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It’s All About That “Restore First” Mentality | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

It’s well know that when disaster strikes, we provide a fast response to your crisis. However, there are other reasons why we should be one of your first calls if disaster strikes.

Our technicians have a “restore first” mentality, which is aided by the use of specialized equipment and cleaning techniques. This mentality also helps, when it comes to your property, to reduce the interruptions to life and helps get your home or business back to pre-disaster condition.

How We Do It

Knowing what to do after your property has suffered from fire damage is stressful, but that’s where we come in. After you call us, our team will quickly respond and get the project going.

Damage caused by fires is never the same—and while our specially trained team can come up with a unique solution that is tailored to your needs, the general process remains the same.

Here are the steps that are included in our process:

1. Emergency contact. When we receive your call, you will be asked a series of questions regarding the fire damage. This helps us make sure our team is dispatched with the appropriate equipment and resources.

2. Inspection and fire damage assessment. When our team arrives at your location, they will inspect and test adjoining rooms of the property to determine the extent of fire, smoke and soot damage. This helps us determine the right plan of action moving forward.

3. Immediate board-up and roof-tarp service. Because windows, walls and roofs are often compromised by fire damage, we will make sure that your property is secure and protected from further damage by boarding up missing windows and walls and placing a tarp on damaged roofs.

4. Water removal and drying (if water damage is present). Water damage can accompany fire damage; therefore, we’ll begin the removal process right away. Dehumidifiers and air movers are brought in to remove the remaining water and finish up the drying process.

5. Removal of smoke and soot from all surfaces. We have specialized equipment and techniques that are used to remove smoke and soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces.

6. Cleaning and sanitizing. Whenever and wherever possible, we will clean restorable items and structures. Not only will they be cleaned, but industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment are used to help remove odors.

7. Restoration. This is our final step in getting your property back to pre-fire condition. Restoration can include minor repairs like replacing drywall, painting and installing new carpet. It could also call for major repairs like reconstruction of damaged areas.

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.

Could water damage lead to mold in your Alamo Heights home?

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has had a water damage that may have lead to a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Water damage can lead to mold in Alamo Heights

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth looms as a potential problem for any homeowner in San Antonio. Mold spores coexist within residential settings, encompassing both outdoor and indoor environments. Although they usually pose little harm, when moisture is present, the invisible mold spores explode into invasive mold colonies. Our mold remediation services can help.

Mold damage is sometime visible in a San Antonio home, but it also announces itself with an unpleasant, musty odor. Ignoring a moldy smell is not advisable as large mold infestations can hide between walls, in attics and foundations, under flooring, and above ceilings. If you notice staining or some feathery or leathery growth, alert our remediation team. A small visible mold issue may be just the tip of a significant mold invasion.

SERVPRO mold remediation teams train to IICRC, EPA, and OSHA standards. We cannot promise to eliminate mold spores, but we can eradicate active mold colonies and take steps to inhibit further mold growth. Some individuals are sensitive to the vast quantities of mold spores generated by colony growth and the byproducts some molds shed as they multiply. Because of this, it is critical that EPA Precautions be observed during remediation.

Mold debris needs containment during remediation. SERVPRO employs a variety of strategies to keep individuals safe during mold abatement. Our employees wear personal protective equipment and shield unaffected areas of your home during the remediation process. We use physical barriers such as heavy-duty plastic sheeting to contain the debris. Negative pressure air scrubbers use filters and suction to keep the moldy particles away from people and clean areas of your home during the project.

Once the chosen containment strategies are in place our crew scrapes and sometimes blasts, using soda as a gentle abrasive, the mold off of surfaces. We bag and dispose of the moldy materials per local codes. Then the surfaces receive an EPA registered antimicrobial treatment to limit the possibility of additional mold growth.

SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights also identifies and recommends elimination of the moisture sources that fuel the mold growth. If the dampness, spills, leaks, or condensation that encouraged mold spores to multiply are not resolved, mold can return.

SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights is ready to help remediate a mold damage issue in your San Antonio home. Call us at (210) 822-2063 if you suspect mold growth and we can assess the situation and develop a plan.

For more information about the Parks in San Antonio, click here.

Avoiding Fire Hazards in the Kitchen | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

The kitchen can be a wonderfully versatile place—a place for family and friends to gather, for quality time to be spent and where some delicious eats are cooked up. Unfortunately, the kitchen is also the space where many home fires can occur.

Cooking fires are the No. 1 cause of home fires and injuries and the leading cause of these kitchen fires is unattended cooking.

In 2017, State Farm paid out over $130 million in homeowners insurance claims related to grease and other cooking fires. According to the insurance company, these are the worst states for kitchen fires:

  • North Carolina
  • Texas
  • Pennsylvania
  • California
  • Ohio
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
Kitchen Fire Safety Tips

Staying in the kitchen while cooking is not the only fire safety tip you should be following. Here are some other helpful tips to observe while cooking:

1. Be mindful of your clothing. Does your outfit have long, flowing sleeves or is it big and baggy? It could catch on fire if you aren’t careful while cooking over the stove. It’s best to wear short or close-fitted sleeve shirts and make sure any baggy shirts are tucked in or tied back.

2. Watch the items around the stovetop. Make sure you don’t have kitchen towels, oven mitts, appliance cords or even curtains too close to the stovetop when cooking. Ideally, anything flammable will be moved away from it.

3. Have a fire extinguisher in/near the kitchen. Hopefully you have at least one fire extinguisher located in your home, ideally one that is near your kitchen. Make sure you know how to properly use the extinguisher, just in case it is ever needed.

4. Do not throw hot grease in the garbage can. The grease may not be on fire, but it could be hot enough to cause something in the trash to burn. You should let the grease cool a bit and then dispose of it in an old coffee can. Also, know the smoke points of the oils you cook with. Be sure to never subject a low-smoke point oil to high heat when cooking, as it could catch fire.

5. Have a fire escape plan established. Thinking about the worst-case scenario is never fun, but it’s better to be prepared than unprepared if an emergency were to occur. Go over exit routes and designated meeting points with your family, making sure that everyone knows what to do.

Fire safety in the kitchen is an absolute necessity, as it can help prevent dangerous and destructive cooking fires. If your home has experienced damage from a cooking fire, know that SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights is here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Making Sure Your Business Is Ready for Any Potential Disaster Situations | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

There are a multitude of things that must be taken care of when running a business, but one of the most important factors to think about is emergency preparedness.

While having a plan in place cannot stop all disasters, it can still give your business a leg up on the safety side and at least make sure that your employees know what to do if a disaster or emergency situation should occur.

Making a Plan

Have you taken the time to sit down and work out an emergency preparedness plan for various disaster situations? If not, it should be a priority!

There are numerous emergencies your business should have a preparedness plan in place for, including:

  • Fire
  • Severe weather, including thunderstorms and winter storms
  • Other natural hazards like floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes
  • Human-caused hazards, including accidents or acts of violence
  • Technology-related issues like power outages and equipment failure

It doesn’t matter if it’s a man-made incident or one stemming from nature, if there is no emergency plan for your business, things could get even more stressful quickly.

You should make sure that safety training and familiarization of emergency preparedness plans are included in the company onboarding process, team-building activities and continuing education opportunities. By helping employees familiarize themselves with proper safety protocol and emergency procedures, you’re not only giving them the tools to protect themselves, but you are also setting them up to help protect guests/visitors and the business itself.

Where to Start

When beginning to set up an emergency plan for your business, you’ll first want to evaluate which scenarios are most likely to occur—and those that are a longshot but could still happen. After all, it’s better to prepare for all the worst-case scenarios and not be caught off guard.

There are plenty of online resources to help guide you through this process, including Ready.gov, the American Red Cross, FEMA and the CDC.

You should also conduct a business impact analysis (BIA) to help predict the potential effect a disaster may have on your business. This would include lost or delayed sales and income, increased expenses from repairs, and delayed implementation of business plans. Don’t forget to make sure a crisis communications plan is in place, too.

Once you have come up with an emergency preparedness plan, be sure to go over it and practice with employees. Reviewing and rehearsing various scenarios can help ensure the process remains fresh in their minds and can help employees feel more empowered.

Disaster can strike when you least expect it, but by being prepared and having a plan in place, your business will be better suited to handle whatever Mother Nature has in store. If the worst should happen and your business is damaged, know that SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

Tornado Safety Tips for Your Family | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

4/23/2019 (Permalink)

Knowing that springtime weather can be unpredictable, you should always be prepared for the chance of severe thunderstorms that lead to the perfect conditions for a tornado touchdown.

April and May traditionally have the highest occurrences of tornadoes at 30% and 24% respectively, which means we are currently in the height of tornado season throughout the United States.

Included in this blog are some tips and information on tornadoes that can help keep your family prepared for the worst possible scenario.

Conditions for a Tornado

Roughly 1,200 tornadoes occur in the U.S. each year, and they are born in thunderstorms, especially those known as “supercells.”

A tornado forms when changes in wind speed and direction create a horizontal spinning effect within a storm cell. This is then tipped vertical by rising air moving up through the thunderclouds.

At first, the tornado’s signature funnel cloud is transparent, but it becomes visible when water droplets from the storm’s moist air condense or when dust and debris are picked up. A typical tornado can grow to be 660 feet wide and will move at 10 to 20 miles per hour, although larger and faster have been observed. Hail and intense winds of over 200 mph can accompany tornadoes.

Tornadoes typically occur in the spring and summertime, later in the afternoon, but it is vital to remember that they can occur anytime and anywhere.

What to Do in Case of a Tornado

First, you should know the difference between a tornado watch and tornado warning. A watch is issued when the conditions are favorable for tornadoes, while a warning is issued when a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar.

If a warning has been issued for your area, it is vital to take action to find safe shelter, especially if you are in the path of the tornado.

Shelter options include:

  • Underground options like a basement or storm shelter.
  • The lowest part of your home, in an area that is away from outside walls, doors and windows. Interior closets and bathrooms can be ideal options.
  • If you are outside, try to get to a sturdy building. Mobile homes and trailers are not a safe option.
  • If on the road and no building access is available, do not get under an overpass or bridge. Instead, find a low, flat location and use your arms to protect your head and neck.

You should make sure that you have flashlights, a battery-powered weather radio and extra batteries in your selected tornado shelter at home

If you are caught out on the road during a tornado, DO NOT try to outrun it. Also, when you are taking shelter in your home, you can provide additional cover by using furniture items like couch cushions, mattresses or blankets to help keep your head and neck covered.

Tornadoes can wreak absolute havoc on the areas they touch down in. While meteorologists and weather services can provide some advanced warning to potential threats, tornadoes can still occur with little to no warning at all.

If your home or business has been damaged by a tornado, know that SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights is ready and waiting to jump into action and get cleanup and restoration of your property underway.

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.

<h4nature-s-choice">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.

<h4to-be-prepared">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.