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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Why Do I Need Professional Fire Damage Restoration After a Fire In My Cibolo Property?

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Fire fighter sprays a water hose at a building that is up in flames To ease the process of restoring your property after a fire, you should call SERVPRO.

Smoke, Soot Particles, and Odors Need SERVPRO Restoration Methodologies for Comprehensive Cleanups.

Fire damage to your Cibolo home can be a traumatic experience for any homeowner. Apart from the damage due to the heat, fire can cause significant damage to your property and belongings due to smoke and soot. The smoke particles can coat walls, ceilings, and almost any surface and cause permanent damage if not cleaned quickly and efficiently.

The particles in the smoke contain unburned carbon that can be very difficult to remove after a fire to your Cibolo property. Furthermore, not all soot particles are alike, and it takes a multi-step process to eliminate them. It is a job for the professionals who have years of training and expertise in fire damage restoration. Here are some of the ways that professionals get rid of the smoke and soot damage from your property.

Strategies are developed based on the type of soot residue

The plan to restore the smoke damage depends on the type of smoke residue. Here at SERVPRO, our team of expert restorers evaluate the type of smoke residue and prepare a plan accordingly. Dry smoke residue is easier to clean compared to wet smoke residue, as dry smoke residue does not stain the surface as intensely as wet smoke residue, thus it is easier to remove by wiping. Our IICRC certified technicians use less aggressive methods to clean such films.

Wet smoke residues, on the other hand, are significantly more difficult to clean. SERVPRO technicians use a variety of methods such as wet-cleaning, foam-cleaning and abrasive cleaning to mitigate the damage caused by wet smoke residues. The heat streams during a fire can drive these smoke particulates deep into cracks and crevices and porous surfaces further exacerbating the cleanup difficulty.

Deodorizing  

Smoke and soot pose another challenge during the restoration process- the odor. If proper precautions are not used during the restoration process, the odor can linger on long after the fire. SERVPRO technicians use equipment such as Ultra Low Volume (ULV) foggers, heat foggers, deodorizing beads, ozone machines and other methods to combat the odors after a fire. Our technicians have years of experience in managing odors after fires of all sizes. We can get your home smelling like home again in no time.

How To Deal With Various Aspects Of Fire damage In Cibolo

Considering it only takes 30 seconds for a small fire to turn into a huge blaze, every home faces the risk of fire damage. With more and more items being made from synthetic materials nowadays, fires can start and spread within a few minutes. These materials also tend to produce excessive smoke that can damage areas not affected by the flames. The wrong approach can hamper recovery efforts.

Most cases of fire damage in Cibolo also include damages from water. When fighting the fire, no one concentrates on the amount of water used so it might form pools or soak into porous materials. Extracting such water should be given priority once restoration starts because extended water exposure has equally difficult challenges. Our SERVPRO team is well equipped with extractors and other tools necessary to handle this.

In most cases, your insurance covers the costs involved. However, you might ruin the claim process if you fail to do proper documentation. Instead of waiting for the adjuster to arrive before starting the restoration, you can find out if photographic evidence is enough for the claim process. Calling the adjuster can help you confirm this and begin restoration. Our SERVPRO technicians can help you take the necessary photographs as they do the restoration. Doing this saves time thus limiting the chances of additional damages happening.

Unless it is a massive blaze that consumes the entire structure and its contents, most fire incidents leave many salvageable items. However, it might not be easy to tell the difference especially when everything is covered in soot. Our SERVPRO team begins by separating items into three groups. The groups include salvageable, unsalvageable and questionable items. To a trained eye, it is easier to make these distinctions. We can also move some contents to an offsite facility for cleaning. Move Outs improve the outcome of the salvage process.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830) 379-7474 today to talk to one of our fire restoration experts.

What are the Differences Between Janitorial Services and Commercial Cleaning for COVID-19?

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

With Texas businesses re-opening after the Coronavirus Pandemic, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is being called on by numerous business and community leaders to perform the necessary bio-remediation services to clean and sanitize their properties for COVID-19.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties professionals are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and sanitize your business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

Here are 4 things that show how our cleaning is different than janitorial cleaning: 

IICRC Certified. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the non-profit certifying body for the cleaning and restoration industry. Not only is SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties IICRC certified as a firm, but most members of our staff carry several IICRC certifications. 

Cleaning Experts. The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets,  and tables at a minimum. Most of our cleaning tactics will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis 

The CDC also recommends regular cleaning of the following areas/items: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevators and Escalators
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Cleaning Products. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line meet this standard and carry the EPA-registered emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.  

Our proprietary cleaning agents are EPA-certified, hospital-grade disinfectants that have demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) on hard, non-porus surfaces. 

We carry multiple hospital-grade disinfectants and provide our personnel with proper PPE. Not only does this protect everyone, but it also protects the building and people in it.   

Cleaning Procedures. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties technicians are experts in infectious disease cleanup and bio-hazard cleaning. Our proven cleaning procedures and protocols have been used to clean and sanitize rhinovirus and norovirus in the past. We are implementing similar protocols, and we are "battle tested" in regards to virus cleanup. 

Bring the professionals in! Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474

We Are Cleaning Experts!

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

Pro-active Cleaning for Coronavirus COVID19, Influenza, and other Biohazards

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties, 830-379-7474

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

What To Do For Fire And Smoke Damage

3/13/2020 (Permalink)

STEPS TO RESTORE FIRE AND SMOKE DAMAGE

Experiencing fire and smoke damage to your home can be traumatic and upsetting. If you are unaware what to do and scouring the internet via google to find out what you should do, I feel your pain. If you follow these steps, it’ll make your fire and smoke damage restoration processes as smooth as possible.

1. Contact SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties 

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties offers 24/7 emergency services, meaning we can come out quickly when contacted to provide immediate relief. This is a very important feature that you should always look for when contacting a damage restoration company. Why do you need immediate service for fire damage? Having expert technicians begin the fire restoration process quickly can prevent more damage from spreading throughout your home. The longer you wait after a fire and smoke event in your home, the worse the damage will get. Most companies will offer a free consultation or charge a small fee to come out and assess the damage. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties will scope the job free of charge.

2. Emergency Tarping & Sealing Services

Once the fire damage restoration begins in earnest, the main priority will always be to prevent damage from getting worse. For instance, then, if you have a leak thanks to a hole burned in your roof or due to a hole in your wall, then SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties will start by addressing that.

Likewise, fire damage restoration can also often go hand in hand with water damage restoration. This can be necessary for instance if the fire has led to a burst pipe or water tank. In these cases, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties will act quickly to stop the source of the water before it spreads through more of your building and causes more damage.

3. Removal of Fire and Smoke Damage

Next, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales will begin the clean-up part of the fire damage restoration process whereby they will clean away smoke, dust, and soot from your surfaces. After a fire often you will find that your property looks dark, stained and charred. The first job SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales will tackle will be to clean up all this damage and get your property at least looking as normal as possible.

This is also when water damage restoration will begin properly. Here any standing pools of water will be removed using submersible pumps and the areas will then be dried and sanitized. Water damage can also cause health problems owing to contamination in the water, so sanitization is particularly important here.

During this fire damage restoration process, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties will also ensure to remove any odors that can linger after the smoke has been in the room. This might involve carpet cleaning as well and will often need to address adjacent rooms as well as those directly affected by fire damage.

Finally, the clean-up part of the fire damage restoration process will also involve the removal and disposal of items that are too badly damaged to be repairable. If you have furniture for instance that has absorbed a lot of contaminated water, or if you have carpet that has been badly burned… in these cases often the best-case scenario is just to throw these things out and to replace them with new items. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales handles this for you so that you don’t have to.

Restoration of Your Home

The next stage is to begin actually restoring furniture and repairing the damage caused by fire. For instance, if cabinets have been destroyed by fire, then SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales will involve either repairing those cabinets or replacing them with new ones. Carpets can likewise be installed a new and walls can be repainted, and wallpaper can be put back up.

The idea of this stage is to get your property looking as good as new so that you can go back to normal.

If you have just experienced fire and smoke damage, call SERVPRO Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474 for all fire, smoke, and water restoration needs. We are proud to serve Schertz, Seguin, Cibolo, McQueeney, Gonzales, Luling and the surrounding New Braunfels area.

Types of Storm Damage

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Severe weather can wreak havoc on your home or business.  Heavy rain, strong wind and other factors such as hail and flooding can result in significant damage to your property. Do you know the most common types of storm damage?

Wind Damage

Hurricanes, strong thunderstorms, and tornadoes can lead to severe wind damage to your property. Your roof is especially prone to be damaged by these circumstances. Strong winds can lift shingles, cause cracks and even remove part (Or all!) of the roof itself. If the wind is harsh enough, it can even shear away asphalt tiles. Flying debris can also result in damage to the roof and siding. After a storm with strong wind, having your roof assessed by a qualified professional is strongly recommended as damage such as roof leaks may not be immediately visible.

Roof Leaks

After a severe storm, your roof may have loose flashing. Loose flashing that is not repaired can lead to further damage, such as another roof leak weeks after the initial storm damage. Even a small leak can produce damp and moldy conditions inside of your home or business. The best plan of action is to secure roof repair immediately following wind damage in order to prevent long term interior damage.

Flood Damage & Recovery

Floodwaters can seriously damage your home or business. If a property is near water or in a low-lying area, flood water damage can pose a severe threat. Heavy rains and flooding may cause water damage miles away from bodies of water. If the land around the property cannot absorb the amount of water the additional flooding may occur. Flood damage can also occur as a result of frozen pipes breaking. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated groundwater as well. Flooding may even become so bad it can disrupt your municipal water system. Experts will assess groundwater and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. Hiring a storm restoration professional may allow you to begin the cleanup process even before water restoration occurs. Cleaning before water restoration often proves essential yet challenging. By relying upon a trained water damage restoration specialist, you'll usually obtain faster storm remediation. These experts may suggest ways to help mitigate flood water damage in the future, for instance, by requesting backup flood pump installation.

Hail Damage & Recovery
Hail may be the most overlooked cause of major storm damage. Hail can damage not just your roof but also your siding, exterior walls, and any detached sheds or outbuildings. You may think you’ve survived a hail storm but do know that hail damage is difficult to identify. Again, you’re wise to hire a storm damage restoration professional to inspect your roof, exterior walls, and outbuildings for damage. Dark spots on your roof are areas where the roofing granules have been knocked away. These weakened spots can lead to other more extensive problems such as leaks and cracks. Cracked and chipped siding is also a sign of hail damage.

Impact Damage & Recovery
In a major storm, practically anything can become a creator of damage to your home or business. Think about trees. Your home may survive storm damage only to have a tree on your property succumb to the wind, hail, or rain and fall onto your house. A neighbor’s outdoor lawn furniture can become wind-blown projectiles. Extreme wind pressure turns regular outdoor items into tools of destruction. After storm damage, the professionals at SERVPRO of Lexington do a walk around to look for the signs of these types of unusual damage.

Help Is Here

The team at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties has specialized training and experience in storm damage, fire restoration services, natural disaster prevention, water damage, and natural disaster cleanup. Our staff is highly trained in building services and property damage restoration. We study IICRC standards and best practices in cleaning and restoration. Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830-379-7474) anytime.

Thunderstorms Cause Unexepected Flooding

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Scattered thunderstorms are expected in the Schertz, Cibolo and Seguin areas today. This weather is expected to continue throughout the week.

Many neighboring towns saw only sunshine, but in those areas that experienced the storms, the rainfall was intense and overwhelming.

Office Building Floods

An office building in Cibolo, Texas experienced an unexpected flood as a result of torrential rains earlier this year.

The building owner said he watched the water quickly rise several inches above the ground level door jamb and start pouring into the building. The water flowed behind the walls and soaked an office carpet.

Drainage Issues

Water has not flowed in through this door in past storms, so the building owner suspects that a clogged underground drain pipe leading to a catch basin backed up.

He plans to repair the drainage to prevent future floods, but this goes to show flooding can happen anywhere, even on lots with preventive systems in place.

Importance of Drying

The owner thought he contained the problem by mopping up behind the flood, but several days later his tenant complained of a musty smell in the office.

Drying out porous materials like carpet and drywall is key to preventing microbial growth, so we are sending a crew to apply a botanical anti-microbial solution and set up fans and a dehumidifier to completely dry the area.

Emergency Ready Plan

In addition, our marketing team is working with the building owner to create an Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) to expedite his disaster response if something should go wrong in the future.

Call the Professionals

When thunderstorms strike in our area, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is available around the clock to respond to your flood emergency.

Our professional water damage restoration crews will get your building dry the first time and discourage further damage from mold and other microbes.

How Often Should You Clean Your Rain Gutters?

3/9/2020 (Permalink)

Unclogging gutters and rain spouts are an important part of home maintenance in the fall and spring. It’s an easy job to do yourself, but if you are afraid of heights or doubt your ability to get it done, don’t forget your friends here at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties. We can help you in both cleaning and unclogging your gutters, which help to keep you from dealing with damage from water during the wet months.

You risk experiencing water damage to your roof, basement and crawl space if gutters and rain spouts are not cleaned out regularly. So how often should you clean out your rain gutters? It’s going to be important to take care of this task before the rainy season hits in the spring, summer and into the fall, for sure, so it is probably a good idea to complete this task at least three times a year, ahead of wet and windy weather. Debris will build up in your gutters at those times, preventing water from draining down and out, and if the gutters can’t channel the water when it rains, it ends up pooling and backing up into your walls and attic, or near your foundation and in your basement.

You will want to use step ladders on solid level ground and try to schedule cleaning when the weather has been dry for a few days. This way, the debris, leaves and pine needles won’t be as soaked and will be much easier to remove. Remove larger debris and then follow that up with a powerful hose that washes everything else down towards the downspout. You will also want to clean the gutter filter screens and make sure there are no clogs in your downspout. If these tasks seem like more than you want to handle alone, call us!

Contact us here at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for any water damage caused by your rain gutters. Gutter cleaning and unclogging rain spouts is an easy regular home maintenance fix. Do your family a favor by preventing water damage to your home or business with regularly cleaning your rain gutters.

Why Water Damage Should Be Dried by a Water Mitigation Company

2/24/2020 (Permalink)

Don't DIY Water Damage

Water damage is both an inconvenience and a destructive force, often causing a lot of damage. Of course, it can also be expensive, even with insurance. While many would opt to clean and repair water damage on their own if they could, it’s quite the risk. That’s why we urge you to call your local water mitigation company.

Mold Growth

One of the main reasons you should have a professional disaster restoration company dry your water damage is because remaining moisture can encourage mold growth. The faster water damage is dried, the lower the odds you’ll have mold. That’s why our technicians will also apply an antimicrobial spray—to inhibit potential mold growth.

Hidden Moisture

Depending on where water damage occurs, it’s possible that water was absorbed or got behind materials. For example, in many instances, water will get behind walls or under flooring where it cannot be seen by the naked eye. A professional disaster restoration company, however, can use moisture meters and other specialized equipment to detect high levels of moisture and determine areas that need to dry.

Your Local Disaster Restoration Company

Water damage can disrupt lives, but by calling in professionals immediately, you can mitigate the impact it has over the long term. If you have water damage don’t hesitate to call us at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474

Kitchen Fire in Schertz, TX Causes Smoke Damage

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Wiping Soot off of a kitchen stove top This heavy soot was caused by a kitchen fire in Schertz, Texas earlier this year.

Do you know the leading cause of home fires? Cooking. Ovens and stovetops that aren’t used correctly or are left unmonitored can result in disastrous effects. Even when a fire is caught soon after starting, the damage can be devastating to a home. Smoke moves fast and can leave soot and odor trapped in curtains, sofas, on the walls and other places throughout the home. Thankfully, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is here to help. Our professional technicians can clean, deodorize and sanitize any affected materials, getting to your home back to preloss condition. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties has a tried and true process of eliminating the strong odor of smoke from the air using deodorizers and ionizing machines.

To learn more about smoke damage remediation, click here.

Please call today to get the process started: (830) 379-7474

Water Damage in Your Seguin, TX Area Home

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

Air Movers in Laundry Room. If you experience Water Damage in Seguin, TX we can help!

What To Do If You Have Water Damage in your Home

Water damage in your home can be a frustrating headache. No one anticipates the issue; therefore, it’s always a major inconvenience and added expense. Particularly with broken pipes, there are several steps you need to take to start the water cleanup process.

  1. Stop the Water Flow and Clear the Area

When a pipe breaks or bursts, you first need to stop the water flow. Always know how to shut off the water in your house and turn it off immediately when you notice water leaking. If there is a large amount of water, it’s a good idea to turn off electricity in the room as well. Also clear the area of any decor items, furniture and especially electronics. If there are removable rugs or floor pads, take them out of the room.

  1. Call the Professionals

As tempting as it may be to handle this problem alone, it’s always a good idea to call water damage specialists. They will remove the water and assess the damage to your home. It will give you peace of mind to have professionals dry out the area, as well as items within it. One of the frustrations of having broken pipes is not just the initial water, but also the threat of mold. Professionals will check unseen places, like below flooring and within walls for moisture in order to dry them and prevent mold.

  1. Check with Your Insurance Company

The next call should be to your insurance company. If you have flood insurance, that will be very useful. If not, ask for details of your homeowner’s insurance policy and what exactly it covers. Once you know this information, you can prepare your budget and work with the water removal company on payment.

Water damage from broken pipes is a problem you need to deal with immediately. You should make sure to turn off the water and electricity, call a company specializing in water removal and restoration and check your insurance policies. Following these steps will make a hectic process a little more manageable and have you on your way to a restored home. Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties if you experience any water damage 830-379-7474. We are here to help!

After Water Damage Should You Remove Your Carpet?

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

A Quick Guide on Deciding if You Should Keep Your Carpet After Water Damage Has Occurred

Dealing with the water removal, drying and disinfecting, and dehumidification following the devastating effects of water damage from a pipe break in your home in Cibolo, TX can be very upsetting. In addition, you need to see that the cause of the water damage is remedied and undergo repair or replacement of many elements of your home. How do you decide your carpet can be dried out and re-stretched to live out its normal lifespan? It may possibly be saved, but that depends on the type of water that has saturated it. There are three different categories of water that may affect the decision.

  1. Clean Water: the water comes from a pipe break or leaking water supply line, then likely the carpet could be dried out and saved for re-use. If the carpet itself is heavily soiled or it is left wet for an extended period of time, it can deteriorate further. If resolved early on, the carpet can usually be saved.
  2. Gray Water: Gray water comes from an overflowing toilet, or from a malfunctioning dishwasher or washing machine. It may contain urine and other bacterial or virus components but no feces and can also deteriorate. The decision to keep the carpet exposed to Gray Water is a tricky one and may depend on the speed of removal and whether an effective disinfection process can be undergone.
  3. Black Water: The worst of the three categories is Black Water. It may come as a result of a sewer backup or other situation where feces, microbes or harsh chemicals may be present. It involves careful handling to extract and careful attention to subsequent disinfection and disposal of contaminated items. It requires replacing your carpets.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties following a pipe break to help you take care of the necessary water removal, cleanup, and restoration of your home and belongings. They can help you make the hard decisions about whether replacing your carpet is necessary and help restore a safe and comfortable home for your family.

Are Your Walls Wet? How Can You Tell?

2/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO uses the right equipment to identify affected materials. SERVPRO will check for the source of moisture in your home or business.

Gypsum, aka “drywall,” is a very popular material for use in the construction of homes and offices. The material is noted for its strong fire-resistant qualities. However, drywall is also known to be incredibly susceptible to being damaged by moisture compared to many other building materials.

This is, in part, because drywall is extremely porous, readily absorbing moisture and retaining it. If the moisture content (%MC) of drywall exceeds even 1%, then the drywall can be considered “moisture-compromised” and in need of either drying or removal depending on whether or not mold has begun to grow.

Even greenboard, the “water-resistant” drywall, will be damaged by moisture if it gets past the green, water-resistant paper covering that gives greenboard its name. The majority of greenboard’s water resistance comes from the paper covering, not the drywall itself.

Because of how susceptible drywall is to be damaged by even minute amounts of moisture, it’s important to be able to accurately assess the amount of water present in drywall.

When looking for a moisture meter to use for testing drywall, some considerations include:

  • Whether or not the meter has a gypsum scale.
  • The range at which the meter detects moisture—the meter should be able to accurately detect very small amounts of moisture.
  • Length of the pins.
  • Additional scales for other materials—most professionals have to work with more than just drywall, so having a moisture meter with the ability to test other materials using different reading scales is a must.

The SERVPRO 1-4-8 Rule & What It Means to You…

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

The longer it sits, the worse it gets.

Timely mitigation is key to controlling damage, downtime, and recovery costs. You will appreciate the rapid response and training of SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties to help limit damage and get your home or facility back to normal quickly. You can count on SERVPRO’s 1-4-8 service guidelines to ensure that timely mitigation happens.

Service Response Guidelines

1 Hour – Within one hour of notice of loss, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties will contact you to arrange for service

4 Hours – Within four hours of loss notification, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties will be on-site to start mitigation services (if necessary). 

8 Hours – Within eight business hours, we will initiate a verbal briefing of the scope of damage and needed mitigation efforts.

These guidelines are a corporate-wide standard that all SERVPRO franchisees are expected to meet. Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 83-379-7474 if you have water or fire damage at your home or place of business.

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Thanksgiving table with food being passed around by arms. Text that says "Thanksgiving Safety Tips" Don't let a fire ruin your thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is the Peak Day for Home Cooking Fires!

It makes sense when you consider that most families devote hours of love and labor crafting the perfect turkey feast. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 4,000 fires happen each Thanksgiving Day and they usually take place in the kitchen!

At SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties, we know the importance of being prepared, aware and ready. Keep the following safety tips in mind this Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

  • Never leave food unattended while frying or grilling.
  • If frying or deep-frying, keep the fryer outside, away from walls, and free from moisture.
  • Never use a glass casserole container or glass lid on the stove or burner, as it may explode from the heat.
  • Ensure that pot holders and food wrappers are a safe distance --- at least 3 feet! ---- from warmed surfaces like the stove.
  • If using candles or a fireplace, keep these sources of fire shuttered or isolated, and never leave them unattended.
  • Never douse a grease fire with water, as the fire can thus spread. Turn off the burner, smother the flames with a lid (Make sure to wear an oven mitt!), or douse with baking soda or a fire extinguisher.
  • Having a fire extinguisher in the kitchen is handy and can mitigate a fire getting out of control. Make sure you know how to use it in case of an emergency.
  • Ensure your smoke alarms are all connected and are working.
  • Once the Thanksgiving festivities are over, make sure to walk around the home to check for any appliances left on and ensure all candles and fireplaces are extinguished.

From your family at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties; Happy Thanksgiving!

Beat the Freeze!

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Simple Steps to Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing & Bursting

Texas weather is incredibly unpredictable. Since winter is at our heels, now is a great time to review how to prevent your pipes from freezing and busting!

When temperatures drop quickly, the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting skyrockets. Unsurprisingly, burst pipes are one of the most common causes of property damage during the winter.

The pipes most at risk for potential freezing are those in unheated interior spaces such as basements, attics, closets, and garages. Thankfully, there are simple actions you can take to prevent any damage from occurring.

There are several low-cost or free things you can do to protect your home, helping you save hundreds, even thousands of dollars in repair.

1. Insulate your pipes and faucets. Keep in mind that towels may not be the best long-term option.

Pipe insulation materials, faucet covers and slip-on faucet protectors are all recommended ways to keep the pipes warm. You can find them at any local hardware store.

2. Turn off your sprinkler system and make sure the backflow preventer is drained.

Know where your backflow or your vacuum system for your irrigation system is. If your backflow preventer is not drained, then your pipes may break.

3. Let cold water drip from a faucet.

Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing.

4. Experts say you can try your hairdryer if pipes freeze.

Obviously, safety comes first. However, if you can locate the part of the pipe that is frozen, you can try to thaw it with a hairdryer.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830)379-7474

IICRC Certified Firm

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

IICRC Logo with words "IICRC Certified Firm" IICRC creates standards for the restoration industry.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is an IICRC Certified Firm. IICRC stands for the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. The IICRC creates standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies and their employees. Some of the standards are as follows.

IICRC Certified Firms Must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up to date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations on arbitration.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace as well.

Locally Reviewed 5 Stars on Google

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Real Quotes From Real Customers

Whenever you require a service that includes letting people into your home, you want to make sure you are working with professionals you can trust. The reputation a business has is a good way of gauging if you will be in good hands. Our customers speak for our work, check out some of our most recent reviews:

“I’m trying to take care of my elderly mother’s home. I am completely in over my head. I’ve never been sure who to call, until now. SERVPRO has always had the time to not only advise, but to investigate the problem. Their enthusiasm and professionalism are outstanding. They have always resolved or redirected my efforts when necessary. In addition, they are able to compassionately deal with my mother and her dementia as I’m not always available to be present. They truly go the extra mile and deserve more than 5 stars!” – Brian Trammel

“Very Fast Service, excellent customer service. Techs were very knowledgeable and willing to go the extra mile to make our experience as smooth as possible.” – Trey Atkins

“SERVPRO was wonderful. Randy, Claudia, Pearl, and Cole were so helpful during a stressful time. They did excellent work and made us feel at ease with this whole process. We highly recommend them.” – Daniel Ibarra Jr

Check out more of our Google Reviews Here!!

We have the best team of friendly, reliable and professional technicians. For a company you can trust, call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties!

Want an ALL-EXPENSE Paid Trip to the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl?!

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

We're Searching for an Outstanding First Responder

Schertz, Cibolo, Seguin and surrounding communities -

SERVPRO® of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties has been serving its community in water and fire restoration since 2009. Last year, the annual college football bowl game played at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas known as the Heart of Dallas Bowl, was renamed the SERVPRO® First Responder Bowl. This annual event was started in a joint effort to honor the service and sacrifice of America’s First Responders. As quoted by Sue Steen, CEO of SERVPRO® Industries, Inc, "We are proud to present the SERVPRO® First Responder Bowl dedicated to honoring some of the hardest working men and women in our country. We recognize the dedication and selfless acts of our First Responders and are honored to help highlight and celebrate the commitment of these everyday heroes."

SERVPRO® of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is truly grateful for their local first responder's service and sacrifice and would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the brave men and women who are on the frontlines of community emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

To honor all that these men and women do for our community, SERVPRO® of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is searching for a local First Responder who has been nominated by our local communities to send that responder on an ALL-EXPENSES PAID TRIP to the SERVPRO® First Responder Bowl on December 30, 2019 in Dallas, Texas.

Nominations are not limited by any requirements other than the individual working or volunteering for their department must currently be living and/or serving in one of our territories(See the list below). Some examples of reasons for nomination are: injured and back to work, lives saved in career, extraordinary job performance, upcoming retirement, etc.

The First Responders to be honored include police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, correctional officers, search and rescue, dispatchers, security guards, federal agents, border patrol agents, and military personnel who have specialized training and are the first to arrive and provide assistance at the scene of an emergency.

To submit a nomination please fill out our online form.

Nominations must be submitted by Friday, November 15th. The recipient will be announced the following week at their department.

Anyone wanting more information on the bowl game can visit www.firstresponderbowl.com.

Feel free to e-mail tdabbs@SERVPRO10901.com with any questions. Thank you!

List of Eligible Cities and Zipcodes:

  • Belmont, Tx - 78604
  • Cibolo, Tx - 78108
  • Cost, Tx - 78614
  • Falls City, Tx -78113
  • Flatonia , Tx - 78941
  • Geronimo, Tx -78115
  • Gillett, Tx - 78116
  • Gonzales, Tx - 78629
  • Harwood, Tx - 78632
  • Hocheim, Tx - 77967
  • Kingsbury, Tx - 78638
  • La Grange, Tx - 78945
  • La Vernia, Tx - 78121
  • Leesville, Tx - 78122
  • Lockhart, Tx - 78644
  • Luling, Tx - 78648
  • Marion, Tx - 78124
  • Martindale, Tx - 78655
  • McQueeney, Tx - 78123
  • Moulton, Tx - 77975
  • New Braunfels, Tx - 78130/78132
  • Nixon, Tx - 78140
  • Ottine, Tx - 78658
  • Pandora, Tx - 78143
  • Panna Maria, Tx - 78144
  • Schertz, Tx - 78154
  • Schulenburg, Tx -78956
  • Seguin, Tx – 78155/78156
  • Shiner, Tx - 77984
  • Smiley, Tx - 78159
  • Smithville, Tx - 78957
  • Staples, Tx - 78670
  • Stockdale, Tx - 78160
  • Sutherland Springs, Tx - 78161
  • Waelder, Tx - 78959
  • Westhoff, Tx - 77994
  • Wrightsboro, Tx - 78677
  • Yoakum , Tx - 77995
  • Yorktown, Tx – 78164

Weather Forecast for Winter: Predictably Unpredictable

11/8/2019 (Permalink)

Local SERVPRO disaster recovery professional spotlights resources to help property owners plan in advance for potential severe Winter weather

Seguin, Texas—With winter around the corner, George Parsley, the owner of SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties, encourages property owners to be prepared for potentially severe weather. Texas seasons are infamously unpredictable, with wide temperature swings and extreme weather changes that can happen in the blink of an eye.

“Home and business owners need to be aware that severe weather conditions can develop rapidly and hit unexpectedly, so it’s important to plan ahead,” says Parsley. “Internal damage is also a threat that is often overlooked. Water pipes burst every day and most businesses don’t have a plan for recovery in place.”

As many as 50 percent of businesses close down following a disaster, unable to survive long periods of business interruption caused by a disaster and its aftermath. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Preparation is a key component for making it through any size disaster, whether it’s a small water leak, a large fire, or an area flood. The best time to plan for such events is not when the event happens, but well before it happens.

“As disaster remediation specialists, we know how important advance planning and preparations can be not only for surviving an unexpected event but also for recovering from it once the threat has passed,” says Parsley. “We want to help address this problem in Guadalupe and Gonzales Counties by helping local businesses have a plan in place.” 

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties has a solution for business owners; an Emergency READY Profile. This no-cost facility assessment employs online tools to document critical facility, contact, and line-of-command information. Having this information in a central, easily accessible location helps facilitate the prompt, appropriate and efficient response that SERVPRO knows is critical to getting a business back in business as quickly as possible.

According to Parsley, “An ERP is the ultimate tool for preparedness. Let us help you and your business be ready for whatever happens”.

For more information on SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties, or to schedule a free ERP service contact our Sales & Marketing Manager, Michael Moreno at (830)-379-7474 or mmoreno@SERVPRO10901.com

For more information on SERVPRO® and the SERVPRO® Emergency READY program, please visit. www.ready.SERVPRO.com

About SERVPRO®

Founded in 1967, the SERVPRO Franchise System is a leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services and mold mitigation and remediation. SERVPRO’s professional services network of more than 1,700 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events. Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, the SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team mobilizes from across the country, as needed, to support large storm events. SERVPRO’s Disaster Recovery Team has responded to large loss and storm events across the country, including: 2018 California Wildfires, 2018 Hurricane Michael, 2018 Hurricane Florence, 2017 Hurricane Irma, 2017 Hurricane Harvey, 2016 East Tennessee Wildfires, 2016 Hurricane Matthew, 2016 Louisiana Flooding, 2016 Houston Flooding, 2015 Siberian Express, 2014 Mid-Atlantic Flooding, 2014 Polar Vortex, 2013 Colorado Floods, 2013 Alberta, Canada Floods, 2012 Hurricane Sandy, 2012 Hurricane Isaac, 2011 Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

Preparing Your Business for Floods | SERVPRO® of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties

11/4/2019 (Permalink)

Did you know that 90% of all natural disasters involve flooding? Even minor flooding can result in major damage. Business owners would be wise to consider their flood risk and plan for it. Having a plan in place ensures that anyone at your business during an unexpected event is safe and prepared. A plan also aids in speeding up the process of restoration which can greatly reduce the amount of damage done.

How to Prepare

Preparing doesn’t have to be a daunting project. First business owners should understand their risk. Secondly, they should communicate and work with employees. Finally, business owners should establish a safety net in advance to ensure they can reopen following a flood. Here are some of the key planning points:

  • Finding the FEMA Flood Map and evaluating your level of risk
  • Keeping records and paperwork copies in a secure location away from the business
  • Drafting an Emergency Action Plan and host a training to be sure all employees know what to do
  • Creating a clear evacuation route for all areas of the office
  • Determining if your insurance includes flood coverage and considering purchasing it if not
  • Compiling an emergency kit for the workplace in case you are stranded and must wait on assistance
  • Moving any valuables or computers to higher areas

Preserving Documents From a Flood

If your commercial property does suffer flood damage, keeping the following business documents offsite and handy will aid in the business restoration process.

  • A copy of your Business Continuity Plan
  • Emergency contact information for employees
  • Policy details for your business and flood insurance
  • Contact information for any crucial suppliers, vendors or other parties essential to the business
  • Instructions to back up computers and recover files
  • Financial and bank records

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties offers Emergency Readiness Profiles for our local businesses at no cost. This free service can greatly help after a commercial loss. If your business has experienced a flood or any other disaster, we are here to help 24/7.

Categories of Water Damage

10/31/2019 (Permalink)

Clean, Gray and Black Water

Most people assume that all water is clean and safe. However, that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Based on the source of the water, the amount of time it’s been dwelling in a structure, the temperature and the pre-existing conditions professional water damage technicians determine how to classify water damage. Restorers diligently investigate all affected materials to search for indications of contamination.

The following are the different types of water damage:

Category 1 Water Damage

Clean Water

Just like the name says, this water is generally safe as it does not contain any contaminants and has no substantial risk of causing health problems. For a situation to stay a category 1 the water must originate from a clean source, not be present for a prolonged period of time and any affected materials must be generally clean. Some common causes include:

  • Broken water lines
  • Bathtub or sink overflows with clean water
  • Appliance malfunctions
  • Rainwater and snowmelt

This water is the easiest to control if extraction and remediation services begin rapidly. However, after 48 hours contact with affected materials can begin to contaminant the environment, moving the damage up to the next category.

Category 2 Water Damage

Gray Water

Water that contains a significant amount of biological, chemical or physical contamination is classified as a Category 2. This water does have the potential to cause sickness and discomfort and should be treated immediately. Common source causes for gray water can be:

  • Aquarium leaks
  • Dishwasher or clothes washer discharge
  • Toilet bowl overflow (urine only)

If left untreated, this water will more than likely become…

Category 3 Water Damage

Black Water

When water intrusion comes from highly unsanitary sources or contains disease-carrying agents, it is known as black water. This is the most serious type of water damage as it poses the largest threat to the occupant’s health. It is important to call a professional water restoration service as soon as possible when this damage occurs and is advisable that people and pets refrain from being near the structure. Category 3 water damage can be caused by anything containing harmful chemicals or biological matter. Some of the most common causes are floodwater and sewage water backup.

Sewage is contaminated with microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungis and more—many of these can be harmful to humans.

Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:

  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis
  • Gastroenteritis-type illnesses

Remember, when it comes to floods, all waters should be assumed to be black water since water picks up and carries contaminants along its path.

The three classifications of floodwater are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), an organization that certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our technicians all study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.

No matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is here to get the situation under control. If you aren’t sure what type of water damage your loss is categorized, give us a call and we will take care of everything for you!

Biohazard, Trauma & Crime Scene Cleanup Services

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Yellow crime scene tape that says "Do Not Cross" We provide 24-hour biohazard cleanup to New Braunfels and the surrounding communities.

We believe that no one should have to deal with the aftermath of crimes and traumas on their own.

Let us guide you through this trying and hard time. At SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties we are experts in trauma cleanup. Our years of experience has taught us about how to provide the most emotionally understanding services to our customers. You can be assured that we will always treat your property and the those affected with the utmost respect during our restoration work.

The aftermath of a trauma scene leaves behind biohazardous materials such as blood, tissue and bodily fluids that can carry infectious diseases and dangerous pathogens. These contaminants can be dangerous and should always be removed by a qualified, professional cleaning company. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties crime scene cleaners are certified to control blood-borne pathogens, toxic and hazardous substances. Our technicians are highly experienced in biohazard removal and well-versed in methods necessary to successfully undertake each unique situation.

Federal laws require that crime scene cleanup companies and restoration services educate their workers with specific training. SERVPRO provides continuous education for their production teams nationwide through corporate, as well as in-house training initiatives. Our biohazard restoration specialists are compliant with all state, local, federal, OSHA and other industry regulations. This ensures safety for our staff as well as your family and property.

We proudly provide empathetic, sensitive, prompt and professional cleaning services of both bio and chemically infested scenes.

The most common situations in which professional biohazard remediation services are needed include the aftermath of:

If you or your family members are in need of a sympathetic and caring restoration company to perform biohazard clean up, then call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties. We are a 24 hour emergency service that can be reached anytime at the following number: (830)-379-7474. 

Is your Business Emergency Ready?

10/21/2019 (Permalink)

50% of businesses may never reopen after suffering a disaster. Be Prepared with an Emergency READY Profile Call us today to set up your FREE Emergency Ready Profile! (830)-379-7474

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage

Do you know what you would do if your business was affected by an emergency situation such as Water Damage, Fire Damage, Smoke Damage, Mold Growth or a Bio-Hazard contamination? As many as 50% of businesses close down forever following a disaster, according to the latest research. Of the businesses that survive, the overwhelming majority of them had a preparedness plan in place. Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP) will help ensure you are “Ready for whatever happens.” In the event of an emergency, the ERP can help reduce 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.

By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your business as well as save you thousands of dollars.

The SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile Advantage:

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.


Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

If you would like to schedule a free ERP assessment, you can e-mail Taylor Dabbs at tdabbs@SERVPRO10901.com or call our office at (830)-379-7474.

Mold Removal Seguin, Texas

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

White corner of kitchen wall with mold growth about 3 feet high. Blue HEPA Filtered Negative Air Machine on the floor working If you think you might have mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties. (830)-379-7474

The Process of Proper Containment.

Finding mold in your home or business can be a stressful event. Knowing what to expect can alleviate some of that anxiety.

When a Mold Remediation expert begins their work, they will be focused on is proper containment of the affected area. Isolation of the area is essential as when removing or disturbing a mold source, large quantities of mold spores become airborne. Without proper containment, these spores could spread throughout the indoors and affect nearby areas causing cross-contamination.

The first step of the containment process is installing a HEPA Filtered Negative Air Machine. This system has a fan that sucks the air from the mold affected area and exhausts it outside and far away from the structure. While the machine works to cleanse the air of airborne spores and create a Negative Pressure Environment, the mold specialist will move onto the second step of containment.

The second step of containment is installing physical barriers in the work area. Most commonly this is done using heavy plastic. These barriers are established to ensure that the affected area is completely isolated from adjacent, non-affected areas. Part of this process includes covering all HVAC Systems, shared airways, electrical outlets, light fixtures and more. Any area that could allow for air to enter or leave will be properly sealed.

By this time, the HEPA Filtered Negative Air Machine will have created a Negative Pressure Environment in the room. That means that the air pressure within the affected area is less than the air pressure in the area surrounding the space. As a result, any mold spores that become airborne during remediation will be controlled and flushed out of the indoor environment!

New Braunfels Area Weather Report

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Large, dark and purple clouds fill the sky. Two large lightning strikes hit the ground. Thunderstorms and Heavy Rainfall is expected in Seguin.

Heavy Rainfall Expected in South Central Texas

Storms are heading our way! Yesterday at 2pm, the NOAA Tropical Weather Outlook reported disorganized showers and thunderstorms forming over the northwestern part of the Gulf of Mexico. They also stated that these storms have about a 20% chance of significant development within the next five days. The system is expected to arrive Tuesday evening or early Wednesday and produce heavy rainfall along portions of the central and upper Texas Coastal areas. What does that mean for us? Well according to the National Weather Service, Seguin, New Braunfels and San Antonio areas can expect a lot of rain! Wednesday and Thursday have been predicted to bring locally heavy rainfall and thunderstorms, possibly along and east of I-35. This tropical moisture will linger around mainly the eastern half of South Central Texas. Starting on Friday and moving into the weekend we can expect to see scattered storms with minimal impacts. Have a great week!

If Storm Damage has occurred, we are here to help! Give us a call today (830)-379-7474

Content Inventorying after Fire Loss in Gonzales, TX

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Pots and Pans that were scorched by a fire in Gonzales, Texas. These kitchen items were damaged by a fire in Gonzales, Texas.

In the United States a fire occurs every 18 seconds, but only one matters to you.

Earlier this year we worked on a fire in Gonzales, Texas. Our industry leading expert technicians are skilled at restoring your home, business and items after damage caused by fire, smoke and soot. One component to our fire loss process includes content inventorying.

Continent inventorying is pretty much what it sounds like. After smoke and soot cleanup has been completed, our technicians carefully take count and note all items including both salvageable and unsalvageable items. All restorable items are then professionally cleaned and deodorized before being boxed. Boxing the items allows for them to be stored in a safe location until the fire restoration process has been completed. Unsalvageable items are discarded.  

Once inventory has been finished, we send the information to you and your insurance company to review and be processed as part of the claim.

If you need Fire, Smoke, and/or Soot Restoration Cleanup, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties wants to help! Call us 24/7 at (830)0379-3035

Are Yearly Airduct Cleanings Needed?

8/8/2019 (Permalink)

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.

5/23/2019 (Permalink)

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.

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

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.

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

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?

5/16/2019 (Permalink)

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.

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

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:

  • Evacuation
  • Sheltering
  • Shelter-In-Place
  • Lockdown

More information can be found at https://www.ready.gov.   Be informed.  Plan ahead.  Take action. 

Commercial carpet cleaning is important.

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

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.

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

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.

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

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?

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

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.

Not all fires are the same.

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire in Seguin, TX

Fires are not all the same.    Depending on the cause of the fire is how we will proceed with our cleaning.   The most prevalent types of fires are high oxygen fires, which produce dry soot; low oxygen fires, which produce greasy, wet soot, and kitchen fires.  Here is a look at how we would tackle cleaning these fires:

  • High oxygen: Dry sponges are a must. Follow this by applying a low-alkali detergent and then rinse thoroughly.
  • Low oxygen: Use high-alkali detergents along with warm water to wash the walls and structures. Rinse, then paint over.
  • Kitchen: These are often the most challenging fires to clean, as soot residue is difficult to detect. For this reason, cabinets, drawers and other appliances often need to be removed to adequately clean the area.

Techniques for Various Materials

  • Clothes and fabrics: A specialized dry cleaner is capable of restoring these items to preloss condition. Cleaning soot-contaminated clothing is somewhat of a science, and while a homeowner may be able to adequately restore clothing on his own, it’s always best to leave this to the professionals.
  • Carpet: A professional carpet cleaning is a must in order to effectively remove contaminants and odor from the carpet.  A lot of times the carpet must be removed.
  • Building materials: Dry chemical sponges are your best bet for wallboard, plaster, wood and wallpaper. These will remove much of the soot and also prevent it from being lodged deeper into the material.
  • Other materials: Sponges, towels and mops are ideal for cleaning tile, glass, metal and certain appliances. Since these aforementioned objects are less porous than drywall, for example, it’s OK to use a wet or dampened sponge or cleaning tool. Plus, there’s no risk of lodging contaminants deeper into the material.
  • Specialty cleaning tools: Ultrasonic cleaning machines can come in handy as they can adequately clean non-porous items quickly and efficiently, compared to hand cleaning.

If your home or building has been affected by fire and/or smoke damage, give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.  We have the equipment and knowledge to get the job done.

It’s BBQ time in Texas! Here are some BBQ tips.

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

It's BBQ time at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties!

One single factor causes more than 1,500 home fires every year.  BBQ grills!  It is BBQ time in Texas and we are grilling at our shop today.   

Did you know that approximately 17 percent of the estimated 8,900 fires caused by grills every year happen because the cooker is too close to something flammable.  Things like deck rails, patio furniture or those fun citronella tiki torches can catch fire if not kept at a safe distance from the grill.

The NFPA and the International Code Council (ICC), organizations responsible for developing building codes and standards for fire safety, recommend a distance of at least 10 feet between a grill and any combustible material. Gas and charcoal grills are strictly prohibited on balconies and decks, unless they are connected to a one- or two-family home.  

Here are a few safety tips:

  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill and the tray below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended. Keep children and pets at least three fee away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill placed away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • If using charcoal, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container. This we have seen first-hand.  A client disposed of coals a day after a BBQ in a plastic bucket in the garage.  They sparked back up and started a fire in their garage.

If your home or business has been affected by fire or smoke damage give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.  We are here to help.

Commercial Air Duct Cleaning

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for air duct cleaning at 830-379-7474.

Air ducts are usually something people don’t notice until there is a problem.  Things like musty smells, mold or mildew around the registers will get people’s attention.  Why wait until something goes wrong?    Having a maintenance schedule for your HVAC and ducts is important and a great way to improve air quality and insure that your system is running properly.

Air duct cleaning helps:

  • Improve indoor air quality
  • Reduce the potential for mold growth
  • Extend HVAC equipment life
  • Provide a healthier environment for allergy sufferers
  • Remove unpleasant odors
  • Save money on energy costs

  Our process includes:  Using a HEPA filtered vacuum system with a brush head to vacuum out and brush out dust and particles in the duct trunk line.  We clean off the vent cover and use a fogger to seal the duct run with a sealant mixed with a deodorizer that will seal in any particles that might be left behind and re-attach the vent cover.  We also clean at the air return.  However, we do not service or clean the actual HVAC unit.  This would need to be cleaned and inspected by a licensed HVAC contractor.

If you would like an estimate for duct cleaning, please give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.  We are here to help!

Hear the BEEP where you SLEEP!

3/13/2019 (Permalink)

Hear the BEEP where you SLEEP!

It’s a good practice to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and test them in the Spring.  I always go by the daylight-saving time weekend to tackle this important task.

Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm.  Half of home fire deaths happen between 11:00 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep.  For the best protection install interconnected smoke alarms in your home.  When one sounds, they all will sound.  We have this system in our home which is about 6 years old.  Older homes may not have but one smoke alarm and usually they are in the kitchen.    This will not help if you have a 2-story home and your fire starts on the 2nd level.   It’s important to have smoke alarms installed on all levels of your home.

Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old or if they do not sound when tested.  You can look on the back of the alarm for the date of manufacture.

If you have had fire and/or smoke damage in your home or business, please give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.  We are here to help!

Up to your ankles in water?

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties if your home or business has water or flood damage at 830-379-7474.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474.  Our phones are answered 24/7 365 days a year.  We have staff that is on call for your after-hour water damage emergencies.  

Here are some safety tips to go by until we arrive on site:

  1. Stop the Water at Its Source
    Unless the flooding is due to an act of nature, find the source of the water and turn it off or seal it up. The easiest way to stop water flow is to turn off the main water valve to the house. If possible, locate the valve before it floods so you can find it easily in case of a water emergency.
  2. Turn Off the Electricity
    After the source of the water has been stopped, turn off all electrical systems in your home—but don’t walk through water to get to the fuse box. If you cannot reach the fuse box without stepping through water, call an electrician.
  3. Evacuate the Premises
    If a burst pipe or sewage leak is the issue, evacuate the premises and find a dry, safe spot outside of your home. It may be as close as the backyard or as far as the home of a neighbor or friend. Make sure that everyone—kids, pets, friends who may have been at the house—is accounted for and unhurt.
    In the case of a natural disaster, locate a temporary shelter, either by asking authorities or listening to the local news. Get everyone relocated to the shelter as soon as possible.
  4. Call for Help
    Once your family members—both two-legged and four-legged—are on dry ground, call for help. If anyone needs medical attention, call 911. No matter what’s going on with the flooded house, the damage has already been done, and your focus simply must be on you and your loved ones’ well-being.
    After you’ve verified that everyone is safe and well, you can make calls to the proper parties to get the recovery process underway.
    Renters: Call Your Landlord
    As soon as you and everyone who lives in the home are safe, let your landlord know what’s happened. (Now is a great time to make sure that your landlord’s number is in your cellphone and also written down and stored in your car’s glove compartment.)
    Homeowners: Call Your Insurer
    Call your insurer and explain that your home has suffered water damage. Make sure to clarify whether you need to wait for an adjuster to visit your home before you begin the cleanup and repair processes.
  5. Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474 to get the drying processing started.
  6. Document Everything.  When thinking about what to do if your house floods, the first thing that probably comes to mind is cleaning up the mess. But before you do, document everything so you can show your insurer the extent of the damage. Use your cellphone camera to film or photograph all aspects of the issue.
    The water that’s flooding your home may include sewage or other hazardous material, so you need to take extreme precautions to not touch it. Before going into the home, suit up with appropriate protective gear, such as waders and waterproof boots.
  7. Start the Cleanup Process.  Cleaning up after a flood is a long, arduous process. You’ll need to remove the water, salvage any personal items you can, dry the space out, and disinfect any areas or objects the water touched. And, as in the previous step, you’ll need to undertake these tasks while wearing proper safety gear to avoid contact with bacteria.

Flooding Can Happen Anywhere—So Be Prepared

Do you have humidity or moisture problems in your home?

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties has the equipment and training to detect your moisture issues.

High home humidity can be uncomfortable. Worse yet, it can pose a threat to your home's structure and surfaces causing water damage and/or mold.  In Texas our humidity we see a lot of moisture issues in homes.

The ideal indoor humidity level is between 30 - 50%. Proper management of indoor humidity levels has several positive effects. If you implement solutions to keep you home in the right range, you'll have these benefits:

  • Improve personal comfort.
  • Control moisture that can damage your home's wood, paint, and siding.
  • Prevent mildew growth and odors in clothing and belongings.
  • Improve indoor air quality by reducing dust mites, mold, and other allergens.
  • Reduce pest infestations.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of your air conditioner.

Here are some ways to maintain that healthy range and clear the air by reducing and controlling humidity at home:

How to reduce and control humidity:

  • Set the fan to automatic. (Keeping it in the "on" position actually re-humidifies the space by blowing air over a wet coil when the condenser cycles off.)
  • Invest in a unit with a variable-speed air handler.
  • Consider installing a whole-house dehumidifier.
  • Don't automatically lower the thermostat. Turning down the thermostat to reduce humidity can be a sign of an oversized air conditioning system. If you are using the thermostat, though, smart thermostats can be part of a humidity strategy.

Air-conditioning systems can only keep up with the moisture they're designed to remove, whether the systems condition fresh incoming air, recirculating interior air, or both.

Here are ways to help keep additional moisture and humidity from infiltrating the home:

  • Install vent fans in kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Run a dehumidifier.
  • Cover dirt floors in crawl spaces with a plastic vapor barrier.
  • Seal air and duct leaks.
  • Select houseplants that absorb moisture from the air, such as Boston ferns.
  • Keep air-conditioning drip pans and drain lines clean and unobstructed.
  • Avoid activities that add moisture to the air on humid days, such as taking hot showers and boiling water on the stove.
  • Take measures outside. ENERGY STAR suggests keeping gutters and downspouts clean, extending downspouts further from the house, watering plants only when needed and sloping soil away from foundations to keep water from pooling.

 Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474.   We can help determine the source of your moisture issues.  We have the equipment and knowledge.

Spring cleaning should include your gutters.

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Clogged gutters can cause water damage to your home or business.

In Texas, especially Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties we get all kinds of weather.  From hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, high winds, flooding, and even snow!

People don't often stop to think of the issues that can arise from clogged gutters, but there are actually many. If water is not able to properly flow away from your house, then damage can result in a number of different locations, from your roofing to your foundation. There are number of reasons to make sure that your gutters get cleaned out. Here is a look at six of those reasons.

Roof Damage

When leaves and other debris clog up your gutters to the point that water is flooding over, you can end up having issues with rot on your roofing. This is one of the main reasons that it's important to keep your gutters clean.

Keep Out Pests

Clogged up gutters can be appealing to a number of critters as a nesting site. From birds to mosquitoes, a bed of damp leaves can be alluring.

Damage to Fascia

The fascia is that board that runs right behind your gutter. Overflowing water can damage this important component of your gutter system.

Over-watering Garden Beds

If your gutters become clogged to the point that water is spilling over the side and into your garden beds, you can damage your plants' health by essentially drowning them. Over-watering can be as harmful as not watering enough.

Cracks in Foundation

If water overflows and pools along your home's foundation, it can end up freezing, which can cause it to expand and generate cracks in your foundation.

Damage to Brackets

Clogged gutters are holding too much weight, which can result in damage to the brackets.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties can help you with your water, fire or mold damage.  Give us a call at 830-379-7474.

Know Your Winter Weather Warnings

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Winter Storm Warning, Watch and Advisory

Winter weather related Warnings, Watches and Advisories are issued by your local National Weather Service office. Each office knows the local area and will issue Warnings, Watches or Advisories based on local criteria. For example, the amount of snow that triggers a “Winter Storm Warning” in the Northern Plains is typically much higher than the amount needed to trigger a “Winter Storm Warning” in the Southeast.

+ Warnings: Take Action!

+ Watches: Be Prepared

+ Advisories: Be Aware

Here are some more key terms to understand:

Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes when it hits the ground; creating a coating of ice on roads, walkways, trees and power lines.

Sleet: Rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes moisture on roads to freeze and become slippery.

Wind Chill: A measure of how cold people feel due to the combined effect of wind and cold temperatures; the Wind chill Index is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin. Both cold temperatures and wind remove heat from the body; as the wind speed increases during cold conditions, a body loses heat more quickly. Eventually, the internal body temperature also falls and hypothermia can develop. Animals also feel the effects of wind chill; but inanimate objects, such as vehicles and buildings, do not. They will only cool to the actual air temperature, although much faster during windy conditions. Read how the Wind Chill Index was developed.

Bundle up, be prepared and protect people, pets and plants!

Cleanup Safety Tips after a Hurricane or Storm

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage in Seguin, Texas

In the aftermath of a Hurricane like we experienced with Harvey, yards are often covered with fallen trees, broken branches and scattered debris.  Post-storm cleanup can present some dangers, so it’s important to take your time and use caution as you clean up the debris.

Here are some cleanup and safety tips to help you clean up your yard once the storm passes.

  • Survey the area for damage. Walk around your property to inspect overall damage and take pictures and/or videos as documentation.  Check for overhead downed power lines and hanging branches.  Treat all downed power lines as if they are energized and call your local electric provider immediately to report the problem.
  • Wear protective gear. Eliminate injuries by dressing appropriately and using protective eyewear and durable gloves.
  • Home damage. If your home or roof is damaged do your best to cover the exposed areas with tarps and plastic.  If you are not comfortable getting on the roof call your local roofing company for tarping assistance.  If you have had damage to the interior of your home such as debris and water damage, give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at call at 830-379-7474.  We are here to help get your home cleaned up and dried out.

Fires and Food Safety

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Contaminated food after a fire.

Residential fires are, unfortunately, a common occurrence. Some 2 million American homes go up in flames yearly. In the aftermath of fire, people are left to salvage their lives and belongings.

Whether it's the whole house involved or just a fire in the kitchen, people try to save what they can — including food. But generally, saving food that's been in a fire is not a good idea.

Food exposed to fire can be compromised by three factors: the heat of the fire, smoke fumes, and chemicals used to fight fire. 

Heat from the Fire


Food in cans or jars may appear to be okay, but if they've been close to the HEAT of a fire, they may no longer be safe.

Why? Heat from a fire can activate food spoilage bacteria. If the heat is extreme, the cans or jars themselves can split or rupture, rendering the food unsafe.

Fumes from a Fire


One of the most dangerous elements of a fire is sometimes not the fire itself, but TOXIC FUMES released from burning materials.

Those fumes can contaminate food. Any type of food stored in permeable packaging — cardboard, plastic wrap, etc. — should be thrown away. Toxic fumes can permeate the packaging and contaminate the food.

Discard any raw foods stored outside the refrigerator — such as potatoes or fruit — that could be contaminated by fumes.

Surprisingly, food stored in refrigerators or freezers can also become contaminated by fumes. The refrigerator seal isn't airtight, and fumes can get inside.

Discard food if exposed to smoke fumes from fire.

Chemicals in Fires


Chemicals used to fight fires contain toxic materials and can contaminate food and cookware. The chemicals cannot be washed off the food.

Foods that are exposed to chemicals should be thrown away. This includes food stored at room temperature, such as fruits and vegetables, as well as foods stored in permeable containers like cardboard and screw-topped jars and bottles.

Canned goods and cookware exposed to chemicals can be decontaminated.  Wash in a strong detergent solution. Then dip in a bleach solution (1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water) for 15 minutes.

If you or anyone you know has been the unfortunate victim of a fire please give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.  We have the training and expertise to inventory your discarded items, clean and prepare your home or building for the re-build process.

No Job is Too Big or Small for SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties

1/24/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO can handle any size disaster. Call 830-379-7474. We are here to help.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is a hometown company located in Seguin, Texas that is individually owned and operated.  While we provide personalized, friendly and local support to our customers, some people may think we can only handle residential jobs or commercial jobs that are smaller. This is not the case.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties has over 250 pieces of drying equipment.  We are a licensed Mold Remediation Company with the State of Texas as well as our owner hold a license as a Mold Assessment Consultant (MAC) in the State of Texas.

But what most people do not realize is that we are part of a much larger network of other SERVPRO franchises, and we also have access to the SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division.   

The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of prequalified and strategically positioned teams throughout the United States to handle any size disaster.

Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.  At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and management of temporary labor.

Should you or your business be faced with any size water, fire or mold loss, please call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474.  We are here to help!

Did you know SERVPRO has its own cleaning chemicals?

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Our inventory of SERVPRO professional cleaning chemicals.

Did you know that SERVPRO formulates and manufactures its own proprietary line of cleaning products?  SERVPRO Corporate has a team of several people, one being a chemist on staff, that make up the Professional Cleaning Products Team.  Listed below are some of the chemical categories:

  • Spotting Agents
  • Carpet and Upholstery Products
  • Wood & Leather Care Products
  • Decontamination Products
  • Deodorization Products
  • Ceiling and Wall Cleaning Products
  • Hard Floor Care Products
  • Specialty Products
  • Coatings & Sealant Products
  • Environmentally Friendly Products

We feel this is just one aspect of our company that sets us apart from our competition.  SERVPRO knows what works and is always looking to better our products and come up with new ideas.  And did we mention they smell great too!  Our products are for the exclusive use of SERVPRO franchises and are not for resale, but if we are working for you, we are using these wonderful products.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474.  We are here to help!

Fire Safety Tips for Christmas Trees

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties Christmas Tree

Did you know that Christmas trees alone result in 13 million dollars, annually, in property damage?  More importantly, these fires present a real risk towards family and friends.  When showcasing a live tree in your home, the combination of tree dryness, electrical malfunction with lights and poorly located heating sources can make for a deadly combination.

Follow these safety precautions to keep threats at bay:

  • Fresh trees are less likely to catch fire, so look for a tree with vibrant green needles that are hard to pluck and don't break easily from branches.
  • Always place your tree away from heat sources like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights and keep the tree base filled with water to avoid a dry out.
  • Make sure your indoor and outdoor Christmas lights have been tested in a lab by the UL or ETL/ITSNA for safety, and throw out damaged lights.
  • Keep all your holiday candles away from Christmas tree, surrounding furniture and decor.
  • Bedtime means lights off!  Don't forget to turn your Christmas tree lights off each night.

If your home has been affected by smoke or fire damage give us a call at 830-379-7474.  We are here to help!

Prevent Water Damage from Water Heaters

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Electric and Gas Water Heater Diagram

Water heater failure is a common issue. But you can help prevent hot water heater problems, including a leaking water heater, with these 4 steps for water heater maintenance.

  • Check your water heater’s age. If your water heater reaches its life expectancy, the risk of a slow leak or sudden burst increases. Consequently, your efforts to inspect and maintain the water heater should increase.
  • What is an anode rod and why should you care? A “sacrificial” anode rod is installed in water heaters to avoid corrosion of the tank. To determine if your anode rod needs to be replaced, it should be inspected once every two years and at least annually once the warranty has expired.
  • Clean out your water heater regularly. Regular water heater maintenance should include removing sediment by flushing the tank every six months. Water heaters can be flushed by attaching a garden hose to the valve at the base of the water heater. Note: Turn off the power and run hot water until it cools before you try to flush the tank since the heated water may be 130 to 140 degrees or more.
  • Get an inspection annually. Don’t forget to have a plumbing professional inspect your water heater’s shut-off valve and all piping annually. Signs of broken valves and loose or wet joints and rust are a signal that more severe damage is coming.

If you have had water damage give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.  We are here to help!

Space Heater Safety Tips

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Space heaters are responsible for approximately 40 percent of home heating fires.

Winter is here in Texas and it’s getting cold.  Space heaters are a practical and affordable solution to adding to your home heat supply during the cold weather months provided all the necessary safety precautions are observed.  Space heaters are responsible for approximately 40 percent of home heating fires.

  • Look for a space heater with a protective guard around the heating element to help prevent accidental harm to small children and pets.
  • Don’t even consider purchasing a space heater unless it bears the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or similar symbol on the package. That’s your assurance that the product conforms to established safety standards.
  • Choose a space heater that is right-sized for the room or area where you intend to use it. If the heater is too small for the job, it will work harder than it should have to.  That, in turn, can lead to premature failure, overheating, and potentially even a fire.
  • Only those who understand all aspects of your space heater functions should be allowed to operate it.
  • While we don’t recommend purchasing a fuel-burning space heater, if that’s your model of choice, just be sure the area around it is properly vented to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Since most space heaters heat people and objects, and not space, never leave it on when going to bed or leaving the room for more than a minute or two.

If your home or business has been affected by smoke or fire damage please give us a call, we are here to help.  SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is trained in smoke and fire remediation.  Call 830-379-7474.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is an IICRC Certified Firm

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is a IICRC Certified Firm.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is an IICRC Certified Firm (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) and employs IICRC Certified Technicians.  Just as any professional performs at a higher level of competency in their fields, our IICRC Certified Technicians set themselves apart through training, experience, and comprehensive examination.

When you see an IICRC logo, you can be confident that an IICRC-certified experienced, qualified professional is caring for your valuable property.  IICRC Certified Firms employ technicians who, after study, field experience and passing comprehensive exams, have received IICRC Certifications in specific cleaning, restoration and inspection categories such as upholstery, wood flooring, stone and tile flooring, carpet cleaning, odor removal, mold remediation, water damage, fire damage restoration and more.

Certified Firms are the only cleaning, restoration and inspection companies listed in the IICRC locator. They also promise to adhere to the IICRC Code of Ethics, be current in their business insurance and licensee requirements, and can proudly display the IICRC logo on their company website and vehicles.

Has your commercial property been affected by vandalism?

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial building in Seguin where vandals broken in and caused damage to walls.

Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner.

Need Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup Services?
Call us today at (830) 379-7474

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales will act quickly to remove vandalism and graffiti from home and commercial spaces. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, they can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry. Their highly trained technicians can offer the following services as well:

If your property has been vandalized please give us a call at 830-379-7474. 

Air scrubbers and their use in mold remediation.

11/2/2018 (Permalink)

Air scrubber being utilized on a mold job.

In the mold remediation industry a very important step in ensuring that your home or business is free of mold is to use a “air scrubber” during the mold remediation.  In some cases the air scrubber will be left on site for a few days after the work has been completed to ensure that all mold spores are removed from the air.

The term “air scrubber” is another term for High Efficiency Particulate “HEPA” filtration system. Think of a machine that scrubs the air.  This removes particles, gasses, and/or chemicals from the air within a given area.  These machines draw air in from the surrounding environment and pass it through a series of filters to remove contaminants. 

Most mold spores range from 3-100 microns in size, but some can be as small as 1 micron that is why we use a HEPA filtration air scrubber.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474.  We are a mold licensed contractor in the State of Texas.

Contaminated Water Damage - What to do until help arrives.

10/25/2018 (Permalink)

Business affected by rising flood waters.

When your home or building has been affected by contaminated water we have listed below some Do and Don’t tips until help arrives.

Examples of contaminated water is water that has been affected by toilet overflows, sewage back-ups, rising flood water from rivers, streams, lakes, sea water and storm water.

DO:

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items.

DON’T:

  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily on damaged or wet areas.
  • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants.
  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

If your home or building has been affected by contaminated water, we can help! Please give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.

What to wear before entering a home or building with mold damage.

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Safety - What to Wear

With all the widespread flooding and storms we have been experiencing it is important to take safety precautions before entering a home or building with mold damage. The following is suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as to "What to Wear":

  • Googles or eye protection
  • N-95 respirator or one that provides even more protection (check packaging for "N-95")
  • Long sleeved shirt
  • Protective gloves
  • Long pants

We are a mold remediation certified company by the State of Texas.  Our owner, Channing Simon is also licensed by the State of Texas to perform mold testing.  He can provide you with a comprehensive report with what type(s) of mold may be present as well as a protocol as to taking measures to remediate any mold.

If your home or building has been affected by mold, give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.

Crime Scene Cleanup - We do it all.

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474 for biohazard cleanup.

Not everyone is up for this type of work but our SERVPRO is trained and has the proper equipment and chemicals to take care of these type of situations. 

Crime scene cleanup is a term applied to forensic cleanup of blood, bodily fluids, and other potentially infections materials (OPIM). It is also referred to as biohazard remediation, and forensic cleanup, because crime scenes are only a portion of the situations in which biohazard cleaning is needed.

Incidents which may require this type of cleanup include accidents, suicide, homicides, and decomposition after unattended death, as well as mass trauma, industrial accidents, infectious disease contamination, and animal biohazard contamination.

If you are in need of these services, please give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at call at 830-379-7474.

Commercial Building Cleaning Services

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties Commercial Cleaning

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties offers several commercial building cleaning options.   Having your carpets and floors cleaned makes for a nice appearance for your customers.   Also cleaning your air ducts annually helps with the performance of your HVAC system as well as cuts down on dust, dirt, and debris that can accumulate in your ducts. 

To keep your building in tip top condition, consider the following services to be done yearly:

  • Tile or VCT Cleaning
  • Carpet Cleaning
  • Duct Cleaning
  • Yearly deep detail cleans - cleaning top to bottom including all light fixtures, base boards, tops of cabinets and everything in between.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474 to schedule us to come take a look at your cleaning project and provide you with a quote.

How common is mold in buildings?

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

Don't feed mold! Call us for mold remediation at 830-379-7474.

Molds are very common in buildings and homes and will grow anywhere indoors where there is moisture. The most common indoor molds are CladosporiumPenicilliumAspergillus, and Alternaria. We do not have precise information about how often Stachybotrys chartarum is found in buildings and homes. While it is less common than other mold species, it is not rare.

Mold spores occur in the indoor and outdoor environments. Mold spores may enter your house from the outside through open doorways, windows, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems with outdoor air intakes. Spores in the air outside also attach themselves to people and animals, making clothing, shoes, bags, and pets convenient vehicles for carrying mold indoors.

When mold spores drop on places where there is excessive moisture, such as where leakage may have occurred in roofs, pipes, walls, plant pots, or where there has been flooding, they will grow. Many building materials provide suitable nutrients that encourage mold to grow. Wet cellulose materials, including paper and paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, wood, and wood products, are particularly conducive for the growth of some molds. Other materials such as dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation materials, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery, commonly support mold growth.

If you suspect you have a mold problem, give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.  We are licensed in Texas for mold remediation.

First Step to Mold Remediation - Proper Containment

9/28/2018 (Permalink)

Need Mold Remediation - Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties 830-379-7474.

When a mold remediation project is initiated, the first step is to set up containment (isolation) of the affected area. One of the concerns when indoor mold is present is the resulting airborne mold spores. Containment will help control the spread of these spores, while assisting the remediation contractor in returning the affected area to normal conditions. The act of removing or disturbing a mold source tends to distribute large quantities of mold spores into the air. If proper containment is not utilized, this can affect adjacent spaces to the work area and cause cross contamination.

The first step to setting up containment of the work area is installing a HEPA Filtered Negative Air machine. This is a fan that is set within the work area which pulls air from the area which is typically exhausted outside of the structure via flexible tubing or ducting. Doing this will begin to draw any airborne mold spores away from the airspace eventually creating a negative pressure environment.

Step two is to install physical barriers in the work area. This is most typically done with the use of heavy plastic. The main goal when creating this physical barrier is to completely isolate the work area from any adjacent, non-affected areas. For example, if mold is present in one room of your home and the adjacent areas have not been affected, the room must be isolated. Depending on the layout, the doorway would be completely sealed with plastic. All HVAC systems or shared airways between other rooms would be taped or covered in plastic. All electrical outlets and light fixtures would be covered. In essence, any area that could allow air communication between the work area and other non-affected areas should be properly sealed.

Once step one and two are completed, a negative pressure environment should be created. A negative pressure environment simply means that the air pressure within the work space is less than the air pressure in the areas surrounding that space. This is achieved when the volume of air being pulled out of the space (through the negative air machine) is greater than the volume of air being pulled into the space. As a result of this negative air pressure within the work space, any mold spores that become airborne through the remediation efforts are being controlled, preventing them from affecting the adjacent spaces and flushing them away from the indoor environment which is necessary when attempting to return the area to normal conditions.

Once these steps have been completed, the demolition work and mold removal may begin.  Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for your mold remediation needs.  830-379-7474.

Lingering Hurricane Florence Wreaking Havoc in North and South Carolina

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Satellite Imagery of Hurricane Florence

Florence fast facts as of 9/17/2018

  • At least 18 people have died in storm-related incidents, including a man and a woman in Horry County, S.C. who died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Some 523,000 homes and businesses are still without power in North and South Carolina as of 5 a.m. Monday.
  • As of 5 a.m. Monday, Florence was a tropical depression, NOAA's Weather Prediction Center said, with sustained winds of 30 mph.
  • It was some 125 miles west-southwest of Roanoke, Va. and 145 miles west-northwest of Greensboro, N.C., moving north-northeast at 13 mph.
  • Florence was still massive Monday morning. Radar showed parts of the sprawling storm over six states, with North and South Carolina in the bull's-eye.
  • Some weakening is expected today before Florence re-intensifies as it transitions to an extratropical cyclone tomorrow and Wednesday.
  • Swansboro, N.C. has received more than 30 inches of rain; several other places have received more than 20 inches.
  • Florence is producing widespread heavy rains and causing flash flooding and major river flooding over a "significant portion" of North and South Carolina, the National Hurricane Center said.

Reduce Business Interruption Following a Disaster!

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Call to schedule an Emergency Ready Profile for your business - 830-379-7474.

Did you know that 50% of businesses may never reopen after suffering a damage?  Of the ones that do survive, the majority have a preparedness plan in place.  Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.

Having a plan in place not only lets you know how to handle emergencies timely and efficiently but helps speak trust to your clients and employees by knowing that should your business be affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.

Advantages of having an ERP:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.

No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, "Are you Ready for whatever happens?"

Call us today at 830-379-7474 to set up a free appointment and get started.

The Most Common Household Mold Types

9/17/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474 for Mold Remediation.

Hopefully you will never encounter a mold problem in your home, but sometimes mold is unavoidable. Here are some of the more common kinds of mold.

Alternaria

One of the more common molds found indoors and outdoors is alternaria. Alternaria usually appears in areas that are damp like the sink, shower, or dark and dimly lit areas outside the home. 

Aspergillus

Another common indoor mold is aspergilus. This mold incredibly common.

Aureobasidium

The aureobasidium mold is most often found on wooden furniture, surfaces, painted walls and wallpaper as well as around windows and in caulk. If you notice a spotty substance that is pink and black in color in those areas, it’s probably this type of mold. 

Chaetomium

Chaetomium mold is found in drywall that has experienced water damage. People typically identify its presence when they smell a musty or old odor in their home.

Cladosporium

Homeowners often find the cladosporium mold inside both cool and warm areas like carpet, wood floorboards, wooden cabinet and older fabrics. 

Fusarium

Fusarium is a mold that tends to grow in colder, wetter areas. The typical homes for the fusarium mold are carpeted areas and similar fabrics. 

Penicillium

Penicillium is a mold that can found indoors inside insulation, furnishings, water damaged furniture, carpeting and more. Penicillium is known for spreading quickly throughout the home.

Stachybotrys Chartarum

Black mold or stachysbotrys chartarum is also called "toxic mold". This is due to the fact that this type of mold creates toxic compounds known as mycotoxins. This type of mold can be identified by its musty smell and is found in areas that stay damp, like air conditioning pipes and ducts.

Serpula Lacrymans

The serpula lacrymans mold is commonly found outside but can also grow inside on wooden surfaces. This mold leads to dry rot within wood as it feeds solely on wooden surfaces. It’s most noticeable by its yellow appearance.

Trichoderma

Trichoderma is another damp area mold. Homeowners often find the trichoderma mold within damp carpeting, wallpaper and similar surfaces. 

Ulocladium

The Ulocladium mold is found both outside and inside. Ulocladium is typically found in areas that have been severely damaged by water like in the floors and walls of homes that have experienced a flood. 

We are a licensed Mold Remediation Contractor with the State of Texas.  If you suspect mold in your home, give us a call at 830-379-7474.

The Humble Campfire Isn't So Humble

8/30/2018 (Permalink)

Proper campfire containment.

Campfires are the leading cause (or most likely the leading cause, depending on what stats you look at) of wildfires in the USA. The tragedy is that most of these fires are preventable, as it's possible to camp without starting a fire. Instead of lighting a campfire, use a small portable grill for cooking and a portable power pack (like the ArkPak) to keep your campsite lit. With an ArkPak, a 100ah battery, and some LED camp lights, you should be able keep your campsite lit for days.

However, if the idea of camping without starting a campfire doesn't appeal to you, there are some things to keep in mind:

Campfires are illegal in many areas of the Western USA during fire season, so make sure fires are allowed.

  • Remember, fires spread quickly. You can't expect to stop a fire from spreading, especially in dry conditions. Therefore, you must keep the fire contained.
  • By starting a small fire in a rock-lined pit, positioning the fire far away from any debris or foliage that could spontaneously ignite, and keeping water on hand to douse the fire, you can avoid a lot of danger.
  • Before you leave a campsite, dowse your fire pit extensively with water. You literally want to drown the fire pit, as old embers have been known to start wildfires.

Still, if you live in an area where the fire danger is high, your best bet is to skip the campfire altogether. Even if you take every precaution, a strong gust of wind is all it could take to start a forest fire.

Mind Your Grill.

Using a portable grill is always a good idea when camping, as they're safer than a simple campfire. However, they can still pose a fire risk so it's a good idea to exercise the following precautions:

  • Before setting up your grill, be sure to clear an area a few feet in diameter around the grill. That way any hot embers that "hop" out of your grill don't land on anything that can catch fire.
  • Keep a bucket of water near your grill, specifically for dousing any coals or embers that land on the ground.
  • Once you're done, soak any remaining coals or ashes in water. It's better to use too much water than not enough, so don't hold back.

Cigarettes Cause Wildfires Too.

The number of fires unintentionally started by cigarettes are so high, no one knows exactly how many fires are caused solely by cigarettes. Smokers often don't consider one little cigarette butt can start a fire in no time flat.

Whether you're camping or just cruising along in your car, dispose of your cigarettes and cigars in a responsible way (and make sure they're completely out).

Smoke Mitigation

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke damage pre-test cleaning. "Before" and "After" cleaning.

When it comes to smoke or fire damage restoration, fast action is important. Following the initial fire or smoke-related incident, smoke and soot will settle on surfaces creating additional damage to the structure and your contents.  Smoke contains a wide variety of chemicals and by products, many of them aggressive in nature.

Material in furniture and flooring is often synthetic and when burned, creates chemical reactions. After only a short period of time, items can go from cleanable to unsalvageable. The longer acid or corrosive gasses stay on at-risk surfaces, the worse pitting or etching becomes. Pre-cleaning methods neutralize the acid and protect metal and glass, marble, china, chrome and more.

Our picture is of a bathroom in a home that had heavy smoke damage.  As you can see, SERVPRO’s specialized chemicals and cleaning methods were restoring the tub beautifully.

Contact SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474 to learn more about our smoke and fire damage restoration.

Summer Storms Bring Dangerous Lightning

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning House Fire

It’s that time of year where we are starting to see damage from lightning-related fires.  Lightning-related fires are more common in June through August and in the late afternoon and evening.   If you know your house has just been hit directly by lightning, call the fire department.  It is common for lightning to start fires in the attic and within walls of homes.  These fires inside enclosed spaces may not be visible in their beginning stages.

The National Fire Protection Association “NFPA” estimates that U.S. local fire departments responded to an estimated average of 22,600 fires started by lightning per year. These fires caused an estimated average of 9 civilian deaths, 53 civilian injuries and $451 million in direct property damage per year. These estimates are based on data from the U.S. Fire Administration’s (USFA’s) National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s) annual fire department experience survey.

Only 19% of reported lightning fires occurred in homes, but these fires caused a majority of the associated losses.  Lightning is also a major factor in wild-land fires, and the average number of acres burned per fire is much higher in lightning fires than in fires caused by humans. 

If you or someone you know has property damaged from fire or water, please give us a call.  We are here to help!  SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties 830-379-7474.

What happens when water damage is ignored.

6/12/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474.

While it’s unlikely anyone would knowingly ignore water damage, sometimes situations are let go far longer than they should. This could be due to not recognizing the signs of water damage, or slow-forming damage that goes unnoticed.

While it’s obvious a professional should be called for flooding, other situations may be handled with less urgency. The following will remind you that’s a bad idea.

The Danger of Mold

Mold generally develops from long-term moisture and water exposure. Sometimes, homeowners may not notice the moisture build up, and won’t know there’s anything wrong until mold begins growing. Water leaking in from the roof is a common culprit. At that point, the least of a homeowner’s worries is the cost to fix the original issue causing this type of water damage. Mold can cause allergies on the more benevolent end of the spectrum, and serious health issues on the other. Needless to say, you don’t want mold growing in your home.

Surprise Water Bills and Floods

A form of water damage includes leaking or cracked pipes, which may be constantly leaking. If you notice your water bill increasing without increase in regular use, it’s worth it to have your pipes and system looked into to make sure everything’s okay. If the situation gets worse, you can suddenly be dealing with the nightmare of a water bill in the thousands of dollars. But it doesn’t end there: cracked pipes can lead to burst pipes, causing disastrous flooding.

Look for signs

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook water damage, but you should always keep an eye open for these signs:

  • Disintegrating of walls, baseboards, or areas around windows.
  • Unpleasant or new unidentified odors.
  • Listen for any leaking or dripping water.
  • If the any part of floors or walls are buckling.
  • Stains on the ceiling or walls.

Need emergency water damage service?

In a water damage emergency, we’re here for you. You can give us a call any time when disaster strikes, and we’ll start restoration for you quickly to help reduce damage as much as possible.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counites at 830-379-7474.

Playing in Floodwater: All Fun and Games Until You're Seriously Sick or Hurt

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane Harvey

Kids can be especially tempted to splash through the streets-turned-canals, and photos of gleeful young adults tubing in the receding waters of Hurricane Harvey show that there’s no age limit for play. Of course, sometimes contact with floodwater is unavoidable. You might need to traverse the flood to escape or even run daily errands. If you have to step into floodwaters, though, be extremely cautious and make sure you know how to recognize the symptoms of common waterborne illnesses.

Why Floodwater is Dangerous

Of course, rushing floodwater with a strong current is clearly dangerous because it can sweep you away. Many people have drowned in flooded areas, even in relatively shallow floodwaters. You should never, ever enter floodwaters under a strong current. It puts you and any rescuers at risk.

But water that’s as still as a pond is also extremely dangerous. Pathogens and bacteria carrying diseases and worse can lurk in the most harmless-looking water. As the water sweeps through it can pick up oil, harmful chemicals, and raw sewage.

A short list of the health risks associated with floodwater includes:

While many of these diseases are treatable if you get swift medical attention, they are all to be taken seriously. So many symptoms of serious diseases can be mistaken for illnesses that are “no big deal,” like colds or a mild fever. The bottom line is that if you have been exposed to floodwater and exhibit any symptoms including headache, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, urinary discomfort or have a wound or scrape that touched contaminated water, you should seek medical help right away.

Diseases aren’t the only health risk associated with floods. A wall of water can sweep dangerous debris in its path, including sharp branches and metal scraps that put you at risk for serious wounds or tetanus from cuts. In floodwaters you also increase your risk of encountering mosquitoes with West Nile, and standing in floodwater for too long can lead to developing a condition called trench foot or immersion foot, where your legs and feet develop painful blisters.

Some of the most serious dangers come from spilled chemicals and downed electrical lines. Floods are equal-opportunity destroyers: if a flood sweeps through a building where chemicals are stored, those chemicals will likely leach into the water where you’re now wading. Chemicals can cause skin burns or leech poisonous fumes into the surrounding air. The water can also damage utility poles and utility boxes, leaving power lines dangling close to water and electrical circuits exposed. Never approach power lines immersed in water, or attempt to fix a downed power line yourself.

 There’s no reason to play in floodwater. The risks are too high to make your street your personal water park. Don’t do it, and don’t let your family and friends do it. For those who must brave a flood for emergency reasons, be careful and visit urgent care if you think your health’s been compromised. Even if the latest storm ruins the roads, the healthcare professionals at your GoHealth Urgent Care center can ensure that it doesn’t ruin your health.

Thunderstorm & Tornado Facts

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Seguin, TX Storm Damage

A Thunderstorm is a rain shower during which you hear thunder.  Since thunder comes from lightning, all thunderstorms have lightning.  A thunderstorm is classified as "severe" when it contains one of or more of the following: 

  • Hail
  • Winds in excess of 58 mph
  • Structural wind damage 
  • Tornado

Also, make sure you remember the difference between a Storm WATCH and Storm WARNING. 

Watch vs. Warning

A severe Thunderstorm Watch means that the potential exist for the development of thunderstorms which may produce large hail or damaging winds.  A watch is issued by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center).
A severe Thunderstorm Warning means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or is imminent based on Doppler radar information or a reliable spotter report.

Tornado Facts

Tornadoes are arguable nature's most violent storms.  Generated from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes generally appear as rotating, funnel-shaped clouds extending from the cloud base to the ground.  With winds that can reach up to 300 miles per hour, tornadoes can cause massive destruction with seconds.  Damage paths can be excess of a mile wide and fifty miles long. 

  • The average tornado moves southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. 
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 miles per hour, but may vary from stationary to 70 mils per hour. 
  • Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months. 
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm. 

(Tornado facts and Storm tips are provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) 

What to Expect from the Water Damage Cleanup Process

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Here to Help! 830-379-7474

If you’ve recently experienced a flood or pipe burst and have water damage in your home, you’re probably wondering “what happens now?” The first, and most important, step when dealing with water or flood damage is to stop any active leaks in the home. This can be done by shutting off the home’s main water supply. If you don’t know how to shut off your home’s water supply, call a professional plumber or your local water supply company for assistance. Once any active leaks have been addressed and all water has been turned off, it’s imperative you call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474 to start the water damage cleanup process as quickly as possible to minimize damage.

How a Home is Restored After Water Damage

 All water damage restoration jobs are unique, and the amount of work required for each depends on a variety of factors such as the amount of area in the home that’s been damaged and how long the water has been present. We will arrive and inspect the home, we will be able to put together a detailed project timeline specific to your job. In the meantime, we’ve listed the eight common phases that occur during the water damage restoration process and what happens in each, so you’ll know what to expect.

INSPECTION

We have special tools and instruments we use to measure the moisture content of the home. To do this, we either poke or rest the instruments on top of surfaces like floors, baseboards and ceilings in the damaged rooms to get an accurate reading. Depending on the moisture content readings we will assess if drying equipment is needed.

PREVENTION OF FURTHER DAMAGE

 The longer water damage sits untreated, the more likely it is that additional damage can occur. If it’s determined that drying equipment is needed, dehumidifiers and air movers will often be placed in the home to prevent against further damage like mold growth while we are waiting for approval from the insurance company, if one is involved. Dehumidifiers and air movers can be present for one or multiple nights depending on factors such as the length of time the water has been present and the source of the leak or water damage.

REMOVAL OF STANDING WATER

Removing any standing water from the home.  We use either a truck-mount system or a portable extraction machine for sucking up all the water that’s present in the area. The amount of time this phase takes varies depending on the type of substrate that’s being dried, the size of the room and the total amount of water that’s present.

DRYING

Once any standing water has been removed, it’s time to start drying out the home. We bring in different types of air movers (think of these like glorified fans) to help circulate airflow throughout the room. If you have hardwood floors, we may use floor mats which help draw the water out of the floor. If needed, we might even remove the baseboards and drill holes into the drywall to help the walls dry faster. While some of these methods may sound extreme, we are making every effort to dry the home without having to demolish and rebuild, which could add multiple weeks to the project timeline and become very costly.

MONITORING

Throughout the drying process, crews will stop by periodically to monitor how the drying is progressing. Specifically, they monitor the dehumidifiers’ intake and output temperatures and humidity levels to make sure the dehumidifiers aren’t putting wet air out into the room. They’ll also go back and take readings of the same surfaces they did during the inspection phase. As rooms are declared dry, crews will often move equipment around to other areas of the home that are still wet.

COMPLETION

Once the home has been returned to its previous dry state, the water damage cleanup process is considered complete. At this point the drying equipment will be removed from the home.

REPAIR OF ADDITIONAL DAMAGE

After the water damage cleanup process is complete, if additional structural repairs are needed, a general contractor will repair any damage in the home.

Need Mold Testing?

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Testing - 830-379-7474

Channing Simon is licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services as a Mold Assessment Consultant and a Mold Remediation Contractor.

His focus is determining the existence of indoor mold growth, type of mold, and the airborne mold spore concentration.

Primary types of lab samples that we recommend to test for mold:

Ambient airborne mold spore samples (air in the breathing space of a room).

  • Wall cavity air samples (air inside of a ceiling or wall cavity).
  • Surface (direct) samples (swab, bulk materials, tape lift).

Mold Inspection and Mold Detection Services:

Complete visual mold investigation of your home, rental property, school, or business designed to identify sources and instances of moisture intrusion and to detect mold.

  • Our findings, conclusions, recommendations, and digital color photographs are assembled into a complete written report.
  • If the mold inspection and mold testing of your property detects a mold problem, we can write a Mold Remediation Protocol (“scope of work”) that provides detailed instructions for a Licensed Mold Remediation Contractor to follow when doing the Mold Remediation.
  • Once the mold has been completely and property remediated, we will perform a Post Mold Remediation Clearance Inspection and Testing to ensure that the job has been done properly.

Testing prices start at $350.00.  Call us at 830-379-7474 for more information on pricing and to set up an appointment

May is Building Safety Month

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Building Safety Month (BSM) is a public awareness campaign celebrated by jurisdictions worldwide during the month of May for the past 38 years to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures. The campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, regularly-updated building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement and a well-trained, professional workforce to maintain the system.

All communities need building codes to protect their citizens from disasters like fires, weather-related events and structural collapse. Building codes are society's best way of protecting homes, offices, schools, manufacturing facilities, stores and entertainment venues. Code officials work day in and day out to keep the public safe.

The campaign is presented by the International Code Council and its 64,000 members worldwide along with a diverse partnership of professionals from the building construction, design and safety communities. Corporations, government agencies, professional associations, nonprofits and more come together to support BSM because they understand the need for safe and sustainable structures where we live, work and play.  You can check it out at the link below:

 https://www.iccsafe.org/about-icc/building-safety-month/2018-building-safety-month/

No one plans on a disaster. Are you ready?

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan

No one can forget the devastating effects brought forth by the United States’ most damaging hurricane in history, Hurricane Katrina at $108 billon.

Just six years later in 2012, Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on New Jersey and New York, damaging an estimated $71.4 billion worth of land and property, and our latest, Hurricane Harvey at $100 billon, making it the second-costliest hurricane in United States history.

Now that we are approaching hurricane season with a future relatively unknown to building owners, it is important to revisit precautions to increase your facility’s chance of survival before, during and after the storm.

Here are some recommend steps to prepare your business:

Develop a business continuity plan

Having a business continuity plan is vital for companies to prepare for, survive and recover from a hurricane.  Share your plan with employees, assign responsibilities and offer training so your workforce can collaborate in the recovery of the business. Conduct regular drills to assess and improve response.  At SERVPRO we have an Emergency Ready Plan (“ERP”) that is offered at no charge for your business and it can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.

Maintain key information off site

To get your business up and operating as quickly as possible after a hurricane or other disaster, you’ll need to be able to access critical business information. In addition to backing up computer data, keep other critical information off site such as your insurance policies, banking information and phone numbers of employees, key customers, vendors and suppliers.

Create a business inventory

Include all business equipment, supplies and merchandise — and don’t forget commercial vehicles.

Review your insurance coverage

The time to review your insurance policy is before a hurricane or other disaster strikes and you have to file a claim. It is important that your business have both the right amount and type of insurance for its needs and risk profile.

Contact SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at 830-379-7474 to have us come out and discuss our Emergency Ready Plan so you will be “Ready for whatever happens”.

Fire Safety Tips for a Commercial Kitchen

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Grease fire in a commercial kitchen.

A kitchen fire causes plenty of chaos in a home, but it’s one of the worst things that can happen to a restaurant. Not only are lives and property in danger, but your business is closed for an unknown length of time, putting jobs and the future of the restaurant at risk. That’s why it’s vital to take kitchen fire safety seriously. These five tips will help reduce the risk of fire in your commercial kitchen environment.

• Check your cooking equipment. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were an estimated average of 7,640 structure fires in eating and drinking establishments per year between 2006-2010, causing around $246 million in damages. Three out of five of those fires involved cooking equipment. Be sure that all equipment, from fryers to ovens, is cleaned on a daily basis. Schedule regular professional inspections to check for problems and don’t use equipment that’s no longer safe to operate.

• Clean grease frequently. It’s easy to wipe up grease on a cooktop, but don’t forget that it accumulates in hoods and grease traps. If these areas get too hot, or the buildup is too great, a fire can easily result. Regularly scheduled cleanings from the companies that installed the equipment will keep these hazards from developing.

• Be sure the sprinklers work. Automated sprinkler systems can be the difference between a small fire that keeps you down for a few days and an inferno that destroys your business. The pipes and heads on the system can become corroded over time, so it’s important to have them inspected regularly. If you do any work at your business, such as remodeling, repairs or buildouts, have the sprinkler system checked to ensure that the system integrity hasn’t been affected.

• Verify your suppression system’s UL compliance. UL 300 compliance is the safety benchmark, and has been since the early 1990s. Some restaurants still use older systems, but the newer technology boasts an impressive 95% reliability. If you don’t know how old your system is, or who manufactured or installed it, ask at your next inspection. Consider an upgrade to a UL 300 system if possible.

• Train your staff. Even with the best preventative equipment, fires can happen and it’s important that the kitchen crew has the training to know what to do in an emergency. Have meetings and drills about fire prevention, evacuation of patrons, and how to use extinguishers. Make sure new hires are brought up to speed.

Four Steps to Removing Mold Growth after a Flood

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

This mold was caused by a small water leak that went undetected and caused mold to form under the carpet.

Step One – Remove Affected Materials

Aside from stopping the source of the moisture, it’s important to promptly remove wet furnishings and porous materials from the flooded area to enable a thorough damage-assessment and drying and restoring contents that have not been compromised. 

Some of it - such as wet/moldy carpet, drywall, upholstery and fabrics - will need to be discarded.

Vacuum using HEPA-wet-dry vacuums to remove moisture, mold and soils without spreading allergenic or unhealthy mold and dust particles around your home. According to the IICRC, "It is preferable to use a HEPA vacuum, but a simple wet/dry vacuum can work. When using a wet/dry vacuum, attach a hose to the exhaust and vent the exhaust air to the outside. This keeps dust, spores and other fine particles from being suspended in the air and settling back on clean surfaces.

 In the case of minor “clean” flooding, say from a small burst indoor water pipe, homeowners can remove smaller wet items themselves, but should wear goggles, gloves, long sleeves and an N-95 respirator to avoid exposure to mold spores that may already be present in the environment. 

Clean mold from smooth surfaces using a weak bleach-water solution (1/4 - 1/2 cup bleach per gallon of water). Use gloves, eye and skin protection and plenty of ventilation. If you are sensitive to mold or chemicals, have someone else do it.

If the flooding is excessive and/or “dirty” - e.g., from a rising river or sewer backup - expert help is needed to protect health and property.
 

Step Two – Dry It Out and Quickly

 Mold spores are everywhere but need moisture to “germinate” – so drying affected areas is Step Two. Since mold can grow within 24 to 48 hours, quick action is critical.

Aside from obviously wet areas, experts using special meters can check for and locate moisture - even finding hidden wet/moldy places, such as inside wall cavities - and implement techniques to enable a thorough drying-out process. They may also use special fans or “air-scrubbing” equipment with HEPA filters. See also Step Three. 

Step Three – Air It Out

The flooded, wet area will need fresh air and ventilation to dry it out but take care not to spread mold spores around your home by improper “airing”. Consult with an IICRC -certified firm to set up “containment”– a fancy word that means keeping doors closed, putting up plastic sheeting, exhausting air to the outdoors, and other measures to enable the drying and ventilation process without exposing loved ones to contaminated air from the flooded area.

Step Four – Keep it Dry to Keep It Out

The cardinal rule for preventing mold growth is – Keep it Dry. Strive to ensure your home’s insides are staying dry.  It’s also a way to protect the investment of your home, since excess mold growth and moisture will damage the structure, in addition to being unhealthful.

Try to keep indoor humidity below 50% using air conditioning or a dehumidifier. Have carpets cleaned by professionals that use equipment to clean and properly dry your carpet.

Keep mold outside where it belongs.

Tip: Use a water-sensing alarm (battery-operated) in moisture-prone areas such as next to the washer, the hot water heater, in the basement and other possible wet zones, so you are alerted if excess moisture happens.

Tip: If you can’t use a HEPA vacuum to clean, damp-wipe surfaces to remove mold. Put moldy items in plastic (bags or sheets) before you take them out.

How to Protect Your Home From Water Damage

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

This picture is from a pipe bursting in a restaurant,

Water damage is one of the most common and costliest disasters your home can experience, costing billions of dollars annually. Safeguard your most important asset against water damage with the following practical advice.

Properly maintaining a home is one of the best ways to prevent water damage from water disasters.

Maintain and understand your indoor plumbing systems

  • Inspect appliance hoses and faucets. Make it a practice every year to check hoses leading to water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and refrigerator ice-makers. You may also want to invest in a water leak monitoring and shut-off system that can alert you to any leakage issues. Immediately replace any hoses that have cracks or leaks and replace them all every five to seven years.
  • Inspect showers and tubs.Check the seal and caulking around showers and tubs to make sure they are watertight and reseal if necessary.
  • When away on vacation, shut off the water supply to the washing machineand never leave the house while the washer or dishwasher is running.
  • Know the location of the main water shut-off valve in your home. A damaged hose or a burst pipe can send water racing into your home. Being able to locate and shut off the main water supply quickly will save stress, money and time.
  • Install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system. This will protect against the increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can help prevent your pipes from bursting.
  • Check plumbing and heating pipes. Look closely for cracks and leaks and have any necessary repairs made immediately.


Repair and protect your home's exterior

  • Caulk and seal windows to guard against water seepage.
  • Inspect your rooffor missing, damaged and aging shingles and make necessary repairs.
  • Check your downspouts. Remove debris that may have accumulated in downspouts and rain gutters. Position downspouts so that they direct water away from the house.
  • Check sprinklers and irrigation systemsto be sure they are not creating water damage to the walls and foundations of the house. Turn off and drain outside faucets to protect against frozen pipes.
  • Install gutter guardsto prevent gutter clogs and keep water flowing away from the house instead of accumulating on the roof.


Protect your possessions

  • Store off-season and other bulk belongings in waterproof bins, especially in areas where there are plumbing pipes or that are prone to dampness, such as basements and attics.
  • Never store valuables or memorabilia where there is risk of destruction from water. Water and damp also brings with it the threat of mold damage.
  • Keep belongings stored on shelving off the floor in basements.In case of water seepage or sewer backup, they're less likely to get damaged.
  • Keep an up to date home inventory. Having a comprehensive list of your possessions will save time, trouble and stress in case of loss from water damage.

Why Immediate Fire Damage Restoration is So Important

5/8/2018 (Permalink)

This picture shows black soot in a kitchen after a fire.

When a fire occurs in a home, the aftermath can seem overwhelming, and if fire restoration is postponed, the destruction from smoke damage can become even worse. The longer you wait to address the damage, the more repairs you'll have to fix - which means you'll most likely have a larger bill for damages when all is said and done. You can avoid costly repairs and long-term issues if you make fire damage restoration a priority and follow the steps you'll need to get your home back to normal as soon as possible.

Contact a Fire Damage Restoration Service

First, and foremost - and this is the most important step - find a fire restoration contractor who can assess the damage, give you an estimate on costs and start the cleanup process. Contact your home insurance company to make them aware of the fire and ask them for referrals for reliable businesses in your area. It's essential that you enlist the help of a licensed and insured fire damage restoration company to reduce the risk of further damage to your home. They are trained to handle this type of damage and many will perform some of the following steps to help get you through the initial fire cleanup:

  • Smoke and fire damage restoration services will try to save as many of your home and personal belongings (such as appliances, furniture and clothing) as they can.
  • Document everything they remove from your home by taking pictures and/or keeping written records.
  • Return any salvageable furniture and appliances back to your home, after the fire restoration is complete.
  • Work quickly and carefully to get you back in your home as soon as possible and stay in contact with you to make sure the repairs were done correctly and your home isn't experiencing any other problems.

Be sure to go through your home insurance company when hiring a fire damage restoration service or do a thorough background check if you choose one on your own to make sure they are licensed and insured. Be wary of “fire chasing” contractors who target victims of house fires and pressure them into signing expensive repair contracts, perform extremely low-quality repair work and might not be licensed or insured.

Start Fire Cleanup Right Away

While it's best to have a qualified fire restoration company handle the smoke damage restoration, there are some small tasks you can do to help minimize the initial damage before the professionals come in to do the major cleanup. Remember that safety comes first, so if there’s no way to safely gain access into your home, then stay out until the professionals arrive. If it is possible to enter your house, make sure you’re wearing work gloves, long sleeves/pants, and proper respiratory protection, such as a mask because exposure to soot can cause respiratory problems and other medical issues.

  • VENTILATION- Open all the windows and air out the house as much (and as often) as possible. Use box fans to force out dust and contaminated air. Fire damage restoration professionals will use industrial-strength fans and other air-moving equipment to help reduce the smoke damage your home has been subjected to, but in the meantime, proper ventilation is key to helping remove a lot of the polluted (and unsafe) air.
  • CLEANING- Scrub all surfaces (and inside cabinets and drawers) with soap and water. You can also use an alkaline cleaner, which neutralizes the acid that’s found in soot to help cut down on the smoky smell. Counteractants—chemicals used to break up smoke molecules to eliminate odors—may be used, but it’s best left to the professionals to handle such products.
  • LAUNDRY- Wash all bedding, clothing, curtains and items that can be machine washed with an alkaline cleaner (you may have to wash items more than once). Delicate fabrics will need to be professionally dry cleaned by someone who is familiar with articles that have smoke damage. Only use washers and dryers that haven’t been exposed to smoke or experienced significant fire damage.

Professional smoke removal and restoration companies will perform a thorough cleanup using industrial-grade products and equipment, such as dry-cleaning soot sponges to remove loose soot and specialized vacuum filters to clean carpet and upholstery.

Prolonged Smoke Damage

Fire damage is tricky because some signs are apparent—such as discoloration on walls and ceilings and dark stains from smoke on surfaces—but others are not, such as odors trapped in hidden places. Air conditioner vents, the space behind walls and the outside walls of your home are all areas where ash and soot can be deposited and continue to cause damage if they aren't taken care of in a timely manner.

Make sure to have the HVAC system, attic/roof, and exterior walls inspected and properly cleaned, too, because your home will continue to suffer from smoke damage until the soot is completely removed by a fire damage restoration service.

Fire Safety Do's and Don'ts

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Rules

What You Should and Shouldn't Do

Fires don't just happen. There are a lot of measures you can take to help ensure that a fire doesn't start. Here are a few important things you can do:

  • Install a smoke detector on every level of your home and in the garage. Check it monthly and replace batteries when necessary.
  • Have an electrician look at the wiring in your house. Make sure circuits are not overloaded.
  • Have all alternative heating units, such as wood stoves and space heaters, checked by an expert.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach and away from children.
  • Never smoke in bed.
  • Be aware of the dangers from smoking in overstuffed furniture.

No house can be 100 percent fire proof. Fire officials emphasize there are some basic things you should do to prepare for a fire:

  • Determine at least two ways to escape from every room in your home.
  • Purchase an approved chain ladder to use to climb out of rooms above the first floor, and practice using it.
  • Select a location where everyone could meet after escaping the house.
  • Discuss what you would do about family pets in the event of a fire
  • Know how to call for emergency assistance.

When a fire strikes:

  • Crawl low under the smoke to escape. This should be practiced beforehand to prepare you for an actual fire.
  • Close the door when you exit a room, and feel closed doors before you enter a room. A hot door or doorknob usually means the room is on fire.
  • If your clothes are on fire, drop to the floor and roll to smother and put out the flames.
  • Get everyone out quickly, and then call for emergency assistance.
  • Know how to give accurate directions to your house when you call for assistance.

Summer Barbecue Safety

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

A fire caused by a grill being too close to the home.

Texans love their barbecue!  We love the smell and taste of a fresh barbecue as long as the smoke does not travel inside of the house.  Besides smoke, fire safety is a major concern when it comes to how close to position a barbecue to a house.  An open area that is a good distance from the house is a safe, worry-free way to enjoy cooking at your backyard.

 Distance:  Keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house.  Farther is even better. This includes portions attached to your house like carports, garages and porches. Grills should not be used underneath wooden overhangs either, as the fire could flare up into the structure above. This applies to both charcoal and gas grills.

 Putting out the fire:  Smother the fire after grilling the last food.  The charcoal briquettes will continue to burn, and throwing water on them will only generate a lot of soot-laden steam.  Cover the charcoal, and close the vents.  For an open barbecue grill just allow the charcoal to burn out.

If you have had a fire and/or smoke damage please give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at 830-379-7474.

Commercial Restoration Cleaning & Inventory

5/7/2018 (Permalink)

Call us for your commercial restoration needs 830-379-7474. We are here to help!

When it comes to your cleaning and restoration needs, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties County provides quality cleaning and immediate response time. You're top priority, and we stand behind your business getting back into operation as quickly as possible. Our trained franchise professionals can also provide an itemized, area-by-area loss of inventory to help with content inventory claims.  When dealing with a fire, water loss, or storm related issue, it is extremely important to help recover and save documents and information pertaining to your business. We understand the fragile state when a commercial business suffers a loss, but that's what we're here for; to reduce business interruptions and recovery costs.

If your business or commercial property has experienced significant damage, do not hesitate to call us at 830-379-7474.  We are here to help!

The Fire Restoration Process

3/14/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales can help you restore after a fire. Remember we are only a phone call away - (830) 379-7474.

FIRE

Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Guadalupe and Gonzales have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. 

SERVPRO Guadalupe & Gonzales

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know just how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable. They’re trained to clean and restore your home with as little disruption as possible. Learn more about the fire damage restoration process.

Step1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Step 6: Cleaning and Repair

Step 7: Restoration

f you do have a fire, we at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties are here to help.  Give us a call (830) 379-7474 for all our Fire & Smoke Damage, Water damage and Mold mediation. 

Are you prepared to take cover?

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

After the Storm has done its damage, give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a Call (830)379-7474 to help you put your life back together.

When the weatherman says take cover in Texas it’s typically due to a storm of some kind on its way. It could be a thunderstorm, hurricane, tornado, or hail storms.  The last thing you need to worry about is storm preparation. A little effort now, before disaster strikes, can bring peace of mind and yield big savings in the future. Here are some tips to help you plan beforehand, so you won’t have to face storms unprepared.

  • Check your insurance policy to make sure it reflects the present state of your home. Think about adding flood insurance, as well as coverage for additional living expenses in case you are unable to stay in your home immediately after a storm.
  • Making a home inventory is a critical component of storm preparation since it will make filing a claim easier and save time. Document the contents with a video camera or some other inventory tool such as a spreadsheet or written documentation. Retain receipts for any valuable items and consider getting separate coverage for these.
  • Make an emergency supply kit containing basic survival items. This should include a 2-week supply of water and non-perishable, ready to eat food for each member of the family, as well as pets. If you need to evacuate your home, you’ll want a three-day supply of the same.
  • Storm preparation must also include an evacuation plan. Know who to contact in this situation and what route or routes you can take to get your family to safety.
  • Gather important documents to take with you – for example, personal ID or driver’s license, insurance policies, social security cards, marriage and birth certificates, etc.

Contact SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counites at (830) 379-7474 when fire or water damage occurs in your business or home. We are only a phone call away when you need us! We man our phones and make the trek to the office no matter the weather, so we can be ready to roll out once the rains stop and the sky clears. 

Have you checked your gutters lately?

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is only a phone call away for your water damage, fire damage, and mold remediation, (830) 379-7474.

Have you checked your gutters lately?

In Texas, especially Guadalupe and Gonzales counties, we get all types of weather: tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, high winds, hail, sleet and snow.  However; we don’t typically get all of it together like we did this past 2017.  This previous year showed us it can happen and will happen.  So, let make sure our homes continue to be ready for what every mother nature or mankind throws our way. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is your home or office prepared for this upcoming rainy season?
  • Do you have gutters on your home or office? Are your gutters in good shape?  
  • Do you know what you would do if rain / flood water (black water) comes into your home?

If you had to scratch your head over some of these questions, we can help you find some answers.  

  • Is your home or office prepared for this upcoming rainy season?
    • Typically, most people will say yes, after all you made it through 2017 and everything that was thrown at us.
  • Do you have gutters on your home or office? Are your gutters in good shape?
    • Gutters are meant to be helpful, if installed with the correct down spouts. Gutters are supposed to divert water away from your home / office’s foundation.   Basically, so you don’t have water pouring off your roof into the ground around your foundation and weakening your foundation.  Without gutters the water will fall next to your foundation and settle there.  A house will settle and can have stress fractures in the slab due to the amount of water that settles around your foundation.
    • If you look up at your gutters and can see through them, – call a gutter guy.
    • If your down spouts are just hanging or barely attached – call a gutter guy. You do not want the wind from a thunderstorm or windstorm to rip them off and cause added damage to your home.
  • Do you know what you would do if rain / flood water (black water) came into your home?
    • Remember any water that comes into your home / office during flooding is black water.
    • Black water carries bacteria and germs that may potentially make one sick with prolonged exposure.
    • If your carpet and padding is wet with flood waters, it is contaminated. Carpet cleaning will not get it clean, it will need to be torn out.
    • You will need to gather your important documents and/or items and call SERVPRO. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties can extract the water, as longs as the flood waters have receded. 

If you find yourself in a water situation, call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474.  SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is only a phone call away for your water damage, fire damage, mold remediation, and much more.

Helpful tips for water damage situations.

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for all your water restoration needs, (830) 379-7474.

No one wants to come home to a flooded basement or to wake up to the sound of a broken pipe spraying water on valuable furniture and household possessions.  However, the possibility of water damage occurring in your home very real.  Whether it is pipe damage or a weather-related issue that is the cause, it is important to arm yourself with some basic knowledge to deal with this type of emergency before it happens.

Here are a few tips to help in the event of water damage in your home:

  • First, ascertain whether it safe to stay in the house.
  • Make sure there are no active electrical devices or outlets immersed in or near the water.
  • Note that wet floors are slippery and “slip and fall” hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Keep in mind that wet materials can be VERY heavy.
  • Have your plumber’s phone number ready and available.
  • Contact your SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830-379-7474) for complete restoration.

While waiting for your SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties Professional to reach your location, here is what you CAN do:

  • Shut off the water
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air condition on for maximum drying in the Summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects and other prized possessions to a safe, dry place
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT to do After Flooding:

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water
  • Don't use television or other household appliances
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging

Never try to fix a broken pipe by using tape or plumbing putty.  Broken pipes are a serious problem, which should be handled by a professional. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties Professionals are on standby 24 hours daily to help home and business owners with complete cleanup. Our goal is to help you regain control and repair any damage, we are only a phone call away.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830) 379-7474 for all your cleaning, water damage, fire damage and mold remediation needs!

Are you ready for immediate action for water damage - WE ARE!

3/9/2018 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474 for your water damage needs.

When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO of Guadalupe and Gonzales respond immediately and use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. They closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly.

The Water Damage Restoration Process

Every water damage situation is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” water damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment

Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction

Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification

Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing

Step 6: Restoration

Common Water Damage Scenarios

Water damage can have many sources, from loose appliance hoses to natural disasters. Regardless of the source, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties technicians can handle any size disaster.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe and Gonzales Counties, we are only a phone call away, (830) 379-7474 and we are available 24/7 for emergency situations.

Spring, the start of Tornado season!

3/1/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is only a phone call away, when disaster chooses you.

Hello Spring!  It has been a cold and bitter winter for us here in Central Texas!  I mean cold. I am so happy to be back in my favorite season.  Crispy morning air, followed by cool breezes, flowers, and tornadoes.  Yes, I said tornadoes, Spring is the traditional start to tornado season in the U.S.  Granted tornadoes can occur at any time throughout the year, the peak activity is March through early July, according to National Weather Service (NWS). Is your home Tornado ready??

Emergency Kit: Keep the following items in a container that can be easily carried.

  • Water and canned or dried foods – families should set a side one gallon of water per person per day, to last three days, and a three- day supply of food per person, the food should be nonperishable items that don’t need to be cooked, such as tuna and crackers. Remember to include a manual can opener.  If there’s an infant in the house, include formula and baby food.
  • Battery powered radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for the radio and flashlight
  • Prescription medications
  • First-aid kit.

For more detailed information on what you need to be prepared for storm season, you can visit ready.gov

Remember if you find yourself or loved ones in a storm situation, give us a call! We are only a phone call away. (830) 379-7474.

Fire Restoration Process

2/9/2018 (Permalink)

Call us for all your fire restoration needs! SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties 830-379-7474.

FIRE

Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Guadalupe and Gonzales have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. 

SERVPRO Guadalupe & Gonzales

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know just how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable. They’re trained to clean and restore your home with as little disruption as possible. Learn more about the fire damage restoration process.

Step1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Step 6: Cleaning and Repair

Step 7: Restoration

Fire - do you know what to do?

1/31/2018 (Permalink)

Fires can be scary but it helps to be prepared. Do not panic, keep your head, and get your family out.

Picture this – you are laying in your comfy bed sound asleep.  Your phone rings its your neighbor, you are still asleep, but you hear a word that instantly wakes you up and sends chills down your spine…. FIRE!  You didn’t hear where, or who’s house, you just heard the word.  

  • You jump out of bed, then what?
  • Where are your children?
  • Are they in the in the line of the fire?
  • Do you have all your important documents together?
  • Where is the fire??

Now your feet hit the ground and you start to panic, but you remember – you are prepared.  You blow a whistle for your kids to wake up (for those with teenagers), you grab the small bag with important stuff that hangs on the back of the bedroom door, you touch the door knob to make sure its not hot.  You then go into the hall and touch the door knobs of each child’s room. If you have small children you will be going into each of their rooms to get them, check the doors for heat before opening.  You get your family out safely.  You are standing in your front yard or driveway looking around and notice it wasn’t your house, it was your neighbor’s house and they are all out safely as well.   You let out a big sigh of relief and hug your kids. 

Now this went smoothly because you were prepared. You knew where your go bag is, you had everything ready for your emergency, your children know what to do (they are most important after all).  

This situation can go south very quickly, if you are not prepared. 

  • Do you have a go bag? Copies of all important papers i.e.: birth certificates, home insurance policy, shot records.   One thing you can do is scan in your important documents on flash drive, where you have a digital copy as well. Originals are in a fire safe in a safe place.
  • A way to wake your kids up where they know when they hear this sound (coaches whistle works well or an air horn) they know there’s a fire.
  • Teach your children to touch the door and door know to check for heat before opening their doors into the hallway. If it’s hot – they need to know how to get out the window, or alternate exit.
  • Have a plan – show the kids where to go and stand once they get out of the house.
  • Call 911 – depending on the time of day / night. Your neighbors could have called 911 already. It is imperative that someone call. 

Above all remember ----  ONCE YOU ARE OUT OF THE BURNING STRUCTURE – YOU MUST NOT GO BACK IN!  Fire fighters are trained to go into burning buildings, you are not. The Fire man will get what ever it is that you need out – if it’s a necessity.

At SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties we are concerned about your safety.  Once you are to a safe location, give us a call(830) 379-7474.  We will come out and survey the damages, and get to work quickly.  So you can get back in your house as quickly as possible.  

Important tips for choosing a Biohazard cleanup service.

11/3/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for all your Biohazard needs, (830) 379-7474.

Always Choose a Trained Professional

  • Because it’s traumatic: No one should have to deal with the personal impact of cleaning up after the traumatic loss of a loved one. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties can get a situation cleaned up quickly, compassionately and discreetly.
  • Because it’s safer: Federal regulations classify all human and animal remains, including blood, urine, feces, vomit and bodily fluids, as biohazards. This is because they have the potential of carrying life-threatening pathogens such as Hepatitis B and C, AIDS, HIV, MRSA, Tuberculosis and many more. The safe cleanup and removal of biohazardous materials involves extensive analysis and detailed work, and the use of state-of-the-art cleaning and odor removal technologies.

Licensed Bonded & Insured

  • It is important to use licensed professionals because they conduct safe cleanup, removal and disposal of biohazardous waste. Additional considerations include being registered and compliant with OSHA and FEMA, federal agencies that oversee disasters and workplace safety. Cleanup crews will be coming into your home or the home of your loved one, so be sure the professional you choose is bonded and insured.

 State and local regulations vary. Contact SERVPRO Guadalupe and Gonzales at 830-379-7474 for 24 hour Emergency service.

Simple Steps to Prepare Your Plumbing for Winter

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

2 story (or more) have pipes running between ceiling on lower level and flooring on the above level. This is what happens when one of those pipes bust

Have you prepared your plumbing for winter?  Damage caused from burst pipes can cost you thousands, of dollars.  Not all damage is covered by homeowner’s insurance.  We want to make sure you know some simple steps to get you prepared.  Follow these 7 simple steps to get off to a great start.  Find yourself in a bind?  SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is here to help!  Give us a call.

  1. Prepare your outdoor faucets.  Remove and drain your water hoses and store them indoors before the first freeze.
  2. Fix leaks now.  Inspect your pipes and have any/all leaks repaired.
  3. Wrap any pipes in unheated areas of the home.  This is crucial, for mobile homes.  Visit the hardware store and grab some heat tape and/or pipe insulation.  There are also easy to install kits, that include a thermostat. These kits can help you in the event of frigid temps for long periods.  Don’t hesitate to ask an employee for recommendations.  Protecting the pipes in your home, from low temperatures is THE single most important thing that you can do.
  4. Tune up your water heater.  You will want to drain and maintain your water heater at this time every year.
  5. Service your furnace.  Make sure you have clean filters and call a professional to help with major repairs.  Heat means pipes could freeze.  If they do, call us!
  6. Selling your home or heading south for winter?  Shut off the water, in your home, completely and consider draining your pipes.  Any water left in your pipes is at risk of freezing and causing pipes to bust.  If nobody is home, the damage can be widespread and severe.  Don’t take chances.
  7. Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties @ 830-379-7474.

Why is mold growing in my home?

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

Mold will grow when it has a water source. This home had a water leak under their sink, you can see the results, the mold spread up the wall.

Molds are part of the natural environment. Outdoors, molds play a part in nature by breaking down dead organic matter such as fallen leaves and dead trees, but indoors, mold growth should be avoided. Molds reproduce by means of tiny spores; the spores are invisible to the naked eye and float through outdoor and indoor air. Mold may begin growing indoors when mold spores land on surfaces that are wet. There are many types of mold, and none of them will grow without water or moisture. 

Mold Basics

  • The key to mold control is moisture control.
  • If mold is a problem in your home, you should clean up the mold promptly and fix the water problem.
  • It is important to dry water-damaged area and items within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth.

 If you believe you have a mold problem, give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call, 830-379-7474.  Our Technicians can do a moisture check to see if the conditions are probable for mold growth.  If conditions are right for mold growth, we will be able to establish a plan to take care of the problem, and get you back to exceptable levels. 

6 tips to help reduce the liklihood of mold growth

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

When you do not dry out water-damaged areas, then you get mold containment areas till the mold level is back to tolerances.

Remove the water as quickly as possible.

Depending on the depth of the water, you can use a wet or dry vacuum to soak up as much water as possible. This limits the possibility for the mold to grow.

 Use fans to dry the floors and carpets faster.

It may take several days for fans to completely dry water damage. Leave them on constantly for at least a few weeks to help circulate cool and fresh air as well as speed up the drying process. Carpet and carpet pad will need to be removed if the water damage is from flood waters or sewage leaks. Laminate flooring does not hold up to water damage, it will need to be removed as well.

 Dehumidify the affected room.

Mold grows in moist, warm and dark areas. Dehumidifying the room helps cool the air and limit mold and mildew growth. Any equipment you can use to dry the air and ground will be useful in mold prevention.

 Steam-clean your carpet.

Steam-clean any and all carpets to properly sanitize and wipe out any spores which may have started growing. Any water-damaged carpet padding may need to be replaced, but is still much cheaper than having to entirely re-carpet the house.

 Sanitize walls and baseboards.

Anything that has been touched by storm water should immediately be sanitized. Clean any hardwood floors, walls, or other surfaces with soap, water, chlorine, and bleach to minimize mold growth.

 Lastly, check affected furniture for any signs of mold growth that may have begun

Check all furniture for water damage, and remove the furniture from wet flooring. Water damage may hide itself under carpets or rugs, so be sure to thoroughly inspect the home.

Even following the above steps, it is likely that a mold infestation may still be present in the home. If any visible signs of mold are noticed, then an infestation/colonization has occurred. For any extensive mold damage situations, it is best to call in the professionals, such as SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties – (830) 379-7474.  

Water damage and mold remediation solutions

SERVPRO is the leading company in fire damage, and mold remediation areas. They are constantly investing in the latest training for mold remediation so that they can meet any customer service needs to quickly and professionally make it “Like it never happened.” When disaster strikes, call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474.

Restoring Your Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

This office had a water leak from overhead. We arrived and got to work quickly. Allowing the business to open for reg business hours the next day.

Flooding and water damage events at Guadalupe & Gonzales also surrounding Counties commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So, when an emergency arises in your business, give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Emergency READY Program - Are you READY? Do you have a Plan?

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

Do you have a plan for your business for when emergencies strike? There's an app for that! Let SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties set you up!

Getting Started with the Emergency READY Program

  • STEP 1:Visit SERVPRO.com/ready. Register for an account using your email address as your username and choose a password.
  • STEP 2:Choose SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties Representative to contact in the event your home or business experiences water, fire, mold or other type of damage.
  • STEP 3:Begin creating ERPs for all your separate properties.
  • STEP 4:Download the SERVPRO Ready Plan Application on your iPhone, tablet, Android or Blackberry device from the respective App Store.
  • STEP 5:Launch the Ready Plan App and sign in using the same username and password from STEP 1.

At this point, it may take a few minutes for the data to sync. All your ERP information will appear on your tablet or mobile device. You can now access and manage ERP information from your computer, tablet or Smartphone.

Emergency READY Program Best Practices

Using Tablets: Using a tablet is highly recommended. The tablet allows you to easily input data on-site as you walk through the facility and take photos as needed.

Non- Tablet Users: If not using a tablet, the most efficient way to complete an ERP using the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program is to input data accessing the website (ready.SERVPRO.com) using a computer and importing photos using your mobile device. If assisting a client, please follow these simple steps:

  • STEP 1:Make the appointment to walk through the facility to capture the needed information for the ERP.
  • STEP 2:Print a Field Form that can be used to write in ERP information (optional).
  • STEP 3:Download the SERVPRO Ready Plan App on your iPhone, Android or Blackberry device from the respective App Store.
  • STEP 4:Launch the Ready Plan App and create a free account.
  • STEP 5:Establish an Emergency Ready Profile on your mobile device by logging on and choosing the Emergency Ready Profile button.
  • STEP 6:As you walk through the facility, capture the property information by writing it on the Field Form.
  • STEP 7:Capture property photos using your mobile device.
  • STEP 8:Once the walk through is complete, log onto SERVPRO.com/ready using a computer. The property established earlier using your mobile device will appear on the main screen. Select that property and input the information from the Field Form. All photos should already be populated.

Getting Help If Damage Occurs

Once you have an ERP set up, getting help cleaning up and/or restoring your property is just a few clicks away.

  • STEP 1:Access your ERP by launching the App on your mobile device or tablet or visit SERVPRO.com/ready.
  • STEP 2:If you prefer to call SERVPRO simply click on the phone number to contact SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales (830) 379-7474 or the National Call Center 1-800-SERVPRO.
  • STEP 3:If you would like to submit a first notice of loss from within the Ready Plan app, click on the relevant icon on the main screen (fire, water, mold or general cleanup).
  • STEP 4:If an ERP on the damaged property has been established, the needed information will automatically populate, speeding up the submission process. Simply navigate through the 3 screens of needed information, filling in areas including cause of damage, time and date then submit the notice. You will be contacted shortly about the damage to your property.
  • STEP 5:While you wait, feel free to review the damage mitigation tips. Any of the tasks you can perform will help reduce further damage.

Sharing Your ERP

Sharing your ERP with other decision makers can be an important step to ensure that those within your facility have access to critical data in the event of a loss. It also allows for the delegation of an ERP or several ERPs to certain individuals within your company or residence.

Lastly, it is extremely important to email the ERP to your Preferred SERVPRO Franchise. This will ensure they have access to critical property information, and can be prepared to clean up and restore your damaged property upon arrival.

How to share:

Option 1 (USING COMPUTER)

  • STEP 1:Visit SERVPRO.com/erp. Under the Emergency Ready Profile tab, simply click on the name of the property you would like to share.
  • STEP 2:Click on the “Property Actions” drop down menu in the upper right corner of the Property Over view section and select “Share.”
  • STEP 3:On the next screen click, “Share This ERP.” Choose either “Read Only” or “Read/Edit” to define the type of access you would like to give.
  • STEP 4:Enter the email addresses of the individuals with which you would like to share the information. Multiple email addresses should be separated by a comma.
  • STEP 5:Add any notes and click “Share.”

Option 2 (USING A MOBILE DEVICE OR TABLET)

  • STEP 1:Launch the App.
  • STEP 2:Choose “Emergency Ready Profile” from the main screen.
  • STEP 3:Choose the property you would like to share.
  • STEP 4:Choose “Share this ERP.”
  • STEP 5:Enter the email addresses of the individuals with which you would like to share the information.
  • STEP 6:Choose either “Read Only” or “Read/Edit” to define the type of access you would like to give.
  • STEP 7:Choose “Share this ERP.”

For any questions give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call 830-379-7474.  We will be happy to get you an appointment with one of our ERP specialist, to make sure you are set up for whatever emergency comes your way.

What's that smell?

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

If you do not want a mold problem, check any where you could have a water leak. Where water is leaking is where mold will grow.

Do you smell mildew, or a musty odor?  Do you see Mold on your walls or cabinets?

Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours, and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects.  

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, our technicians have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

Some insight to Mold

Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is false. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or on a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return. 
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If you believe you have a mold problem, give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call, 830-379-7474.  Our Technicians can do a moisture check to see if the conditions are probable for mold growth.  If conditions are right for mold growth, we will be able to establish a plan to take care of the problem, and get you back to except able levels. 

A look back - were you ready?

9/29/2017 (Permalink)

Harvey destroyed everything he touched. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties are only a call away if you are still dealing with your devastation!

Where has this year gone?  Its October!  Fall is in the air, the pumpkin spice everything everywhere.  However, every October we can’t help but remember a special lady, Sandy.  Hurricane Sandy carved her path through the islands, like they were a speed bump in a school zone on the last day of school. All the while setting her sites on the United States Atlantic Coastline.  She grew stronger as she eased up the Atlantic coastline. She could have turned to the right and spun off in the Atlantic, but no she was like a 2-year-old who just lost her favorite teddy bear to the dog.  Sandy’s reach was vast.  She affected 24 states from Florida to Maine.  This year marks 5 years since one of the worst hurricanes ripped up the coastline, leaving nothing but a path of broken hearts, broken homes, and pure devastation in her wake. 

Superstorm Sandy was a devastating storm for everyone she “touched.” Us in Texas sent crews to assist the ones affected by her.  This year Harvey hit the Texas coastline over the little town of Rockport.  Now Harvey wasn’t as big of a storm as his big sister Sandy.  However, they do have one thing in common, they both left a path of devastation.  Sandy claimed 147 lives,  72 of  those lives in the US, Harvey claimed 50 lives.  Sandy took her toll on 24 states, Harvey however, hit Texas.  There is a couple of sayings in Texas, “if the Good Lord’s willing and the creeks don’t rise…..” and “come hell or high water.”  These saying became words of wisdom it seemed during Harvey.  While Harvey was throwing his temper tantrum in the Gulf of Mexico, we stocked up on our supplies; water, food, batteries, flashlights.  We knew it was going to hit us, and he was going to leave a path of devastation behind him as well.

Harvey stopped off the coastline and grew into a back talking teenager who did not want to clean his room.  Harvey spun around at a slug’s pace and grew from tropical storm to Cat 2 hurricane.  Before Harvey made landfall, SERVPRO was lining up the franchises from across Texas and other states to be on standby to assist Texas.  When Sandy hit New York and New Jersey, Texas sent crews, this time we were on the receiving end.  Our coastline battened down the hatches, and evacuated.  Some chose to ride out the storm and in turn were trapped until the flood waters subsided.  Here at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties, we were picked as a Storm site.  As we left our office on that Friday, we took home the phones, we made sure all computers were unplugged and nothing was on the floor.  We went to our homes, not knowing what was about to happen if anything.  Harvey just like Sandy came in destroyed and left.  There are still people dealing with the devastation, it has only been a month ago that Harvey hit is.  So, as we look back at Sandy this month, and remember the lives that were lost, it hits especially close to home this year, with us still dealing with the remains of Harvey.  

When the national weather service issues a warning / watch, listen to them.  Harvey showed us that a hurricane does not just hit the coast and turn.  Harvey was still a cat 1 when it reached the Stockdale / Nixon area, which is not that far from us in Seguin.  We need to be prepared!  Have a go bag, a stash of water & snacks, a generator for power, batteries, flashlights, all important papers in one place, (Dish washer works great, it is designed to not let water out, so it won’t let water in.)  

Just remember we are SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties are only a phone call away!  We man our phones and make the trek to the office no matter the weather, so we can be ready to roll out once the rains stop and the sky clears. 

What to wear when cleaning mold?

9/28/2017 (Permalink)

Always protect yourself, if you are going to clean up mold. Sometimes the best protection is calling SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties!

With all the flooding that has occurred, the conditions in your home could be right for mold to grow.  Did you get water in your home? Do you see discoloration on your walls or ceiling? The following is a brief summary of items you will need if you are going to tackle a mold problem on your own.  

Wear an N-95 respirator to avoid breathing in mold or mold spores. N-95 respirators may be found in many hardware stores and from companies that advertise on the Internet. In order to be effective, the respirator or mask must fit properly, so carefully follow the instructions supplied with the respirator.
Wear gloves to avoid touching mold or moldy items with your bare hands. Long gloves that extend to the middle of the forearm are recommended.

Wear goggles to avoid getting mold or mold spores in your eyes. Goggles that do not have ventilation holes are recommended. 

When in doubt, give SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at (830) 379-7474 to have a your mold issue evaluated and remediated by professionals.  

Is your house Fall ready?

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Prevention is key to how quickly you get back on your feet after a disaster.

Did you feel that?? It was a cool breeze! 

September is almost over!  The crisp air that hits us in the face as we leave our homes for work in the morning.  School buses running up and down the roads carrying our precious cargo. Pumpkin spice everything everywhere you look.  Football, Football, and more Football!!  All of these things translate to fall is upon us, and with fall comes cooler air, cooler air comes bonfires, hoodies, and of course space heaters, heat lamps, heaters and fire places.

I know it’s hard to think about your heater when its 103 here in Texas. However, it is best to think about it now, and make sure it’s working properly instead of when you need it and it catches your house on fire, because there’s a clog and it could have been prevented!  

So, let’s put a plan in motion:

  • Call a HVAC company, have them check out your heater and make sure it’s in tip top shape, after all, that precious cargo the buses are carrying during the day, are being kept warm by this heater at night.
  • Call a Chimney sweep and have your chimney checked for any debris that could have been blown in with those summer storms or birds have been nesting in the top of it.
  • If you use space heaters throughout your home,
    • check the cords, if the cord is frayed, throw it away! A frayed cord can arc and catch fire.
    • Never plug a space heater in near drapes, curtains, stuffed animals
    • Never set a space heater on top of dressers, tables, chairs. Always on the floor!  
    • Always check with your space heater company and ensure there are no recalls on your model. If you have a question, call the manufacture.
  • Do you have a heat lamp?
    • Does your heat lamp touch your house? -  if so MOVE IT!
    • Is your heat lamp where your pets or 4H / FFA projects could knock it over and break it? – if so MOVE IT!
    • Always read manual for heat lamps, to ensure proper usage and placement.

With all of this, we want you to know, we at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties are here for you if / when something does go awry. If you get a call or heaven forbid wake up and find, that your home is on fire, would you know what to do?  Here’s some things to have ready if tragedy does strike.

  • Have your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy up to date and accessible.
  • Keep all important documents (ie: birth certificates, diplomas, social security cards, shot records, death certificates, vehicles titles with registration forms, land deeds, marriage license, divorce decrees, custody papers, pass ports, just to name a few) in one place – preferable a type of fire safe, so they don’t burn.
  • Have an emergency escape plan for each room in your home!
  • Do fire drills at home, to ensure each person knows what to do
  • Set up a meeting spot outside your home and make sure each person whether adult or child can get to that meeting spot.
  • Make sure, each person makes their way out of the home, they are not to re-enter if a fire is suspected!

You can rest assured that you are ready for what every comes your way, knowing SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474 is just around the corner 24 hours a day, ready to make it …like it never happened!

The Hydroxyl Generator asks do you have smell you cant get rid of?

8/11/2017 (Permalink)

5,000 cfm max fan output, 40,000 cubic feet maxi treatment area, 8,000 hour optimum performance bulb life & Permanent washable electrostatic filter

Titan hydroxyl Generator

 SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties have a new gadget to help make the fire process even smoother!  

The Hydroxyl Generator is used to remove odors, eliminate gases and organic pollutants and to clean the air.  The way it works is there is 365 mm to 385 mm UVA rays emitted from the titanium dioxide (T102) photocatalytic lamps pass through a permanent anatase coated (T102) super reactor screen forming electron hole pairs.  That react with water and oxygen in the air to form free electrons and hydroxyl radicals that decompose and eliminate organic and inorganic gases and air pollutants.  

The hydroxyl generator is 100% safe for use in occupied areas; no need to remove people, plants or pets during operation! Its uses titanium dioxide which is also used as a pigment in foods, medicines, sunscreens and toothpaste. Unlike Ozone the hydroxyl generator does not cause bleaching or the breakdown of natural rubber materials. This machine however cannot be used to remove flammable or explosive gases. 

Best practices for this machine:

  • Always remove the sources of the odor before operation
  • For optimum performance, a 60%+ humidity level is best. (if needed, place a bucket of water or a wet town behind the machine to allow more moisture to be pulled into the air stream.)
  • Use air movers to circulate the air for thorough air cleaning.
  • Although purifying an area depends on many variables (pollutant load, temperature, humidity, etc), a general time guideline for purifying a 1000 cu. Ft. area with light to moderate odor is 1-3 hours.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830) 379-7474 for all your cleaning, fire damage, water damage and mold mediation needs!

Water Damage repair services

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for all your water restoration needs, (830) 379-7474.

If you have discovered residential water damage in your home, it's understandable to feel overwhelmed. Once water has negatively impacted the condition of your home, you may wonder what it will take to get the damage repaired. By taking the right actions promptly, you may be able to keep damage to a minimum and prevent mold growth from developing. 

The most important initial step to take when you discover water in your home is to address the source if possible. For example, if there is a burst pipe causing the leak, you need to turn off the main water valve to the home to stop the water from flowing into the structure. In other cases, such as if the flood is caused by a heavy rainstorm, you may not be able to stop the flow of water. As soon as the storm ends, you can begin the water extraction process. This is a process in which water will be professionally extracted by our skilled SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties technicians, in an efficient manner. Then, the drying out process will begin with dehumidifying fans, some materials such as flooring.


Each of these steps is vital to the water damage repair process, and the team at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties can help you. As a locally owned franchise that specializes in residential water damage repair, you can rest assured that we have what it takes to get the job done to your satisfaction. If you are ready to move forward with your repair process, call us today at (830) 379-7474.

9 Tips for Preparing Your Home for Severe Weather

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

When you see storm clouds on your horizon, remember SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is here for you 24/7!

Is your home ready to withstand powerful gusts of wind and pounding hail? SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties knows that while damage from strong storms is often inevitable, there are steps you can take to minimize harm to your property and protect your personal safety. You shouldn't wait until severe weather is predicted in your area to act – plan for hailstorms, wind storms and tornadoes by following these steps.

Facts about storms

About 3,000 hailstorms occur annually in the United States, and hail that develops during severe storms can reach softball size. An average of 1,000 tornadoes a year causes $1.1 billion in property damage, 1,500 injuries and 80 deaths. Tornadoes are nature's most violent storms, and while the clear majority of them are weak and short, they can cause significant damage. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), about 2 percent of tornadoes fall under the most violent classification, meaning they can reach wind speeds of 205 miles per hour or more.

Planning ahead

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties recommends that prior to the arrival of a storm, you should take the following steps:

  • Build an emergency kit. Your kit should include:
    A three-day supply (minimum) of water and non-perishable food for each family member, First-aid supplies, Personal hygiene items, Portable radio, Flashlight, Fresh batteries, Basic tools, Work gloves, Portable lanterns, Signaling device (such as an air horn), Prescription medications, Extra car keys, Extra eyeglasses, Cash, Important contact numbers (such as medical centers, insurance agents, utilities, neighbors and family members), Copies of important documents (such as identification, insurance policies, ownership certificates and banking information)
  • Create and practice a plan of action for your family. Discuss where and how you will seek shelter during a storm, ensure that everyone is aware of the location of first-aid kits and fire extinguishers, and choose a place for your family to meet if you get separated. Establish a contact person to communicate with concerned relatives, and ensure that you know where and how to shut off utilities at the main switches or valves in the event of a disaster.
  •  Maintain trees and shrubbery in your yard, removing weak branches and eliminating trees that could fall on your home during a storm. Falling trees and blowing debris in storms often cause fatalities and severe structural damage.
  • Replace rock or gravel landscaping material in your yard with shredded bark, which won't cause damage if it is blown around by strong winds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers additional information for protecting your property from strong winds.
  • Stay tuned to local radio and TV stations for important weather updates. Tornadoes often accompany thunderstorm warnings, and the sooner you're aware that a storm is on the way, the sooner you can get your family to safety.
  • Identify the safest area of your home, a place where you can take shelter when the storm hits. In most structures, this will be the basement or a small interior room without windows, such as a bathroom. In a high-rise building, seek out a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible. Close interior doors, and put as many walls between you and the storm as possible.
  • Identify escape routes from your home or neighborhood, and note whether you need any additional equipment such as a rope ladder.
  • Secure top-heavy furniture that could topple over, such as bookcases, to the walls. Before a storm arrives, move furniture away from doors and windows, if possible.
  • Stay away from windows and doors when the storm arrives, and keep all exterior doors and windows closed to prevent rain and falling debris damage in your home's interior.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is dedicated to helping our neighbors keep their homes and property safe. If you have storm damage or water intrusion in your home or business give the professionals, who are faster to any disaster, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties a call at (830) 379-7474.

Contaminated Flood Waters Contain Pathogens and Dangerous Debris

6/6/2017 (Permalink)

If you are in the path of Flooding, Keep your family safe, call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474 for your home & possessions.

When we respond to a case of flood damage due to a storm, one of the most frequent questions our technicians get is, "What is black water?", Black water is heavily contaminated water which is not only unsafe to drink but can also be hazardous simply to be around. It can be difficult to judge conditions in black water due to its typical gray, brown, or black coloration, with small particles often hiding potentially far greater hazards lying within. Here are a few things that can be found in a typical sample of black flood water.

Dirt and Soil: Typically, most of the coloration in black water comes from dirt and soil trapped within. Many cases of flood damage result from heavy storms and rain, and these floodwaters often pick up significant amounts of soil before they ever reach a home. Although this dirt may sound harmless, it makes the water much heavier and more difficult to navigate if you get caught in it.

Microorganisms in Black Water: Although the amount and type of organisms in flood can vary depending on its causes and specifics, almost all samples of black water contain very high levels of microorganisms. These may be parasites, bacteria, viruses, mold, or many other types of organism, and they may be able to cause health effects if ingested or absorbed through the skin. Therefore, it is never advised to drink flood waters and to seek medical attention immediately if you have.

Sharp Metal and Glass: It can be very difficult to see sharp objects in a mass of floodwater, but even if you feel you are confident that such materials are not in the water, it is best always to assume they are. Sharp materials, even if they are tiny, often constitute one of the water's greatest risks. If they open a small cut or wound, this spot may go unnoticed by you but later can possibly develop a bad infection. If you have been cut or had black water touch an open wound, immediately disinfect the wound and apply medical aid as needed.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties deals with flood damage so that you don't have to. If your home has been caught in a flood, call us at (830) 379-7474 for mitigation and restoration services.

5 Signs You May Have Mold in the Home

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for all your cleaning, water damage, fire damage & mold remediation needs!

Most people know that mold in the home can present problems for the health of you and your family. But not everyone knows what to look for. After all, mold in your basement doesn’t always present itself as obviously as green growing on an old loaf of bread. Still, if you wait for more visible signs, you risk deeper, more significant structural damage in your home, resulting in greater removal and restoration costs. More importantly, it allows threats to your respiratory health to grow and fester for longer. If you notice any of these signs of trouble, it may be time to reach out for professional Mold Removal Services.

1. Discoloration on Your Walls

One early sign of mold is discoloration on your walls. This, by itself, may or may not signal that mold is present; other staining on your walls can come from fading paint, water spots, or rubbing against the surface. You can determine whether the discoloration comes from mold in a few ways. The most obvious is textural: if the spot is soft, fuzzy, or fibrous, it has a greater chance of being mold growth. Another comes from where the discoloration occurs. Mold tends to grow more in cool, damp places. A basement and/or near a water heater or water line is the most obvious example.

Finally, if you cannot tell, you can test the sample. Home tests are available, or a professional mold removal service can inspect and test the spots, and the area in general, for the presence of mold. In either case, you want to find out quickly before mold has a chance to spread further into your living environment.

2. Musty Smells

Often, even before you can see mold emerging, you notice a stale, musty smell lingering in the air. It may be subtle at first, but it provides an important signal for potential mold growth in your space. What’s more, because mold spores spread in the air, it can also start clinging to your clothing and other fabrics in the area. One way of figuring out whether that scent comes from mold is to keep track of whether the scent stays away after you address it. Air freshener should help remove the scent from the air, and washing your clothing, shower curtain, or other materials should get rid of it there. If the smell keeps returning, there is a good chance you do have a mold problem. On the other hand, you want to be careful about letting airborne spores spread through your home. Having the air tested can be an important safety precaution to prevent it from advancing into other areas.

3. Cold or Allergy Symptoms

Seasonal allergies are common, and can present themselves in any family.But some of the same symptoms—runny noses, scratchy throats, headaches, and the like—can be signs of mold present in the air in your home.If the symptoms linger longer than normal, or if they come up in times of the year you would not expect, you may want to look into it. Most of the time these symptoms do not become larger health problems, but the symptoms can be frustrating and prevent you or your family from feeling or working your best. And if anyone in the home suffers from asthma, mold spores can exacerbate the problem and bring on shortness of breath and even full-fledged asthma attacks. If you start to see symptoms or breathing difficulties develop in yourself or your family members, have a professional test the areas potentially affected.

4. Soft, Soggy, or Damp Materials

Because mold grows better in cool, damp places, you find a softer, damper feel to materials that it has infiltrated. If you touch cardboard or wood and find it squishy or softer than you would expect those materials to be, there is a good chance that mold has worked its way in. This kind of damage can be troubling in two ways. First, the more mold works into the materials, the weaker those materials become. Deep mold damage can disrupt the structural integrity of your home. Similar to termite damage, mold seeping into your woodwork can create problems that remain invisible until too much has been done to remedy it. Second, when mold works into porous structural parts, it can be difficult or impossible to remediate in a way that allows you to save those elements rather than replacing them. Merely cleaning these surfaces with antibacterial cleaning materials will not remove the problem; you need to work with a professional mold removal service to truly get rid of this level of mold in your home.

5. You See It!

Sometimes you can see mold growing and do not need to do any kind of analysis or deeper investigation. If you see black and white specks on the wall or ceiling, or gathered around appliances that run water, you have mold. It may also appear just as a black or white or orange mass of crystalline structure gathered in those places. If you look with a magnifying glass, you will usually see spores or fibers present on the substance. This is clear evidence of mold present in your home, and something you need to address right away before it can spread.

Get Rid of Indoor Mold

If you see any of these signs of mold invading your home, trying to take care of it on your own is usually a mistake. Wiping surfaces by itself might remove the mold from those surfaces, but it has the side effect of pushing mold into the air where it can do more damage if inhaled. And for all of that, the mold will likely return to the surface you wiped down to begin with! We take a thorough, professional approach to removing mold from the surfaces, structures, and air in your home. When you think mold may be present in your home,Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474 for all of your professional mold removal needs.

 

Water Damage – How Much Is Too Much

6/2/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (8.0)379-7474 for all your cleaning, water damage, fire & mold mediation needs!

Everyone has had water in their facility where it shouldn’t be.  It’s always a mess, but how much is too much?  When water damage occurs, when do you handle it with your own staff and when should you call in a professional water restoration company?

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC) sets national standards for how to properly handle water damage in 7 steps:

  1. Turn the water off first. It is no use to start cleaning up the mess until you have fixed the problem.  So fix the leak, call the plumber, call the city, wait for the seepage to stop; whatever you need to do to stop the problem is your first step.
  2. Determine the path that the water traveled. Find out where the water started and where it went.  This isn’t always easy.  Water can travel through walls, behind cabinets, through building materials of all kinds.  Only when you know where it traveled can you dry out all the areas affected.  Missing some areas means problems later.  Your trusted restoration company has several types of moisture meters (costing from $600 into the thousands) that will determine where the water traveled. Find out more about the cost of water damage restoration here.
  3. Protect the contents. Many times, furniture is also affected by the water.  For example, wet legs from chairs or furniture can release stain into carpet and other flooring and cause permanent damage.  Get everything up and out of the water right away.
  4. Remove the surface water. It seems that it is always more than you think.  A simple toilet supply line can leak between 700 to 1,400 gallons of water in 24 hours!  Be prepared with enough staff and equipment to vacuum it up in a reasonable time.
  5. Dealing with carpet pad. In most cases, remove and discard the pad from the affected areas.  It is inexpensive to replace and very hard to dry.  Take it out, dry what is left and replace it.
  6. Prevent mold growth. Treat the wet area with an antimicrobial solution once the surface water has been removed (staff must have the proper certification).  Spray this on hard surfaces and under carpet and then draw it through the carpet with a vacuum.  Then be sure to dry the area within 3 days or less.  Mold takes time to grow so time is on your side, but if the area isn’t dried quickly it will grow and cause further problems.
  7. Balance the moisture evaporation. This part can be tricky without the proper test equipment owned by a restoration company.  In a nutshell, when you start a fan on an area to dry it, you put moisture in the air.  This requires a dehumidifier(s) to wring the moisture out of the air at the same rate that you are putting it in with the fan.  Without the proper balance you can cause secondary damage to walls and other building materials. Qualified restoration companies are experts in this process and should be hired if you feel the amount of water is too large to dry in a single day. Waiting too long to call them results in a host of other problems you don’t need in the future.

A simple evaluation of your ability to respond to water damage today will provide you with an appropriate response when it happens.  Do you have enough equipment to vacuum water readily available to all buildings?  Do you have large fans available too?  Can this affected area be cleaned and dried in one day?  If not, call in help.

Secondary damage and mold growth caused by not drying water damaged building materials has resulted in thousands of lawsuits across the county.  Your best defense is to plan ahead of time and be prepared to call in help from a qualified restoration company if conditions warrant.  It will save a host of problems in the future.  Water damage happens in every facility.  Be ready.

Building Safety Month Week 1!

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

May is Building safety month

May is building safety month.

Building safety month is a public awareness campaign to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.  The campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, model building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement and a well-trained, professional workforce to maintain the system.

Week 1 - Mentoring the Next Generation of Building professionals 

  • Meeting the Need for Trained Building Professionals

    The construction industry is experiencing a mass retirement of skilled professionals; one study indicates that over the next 15 years the industry will experience a loss of 80 percent of the existing skilled workforce. Employers are seeking qualified building trade professionals to fill the positions of retiring employees and will be vying to hire the best of the best to reinforce their decreasing workforce. Trained professionals are needed in the building industry to prevent a major job shortage in the workforce.

    In addition to learning about construction, engineering and architecture, the future workforce needs to become knowledgeable about the building codes to ensure the very best, resilient buildings. ICC and industry partners are providing training and mentoring about the latest design, technology and innovations in the codes through high schools, colleges and career training programs.

  • High School Technical Training Program (HSTTP)

    ICC has created the High School Technical Training Program (HSTTP) to provide schools with a framework to help students understand how codes and regulations are used in the design and construction of residential, commercial, federal and military facilities. Schools participating in the HSTTP provide students with up-to-date code knowledge and technical code training that fits hand in hand with practical training leading to a skilled workforce.

  • Become a Disaster Smart Leader

    The Disaster Smart program promotes understanding of resilience policy fundamentals that include building codes, beyond-code mitigation, incentive-aligned relief programs, public-private initiatives, and smart disaster finance. These provide a path to increased public safety, more disaster-resistant structures, and preservation of a community’s workforce in a post-disaster climate.

 

 

Building Safety Month week 2!

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Week 2 of Building safety!

May is building safety month.

Building safety month is a public awareness campaign to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.  The campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, model building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement and a well-trained, professional workforce to maintain the system.

Week 2 - Building Design solutions for all ages 

  • Data from the United States Census Bureau show that there are 76.4 million baby boomers. These 76.4 million baby boomers represent close to one-quarter of the estimated U.S. population of 320 million.

Many baby boomers are nearing or entering their retirement years and making decisions about where they will live when they retire. According to a survey conducted by AARP, 89 percent of the 50-and-older population like their current homes and intend to remain in them for as long as possible. But aging in place is not just about the home.  The aging of the population will affect every interior environment—private, commercial and public.  For example,

    • Hospitality – restaurants, hotels and motels will need to be accessible
    • Workplace – offices, retail stores and other work spaces will need to provide adequate lighting, seating, technology, task areas and quiet places for older workers
    • Healthcare – increased need for outpatient and in-home care, accommodation for caretakers and caregivers
    • Retail – stores will need to be accessible and accommodate individuals using assistive devices
    • Multi-housing/multi-use – growing demand for livable communities and urban complexes with easy access to health care, entertainment, shopping, etc.

Building Safety Month Week 3!

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Building safety Month - Week 3!

May is building safety month.

Building safety month is a public awareness campaign to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.  The campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, model building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement and a well-trained, professional workforce to maintain the system.

Prepare Your Family

Making sure your family is prepared for any natural disaster is important. Below are some of the steps you can take to prepare your family and protect your home from natural disasters. Your actions can ensure that no matter what Mother Nature brings, you, your family and your community will be resilient.

Here are a few tips to follow from the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes – (FLASH®) when preparing your family for any emergency.

  • Develop a family disaster plan that includes a list of food and water supplies needed for each member of your family and supplies for your pets. Make copies of important documents like insurance policies, the deed to your home, and other personal papers, important phone numbers and a home inventory. Create a checklist of important things to do before, during and after a disaster.
  • Review your evacuation route and emergency shelter locations with your family. Options for evacuation would include staying with friends and relatives, seeking commercial lodging, or staying in a mass care facility operated by disaster relief groups in conjunction with local authorities.
  • Taking shelter is critical in times of disaster. Sheltering in place is appropriate when conditions require that you seek protection in your home, place of employment, or other location where you are when disaster strikes.

Review your plan regularly. If you make changes that affect the information in your disaster plan, update it immediately.

Visit America’s PrepareAthon! to learn more about how to prepare for earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and winter storms. Help prepare your family and community by Taking Action to Prepare.

Protect Your Home

The power of these natural disasters can be overwhelming. While you can't necessarily stop natural disasters from happening, there are steps you can take to increase your home's chance of survival, even in the face of the worst Mother Nature can dish out.

Build to Code

Although you have little control over the occurrence of hazards in your community, mitigation efforts such as building code adoption and enforcement is one of the strongest strategies jurisdictions can take to protect a community against the effects of natural hazards. Mitigation increases occupant health and safety during a disaster, protects the local tax base, ensures continuity of essential services, and supports more rapid recovery from disasters.

The development and widespread adoption of building codes is beneficial in that it has created a uniform regulatory environment in which design professionals and contractors are held to a set of standards adopted by and applicable to the jurisdiction in which they work. More importantly, building codes provide you, your family, and your community protection in the event of a natural disaster.

What are Building Codes?

Building regulation in the United States began in the late 1800s when major cities began to adopt and enforce building codes in response to large fires in densely populated urban areas. The primary intent of early building codes was to reduce the fire risk, but over time, their scope has broadened. Today, building codes are sets of regulations that address structural integrity, fire resistance, safe exits, lighting, ventilation, and construction materials. They specify the minimum requirements to safeguard the health, safety, and general welfare of building occupants.

To learn more about building codes, check out FEMA’s Building Codes Toolkit. 

The International Code Council (ICC) family of codes covers all aspects of construction. Documents summarizing the hazard-resistant provisions of the International Codes are available at FEMA’s Building Code Resources Page. This page also includes other guidance documents on codes and standards.

Earthquakes

If the earthquake occurs in a populated area, it may cause deaths, injuries and extensive property damage. Here are some helpful tips to prepare your family and protect your home.

  • Plan and hold earthquake drills for your family. To learn more about planned earthquake drills in your area, visit http://www.ShakeOut.org
  • Identify two ways to escape from every room in the home.
  • Keep a flashlight and sturdy shoes by each person's bed.
  • Select a safe location away from the home where your family can meet after evacuating.
  • Have an earthquake kit containing water, food, medicines and other necessities for at least three days
  • Make sure your home is securely anchored to its foundation
  • Strap water heaters, appliances and TVs to wall studs.
  • Anchor bookshelves, heavy furniture, appliances and televisions to wall studs.
  • Secure pictures, mirrors and ornaments to the wall with appropriate fasteners.
  • Know where and how to shut off electricity, gas, and water services.

Building Safety Month Week 4!

5/22/2017 (Permalink)

Building Safety Month - Week 4!

May is building safety month.

Building safety month is a public awareness campaign to help individuals, families and businesses understand what it takes to create safe and sustainable structures.  The campaign reinforces the need for the adoption of modern, model building codes, a strong and efficient system of code enforcement and a well-trained, professional workforce to maintain the system.

Science and Technology Lead the Way

Science and technology are leading the way for designing and constructing safe, efficient, and resilient homes and buildings. Up to date building safety codes and standards enable the technology to be incorporated into the buildings while ensuring safety for lives, properties and investments. So whether you’re considering renovating, remodeling, or building from the ground up, look for the latest in technology and make sure it is based on the codes and standards that put safety and efficiency first.

The Codes Protect Your Investment

The biggest investment most people will ever make is when they buy a home. Homes represent security, a place where people will live, raise their families, and share life with others. Whether you own or rent a home, following the building codes during construction or remodeling can help protect your health and safety, and your investment as well.

The building codes include research from experts that help ensure every phase of the construction process is done correctly. In addition to helping make your home safe, the building codes can also help make your home more energy efficient, use less water, and conserve resources.

If your construction project does not comply with the codes adopted by your community, the value of your investment could be reduced. Property insurers may not cover work done without permits and inspections. If you decide to sell a home or building that has had modifications without a permit, you may be required to tear down the addition, leave it unoccupied, or make costly repairs.

A property owner who can show that code requirements were strictly and consistently met––as demonstrated by a code official’s carefully maintained records––has a strong ally if something happens to trigger a potentially destructive lawsuit. Your permit also allows the code official to protect the public by reducing the potential hazards of unsafe construction and ensuring public health, safety, and welfare. By following code guidelines, the completed project will meet minimum standards of safety and will be less likely to cause injury to you, your family, your friends, or future owners, plus you’ll benefit from the best energy efficiency construction techniques that will continue to pay you back for the life of your home.

Invest wisely in your home or remodeling project. It’s a smart investment to build and remodel your home to the latest codes.

Vacation Water tips

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

While you're walking along the beach on vacation rest easy knowing your house is safe from potential water hazards!

Summer time is upon us!  With Summer time comes summer vacations, everyone needs a vacation.  What you don’t need is to return from your fun filled relaxing trip to find your furniture swimming.  Steps to take before you take your steps for vacation!

Step 1 - program SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties number in your phone for those emergencies!  (830)379-7474 ??

Step 2 – Identify your potential water hazards in your home! Note - Any water fixtures in your home or office are potential water hazards. i.e. sinks, toilets, refrigerator water lines, ice maker water lines, dishwashers, washing machines, bath tubs, showers, hot water heaters, AC drain lines, toilets, and even outdoor faucets that are close to exterior of house. 

Step 3 - check each of potential water hazards, make sure there are no leaks.  A small leak might not seem like much to you now.  However, if a small leak goes unnoticed or not fixed for several days, it can not only cause damage to the wood surfaces around it.  It can also cause mold to grow. 

Step 4 – The day you leave for vacation – Most importantly!!  Turn off your main water supply.  Typically located in the ground near your street curb, for those in town.  If you are in the country on a well, turn off your supply line between your well and your house. 

Step 5 – Enjoy your vacation, rest easy knowing you not your furniture are swimming while you are away.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830) 379-7474 for all your cleaning, fire damage, water damage and mold mediation needs!

Dryers are not a Dry subject, They can be fiery!

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

Don't let your dryer be this hot topic!

Some people do not realize the damages that a clothes dryer can cause if left attended! Here are some do’s and Don’ts for you to keep in mind, the next time you start your dryer and rush out the door!

Clothes dryer do’s

Installation

  • Have your clothes dryer installed by a professional.
  • Make sure the correct electrical plug and outlet are used and that the dryer is connected properly.
  • Read manufacturers' instructions and warnings in use and care manuals that come with new dryers.

Cleaning

  • Clean the lint filter before and after each load of laundry. Don’t forget to clean the back of the dryer where lint can build up. In addition, clean the lint filter with a nylon brush at least every six months or more often if it becomes clogged.
  • Clean lint out of the vent pipe every three months.
  • Have your dryer cleaned regularly by a professional, especially if it is taking longer than normal for clothes to dry.

Maintenance

  • Inspect the venting system behind the dryer to ensure it is not damaged or restricted.
  • Put a covering on outside wall dampers to keep out rain, snow and dirt.
  • Make sure the outdoor vent covering opens when the dryer is on.
  • Replace coiled-wire foil or plastic venting with rigid, non-ribbed metal duct.
  • Have gas-powered dryers inspected every year by a professional to ensure that the gas line and connection are together and free of leaks.
  • Check regularly to make sure nests of small animals and insects are not blocking the outside vent.
  • Keep the area around the clothes dryer free of items that can burn.
  • If you will be away from home for an extended time, unplug or disconnect the dryer.

Clothes dryer don’t's

  • Don’t use a clothes dryer without a lint filter or with a lint filter that is loose, damaged or clogged.
  • Don’t overload the dryer.
  • Don’t use a wire screen or cloth to cover the wall damper. They can collect lint and clog the dryer vent.
  • Don’t dry anything containing foam, rubber or plastic. An example of an item not to place in a dryer is a bathroom rug with a rubber backing.
  • Don’t dry any item for which manufacturers' instructions state “dry away from heat.”
  • Don’t dry glass fiber materials (unless manufacturers' instructions allow).
  • Don’t dry items that have come into contact with anything flammable like alcohol, cooking oils or gasoline. Dry them outdoors or in a well-ventilated room, away from heat.
  • Don’t leave a clothes dryer running if you leave home or when you go to bed.

Mold can grow anywhere.

5/17/2017 (Permalink)

Mold can grow anywhere, where the conditions are right for it.

Mold becomes a problem inside a home or business when there's excessive humidity or moisture present. It doesn't have to be present for an extended period. It can take just a few days for microbial growth to form. The problem can originate from a sudden water release, like a burst pipe or large spill that goes untreated, or from a chronic condition, such as a leaking roof or plumbing. Even high humidity or warm, moist air condensing on cool surfaces can trigger mold problems. It's always best to have the mold evaluated by a state licensed Industrial Hygienist and removed by a state certified professional.

Mold can grow almost anywhere in a home or business if conditions permit. If there is visible growth on painted wall surfaces, property owners should be concerned about what may be growing behind the wall as well. The environment inside the walls of a house often differs drastically from the environment on the outside, and could create a perfect haven for microbial growth. If the wall remains wet for a prolonged period, it's almost guaranteed that the mold growth on the back of the drywall could be worse than what you can see on the front. At that point, containing the work space and removing moldy materials, followed by cleaning of salvageable framing, are the best options.

Certified professionals have the training and experience to:

  • Identify moisture sources
  • Evaluate mold growth (visible or suspected)
  • Contain damage to the smallest area possible
  • Physically remove contamination
  • Dry materials to ensure that mold will not return
  • Perform or recommend procedures for returning property to preloss condition

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830) 379-7474 for all your cleaning, water damage, fire damage or mold mediation. 

Smoke and Soot Facts

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and Soot travel to rooms that were not even affected by the fire, and they cause their own damages.

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830) 379-7474 for all your cleaning, fire damage, water damage or mold mediation needs!

What to do During a Fire!

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Do not Panic! Stay calm get out of the house in an orderly fashion.

What to do during a Fire! 

  • Crawl low under any smoke to your exit - heavy smoke and poisonous gases collect first along the ceiling.
  • When the smoke alarm sounds, get out fast. You may have only seconds to escape safely.
  • If there is smoke blocking your door or first way out, use your second way out.
  • Smoke is toxic. If you must escape through smoke, get low and go under the smoke to your way out.
  • Before opening a door, feel the doorknob and door. If either is hot, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If there is smoke coming around the door, leave the door closed and use your second way out.
  • If you open a door, open it slowly. Be ready to shut it quickly if heavy smoke or fire is present.
  • If you can’t get to someone needing assistance, leave the home and call 9-1-1 or the fire department. Tell the emergency operator where the person is located.
  • If pets are trapped inside your home, tell firefighters right away.
  • If you can’t get out, close the door and cover vents and cracks around doors with cloth or tape to keep smoke out.  Call 9-1-1 or your fire department. Say where you are and signal for help at the window with a light-colored cloth or a flashlight.
  • If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop, and roll – stop immediately, drop to the ground, and cover your face with your hands.  Roll over and over or back and forth until the fire is out.  If you or someone else cannot stop, drop, and roll, smother the flames with a blanket or towel.  Use cool water to treat the burn immediately for 3 to 5 minutes.  Cover with a clean, dry cloth.  Get medical help right away by calling 9-1-1 or the fire department.

Escaping the Fire

  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut. Make sure security gratings on windows have a fire safety opening feature so they can be easily opened from the inside.
  • Consider escape ladders if your residence has more than one level, and ensure that burglar bars and other antitheft mechanisms that block outside window entry are easily opened from the inside.
  • Teach family members to stay low to the floor (where the air is safer in a fire) when escaping from a fire.
  • Clean out storage areas. Do not let trash such as old newspapers and magazines accumulate.

Fire Escape Planning for Older Adults and People Access or Functional Needs

  • Live near an exit. You'll be safest on the ground floor if you live in an apartment building. If you live in a multi-story home, arrange to sleep on the ground floor, and near an exit.
  • If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure you get through the doorways.
  • Make any necessary accommodations, such as providing exit ramps and widening doorways, to facilitate an emergency escape.
  • Speak to your family members, building manager, or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.
  • Contact your local fire department's non-emergency line and explain your special needs. Ask emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.
  • Keep a phone near your bed and be ready to call 911 or your local emergency number if a fire occurs.

 

The worst places to stand in a lightning storm.

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

Lightning is not predictable! Don't get caught with out a plan of action.

What is the worst place to be during a Lightning storm? 

Standing in the middle of the wave pool at Starke Park holding a metal rod into the air would probably be the most correct answer for our area, but listed below are some more practical places to avoid when lightning strikes. 

Under a tree

When a thunderstorm suddenly hits an open outdoor area, people naturally look for shelter. However welcoming a tall, isolated tree may seem during a downpour, it’s best to stay clear of it if you hear thunder.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, lightning will typically strike the tallest object in a given space, as it requires the shortest distance between a cloud and the object with a positive electrical charge. Trees are also likely to be struck by lightning because the water and sap inside some of them acts as a conductor.

Inside, talking on a land-line phone

Being at home or inside a building when a thunderstorm hits is the best place to be but it doesn’t mean immunity from lightning strikes. Weather safety experts recommend staying away from plumbing, walls that may have electrical wires and the telephone when lightning is in the area.

According to the National Weather Service, talking on a land-line phone during a storm is one of the leading causes of lightning-related injuries in the U.S. Using a computer that's plugged into a power source can also lead to injuries. 

On open farmland

Any open space is a bad place to be during a lightning storm but farmers seem to be especially susceptible to fatal strikes. Some of the most common activities victims are engaged in include herding livestock and baling hay, according to the NWS.

Outside, a few minutes after a storm passes

Many lightning-related injuries occur once the weather has cleared, as people step back outside. Bolts can strike miles away from a storm and for this reason, it’s recommended to wait 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder before going back outside.

On a covered porch

Covered shelters are fine for protection against rain but they don’t protect against lightning strikes. The same goes for open garages or carports, where it’s safer to be inside a car with the windows up. Any shelter that isn’t fully enclosed, with a roof, walls and a floor, isn’t a safe place to be during a lightning storm.

In a tent

Campers have limited options when a lightning storm hits but staying inside a tent is one of the worst options. According to Environment Canada, “Lying on the ground in a tent during a lightning storm would maximize the chances of being hurt.” Experts recommend getting inside a hard-top car with the windows up in one of these situations.

Water damage - The Do's and the Don'ts

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

When in doubt - Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830)379-7474 for all your cleaning, water damage, fire damage and mold mediation!

No one wants to come home to a flooded basement or to wake up to the sound of a broken pipe spraying water on valuable furniture and household possessions.  However, the possibility of water damage occurring in your home very real.  Whether it is pipe damage or a weather-related issue that is the cause, it is important to arm yourself with some basic knowledge to deal with this type of emergency before it happens.

Here are a few tips to help in the event of water damage in your home:

  • First, ascertain whether it safe to stay in the house.
  • Make sure there are no active electrical devices or outlets immersed in or near the water.
  • Note that wet floors are slippery and “slip and fall” hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Keep in mind that wet materials can be VERY heavy.
  • Have your plumber’s phone number ready and available.
  • Contact your SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830-379-7474) for complete restoration.

While waiting for your SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties Professional to reach your location, here is what you CAN do:

  • Shut off the water
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
  • Turn air condition on for maximum drying in the Summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects and other prized possessions to a safe, dry place
  • Gather loose items from floors.

What NOT to do After Flooding:

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water
  • Don't use television or other household appliances
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging

Never try to fix a broken pipe by using tape or plumbing putty.  Broken pipes are a serious problem, which should be handled by a professional. SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties Professionals are on standby 24 hours daily to help home and business owners with complete cleanup. Our goal is to help you regain control and repair any damage, “Like it never even happened.”

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830) 379-7474 for all your cleaning, water damage, fire damage and mold mediation needs!

 

Mold Remediation: A Brief Overview

3/16/2017 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for all your cleaning, water damage, fire damage & mold remediation needs!

When you find yourself experiencing a mold infestation, the most effective and appropriate solution is to attain professional mold remediation services. As many remediation experts know, leaving your mold issue unaddressed may cause health effects while also compromising the structural integrity of your property. To learn more about mold and why attaining mold remediation services is so important, consider the following overview:


What Causes Mold?
Mold can begin to grow and thrive on a residential or commercial property for several reasons. For example, natural disasters like fires and flood almost always result in substantive water damage. Because mold grows in moist, water-rich environments, properties impacted by natural disasters are almost always an excellent breeding ground for the unwanted fungus. Pipe leaks also result in the type of water damage that can become the perfect environment for unwanted mold. When mold infestations become so profound that normal removal procedures are ineffective, a specialized modality referred to as mold remediation is required.


What Is Mold Remediation?
Although defined broadly, mold remediation is the process of eliminating mold that measures over 10 square feet. Unlike traditional mold removal methods, Louisiana mold remediation must be implemented by a professional team of experts who possess the specialized tools and techniques to expedite and optimize the elimination process.


The Mold Remediation Process
When you call a professional mold remediation company, they will use precautionary containment procedures in conjunction with industrial chemicals to prevent contamination and further spread of mold spores. The only individuals who should ever complete the mold remediation process are industry professionals who utilize the right equipment, including the ideal breathing apparatus.


Prior to cleaning up the mold spores, your property will be contained through the use of plastic sheeting. The sheeting possesses the level of thickness necessary to preclude any microscopic spores from escaping and invading other areas. The remediation specialists will then use specialized equipment to complete the cleanup and repair processes. Some of the specialized equipment utilized will include an HEPA filtered vacuum, industrial strength cleanser, and a wet vacuum. In the event that you are experiencing plumbing issues or roof leaks that generate mold, you may need to call another specialist. After completing the mold remediation process, your professional remediation specialist will work with you to determine whether any of your furniture and books are salvageable or will require replacement.


Conclusion
If you find your residential or commercial property subjected to mold infestation, it's time to call a team of excellent, efficient remediation specialists. To attain the optimized, expedited remediation care that you deserve, trust the professionals of SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties. For many years, we've helped people eliminate unwanted mold and restore their property to its original, pristine state. Call us at (830)379-7474 immediately so that we can do the same for you!

What to do if you suspect Mold.

3/15/2017 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

 If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830) 379-7474 for all your cleaning, water damage, fire damage or mold mediation. 

Water Damage Timeline

3/15/2017 (Permalink)

It is best to know and not need information then to need and not know the information you need.

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties at (830) 379-7474 for all your cleaning, fire damage, water damage and mold mediation needs!

Air Scrubbers on Water Damage & Mold remediation jobs

3/15/2017 (Permalink)

2 of our Air Scrubbers.

Air scrubbers are a very beneficial pieces of restoration equipment that can be used on a variety of jobs. So what exactly is an air scrubber and how does it work?

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties uses only Dri-Eaz DefenedAir HEPA 500 air scrubbers. These are top of the line scrubbers. The HEPA 500 is a portable filtration system that draws air in from the surrounding environment and passes it through an advanced filtration system. The unit removes airborne particles like dust, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, and miscellaneous debris.

The HEPA 500 uses an efficient mix of airflow and filtration to create "cleaner" air. The unit's motor draws air into two types of filters - a pre-filter and a HEPA filter. The first stage of filtration captures larger particles, and the second stage of filtration captures 99.97% of smaller particles down to 0.3 microns.

While air scrubbers are typically used on water damage and mold remediation jobs, they are useful on post construction cleaning, general cleaning jobs, and fire damage restoration jobs. For fire damage restoration a charcoal pre-filter can be used to help scrub the air and reduce smoke odor. 

 

Fire Prevention Tips

3/13/2017 (Permalink)

Accidents are part of life. We don't know when one will occur but we can have a plan in place when it does.

 Most home fires occur in the kitchen while cooking and are the leading cause of injuries from fire.  Common causes of fires are at night are carelessly discarded cigarettes, sparks from fireplaces without spark screens or glass doors, heating appliances left too close to furniture or other combustibles.  These fires can be particular dangerous because they may smolder for a long period before being discovered by sleeping residents.  

 
Home fires are preventable!  The following are simple steps that each of us can take to prevent a tragedy. 
 
Cooking
  • Stay in in the kitchen when you are frying, grilling or broiling food.  If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove. 
  • Wear short, close-fitting or tightly rolled sleeves when cooking. 
  • Do not cook if you are sleepy, have been drinking alcohol, or have taken medicine that make you drowsy. 
  • Keep children away from cooking areas by enforce a "kid-free-zone" of 3 feet around the stove. 
  • Position BBQ grills at least 10 feet away from siding or deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. 
Smoking
  • If you smoke, smoke outside.  Most homes fires caused by smoking materials start inside the home.  Putt your cigarettes out in a can filled with sand. 
  • Make sure cigarettes and ashes are out.  The cigarette really needs to be completely stubbed out in an ashtray. Soak cigarettes butts and ashes in water before throwing them away.  Never toss a hot cigarette butts or ashes in the trash can.  
  • Check for Cigarette butts, Chairs and sofas catch on fire fast and burn fast.  Don't put ashtrays on them. If people have been smoking in the home, check for cigarettes under cushions. 
  • Never smoke in a home where oxygen is used.  even if its turned of.  Oxygen can be explosive and makes fire burn hotter and faster. 
  • Be alert - don't smoke in be!  If you are sleepy, have been drinking, or have taken medicine that makes you drowsy, put your cigarette out first. 
Electrical and Appliance Safety
  • Frayed wires can cause fires.  Replace all worn, old or damaged appliance cords immediately and do not run cords under rugs or furniture. 
  • Buy electrical products evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters laboratories (UL)
  • If an appliance has a three-prong plug, use it only in a three-slot outlet.  Never force it to fit into a two-slot outlet or extension cord. 
  • Use electrical extension cord wisely; never overlaid extension cords or wall sockets. 
  • Immediately shut off, then professionally replace, light switches that are hot to the touch and lights that flicker. 
Portable Space Heaters 
  • Keep combustible objects at least three feet away from portable heating devices.  
  • Buy only heaters evaluated by a nationally recognized laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL).  
  • check to make the portable heater has  thermostat control mechanism, and will switch off automatically if the heater falls over. 
  • check with your local fire department on a legality of kerosene heater use in your community. 
  • Only use crystal clear K-1 kerosene in kerosene heaters.  Never overfill it.  Use the heater in a well-ventilated room.  
Fireplaces and Wood stoves 
  • Inspect and clean wood stove pipes and chimneys annually and check monthly for damage or obstructions. 
  • Never burn rash, paper or green wood. 
  • Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks. 
  • Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to be. 
  • Store cooled ashes in a tightly sealed metal container outside the home. 
Children
  • Take the mystery out of fire play by teaching children that fire is a tool not a toy. 
  • Store matches and lighters out of children's reach and sight, preferably in a locked cabinet. 
  • Teach children not to pick up matches or lighters they may find.  Instead, they should tell an adult immediately.  
  • Never leave children unattended near operating stoves or burning candles, even for a short time. 
  • Check under bed and in closets for burned matches, evidence your child may be playing with fire. 
More Prevention Tips 
  • Avoid using lighted candles. 
  • Never use the range or oven to heat your home. 
  • Replace mattresses made before the 2007 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard.  Mattresses made since then are required by law to be safer. 
  • Keep combustible and flammable liquids away from heat sources.  
  • Portable generators should NEVER be used indoors and should only be refueled outdoors or in well ventilated areas. 
 
If you do have a fire, we at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties are here to help.  Give us a call (830) 379-7474 for all our Fire & Smoke Damage, Water damage and Mold mediation. 
 

Storm Basics

3/10/2017 (Permalink)

Storms can be very dangerous in Central Texas. Also have a Severe weather plan for your family.

Storm Basics 

 A Thunderstorm is a rain shower during which you hear thunder.  Since thunder comes from lightning, all thunderstorms have lightning.  A thunderstorm is classified as "severe" when it contains one of or more of the following: 
  • Hail
  • Winds in excess of 58 mph
  • Structural wind damage 
  • Tornado
Also, make sure you remember the difference between a Storm WATCH and Storm WARNING. 
 
Watch vs. Warning
A severe Thunderstorm Watch means that the potential exist for the development of thunderstorms which may produce large hail or damaging winds.  A watch is issued by the SPC (Storm Prediction Center).
A severe Thunderstorm Warning means that a severe thunderstorm is occurring or is imminent based on Doppler radar information or a reliable spotter report.

Tornado Facts
 
Tornadoes are arguable nature's most violent storms.  Generated from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes generally appear as rotating, funnel-shaped clouds extending from the cloud base to the ground.  With winds that can reach up to 300 miles per hour, tornadoes can cause massive destruction with seconds.  Damage paths can be excess of a mile wide and fifty miles long. 
  • The average tornado moves southwest to northeast, but tornadoes have been known to move in any direction. 
  • The average forward speed of a tornado is 30 miles per hour, but may vary from stationary to 70 mils per hour. 
  • Tornadoes are most frequently reported east of the Rocky Mountains during spring and summer months. 
  • Tornadoes are most likely to occur between 3 pm and 9 pm. 
(Tornado facts and Storm tips are provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) 

Flood Tips

3/10/2017 (Permalink)

Always know your surroundings! Water rises quickly, and may catch you off guard, if you are not prepared.

We at SERVPRO  of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties want to make sure you have the knowledge you need to get through any flooding situations that may come our way.  This page explains what actions to take when you received a flood watch or warning alert from the National Weather Service from your local area and what to do before, during and after a flood. 

 
Before it Floods: 
Make a Flood Plan! 
  • Know your flood risk
  • Make a flood emergency play. 
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies. 
  • Consider buying Flood insurance. 
  • Familiarize yourself with local emergency plans. Know whereto go and how to get there should you need to get to higher ground, the highest level of a building, or to evacuate. 
  • Stay tuned to your phone alerts, TV or Radio for weather updates, emergency instructions, or evacuations orders. 
Basic Safety Tips 
  • Turn Around, Don't Drown! 
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters 
  • Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can seep your vehicle away. 
  • If there is a chance of flash flooding, move immediately to higher ground.  Flash floods are the #1 cause of weather-related deaths in the US. 
  • If floodwaters rise around your car but the water is not moving, abandon the car and move to higher ground.  Do not leave the car and enter moving water! 
  • Avoid camping or parking along streams, river, and creeks during heavy rainfall. These areas can flood quickly and with little warning. 
 

Flood Watch 

Flood Watch - "Be Aware" Conditions are right for flooding to occur in your area. 
Steps to take 
  • Turn on your TV/Radio. You will receive the latest weather updates and emergency instruction. 
  • Know where to go.  you may need to reach higher ground quickly and on foot. 
  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit.  Include a flashlight, batteries, cash and first aid supplies. 
Prepare Your Home
  • Bring in outdoor furniture and move important indoor items to the highest possible floor.  This will help protect them from flood damage. 
  • Disconnect electrical appliances and do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.  You could be electrocuted. 
  • If instructed, turn off your gas and electricity at the main switch or valve.  This helps prevent fires and explosions. 

Flood Warning

Flood Warning = "Take Action!" Flooding is either happening or will happen shortly. 
Steps to take 
  • Move immediately to higher ground or stay on high ground. 
  • Evacuate if directed 
  • Avoid walking or driving through flood waters. Turn Around, Don't Drown! Just 6 inches of moving water can knock you down, and 2 feet of water can seep your vehicle away. 
After a Flood
  • Return home only when Authorities say it is safe. 
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris.  Flood waters often erode roads and walkways. 
  • Do not attempt to drive through areas that are still flooded. 
  • Avoid standing water as it may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.  
  • Photograph damage to your property for insurance purposes. 

 

If you have storm damage to your home or property, call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties (830) 379-7474.  Timely mitigation is key to minimize secondary damages caused by flooding. 
 
Flood tips are provided by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)

Questions & Answers

2/27/2017 (Permalink)

  1. Who do I call in the event of an emergency?

No matter how large or small your loss may be, it is the best idea to call SERVPRO as soon as possible to minimize as much damage as we can. We are open 24/7 (even major holidays) and here to help you through this very stressful and difficult time. We have a “1-4-8” policy which means our company will return your call within 1 hour, be onsite within 4 hours and update the insurance agent/adjuster within 8am.

  1. What if the loss happens at 2am?

Call SERVPRO! Let’s face it; disasters never happen when you are sitting at home on a Sunday afternoon. They happen when you’re at work or on the beach. No matter the time of day or night, we will be ready to make it “like it never even happened.” Program our number into your cell phone, so in the case of an emergency our number is readily available. Our office number is 830-379-7474 and is answered 24/7.

  1. How long will I be displaced from my home?

This very much varies on the severity of the loss, but most times, homeowners are able to stay in their home while we mitigate.

  1. If I stay in my home, how loud will all of the equipment be?

This depends on how many pieces of equipment we will leave at your house. They can get a little loud so talk to your adjuster about your options.

  1. What about all of my valuables? How will I know who will be in my home?

All of our employees are heavily background checked. We do not allow, nor tolerate any type of theft. We pride ourselves on hiring well-mannered and honest employees.  However, we ask that all items of value like jewelry, guns and ammo be removed or secured we begin work.

  1. What should I do if I would like to file a claim on my insurance?

Call your local agent and tell them that SERVPRO has been onsite to assess the damage and then we will be in contact with your agent or adjuster within 8 hours.

  1. Is there a job that is too large for you to manage?

Absolutely not! We have dried out the Emergency Room at the Weimar hospital which is a 12,000 square foot facility along with traveling to storm impacted areas such as Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Ike, Polar Vortex in Mississippi and the massive flooding in Detroit. We are equipped and ready for your large loss or commercial facility.

  1. What can I do before you arrive?

 Access the “Until Help Arrives” menu on our homepage and follow tips provided for your fire, water, mold or bio hazard loss. 

Vandalism and Graffiti

11/10/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales can help you if your building has been hit by Vandalism or Graffiti.

Vandalism and graffiti can be very upsetting. It can range from relatively minor pranks to malicious destruction of property. Often simple acts of vandalism, like breaking a window, can cause significant water and mold damage if not addressed in a timely manner.


Need Vandalism and Graffiti Cleanup Services?
Call Us Today at (830) 379-7474


SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales will act quickly to remove vandalism and graffiti from home and commercial spaces. In addition to removing spray-painted graffiti from exterior walls, they can also clean driveways, walkways, asphalt, metals, wood, glass, plastic, and masonry. Their highly trained technicians can offer the following services as well:


Commercial Cleaning

11/10/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales is equip to handle your business.

COMMERCIAL CLEANING

You don’t have time to worry about the common wear and tear that gradually soils your office. When grime, odor, and moisture challenges go beyond the scope of your regular janitorial staff, call SERVPRO Guadalupe & Gonzales 830-379-7474. Whether it’s removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can rely on SERVPRO Professionals to make your workspace look its very best.

Your local SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales, l will get the job done right and get it done quickly, because the SERVPRO Advantage includes these benefits:

  • Award-winning training
  • Over 7 years’ experience in the industry
  • More than 100 exclusive cleaning products

Have Questions? Call Today 830-379-7474

Specialty Cleaning Services

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales offer cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. They have the specialized training and products to get your property back to business. Their cleaning services include the following:

 

Fire Damage Restoration Process

11/10/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales can help you restore after a fire.

FIRE

Fires can be especially devastating to your home or business. After the fire trucks leave, your property will likely suffer from not only fire and smoke damage, but also widespread water damage and flooding from firefighting efforts. SERVPRO Guadalupe and Gonzales have specialized fire and water damage restoration training and experience to quickly clean up and restore your home to pre-fire condition. They also can remove the pervasive smoke odor and deep-clean soot from upholstery and carpet. 

SERVPRO Guadalupe & Gonzales

 

The Fire Damage Restoration Process

SERVPRO Franchise Professionals know just how devastating a fire can be. Fire and water damage can leave your house unsafe and unlivable. They’re trained to clean and restore your home with as little disruption as possible. Learn more about the fire damage restoration process.

Step1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Fire Damage Assessment

Step 3: Immediate Board-Up and Roof Tarp Service (if needed)

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (if water damage is present)

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

Step 6: Cleaning and Repair

Step 7: Restoration

 

Do you have a Cricket odor problem?

11/8/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales can help get rid of the odor after the crickets are removed.

As experts in deodorization, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties are trained to identify and eliminate offensive odors. These odors can come from a number of sources both inside and outside a structure.


SERVPRO teaches IICRC technical classes in the proper removal of odors. Masking and other short cuts don't work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.


Your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional has the training and equipment to identify and eliminate these offensive odors. By identifying the cause of the odor and determining the conditions in which it contacts any surfaces, the odor can often be removed over time without a trace.


The science of identifying and eliminating odors can be a tricky thing, so give your local SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales a call at 830-379-7474 and leave the restoration to us.

What do you do before and after a Fire?

11/8/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe and Gonzales can help after a Fire.

What you can do until help arrives

Water Tips  |  Fire Tips   |  Biohazard Tips   |  Mold Tips

After any fire damage situation, your primary focus should be safety:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

Have A Fire or Smoke Damage Emergency?
Call 830-379-7474

What To Do After A Fire

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpets.
  • Keep hands clean so as not to further soil upholstery, walls and woodwork.
  • Place clean towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator and prop doors open.
  • Clean and protect chrome with light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
  • Wash houseplants on both sides of leaves.
  • Change HVAC filter.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers.

What NOT To Do After A Fire

  • Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces or shampoo carpet or upholstery without contacting your SERVPRO Franchise Professional.
  • Don't attempt to clean any electrical appliances that may have been close to fire, heat or water without consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Don't use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored near the fire, heat or water.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. The wiring may be damaged.
  • Don't send garments to an ordinary dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

Faster to any size Disaster

11/8/2016 (Permalink)

When the severe storm rolls out...we roll in.

No Job Is Too Large


The SERVPRO Commercial Large Loss Division is composed of our best of the best in restoration. Our elite large-loss specialists are prequalified and strategically positioned throughout the United States to handle any size disaster.


Every large loss is supervised by a commercial operations manager to help ensure seamless communication and timely mitigation.


At SERVPRO, the difference is our ability to dispatch trained production professionals and cut costs through the strategic placement and oversight of temporary labor. Get the professionals, call SERVPRO.


Clients for the Commercial Large Loss program include the following:



  • The Hospitality Industry

  • Property Managers

  • Universities

  • Municipalities

  • The Pentagon


Should a storm or major event strike, in our area call 830-379-7474


Catastrophic Storm and Major Event Response


The SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Team can provide help whether you're dealing with a tornado, hurricane, blizzard or flood. The SERVPRO System has a network of strategically positioned storm teams on standby should a disaster strike near you. Available 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales we are prepared for the unpredictable.


With the ability to mobilize local command centers, along with the resources of more than 1,700 Franchises nationwide, no disaster is too big. Recent mobilizations of the Catastrophic Storm Response Teams include:



  • 2014 Polar Vortex

  • 2012 Sandy

  • 2010 Nashville floods

  • 2008 Ike

  • 2007 Chicago floods

  • 2007 Ohio floods

  • 2007 California wildfires

  • 2005 Katrina/Wilma/Rita

SERVPRO has some awesome equipment, like this Legend Brand Electro-Gen Fogger

11/8/2016 (Permalink)

Legend Brand Electro-Gen Fogger

When do we use the Electro-Gen Fogger?

Use to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles, etc. after fires or from other malodors. Use for deep penetration of deodorizers where cleaning cannot reach.

How it works:

Thermal fogging uses heat to convert liquid into fig of extremely small droplets. That fog is able to penetrate much like the smoke from a fire to deodorize.

Features:

Durable, compact design

Can be used for both thermal fogging and cold mist spraying

Produces a true "dry fog"

Fog application rate of 1000 cubic feet per minute

Can be used with solvent-based and SERVPRO Aqua fog water-based fogging products. Other water based products should be used for cold spraying only.

Adjustable metering knob.

Thermostatically controlled heating element provides operating temp. of 450 degrees to 525 degrees

Heating chamber barrel can be removed for cold mist spraying applications.

Spun aluminum three quart capacity solution

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales has some awesome equipment to take care of our clients needs. Call us at 830-379-7474.

Got Mold? ...We can help!

11/8/2016 (Permalink)

Who you gonna call if you have Mold? Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Co.

Do you have Mold in your home?

Any home or business can quickly become infested with mold with the introduction of a water source, like a roof or plumbing leak. Mold can spread throughout a property in as little as 48-72 hours, and can produce allergens and irritants that have the potential to cause other health effects.  

If you suspect that your home or business has a mold problem, SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales can inspect and assess your property. If mold is found, they have the training, equipment, and expertise to handle the situation.

Understanding Mold

Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air, and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or on a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. 
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return. 
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If you have Mold, we at SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales can help!

Call us at (830) 379-7474

 

Water Damage strikes fast...So does SERVPRO!

11/2/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe and Gonzales can help!

When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. SERVPRO of Guadalupe and Gonzales respond immediately and use advanced equipment and techniques to remove the water quickly. They closely monitor and document the drying process to verify your property is dried properly and thoroughly.

The Water Damage Restoration Process

Every water damage situation is a little different, and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our process for the “typical” water damage emergency.

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment

Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction

Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification

Step 5: Cleaning and Sanitizing

Step 6: Restoration

Common Water Damage Scenarios

Water damage can have many sources, from loose appliance hoses to natural disasters. Regardless of the source, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals can handle any size disaster.

SERVPRO of Guadalupe and Gonzales Counties, we are here to help you. You can reach us at (830) 379-7474 and we are available 24/7 for emergency situations.

Grout and Tile cleaning

11/1/2016 (Permalink)

Wow, what a big difference cleaning grout can make!

Why Should I Have My Tile and Grout Cleaned?

Just like carpet, dirt builds up over time dulling your tile’s appearance and discoloring your grout. A thorough, professional tile & grout cleaning is the only way to remove the deep-down dirt.

Cleaning tile floors by hand is hard work. It’s messy, uncomfortable—and impossible to get the deep-clean results that come with professional tile and grout cleaning. That’s because grout, which is a porous material, collects dirt, grime and spills, often discoloring the surface. Regular mopping and spot cleaning don’t reach the hidden dirt that lies deep within the pores of your grout lines. Our professional tile and grout cleaning service restores the luster to your floors, making them look like new.

How do we clean your tile?

We use a high pressure rotary tool with dual rotating jets. This is combined with the same truck-mounted steam/pressure cleaning we use to deep clean your carpet. We use tile and grout specific cleaners that strip away any waxy build-up and remove the dirt embedded in the grout lines.

Tips For Tile and Grout Cleaning

  • Always vacuum/sweep before mopping to eliminate as much dry soil as possible.
  • Always rinse after you mop.
  • Avoid bleach and other harsh chemical cleaners that might break down sealants.

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe and Gonzales Counties at (830)379-7474 for an estimate.

https://www.facebook.com/SERVPRO9770/videos/1526884554005194/

Biohazard, Vandalism, and Crime Scene

11/1/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe and Gonzales can help!

SERVPRO is recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies nationwide. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals 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 Guadalupe and Gonzales 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. We are equipped with the necessary safely equipment and cleaning products, SERVPRO Franchise Professionals help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe homes and offices. Professionals at SERVPRO of Guadalupe and Gonzales can help with:

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

State and local regulations vary. Contact SERVPRO Guadalupe and Gonzales at 830-379-7474 for 24 hour Emergency service.

 

When the Severe Storm rolls out...we roll in.

10/27/2016 (Permalink)

Lighting storm

During the Storm

  • Use your Battery Operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from you local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones. Use a corded telephone only for emergencies. Cordless and cellular telephones are safe to use.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. Unplug appliances and other electrical items such as computers and turn off air-conditioners. Power surges from lighting can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash dishes and do not do laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.
  • Avoid natural lighting rods such as a tall, isolated tree in an open area.
  • Avoid hilltops, open fields. The beach or a boat on the water.
  • Take shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
  • Avoid contact with anything metal- tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs and bicycles.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers unit heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.

What is lurking in your ducts?

10/27/2016 (Permalink)

Time to clean those Air Ducts...

Sweeping Away Years of Dust and Dirt- Reducing Potential for Damage and Health Risk

Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the duct work should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC system has been operating for sometime without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.

SERVPRO Duct Cleaning Process:

  • The process begins by using patented equipment including a Roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct’s shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
  • Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
  • Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the environment clean.
  • As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
  • Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

(ERP) Emergency Ready Profile

10/20/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe and Gonzales we are here for you 24/7 days a week.

Did you know that 50% of businesses may never reopen after suffering a damage?  Of the ones that do survive, the majority have a preparedness plan in place.  Pre-planning can serve as an insurance policy aimed at peace of mind.

Having a plan in place not only lets you know how to handle emergencies timely and efficiently but helps speak trust to your clients and employees by knowing that should your business be affected by a disaster, they don't necessarily have to be.

Advantages of having an ERP:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas, and priority contact information.
  • Establishes SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.

No one ever plans on a disaster, but you can plan for it. Now is the time to ask yourself, "Are you Ready for whatever happens?"

Call us today at 830-379-7474 to set up a free appointment and get started.

Putting Out A Fire Can Be Worse Than The Fire Itself

10/20/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties is here to help.

The first 48 hours after fire damage can make the difference between restoring versus replacing your property and personal belongings. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals provide timely response with mitigation services ranging from fire, smoke and soot removal to contents claims inventory and document restoration.

What you can do until help arrives:

* Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from spreading and additional damage from occurring.

* Place clean towels or old linens on rugs and high traffic areas and upholstery.

* Coat chrome faucets, trim and appliances with petroleum jelly or oil.

* Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.

* Do not wash any walls or painted surfaces.

* Do not shampoo carpet or upholstery.

* Do not send clothing to a dry cleaner since improper cleaning may set smoke odor.

 SERVPRO professionals are available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help you regain control quickly! 

Water Damage - Emergency Tips for your Home

6/14/2016 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties for your water damage needs.

These emergency tips will assist you in taking the proper action to help reduce damage until SERVPRO of Guadalupe & Gonzales Counties arrives. 

DO:

-Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.

-Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.

-Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

-Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

-Pick up items off of the floor that can be salvaged and set to dry in an unaffected area.

-Remove and prop up wet pholstery cushions for even drying.

-Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

DON'T:

-Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.

-Leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause staining.

-Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining. 

-Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.

-Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are saggin from retained water.

Our New Green Giant

3/17/2015 (Permalink)

2014 Ram ProMaster

At the beginning of 2015, we were proudly able to add a 2014 Dodge Ram Promaster to our fleet of vehicles here at SERVPRO of Guadalupe and Gonzales Counties. The eye-catching van is painted with SERVPRO’S signature green color and Guadalupe and Gonzales Counties written in bold letters on each side. The Promaster boasts a six speed automatic transmission and contains over 460 cubic feet of cargo capacity. “What is great about the Promaster, is that it is able to hold cargo while being covered which is especially important during the Hill Country’s wet winters”, Owner Carrie Simon says.  “It is also tall enough to have a 6ft tall person stand completely upright!” Considering Owner Channing Simon and Production Manager Cole Salyer are above 6 feet tall, this is a must! The vehicle also has rear doors that swing open 260 degrees, folding almost flat to the side of the van allowing optimum loading capability. Our Office Manager, Whitney Jackson excitedly says that she loves the Promaster and its comfortable cabin because, “It’s easy for short people to drive!” 

We service a 70-mile radius from Seguin and Gonzales regularly, not to mention the customers that we assist all the way down to Schulenburg and up to Helotes, so our spacious van has over 7,500 miles on it as of today.  Owner Channing Simon doesn’t mind putting so many miles on the vehicle because he says that it is, “A walking billboard.”  Along with our Promaster, we house a Ford 150 with an extended bed, a Chevrolet Silverado painted in our signature green, a GMC Box Truck that is also painted, a Texas Sierra Chevrolet and a Chevrolet Tahoe. These vehicles lend us the ability to tackle large loss situations in the event of a corporate facility’s water or fire loss and our adventures all around the country to help with Storm efforts.  Our Promaster is always on the go so if you see us driving along, give us a honk, and we hope to be in your town soon making it, “Like it never even happened.” 

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