Recent Posts

Signs Your Furnace Needs Immediate Attention

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Signs Your Furnace Needs Immediate Attention Keep your furnace maintained for best results and lower costs

Most homeowners know to maintain their windows, garage doors, stoves and other appliances that they regularly use, but not many give much thought to the hidden appliances and machines, such as water heaters and furnaces. Yet, water heaters and furnaces are the source of many home fires and the reason for many calls to Whitehouse, TX, fire cleaning teams. This is because they go unmaintained for so long that when they do malfunction, the problem is a relatively large one. Fortunately, preventing a furnace fire is fairly easy and requires little time investment on your part. Typically, furnace maintenance revolves around one of three main components:

  • The distribution system
  • The heat/cold source
  • The thermostat

By accurately troubleshooting the issue, you can keep your furnace operating at maximum capacity and prevent the need for smoke cleaning experts.

The Safe Way to Furnace Maintenance

Before you start work on your furnace, there are some preliminary steps you can take beforehand to make sure the issue isn't something as minor as a blown fuse. This may save you a world of trouble and eliminate the need for a fire cleaning team entirely. Some things you can do include the following:

  • Check to make sure that the unit is receiving power. Sometimes, something as simple as resetting the power may be all it takes to get your furnace back to operating as normal.
  • If the unit has a power switch, make sure that is switched to on.
  • If the power switch is on, try hitting the unit's reset button. However, only do so after allowing the unit to cool for at least 30 minutes.
  • Make sure the thermostat is set properly. It is not uncommon for thermostats to be off by five to 10 degrees.
  • If the unit uses gas, make sure the pilot is lit.

Sometimes, the measures above are all it takes to restore a furnace to maximum operating capacity. Unfortunately, however, the fix isn't always so simple. If your furnace needs further trouble shooting or maintenance, contact your local fire cleaning team today for assistance.

5 Steps To Remove Flood Odors From Your Business

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 5 Steps To Remove Flood Odors From Your Business Flooded carpet in a Bullard,TX building

If a flood hits your business in Bullard,TX, there may be a strange, unwelcome odor permeating the air and displeasing customers, employees or yourself. Depending on the source, there are multiple ways to treat the problem. Whether it’s mold growth or something else, you can act to remove the smell with these five steps.

1. Ventilate the Building and Evaluate the Situation

If there is a window or door that can be opened, it should be. This allows any lingering scents to disperse. You can then work to identify and locate any centralized, problematic scents still remaining in your business building.

Once the problem is located, you should decide how to proceed. If sewage loss is causing the odor, it’s best to stay away from the contaminated water and contact a professional.

2. Dry Wet Carpeting and Flooring

Carpet holds moisture rather well, and it may be the source of the scent that is overwhelming your business. A wet and dry vacuum, which can be rented if needed, can shampoo the carpet and then dry it afterwards. This sanitizes the area to potentially remove some of the bothersome smell.

3. Scrub Moldy Surfaces

Mold growth left alone will continue to reproduce and spread along with its musty odor. Any visible growth on a solid surface can be treated with thorough scrubbing using a solution such as vinegar.

4. Spray Furniture and Upholstery

If you have access to a spray bottle, furniture can be sprayed and scrubbed the same way as hard surfaces. However, porous materials are likely not able to be fully cleaned this way, since the fungus settles deep within.

5. Consult Professionals for Extensive Cleanup

Not everything can be done without commercial grade machines and proper procedures. An expert storm and mold damage treatment company can help remove problems caused by floodwater and other water damage.

When dealing with flood odors, most do-it-yourself remedies will fix only the symptom. With an expert team’s help, you can remove most of the unwanted smells alongside any mold growth or other nuisance.

What To Do When Light Fixtures Drip Water

10/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What To Do When Light Fixtures Drip Water Ceiling damaged by broken pipe in a Tyler,TX home

A burst pipe in your ceiling or roof leak may not be apparent until water starts to pool or drip from light fixtures. Follow these three steps as soon as you notice water in light fixtures in your home in Tyler, TX.

1. Know the Risks

Charged particles in water conduct electricity. You may receive a shock if you attempt to handle a fixture or even turn off the switch. Shut off the power at the breaker box or service panel for your home and use a non-contact voltage tester on dry electrical sources elsewhere in the residence to confirm that the electricity is off. If you don't have a meter on hand, shut off the power and call an electrician.

2. Fix the Source of the Problem

If the leak in your ceiling and water in light fixtures is due to a broken pipe, turn off the water at the main shutoff valve. This can mitigate damage until a plumber and electrician arrive. If a roof leak is the culprit, contact a roofer. You may also want to hire a residential water damage restoration firm to provide cleanup and ensure that secondary damage, such as mold, does not develop.

3. Address the Damage

Even after resolving the cause of a leak, you should not attempt to repair or replace any light fixtures exposed to water. You may want to eliminate any water that has pooled in the ceiling, which can cause ceiling damage. Place a large bucket or trash can with wheels under a ceiling bulge and pierce the bulge with a sharp object to reduce weight and pressure.

An electrician can safely remove water in light fixtures and replace these fixtures. Electrical wires can develop corrosion that can lead to electrical shorts or fires, so it is best to replace any lighting that has been exposed to water.

How to Handle a Misfire of Fire Sprinklers

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial How to Handle a Misfire of Fire Sprinklers A professional water damage restoration crew is preferred to handle water removal and repair.

Fire sprinklers are a boon to many businesses for their ability to stop fires in their early stages from consuming more property and becoming costlier. In some situations, these systems can unexpectedly trigger when there is no fire. This leads to flooding and its associated expenses. You can act to mitigate the water’s threat by understanding the causes of defects and how to stop the system during an incident.

Causes of a Fire Sprinkler Gone Awry

Sprinkler systems have safeguards to stop them from deploying except during a fire. There are several circumstances that can cause them to errantly deploy:

• Frozen pipes causing pressure to break pipes and leak
• Abnormal heat from abnormally hot weather or roof damage letting heat in
• Damage to the mechanism by service work done in or around the ceiling by yourself or others
• Vandalism for scrap parts or with the intention of committing insurance fraud using arson
• Metal corrosion from stagnant water in the pipes or sprinklers

Stopping the Water From Causing Property Damage

The most important step for stopping sprinklers from flooding your business it to identify where your business’ water shutoff valve is located. You should familiarize yourself with its operation, so you can stop the sprinklers if there is no fire. In case you are absent, other trusted employees should also be informed of it.

Water damage can ultimately be prevented with occasional professional inspection of your fire sprinklers. Proper maintenance ensures the system will deploy only when you need it. It’s good practice to make sure the sprinklers are clear of obstructions and not used to hang decorations. Misuse risks damaging the units.

Handling the Aftermath

Your insurance should be contacted and informed of the fire sprinkler malfunction to work out coverage. A professional water damage restoration crew is preferred to handle water removal and repair. Your actions impact the total cost of such services. With proper measures taken before and during a defective sprinkler incident, you can prevent extensive flooding to your business in Tyler, TX. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROtyler.com/.

3 Ways Your Landscaping Can Prevent Flooding

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 3 Ways Your Landscaping Can Prevent Flooding No matter how much rain you get, you can curb outside flooding a little bit by changing up your landscape design.

When it's storm season in Tyler, TX, you may feel like you're fighting a losing battle against outside flooding. After all, if there is too much water for the surrounding area to hold it, flooding and the cost of mitigation services seem inevitable. There are specific landscape elements, however, that can reduce flooding around your home after a rain storm. Incorporating these elements into your design plan can keep water outside and away from your home.

Proper Drainage

The best way to prevent flooding is to redirect excess water to a place where it can be stored or useful. There are several ways to do this:

• Rain spouts directed to a garden bed and away from the house
• Swales that capture rain drainage and channel it into an area that thrives on large volumes of water
• Drainage ditches on either side of the driveway
• Rain garden that has a water reservoir for watering during drier times

Porous Surfaces

A lot of outside flooding occurs because water hits impervious pavements and has nowhere to go. A non-porous surface pushes rain water away. This may be good for the state of the surface, but it can wreak havoc on your yard if you get a lot of rain. Porous surfaces allow rain to sink into them so that it doesn't run off into the street or municipal gutters.

Heavy Mulch

A difficult problem for most cities to solve is what to do with all the debris that washes into the drainage system after a rainstorm. You can do your part by replacing your light mulch that washes away easily with a heavier mulch. Light wood mulches, such as pine, may be less expensive, but they create more work for everyone in the long run. A heavier hardwood mulch is more likely to stay put.

No matter how much rain you get, you can curb outside flooding a little bit by changing up your landscape design. Better drainage, porous surfaces and heavy mulch slow down how much flooding occurs. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROtyler.com/.

How To Check for Mold Growth

9/15/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How To Check for Mold Growth If your home smells dank and you suspect you need mold cleaning, have it tested first.

A musty odor in your home may be a sign of mold growth. How do you know for sure, though? If you are considering purchasing a kit to test your home in Tyler, TX, save your money. The only way to know if you need mold cleaning for sure is to enlist the expertise of a certified industrial hygienist. A CIH can identify whether or not you need to seek out mold remediation services.

What Does a CIH Do?

A CIH is trained to test for a variety of hazards in your living environment. There are four main areas to his or her expertise:

• Anticipating problems by analyzing present factors
• Recognizing problems through testing
• Evaluating safety issues
• Controlling and eradicating hazards

If your home tests positive in an evaluation conducted by a CIH, you know for certain that you need mold cleaning services. When you hire specialists to remediate the mold damage in your home, the tests performed can tell them a lot about the extent of the problem.

Why Do I Need a CIH to Check for Mold?

Mold is everywhere. Spores live in the air outdoors, and they are carried into your home on clothing, pets, hair and shoes. It is impossible to have a home that is completely spore-free. When you use the home mold test kits, they will almost always report that you have mold in your home, even if there is no growth to be found. The store-bought kits do not distinguish from the mold spores that are inevitably in the air and a problematic growth causing potential damage to the home's structure. A CIH can discover if an actual problem exists.

If your home smells dank and you suspect you need mold cleaning, have it tested first. A test conducted by an expert is the best way to determine if you have a mold problem. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROtyler.com/.

The Fire Sprinkler Demystified

8/22/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial The Fire Sprinkler Demystified Public places where people congregate can pose a significant risk of injury or death in the event that a fire erupts.

For the majority of people in Tyler, TX, and elsewhere, seeing a fire sprinkler deploy is quite unlikely to happen. However, its presence in public and commercial buildings is a reassuring reminder that in a fire emergency, it is a built-in, first line of defense. In fact, building codes in many localities stipulate whether or not a system is required in commercial settings.

How It Works

The great thing about an automatic fire suppression system is that it stands ready to kick into action at any time of day or night in an occupied or unoccupied building. It typically consists of a piping grid that is filled with water stored under pressure. The operation of the system is generally quite simple.

1. When a fire occurs, the air temperature above it rises.
2. If the temperature gets high enough, the sprinkler activates.
3. A vigorous spray of water is released and begins to reduce or extinguish flames.

The fire sprinkler is designed so that the nearest source of flames will trigger it. Contrary to what some perhaps believe, the presence of smoke alone will not set it off; it is heat that will do so. The consequent spray of water can vary from 8 to 24 gallons per minute and can be very effective in knocking down flames and heat prior to the arrival of fire department personnel. The rapid response is what can create an opportunity for safe evacuation or property preservation.

In the event of an extinguished fire or a malfunction of the system, fire sprinkler cleanup can require the help of water damage experts. A business insurance policy can often help to mitigate the cost of restoring the space to its previous condition.

Public places where people congregate can pose a significant risk of injury or death in the event that a fire erupts. A fire sprinkler is often a highly effective piece of equipment to help preserve lives and property. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROtyler.com/.

Cleaning Out Flood Water From Difficult Places With the Right Gear

8/20/2018 (Permalink)

Your Tyler, TX, business could have storm lead to unwanted flood water. Knowing the types of hardware needed to remove water and debris allows you prepare your property or know what to expect for restoration. Here are four types of equipment used to relocate high volumes of water or debris.

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. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROtyler.com/.

4 Signs You May Have a Shower Leak

8/15/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 4 Signs You May Have a Shower Leak A shower or bathtub leak is something you want to catch as soon as possible.

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 has 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. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROtyler.com/.

Steps to Making a Claim for Flood Coverage

7/22/2018 (Permalink)

Insurance is one of those things you hope to never need to use, but you’re happy it’s available. If you have flood insurance, it can help you with costly repairs and restore your home. Making a flood claim doesn’t have to be complicated, but you want to make sure you take the right steps, so you get the right coverage after a flood in your Tyler, TX, home.


Contact and Clean.


As soon as you experience a flood at your home, you need to get in touch with your insurance provider without delay. As soon as you call your representative to make an insurance claim, you need to get ready for the adjuster to arrive and inspect your home.

• Thoroughly clean your home and try to salvage as many items as possible.
• Allow the adjuster to see the extent of the damage.
• Take photos of the damaged area to provide to the adjuster.


Take Inventory of What You Lost.


It’s important to make a list of items that were damaged in the flood, especially those items that you cannot salvage. If possible, gather receipts and documentation of each of the item’s cost and date of purchase. This will help when you make a flood claim, so you can replace the items.


Sign a Proof of Loss Statement.


When the insurance adjuster arrives at your home, he or she will inspect the affected area. The adjuster will note the damages and will then ask you to sign a proof of loss document. Here, you will certify items you have lost. If you discover additional damage after signing the document, you can add those notes later. You’ll also want to leave your contact information with the insurance company.

It’s important that you follow these steps when you make a flood claim. Properly doing so will ensure that you get all the help you need recovering from this disaster.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROtyler.com/.