1. Sump Pump

A sump pump is typically installed in the basement area of a building. A pit a couple of feet deep serves as a container for run-off water from outside. A sump pump automatically activates by using a float device that turns the pump on once it reaches a certain level. The pump moves water away from the basement and shoots it through a pipe away from the building’s foundation.

This device is electronically managed. It needs a circuit interrupter to safely operate around water, and it’s advised to have battery power for a backup since heavy storms often take out power.

2. Trash Pump

A trash pump is a portable piece of equipment designed to move more than water. It also is effective at moving mud, sand, twigs, sludge, and sand. It relocates everything at a rate often over a hundred gallons a minute through a hose. It is specially designed to not clog from decent-sized materials often contained within water.

3. Semi-Trash Pump

As a lighter version, a semi-trash pump can handle smaller rubble in the water but not large items like the full version. It is ideal for water with light debris.

4. Diaphragm (Truck) Pump

For the most abrasive or thick liquids, a heavy-duty diaphragm pump uses a motor to create a vacuum. It removes contaminants from water very easily and spits the water back out without them.

This equipment can be rented for personal use or expertly used by a professional storm damage restoration company when deployed to your business. Each one serves a vastly different purpose, so choosing the correct one is necessary to avoid damaging the tool while efficiently finishing the job. 

Smoke Alarms Save Lives

7/2/2021 (Permalink)

White smoke alarm Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Smoke alarms save lives when properly installed and maintained, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

In homes, smoke alarms should be in every bedroom and on every level, including the basement. In office and commercial environments, check your state requirements or contact your local Fire Marshall to help ensure all codes are met.

Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button. Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries need the entire smoke alarm unit replaced every ten years. Other alarms need batteries replaced every year, and the unit replaced every ten years. If the alarm chirps signaling low battery, take the proper steps to replace the unit or the batteries immediately. Never disable or remove the battery from an alarm. Almost half of fires where smoke alarms were present but did not activate had missing or disconnected batteries.

In larger commercial facilities, hard wired or wireless smoke alarms offer benefits such as not needing to be tested as often and activating throughout the entire building if smoke is detected in just one area (NFPA).

If you need help installing, testing or changing batteries in your smoke alarms, contact your local fire department, an electrician or the American Red Cross.

Be sure your home or workplace has a fire emergency plan in place and conduct regular fire drills. For more information on Emergency Preparedness, contact SERVPRO of Tyler at 903-561-0168