Recent Posts

Preparing for Unpredictable Spring Weather | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

It’s officially spring and that means one thing—it’s time to buckle up for whatever Mother Nature may choose to send our way.

Mother Nature’s Choice

Springtime’s arrival comes with longer days and more sunshine, but unfortunately, also comes with the threat of severe weather throughout the country. It’s dealer’s choice this time of year, which means the weather may change at moment’s notice.

The changing weather is due to the unstable temperatures that can go from warm to cold even in the same day. That temperature change can result in extreme weather changes as well.

Thunderstorms are increasingly common throughout the spring and are the main cause of severe weather. A thunderstorm can occur whenever warm, moist air collides with cool, dry air, which is most common in the spring and summer.

When looking at natural catastrophe losses in the U.S. for 2017, severe thunderstorms were the most common and produced some of the costliest results. Out of 50 events, there were 85 fatalities and an estimated total of $25.4 billion in overall losses.

These storms can bring about the threat of flooding, high winds and even tornadoes if the conditions are right. It has been found that in modern history, 10% of all violent tornadoes have occurred in March, with April, May and June taking the top spots at 30%, 24% and 15% respectively.

How to Be Prepared

We may not be able to predict the weather with 100% accuracy, but fortunately, forecasters have the tools available to at least give us an idea of severe weather that could be coming. Advanced warnings, along with the right preparation, can greatly improve overall safety for your family.

Here are some things you can do to your home to prepare for the chance of severe weather:

  1. Clear out your home’s gutters, drains and downspouts.
  2. Trim trees of precarious limbs or branches that could break off in a storm.
  3. Secure or store outdoor belongings if severe weather is in the forecast.

Having an emergency kit on hand is always advised. These kits should include the following:

  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA weather radio, with extra batteries for both
  • Emergency evacuation or shelter plans
  • Important personal info, like telephone numbers of neighbors, family and friends, insurance and property info, numbers for the utility companies, and medical info
  • A first-aid kit with things like non-latex gloves, adhesive bandages, tweezers, sterile gauze pads, aspirin packets, adhesive cloth tape and scissors
  • 3–5 day supply of bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Blankets or sleeping bag

Despite its unpredictability, there is one thing that always remains true of the spring weather season: It always happens. If your home or business is damaged in a storm, you can depend on SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights to get the cleanup and restoration process started fast.

Real Quotes From Real Customers

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to working with a restoration company, you want to ensure that you are in good hands.  The best way to do this is to know the reputation of the company prior to beginning work.  Our customers speak for our work and here they are in their own words:

  "Working with SERVPRO® has been a breath of fresh air during this difficult experience. It’s nice to work with such caring professionals who want the best for you after a bad house fire. Since day one, they have explained everything in extensive detail, made me feel at ease and delivered on every commitment made. Kudos to SERVPRO®
for turning my bad situation into a positive one with their phenomenal customer service!”

“To all the guys at SERVPRO®, I would like to give you all a pat on the back. I’ve never experienced anything like my house flooding before and I have never experienced a cleanup process either. It was nerve racking, but I have also never seen a crew come in and put forth that much effort putting us back together again. The professionalism and speed were remarkable.”

For a team you can trust, call SERVPRO of Alamo Heights.

Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is Coming

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that Wildfire Community Preparedness Day is coming up?  It is May 4th, 2019 and is an excellent day to come together in order to prepare for wildfires.  In 2018, there were 55,911 wildfires in the U.S., which burned 8.6 million acres, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Nearly 90% of wildfires are caused by humans.  Help reduce your community’s wildfire risk by participating in a local event for Wildfire Community Preparedness Day. To see a project map to locate local events, or for more information and resources to host your own event, visit wildfireprepday.org.  When we work together, we can prevent wildfires and help ensure a safer community.  SERVPRO of Alamo Heights supports preparedness efforts in our local community. 

Call The Cleanup Team That's Faster To Any San Antonio Disaster

3/27/2019 (Permalink)

Spring is in the air!  With the warmer weather comes the tradition of spring cleaning, a time to organize and clean the environments- home, business, office- we encounter on a daily basis.

  Perhaps you are selling a home and want to vanquish years of cigarette smoke odor that won't go away, or want to see if your ducts of HVAC system needs to be cleaned.  SERVPRO of Alamo Heights is here to help and offers the following cleaning services:

  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Upholstery Cleaning
  • Ceiling & Wall Cleaning
  • Hard Floor Cleaning
  • Air duct Cleaning
  • Deodorization (destroys odors)
  • Dryer vent cleaning

Whatever your spring cleaning needs, SERVPRO of Alamo Heights has you covered.  Call your local SERVPRO of Alamo Heights professionals today to discuss or schedule your necessary spring cleaning services.

Alamo Heights Fire Restoration Services

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Alamo Heights will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
210-822-2063

Why Choose SERVPRO? Because Response Time Matters | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

3/20/2019 (Permalink)

When disaster strikes your home or business, time becomes an especially precious commodity. When it is your home or livelihood on the line, you don’t have the benefit of waiting for help—you need it right away.

We know that a fast response is crucial, which is why responding faster to any size disaster is more than just a slogan to us.

Why a Fast Response Matters

When it’s your belongings or business on the line, time is not a luxury you have regarding disaster cleanup. This is especially true when water damage has come into play, which can be through various means such as flooding, appliance and/or plumbing failures, storm damage and fire damage, as water is used to put out the fires.

It only takes mere minutes for water to spread throughout your property, where it will saturate everything in its path. The walls, the floors, upholstery and your belongings are fast casualties of water.

The effects of water damage within the first 24 hours include:

  • Drywall beginning to swell and break down
  • Metal surfaces beginning to tarnish
  • Furniture beginning to swell and crack
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper items spreading and staining
  • The beginning of a musty odor

The damage continues to worsen as time goes on. Between 48 hours to a week later, you could begin to see:

  • The growth and spreading of mold and mildew
  • Swelling and warping of doors, windows and studs
  • Metal beginning to rust and corrode
  • Paint beginning to blister
  • Wood flooring swelling and warping
  • The possibilities of serious biohazard contamination

Water damage that is left unchecked for over a week can lead to a dramatically increased restoration time and costs and can also impact structural safety.

How We Can Help

We can provide an immediate response to any size disaster, which can help minimize the damage and help keep the cleaning and restoration costs manageable.

Our trained cleanup and restoration specialists can be dispatched to your property or business at any time, no matter what day or time it is.

Being a locally owned and operated franchise helps us be close by and ready to respond whenever the call comes in. A major perk of being part of a national network of over 1,700 franchises is that we have access to more resources for the cleanup and restoration projects that may be larger or stem from major storm situations.

Remember, if you need us, we’ll be there—no matter the time or day. The team of highly trained restoration experts at SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights is available for emergency cleanup and restoration services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Fire Safety Tips for Your Business | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

As a business owner, there are plenty of safety factors to take into consideration regarding risks to your business, staff and visitors.

Fires are one of those risks you need to spend a little extra time planning for and working toward preventing.

Leading Causes of Commercial Structure Fires

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) the leading causes of structure fires in office properties from 2007–2011 were (in order):

  1. Cooking equipment, 29% of fires
  2. Electrical distribution and lighting equipment, 12% of fires
  3. Heating equipment, 11% of fires
  4. Intentional, 10% of fires
  5. Smoking materials, 9% of fires
  6. Exposure, 4% of fires
  7. Electronic, office or entertainment equipment, 3% of fires

Of those causes, intentional, exposure, and electrical distribution and lighting equipment accounted for the most property damage.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2007, fires and explosions accounted for 3% of all workplace fatalities.

Looking to more recent numbers, the NFPA estimates that from 2007–2011, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 3,340 fires in office properties per year. Those fires resulted in an annual average of four deaths, 44 injuries and $112 million in direct property damage.

Protecting Your Business

There are many steps you can take to protect your business from the risk of fires. By focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention and staff education, you can help reduce the chance of a fire breaking out.

First, you must assess the risk of fire hazards. In some areas, the local government may even offer a visit from a fire marshal to help identify these risks and provide guidance on your fire prevention plan.

You’ll want to make sure that the right fire protection equipment is in place. This includes an automatic sprinkler system, smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on each floor.

Finally, consider your people, aka the employees. By creating a fire plan and reviewing it with your staff, you’ll be making sure everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire.

Conduct fire drills at least once a year to keep the fire safety protocol fresh, and take time to review evacuation plans and where the first-aid kits are.

Despite your best efforts at prevention, the worst could always happen at your business. If a fire has damaged your business, SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights is available to help make it "Like it never even happened."

Understanding the 3 Water Classifications | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

It is easy to think that all water causing damage is the same, but there are three classifications for it: clean, gray and black. Understanding the differences in these types of water can also help you understand how to better handle the situation.

No matter what type of water has caused damage, there will always be a cleanup and restoration process to follow. The most important aspect is to remove all the moisture and damp items quickly, so that mold cannot begin to flourish in its ideal environment.

Clean Water

Much like its name states, this water is considered “clean” and not the type to pose an immediate threat to your health. This water is free of contaminants and can come from:

  • Broken water lines
  • Malfunctioning appliances
  • Toilet holding tanks
  • Snow melt and rainwater

This is the easiest type of water damage to work with, as there will be fewer microbes living in the water, but after 48 hours and following contact with the surfaces of a building, clean water can move up to category two, which is gray water.

Gray Water

Gray water is where water damage cleanup and restoration can become a bit more serious. This is water that may pose a health risk, due to containing chemical or biological contamination. The slight contamination in gray water means that it would need to be thoroughly treated before being safe to consume.

Gray water can come from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc. The 48-hour exposure time applies here as well, with gray water turning into black water if not treated.

Black Water

Black water is the most serious of the three classifications, and is considered highly contaminated by harmful chemicals and biological matter. This would include floodwaters containing soil and all sewage waters.

Sewage is contaminated with microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungis and more—many of these can be harmful to humans.

Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastroenteritis-type illnesses

Remember, when it comes to floods, all waters should be assumed to be black water since it picks up contaminants along its path.

The three classifications of floodwater are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), an organization that certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our technicians all study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.

It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!

SERVPRO of Alamo Heights is Faster to Your Business Disaster

2/21/2019 (Permalink)

Are you a business owner in this beautiful Alamo City?  Have you recently experienced a water or fire damage?  At SERVPRO of Alamo Heights, we understand the complexities of working work commercial clients and are here to help.  We have crews available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year to respond faster to any size business disaster.  We can help with a one room pipe leak all the way to a fully involved overhead sprinkler loss that has covered your entire building.  We have the experience and IICRC training to navigate the proverbial waters or fires for you.  Let our team of mitigation experts help you to make it "Like it never even happened."  As a preventative measure, we are happy to come to your business to complete an Emergency Readiness Plan.  So whether you have experienced a loss or want to plan for what could happen, call us at (210) 822-2063.

Ways to Protect Your Home From Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage can be one of the most common and costliest disasters your home may experience. From a burst pipe to a malfunctioning dishwasher or storm damage, there are countless ways water damage could strike your home.

While water damage can be an especially common issue for homeowners to deal with, there are plenty of ways you can help protect your home from some trying scenarios.

<h4your-home">Protecting Your Home

Not only is water damage a hassle to deal with, but it can have a long-term impact on your home. Mold is one of the most common side effects of water damage, as mold can begin to grow and flourish within 48 hours of exposure to moisture.

When thinking about ways to protect your home, it can be helpful to break it down by areas of impact. These areas could include basements, kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and ceilings.

You can help prevent water damage in the basement by helping prevent water seepage. This can be done by resealing vulnerable areas of the basement, making sure water drains away from your home and installing a backwater valve.

Your kitchen and bathrooms can experience water damage due to plumbing issues and appliance failures.

Be sure you:

  • Inspect all appliances regularly, watching for issues with hoses and faucets
  • Check the seal and caulking around your showers and tubs to make sure they are watertight
  • Know where the main shut-off valve is in your home
  • Don’t leave the house while the washer or dishwasher is running

Protecting the possessions in your home from water damage is not always possible, but there are things you can do to at least decrease the amount of destruction. Using waterproof bins to store items is always advised, as is keeping items stored on shelving off of the floor—which is especially recommended when using your basement for storage.

<h4from-water-damage">Recovering From Water Damage

If your home does experience a water damage situation, you can stand a good chance at salvaging items that can be dried out within 48 hours.

You’ll want to contact your insurance provider immediately and evaluate the extent of the water damage in your home as well as identify the type of water that is involved.

The three types of water are:

1. “Clean” water. Can be from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, etc.

2. Gray water. Slightly dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines, clean toilets, etc.

3. Black water. Water from sewage or serious flooding from nearby rivers, etc. This water can cause serious health problems.

Following a water damage disaster, you will need to get your home dried out, dehumidify the area, remove wet objects and disinfect remaining materials.

Pro tip: You can put wet books, photos and papers in a frost-free freezer to buy some extra time. This prevents mold and mildew from developing and causing more deterioration. Once able, you can remove them from the freezer and air-dry or fan-dry the pages.

It may seem like recovering from water damage is an overwhelming and slightly impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can call on the highly trained experts at SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights, who are here to make it "Like it never even happened."