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Check Your Appliances Regularly to Avoid Hidden Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

frustrated woman on floor looking at broken washer If your home experiences any flooding or other water issue, SERVPRO of Alamo Heights is here to dry, clean and repair any damage.

Though water damage is often thought of as a flood-related issue, there are many things within the home that can also cause issues. One of the most common culprits for this is household appliances.

Understanding the types of appliances that typically lead to water damage is important for remembering to do regular maintenance and practice prevention around the house, so homeowners do not have to deal with the complications of water damage.

Appliances That Commonly Cause Water Damage

Hot Water Heater
Hot water heaters are one of the leading culprits of water damage from appliances. Typically, they will be designed to last between 10 and 15 years, but leaks can start much earlier due to factors of construction materials, installation and premature corrosion.

Refrigerator
Refrigerators with ice makers are the common culprits for water damage, typically due to the soft plastic tubing that runs water into the ice maker and drains it away. Because most of us do not check behind and under our refrigerators regularly, this problem can become severe before it is ever noticed.

Dishwasher
Dishwashers are another appliance that does not get moved often, with most homeowners noticing softness in their floor before they realize there is a water damage problem afoot. Additionally, if the dishwasher is an older model, water damage may not be covered by insurance.

Washing Machine
Washing machines use quite a bit of water, making their hoses more likely to fail and cause leakage that can go unnoticed. It is recommended to check your machine’s hoses once a month, and replace every five years even if there is no sign of outward deterioration.

Air Conditioner
Air conditioners build up condensation as they run, which is typically drained away in an operational system. However, issues with the drain pan and line such as leaks or clogs can cause issues to arise around your unit. Checking in on your HVAC system and performing regular maintenance is the best way to prevent this.

If your home has been impacted by water damage or you’d like to put a plan in place in case it happens to you, contact us to learn how we can help.

Risk Management for Small Business Owners | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

For small business owners, natural disasters can be extremely high-stakes. Not only is there the direct danger that comes from the disaster, but there is also the risk to their business and livelihood in the aftermath. With natural disasters becoming increasingly common across the country if you have not thought about how to prepare for a disaster, now is a good time to do so.

Identifying and managing risk as well as preparing for the aftermath of a natural disaster that affects your business is a wise choice to ensure you are doing everything you can to protect your investment.

How to Manage Your Disaster Risk as a Small Business Owner

1. Double-Check Your Insurance
After a natural disaster, many small business owners are surprised to find that their insurance coverage does not extend as far as they thought it would. Issues like floods and excessive damage are not always included in policies, requiring business owners to purchase supplemental commercial insurance for their business property to be fully covered.

2. Create Your Action Plan
When a natural disaster is on the way, having a plan of action is one of the best things you can do to keep yourself and your property safe. Be sure you are aware of evacuation routes, nearby supply centers and any emergency precautions you should take before exiting the building in the event of a disaster.

3. Rehearse Drills and Prepare Staff
If you are in an industry with on-site staff, it is important that they are prepared for a disaster, too. By communicating the disaster procedures with your employees and conducting regular disaster drills featuring different scenarios, you can reduce your liability and help everyone feel safer in the work environment.

4. Choose a Restoration Company to Work With
When a disaster hurts your small business, it has also hurt your livelihood—which is why reopening quickly is so important following a disaster. By picking the restoration company you will work with in advance of a disaster scenario, you can call them the moment you discover damage so your restoration process can begin right away.

If you need to pick a commercial restoration company that’s right for you, call us today! We can tell you all about what sets our process apart.

Why Home Fires Increase in the Winter | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

12/10/2019 (Permalink)

When the temperatures begin dropping, the likelihood of a house fire occurring begins to rise.

Home fires can occur for a variety of reasons, but it is important to be aware of the risks that are especially likely in the winter months in order to keep your family safer during the shorter days ahead. It is important to know the reasons why home fires increase in the winter as well as ways to prevent fires, both in the wintertime and year-round.

Reasons for Increased Home Fires in the Winter

An Increase in Cooking
Cooking—something most of us do every day—is consistently the top cause of home fires across the country, and this is not something that changes in the winter. In fact, it typically rises even more due to an increase in baking and general stove usage around the holidays.

The Risk of Heaters
Heating-related issues are the second-highest cause of house fires, with space heaters being the most common culprit. These fires are typically from flammable objects being too close to the heating source or a space heater tipping over when it is not equipped with an automatic shutoff.

Candles and Decorations
Anywhere there is an open flame there is an opportunity for a house fire to begin, which is why the use of decorative and religious candles can also lead to an uptick in house fires. Winter decorations can also be hazardous, with strings of lights and other electronics that are not frequently used being major culprits for fires.

Ways to Prevent Wintertime Fires

When it comes to house fires, practicing prevention is the best way to be prepared. Here are some general fire safety tips to remember year-round, but especially during the winter:

  • Check smoke alarms once every 30 days and replace every 10 years.
  • Always monitor open flames.
  • Select space heaters with automatic shut-offs in case they tip over.
  • Utilize a screen every time you use a fireplace.
  • Draft and practice an emergency escape plan with your household.

If your home has been impacted by a fire, call us right away. We are leaders in restoration and can help you recover quickly after a fire occurs.

The Types of Damages Flooding Can Cause | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Though all water damage is a pain to deal with, dealing with damages from flooding are unique. There are many types of floods and floodwaters can penetrate every area of the home, causing damage to extents that may be surprising to most homeowners.

With flood rates on the rise around the world, it is now more important than ever for homeowners to be aware of the damage they can cause and what they will do if a flood impacts them.

How Flooding Damages Homes

Foundational Damage. As the soil underneath a home becomes saturated, it can start to raise parts of the foundation unevenly, leading to cracks and fissures. This can also cause issues with door and window frames, as they become distorted by the house’s shifting.

Drywall Damage and Mold. Drywall that has been soaked can become weak and crumbling, as well as provide an ideal space for mold to grow within the structure of the home. Any ceilings or walls that were in contact with water should have their drywall removed so proper drying can occur.

Insulation Saturation. Depending on the type of insulation in your home, it can become waterlogged and must be removed. Closed-cell foam insulation does not absorb moisture, but most types of insulation will have to be removed.

Temporary Frame Swelling. Most homes are made from frames of solid lumber, which will swell after a flood but only temporarily. Framing must be thoroughly cleaned to prevent mold damage, but it will generally return to its original shape and remain structurally sound.

Appliance Ruining. Appliances that contain insulation, such as ovens and refrigerators, will almost certainly need to be replaced. However, other appliances might be salvageable if they are evaluated by an expert who deems them safe for use.

Furniture Damage. Upholstered furniture can absorb a surprising amount of water, making it susceptible to water damage and mold growth. Furniture made of wood, glass pieces and other miscellaneous materials should be cleaned thoroughly but should be OK for use.

If your home has been affected by a flood, we’ll be here to help you! Give us a call 247 to learn about our certified flood restoration process.

Why You Want SERVPRO® on Your Side After a Fire | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

11/6/2019 (Permalink)

black smoke coming out of windows from a burning house Having a team on your side after a disaster is a big relief. SERVPRO of Alamo Heights is here to help when a fire strikes.

The chill of winter is fast approaching, and with it, an increased risk of fire. The Red Cross reports that the rate of home fires peaks in winter months due to factors such as space heaters, Christmas lights and increased use of fireplaces.

While we all hope a fire will never happen to us, planning for what to do in case it does is wise. This includes creating a fire escape plan for your household but also choosing what restoration company to work with to mitigate the damage. By deciding this in advance, you will be able to better react should a fire occur.

Choosing a Fire Restoration Company

One of the most important things to look at in a fire restoration company is how well they will be able to restore your house and its contents to the pre-fire state. That is why we utilize three methods of deep-cleaning to ensure your life can resume like normal. Our trained technicians are able to perform:

Structural Cleaning

Fire damage can seep into every aspect of your home, even requiring the structural elements to need thorough cleaning. By doing a pretest, we will determine the extent of the damage first thing, then begin cleaning the required surfaces with the recommended equipment and cleaning solutions. This can involve cleaning soot deposits off surfaces and preparing walls for repainting by preparing the surfaces to adhere to paint.

Content Cleaning

What fills your home is just as valuable as the home itself, which is why we promise to take care of your belongings and restore what we are able to. We can clean and deodorize area rugs, furniture and upholstery in most cases, utilizing either wet or dry cleaning processes. All other belongings that are eligible will also be restored to preloss conditions, including electronics, furniture, clothing and more.

Deodorization Services

Fire can leave behind persistent smoke odors, but it can also leave behind hazardous soot particles that can lead to health issues. Instead of utilizing artificial fragrances to mask the odors, we are able to go to the source and remove them by utilizing air scrubbers and other tools. With a variety of deodorization methods available, we will work with you to find what is best for your situation.

If you’ve been affected by a fire, reach out to us right away! We are here 247 to help you recover.

Preparing Your Business for Floods | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

10/25/2019 (Permalink)

If your business is not in a floodplain, flooding may seem like a non-issue, but the frequency at which they occur may be surprising. About 90% of natural disasters include flooding, with many of the areas affected being ones that are not typically susceptible.

Business owners are wise to seriously consider their flood risk and plan for it. Not only will this help keep them and their employees safe in the moment, but it will also make the process of restoration and reopening that much easier. That is why preparing the workplace for a flood is a wise decision.

How to Prepare

Business owners should understand their risk, work with their employees and create a safety net in advance in order to ensure they can reopen following a flood. Key planning points include:

  • Finding the FEMA Flood Map and evaluating your level of risk
  • Keeping records and paperwork copies in a secure location away from the business
  • Drafting an Emergency Action Plan and host a training to be sure all employees know what to do
  • Creating a clear evacuation route for all areas of the office
  • Determining if your insurance includes flood coverage and considering purchasing it if not
  • Compiling an emergency kit for the workplace in case you are stranded and must wait on assistance
  • Moving any valuables or computers to higher areas
Preserving Documents From a Flood

As you begin the business restoration process, having your business documents handy will be quite helpful. It is suggested to keep important papers offsite, such as:

  • A copy of your Business Continuity Plan
  • Emergency contact information for employees
  • Policy details for your business and flood insurance
  • Contact information for any crucial suppliers, vendors or other parties essential to the business
  • Instructions to back up computers and recover files
  • Financial and bank records

If your business has experienced a flood, we are always here to help. Call us 247 to get our team of professionals to your business quickly so you can get back on track.

When Your Building Manager Calls You, Call SERVPRO of Alamo Heights

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Mitigation requires quick action.  The faster a SERVPRO of Alamo Heights professional arrives on-site to perform fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration, the better the results- including a faster return to business operations.  Within four hours of a loss notification, a SERVPRO of Alamo Heights Professional will be on-site to help ensure your commercial fire damage is handled properly by utilizing the following services:

Structural Cleaning:

After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting, and floors will often need a thorough cleaning.  Your experienced SERVPRO team will pretest to determine the extent of the damage, then use the specific equipment and cleaning products required to clean and protect the different types of surfaces found without the building.

Contents Cleaning:

All of the restorable contents in the affected area will be professionally cleaned and deodorized.  These items will be inventoried for the insurance company and the policyholder.

Deodorization:

Specialized services that rid your place of business of offensive odors left behind by fire or smoke damage will be utilized.  We do not simply cover up lingering odors with a fragrance, we seek out the source of the odor and remove them.

Are You Prepared for an Emergency?

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

As a business owner, insurer, or property manager, you are a leader in your community and have the opportunity to set an example for your employees, customer and community to follow.

In order to be prepared for any disaster you can begin by taking these three simple steps:

  • Have a plan to stay in business
  • Encourage your employees to become ready
  • Protect your investment

We must work together as a team to ensure that our families, businesses, places of worship, and neighborhoods are ready for any type of storm event that can potentially affect our local community.  At Ready.gov/business, companies likes your can find vital information on how to begin preparing your organization and addressing your unique needs during an emergency situation.  You can also contact SERVPRO of Alamo Heights to find out more on how to be ready when disaster strikes.

If a Disaster Strikes, Will You Be Ready?

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

It is important to prepare before a storm or disaster occurs.  Consider the following steps to better prepare for an emergency situation:

  • Sign up for local alerts and warnings, download apps, and/or check access for wireless emergency alerts.
  • Develop and test emergency communication plans with your family.
  • Assemble or update your emergency supplies.
  • Learn about local hazards in our San Antonio town, and conduct drills to practice emergency response actions.
  • Participate in a preparedness discussion, training, or class.
  • Collect and safeguard critical documents.
  • Plan with neighbors to help each other and share resources.
  • Document property and obtain appropriate insurance for relevant hazards.
  • Make property improvements to reduce potential injury and property damage.

Emergencies and storms can happen anytime to anyone.  Taking action now helps to protect not only yourself, but also your property.

What Makes Our Approach to Damage Restoration Stand Out | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Alamo Heights's green work van with SERVPRO logo at clean up site A quick response from SERVPRO of Alamo Heights ensures your Damage Restoration needs are professionally completed.

Choosing a restoration company to work with is no minor task. This company will be in charge of restoring your home and helping you through the difficulties that sustaining damages can cause. That is why it is important to choose a company that takes a caring and scientific approach to restoration that is prepared to handle any damage that occurs.

When damages occur, it is rarely a simple task to treat them. Floods can cause structural damages, fires require advanced air scrubbing to rid the air of hazardous soot particles and storms can cause both water and fire damage at the same time. That is why choosing a competent restoration company that will respond to all types of damage is essential for homeowners.

Why Our Approach to Damage Restoration Is Different

While there are many companies that offer restoration after damages occur, we believe that our approach sets us apart. Not only can we respond quickly, but we can also perform work that is unparalleled in quality. Here are some of the things that make us stand out:

We’re Known for Our Quick Response Time

Storms and water damage are not concerned with convenience, but that is one of our main focuses. No matter the hour, you can phone in your storm damage and we will be here to respond immediately. Our emergency line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We Have a Highly Trained Team

Our technicians are specialists in many types of damages, fully trained according to the guidelines of the IICRC. We use a scientifically backed approach in order to handle water, storm, fire and mold damage and guarantee that the job will be complete.

We Can Handle Disasters of Any Size

The SERVPRO® franchise network consists of more than 1,700 locations across the country, in addition to specialized disaster teams that can respond quickly. This large network means we have the resources to handle anything from a small storm with isolated damage to a large natural disaster in your community.

If you have experienced water, fire or storm damage, we are always here to help! Call our restoration experts 247 so we can address your damages quickly.