Recent Posts

Hoarding: A Serious Situation

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

hoarding, fire, water, storm Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations.

According to The Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.” Many people with hoarding disorder do find their habits to be a problem.

Hoarded items are often things others would throw away or look at as junk or garbage such as old newspapers, junk mail, or packaging.

Hoarding can lead to homes filled with extreme clutter to full capacity from years of accumulation, making living conditions unsanitary and crowded. Bugs, fleas, rats, and other vermin may be present, at which point an exterminator would need to be called. At times, hoarding may spread to the outside the home as well, to storage facilities, or even the garage or yard.

SERVPRO franchises encounter hoarding situations in several different ways. Often, a SERVPRO franchise is called for a fire or water loss and find the hoarding situation when they arrive on-site. A SERVPRO franchise professional will communicate with the insurance company regarding their contents coverage, and after approval, contents can be packed out and possibly cleaned, dried, and stored by the SERVPRO Franchise or relocated to a storage facility so work on the fire or water loss can begin.

Another way SERVPRO franchises encounter hoarding jobs is through calls from landlords, case workers, real estate agents, or family members, often after the death of a loved one. In these situations, the crew will see if they should look for any items or importance while they clean the job. Sometimes family members will come and try to help the hoarder sort through their contents as well.

Each case is very different, and hoarding jobs are often sensitive situations, but SERVPRO of Denton is here to help make it “Like it never even happened.” If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties or with your insureds, call SERVPRO of Denton.

Every Second Counts

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage, smoke damage, home Practice your fire escape plan during the day and nighttime.

Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree; people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared and have an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families and businesses have developed and practiced a fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical everyone in the home or office understands the plan. The best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing it. The following are a few suggestions to help you develop an emergency escape plan:

  • Draw a map of each level of your home or business and show all the doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.
  • Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance in front of your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the location of the meeting area on your escape plan.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home or office, with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals.
  • Practice your fire escape plan during the day and nighttime.

Call SERVPRO of Denton with any questions you may have.

Preventing Water Damage BEFORE It Occurs

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Denton - SERVPRO worker working on water damaged ceiling This home's ceiling has been damaged by water.

When it comes to water damage, preventing it can be the difference between an inconvenience or a disaster. Here are some practical tips for preventing water damage to your home.

5 Tips for Preventing Water Damage

  1. Loud pipes, visible rust, visible moisture on the floor or walls, or wet dirt around your home could be signs of plumbing issues. They may seem small, but if you see these things, don’t dismiss them. They could be the first signs of something much more significant.
  2. When cold weather comes, don’t neglect your pipes. Be sure to let your faucets drip and take the time to insulate exposed pipes to help keep them from bursting.
  3. With new technology, the cost of a leak detection system is within reach for most homeowners. Getting an early warning can help prevent excessive water damage.
  4. Water is designed to flow in a singular direction and as long as pressure is sustained, you won’t have any issues. If that pressure ever fluctuates, you face the possibility of backflow into your home. If your home is older, consider installing a backflow system to prevent sewage backup.
  5. Never pour hot grease down a drain! It will flow easily while hot, but as it cools it solidifies, clogging your pipes and causing all kinds of trouble. Try pouring the grease in a jar and then discarding it afterward.

Understanding the Water Damage Timeline

Here at SERVPRO of Denton, we know a fast reaction is a key part of preventing water damage. But what happens if you don’t take care of the water right away? Check out the water damage timeline below to see what happens when water damage is left unchecked.

Within Minutes:

  • Water can quickly spread throughout the property and saturate all surfaces it comes into contact with, absorbing into your carpets, walls, etc.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, or other dyes may begin to run and stain other surfaces
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods begin to warp

1 to 2 Hours:

  • Drywall begins to warp and break down
  • Metal begins to tarnish & furniture begins to warp and crack
  • Musty odor appears

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold may begin to grow
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode
  • Biohazard Contamination is possible

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically
  • Serious health risk posed to building’s inhabitants
  • If your home or office sustains water damage, don't hesitate!

What to do AFTER Water Damage Has Occurred

Your living space has been destroyed by water damage. What do you do now?

Texas homeowners know that with spring and summer comes unpredictable weather. Water damage in a home can happen quickly and without warning, causing big problems in a very short period of time. However, homeowners shouldn’t be exclusively on the alert for flash floods. There are many household problems that can cause water damage too such as:

  • Roof leaks
  • Foundation cracks
  • Clogged gutters
  • Defective appliances
  • Leaking and burst pipes
  • Backed-up drains
  • Overflowing sinks and toilets
  • Unsealed doors and windows

Visible water damage caused by a clogged toilet or an overflowing washing machine can be fairly quick and easy to repair. However it starts, water damage can often go undetected for years. 

It’s important to understand the restoration process before disaster strikes so you’re prepared for the worst-case scenario. Knowing who to contact and what to do when there’s a flood or burst pipe could be the difference between salvaging your home or dealing with a large loss situation. 

If you are having plumbing issues in your home, call SERVPRO of Denton to help with your water clean and restoration needs at (940) 514-8968!

Biohazard, Crime Scene, and Vandalism Cleanup

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

Biohazard, blood, grafitti, crime scene Failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO professionals also offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to residential and commercial property owners. 

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. Failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments. 

SERVPRO of Denton professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, and state and local health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO of Denton can help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices by remediating the following services:

  • Bloodbourne Pathogens
  • Methamphetamine Labor
  • Crime Scene Residues
  • Arson
  • Vandalism
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation

State and local regulations vary. Contact SERVPRO of Denton today for 24-hour emergency services.

Bloodborne Pathogens

SERVPRO Professionals remove and dispose of bodily fluids, tissue, and other potentially pathogenic substances resulting from accident, trauma, crime, or death. Trained SERVPRO technicians thoroughly clean, disinfect, and deodorize the structure. 

Methamphetamine Labs

Many of the chemicals used in the production of illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine, are volatile and can leave harmful residues throughout a structure. SERVPRO of Denton professionals follow federal and state guidelines to properly clean all surfaces.

Crime Scene Residues

From fingerprint powder and evidence gathering chemicals to tear gas and pepper spray residues, SERVPRO can clean and restore your property and contents.

Arson and Vandalism

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals are recognized as leaders at helping property owners recover quickly from fire and water damage. SERVPRO of Denton also provides general cleaning and deodorizing services for situations resulting from vandalism including graffiti, eggs, spoiled foods and human or animal waste.

Leave the Hassle of Board-Ups to the Professionals

1/13/2020 (Permalink)

Board up tornado damage in Gainesville, Texas Gainesville Tornado Damage

Whether it’s after a fire, storm, or other structural disaster, boarding up damaged property is a burden that no one should ever have to go through - especially if it is your property that has been damaged.

Boarding up damaged property incorrectly could cause secondary damages such as moisture or animal intrusion, making the situation even worse. The process of boarding up after an unexpected damage can also be as dangerous as the damage itself. 

Your local professionals at SERVPRO of Denton can board up the damaged property and mitigate and remediate the original damage, providing you with peace of mind while helping make it “Like it never even happened.” Don't hesitate to give our office a call to ask about our free board-up program. 940-566-2277

Understanding Water Types

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Different types of water When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water. Clean water (Category 1 water) is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water (Category 2 water). Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water (Category 3 water) is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding, or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals.

Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for SERVPRO of Denton to arrive:

Damage from Clean Water

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture, to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, or magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.

Damage from Contaminated Water

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

2020 Resolution: Plan Ahead

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

Commercial Preparedness Plan A plan that establishes SERVPRO of Denton as your disaster mitigation, restoration, and reconstruction provider.

With each new year, many people resolve to better themselves or some part of their life. This year, make a resolution to be READY. No one ever plans on a disaster or a water or fire damage to strike, but you can prepare for it. The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure your business is “Ready for whatever happens” in 2020.

In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action in place for your facility. The ERP is a comprehensive document containing critical information about your business, including emergency contacts, shut-off valve locations, and priority areas. The ERP also establishes your SERVPRO of Denton team as your disaster mitigation, restoration and reconstruction provider, giving you access to more than 50 years of experience and a system of more than 1,700 franchises strong. The ERP is a no-cost assessment; all it requires is a little time, making it a great value that could save you time and money in the future. By downloading the free SERVPRO READY mobile app, this important information is stored electronically and can be accessed using your mobile device putting immediate help right at your fingertips.

Preparation is key to making it through any size disaster, whether it is a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. Having a plan in place may help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive and get you back in your building faster following a disaster. Don’t wait until disaster strikes—resolve to be READY by contacting SERVPRO of North Richland Hills today to establish your Emergency READY Profile and be “Ready for whatever happens” in 2020.

Twinkles vs. Sparks

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Holiday Fire Preparedness With just a little extra attention, you can enjoy beautiful and safe decorations in your home this holiday season.

Holiday decorations are a significant part of the season. Trees, lights, and candles help create the holiday environments that are a part of some of our best memories. While all of the decorations are great ways to enjoy the holiday season, they can also be a cause for concern if the right precautions are not taken.

To protect your home in the midst of beautiful holiday decorations, The U.S. Fire Administration recommends paying close attention to the following 3 areas: trees, lights and candles.

Nothing replaces the scent of a real Christmas tree, but real Christmas trees require extra attention. Making sure your Christmas tree does not dry out is crucial for the safety of your home. Also, keeping the tree a safe distance from heat sources is important.

Lights are a beautiful way to decorate your home for the holidays. Making sure they are in working condition without fraying is important. Also, reading the manufacturer’s instructions can help make important decisions about when to connect another strand vs when to find another plug.

Finally, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, “More than half of the home decoration fires in December are started by candles.” Keeping candles a safe distance from flammable objects and remembering to extinguish them are important for the safety of your home.

With just a little extra attention, you can enjoy beautiful and safe decorations in your home this holiday season.

Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Cold Weather Killer

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Never run a vehicle or other fueling engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open.

You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide (or CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels, like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, and propane burn incompletely.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, each year more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning. It is estimated another 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups including unborn babies, infants, and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems being more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide. An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or idling cars left running in garages. Taking some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself by reviewing the following tips provided by the United States Fire Administration.

  • Have fuel-burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional every year.
  • Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueling engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice, or other materials.
  • Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
  • Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.

Call SERVPRO of Denton for a consultation! 940-566-2277

Preparing for an Emergency in Commercial Buildings

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Preparedness Folder No one plans on disaster, but we can help plan for disaster

An Emergency READY Profile, or what we like to call an ERP, is one of the best things that SERVPRO of Denton has to offer the community. This is a pre-planning guide to help Commercial businesses prepare for anything that could happen to their facility. One of our professionals takes the time to come walk the property with whoever has requested this assessment and take all of the information and turn it into a concise document that call be printed into a folder to keep in the building and set up within an app so that the information can easily be shared with multiple people within that business. An ERP consists of the following.

  • A property overview: photos of where this is for verification, property details such as an address, phone number, etc.
  • Building Access Points: where SERVPRO employees are supposed to enter and exit the building, where they can park the SERVPRO vehicles and where they can not, plus floor accesses
  • Information on utilities
  • Information on building personnel
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Any additional information that the business owner would like to be included. (Ex. Any SERVPRO employees that are working on this property must check in at the front office every day to get a badge.)

All of this information prepares our team ahead of time, so that when the time comes for services, we are full prepared and have already asked all of the tedious questions and can focus completely on restoring the damage and taking care of the bigger issues. Call our office to set up an ERP consultation today! 940-566-2277