Windy Season is here, are you prepared?
Here in Lubbock, we dwell on the edge of Tornado Alley. Rolling, turbulent skies that are often followed by dust storms are not always the most enjoyable, especially if your home gets caught in the cross-hairs. As homes are built to withstand the elements, some wind storms come more intense than others. It is important to know who to call in the event of damage to your home: SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock!
Wind storms are never fun, and dirt buildup is even worse as it creeps into your home through the tiniest cracks. It can really put a damper on Spring cleaning in later months if the dirt penetration is extensive! With SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock’s technology and resources, along with their compassionate and helpful staff, they will see to you and your home getting the help they deserve.
SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. We are open 24/7 and can assess and fix the damage in no time. "Like it never even happened." We are FASTER to ANY SIZE disaster. Found locally, our response is quicker than ever, equipped with the right resources to assist in restoration and cleanup of any size disaster left by a storm.
Sprinklers Emptying Completely In A Strip Mall
Sometimes a normal day working at a retail store could go terribly wrong. The weekend before Christmas, a Dollar Store had this nightmare. In the back of the store a customer decided to start lighting cards on fire. This caused the sprinklers to go off. This sprinkler system emptied out completely flooding the dollar store, bridal store, office supply store and a large back corridor where shipments are received. There was over 100,000 square feet affected with anywhere from 1 inch to 3 inches of standing water left in the area. After the fire department cleared, this was when SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock was called in.
SERVPRO arrived quickly onsite to start scoping out the damages and what needed to be done first. The main priority was getting the water out of the areas and start drying as quickly as possible. SERVPRO called in all crews, a total of 15 people to work that Saturday. After 14 hours the first day, SERVPRO finally got all the water out of the areas ready to start the drying process. Demolition and disposal of some contents were completed both Saturday and Sunday of that weekend. Drying occurred throughout the week. SERVPRO not only set up equipment to get the stores open quickly on Sunday but continued to come back to the stores to setup equipment at night and return early in the morning to move equipment so the stores could stay open.
SERVPRO was there to help the commercial strip mall get back up and running as quickly as possible. We are truly ready for any size disaster. Call us 24/7 at 806-780-6311.
How You Can Prevent Mold In Your School Buildings
Although not visible to the naked eye, mold spores exist almost everywhere indoors and outdoors. Spores float in the air, grow on the ground and can even be present on indoor surfaces. All mold needs to grow is moisture, warmth, oxygen and organic matter for food.
Microscopic amounts of mold generally aren’t harmful. However, larger populations can potentially cause serious health problems in those with allergies or weakened immune systems.
Below are three tips to prevent mold growth in your school district.
Tip #1: Keep on the HVAC system.
Over the summer, some school administrators make the mistake of turning off HVAC systems in order to save money. HVAC systems keep humidity in check and by turning them off you can potentially create the perfect environment for mold. While it may cost more to keep the HVAC system running, it can ultimately save you money in the long run.
Tip #2: Purchase a humidity sensor.
If keeping your HVAC system on in your school building is not an option, consider buying a humidity sensor. Rather than running the HVAC system day and night, a humidity sensor can allow you to track the levels of humidity in the air and turn on the HVAC system when necessary. According to Sensors Online, a humidity sensor works by detecting changes that alter electrical currents or temperature in the air.
Tip #3: Keep a watchful eye on problem areas.
Remember, the perfect environment for mold is anywhere that has moisture. Some problem areas might include storage areas, bathrooms or kitchens in a school. The earlier you are aware of a mold problem, the less likely you are to suffer costly damages.
The professionals here at SERVPRO are trained to help you with all of your mold remediation needs. In as little as 48 hours, a minor mold issue can quickly spread through a home or business. Once you contact us, we’re dedicated to starting the remediation process quickly. This fast response lessens the mold damage, limits additional damage, and reduces the remediation cost. We are available 24/7 and can be reached at 806-780-6311.
What to do when your commercial business has a fire?
Call SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock For Fast, Friendly Fire Remediation Service
The word “fire” strikes fear in the hearts of most people and for good reason. Whether it’s your home or business it can bring life, as you know it, to a screeching halt.
If your business or commercial property caught on fire, don't panic. Instead, call the professionals of SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock and let us start cleaning up immediately. Acting right now is the key to limiting damages and expediting the restoration process, and choosing our team of industry specialists is the secret to obtaining the sophisticated services you deserve. All of our IICRC-certified technicians will work with diligence and determination to get your commercial property back in pristine condition.
Knowing which steps to take in the face of a commercial fire can help prevent you from becoming anxious, losing money, and undergoing extensive property damages. To handle fire damage successfully and speedily, implement the following four tips:
- Call The Insurance Company Immediately.
Be sure that you call your insurance company once the fire is out. This step is important because your insurance agent will work with you to file a claim and determine how much coverage you'll attain for the commercial damages.
- Contact A Fire Remediation Expert.
In addition to fire, smoke, and soot damage, your business may also suffer from water damage as a result of the firefighting efforts.
SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock specializes in fire and water damage restoration. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your business to preloss condition. Don't ever attempt to handle any of the cleanups, drying, or restoration processes on your own. Doing so could put you in peril of injury or illness.
- Assemble Your Records.
In addition to contacting a fire remediation expert, make sure that you assemble your business's essential records. You'll want to have this information with you when you start working with your insurance company. To guarantee that you can have your entire files ready in a safe place, make a point to buy a fireproof safe where they can be stored.
- Get Permission To Reenter The Building.
Always ask the fire department or another local authority whether you can reenter your building. In some cases, a fire can weaken the structural integrity of the commercial property and make it subject to collapse. This is why you need to assure that reentry is safe for you and your employees.
Call us at SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock for all your restoration needs. (806)780-6311
Preventing Bathroom Mold
Call SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock
What does mold need to grow? For mold to grow, it needs oxygen, moisture, warmth and food. The ideal spot for mold to grow would be a warm place (somewhere between 77 and 86 degrees), with a high amount of humidity or moisture, and organic matter, like cotton, paper or wood for the mold to feed upon. This makes our bathrooms an ideal spot for mold growth. Our bathrooms tend to be warm, they contain things like towels, toilet paper, and woodwork for the mold to feed upon, and they often have high levels of relative humidity from running water and steam from hot showers. So what can you do to prevent mold from growing in your bathroom?
First make sure that your bathroom is properly ventilated. Poor ventilation is one of the most common causes of bathroom mold. Without proper ventilation, steam/moisture in the air from hot showers and running water, settles on bathroom surfaces and makes a perfect environment for mold growth. Every bathroom should have a clean and properly functioning ventilation fan permanently mounted in the ceiling and it should be turned on every time someone showers. They are inexpensive and can be purchased at most hardware and home improvement stores. A properly installed and functioning, ventilation fan in your bathroom's ceiling will help move the air out of your bathroom and clear the humidity caused by hot showers and other running water. It is important however to ensure that your ventilation fan has been properly installed and is venting the moist bathroom air outside of your home versus into your attic or some other room. If it improperly vents into another area of your home, you are simply transferring your problem from one location to another. If your bathroom does not have a ventilation fan, instead of showering with the bathroom door closed, as most of us do, an alternative until a ventilation fan can be installed, would be to leave the bathroom door open while showering. This will allow the steam/humidity to dissipate over a larger area reducing its impact. Another alternative during warm weather months, or in warm climates, would be to open a bathroom window while showering or even putting a box fan in the window with the air blowing out of the bathroom versus in. And of course, abstaining from very long, hot showers is always recommended when trying to prevent mold.
Regularly cleaning your bathroom by wiping down all surfaces at least once a week will also help keep mold in check. And when it comes to cleaning/preventing mold, wiping is always the best approach. Molds are fungi that reproduce by releasing spores into the air. Spraying bleach on mold may look like an easy fix. When you spray bleach on mold it looks like it almost instantly disappears. Unfortunately, when you spray bleach on mold, you are releasing the mold spores into the air. Think of it like a mature dandelion that you have just gently blown upon and released the seeds floating into the air on their white dried flowers. The mold spores that you have just released by spraying bleach upon them, float through the air and settle onto new surfaces, where they can begin to grow again if the conditions are right. Wiping with soap and water, or another cleaner, and then throwing away any rags that may contain beginning mold spores is your best bet.
Also when it comes to mold in bathrooms, consider that caulk and grout are there to block or keep out water and moisture. If you have missing or broken caulk or grout, water and moisture can get behind the tiles and mold can form behind the tiles where it's impossible for you to see or clean. It's important to regularly replace and/or maintain your bathroom caulk and grout.
Lastly, painting your bathroom with a mold resistant paint and/or primer will help you battle mold in your bathroom. As indicated earlier, mold needs a food source of organic matter. Drywall paper can be a source of food for mold. Using a mold-resistant paint on bathroom walls can help stop mold before it starts by sealing off access to a food source.
If you discover mold growth in your home, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock at (806)780-6311 for a free mold assessment.
Steps To Take After A House Fire
Nervous, worried, scared, upset, wondering what to do next, and just how to do it. First things first…take a deep breath, try to relax, and know that everything will be more than fine. Ultimately you need to make sure that your family is safe and sound. Once you can confirm that, then you can tackle the recovery process of your home and belongings.
We’ve compiled a list of five things that you should do and be aware of after a fire. This way, you can approach the rebuilding of your home in a cool, calm, and collected manner!
(1) Review with the authorities and the professionals as to when it is safe to enter the home after the fire. The fire department will make sure that the fire is completely extinguished and then will go through their precautionary measures in order to deem the area ‘safe’.
(2) Know who to contact. First, contact any family members to let them know of the occurrence and the fact that you are safe. Review, and then contact your insurance company. A clean-up team, such as SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock should also be one of the first calls made. We can efficiently and professionally get you back into your home – it will be as if nothing happened!
(3) Get the fire report. Typically coming to you from the fire department, this correspondence will review the facts of the fire – the home structure, the area of the fire, as well as the time and date. In some cities and towns, you may need to call the fire department directly in order to get a copy of this report.
(4) Make sure to secure your property. If you are not securing the property, you could potentially be making a bad situation into a terrible one – your home could be robbed of its remaining property, or, in some cases, another individual could be injured on the property (becoming your responsibility). You can ask the authorities and emergency services on the best methods in securing what is yours.
(5) Begin the clean-up process. Interior and exterior clean-up will most certainly be required, and more often than not there is damage that you cannot locate with the naked eye. That said, you should definitely hire a professional service like SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock to do a thorough cleaning of all areas and of all soot, smoke, and odor.
Fire Damage Mitigation in West Texas
SERVPRO Uses Deodorization Methods to Rid Your Home or Business of Foul Odors
Sometimes after a fire ignites inside your West Texas home or business, there are more problems that get created than just burnt materials and contents. Smoke created by a blaze often travels to many areas inside. Smoke leaves behind soot residues and pungent, burnt odors.
After any severely burnt materials and contents get replaced, all of the soot residues inside the building get cleaned. SERVPRO’s fire damage technicians use specialized chemicals when cleaning that help eliminate foul odors. If unpleasant aromas still exist, then a final deodorization stage takes place.
When deodorizing an area, specific chemicals get used for different situations. Various odors exist based on what materials get burned during the blaze. Some deodorization techniques use chemicals that bond and react with the foul odor particles and neutralize them. Other deodorants mask unpleasant smells with more appealing odors.
To start, we apply deodorants to the air and affected surfaces. Many times deodorization gets accomplished by using hand pumps or electric powered sprayers. In more extreme cases, advanced equipment gets used during the deodorization process.
If our SERVPRO restoration experts believe that spraying chemicals does not complete the job efficiently, then other equipment gets used to create the original environment that caused the burnt odors to exist in the first place. During a fire, combustion causes smoke particles to become microscopic and penetrate many different materials. We use specialized equipment to break down chemicals so that they penetrate materials in the same way that foul odor particles did.
One way to mimic smoke behavior is with a Vaportek system. A Vaportek deodorization system consists of a compound of natural oils sealed by a membrane. The compounds then volatilize into the air and pass through the plastic membrane. Then, air currents distribute the chemicals into the air which react with and neutralize odor molecules upon contact.
Other ways to dispense deodorants into the building in the same way smoke entered, is to use fogging methods. When using a fogging system, deodorizing products get dispensed as finely divided particles in a mist. Depending on the situation we use either a wet fogging or dry fogging system to disperse deodorants into the air.
After an advanced deodorization system gets used inside your home or business, we often use powerful box fans to ventilate the area, so that dense chemicals do not exist in the air. For professional assistance with smoke deodorization call SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock any time of the day or night.
Commercial Fire Damage Restoration in West Texas
If you have a commercial building that has been damaged by fire, it can be hard to know what to do once the fire has been put out. Not only will the premises be damaged by the fire, but the property may also have suffered water damage from the firefighting team and or sprinkler systems efforts to stop the fire. Other damage to your property may include:
- Discoloration of surfaces
- Corrosion (particularly of porous material)
- Soot damage
- Smoke damage
- Structural weakness or damage
Can I clean the property myself?
First, if you must enter the premises, ensure that you know it is safe to enter but do not be tempted to try and start cleaning the property yourself. Not only could this be hazardous to you, without specialized equipment and materials you could end up causing more damage which can add to the restoration costs further down the line. If at all possible try to limit the amount of movement within the premises to ensure the minimum amount of soot and ash being entrenched in soft furnishings and carpets which may render them unsalvageable.
The best thing to do is to call our specially trained team who will ask you a few questions to ascertain the extent of your damage and find the best solution to restore your fire-damaged premises. We will then send our expert team of fire damage restorers out to inspect the fire damage and carry out an in-depth assessment. From this, we will decide the best plan of action to restore your premises.
What do Commercial Fire Damage Restoration companies do?
Whether your business is in Lubbock or West Texas, fire damage is devastating and can cause extensive damage to windows, walls, and roofs. This means that it is imperative that your property is properly protected from the elements while the work is taking place. SERVPRO will make sure that all openings to the outside are boarded and covered up as well as covering any holes in the roof of your premises.
If your premises is also water damaged, the SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock will use their specialized equipment to remove all water and moisture from your property using a combination of pumps and dehumidifying units to rid the premises of water before secondary water damage causes further issues.
Once we are sure that there is an acceptable moisture level in the property. SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock will get to work removing the damage to the surfaces of the property removing all soot and smoke damage. Once this is completed, we can then clean and sanitize all recoverable items to pre-fire damaged conditions where possible using both wet and dry-cleaning methods and give advice where an item is beyond repair. During this process SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock will use industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment to remove any lingering odors caused by the fire. If we can save and restore an item, we will, which will save you paying for costly replacements.
Finally, we will start the full restoration process of your commercial premises involving minor repair, which can include replacing damaged drywall, painting and replacing carpet or flooring and also major repair works such as repairing damaged walls and roofs.
As the holiday season quickly approaches and temperatures continue to drop, many families are doing just about anything to stay warm – piling on the blankets, busting out the cozy Christmas onesies, and plugging in the old trusty space heater.
However, staying warm should not sacrifice safety. While space heaters are a great thing to have during the colder months, they still need to be used responsibly. Heating equipment fires are the second leading cause of residential fires in the U.S., according to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association). Heating equipment fires usually happen at night and can spread throughout an entire house within minutes. In order to prevent any space heater-related accidents, here are four easy ways to use a space heater safely this holiday season.
- NEVER LEAVE A SPACE HEATER UNNATENDED – most house fires happen during the night when people are asleep and spread so fast it could be too late by the time someone wakes up. Fires can be prevented if heating equipment is always supervised. Always keep an eye on heaters when using them, and ALWAYS remember to unplug heaters when leaving the room.
- Keep space heaters AT LEAST THREE FEET away from all flammable materials – most fires start because a space heater was left unattended next to a blanket, curtain or laundry basket. Leaving flammable materials like cloth curtains and clothes close to a space heater only heightens the risk of an incident. It’s best to leave the space heater sitting in the middle of the room to avoid any incidents.
- Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet, NOT an extension cord or surge protector – plugging heaters into anything except a wall outlet only increases the chance for overheating. Minimize these chances by avoiding extension cords and surge protectors if possible.
- If possible, purchase spaces heaters with an automatic shut-off switch – an automatic shut-off switch can prevent a house fire in case a space heater overheats. However, this only lowers the risk of house fires and should still be monitored.
Space heaters can be a life saver when used correctly. But without proper supervision and care, it can lead to more problems than cold feet during the holidays. If fire damage does occur, always remember to contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock at 806-780-6311 to make it "Like it never even happened."
Candles—Do’s & Dont’s
Who doesn’t love a lighting nice peppermint scented candle to help ring in the season? The wide variety of sweet and exotic scents and styles can really help bring a room together… or, if people aren’t careful, burn it down. Candles may seem like a harmless thing to have, but they can cause just as much damage as an unattended space heater. December is the peak time of year for home candle fires, according to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), and an article released earlier this year by ABC News shows candle fires are indeed on the rise. In order to keep that pretty little candle from turning into a pretty little disaster, here are three surefire (no pun intended) ways to keep a house smelling like a brisk winter evening instead of a smokey, charred throw pillow.
- NEVER leave a candle unattended – most candle fires happen because a candle was left unsupervised. While it might be nice to leave a candle going while going to sleep or stepping out for a quick errand, it raises the risk of something going terribly wrong. Always remember to blow out candles before leaving a room or falling asleep.
- Keep candles away from small children and pets – accidents happen. Children and pets are constantly knocking into things, and if a candle is put in the wrong place it can easily turn into a disaster. To prevent any candles from possibly getting knocked over, its best to keep them out of reach.
- If a candle wick is getting low, throw it out – letting a candle burn too close to the holder can increase the risk of fires in the house. Replacing candles before the wick gets too low is an easy way to protect your house from any fire damage. If damage does occur, contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock to get the house looking like new.
Candles can really help set the mood. But without proper supervision and care, it can lead to more problems than during the holidays. If fire damage does occur, always remember to contact SERVPRO® of Southwest Lubbock at 806-780-6311 to make it "Like it never even happened."