Are Yearly Airduct Cleanings Needed?
Do you know where the average American spends 90% of their time? Indoors. Whether you’re lounging around in the comforts of your home, hard at work or simply trying to escape the insufferable Texas heat, you’re likely to find yourself in an enclosed, air-conditioned environment. While sitting in the refreshing air conditioning, it’s easy to forget that impurities could be lurking in the air around you. In fact, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), concentrations of pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher indoors than outside. Yikes! Now you might be thinking to yourself, “That’s impossible! I keep an impeccable home!” and though that is probably true, dust is a devious enemy and yearly air duct cleanings are an essential tool in defeating it. Let us explain.
The average house collects 40 pounds of dust, dirt and allergens each year. This combination of contaminants is made up of pollen, hair, fibers of paper and fabric, soil mineral, pet dander, dead skin cells and more. When these different particles come in contact, they stick together like pieces of Velcro creating dust. These pollutants get inside your home every day by traveling on your clothing, shoes, shedding off your pet and even from you and your family. In fact, the average person creates 1/3 an ounce of dead skin cells each week; about the weight of a house key. That isn’t even the grossest part. Numerous people believe that they are allergic to dust, however many times they are having an allergic reaction to dust mites. Dust mites are microscopic, spiderlike, creatures that live inside of dust and enjoy munching on pet dander and dead skin cells. While you might think that means they are helping clean up the problem; that isn’t the case. Many people who claim to have dust allergies are having a reaction from encountering decomposing bodies and fecal matter of dust mites. According to the EPA, indoor levels of dust mites are substantially higher than outdoors. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America(AAFA) claims that dust mites may be the most common cause of year-round allergies and asthma.
One of the most common reasons these pollutants can become problematic and persistent is due to an unclean Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) unit. It makes a lot of sense why these systems become dirty over time when you consider how your unit works. Anytime your unit is off, dust begins to settle and collect. Once your unit switches on again, the collected contaminants are distributed throughout your home. When your HVAC system is running, it recirculates air throughout your house 5 to 7 times a day. As the air is pulled through the ducts to be heated or cooled, it goes through your filters. Over time these filters become clogged, resulting in unclean air being continuously cycled all over your home.
This is why SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties strongly recommends having a Yearly air duct cleaning and HVAC inspection. Yearly air duct cleaning is an excellent way to improve the air quality inside of your home, reduce the potential for mold growth, extend the life of your HVAC equipment, remove unpleasant or stagnant odors, and even save you money!
Did you know.. Too much mulch and no gutters can lead to water damage.
Here is a diagram of the suggested placement of downspouts for proper drainage.
Did you know that improper drainage around your home can lead to water damage? We have seen several situations where too much mulch is piled up next to the concrete slab, causing water to pool up and enter a structure. We also see problems with homes that do not have gutters. During heavy rains water will pour off a structure and potentially pool up on patios and around the house causing water damage. Here are some tips to help with these situations:
- Each spring it is common for people to keep “adding” to their mulch in flower beds around their house. Dirt and mulch piled up next to the slab foundation could eventually clog weep holes and potentially allow water to penetrate your home. Keeping mulch and dirt away from the top of your slab can save you potential water damages in the future. It is recommended that a minimum of 4” of slab be visible above ground level around the perimeter of a structure.
- Consider installing gutters around your house. Especially around patios and doorways. Diverting the water properly can keep the water from entering your home and from rotting wood around windows and doors.
If you suspect you have had water damage in your home or business, please give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.
When is hurricane season? Be prepared.
Hurricane Awareness - Be Prepared.
Even though our area is approximately 150 miles inland from the coast it is possible for our area to be affected by a hurricane or for sure the outer rain bands of a hurricane. Back in 2017 Hurricane Harvey made landfall South of our area and affected many in our area.
When is hurricane season? For the Gulf of Mexico is it typically from June 1st to November 30th. The peak season being mid-August to late October. However, deadly hurricanes can occur anytime in the hurricane season or if the conditions are conducive for one. It is best to be prepared prior to entering the season. Here are some tips:
- Know all evacuation routes if you live close to the coast.
- Make sure your home meets building codes for withstanding hurricanes.
- Have the proper tools, supplies, and a first aid kit.
- Have plenty of batteries and flashlights.
- Always have plenty of non-perishable foods on hand and bottled water.
- Leave low lying areas.
- Secure outside objects.
- If called to evacuate, do so immediately.
If your home or business has been affected by a hurricane or flood water please give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474. We are here to help.
Do you have water damage? Let us help you.
Historic Lyric Theater in Flatonia, TX with a shout-out to our crew when we recently assisted them with a water damage.
No one wants to come home from a long day at work or a vacation to find standing water in their home. Or imagine coming to work after a weekend and finding out you had a busted pipe.
For most people this is one of the most horrible things that can happen to their home or business and belongings. Here at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties we have the compassion, understanding, expertise and knowledge, to help property owners deal with this stressful situation and get them on track to repairing and restoring their property. Here are some tips to help you until we arrive on site:
Locate the Source Of Water – The first thing you need to do is figure out where the water is coming from. Sometimes this can be tricky depending on where the water damage is. For example, water damage ceilings can be difficult to identify exactly where the water is coming from, and if it’s a roof issue or not. If you can’t identify where the water source is coming from, you need to call a professional.
Shut Off Water Source & Electricity – Once you find the source of the water, if it is not an external source but in fact coming from your home (i.e. pipe) you should shut off the water source to help reduce additional damage caused by the water. If there are any electronics in the room or in the affected area, the electricity should be turned off or the electronics removed from the room.
Move Contents Away from Affected Area – Any personal items, furniture, and other contents in your home sitting in the water and the affected area should be moved. If you let your contents sit in the water it will cause secondary damage to the contents and may make them unsalvageable. A lot of times you have heavy furniture that can’t be moved, in this case, SERVPRO would put the furniture on blocks to keep the contents off the ground and out of the water. Also, in many cases, you have cabinets and vanity’s that can’t be moved. You will need the help of SERVPRO as well here to determine if the water is behind these items.
Give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474. We are here to help!
What is a Microburst?
Microburst can be as damaging as a tornado!
Here in Texas we have hurricanes, tornadoes, flash floods, hail, high winds, including a weather condition called a Microburst. Our weather is so crazy we could be in the low 40’s when we wake up and end up in the high 80’s in the afternoon.
A weather phenomenon, called a Microburst, may cause destruction just as devastating as a tornado does.
A Microburst is a small column of exceptionally intense and localized sinking air that results in a violent outrush of air at the ground. It is capable of producing damaging straight-line winds of more than 100 mph that are similar to that in some tornadoes, but without the tornado's rotation.
A Microburst often has high winds that can knock over fully grown trees. The size of a Microburst is typically less than 3 miles across, and its lifespan could range from a couple of seconds to several minutes.
If you have been affected by storm related flooding or damage give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.
Be prepared with an Emergency Response Plan for your business.
Get your Emergency Response Plan in place for your business or home. Be informed. Plan ahead. Take action.
Is your office or facility prepared in case of an emergency? Actions taken in the initial minutes of an emergency are critical. A prompt warning to employees to evacuate, shelter or lockdown can save lives. A call for help to public emergency services that provides full and accurate information will help the dispatcher send the right responders and equipment. An employee trained to administer first aid or perform CPR can be lifesaving. Action by employees with knowledge of building and process systems can help control a leak and minimize damage to the facility and the environment.
When there is a hazard within a building such as a fire or chemical spill, occupants within the building should be evacuated or relocated to safety. Other incidents such as a bomb threat or receipt of a suspicious package may also require evacuation. If a tornado warning is broadcast, everyone should be moved to the strongest part of the building and away from exterior glass. If a transportation accident on a nearby highway results in the release of a chemical cloud, the fire department may warn to “shelter-in-place.” To protect employees from an act of violence, “lockdown” should be broadcast and everyone should hide or barricade themselves from the perpetrator.
Protective actions for life safety include:
More information can be found at https://www.ready.gov. Be informed. Plan ahead. Take action.
Commercial carpet cleaning is important.
Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474 for your commercial carpet cleaning needs.
Now days carpet seems to be on the down trend in homes and some commercial buildings. But carpet is a great noise reducer in a commercial setting. If you have customers coming to your building/facility, then your business is the first impression to your customers. This is why it is important to get your carpets cleaned yearly in a commercial setting. The following are 3 major benefits to having SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties clean your commercial carpet:
- Commercial carpet cleaning will help improve or maintain the overall appearance of the carpet as well as the overall appearance of the building. A clean and visually appealing carpet can also be very welcoming and help improve the feel of your office.
- The dust, dirt, and other debris that finds its way into the carpet fibers can eventually get into the air where it can cause odors and even respiratory issues. Annual carpet cleaning can improve air quality.
- Choosing a professional like SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is sometimes easier than trying to rent a machine and do-it-yourself. The grocery store machines are not always effective and too much shampoo is often a mistake people make. Let us do the work for you, we have the equipment, training and chemicals to get the job done.
Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for your commercial carpet cleaning needs at 830-379-7474.
Have you heard of water damage from a HVAC chiller system? We have.
Frozen Chiller HVAC System Pipe
In large commercial buildings, HVAC loads normally present the highest energy expense. Geographic location plays a significant role. Since we are in Texas our air conditioning is running most months. The chiller basically removes heat from the water. It is used as a refrigerant to remove heat from the building. The chilled water circulates through a chilled water loop and through coils located in air handlers. This system is expensive but can save money and energy over time.
Issues can arise from these systems, as with anything mechanical. However, this system has water running through pipes in the building. Pipes can freeze up and break causing water damage. There can also be condensation issues.
On a recent water damage our customer had a water loss due to a pipe breaking in the chiller system. One of the concerns was what chemicals are used in chiller systems? Chemicals are used to control corrosion and to prevent bacteria growth. Common chemicals are nitrate, borate, silicate for corrosion control and a chemical for controlling bacteria such as glutaraldehyde. And if freezing is a concern, propylene glycol can be used. It is important to know what chemicals are being used in your system in case of an accidental release so that proper protocols and safety measures can be followed.
If your commercial building has been affected by a water damage, please call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474. We are here to help.
Flaws with Pier and Beam Homes that can cause water damage.
Proper pier and beam ventilation.
We get a lot of calls from people who have pier and beam homes and are experiencing moisture issues and water damage. Listed below are the common problems we see and the damage that can occur from these common mistakes.
- Soil against the perimeter foundation needs to be graded sloping away from the house. If the water is not directed away from the foundation, moisture will accumulate and seep under the house possibly rotting the access door. The door needs to be higher than ground level, and a water barrier installed such as concrete curbing under the door.
- Another widespread architectural flaw in pier and beam homes, both old and new, is inadequate cross ventilation. Air must move without restriction under the house to keep it dry and moisture free. If the house does not have appropriate ventilation, condensation will develop, and cause problems with mold, mildew, fungus, and rot. One square foot of cross vent for every 100 square feet under the downstairs area, including porches is standard.
We often see water penetration as a result of poor cross ventilation, that moisture will soften the floors and cause them to sag and/or rot from the bottom.
If your home or building as been affected by water damage call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474. We are here to help.
Do you have the right fire extinguisher handy?
Understanding fire extinguisher classes.
I know most of us are not thinking about fire extinguishers for our home. In most offices it is code to keep one up to date and at hand. I feel like these might be out of sight, out of mind until an emergency arises.
It is important to keep fire extinguishers in your home and office but also equally important to make sure you have the right types of fire extinguishers on hand to put out common household fires.
Understanding fire extinguisher classes:
There are four classes of fire extinguishers – A, B, C and D – and each class can put out a different type of fire.
- Class A extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as wood and paper
- Class B extinguishers are for use on flammable liquids like grease, gasoline and oil
- Class C extinguishers are suitable for use only on electrically energized fires
- Class D extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals
Multipurpose extinguishers can be used on different types of fires and will be labeled with more than one class, like A-B, B-C or A-B-C.
Purchasing your fire extinguisher:
Now that you know how many extinguishers you need and what types to get, you can head to the hardware store. Look for fire extinguishers that you can easily lift. Larger extinguishers may pack more power, but you must be able to use it properly.
Learning how to use your fire extinguisher:
Once you've made your purchases, familiarize yourself with the fire extinguisher directions so you’ll be prepared in case you need to put out a fire. Typically, fire extinguishers are fairly easy to use in the case of a fire. Most of the types operate using the P.A.S.S. technique:
- Pull the pin on the fire extinguisher in order to break the tamper seal.
- Aim the fire extinguisher low, with the nozzle pointed at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher to release the extinguishing agent.
- Sweep the nozzle from side to side while pointed at the base of the fire until it is extinguished.
- If the fire re-ignites, repeat the last 3 steps.
If you have been affected by smoke or fire damage in your home or business please give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474. We are here to help.