Recent Posts

Common Warning Signs of Mold

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Decrepit room with walls covered with mold. There are certain signs that you can train yourself to look out for so you can catch mold damage in its early stages.
 

In one of our previous blog posts, we reviewed some of the common causes of mold. Mold often accompanies water damage. This blog post will go over some of the common warning signs of mold so that you can call SERVPRO of Denton to come help you with your mold problems (and the associated water damage, if applicable) as soon as you have a suspicion.

Condensation on windows. High levels of condensation on windows could indicate that your home has a high level of humidity. Mold growth thrives in high humidity, so it is likely that mold could be growing somewhere in your home if the humidity level is already this noticeably high.

Odor. An odd, musty smell often accompanies mold. This smell is similar to that of damp clothes that have been left overnight in a dryer after the cycle completed. If you persistently notice this smell in your home, you may want to have your home checked for mold growth.

Water problems. Water damage is the leading cause of mold growth in buildings, as water creates ripe conditions for mold growth. Whether you had just a leak or full fledge flooding, you should have your home checked for mold growth. Regularly check leaky pipes or areas outside your home that tend to pool standing water for signs of outdoor mold growth.

Discolored walls or wallpaper. Mold can grow between your walls and wallpaper. If you notice that your wallpaper is beginning to display odd colors (particularly orange, pink, or purple) you may want to have your home assessed for mold growth.

If you suspect that your home may have any mold growth, call SERVPRO of Denton. We can check your property for early signs of possible mold growth after water damage as well! 

Leading Causes of Residential Fire Damage

9/4/2020 (Permalink)

Gray house with flames coming out of it and firefighters working in the front lawn. Both the fire itself and the aftermath needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible in order to minimize possible damage.

The team here at SERVPRO of Denton is no stranger to housefires. In 2018, there were 379,600 fires, which resulted in over $8 million dollars of loss. Between 2009 and 2018, there was a 4% increase in fires at residential properties.

Cooking is the leading cause of residential fires, accounting for 197,200 fires in 2018. Heating systems were the second leading cause of residential fires. Electronic malfunctions caused 25,700 fires in 2018. Aside from unintentionally/carelessly started fires, these were the three leading causes of residential fires over a ten year period.

It can be hard to protect your home from all the dangers lurking out there, but SERVPRO ofDenton is here to help in the instance that anything does happen to your residence. Give us a call at(940)566-2277or submit an information form!

What Being Biohazardous Really Means

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Worker in personal protective equipment placing yellow "caution" tape across a doorway. Given the potential harm that biohazardous waste can have on humans and other animals, it is important to deal with it as quickly as possible.

One of the many services that SERVPRO of Denton offers is biohazard clean up and restoration services. Biohazard is short for biological hazard, which refers to a biological substance that is known to have a direct (negative) affect on humans or animals. Biohazardous waste is most commonly produced by medical facilities (hospitals, doctor’s office, pathologies, laboratories), nursing homes, veterinarian’s offices, and tattoo parlors. Large amounts of biohazardous waste is produced every day, as they are simply a by-product of a number of commonplace cultural practices and procedures. Common examples of biohazardous waste include used syringes, used needles, and contaminated paper such as used tissues or toilet paper. Biohazardous waste can and should be picked up by a biohazard waste removal company so that it be properly dealt with.

There are several instances in which biohazard cleaning is appropriate. One example of this is crime scene clean up, where bodily fluids or dangerous substances (such as illegal drugs or potent chemicals used to produce illegal drugs) may have been leftover in the aftermath. Biohazard clean up may also be needed after an industrial spill such as a chemical spill at a plant or factory. This type of cleaning may also be needed in the event of animal biohazard contamination.

Whatever the reason may be that your property needs biohazard clean up services, SERVPRO of Denton is fully equipped and ready to help. Give us a call today at (940)266-2277 or submit an information form so we can better understand your situation!

Fires in Commercial Properties

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Worm's eye view of a city sky. It is important to protect your commercial property from the threat of fires.

There are many different risks that come along with a owning a business. Some risks are a result of human error while others may arise out of natural (or unnatural) disasters. In 2018, 103,600 fires occurred in nonresidential buildings, resulting in over $2 million of loss. Data collected and analyzed by the U.S. Fire Administration shows that nonresidential fires increased by 26% between 2009 and 2018.

The most common cause of nonresidential fires is cooking and kitchen appliances, with 25-30% of nonresidential fires being cooking-related. Human error accounts for about 10% of nonresidential fires. This category includes forgetting to unplug appliances and electronics, improper disposal of cigarettes, and forgetting to blow out candles. The number of intentionally set fires is not far below the number of fires that were started intentionally or carelessly. In 2018, 10,200 fires were intentional. Finally, electric malfunctions account for about 7% of nonresidential fires.

The best way to protect your property from the threat of fires is to have smoke and fire alarms installed throughout the building. Make sure to test and have them serviced regularly to ensure that they are working and ready to go in the event that a fire does occur. Additionally, it can help to have motion sensor cameras set up around your property so you can respond quickly if you are a victim of arson. Most arson occurs in trash cans or dumpsters, so we sure that these areas of your business have a monitoring system in place so you can move quickly and minimize the damage.

If you did have a fire occur at your commercial property, SERVPRO ofDenton is here to help you get your business back up and running as quickly as possible. Call us today at(940)566-2277 or submit an information form online. We are here to help!

The Source of Soot Webs

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

Black web-like soot damage in the corner of a white room. This type of soot damage may look similar to spider webs, but the two are actually entirely unrelated.

Fire brings with it many unexpected consequences. Of course, you will immediately see the toll it takes on your property and belongings when you are assessing the damage. While taking a look at your home or business, you may notice something unexpected. In the corners and along the ceiling lines of your home or business, you might observe something that looks like black spider webs. This phenomena, commonly called “soot webs” has a more interesting origin than meets the eye. Read on to learn about what the true cause of these “cob webs.”

People think that soot webs occur after smoke has attached itself to pre-existing spider webs and turned dark as a result of the fire damage and resulting smoke. However, this is a misconception. Soot webs (also called soot tags) are new, unique chains of soot that gather in areas of low concentration. Air moves (or at least attempts to move) from hot areas to cold areas. As flames from a fire cause the temperature of the surrounding area to increase, the air tries to seek out cooler spaces to achieve atmospheric equilibrium. If the air is not circulating properly and cannot escape the structure, the smoke and soot will continue to travel around the enclosed air. Soot webs form in areas of lower circulation, which is why you typically see them up in high places and in corners.

SERVPRO of Denton is happy to help you clean up soot webs and all the other damage that a fire might have left behind in your home or business. Give us a call at (940)566-2277.

Contents Cleaning Explained

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

Feminine hand with painted nails resurfacing a wooden tabletop. Many different types of belongings made from a myriad of materials can be restored to preloss condition if properly handled.

If disaster affects your property in a major way, your belongings may have been impacted as well. When working with your insurance company or speaking with SERVPRO of Denton, you may have heard the phrase “contents cleaning” thrown around. There is more to contents cleaning than just the actual cleaning of your belongings. This blog post will break down the contents cleaning process for you so you know what is happening to your beloved belongs every step of the way.

Step One: The Contents Analysis. Before the contents are able to be cleaned, the restoration company will determine what is salvageable and what is non-salvageable. Salvageable items are those that can be cleaned and restored to preloss condition while un-salvageable items cannot be restored and will need to be replaced.

Step Two: The Pack Up. The SERVPRO technician in charge of your contents will begin by photographing all of your salvageable items, then add barcodes to each of your items (or each box of your items). This will ensure that your items can be tracked at any time and that nothing will get lost. Once all the items have been accounted for, they will be packed up and transported to the restoration facility for cleaning.

Step Three: The Pack Out. Back at the warehouse, the items will be unpacked and prepared for the actual cleaning.

Step Four: The Contents Cleaning. Once unpacked, our technicians will go through and examine every item to determine the best way to clean each one. Several factors are considered, such as the material that the item is made of (generally meaning whether they are hard or soft contents), if they should be washed by hand or by machine, and what type of chemicals can safely be used on each item. Most hard items can be cleaned in a machine, like the UltraSONIC cleaning machine used by SERVPRO of Denton. Delicate items and electronics will undergo specialized types of cleaning to ensure that they are handled correctly

Step Five: Contents Storage. If your contents are cleaned before the work on your property is completed, your belongings need to be safely stored somewhere. They will be kept in our climate controlled warehouse until the work on your property is finished.

Step Six: The Pack Back. Your property is now ready, and your contents are transported back to your home or business.

Step Seven: The Unpack. The final stage of the contents cleaning process! Once at your property, the boxes containing your contents will be unloaded and unpacked. Our technician will go over the contents inventory with you to ensure that everything was returned and allow you to inspect the quality of your items.

And that’s it! Trust that SERVPRO of Denton can give you post-disaster peace of mind by allowing us to handle your content need! Give us a call at (940)566-2277 or submit an information form today!

Common Causes of Mold

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

Interior wall of a house spotted with green, gray, and orange mold damage. Mold is highly contagious and can easily take over an area when the conditions are right.

No matter how clean a home you keep, mold will always be present in your home. Mold serves an important part in nature and does serve an important role when very low levels are present. However, when the conditions are just right, mold can thrive and take over an area, which can cause significant damage to your property. Here is a list of common causes of mold and some appropriate preventive measures that can be taken for each:

Leaking. Moisture attracts mold. That is essential to remember when working to prevent mold on your property. Leaks that can cause mold an occur in many places in your home. One such common cause of mold are leaking pipes. It is important to remember that your property is full of both visible and non-visible piping. Mold may be growing on an out-of-sight leak. Water could also be leaking into your house form an external source, such as rainwater that comes along with a storm. Regularly check your attic for structural damage and standing water, and keep an eye on the ceiling for signs of water damage.

Poor ventilation. When clean air is not properly entering your home and contaminated air is not adequately exiting your home, a number of complications can arise. This can create pockets of moist air, which is a condition that mold thrives in. This issue commonly occurs in kitchens or bathrooms, as activities carried out in these rooms often create large amounts of steam. Fans can help with ventilation by allowing the air to better circulate in the room. Keep all the appliances in each room well-ventilated by maintaining their vents, and keep your air filters clean in general.

Humidity. Your home can be exposed to humid conditions naturally due to the area weather or a particularly stormy season. Mold feeds off humidity, but humidity also prevents puddles and damp materials in your home (think laundry) from drying properly and thoroughly. These wet or damp places create ample opportunities for mold to grow and spread. If you used a humidifier in your home, be sure that your humidifier is running below 55%, as anything higher than that is the level needed for mold to start growing. Ensuring that your home is well-ventilated can help ensure that that the humidity level does not increase indoors.

SERVPRO of Denton is proud to offer mold remediation services. If you know you have a mold problem give us a call! If you suspect that their may be growth after water damage, we have several types of checks we can perform to assess the extent of the damage. Give us a call today at (940)566-2277 or submit an information form and we will get back to you shortly!

How Heat Can Damage Your Property

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

Black roof tiles bleached white. Heat and sun damage can potentially cause both aesthetic and structural issues.

Summer in North Texas can be intense to say the least. With temperatures consistently breaking 100° Fahrenheit, it is important to understand how high temperatures may affect your property. Here are the some of the various parts of your property that heat can cause damage to:

Paint. Excessive heat can cause damage to the paint on the exterior of your property. Be sure to check your exterior paint for bubbling, chipping, and flaking. This is not just a cosmetic issue. Rather, this type of damage can create an opening for moisture. Uninvited moisture could even allow mold to begin forming in your home. A quick check during hot summer months could save you a great deal of hassle (and money) down the road.

Roof. Sun exposure can cause a number of different types of damage to your roof, which could affect both the lifespan, performance, and durability of your roof. The coating that protects your roofing materials may be dried out by the sun, which may cause the coating to crack or break completely, leaving the top of your house exposed to the elements. The bleaching of your roof could also occur, though this is largely an aesthetic problem. Depending on what type of material your roof is made of, it may be more susceptible to different types of heat damage, so you may want to explore this topic further so you know what warning signs to be on the lookout for.

Foundation. Soil acts as a support system to your foundation. When your soil has a lack of moisture, it begins to shrink and pull away from your foundation. This creates space for movement and settlement, which can cause cracks in your foundation. Soil shrinkage can be caused by periods of excessive heat, as the sun dries out the soil. Be sure to regularly assess the amount of moisture in your soil in the summer months.

Pipes. Water use typically increases during the summer months, which places extra pressure on your pipes. If your foundation shifts even slightly, your water lines could disconnect or even rupture due to movement. You can regularly check for leaks yourself, and have a plumber regularly check the caulking and sealing around your pipes.

Try to beat the heat as best you can, but remember to care for the well-being of your property too! If you do end up needing any repairs to your property, be sure to give us a call at (940)566-2277 or submit an information form. Hot or cold, we are here to help!

The Different Types of Weather Alerts

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

Blue cloud with a white lightning bolt superimposed on it. Red text says "National Weather Service" in a circle around it. Official logo of the National Weather Service, which has been providing weather forecasts and alerts since 1870.

There are several types of severe weather that impact Denton and the rest of north Texas that can cause the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue an alert. Alerts are issued in order to make the population of the impacted area aware of the potential dangers that they could be facing, and hopefully allow them time to adequately prepare for the impending acclimate conditions. There are several different types of alerts that can issued, varying in degree by the potential risk associated with that type of weather. The three most common classes of alerts issued by the NWS are watches, warnings, and advisories. Watches, warnings, and advisories can be triggered by a number of different types of weather phenomena, such as floods, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and even excessive heat. Below are the definitions of each alert to help you better understand the distinctions between them:

A watch is issued when there is chance this condition will occur, and generally covers a larger geographic area over a longer period of time.

A warning means that the weather is already occurring or has a high likelihood of occurring in the near future, and advises the population of the impacted area to take proper protective measures.

Advisories are issued when a certain type of weather has a fair chance of occurring, but advisories are typically used for less severe types of weather conditions (i.e. the issuance of a wind advisory rather than a high wind warning).

Now that you understand the differences between watches, warnings, and advisories here are the criteria for some of the issues that are most commonly issued for our region by the governing NWS office, which is located in Norman, OK:

Freezing Rain/ Drizzle Advisory Issued when freezing rain is predicted to cause travel problems, but not exceed an accumulation of ¼”.

Ice Storm Warning Issued when freezing rain is expected to produce ice accumulations of 1/4” or greater, and significantly disrupt traffic and utilities.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning This type of alert occurs when there is a reliable report that a thunderstorm is producing or will soon produce gusts of wind of 58 mph or greater, structural wind damage, and/or hail with a diameter of 1” or greater.

Flash Flood Watch Issued when an area is facing the possibility of flash flooding within the next 36 hours.

Flash Flood Warning Issued when a flash flood is predicted to occur in the next future, generally within the next 1 to 3 hours.

Hopefully knowing the difference between these weather alerts can help you adjust your expectations and better prepare for the occurrence of acclimate weather. SERVPRO of Denton is here to help you restore your home or business in the event that disaster does strike. Whether it was water damage caused by a flood or you are needing roof repairs after a hail storm, we will make it "Like it never even happened." Give us a call at (940)566-2277 or submit an information form and we will follow-up with you!

Sources:

https://www.weather.gov/oun/spotter-wwa-definitions

AC Water Damage in the Summer Months

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Close up of the blades in an air conditioning unit. Your air conditioner can provide much needed relief, but it can also cause much hassle if not properly maintained.

The hot summers that plague Denton are no secret. Thankfully, air conditioning allows home and businesses to maintain a comfortable temperature inside, regardless of how unpleasant the conditions outside may be. Unfortunately, air conditioners do have the potential to damage your home when they are not properly maintained. Here are some tips for keeping your air conditioner in good working condition, and some advice for what to do if you do suspect or see water leaking for your air conditioner:

-Inspect your air conditioner’s filter regularly, and clean it as needed. A large amount of water damage caused by air conditioning units is a result of a clogged air filter. Regularly cleaning and replacing your air filters may seem very inconsequential, but the amount of damage done by these can cause detrimental structural damage to your home or business. This structural damage could take the form of warped floors or sagging ceilings but could even cause the entire ceiling to cave in if the damage occurred over a long enough period of time.

-Check and clean your air conditioner’s condensation line. Check the entire length of the line for moisture and, while your conditioner is running make sure proper flowing is occurring. You should clean the condensation line every three to six months to ensure that there has not been a build up of debris. Clogged condensation lines are another leading cause of water damage caused by air conditioners.

-Make sure that you have enough refrigerant in your air conditioner. Low refrigerant can also cause your air conditioner to leak, as your air conditioner cannot function properly without it. Avoid potential water damage by regularly checking the amount of refrigerant in your unit, and keeping the level high enough for optimal functioning.

-Be on the look out for any leaks. Depending on a variety of factors such as the size of your property or the location of your air conditioner, maintenance and self-service of your unit could become something you forget it-out of sight, out of mind. Unfortunately, the longer a leak goes unnoticed, the worse the damage gets. Try setting outside time to glance at your unit at least once a week. Set an alarm on your phone, or jot a reminder in your planner or on your to do list. This is a very quick and easy task to complete, and can end up saving you a huge amount of money, time, and hassle in the long run.

Hopefully these tips were practical and applicable. In the event that you do experience water damage caused by your air conditioner or from any other source, SERVPRO of Denton is happy to provide our services to you. We work on both commercial and residential properties, so do not hesitate to contact us for more information. No job is too big or too small! We are here to help Denton!