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Prepare for Hurricane Season

5/2/2022 (Permalink)

hurricane damaged home on a beach with sand and palm trees in Ft. Worth, Texas SERVPRO of East Arlington is a proud and active member of this community and is ready to respond to your Texas home emergency 24/7.

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Atlantic hurricane season runs roughly from June 1 thru November 30 each year, with September holding the spot for the peak hurricane month. While, technically, hurricanes can wreak havoc any time of the year, this is the time to be on your guard the most. With that said, there are several ways to prepare for these storms during the off-season so you are not caught unawares.

Stock Up on Essentials

You'll want to prepare for the loss of electricity and the ability to cook by stocking up on water, bread, non-perishables, and items you can eat without heating. Also, make sure you have:

  • Extra batteries for flashlights or headlamps,
  • Portable chargers and cables for cell phones,
  • Candles with matches. 

Check Your Insurance

If you live in a hurricane-prone region, make sure your insurance covers flooding and other expenses you may incur because of a Texas hurricane.  

Make a Video of Your Home

If your home is damaged from hurricane winds and water, a home inventory video will help prove the pre-storm state of your home and make insurance claims processing easier. It would also be beneficial to make electronic versions of important documents related to your home and your personal information in case the originals are destroyed in the storm. Include digital files of documents such as your:

  • Birth certificate
  • Driver's license
  • Home's deed
  • Social security card

Protect Your Property

Install hurricane shutters or plywood of at least 3/4 inches in thickness. You may need to install hurricane clips to secure the roof of your home to the walls. This is important in areas that may receive a direct hit, and install foot and head bolts on all doors.

Make an Evacuation Plan

When it is time to evacuate, go. Make a plan for where you and your family will stay at least 50 miles from your Texas home. If you can, pre-pack a bag before the threat of an Atlantic hurricane is severe. Load it with clothes, blankets, food, water, electronics, and important papers or photos.

Use These Tips

Don't Take Risks. Ultimately, people are more important than things. People hurt in hurricane weather evacuate late or stay in their homes altogether. Be wise and get out early. Prepare in order to mitigate panic and this kind of risky behavior. 

We Help with Hurricane Recovery

We live and work in this community; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated cleaning, damage restoration, and construction business, SERVPRO of East Arlington is a proud and active member of this community and is ready to respond to your Orlando home emergency 24/7/365. Call us today at (682) 708-1001.

How to Reduce Pet Stress During a Storm: Evacuation Plan

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

group of animated animals under the words "emergency evac" Follow these simple measures to reduce your pet’s stress.

Plan For Your Pets

Inclement weather or fires can happen with or without notice. Creating an emergency plan can help prevent damage to your home and belongings and protect you and your loved ones - including pets! When putting a plan together, it’s important to plan for their needs as well. 

Make an Evacuation Plan

Remember, if you must evacuate due to an emergency, the area is likely not suitable for your pets either. Your evacuation plan should consider where your pets will be taken, if not kept with you, and how best to transport them. Make a list ahead of time of pet friendly hotels or friends’ houses along your evacuation route and near your final destination. Know that some hotels and shelters do not accept animals. 

You also might want to build an emergency travel kit for your animals. This will save time and worry when you must evacuate. 

Items to include in your pet's emergency kit:

  • A completed Emergency Pet Passport containing important information like your pets’ veterinarian contact info, medical needs, license/chip info, photos, etc.
  • Leash, harness, and carrier with blanket to transport animals
  • A few portions of a suitable non-perishable food, water bowl, bottled water, and can opener
  • Cat litter and pan or bags for excrement
  • Medications
  • Toys

Don’t Have to Evacuate? 

If evacuation is not necessary, there are still some things you can do to reduce your pet’s stress in an uncomfortable situation like a thunderstorm.

Pet Stress Symptoms

Pets may exhibit signs of stress and anxiety that can be alleviated by simple measures. Some of these symptoms include whimpering, hiding, pacing, or shivering. These symptoms may be caused by a variety of factors including pets’ greater sensitivity to sounds and air pressure.

As stress increases, symptoms may become more severe. Follow these simple measures to reduce your pet’s stress:

  • Remain calm as an owner
  • Create a comforting space for them in a smaller room like a closet or under a blanket
  • Close blinds and curtains
  • Keep them in their normal routine, if possible

Read more storm and pet related articles here.

Floods Happen, Here's What to Expect

3/27/2022 (Permalink)

white text on an orange background covering a blurry picture of water, SERVPRO logo, text says Flood damage is more than wate Floods happen. Call SERVPRO of East Arlington for a free estimate at (682) 708-1001.

An Unexpected Flood, Now What?

Unless a house is in a floodplain, it might be unexpected that a creek would rise to flood levels, especially if it has never flooded before. However, sometimes it does and the house becomes a muddy mess of debris, water, and extensive damage. Moving homes might be the first thought to come to mind. For others, repairing the home and continuing to live in their house is the only option.

Flood damage is more than just the standing water. It's ruined clothes, toys, and keepsakes; it’s washed away memories, financial troubles, anxiety, and uncertainty. SERVPRO understands that because we handle disasters, damages, and people going through hardships—daily. We try to help you in every way we can. Part of that help comes in the form of disaster cleanup. We work with you and your insurance to make sure you can get back into your home as soon as possible.

Water in the home or business is just the start of the problems. Without proper clean-up and sanitizing, mold can grow, floor damage can be permanent, and drywall can be ruined. It is imperative to start the restoration process quickly in order to help limit the extent of damage and mounting costs. 

What To Expect

Water cleanups begin with bringing in equipment to extract the water in the home. Pumps and specialized vacuums are used to suck up the water. Restoration is a process. Once the puddles have been cleared, the next step will begin. The water damage will be on the walls, floors, and furnishings. Drying is imperative to help stop the damage and to prevent mold from growing.

Fans, dehumidifiers, and other equipment will be brought in to help dry out the water in walls and moisture from furnishings and floors. Thoroughly drying water in the home will save thousands of dollars’ worth of damage later. Sanitation of anything that touched the potentially hazardous floodwater and odor elimination is next.

After the restoration process of water cleanup, drying, sanitizing, and odor elimination, there is still one last step in the water damage mitigation process —repairs. The food waters have the potential to damage anything in came in contact with. The drywall may need to be replaced. Electrical outlets and wiring should be checked and fixed. Water in a business may have warped sub-flooring, damaged floor joists, and wrecked major appliances.

Professionals who know how to deal with the devastation left behind are the best option for quick, safe, no hassle restoration. Since professional water damage restoration companies have the equipment and training to handle cleaning, drying, and even rebuilding homes and businesses, they should be the first choice for water mitigation.

Floods happen. Call SERVPRO of East Arlington for a free estimate at (682) 708-1001.

Fast Water Cleanup to Avoid Secondary Damages

3/27/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO production technician squatting near the ground looking up at the ceiling, wearing a hard helmet, exposed walls Some of these problems manifest in the staining of fabric, buckling of floors, swelling of wooden door casings—sometimes causing doors to not fit

Avoid Secondary Damages

In the aftermath of a flood, property and contents become susceptible to extensive water damage that can adversely impact your home. Water damage is different from other types of property damage in that it becomes progressively worse with each passing minute. Water seeps into objects until saturation, so the quicker a professional is able to get to the site and clean up, the less damage incurred, essentially. Water damage also has secondary effects that can be avoided with proper, thorough water damage cleanup:

Floodwater Secondary Damages

  • Mold and mildew proliferation in walls, furnishings, and carpets
  • Growth of microorganisms that cause rotting in wood and fabric.
  • Odors that become progressively worse or permanent
  • Warped, soaked, unusable drywall
  • Malformed, smelly wood and furniture
  • Tarnished and rusted metal
  • Electronic components become waterlogged and fail

As these problems begin to surface, the chance of recovering your home and restoring its original value can decrease drastically. 

Water Seeps Into Porous Materials

More problems can surface from water seeping into porous surfaces. Some of these problems manifest in the staining of fabric, buckling of floors, swelling of wooden door casings—sometimes causing doors to not fit in their frames, peeling wallpaper or paint, and adhesives that lose their bond with ceramic tile. 

Why a Professional?

Property, contents, and home occupants are at risk of contaminants in the water and air after a flood. Exposure to contaminants can pose a variety of health effects. However, you can limit initial damage to your home and health by immediately calling in a water damage restoration company such as SERVPRO. The rapid execution of the water removal process helps protect the health of your household members from deteriorating. 

A professional team of technicians quickly attacks the source of flooding and its secondary damages before any of it becomes a serious, health-compromising issue in your home. 

Additionally, SERVPRO can offer a wealth of other cleanup services that help restore your Texas residential property to its preloss condition. You can then resume living in it without fear or anxiety. With extensive industry experience, we know how to take a nerve-wracking water situation and make it, “Like it never even happened.” And that's why we work with experience and excellence to eliminate all issues that negatively impact your abode.

Locally Owned and Operated

We live and work in Texas too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of East Arlington is close by and ready to respond to your water or flood damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be.

We know that water and flooding emergencies can happen any time, so we’re ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – including holidays. Call Us Today – (682) 708-1001.

Preventing Water Damage on Vacation

3/27/2022 (Permalink)

woman walking along beach at sunset with text box "Avoid a Vacation Disaster" If you experience water damage while you are away from your home, contact SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast as soon as possible at (682) 708-1001.

7 Steps to Preventing Water Damage While Away

According to a study done by the Insurance Institute, homeowners' highest insurance claims are water damage. Leaky or busted pipes and appliances cause millions of dollars in damage during freezing weather and storms. Leaky pipes don't take a vacation when you do and can burst, generating hundreds of dollars of repairs. Prevent water damage while your on vacation by using this checklist: 

Step 1. Check for Leaks Before Going on Vacation

Check pipes under your sinks and the water heater for any rust, cracks, or damage. You should check the seals by your windows to make sure there are no cracks. Additionally, check the exterior of your house and see the condition of your roof shingles. If any show damage, getting them replaced before leaving for vacation is a good idea.

Step 2. Inspect Your Major Appliances

You must inspect the hoses connected to essential appliances in your home, such as dishwashers, washers/dryers, and refrigerators.

Step 3. Clear Out Your Gutters

Make sure to get any debris out of your rain gutters before leaving for vacation. This way, you won't have any blockages that can cause overflows which can lead to foundation problems and water damages while you're away.

Step 4. Inspect Your Sump Pump

Make sure it is in good condition and clear any debris from clogging the pit. Run a few tests, listen to the sounds it makes, and ensure that the pump's water is going outside. Install a battery-powered backup in case there is a power outage while you're away.

Step 5. Insulate Exposed Pipes

If you plan on being away from your home during the winter, it can be a good idea to insulate any exposed pipes. This will prevent them from freezing while you are away.

Step 6. Get Someone to Check on Your Home

Call a friend or hire a professional house sitter to check on your home every week while you are gone. Instruct them to ensure that the heat is always on if your vacation is during the winter. Also, show them where the water main is in case of an emergency.

Step 7. Ease Your Mind By Turning Off the Water

Lastly, if you cannot find someone to check on your home, you should turn off the water main. Drain the pipes so that they do not freeze or burst during the colder months. To do this, run the water and flush your toilet after you turn off the water. Open the cabinets under your sink to let the warm air surround the pipes.

If you experience water damage while you are away from your home, contact SERVPRO of Tampa Southeast as soon as possible at (682) 708-1001.

4 Easy Tips to Prevent Water Damage

3/27/2022 (Permalink)

wood planks on ground covered in water, servpro logo in corner We’re ready 24/7 – including holidays to help your commercial business recover from sprinkler water damages.

Water damage is one of the most costly disasters your home or business can experience. The Insurance Information Institute estimates that billions are spent on water damage each year. View these suggestions from SERVPRO of East Arlington for preventing water damage

Be careful where you plant.

Some plants and trees, like weeping willows, have pretty invasive roots. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines.

Clean out roof gutters.

On a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some severe water damage So next time you’re doing some seasonal cleaning, make sure those gutters are clean. If your gutters are too high, be safe, and get a professional to check them.

Use a drain snake instead of unclogging chemicals.

Most folks don’t realize these chemicals are eating away at their pipes (and they might not be too good for you either). If you rely on them a lot, you could be setting yourself up for leaks. That’s why owning a drain snake is an excellent solution to clear away clogs. They’re pretty inexpensive, you can get them at your local hardware store, and they can cut through most any clog you’ll have without damaging pipes or making your eyes red and teary.

Never pour grease down your sink.

It doesn’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water; grease can still cling to your pipes and could even cause some severe damage and blockage. The safest thing to do is pour your grease into an empty can and either let it sit or put it in the refrigerator. Once it hardens, you can toss it in the trash and get rid of it. Done and done. However, we know that water and flooding emergencies can happen any time, so we’re ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – including holidays. Contact us at (682) 708-1001.

Why is My Smoke Alarm Beeping?

3/27/2022 (Permalink)

smoke alarm on ceiling, white, smoke from below, graphics of the word "beep" three times, servpro logo in corner It is crucial to check your batteries in your fire alarm frequently.

In addition to potentially causing significant fire damage, flames and smoke can endanger the lives of everyone inside your home. A properly functioning fire alarm can alert you to danger and help save lives. For this reason, every household should have this lifesaving device.

Sometimes, however, a smoke detector may act sporadically, chirping loudly or going off despite the absence of smoke. Often, there is a simple explanation for this erratic and—let’s be real, annoying!—behavior.

Why Is My Smoke Alarm So Annoying?

Weak Battery

Batteries have a limited lifespan. A chirping alarm may indicate that your device needs a new battery.

Improperly Installed Battery

A loose battery or terminal obstruction may cause your fire alarm to chirp intermittently. Use the self-check button on your smoke alarm to ensure the battery works after installing.

Dirty Sensing Chamber

Dust and dirt can sometimes obstruct the sensing chamber, resulting in a false alert. To help prevent this problem, you should routinely wipe your detectors with a dusting cloth.

Interference From Steam

Steam can also interfere with your detector’s sensing capability. This may be a particularly challenging problem for units located near bathrooms. To help reduce the likelihood of an inadvertent alert, close the bathroom door while showering and turn on the fan.

Interrupted Power Supply

An interrupted power supply may also cause erroneous beeping. You should examine each detector’s wiring for loose connections. If you notice lights dimming spontaneously, especially when an appliance is in use, contact a licensed electrician to help you inspect your home’s wiring.

End of Lifespan

Did you know your smoke detector can essentially expire? The average lifespan for most smoke detectors is 8 – 10 years. After this period, the unit’s sensing capacity may diminish, reducing its effectiveness. If an older device is chirping, it may be time to replace it with a new one.

A fire alarm may not spare your home from a destructive fire or smoke damage, but this valuable safety device may one day save your life. To help safeguard your well-being, you should promptly investigate a chirping detector and replace batteries, or the entire unit, as needed.

Call SERVPRO of East Arlington if you have smoke or fire damage, (682) 708-1001.

Home Fires and Smoke Damage Aftermath

3/27/2022 (Permalink)

barn type building caught on fire, flames soar above it, wood slats visible We have helped hundreds of families recover from house fire damages and our fire damage repair and restoration specialists have years of experience.

Fire Damage Consists of More Than Flames

The damages from flames after a fire are not the only damages incurred. Flames can move throughout the home quickly, burning and ruining every item in their path, but once the flames have been extinguished, the home is left with soot and smoke damages, too. Smoke damage can completely devastate a home if not properly and swiftly addressed. In fact, smoke damage can occur in rooms where the flames were not even present.

With so much attention placed on the flames, people often overlook the dangers linked to smoke damage. The following are some of the most common issues of smoke damage after a home fire:

  • Toxic air
  • Smoke odor in upholstered furniture, drapery, clothing, carpets, and in the air
  • Charring
  • Warped plastic
  • Warped wood
  • Yellow stains on walls and ceilings
  • Household textiles covered in soot

Salvaging items that have smoke damage is a complicated issue. A smoke damage expert will need to assess the home and the impacted items to determine what can be saved. In addition, smoke damage experts will tackle lingering smoke in less obvious places like crevices and cracks where particles may linger, since the smell can last for months following a fire.

Smoke Damage is as Dangerous as Fire Damage

During a fire, the materials that burn produce toxic smoke filled with microscopic particles known as soot. These tiny particles become charged from the extreme heat and migrate to cooler air found in other parts of the house, forming soot webs. Because this smoke is often scorching, it can cause additional damage by melting plastics, scorching fabrics, and textiles and spreading toxic gasses that will kill any living thing in its path. That's why smoke alarms throughout your home are critical to saving lives.

Don’t Grab, Just Go.

The Department of Homeland Security says, "In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can [...] turn into a major fire…Most deadly fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because the fire spreads too quickly, and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape."

Call Us Today for a FREE Fire Damage Estimate

Restoring smoke and fire-damaged items costs less than replacing them. We love when we can restore your belongings, especially items with sentimental value. Call SERVPRO of East Arlington at (682) 708-1001, for a free fire damage consultation. We have helped hundreds of families recover from house fire damages and our fire damage repair and restoration specialists have years of experience.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

3/20/2022 (Permalink)

men in hazmat suits walking into a commercial building, photo taken from above, SERVPRO logo Do you need proactive cleaning of your commercial property? Call SERVPRO of East Arlington today at (682) 708-1001.

SERVPRO is Here to Help®

During unprecedented times caused by the global pandemic, our customers reminded our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services. We adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Years of Experience and Training

SERVPRO of East Arlington is prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work of a regular janitorial staff.

The CDC encourages cleaning high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables.

Commercial Cleaning Checklist:

  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevators
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment
  • Specialized Products

A helpful tip that we use when cleaning is to mentally walk through an environment—if a person would touch it in any way—we clean it. This is especially helpful when determining the precise part of an object to clean. When cleaning a door, for example, the most important parts to clean are the handles, but also the flat surfaces right above the handles. People often push open doors on their flat surfaces, not just where handles are present.

The CDC recommends the 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. Some of our product line is available on Amazon.

Do you need proactive cleaning of your commercial property? Call SERVPRO of East Arlington today at (682) 708-1001.

Is SERVPRO the Mold Professional I Need?

3/20/2022 (Permalink)

two men in white hazmat suits, walking toward camera in industrial building, SERVPRO employees, cleaning mold, with masks on SERVPRO of East Arlington are experts in both water damage and mold mitigation and remediation.

SERVPRO is the Mold Professional You Need

Everyone knows a very high percentage of the rain that falls during the year falls in the spring. In Texas, we get through the storms and heavy rain by looking forward to the beautiful bluebonnets they help produce along our highways and rural fields.

Heavy rains can cause water damage in homes. Sometimes this damage occurs in a vacation home or in an area of the home that is not discovered until days, weeks, or months later, giving mold a chance to grow and really dig its roots.

Every mold damage scenario is different, and requires a unique solution, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate our “typical” process:

  1. Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  2. Mold Containment
  3. Air Filtration
  4. Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  5. Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  6. Restoration

SERVPRO of East Arlington is available 24 hours a day 7 days a week to help if you notice or suspect mold in your home or business. Call us today at (682) 708-1001.

If you see visible mold, do not touch or disturb the mold or suspected mold growth. 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. We suggest you: stay out of affected areas, turn off the HVAC system and fans, and contact a mold professional.

Qualified Mold Remediation Specialists

SERVPRO of East Arlington 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 fix your mold problem quickly and safely.

SERVPRO of East Arlington are experts in both water damage and mold mitigation and remediation.

Our professional technicians will restore your water damage or mold issue while providing excellent customer service.