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Lightning Fast Facts for Denton Residents

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Bright lightning strike in a stormy sky Lightning strikes are no laughing matter, and as always it's important to know what we're dealing with.

As one of the leading weather-related causes of death or injury in the nation, lighting deserves to be understood better so we can be both awed and avoidant of it.

At SERVPRO® of Denton, we strive to be knowledgeable, proactive and preventative in approaching the stormy seasons of Texas.

Here are some flash facts about lightning:

  • While the speed of light (when we see the bolt) is 670,000,000 mph, the actual speed of a strike is only 27,000 mph. Need help visualizing this? Imagine traveling to the moon in only 55 minutes.
  • Everyday, there are over 3 million flashes of lightning (about 44 strikes each second). The earth is struck by lightning more than 100 bolts each second.
  • Lightning can help plants grow through creating nitrogen oxides by its heat and combining with moisture to provide nitrate-rich water for plants.
  • The width of a bolt is only about 2 to 3 centimeters (about the size of a thumb) but it spans a length of about 2 to 3 miles.
  • Lightning can reach up to 50,000°F, which is about 5x hotter than the sun’s surface.
  • Thunderstorms aren’t the only source of lightning; it can be found in volcanic eruptions, forest fires, nuclear detonations, snowstorms and hurricanes.
  • Using surge protectors won’t actually protect your appliances against direct strikes, so make sure to unplug all of your equipment.
  • Using the phone while indoors is actually the leading cause of injuries by lightning within a household.
  • You can easily be struck by lightning even if the eye of the storm is 10 miles away.

Lightning isn’t something to mess with or worth taking any chances at the risk of death or injury. It must be taken seriously, but we can admire the beauty and nature of lightning without compromising our safety.

And should your home or commercial property sustain damage as the result of a lightning strike or severe storm, we're on call 24/7 and are faster to any disaster. Just call us day or night at (940) 566-2277 and we'll be on our way.

Why Replace When You Can Restore?

7/23/2021 (Permalink)

Side by side before and after of a restoration project Our motto is restore rather than replace, and there are a few reasons behind it.

Here at SERVPRO® of Denton, our motto is that it’s always better to restore than replace. 

Why do we believe this so firmly? Let’s first understand the difference between restoring and replacing. Restoring means to bring back to its original condition, while replacing means to substitute the original with an equivalent.

At first glance, replacing may seem like the way to go but we’re here to show you the raw benefits of restoration.

Restoration maintains the character.

Older houses and buildings oftentimes have iconic historic elements, whether it be vintage cabinets or doors. If these items are destroyed by a flood, any replacement you find will never compare to the original elements. By restoring these keepsakes, you’re able to preserve the look and feel of your home or business.

Restoration is cost-effective.

It may seem like replacing would save more money as you may have to purchase tools and products (or a service) to restore your home items, but in reality, restoration is much cheaper in the long run. You need to be critical when thinking of getting rid of a time that is made from older, more durable materials that have proven to last through the generations. When you replace an item, you will often be required to continue to replace it frequently over time.

Restoration takes less time.

Restoration happens as quickly as you want it to, as you’re taking the matter into your own hands. However, replacing items like windows or doors has a much slower turnaround and can take a few months until they’re made (and remember, you have to think of installation time too).

Restoration is better for the environment.

Restoration is a much greener solution as it reduces the amount of waste. Think of all the landfills that are packed with discarded doors, windows and cabinets that easily could’ve been restored.

All things considered, your return on investment is much greater when you restore items, especially when measured over a long period of time.

Call Us Today

Before you replace, give SERVPRO® of Denton a call 24/7 for any restoration needs: (940) 566-2277.

A Guide to Equipment Used in Our Water Damage Restoration Process

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Shot of water restoration equipment in back of iconic green SERVPRO work van. SERVPRO of Denton pulls back the curtain and explains the equipment it uses in its water restoration process.

You understand our water damage restoration process from one of our previous blogs, but have you ever wondered what equipment SERVPRO of Denton uses during this process and how it works?

Luckily, for you, we’ve compiled a complete guide to the equipment we use during the restoration process!

  • Moisture Detectors, Hygrometers and Other Meters: These are used in the third step of the resolution process — water removal and extraction. They measure the extent of moisture saturation in the space. 
  • Infrared Cameras: These are also part of the third step and are used to find the “hidden” or water that makes its way behind the walls and ceilings of your property.
  • Submersible and Gas-Powered Pumps: These use industrial strength to continuously pump high-level water out and help reduce drying time and prevent bacterial growth. They are also used in the third step.
  • Truck-Mounted and Portable Extraction Units: These are used in the third step to efficiently remove water from the property.
  • Industrial-Grade Dehumidifiers: These are used during the fourth step of the restoration process — drying and dehumidification. They help prevent less obvious water damage that doesn’t happen immediately, such as swelling or warping of floors, walls or furniture.
  • High-Speed Air Movers: These create a flow of air across the space including around walls, carpets, pads and furniture. It also helps accelerate moisture evaporation. This is used in the fourth step as well.
  • Industrial Air Grade Scrubbers and Fogging Equipment: These are typically used in the fifth step of the process — cleaning and sanitizing. They help mask odors from the former water damage.
  • Antimicrobial, Antibacterial and Disinfectant Treatments: All of these are used also in the cleaning and sanitizing stage to help disinfect the space and prevent bacterial and mold growth.

Thanks to SERVPRO of Denton, we can be sure that our properties can be safely restored in the event of water damage and that they know what they’re doing with this equipment.

What Do The Hurricane Categories Actually Mean?

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

Weather radar image of a hurricane forming over the United States When it comes to severe weather events like hurricanes, it's always good to know what we're up against.

The most recent and active hurricane in this Texas hurricane season was Hurricane Elsa, a category 1 hurricane. Hurricane season in Texas typically begins around June 1 and lasts until November 30, with an increase in August and hitting its peak in September.

Hurricanes are categorized by the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, which is rated 1 to 5 based on maximum ongoing wind speed. The scale was developed in the 70s by Herbert Saffir, an engineer in Miami, and Robert Simpson, a meteorologist and former director of the National Hurricane Center.

The scale doesn’t factor other hazards that result from hurricanes such as storm surges, flooding and tornadoes, but it does estimate the probable damage of property. Although category 3 or higher are known as major hurricanes, all categories have the ability to result in major damage.

At SERVPRO of Denton, we’re committed to understanding the storms our communities are enduring and finding practical solutions and preventative measures for each scenario. Here’s a rundown of the different categories of hurricanes to watch out for:

CATEGORY 1 — Winds are 74 to 95 mph

Winds are considered very dangerous and expected to produce some damage. Homes with well-structured frames might suffer roof damage, large tree branches could snap or trees with shallow roots may fall over. If power lines or poles are damaged, it could result in power outages lasting up to several days.

CATEGORY 2 — Winds are 96 to 110 mph

Winds are considered extremely dangerous and expected to cause extensive damage. Houses may endure major roof damage and trees could easily snap or be uprooted, blocking roads. It is expected for an almost total power outage to occur and last up to a few weeks.

CATEGORY 3 — Winds are 111 to 129 mph

Winds are expected to cause devastating damage. Framed homes will suffer major roof damage including removal of parts of the roof. Trees are easily snapped and uprooted, blocking major roads. Electricity and water expected to be unavailable up to several weeks post-storm.

CATEGORY 4 — Winds are 130 to 156 mph

Winds are expected to cause catastrophic damage. Houses will experience severe damage including a loss of the majority of the roof structure as well as exterior walls. Trees will be snapped and uprooted along with power poles, isolating areas in the community. Power outages can last up to months and the area will remain uninhabitable for weeks to months.

CATEGORY 5 — Winds are 157 mph or more

Severe winds are expected to cause catastrophic damage as well. Houses will be destroyed, including total roof failure and collapse of walls or structure. Trees and power poles that have fallen will isolate communities. Outages are expected to last for weeks or months as well as the area being uninhabitable for quite some time.

SERVPRO of Denton hopes to serve the community by providing this knowledge for people to understand and take action in protecting them against potential storms. The best thing to do to protect yourself and your loved ones is evacuate these areas vulnerable to dangerous storms.

Preparing Your Business for a Flood

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Flooding in the lobby of an office building Because flooding never schedules an appointment, it's smartest to stay ready all the time.

Flooding occurs more commonly than we think. In fact, flooding has been named the most common disaster in the country, and people should know this and understand how to live with it. It’s wise to stay prepared for floods at your business or commercial property. Those caught unprepared when a flood arrives can pay dire consequences because of it. And with that in mind, your neighbors at SERVPRO of Denton have pulled together some steps you can take to alleviate flood damage:

Insurance

Of course, the story starts with insurance. Flood insurance is valuable and worth every penny. Many don’t realize that they need insurance for a natural disaster like a flood until that disaster strikes and it is too late. Flood insurance will help your business deal with unexpected damages or losses. 

Flood Shield

A flood shield, also known as flood barriers, are panels made to protect all different kinds of openings from storm damage. The main purpose is to make buildings water resilient rather than trying to figure out a way to block out water. By doing so, water damage will be less severe and the recovery time will not be as long. The fittings are made specifically for commercial applications, so you can trust these shields can adhere to any commercial space. An alternative would be to consider boarding up all of the windows, doors, ventilation shafts, and any other openings that will prevent damage for cheaper. If you are able to afford a flood shield, we recommend that this is the best option in the long run.

Backflow Prevention Valves

Backflow prevention valves are plumbing fixtures that make water flow in one direction. When these are installed in drains, it is not possible for flood water to enter the building through those pipes, which mitigates how much damage a flood can deliver in your commercial property. There are many options when it comes to deciding on these devices, so it is best to let the experts decide which one is good for your application.

Flood Restoration

And, as always, call us 24/7 in the event of a flood and we’ll dispatch a team of experts to your commercial property right away. We’re faster to any disaster! Just call: (940) 566-2277.

How to Prepare for a Safe Fourth Of July

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Woman holding a sparkler Fireworks are a fun tradition on the Fourth of July, but only if you're safe!

It’s that time of the year again — barbecue, parades and, of course, fireworks and sparklers! But with great celebrations, especially ones involving fire, comes great responsibility. That’s why SERVPRO of Denton has you covered when preparing for a safe Fourth of July.

Though fireworks are legal, that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily safe. In fact, the National Safety Council advises people to enjoy public displays of fireworks conducted by professionals. But if you do choose to use them at home, make sure to follow some essential tips to ensure a safe Fourth of July:

  • Keep children safe by never allowing younger children to handle fireworks and ensuring that adults supervise older children.
  • Stay sober minded when using fireworks and never try to use them while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
  • Protect your body parts by wearing protective eyewear and avoiding holding lighted fireworks.
  • Light them in the right place and avoid using them indoors and in close proximity to people, houses and other flammable materials.
  • Keep a safe distance from others by not pointing or throwing them at people and maintaining a safe distance after you light them.
  • Be careful with malfunctioning fireworks and never re-light or try to handle them but keep a bucket of water nearby to extinguish them (or in case there is a fire).

The same seriousness should be taken when using sparklers as they burn at about 2,000 degrees, which is hot enough to melt some metals. The National Fire Protection Association states that sparklers account for more than 25% of emergency room visits for firework-related injuries.

Consider using safer alternatives such as glow sticks, confetti poppers and colored streamers, or just sit back and watch the experts do it. But most of all, have fun this Fourth of July and do it safely!

And remember that we are a phone call away, 24 hours a day: (940) 566-2277.

How to Prepare For Summer Power Outages

6/30/2021 (Permalink)

Power outage in an office building When summer brings about power outages, you'll be glad you prepared ahead of time.

As we continue our trek into the iconically hot summers of Texas, we remember that the risk of a summertime power outage comes with the benefits of vacation time and poolside rendezvous. In light of this, we must be prepared to safeguard against these summer power outages so we can try our best to enjoy the cool air all summer long.

Spotting a Brownout

When the weather conditions are severe, electric companies often implement a brownout — a reduction of electricity in a specific area — to keep from overloading the power grid. You can catch these signs by observing your lights and electric appliances to see if they are flickering or turning on and off rapidly. There may also be power interruptions intermittently. Make sure to turn them off so you can protect your appliances from this abnormal voltage as they can easily be damaged.

What To Do

If you suspect a power outage could be coming your way eventually, take these precautions to avoid the situation altogether:

  • Try to keep the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, if possible

  • Keep lights and pool pumps off

  • Limit your use of large appliances like ovens, washing machines and dryers

  • Turn off and unplug devices that aren’t currently being used

When it Happens

Sometimes we aren’t so quick to avoid power outages, and sometimes, even though we have exhausted all of our options and best practices, we still experience them. In this case, there are some things we can do to prioritize our safety and comfort and sustain our possessions:

  • Call your electricity company immediately. Report the outage and stay patient as they’re probably working as quickly as they can to fix the issue.
  • Keep the fridge and freezer closed so the inside stays cold. A full freezer, without being opened, can keep food frozen for about two days. If half-full, the food only lasts a day. The fridge will keep food good for 4 hours if unopened.
  • Don’t open the windows and doors. It’s tempting to keep from feeling trapped inside but opening the doors and windows will only let the outside air come in, making it much hotter. Also, close the blinds and curtains on the sunny side of your property to keep the home from overheating.
  • Use a surge suppressor. This can be purchased at any local hardware store and will protect your devices and electronics from getting fried when the power comes back on.

Whether you are pre- or post- power outage, it’s best to be prepared for the next (or first) potential one. Consider getting a backup generator or stock up on battery-powered fans and other necessities.

Summer power outages may be inevitable but we can do our best to lessen the negative effects on our households.

Want to know more? Call your neighbors at SERVPRO of Denton at (940) 566-2277

Preparing a Commercial First Aid Kit

6/23/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of a first aid kit You'll never know when you might need a first aid kit at your commercial property, but when you do you'll be glad you have one.

Protecting your commercial property is important, and, of course, protecting the people inside it is even more vital. You know that if the unforeseen happens to your commercial property that SERVPRO of Denton is faster to any disaster and experts in making it "Like it never even happened."

But there are also ways to protect your employees, customers, or really anyone in your structure should an emergency take place. That begins with an on-site First Aid Kit.

If you don’t already have one in your property, you should take steps to procure one for the benefit of everyone involved. It is easy and fairly cost effective to put the kit together, and you never know when it could come to someone’s rescue.

Here are some tips for putting together a commercial property first aid kit:

Use OSHA’s First Aid Kit Checklist

Search online and you’ll quickly find a checklist for commercial first aid kits as put together by OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. As their department name indicates, they’re experts in these matters.

And when you take a look at the checklist, you’ll see that many of the items are easily accessible at local drug stores or pharmacies. Items like gauze pads, bandages, tweezers, adhesives, and more are as important as they are commonly found on the shelves at local retailers.

Practice Makes Perfect

Even if you think emergency response is straightforward, you can never do too much training to ensure the safety of the people in your property. Ensure all necessary parties know where the first aid kit is stored, and ensure people on-site are trained in how to proceed. For instance, things like cleaning wounds before applying bandages can be the difference in healing the wound or developing an infection.

If and when an emergency occurs, your staff should be a well-oiled machine ready to jump into action. Even if an emergency requires further medical attention off-site, the steps you take in the initial moments after the emergency are a big difference-maker.

Resources

To find more information on putting together first aid kits or how to use them when needed, consult the OSHA website. And remember, once you can ensure the health of all the people on-site, you can call SERVPRO of Denton 24/7 to respond to any restoration emergency at (940) 566-2277.

Steps to Prevent a Fire

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Photo of a fire extinguisher in a home living room We're experts in fire damage restoration, but we've also got some tips to help mitigate the risk of a fire in the first place.

Our experts at SERVPRO of Denton are trained to be faster to any disaster, and to restore fire damage "Like it never even happened." You know we’re always a phone call away.

With that said, however, there are still a number of easy steps you can take around your home or commercial property to mitigate the risk of a fire before it happens. Take a look:

Check Your Smoke Detectors

Be sure to regularly check the fire detectors throughout your home or property to ensure they have working batteries and are operating properly. You can do this fairly easily by pressing the little button on your smoke detectors. If the alarm is loud and striking, that means it’s working properly. If the sound is weak and faint, or, worse yet, there’s no sound at all, then that means you’re in need of a battery change.

Regularly Clean The Lint Trap in Your Dryer

It can be easy to forget, but when lint backs up in your dryer it can create a dangerous fire hazard. Every so often it’s also a good idea to check behind your dryer to ensure no lint or articles of clothing have fallen back there and created a fire risk.

Clean Your Stove and Oven

One of the leading causes of stove or oven fires are food bits left behind from past meals that can combust the next time you’re cooking, so it’s important to clean your stove and oven regularly to ensure there’s nothing that could suddenly spark a kitchen fire. In that same line of thinking, be sure to always make sure things like towels or oven mitts are far enough away from your stove and/or oven that they won’t accidentally catch on fire.

And be sure to never leave the kitchen while cooking, because a fire can start quickly and can escalate even faster if you’re not there to take action right away. Remember that attacking grease fires will only further feed the flames, and that the best way to subdue a grease fire is to cover it and trap it.

Keep a Fire Extinguisher In Your Home or Property

You never know when you might need it, but when you do you’ll be glad you have it. Keep it somewhere that’s both safe and easily accessible in the event of an emergency, and be sure you and/or someone in your home or commercial property is properly trained to use a fire extinguisher. 

Call Us If you Need Us

If you do sustain fire damage, give us a call 24/7 at 940-566-2277 to speak with our experts and have a team dispatched to your home or property.

What to Expect This Hurricane Season

6/1/2021 (Permalink)

Sign warning drivers of hurricane coming Stay one step ahead of hurricane season with some helpful info from your neighborhood restoration experts.

Summer has arrived in Texas, which means hurricane season is officially in full swing. And after last year broke records for number of storms (according to The Farmer’s Almanac and the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University), another active hurricane season is anticipated in 2021.

Scientists anticipate 17 named storms in 2021, eight of which are categorized as hurricanes. These numbers are based on forecasts from April 2021 that are subsequently updated throughout hurricane season through the end of August. Since 1981, the average number of hurricanes per season is 6.4, meaning this summer is likely to continue a recent trend of above-normal storm seasons in the USA.

In 2020, much of the hurricane-caused flooding in the U.S. occurred in Louisiana, Texas, and other gulf states. However, hurricanes can persist as severe storms as they make further landfall into inland Texas and Oklahoma. 

You already know that SERVPRO is faster to any disaster, and that no matter the storm damage our restoration experts can make it "Like it never even happened." But the more you know about hurricanes, the better you can prepare before they hit.

Here are a few hurricane facts that could come in handy this summer:

What Criteria Qualify a Hurricane

A hurricane is a tropical storm with winds that are at least 74 mph. They’re usually weakened when they make landfall, which is why states bordering large bodies of water (like the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico) are often the most impacted. However, even if after making landfall it falls below the threshold of an active hurricane, it can still cause wind damage and flooding from the intense rain that persists.

There Are Different Classes of Hurricanes

Hurricanes can be classified from 1-5 depending on the speed of wind of that particular storm. A Class 1 hurricane ranges from 74-95 mph, while a class 5 hurricane is a storm with 156+ mph winds. The last class 5 hurricane to make landfall in the United States was Hurricane Maria in 2017.

How Meteorologists Predict Hurricanes 

Thanks to modern satellite technology, meteorologists are able to identify and track hurricanes that develop and travel more easily than ever. Hurricanes usually take a few days (or even more than a week) to fully develop and ultimately make landfall. That’s why it’s vital to heed hurricane warnings if a storm threatens our area!

And, as always, call us 24/7 for expert advice or to have a team of specialists dispatched to your home or commercial property: (940) 566-2277.