Recent Posts

How To Use a Plumbing Snake

11/12/2022 (Permalink)

a new plumber snakes on a white background The process of using a plumbing snake is not complicated, but it does require some practice.

Using a Plumbing Snake

If you're having problems with your plumbing, the first thing to try is to use a plumbing snake. A plumbing snake is a long cable that has a handle on one end and an attachment for inserting into drain lines at the other end. It's an inexpensive tool that can save you from having to call in expensive professional plumbers or even tearing apart your walls in order to fix them. Just follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose Your Plumbing Snake 

To begin, you will need a plumbing snake. You should choose the appropriate size for your pipes so that it can easily slide through them. The first thing you'll want to do is make sure the snake is in prime condition. The last thing you want is your new tool breaking down on its first day in action! To do so, take out any hair or debris clogging the tip of the pipe cleaner and carefully wipe down any dirt that may have gotten inside your tool (or caused an air bubble). You don't want this stuff flying into any other parts of your house!

If there is no water in your pipe, use a plunger first to clear any clogs or debris that may be blocking it. A bucket should be placed under the area where you are working to catch any water that comes out during this process. If using a wet/dry vacuum is not possible, consider using an alternative method by turning off your main water supply before removing clogs from toilets or sinks. This prevents damage if something goes wrong with your plumbing system during this process!

Step 2: Insert the snake into the pipe until you feel resistance. 

Place one end of the snake over where there might be an obstruction blocking water flow in your system. Most likely this will be near where water enters or leaves from underground pipes; these areas tend not only to be more prone to clogs but also easier places through which mice can crawl if they've made their way into our systems as well (even though we'd rather them stay away). Make sure that both ends are pointed upwards towards where debris could be lodged within pipes; then gently push forward until resistance is felt on one side.

Step 3: Turn the snake clockwise. 

Once you’ve inserted the snake, slowly turn the crank clockwise. You should immediately feel resistance as it encounters a clog in your drain. If you can’t feel any resistance at all, stop using the snake and call a professional plumber to remove whatever is blocking your pipe.

If you do feel some resistance from a clog but can't get it out with one try, keep going—it will come through eventually!

If nothing happens when turning this wrench and pulling on the cable with force doesn't help either, then it's likely stuck inside of whatever's causing the blockage in your drain pipe and may need to be removed manually by someone qualified for such work who has experience dealing with such plumbing issues.

Step 4: Extract the Snake

Once the cable has been pushed through and its entire length is in the drain obstruction, you'll need to let go of your plumber's snake. If there is too much tension on the line, start cranking counterclockwise to extract your plumbing snake from your pipe. This will pull any debris out with it and allow for easier removal in later steps.

The process of using a plumbing snake is not complicated, but it does require some practice. You will need to learn how much tension you can apply before it becomes too much for your line and the proper way to extract whatever was clogging up your drain. Once you have mastered this skill, however, it will be an invaluable tool when dealing with clogged drains or any other issue related to pipes in your home or office building.

If you find yourself in a water damage event because of the clogged drain, give SERVPRO of Tyler a call! We will get your Tyler, TX home back to normal as quickly as possible. 

How Do I Protect My Business From Fire Disaster?

10/16/2022 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler system Install a fire sprinkler system

Fire Disaster and Your Business

Fire prevention is important to any business owner. You can protect your business by installing a fire sprinkler system, having a dependable fire alarm system installed, and having fire-resistant walls and ceilings. By taking these steps and more, you can prepare your company for the worst in case of emergency.

Install a Fire Sprinkler System

You should install a fire sprinkler system in your business. Fire sprinklers are an essential part of any building and can save lives, property, and money.

If you don't have a fire sprinkler system installed in your building yet, now is the time to get one. A fire sprinkler system will allow you to sleep at night knowing that your business is protected from a costly disaster. It also makes sense financially; if there's ever a fire at your place of business, installing a fire sprinkler system now will save you money down the road by reducing insurance premiums for years to come (and sometimes permanently).

Install a Dependable Fire Alarm System

You should always have an effective fire alarm system in place to keep your business safe, especially if it’s a large or high-risk location. If you do not have one yet, install one immediately!

Types of fire alarms

There are two main types of fire alarms: manual and automatic. 

Manual systems require someone to pull the lever when there is a potential threat of fire, which then triggers a call for help from local authorities and other emergency responders if necessary. 

Automatic systems detect smoke or heat signatures automatically without requiring human intervention; thus, they can be more efficient at detecting fires than manual ones. However, automatic systems can be more prone to false alerts due to their sensitive technology—especially if they're older than ten years old—and may not always reach authorities quickly enough in case of emergency situations such as earthquakes that cause structural damage but not necessarily fires themselves (although these events would still qualify as emergencies). 

If possible, choose an automatic system with cellular backup capabilities so that even in cases where there's no power outage due to natural disasters like hurricanes Katrina and Sandy happening nearby - which happened near New Orleans back in 2005 - it'll still get signals out through radio waves instead via Wi-Fi connections being cut off by water damage caused by flooding during those storms

Install Fire Resistant Walls and Ceilings

One of the most important things you can do to protect your business from fire disasters is to install fire-resistant walls and ceilings. Fire-resistant walls and ceilings are designed to resist or prevent the spread of flames, smoke, and hot gases. They’re also useful in containing a fire if it does get started, which gives you more time to evacuate safely.

There are several types of fire-resistant materials available for walls and ceilings:

  • Gypsum board (drywall) with a plaster finish applied over it
  • Plasterboard (also called gypsum board) with an integral intumescent coating
  • Rock wool insulation behind drywall with an intumescent coating applied over the top layer of plasterboard (gypsum board).

Always Have a Fire Extinguisher Handy

Use a fire extinguisher when needed. Read the instructions carefully and understand how to use your fire extinguisher before you need it. Know where your extinguishers are located and that they are in good working order. Check them at least once a year, or more frequently if you have reason to believe they may need it (e.g., if they were dropped). The manufacturer's instructions will tell you how often they should be checked or serviced by a professional, but every few years is probably fine as long as you keep an eye out for any signs of wear or damage, like cracks or rust spots that could cause leaks when you try to use them—and don't forget about those visual inspections. Make sure that all staff knows where the closest fire extinguisher is located and how to properly operate it in case of emergency—and make sure everyone understands its limitations: A fire extinguisher can only prevent fires from getting worse; it cannot put out an already raging blaze.

Fire prevention and preparation can save your business from suffering heavy losses. The importance of fire prevention can not be overstated. Fire damage can be very costly; if you have a small business, it may even put you out of business. Some types of businesses are more susceptible to fires than others. For example, restaurants and bars often have grease fires due to cooking equipment or flammable liquids like alcohol used in drinks. But any type of business could suffer from a devastating fire if they don't take the proper precautions against one happening:

Hopefully, we have shown you just how important it is to take fire safety seriously. The last thing that any business owner wants is to lose everything they’ve worked for. With these tips, you can rest easy knowing that your business will be safe from fire disasters.

If your Tyler business does catch on fire, SERVPRO of Tyler is here to help you clean up the mess and get back to normal. 

What To Do When You Lose Power

8/31/2022 (Permalink)

Fractured timber power line bridge with electrical components on the ground after a storm. Power outage in Whitehouse, TX area

What To Do When You Lose Power

Ice, snow, and high winds can wreak havoc upon power lines. Storm season means an increased chance of a power outage. Losing power at your business in Whitehouse, TX, doesn't have to mean losing valuable data or working hours, though. There are a few things you can do to make sure all your files are saved and accessible for workers.

Have a Generator

Every building should have at least one portable generator that can keep the power going when the municipal supply is cut off. A backup generator can help maintain electricity to various items:

  • Basement sump pumps
  • Office equipment
  • Lights
  • Computers
  • Heating system
  • Fire system

A generator not only keeps your business running but also keeps your building protected from certain hazards that may accompany the storm. If the basement floods, for example, remediation experts can resolve your problem faster if you have a working sump pump to remove most of the water before they arrive. You can save a lot of money on repairs and lost revenue if you can maintain basic functions after a power outage.

Seek Alternate Sources

Between the time when the power goes out and the generator kicks in, it's helpful to have sources that can help employees save what they're working on. Plugging each computer into an uninterrupted power supply does just that. The UPS lets the device run on its battery until another power source can take over. Because it's difficult to predict how long you may be without power, especially if you don't have a generator, it's important to make sure that the battery is strong and that employees only use their computers for essential functions so that it can last as long as possible.

A power outage doesn't have to spark widespread panic as employees lament the loss of documents they worked hard to create. By taking a couple of precautions, you can implement solutions that outlast the blackout.

Places in Commercial Buildings Where Mold Is Likely To Grow

8/29/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall Mold growth in commercial property

Areas Where You Can Find Mold

Mold is in every building, a presence in the air people breathe even if its growth cannot be perceived by the naked eye. Once it becomes visible, it poses a risk overtime to the structural integrity of commercial property because it degrades construction materials like wood, glue and fabrics. This can be financially costly to business owners, so the discovery of mold growth usually prompts them to contact a professional cleanup service in Troup, TX, for mold remediation. The fungus is not always in an easy to spot location, but there are certain areas where it is more likely to be found.

Locations With Moisture
Besides causing water damage, leaks and large inundations of water also cause harm by promoting mold growth. The invasive mold loves dark, wet and cold spaces. Any place with a lot of moisture and/or high humidity carries a high likelihood of having it, including public or employee bathrooms or around pipes.
Locations Associated With HVAC Systems
HVAC systems themselves and places connected to them are mold breeding grounds because of condensation. This includes:

  • Ducts attached to HVAC systems
  • HVAC terminal units
  • HVAC drain pans
  • Ceiling tiles around HVAC systems

Locations That Trap and Hold Water
Building materials often trap and hold water, creating environments conducive for the development of the ubiquitous fungus. Carpets and the lightless spaces behind walls, for example, often hold mold that goes unnoticed for long periods of time. It is also not uncommon to find it in insulation or wallboard.
Mold growth is bad news for a building. It eats away at materials, creating a need for repairs and, in some cases, replacement. It is also impossible to fully remove, though qualified professionals can remove the parts that can be seen. It is important to know where mold may grow, especially the less accessible areas that may not be looked at as often. This way such areas can be checked, and mold discovered and dealt with before spreading further.

Can a Fire-Damaged Home Ever Get Back to Normal?

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

Kitchen cabinets burned, Burned kitchen Fire damage in a Tyler, TX home.

Four Steps Fire Restorers Use To Fix Fire Damage

Few things are more heartbreaking than going through a home fire. If your home in Texas has gone through ablaze, whether due to bad electrical wiring or oil fire, it may be a literal shell of its former self. You may wonder if your smoke-damaged home can ever get back to normal. Fortunately, by working with a fire restoration company, you can increase your chances of returning your home to its pre-burn state.

1. Survey the Damage

As you may know, fire restoration firms play no part in extinguishing your home’s blaze. Instead,
firefighters work hard to check your house for inhabitants and stop the destructive fire. After firefighters leave, restorers survey damage. They also board up doors and broken windows to keep criminals from causing additional damage.

2. Clean Personal Belongings

Because your smoke-damaged home is likely not safe or inhabitable, restorers remove salvageable
belongings to clean them off-site. Then, using specialized cleaning products and techniques, restoration technicians remove smoke from your keepsakes.

3. Restore Walls and Floors

Homeowners are often surprised to realize that fire-suppression activities can cause more damage than the fire itself. Restorers work hard to remedy smoke and water damage. Often, they must paint walls and renovate flooring.

4. Tackle Lingering Smoke Odor

Even weeks after a fire, smoke odor can linger in your smoke-damaged home. To encourage a fresh,
clean scent, restorers use ozone and thermal fogging techniques. They also spend time deep cleaning your home’s heating and air conditioning systems. Likewise, with the help of high-powered filters and fans, fire restoration techniques remove small soot particles from your home’s air. After workers finish, homes often smell like they never burned.
Returning your fire-damaged home to normal involves more than simply cleaning soot from walls. When you work with a skilled restoration service, you take advantage of expertise and equipment to recover from your devastating Tyler, TX home fire.

The Relationship Between Fire Damage and Water Damage

7/31/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in a big building Commercial fire damage in Arp, TX

You've probably heard the saying, "Where's the smoke, there's fire." In the case of an office building fire, you could say, "Where's the fire, there's water." Experiencing a fire can be a scary event. Even small blazes can cause extensive fire damage. Thankfully, fire crews have the skills and equipment to extinguish the flame. However, this can introduce a new set of problems.

How Fires Start

If there is fire damage in your office, there are a few likely culprits for the incident. Office fires commonly start in the following ways:

  • Electrical system problems
  • Improper disposal of flammable materials
  • People smoking cigarettes on the premises

The Consequences
A fire can rage through your office quickly and destroy building materials, furniture, documents, and electronics. The smoke damage can be just as harmful. Smoke leaves soot and ash on the floor, equipment, and other surfaces. You'll need to hire a professional disaster mitigation company to handle the cleanup and restoration efforts. The pros will tear out ruined building materials and other items. Technicians can salvage some equipment and supplies.

Water: A Help and a Hindrance
You'll be grateful for the firefighters in Arp, TX, and the water they use to put out the fire. These responders put out a lot of water from each fire hose. This method can be effective at eliminating the fire, but it also can cause further damage to your building. The water left behind can destroy computers, printers, carpets, and documents. If you don't clean up the water quickly, mold can start to grow.

A Professional Touch
The good news is professional cleanup technicians are experienced and skilled in removing any standing water. The company will mitigate the water damage in your office while cleaning up after the fire as well.
Along with fire damage, water can cause problems after a fire in your office. Be aware of the possible consequences and enlist the help of a water removal team.

6 Steps to Preserve Wood Floors from Water Damage

7/26/2022 (Permalink)

wood flooring damaged by water, pieces of floor removed Wood floor damaged by water.

Steps To Help Prevent Long-Term Damage

Wood flooring can bring a pleasing aesthetic to your Troup, TX, business. While durable and long-lasting, it does have a weak point: water. If your business experiences a pipe burst, the wood floor will rapidly begin to absorb the water. If left unchecked, it can quickly lead to staining, cupping, buckling, and cracking, which could mean costly repairs. Below are steps to help prevent long-term damage.

1. Removed Saturated Items
The moment you notice a wet floor, quick action is necessary. Immediately remove any rugs or furniture. Leaving them in place will result in more moisture being absorbed in the floor, as well as increase the chances of mold or mildew growth.

2. Soak Up the Water
Use whatever you have on hand to soak up as much water as possible. The longer standing water remains, the more chances your floor will be damaged. It is important to consider the type of water. If there is any potential for contaminants, extra safety precautions should be taken.

3. Clean the Floor
Any debris or dirt left in the pores of wood flooring can store bacteria. Disinfecting the entire surface can help eradicate that potential problem.

4. Dry It Out
After a pipe bursts, open windows and fans can become your best friend. Increased airflow is essential for wood to dry out.

5. Perform a Moisture Test
Testing meters are available that display moisture levels. Depending on the extent of the damage and humidity levels, it could take weeks for the floor to completely dry.

6. Get Professional Help
Anytime your business faces excess water, it is worth contacting a water and mold damage expert. Along with ensuring your wood floors are properly cleaned and dried, they will be able to locate any hidden water damage that may have made its way into the walls or under the floor.
While a pipe burst is a massive hassle, taking quick action is imperative to avoid long-term damage.

How To Conduct an Emergency Drill at Work

7/21/2022 (Permalink)

People escape to fire exit door Make sure all employees are trained to know where to meet and how to get there.

Creating a fire drill procedure is the best way to make sure your employees and visitors get to a safe place quickly in case of an emergency, such as a fire or other disaster. When developing the plan, include the following steps for an effective evacuation.

Steps To Follow When Creating an Evacuation Plan

Alert your local fire department before you conduct a drill. The Fire Marshall will be happy to visit your facility and give you helpful suggestions so that you can identify the best evacuation routes to get people to safety quickly.

Develop a safety committee and make sure to meet regularly. It’s important to include a person from each department and shift who will account for employees at the designated meeting places outside the building. Once evacuation routes have been established, post the fire drill paths with maps in all areas of the facility.

Make sure you have a reliable alarm system that everyone in the building is able to hear. In areas where the noise level is high, or if you have an employee who is hearing impaired, you need to make sure there are flashing lights or another visual alarm that can’t be missed. Alarms should be checked periodically to ensure they are working properly.

Make sure all employees are trained to know where to meet and how to get there. Conduct a drill periodically to ensure that everyone is accounted for quickly and efficiently. Don’t forget to account for all the visitors in your building. Having a sign-in sheet at the reception area will help identify all visitors to your business.

Steps To Making the Plan a Success

When you are implementing a fire drill plan, it is important to repeat the exercise several times so that your employees become comfortable with the process.

What Are the Standards for Preferred Vendors?

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment on a living room Water damage cleanup in Tyler, TX.

What Criteria Are Used to Select Preferred Vendors?

An insurance agent and commercial property owner can both benefit from using a trustworthy restoration company. The SERVPRO National Accounts Division maintains stringent qualification compliance and professional standards. Rigorous requirements for participation such as training, background checks and high quality of service can make a nearby franchise the right choice for restoration work in Tyler, TX.

Background Checks and Internal Audits
Employee background checks and internal audits are among the main requirements for restoration franchises to participate in the National Accounts Division. These checks, along with other Participation Agreement requirements, have several purposes:

  • Ensure the highest quality of service
  • Guarantee insurers can rely on restoration service providers
  • Increase claim coverage where possible

Franchise owners have the option to participate in the vendor program and to take jobs covered by insurance. Continued compliance with these requirements is necessary for ongoing program participation.

Fully Trained Technicians
Professional cleaning and restoration skills are another factors that is taken into consideration for determining preferred vendors. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification is available in a variety of divisions, such as cleaning, inspection and restoration, and specialized fields. 
Longstanding Insurance Agent Partnerships
The high quality of service provided by individual franchise locations can make large insurance companies more likely to rely on franchises affiliated with the National Accounts Division in other locations. By consistently demonstrating a high quality of service across North America, this company has become a leading provider of restoration services associated with insurance claims.

An insurance agent can trust that preferred vendors will deliver the expected quality of service. From the reciprocal perspective, franchises must meet high internal standards to be eligible for working insurance jobs. The standards for vendor qualification compliance and professionalism that a corporation maintains can guarantee high-quality service at a franchise located in Tyler, TX.

How To Save Wet Documents After a Flood

6/21/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents Salvaging wet documents is possible when following a thorough process.

How To Salvage Wet Documents

When your business suffers from water damage, the building must undergo a cleaning and restoration project, as well as any valuable items that appear ruined. Salvaging wet documents is possible when following a thorough process. Here is what you need to know if you need to save flooded documents within your Arp, TX, commercial space.

1. Get Wet Documents to a Freezer
The first key step to saving your paper items is getting them in a freezer as quickly as possible. Taking swift action here prevents the document from deteriorating as well as producing mold or bacteria if it remained wet. After you've got your items in a freezer, contact a local water damage restoration expert who will then transport the documents to a state-of-the-art facility that specializes in document drying. Their specially designed vacuum-freezer will suck any remaining moisture out of the paper for advanced restoration.

2. Gamma Irradiation Cleaning
If your documents came in contact with wastewater or outdoor flooding, they will be inundated with harmful bacteria, pesticides and other dangerous properties. Experts will employ what's known as gamma irradiation to kill off any biohazards and sterilize the paper once it has been freeze-dried. This step is critical for eliminating any health risks associated with water damage.

3. Produce Digital Copies of Documents
Once your items have undergone drying and sterilization, restoration professionals will then produce digital copies. This offers peace of mind to business owners who can now easily access their documents digitally and don't have to worry about their hard copies becoming damaged in the event of another flood disaster.
If your commercial space experiences a water issue that has compromised valuable papers, it's paramount to immediately place the wet documents in a freezer. From there, let professionals step in with specialized vacuum-freeze drying, gamma irradiation cleaning and digitizing of the documents.