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How To Keep Your Pets Safe From Fires

4/24/2022 (Permalink)

Pomeranian dressed as fire fighter Fire drills should include steps for rescuing pets.

How To Keep Your Pets Safe In The Event Of A Fire

A fire emergency in your home is a frightening experience. When this happens, the last thing you want to worry about is whether Fido and Fluffy are okay. Even if services from a residential fire restoration company become necessary, the expense and inconvenience of building repairs are minor compared to the heartache of losing a family pet. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your cuddly critters remain protected from flames.

Firefighters and Pets

Easing the job of firefighters is one way to increase pet safety. Improve their ability to rescue furry friends by:

  • Enclosing pets near main entrances when possible
  • Keeping leashes nearby and collars on them
  • Placing information about your pets inside a front window

The easier you make a life for those responding to a fire emergency in Northwest Hills, TX, the greater the likelihood your fur babies will escape unharmed.

Fire Prevention and Pets

Having animals in your home requires taking safety measures beyond those required of homeowners without furry companions. Good pet preparation mandates that you put all your four-legged friends’ paperwork into one, easily accessible spot. This increases your ability to escape fires with essential documentation in hand.

Fire drills should include steps for rescuing pets. Assign family members to specific animals. Choose the individual most likely to be near each one in the event a fire breaks out when people are home.
Take measures to prevent dogs and cats from starting fires. This is especially important for younger pets. Confine them to limited spaces with baby gates or place them in crates while away.

Remove stove knobs so that curious noses do not accidentally turn on burners. If you enjoy candles, consider investing in a flameless alternative.
A household fire emergency is a frightening proposition, made worse by the fear that your pets’ lives may be in danger. Use these recommendations to help keep fur babies safe and secure.

3 Ways to Mitigate Wind Damage

4/19/2022 (Permalink)

Sheet metal on a roof damaged by heavy winds. Heavy winds caused severe roof damage in North Loop, TX.

Three Ways To Limit Wind Damage

Damage caused by wind can occur alongside storm damage or separately due to strong gusts. In the worst-case scenario, wind damage to the roof, windows, or any other part of a commercial structure could result in a roof leak or expose the interior. Here are three ways to limit wind damage to the exterior and interior of a commercial building located in North Loop, TX.

1. Inspect a Structure for Wind Damage

After a windstorm subsides, the owner or manager of a commercial building can identify several signs of damage. Missing shingles may be evident on a pitched roof or on the ground. It may also be helpful to go up on the roof or arrange for a professional roof inspection after windy weather.

2. Board Up or Tarp Over Breaches

Any breaches in a structure should be covered. While missing roofing materials may lead to a roof leak, a broken window or damaged door can leave a building open to the intrusion of flying debris, rain, or trespassers. Board up accessible openings in a building or use tarps and anchor boards to prevent rain from penetrating into damaged roofing until repairs take place.

3. Restore Damage As Soon As Possible

It is a good idea to repair a damaged roof or other types of damage caused by wind sooner rather than later. Even if high winds are expected to continue, a well-maintained or recently repaired structure may be less susceptible to repeated damage, whereas a structure that has already sustained damage may suffer more severe storm damage.
High winds can cause a roof leak and damage the enclosure of a commercial building in North Loop, TX. If loose flashing or the failure of a window or door compromises any part of a structure, storm damage restoration will be necessary to address external problems that expose a building's interior to storm damage.

6 Pieces of PPE for Mold Removal

4/8/2022 (Permalink)

Technician wearing protective gear while removing mold Personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary to protect the professionals when they remove mold.

Personal Protective Equipment for Mold Removal

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is necessary to protect the professionals when they remove mold from a location. This is because mold spores can easily become airborne, inhaled, and travel to other sites. Fortunately, the professional in Rosedale, TX, wear all the PPE they need.

1. Gloves

Disposable latex gloves are necessary to keep the hands free from hazards during the cleanup process. If an individual is allergic to latex, they must wear nitrile or vinyl gloves instead.

2. Hair Covers

A disposable hair cover is going to resemble a shower cap. They prevent mold spores from landing in a worker's hair and being transferred to another location. These covers will be removed before the individual leaves the worksite and replaced with a new one anytime someone enters the contaminated area.

3. Shoe Covers

Shoe covers are disposable booties that go over work boots. They are also necessary to ensure mold is not tracked outside of the worksite. Like hair covers, they will be removed anytime someone leaves the contaminated area and replaced with a fresh pair when they return.

4. Goggles

Safety goggles are worn to protect the eyes. This is important because it keeps the eyes from being scratched or otherwise damaged. They also keep harmful chemicals from splashing into the eyes. These are necessary, and you will see them on any restoration team.

5. Masks

A face mask or respirator is worn to keep mold spores and debris from being inhaled. This is often considered one of the most important pieces of equipment used to protect someone that is removing mold.

6. Tyvek Suits

Some professionals choose to wear disposable Tyvek suits over their regular clothing. This is typical for commercial jobs. It makes it easy for workers to remove their clothing before leaving a site. This prevents them from spreading mold spores to the rest of the building.

A professional remediation company will only undertake a remediation job involving mold growth once they have donned the proper PPE. They will come prepared with all of these safety items. This keeps the workers safe. It also prevents mold spores from traveling to other locations.

Are Storm Shutters Right for You?

3/24/2022 (Permalink)

White storm shutter on brick wall of a house Storm shutters are simply coverings designed to protect your windows during a storm.

With heavy storms a relative rarity, it’s easy to forget about the damage they can cause. However, it takes one round of pelting rain and high winds to remind you. One of the simplest ways to protect your property is to install storm shutters. These subtle additions can make all the difference for your Allandale, TX home.

What Are They?

Storm shutters are simply coverings designed to protect your windows from gusts and debris during a storm. Common along with hurricane-prone coastal areas, they come in several styles:

  • Bahama style - typically propped open with a pole
  • Colonial style - often decorative and typical in colonial-style homes
  • Accordion style - a seamless version that you can easily pull closed
    We know some of the types, but what are their benefits?

They Are Cost-effective

There are plenty of steps you can take to protect your home against storms, such as high-impact windows. However, when it comes to something affordable, it’s hard to do better than window coverings.

They Increase Home Value

This addition is believed to increase your home’s resale value - especially if you live in a storm-prone area. Imagine the relief a potential buyer of your home would feel knowing there are built-in safeguards against the high winds, hail and debris of a storm. An added benefit is that they are attractive and timeless.

They Lower Insurance Costs

Insurance companies are getting increasingly strict about coverage for homes damaged by storms. If you live in a coastal area especially, storm damage seen as preventable might not be covered.
Window coverings are an attractive and affordable addition to your home that also bring the added benefit of protection from high winds in a storm. Whether you’re coastal and face hurricanes or inland and just deal with the occasional storm, any storm cleanup professional will tell you that shutters are one of the easiest and best ways to get your house through the weather intact.

Fire Sprinkler Inspections and Testing: What You Need To Know

3/19/2022 (Permalink)

Fire sprinkler It is important to schedule and tests your fire sprinklers.

Fire Sprinkler Inspections and Testing

As a business owner, you have a responsibility to your employees and your customers to keep them safe in the event of a fire or other disaster. Though you cannot prevent disaster from occurring, you can mitigate injuries and loss with the aid of a properly working fire sprinkler system. To ensure your fire suppression system is working properly, you should perform routine inspections and tests.

How Often Should You Inspect Your System?

Because there are various components of your sprinkler system, you should abide by an inspection schedule. The National Fire Protection Association provides a simple guide you can use when examining your sprinkler components:

Weekly or Monthly: Inspect the gauges in the deluge, pre-action and dry systems once a week. Gauges on the wet system can undergo inspections once a month.

Quarterly: You should inspect the alarms on a quarterly basis. Alarms include the valve supervisory alarms, water flow alarms, control valves, supervisory signals and hydraulic nameplates.

Annually: On an annual basis, examine the pipes, fittings, hanger/seismic bracing and information signage. You should inspect the backup fire sprinkler system once a year as well.

Every Five Years: An internal inspection of your sprinkler system is only necessary once every five years.

How Often Should You Perform Sprinkler Tests?
In addition to performing routine inspections, you should also test the various components of your fire suppression system. Below is a testing schedule by which you should abide:

Quarterly: To ensure your devices are ready to work in the event of a fire, you should test all the mechanical devices on your system on a quarterly basis.

Semiannually: On a semiannual basis, you should test the pressure switch and vane devices.
Annually: You should perform a thorough test on an annual basis. This should be a complete systems test, and your maintenance technician should perform physical examinations of all components of your system.

Every Five Years: If your system is exposed to extremely high temperatures and harsh conditions, you should inspect or replace all gauges on your system every five years.

For more information regarding fire sprinkler testing and maintenance, consult with your local fire unit. For fire sprinkler cleanup, contact your Tarrytown, TX fire damage remediation team.

Common Questions After a Commercial Flood

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Clean commercial bathroom, clean toilet, clean sink This commercial bathroom was restored after a sewage backup.

Frequently Asked Questions Following a Commercial Flood

No business wants to shut down services, even in the midst of a disaster, but sometimes, putting up with a temporary interruption is necessary for the health and safety of the workers and customers. For example, flood water from a sewage backup, like a toilet overflow, is not something you want employees or consumers treading through.
Instead, it is vital to close down the affected areas, if not the entire company, until a water damage restoration company in Hyde Park, TX, can assess the damage. There are at least questions most business owners will ask in this situation.

1. What Is Category 3 Water?

Category 3 water is also known as black water. It is highly toxic and should not come into contact with your skin or insides. The water typically stems from sewage backups when coming from internal sources and contains a mixture of bacteria, chemicals, and other hazardous materials.

2. How Do You Clean Up After a Water Disaster?

Cleaning up category 3 flood water is similar to cleaning up after any other water disaster, except there are more precautionary measures. A disaster response crew will first address any problems contributing to the overflow. Then, they will remove the excess water using pump trucks or other methods. Finally, they will dry, disinfect, and clean the area.

3. Is Restoration Possible?

While it is impossible to comment on the uniformity of restoration capabilities, many properties can be saved. Do not assume your commercial property isn’t fixable until a professional tells you it can’t be saved.
Flood water stemming from a sewage backup or toilet overflow is often classified as category 3, meaning it is hazardous. You should never attempt to clean a category 3 disaster on your own; instead, you should use experienced professionals, ensuring you, your workforce, and consumers remain safe and out of harm's way. While a water disaster can seem overwhelming and beyond repair, never give up until a professional says it’s time.

Preparing Your Business for Flood Damage

2/26/2022 (Permalink)

External drive connected to a computer Back up data to physical drives.

Flood Damage Preparation for Your Business

Flooding often occurs quickly and unexpectedly in Saratoga, CA. It can devastate everything in its path from single-family residences to commercial buildings. Advanced planning can help prepare for this catastrophic event and minimize the effects on your business.

Building Preparation

Preparing the physical premises in advance of flooding can reduce damage and contribute to getting daily operations back to normal faster, once the floodwaters recede. Identify whether your building is in a flood zone and take the presence of black water into consideration when creating your plan.

1. Check your insurance policies to confirm that you have coverage for floods, lost revenue and/or business interruption. Add-ons may be recommended.

2. Install flood shields around the doors, windows and ventilation shafts.

3. Have flood-related systems in place for use during the emergency. This can include installing portable pumps flood water removal and adding generators as well as battery-powered emergency lighting for use as alternate power sources.

Business preparation

Preparing the business adequately in the event of an emergency can be as important as taking steps to prepare the building in which it’s located. Data, contacts and employees can be kept safe and modified daily operations may continue even if the building is inaccessible.

1. Back up data to physical drives or the cloud for off-site accessibility.

2. Research and designate a location or multiple locations for business-critical operations. This can include employee homes, temporary office space or a local coffee shop.

3. Prepare and disseminate a company evacuation plan for orderly withdrawal from the premises. Designate a common muster location or process to ensure everyone gets out of the building safely.

Flooding can occur in Saratoga, CA, due to acts of nature or infrastructure failures, such as dams breaking or sewer backups. Water restoration specialists can help you put a plan in place that can help you prepare for flood damage as well as the ensuing cleanup.

How To Restore Your Belongings After Water Damage

2/21/2022 (Permalink)

black mold growth on baseboard Standing water can lead to mold growth.

How To Restore Your Belongings After They Have Been Flooded

Water in home settings can be devastating, whether it comes from leaking pipes or backed-up drains or toilets. While there may be nothing you can do to prevent your items from becoming waterlogged in the event of an unexpected water leak, there are some things you can do to restore your belongings after water damage occurs. Here are a few ways you can clean up various items in your Campbell, CA, home.

1. Separate Items

Before you officially begin the cleanup process, separate your items into those that are porous and nonporous. Porous materials may include wood, paper, rugs and other types of fabric. Generally, these are more likely to harbor mold and bacteria from broken pipe water, so it’s important to clean them quickly. Nonporous items are usually much easier to clean since they don’t absorb water and are less likely to harbor bacteria and mold.

2. Dry-Clean Non-Porous Items

Dry cleaning may be appropriate when removing light water residue from non-porous items in your home. Items can also be dry cleaned before floor restoration professionals come in and thoroughly clean your items.

3. Air-Dry When Appropriate

If you’re not dealing with hazardous water, such as sewage, it may be appropriate to gently air-dry most of your belongings. If possible, do so indoors unless the weather outdoors is ideal. You can increase the airflow inside your home with the use of open windows, air conditioners and fans.

4. Toss Dangerous Items

Depending on the nature of floodwater in home settings, it may be dangerous to keep saturated items. If there is a high likelihood of the floodwater containing harmful bacteria, it may be best to throw away contaminated objects. In other cases, professionals may be able to safely clean and salvage some of your valuables.

While you may be able to clean some of your belongings that water has damaged in your home, safety should always be your top priority whether you’re dealing with a broken pipe or a sewer backup. For help with dry-cleaning or salvaging contaminated items, it’s best to wait for professional help to arrive.

Is Storm Damage The Same As Flooding?

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial roof damaged by heavy winds Heavy winds and storms caused severe roof damage to this building.

Storm Damage and Flood Damage: What's the Difference?

When it comes to commercial property insurance coverage, there are significant differences between storm damage and flood damage. General policies cover most damage caused by storms but exclude flooding. Learn more about these two types of damage.

Damage Caused By Storms

Many storms come with weather conditions such as high winds, heavy rain or snow. Coastal locations may also be at risk for hurricanes and tropical storms, and tornadoes can pose a threat to inland areas. Regardless of the type of storm, a property may sustain several types of damage:

  • Broken windows
  • Hail damage
  • Roof leaks
  • Structural damage

Commercial property insurance should cover all of these forms of damage. A policyholder can increase the likelihood that an insurer will cover a claim by keeping detailed maintenance records and submitting photographs or video footage of the portion of a structure affected by a storm.

Damage Caused By Floods

The term "flood" is used to designate water that comes from outside. This may include several different sources:

  • Heavy rain
  • Rising bodies of water
  • Overflowing sewer mains

Most standard insurance policies exclude flood damage. Owners of property located on a flood plain should obtain a flood policy through the National Flood Insurance Program or a rider on a commercial property policy. Additional coverage will probably be necessary for sewer damage caused by a backup.

Covered Perils and Exclusions

Most forms of storm damage should be covered by a commercial property policy. Building owners should familiarize themselves with the terms and limits of this coverage to determine whether to take out supplemental policies or riders. Additional coverage will probably be necessary for cleaning up and remediating flood or sewer damage.

These are the main distinctions between storm and flood damage. A property insurance policy, flood policy, and endorsements can cover the costs of damage mitigation and restoration at a commercial building in Leander, TX.

Is Mold Damage Covered By Rental Insurance?

1/31/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wooden structure Mold growth in a home in Cedar Creek, TX.

Mold Removal

Rental insurance policies may include automatic endorsements for mold damage or exclude this type of damage. These policies generally cover damage to a tenant's personal property. When it comes to a rented property, tenants are only liable for mold resulting from a leak that they have caused. Here are a few considerations for renters pursuing mold removal.

The Cause of the Damage

Renters insurance should cover damage caused by a leak that is beyond the tenant's control. A policyholder may need to provide proof of several conditions:

  • The presence of water damage
  • No personal liability for damage
  • Proof of mitigation

A tenant should notify a property owner of the presence of a leak in a timely manner and try to prevent mold growth. Rental policies should also cover contents exposed to water damage, which is likely to be a precursor to mold.

The Terms of a Policy

Tenants should carefully review the terms of a rental insurance policy. Some policies feature automatic endorsements for several problems resulting from water damage:

  • Mold
  • Fungus
  • Rot

If these conditions are carved out of a policy, the cost of mold removal will not be covered. Remediating damaged contents out-of-pocket may still be less expensive than replacement.

Ways To Mitigate Damage

Tenants' responsibilities for rental properties are limited. As long as a tenant does not cause a leak or another source of water damage that results in mold, his or her primary duty is to notify a landlord about a problem before mold becomes an issue.

Rental insurance may or may not cover the cost of restoring damage caused by mold at a residence in Cedar Creek, TX. Coverage for water damage is more likely. Report primary damage to a property owner or manager and take measures to prevent mold growth. If a policy provides any coverage, these measures may make it easier to file a claim.