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The Dangers of Flash Floods During and After Severe Weather | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

11/24/2020 (Permalink)

Flash flooding is not always on people’s radar as a dangerous weather event, as things like lightning strikes and high winds appear to be far more common. However, many people are surprised to learn that flooding is the second leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States.

Part of what makes flash floods in particular so dangerous is because of how quickly they can come about and how they can impact even small bodies of water. An overflowing storm drain or neighborhood creek can quickly cause a significant impact if it rains heavily enough, which is why it is important to be vigilant if they are a possibility.

What Is a Flash Flood?

A flash flood is defined as flooding that begins within six hours of heavy rainfall, which is why they are so common after storms and other severe weather. They can be highly unpredictable, but are especially common in urban areas due to overflowing storm drains and other drainage issues that might arise during a storm.

How Will I Know if I Am at Risk for Flash Flooding?

One of the most important things to remember in regards to flash floods is to carefully heed all warnings put out by your local weather officials. A flash flood watch means that flooding is possible, so it is wise to think of your action plan. If a warning is issued, that means flash flooding is likely to begin soon and you should execute your safety plan. If there is a flash flood emergency, that means there are life-threatening levels of water in the area and you should immediately take action.

What Are the Rules of Flash Flood Safety?

Knowing the rules in regards to flash flood safety is so important for ensuring you and your family can be protected from these traumatic events. Here are the important things to remember:

  • Stay away from low-lying areas during periods of heavy rainfall.
  • Have a safety and evacuation plan in place in case flooding becomes imminent.
  • Never attempt to walk or drive your car through floodwater.
  • Do not let children play near floodwater, as it can contain harmful substances.
  • If floodwaters block your route, find a different way to go.

If your home or business has been damaged due to a flood or other severe weather, you can depend on us. Contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to report damage to your property.

Tips for Fire Safety Ahead of the Holiday Season | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

multicolor strand of lights on wood floor Make sure your fire risk is low during the holidays. If you experience any damage, SERVPRO of Alamo will be here to help.

As the weather turns cooler and we prepare for the fast-approaching holiday season, there are many things to keep in mind. While gift guides and recipes are aplenty, it is important to keep fire safety at the forefront of everything you do this season.

It has been found that house fires peak in the wintertime, simply because most winter activities give them more of an opportunity to occur.

These risks should not keep you from participating in winter fun, however—it is just important to go about your cooking, heating and decorating safely so you do not accidentally become a victim of a house fire yourself.

Fire Safety Tips for Wintertime

Keep safe when cooking. Cooking is consistently one of the top causes of fires in the home, and because more people tend to cook large meals and participate in holiday baking, these types of fires often increase during the winter. Every time you cook, be certain to keep flammable objects away from the stove, make sure a fire extinguisher is handy and keep at least three feet around the stove clear of all other people, children and pets.

Heat the house with proper precautions. Another winter-specific hazard comes from space heaters and fireplaces being used to warm up the home. While you can use both of these tools safely, it is important to take the proper precautions every single time. Ensure you are using a space heater that is equipped with modern safety features such as a tip-over and overheating system, never use them with an extension cord and keep them a good distance from anything flammable. For fireplaces, be sure to do proper chimney maintenance and never leave a fire burning unattended.

Decorate with care. As households add Christmas trees, holiday lighting and other decorations to their home, electrical circuits can easily become overloaded and spark. Overloading electrical outlets and power strips is responsible for around 25% of Christmas tree fires every year. As you decorate, be sure to space out where you are plugging things in, avoid using any decorations with frayed wiring and always unplug everything before leaving the house or going to sleep.

If you have damage due to a house fire, you can depend on us to help. Contact us 24 hours a day to report damage and receive a quick response from our certified restoration technicians. Get in touch today.

What to Do After Your Business Is Impacted by a Disaster | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

10/29/2020 (Permalink)

insurance policies binders and pen sitting on black table in large conference room SERVPRO of Alamo is your go-to in case a disaster occurs. Get in touch with us to learn more.

Having a disaster occur is always a frightening experience, but if that disaster impacts the business you have worked hard to build, it can be extremely disheartening. While disasters can often derail businesses permanently, there are a few things that business owners can do in order to lessen their impact.

While you hopefully already have an emergency plan to keep everyone safe in the moment a disaster strikes, it is also important to consider how to begin implementing your recovery strategy. Planning for the continuity of your business is key to getting your doors reopened as quickly as possible so that you are able to get back to business.

Implementing Your Business’ Disaster Recovery Plan

Get in touch with your insurance and restoration companies. Depending on the type of insurance you have and the type of disaster that occurred, you may be able to claim some or all of the damages with your provider. It is important to contact both them and your chosen restoration company right away to get the process of recovery started—and in many cases, your restoration company will be able to work directly with your insurance company if you are able to make a claim.

Implement your customer communication strategy. Your customers will want to hear from you after a disaster, so it is important to have a customer communication strategy to implement as soon as you can. Inform customers of closures, changes in operating hours and any other relevant information regarding your recovery timeline so they know what to expect (and when they can start supporting you again).

Look into your options for disaster recovery assistance. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has many resources available for disaster assistance for business owners. The loans they provide are typically low interest with flexible repayment schedules, so you can get the financial assistance you may need to keep your business afloat. These loans can be used both for the restoration of physical damage as well as an economic injury due to a loss of income in many cases.

If your business has been damaged due to a disaster, we’re here to help. Contact us at any hour to report your damage or to learn more about our commercial restoration services.

A Look at Our Restore vs. Replace Mentality | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

When you receive damage to your home, whether it be from fire, water or a storm, there are a lot of emotions involved. After any traumatic event, it is common to cycle through many stages of adjustment as you cope with the harm that has been done to your home and your belongings.

While things can seem quite grim in the moments after you discover damage, when you choose us for restoration, you can count on us to get your home and belongings back to their pre-damaged state. We have developed a mentality that focuses on restoration instead of replacement, which saves you money and allows you to keep the belongings you already love.

Why We Value Restoration Instead of Replacement

We can help you save money on your insurance. While many types of damage done to your home can be claimed with your homeowners insurance, the cost of doing so can be staggering. For example, the average cost of a claim for water damage is over $10,000, which can lead to skyrocketing premiums. By restoring the items we can instead of having our customers claim a full replacement, we can lower this amount so you can save money.

We can protect your sentimental items. With our advanced restoration equipment, we can save items many people thought to be completely ruined. We have restored irreplaceable objects such as documents and photographs, expensive objects such as electronics, and high-value objects such as art for our customers because we understand that some things just can’t be replicated.

We make sure your home feels like home again. Our entire goal with restoration is to make your home feel like it did in its pre-damaged state—which is not possible without all the objects and belongings you have already grown to love. While we know we can’t restore everything every single time, we promise to do our best so you can keep your belongings and continue to use them safely.

If you have damages and are feeling overwhelmed, we are here to help. You can call us as soon as you need to in order to begin the restoration process. Contact us today to learn more.

How Can I Check for Water Damage Around the House? | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

9/29/2020 (Permalink)

tan wall with water damage spots showing through Do you have any water damage to your home? Contact SERVPRO of Alamo Heights, we are your local water restoration experts.

When it comes to a home’s structural integrity, water damage is considered the No. 1 enemy. Not only can water damage cause peeling paint or discoloration, but it can also lead to degradation of your home’s insulation, framework, subfloor and more, causing extensive damage if it is allowed to sit untreated.

Fortunately, checking your home for water damage is something you can (and should) do on a regular basis to stop any issues from becoming severe. The average water damage claim is $10,000 or more, but catching it early can significantly reduce how expensive or complicated it is to restore.

How to Do a Household Water Damage Inspection

Inspect your walls and ceilings. Because walls and ceilings make it easy to spot water damage, they are a good place to start. Unusual stains, softened drywall or bubbling paint can all be signs of water damage, whether it is a result of weather or a leaky pipe. It is also wise to pay extra attention to window frames and doors, as these are common damage hotspots.

Don’t forget to look down. Floors are another common area where water damage can manifest, as it is quite common to have water pool and saturate the subfloor at the lowest spot. If the floor appears warped, buckled or generally smells damp, it might be a sign that there is water damage below the surface.

Inspect your roof. Your roof is the first line of defense against weather-related water damages, and a visual inspection can tell you a lot about your overall risk levels. Look for missing shingles, damaged flashing or other signs of damage that might indicate a leak is developing. It is also wise to go outside during the next rain shower to verify that all your gutters are working properly to route water away from your home’s foundation.

Pay close attention to the basement. Basements are known for having moisture buildup and flooding, but that does not have to be a fact of life. Watch carefully for signs of moisture in your basement, especially if there is a musty odor present that might be indicative of too-high humidity levels. Consider installing a sump pump and a dehumidifier to take care of any damp air, and watch for signs that the problem is more serious.

If you have water damage anywhere in your home, we are here to help. You can contact us at any hour to learn more about our services or to report damages. Get in touch today to speak with a water damage restoration expert.

How You Can Increase Fire Safety in Your Home | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

9/7/2020 (Permalink)

white fire alarm being tested by a person If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here to help. Contact SERVPRO of Alamo to learn more.

Experiencing a house fire is something no one ever wants to go through, but unfortunately, it happens to many people every year. House fires can start and spread quickly—often in as little as 30 seconds and cause extreme devastation, but fortunately, many can be prevented by implementing a few fire safety tips around your household.

The best practice for fire safety is general prevention. Taking measures in your home to ensure a fire never starts is the best way to reduce your chances of ever having to deal with a fire or its complicated aftermath. Here are some tips for increasing fire safety in your household.

Tips for Increasing Household Fire Safety

Check your smoke detectors. Smoke detectors are the top safety measure for any home, and making sure that yours are operational is extremely important. Get in the habit of testing your smoke detectors on a monthly basis using their test button, and change the batteries whenever the unit begins to chirp.

Create a fire escape plan. Having a household fire escape plan is extremely important in case a fire does start and the smoke detectors sound. In many cases, you may only have two minutes to safely exit the home. Make sure every room has two accessible exits, that every family member knows what to do and that you have a designated meeting spot outside the home for once you all make it out safely.

Limit your fire risks. Limiting any risk of a fire is a great way to reduce the chances of one starting. Implementing simple safety tips such as never leaving the stove unattended, storing chemicals safely, keeping an eye on any candles or open flames and practicing smart electrical safety can go a long way in preventing any flames.

Keep a fire extinguisher handy. While you should only ever use a fire extinguisher if the fire is small and it is safe to do so, having one and knowing how to use it one can prevent a small incident from turning into a huge emergency. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen and near any open flames and check it often to be sure it is still operational.

If your home is damaged by a house fire, we are here to help. Our expert fire restoration technicians are here 247 to spring into action as soon as you call. Contact us at any hour to report your damage and receive a quick response.

Why Count on SERVPRO® When You Have Storm Damage? | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

large downed tree laying on top of light brown house Choosing the right restoration company is crucial to getting things back to normal. Call SERVPRO of Alamo Heights to set up an appointment.

Sustaining storm damage to your home or commercial space can be a complicated endeavor. Not only is structural damage a possibility, but water and electrical damage are, too—and because there are so many unscrupulous restoration companies about after large storms, it can be difficult to know who you can trust during the aftermath.

Working with the right restoration company can make all the difference in your recovery process. As storms continue to get more severe and more expensive to recover from, knowing you are in good hands every step of the way is invaluable—which is why we are here to earn your trust.

Why You Should Count on Us to Handle Your Storm Damage

We are active in the community and in our industry. Many of the scams that pop up after a large storm or disaster involve companies that are not active in the area and not well-regarded in the restoration community, but with us, you never have to be concerned about that. We have been helping the community recover from disasters both large and small for many years, and we are proud of our reputation as an industry leader in restoration.

We have the resources to handle any size disaster. No matter how much of an area is impacted by a disaster when you receive your damage, you can count on us to handle it. Because we have a national network of SERVPRO® locations, we can call for backup resources when needed to ensure we can scale to provide everyone with exceptional service no matter the size of the storm.

We will respond to you quickly at any hour. We understand how devastating it is to discover you have damage to your property, which is why we always guarantee a quick response no matter when you call us. You will never have to wonder if we will return your message or show up on time—as soon as you call our 247 emergency line, we will begin assembling a team and dispatching them to you as quickly as possible.

When you have damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Contact us at any hour to see our exceptional service in action.

Why Count on SERVPRO® When You Have Storm Damage? | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

8/18/2020 (Permalink)

large downed tree laying on top of light brown house Choosing the right restoration company is crucial to getting things back to normal. Call SERVPRO of Alamo Heights to set up an appointment.

Sustaining storm damage to your home or commercial space can be a complicated endeavor. Not only is structural damage a possibility, but water and electrical damage are, too—and because there are so many unscrupulous restoration companies about after large storms, it can be difficult to know who you can trust during the aftermath.

Working with the right restoration company can make all the difference in your recovery process. As storms continue to get more severe and more expensive to recover from, knowing you are in good hands every step of the way is invaluable—which is why we are here to earn your trust.

Why You Should Count on Us to Handle Your Storm Damage

We are active in the community and in our industry. Many of the scams that pop up after a large storm or disaster involve companies that are not active in the area and not well-regarded in the restoration community, but with us, you never have to be concerned about that. We have been helping the community recover from disasters both large and small for many years, and we are proud of our reputation as an industry leader in restoration.

We have the resources to handle any size disaster. No matter how much of an area is impacted by a disaster when you receive your damage, you can count on us to handle it. Because we have a national network of SERVPRO® locations, we can call for backup resources when needed to ensure we can scale to provide everyone with exceptional service no matter the size of the storm.

We will respond to you quickly at any hour. We understand how devastating it is to discover you have damage to your property, which is why we always guarantee a quick response no matter when you call us. You will never have to wonder if we will return your message or show up on time—as soon as you call our 247 emergency line, we will begin assembling a team and dispatching them to you as quickly as possible.

When you have damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Contact us at any hour to see our exceptional service in action.

When You Least Expect it Water Damage May Occur

7/31/2020 (Permalink)

Water Running Through Garage SERVPRO of Alamo Heights is always available for our customers.

If you have ever opened your garage and saw water running out of your house, then you understand how nerve-wracking water damage can be.  SERVPRO of Alamo Heights is here to ensure that your home is properly, according to IICRC standards, mitigated to help alleviate your worries.  As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Alamo Heights understands the needs of our community and you can rest assured that we will be here for you anytime, day or night.  Beginning with mitigation and ending with reconstruction, SERVPRO of Alamo Heights will ensure that your home looks like "It Never Even Happened" at completion.  SERVPRO of Alamo Heights works with our customers to ensure that your concerns receive the utmost attention.  Call us today and see the SERVPRO of Alamo Heights difference.

Your Guide to Avoiding Grill Fires This Summer | SERVPRO® of Alamo Heights

7/25/2020 (Permalink)

a person grilling chicken and hot dogs on an outdoor grill SERVPRO of Alamo Heights are the fire restoration experts. To learn more give us a call or contact us online.

It is summertime, which means it is prime time to grill up everything, from meats to veggies to fruits for dessert. While grilling is a great way to get outdoors and keep your home’s kitchen cool, it is important to remember that grills still involve open flames, making them a big fire risk if you neglect to use them safely.

The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that there are over 5,500 grill fires annually, which cause millions in damage. Thankfully, with good grilling habits, you can significantly lower your risk of this happening.

Good Habits to Avoid Grill Fires

Create a safe zone around your grill. While it is certainly convenient to set your grill up on your deck, it may not be the safest place to plant your station. Grill flare-ups can seriously damage anything around, including porches, patio railings and decks—they have even been known to melt vinyl siding. It is recommended that you keep at least a three-feet safe zone around your grill at all times.

Clean your grill grates often. When you make heavy use of your grill, there is ample chance for food and fat to build up on the grates, which can pose a fire hazard. Getting into the habit of cleaning your grill after every use is a great way to prevent flare-ups due to these stuck-on particles.

Never leave the grill unattended. Even if the lid on the grill is closed, it can still create a fire risk that can quickly get out of hand. You should never leave your grill unattended, even for a moment, and make sure a fire extinguisher is always nearby so you can extinguish any stray flames right away.

Inspect the grill regularly. If you have a charcoal grill, there are fewer things that could lead to a sudden fire, but with gas grills, it is important to check them regularly and do maintenance where necessary. The propane tank, hoses and connectors can all wear down over time, leading to gas leaks that could cause a serious fire hazard next time you go to light it.

If you have a grill fire do damage to your home, we are here to help. You can call us any time, day or night, to have a quick response from our restoration experts.