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Can Pruning Trees Prevent Storm Damage from Fallen Trees?

11/8/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth lists tips for pruning trees to prevent damage to the home when severe weather hits.

SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth is sharing five tips for pruning a tree to promote strong branches and reduce the potential for storm damage from broken limbs. Trees add real value to a home. A well-planned and well-pruned treescape creates a beautiful setting for the home, and the trees produce shade from the hot summer sun. According to HGTV, “Several recent nationwide surveys show that mature trees in a well-landscaped yard can increase the value of a house by 7 percent to 19 percent.”

Unfortunately, trees can also create serious risk hazards for the homeowner and for neighbors if the trees are not well managed. Occasionally, severe weather in the form of thunderstorms, hail, heavy rain, floods, and high winds roll through an area. Some trees survive the intense weather with negligible damage. A few small limbs fall on the roof and the ground, causing no damage to the home. Other trees suffer serious damage, including the loss of large limbs or significant sections of their branching structure. Damage may be catastrophic, with trees splitting in two or shearing off at the trunk. The services of qualified tree professionals are required to reshape the tree or remove it.

A tree weakened by disease is a risk to the property owner and to neighbors. An unpredictable limb shed makes the tree dangerous. The best and safest solution may be to remove the tree before the dynamics of severe weather cause the tree to drop large limbs or topple over. Preventive measures are available to homeowners to help trees withstand the forces of extreme weather and avoid storm damage.

Tip #1. Prune limbs to create strong branch angles.

Deciduous trees such as oaks and maples may have branches that are too close together. The narrow angles between these limbs and branches create a weak point in the limb structure of the tree. Both the trunk and the crown can exhibit this situation. When two branches grow this close to each other, neither branch can add enough wood to make the limbs strong and resilient to storm damage. The limbs create a weak joint that can easily succumb to the stress of high winds. The solution is simple. If the branches are accessible and the tree is young, the homeowner can remove one of the two branches. The best branch strength is achieved when branch angles are at 10 o’clock or 2 o’clock.

Tip #2. Prune to promote strong branch and trunk strength.

A tree needs balance. When balance and weight distribution are at odds, a tree can suffer limb and trunk damage. Moderate aggravation from storm conditions is all that is needed to send a tree crashing into a home. Branches on the side of the tree should be no more than 1/2 to 3/4 of the trunk width. Larger branches cannot be supported by the trunk and become a serious risk hazard when exposed to strong winds, ice, or snow.

Tip #3. Prune for stability.

Wind, ice, snow, sleet, or previous loss of a prominent limb can cause a situation where the center of gravity is not directly over the trunk. The tree responds under the slightest amount of wind pressure or extra weight with limb breaks, a broken trunk, or a toppled tree, including the roots. The selective removal of branches on the leaning side of the tree can realign the center of gravity and stabilize the tree. The tree is beautiful and safe for years to come.

Tip #4. Remove problem branches, suckers, water sprouts, and temporary branches.

When branches rub together, the friction causes wounds and decay that can lead to disease. The solution is to remove one of the branches. Water sprouts and suckers grow at the base of the trunk or inside the crown, and these branches do not add to the beauty of the tree but only serve to drain resources. For best results, remove these useless branches as soon as possible.

Temporary branches do not grow very high on a tree, and they serve to protect the tree from the sun. After year three or four, remove the temporary branches. Leaves are vital for survival, so when pruning, do not prune more than one-third of the leafy crown of the tree.

Tip #5. Do not prune branches to stubs.

New branches will emerge from the edges of the stub, and because these branches cannot unite firmly with the stubbed branch, the new branches will likely sustain damage in the future. Remove a branch where it connects to the main branch or to the trunk. Never leave a stub.

For more information about storm damage restoration and flood restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth by phone at (817) 741-5737. The damage restoration company can be reached by email at office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com.

Tips for Operating a Pellet Stove Safely and Avoiding a Fire Damage Disaster

11/8/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth highlights tips on how to safely operate a pellet stove and minimize the potential for fire damage.

Since home heating appliances are a common cause of home structure fires and fire damage in the United States, homeowners who rely upon a pellet stove for home heating should observe the proper precautions to protect against fire damage. Home heating equipment accounts for approximately 50,000 home structure fires and nearly $1 billion in property damage each year. After a fire, water damage restoration services may be needed as well. However, if the homeowner abides by fire safety practices when operating the pellet stove, the fire risk can be reduced.

1. Use top-quality pellets

A reliable source of high-quality pellets can be challenging to find for the pellet stove owner. A lack of regulation and standardization in quality control leaves the consumer at the mercy of the pellet manufacturer. Investigation into the various options can prove fruitless and, at times, frustrating.

One solution often recommended is to use pellets from a secondary pellet manufacturer. A secondary pellet manufacturer produces pellets as a byproduct of the primary business. An example would be lumber, furniture, or flooring business. The benefit of using pellets from these businesses is that the sawdust typically comes from better-quality wood that has been kiln-dried. Primary pellet manufacturers will use sawdust from a variety of wood sources, but the pellets will be inconsistent in quality.

All pellets need attention to preserve their quality. These quality control tips will keep stove pellets in excellent condition and ready for use.

  • Store pellets in a dry location such as a basement, shed, or garage.
  • The storage bin should be away from the elements.
  • If the only alternative is to store the pellets outside, keep them off the ground. Put a moisture barrier (a piece of plastic) between the pellets and the ground. Cover the pellets with a heavy-duty tarp or thick mil plastic to protect against rain, snow, and ice.

Pellets that are low quality or laden with moisture are difficult to ignite, and slow ignition can cause the burn pot to become overloaded. The excessive amount of slowly burning pellets can suddenly ignite, causing a small explosion inside the stove. Great care should be taken when it appears that such a scenario might develop when lighting the pellets.

2. Practice regular stove maintenance to keep the stove clean and safe

Homeowners need to be aware of the importance of keeping the pellet stove clean. Poor maintenance is a leading cause of pellet stove fires. Fly ash, a very fine ash residue, can collect in the flue and ash traps. At high temperatures, ash will melt. When temperatures drop below the melting point, the ash solidifies. The hard residue buildup can cause a blockage, and ash buildup can clog the air intake holes. These blockages can cause the pellet stove to malfunction, resulting in a fire inside the body of the stove. This potentially dangerous fire can spread to the hopper holding the pellets.

Regular maintenance should include the following tasks:

  • Inspect the burn pot for buildup.
  • Empty the ash pans as needed.
  • Examine the flue for any accumulation of fly ash and creosote.
  • Clean air filters as needed.
  • Vacuum any sawdust from the hopper.

3. Have an emergency battery backup system in case the power goes off

When the power goes off, the stove fire continues to burn, but the blower fans are silent. This situation can allow smoke to get into the room, coating everything with a layer of sticky, smelly soot. A battery backup system will keep the stove operational and the home soot-free during a power outage.

4. Hire a professional to inspect the pellet stove

Many insurance companies require periodic pellet stove inspections. Creosote buildup is much less in this type of stove. However, it still needs regular attention to prevent a pellet stove chimney fire.

5. Keep combustible items away from the pellet stove

The second most common cause of pellet stove fires is the combustion of flammable materials placed too close to the stove. Know the minimum clearance recommended by the manufacturer. Wood framing inside walls should be a safe distance from the flue vent. Sometimes, the wood framing can ignite inside the walls. Some cautious homeowners take the extra step of fitting a spark guard at the end of venting. This safety feature prevents sparks from igniting nearby combustibles.

For more information about fire and water damage restoration for homes in Keller, TX, and surrounding areas, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth by calling (817) 741-5737. The damage restoration company can also be reached by email at office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com.

Helping Keller, TX, Hotels Overcome the Effects of a Water Damage Disaster

11/8/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Headline: SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth provides commercial water damage restoration services to hotels that have experienced water damage.

Dealing with a water damage disaster on a residential scale is challenging for the property owner, but when water damage occurs at a hotel, the challenges multiply exponentially. Each room in a hotel is like a small, self-contained residence with occupants moving in and out as rooms are rented to different people.

Statistics show the average number of rooms in different types of US hotel chains for the year 2020:

  • Luxury hotels: 316 rooms
  • Upper upscale: 313 rooms
  • Upscale: 143 rooms
  • Upper midscale: 97 rooms
  • Midscale: 79 rooms
  • Economy: 75 rooms

With anywhere from 75 to 300 rooms, hotels must manage plumbing concerns for at least as many sinks, toilets, and showers. Inevitably, plumbing problems, water damage, and toilet backups will arise. The key factors for a successful response to water damage at a hotel are having a solid plan of action and knowing whom to call for rapid, qualified damage restoration services.

How does water damage hurt business at hotels?

A water damage disaster can adversely impact a hotel’s operations and bottom line in several ways, including the following:

  • negative customer perception
  • time lost while repairs are made
  • lack of available rooms leading to forfeited profits
  • potential structural issues in the future

Plumbing problems that plague hotels

Leaks

Whether caused by loose connections, cracked plumbing, or excessive water pressure, leaks can cut into profits and lead to costly water damage. Inspecting every hotel room for leakage is not an efficient solution, but hotel managers have other options available to check for leaks. According to plumbing professionals, “...you can determine if your pipes are leaking by shutting off your main water valve and taking note of the current reading. Check the reading after about two hours — if it’s increased, you have a leak and need to call for service repairs.”

Burst pipes

Burst pipes can result from rust accumulation, water expansion during freezing temperatures, water pressure fluctuations, and age. A burst pipe can cause massive water loss, potentially leading to mold damage or structural damage. Professional water damage cleanup and restoration services will be essential to remediate the situation and prevent it from expanding in scope.

Pipe blockages

Blockages are the bane of hotels. Hair buildup is a common culprit, but soap, hygiene products, and toothpaste can also contribute to a pipe clog.

Periodic maintenance can help keep pipes operating at peak efficiency. Commercial hydro jetting services eliminate blockages in the plumbing system, and a baseline recommendation is to schedule these services on a quarterly basis. However, individual hotels may need hydro jetting more or less frequently, depending on the size of the hotel.

Toilet overflows

Not all hotel patrons practice proper restroom etiquette, and they sometimes flush items other than toilet paper down the drain. Toilet paper is water-soluble and is the only thing that should be used in the toilet. Other paper products can clog the plumbing and cause the toilet to overflow.

A toilet overflow involves black water, which refers to water that contains biological contaminants such as fecal matter. The presence of black water in a water damage disaster introduces a myriad of complexities into the cleanup process, and the situation should not be handled by a hotel employee. Instead, call in a team of commercial water damage restoration specialists who are equipped with the proper safety protocols, personal protective gear (PPG), and damage remediation technology.

Low water pressure

While low water pressure is not necessarily as damaging as the other problems mentioned above, it can be inconvenient to hotel guests and could be an indicator of future plumbing issues. A low water pressure issue may be as simple as a failure to completely turn on a water valve. On the other hand, the pressure decrease could be the result of a blocked pipe, a leak, or mineral deposits from hard water.

When water damage occurs at a hotel, SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth mobilizes a team of property damage cleanup and restoration specialists from the moment the office receives the call for emergency service. A hotel is a unique environment and requires the expertise and experience of a restoration company that is skilled in providing commercial services on a large scale. SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is a full-service cleanup and restoration company, and no job is too large for technicians to tackle.

Contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth for more information about water damage restoration for commercial clients in Haltom City, TX. The office can be reached by emailing office@SERVPROnortheastftworth or by calling (817) 741-5737.

The Importance of Having a Home Fire Plan in Preparation for a Potential Fire Damage Disaster

10/17/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth explains how a home fire plan can save lives when put in place in Haltom City, TX, homes.

SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth provides fire damage, smoke damage, and water damage cleanup and restoration services for Haltom City, TX, homes that have suffered a fire. No homeowner wants to go through the fear, chaos, and trauma of a house fire. But unfortunately, a house fire usually strikes at the least expected and most inopportune time.

If a fire breaks out, seconds can save lives. The following tips can help in the creation of a home fire plan and fire prevention strategy. The key to survival is anticipating a fire event and then planning, preparing, and practicing an evacuation plan and fire prevention strategies.

Tip #1: Plan for everyone, both residents and potential guests.

Inventory the needs of everyone in the home, from young to old and able-bodied to handicapped. Some children sleep through loud sounds, such as a thunderstorm or a smoke detector. Assign an older sibling to help the younger. Have a backup when the assigned companion is away.

Tip #2: Identify two ways to escape.

Start in each room. Locate at least two avenues of escape, including a window and a door.  Check to ensure escape routes are easily accessible for everyone who might find themselves in the room at the time of a fire.  Make sure security bars on windows or doors have emergency release devices.

Tip #3: Make the creation of a home fire plan a teaching moment for children.

When children are involved in the planning, they will be more enthusiastic when the time comes to practice and less fearful of executing the plan in an actual fire incident. If the task is age-appropriate, involve the children in drawing and coloring a map of the home. Each child can mark two escape routes and the locations of smoke detectors on their own individualized map. The maps can be framed, hung on the wall, and admired. An unmarked map can serve as a test and as a review.

Tip #4: Designate an emergency meet-up location.

Assign a meeting place outside the home: the mailbox, a decorative bench in the front yard, or a trusted neighbor’s house.  As tempting as the backyard playground or sandbox is, the meet-up needs to be in the front yard so first responders can easily spot residents upon arrival. Drill into children younger and older: No one goes back into the house after leaving.

Tip #5: Put smoke detectors to the test.

Double-check to make sure smoke detectors are in the best locations in the home and that batteries are always new and working. January 1 and July 4 are popular holidays to also designate as battery replacement days. By associating some of the mundane tasks with celebrations, children will more readily participate in the replacement activity and then continue it as a tradition with their own future children.

A smoke detector should be installed in the following locations:

  • in every sleeping room
  • outside every sleeping room
  • on every level of the home
  • in the kitchen area and laundry room

Tip #6: Make a scene with the street number.

Emergency responders have access to GPS, but making the street number easily visible on the road, on the mailbox, and on the front door can only help. However, the Home Owners Association may have some restrictions or limitations.

Tip #7: Be a quick responder.

Three powerful words explain the priorities of the evacuation plan: serve, safe, swift. The assigned person mentioned above serves the purpose of helping a sibling escape safely and swiftly along with themselves.

Tip #8: Have a backup plan: shelter in place.

If evacuation is impossible due to smoke, fire, or structural damage, then shelter in place. Close all doors. Stuff a damp towel under the door. If at all possible, escape through an exterior-facing window. The family fire plan should include rope ladders for second-floor rooms. Have a powerful flashlight in every room so that occupants trapped in the room can signal emergency personnel of their whereabouts.

Tip #9: Call 911.

In the chaos and mayhem surrounding a home fire, the early notification of the fire department through 911 can be overlooked. Precious minutes can slip by as everyone evacuates the burning home. Sometimes everybody thinks someone else has called 911. The simple solution is to assign everyone the task of making sure someone has called 911.

Share the plan with everyone, especially during holidays and on weekends when many people have guests. When small children are in the home, review and practice some or all of the plan on a monthly basis. As the children grow and mature, the schedule can shift to quarterly discussions and drills. Practice saves lives.

SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth is dedicated to providing dependable fire damage cleanup and other cleaning and restoration services. The SERVPRO professionals are available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays. Pre-qualify with SERVPRO before a property damage disaster takes place.

For more information about Haltom City, TX, fire damage restoration services, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth, TX, at (817) 741-5737 or office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com.

Nine Strategies for Avoiding a Mold Infestation and Mold Remediation at Keller, TX, Businesses

10/17/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth outlines nine tips for preventing mold infestations at businesses.

SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth offers a mold prevention guide for commercial facilities seeking to avoid mold infestation and mold remediation. Mold in a retail space, restaurant, professional office, service center, or other workspace affects employees, patrons, and patients. Ultimately, business operations, customer experience, revenue, and profitability suffer if the mold problem is not quickly resolved.

The mold prevention guide outlined below targets mold growth in a retail space, office building, manufacturing plant, or other commercial facilities.

#1. Repair plumbing leaks immediately.

These leaks may occur in the following locations: faucets, inline valves, supply line connections, drains, toilets, and fire sprinkler heads. Leaks in the building envelope include leaks around windows, doors, roof penetrations for vents, skylights, waste removal, and ingress/egress hatches. Roof punctures from broken tree limbs, hail, or collapsed supports or equipment should be repaired with no delay except for danger from severe weather.

#2. Pay attention to new developments such as condensation and wet spots.

By the time condensation and moisture are visible on ceiling tiles, walls, or the floor, the problem is well advanced. Remove standing water and dry the area with a fan or dehumidifier within 24 hours. If the water damage cleanup is extensive, high-capacity wet-dry vacuums, rapid-spin fans, and heavy-duty dehumidifiers will be needed to remove the excess water and dry out the moisture-laden environment. Without adequate equipment, special techniques, and moisture-detecting technology to verify the moisture is below acceptable levels, a mold issue of mammoth proportions could result. A bucket and mop are sufficient to remove small amounts of water from the floor’s surface, but water that has seeped under the flooring must also be removed. The removal of water and moisture from carpeting is beyond the scope of most janitorial services. If carpeting, including padding, is insufficiently dried, sanitized, and disinfected, mold will gain a significant foothold in as little as 24 to 48 hours. The stale, moldy smell can potentially make the facility unsuitable for business operations.

#3. Take steps to prevent condensation.

  • Increase surface temperatures on walls, ceilings, floors, desks, and equipment.
  • Reduce moisture levels (humidity) in the air with a dehumidifier.
  • Repair any leaks to directly reduce humidity in the facility. Increase airflow if the outside air is cold and dry.
  • Install new or additional insulation to reduce condensation on cold surfaces. Under floors, in the attic, and on pipes are good starting points. A storm window installed on the inside is very efficient.
  • Maintain indoor humidity at or below 50 percent relative humidity.

#4. Keep the HVAC system in top operating condition all year round.

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedules.
  • Make sure the HVAC drip pans are free of dirt and grime and are properly evacuating the water. Check the external pipe for damage or blockages.
  • Routinely replace HVAC filters and ensure the filters are seated properly.

#5. Provide exterior venting for moisture-producing equipment.

Dryers and other moisture-generating appliances should be vented outside and not into the attic or crawl space. Schedule inspection and maintenance to keep the exhaust tubing clean and unobstructed.

#6. Identify, assess, and resolve foundation and crawl space moisture issues.

The ground should slope away from the foundation at one inch per foot for at least six to ten feet. This degree of grade should be able to accommodate a severe downpour, directing the water sufficiently far enough away from the foundation to prevent seepage into a crawl space or service basement. Downspouts should extend several feet beyond the foundation and evacuate into an area that allows the water to drain freely. In extreme conditions, ponding may occur if drainage avenues (conduits, drain fields, dry creek beds) are overwhelmed.

Install a sump pump system in the basement or crawl space to remove excess water. Take more aggressive measures if this action fails to resolve the problem. Seek professional advice early in the process.  Install a moisture barrier in the crawl space. Efforts to reduce humidity in the facility using a dehumidifier or increased ventilation may not prove successful if the moisture problem is not stopped at the source.

#7. Take steps to promote groundwater drainage away from the perimeter of the building.

An onsite consult with a competent certified landscape architect skilled and experienced in grading issues can prove invaluable, saving a business the cost of the consult a hundred times over by avoiding unnecessary grading expenses. Take simple steps such as clearing vegetation away from the foundation, rain gutters, and drain fields. Exposure to sunlight and wind will help a building’s exterior dry out after precipitation.

#8. Include a vapor barrier between the floor covering and a concrete floor.

When installing new carpet or other floor covering over concrete, install a vapor barrier (plastic sheeting) between the concrete and the flooring product. Carpet and padding will wick moisture from the concrete, and mold can thrive in moist carpeting and under laminate flooring.

#9. Avoid installing carpet in areas or around appliances with a high probability of water release.

Examples include:

  • drinking fountains
  • breakrooms, especially if the locations have a sink, refrigerator, ice machine, or dishwasher
  • service sinks
  • laundry rooms
  • bathrooms
  • concrete floors with perpetual leaks or frequent condensation

When a property damage disaster such as a roof leak, burst pipe, or fire sprinkler malfunction occurs, take action to repair the leak, clean up the water, and restore any damage to the structure. A delay of a day or two can result in a major mold infestation and other advanced secondary damage. The damage restoration and cleaning specialists at SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth provide a rapid response so that the disruption to business operations is minimal.

For more information about Keller, TX, mold removal, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth, TX, at (817) 741-5737 or email office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com.

How Excessive Water Pressure Can Lead to the Need for Water Damage Restoration Services

10/17/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth highlights how excessive water pressure can cause water leaks leading to a water damage disaster.

The team at SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth urges homeowners to be aware of the potential for water damage around the home. Water leaks are an ongoing concern for Keller, TX, homeowners. If left unchecked and allowed to persist, a tiny water leak can cause a huge mess, including unsanitary conditions like wet carpeting, wood rot, mildew, and mold. A large-scale water release from a burst supply line to the washer, dishwasher, or ice maker can flood a home with thousands of gallons of water in a few hours or over the weekend if the water intrusion is not discovered and the water flow is  stopped.

The first step is to stop the intrusion at the point of the leak. The homeowner may be able to handle the matter by shutting off an inline water valve. If needed, the homeowner can turn off the flow at the water main by the road. As soon as the influx of water is remedied, the cleanup and restoration can begin.

Before resuming the water flow, the cause of the leak must be accurately diagnosed and resolved. If an inline shutoff valve allows the leak point to be isolated, life in the home can continue until the leak is repaired either by the homeowner or a plumber. A leaking connection must be repaired or replaced as soon as possible. A burst water supply line to the washing machine must be replaced. A good rule of thumb is to replace both supply lines.

Excessive water pressure: A potential cause of water leaks and water damage

Excessive water pressure can stress water pipes, couplings, joints, and connections. Over time, the pressure variations can lead to a slow leak or, worse, a sudden catastrophic failure in the water line. If the failure is in the attic or ceiling, behind a wall, or in the crawl space, the flooding and damage can be extensive. By staying alert to the causes and symptoms of excessive water pressure, the homeowner can prevent a water damage disaster.

Causes of excessive water pressure

Building codes and common-sense strategies have done much to prevent or avoid fluctuations of the water pressure in water lines feeding into the home. When purchasing a new home, the home inspection usually involves inspecting for water leaks and water damage and assessing water pressure. Before buying a home, have the plumbing system thoroughly inspected by a licensed, reputable plumber.

1. Improper installation and setting of the pressure regulator

Sometimes the problem begins with the installation of an inline pressure regulator between the main valve at the road and the home. In a municipality, water pressure at the main may be 80 PSI or significantly higher. To reduce the pressure from the street, a pressure regulator valve (PRV) is installed at some point in the water service line, usually where the line enters the home. Make sure a licensed professional is responsible for the installation and final quality check of the system after the installation. The desired water pressure from the PRV to the home is between 40PSI and 60PSI. Somewhere in the middle is desirable.

2. Pressure regulator malfunction

Some pressure regulators malfunction right out of the box due to manufacturing issues. The importance of a post-installation pressure check cannot be overemphasized. If a rise in the water pressure in the home is noted, the PRV may have experienced a malfunction. Do not delay in scheduling a licensed plumber to inspect and, if needed, repair any problems.

3. Pressure variations originating with the utility company’s equipment

The PRV should provide protection when there are problems originating with the water company and its equipment. Are neighbors complaining about the water pressure problem? Are there reports of issues in the media? Take note and, if needed, take action to avoid a water damage disaster.

Signs of excessive water pressure

Quick recognition of and response to the signs of fluctuations in the water pressure can help prevent a catastrophic water damage disaster that requires the services of a water damage restoration company.

1. Wide fluctuations in the water pressure at the faucet

If water spits and coughs out of the faucet at unusually high rates, there may be a pressure issue. As soon as this issue is noticed, check the system with a pressure gauge or call a plumber.

2. Leaks around faucet handles

Excessive water pressure can cause faucets to leak around the handles. If the faucets are new or the washers have recently been replaced, water pressure may be the cause of the leak at the faucet handles.

3. Leaks at joints and connections under sinks

If suspicions are aroused that water pressure issues could be causing leaks, expand the inspection to include joints and connections under sinks in the kitchen, laundry room, and all bathroom sinks. Check connections at the toilets as well.

The best time to reach out to SERVPRO® of Northeast Fort Worth is before any type of property damage disaster occurs, including a water damage disaster caused by excessive water pressure. By pre-qualifying with SERVPRO, the homeowner only has to make one phone call to have a property damage cleanup and restoration team on the scene in about an hour.

For more information about SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth’s water damage restoration services, contact the office at (817) 741-5737 or email office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com.

Tips to Help Educators Handle Property Damage at Schools and Educational Facilities

9/5/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth offers tips to help schools and educational facilities deal with a property damage disaster.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth rapidly provides cleanup and damage restoration services to schools suffering a property damage disaster. The SERVPRO team understands that the impact of property damage not only interrupts the educational process, but it also disrupts the fabric of a community.

Educational activities touch every area of life. From the youngest students in K-4 elementary to local technical colleges and the largest universities, education is a part of life. Thirty-five colleges are located within fifty miles of Keller, TX, with a total enrollment of almost 430,00 students. Extended interruptions of the daily school schedule send shockwaves throughout the community, affecting thousands of people and businesses. A fire damage, smoke damage, water damage, or storm damage disaster can bring life to a halt. If the water damage disaster is extensive but not severe enough to halt classes, a mold infestation can shut down the educational facility until the hazard is remediated. Every day the institution is empty, the hardship on families and the community increases. A rapid response and a quick cleanup and restoration are top priorities if educational activity is to return to normal.

A water damage disaster can flood tens of thousands of square feet of classroom and activity space if the leak goes undetected over a weekend or vacation period. A burst water pipe or fire sprinkler malfunction on an upper floor can flood the entire complex. A massive response is needed to address the scale of the disaster. Principals, facility managers, and custodial staff charged with the care of the facility should consider SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth as a dedicated service provider in case of a property damage disaster in Park Glen, TX, or surrounding areas. Because SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is a member of a large franchise family, the SERVPRO response can not only be rapid, but it can also be massive to meet the challenge of an extensive fire damage, smoke damage, and water damage disaster. Dozens of crews can respond within hours, with the first crews arriving in about an hour to begin the cleanup and restoration.

When school officials pre-qualify SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth as the dedicated provider, a disaster response plan can be formulated to deal with any size and type of disaster. A team of property damage restoration specialists arrives on the scene, poised to take action. For large-scale disasters, a central command and control center can be set up to direct the efforts. A detailed and well-documented estimate is created that will prove useful for the insurance claims process. SERVPRO leads the way when it comes to large-scale deployments to clean up and restore large-scale disasters.

What to Be on the Alert for Following Fire, Smoke, and Water Damage in a School

A water damage disaster involves more than wet floors or sagging ceilings. Water finds its way between walls, under flooring, and into HVAC ducts and crawl spaces. In a fire damage disaster, smoke and soot contamination remains well after the flames are put out. Water damage restoration involves so much more than a few hours of filling and emptying a wet-dry vacuum until the visible water is removed. Likewise, a fire damage cleanup and restoration effort requires more than the removal of smoke with fans. School officials and property maintenance staff need to be aware of the following issues when dealing with a property damage disaster.

#1. Pay attention to persistent unpleasant odors.

A water intrusion creates a scenario where stagnant moisture and mold can become an issue in about a day or two. Pathogens in the carpet multiply exponentially in the presence of excess moisture, leaving behind a musty, mildewy smell. Smoke and soot leave behind a different set of odors depending on the different items and materials that were burned. These odors can be difficult to eliminate entirely.

#2. Look for damage to instructional materials and equipment.

Textbooks, electronics, and other educational materials are at risk when exposed to water, fire, smoke, and soot. If immediate attention is not given to these damaged items, they may not be salvageable.

#3. Inspect classrooms and activity areas for damaged furniture.

Heat, smoke, and contaminated water from a fire can render plastic, wood, and cloth furniture useless or unsafe. The key to salvaging rather than replacing furniture is quick action with state-of-the-art equipment, cleaning techniques, and deodorizing and sanitizing solutions.

#4. Contaminated food and water must be discarded.

When external floodwater enters an educational facility, the cleanup and restoration stakes are high. Floodwater is heavily contaminated, often with E. coli and other harmful pathogens. If floodwaters have affected water foundations, food stores, and the cafeteria, the problem is serious and requires skill, knowledge, and the right equipment and cleaning products to make the learning environment clean, safe, and odor-free.

#5. Watch and smell for a mold infestation.

A mold infestation can erupt in 24 to 48 hours. A musty mildew smell and black, green, or brown stains indicate mold growth. Physical contact with and inhalation of mold spores is to be avoided. A professional cleanup and restoration company with experience dealing with mold will anticipate the likelihood of a mold problem and address it immediately.

#6. Be aware of fire and electrical risk hazards.

A water intrusion from a roof leak is inevitable where educational facilities have tens of thousands of square feet of roof space. A roof leak creates slip-and-fall risks and can also lead to electrical hazards. Only authorized personnel should enter areas affected by the water intrusion or flash flooding.

How to Prepare for a Fire, Smoke, or Water Damage Disaster

The best course of action is to pre-qualify a reputable, locally owned, bonded, and insured property damage cleanup and restoration company, before disaster strikes. Unnecessary delays allow the damage to spread, increasing the scope and expense of the project. A rapid response, quick cleanup and restoration, and the capacity to scale to address the disaster are crucial.

For more information about the property damage restoration company, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth, TX, by emailing office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com. The office can also be reached by calling (817) 741-5737.

Why Dish Soap in the Dishwasher Is a Recipe for a Water Damage Disaster in the Kitchen

9/5/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth highlights the consequences of using dish soap in the dishwasher. The team also offers water damage restoration services to clean up the water damage disaster that results.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth explores the consequences of using standard dish soap in a dishwasher and offers tips on what to do if a water damage disaster occurs when dish soap finds its way into the dishwasher. On occasion, the dishes in the dishwasher need to be washed, but the supply of dishwasher detergent or soap tabs is depleted. With the best of intentions, the homeowner, in desperation, loads the soap compartment with standard dishwashing soap, closes the door to the dishwasher, and starts the cycle. However, the water damage consequences of using standard dish soap can be disastrous.

The experts at House Digest report: “The most important reason why you should never substitute dish soap for dishwasher detergent is that the amount of suds dish soap generates is far greater than that of a dishwasher detergent. In fact, a dishwasher detergent hardly produces any suds at all.”

What to Do If Dish Soap Finds Its Way into the Dishwasher

Not all dish soap disasters are intentional. After a long day of entertaining in the kitchen, it is all too easy to grab the bottle of dish soap without thinking and squirt a generous stream into the soap holder in the dishwasher, close and lock the door, turn the unit on, and head to the recliner, sofa, or backyard hammock to relax. If the appliance has been operating for only a couple of minutes when the mistake is realized, there are measures the homeowner can take to avoid a sudsy disaster. Below are some helpful steps to correct the problem and avoid the impending disaster.

Step #1: Turn off the appliance to halt the production of suds and stop the overflow. This action should prompt the unit to drain off any water and suds at the bottom of the appliance. If necessary, adjust the settings to complete this task.

Step #2: Mop up any overflow and place towels around the base of the appliance. Keep several towels in reserve to deal with the sudsy mess in the unit.

Step #3: Once the unit has pumped out the water and suds and has shut down, remove the dishes, glasses, utensils, and other items from the unit.

Step #4: Remove any trace of leftover dish soap inside the appliance. Use towels to absorb water and wipe suds from within the machine. Rinse the inside of the unit with tap water using a cup or the sink sprayer if the hose is long enough. Rinse, wipe, and repeat until suds and residue are eliminated.

Step #5: Run a rinse cycle to ensure all dish soap residue is eliminated.

Step #6: Rinse the items removed from the dishwasher to eliminate any residual, high suds dish soap. Reload the dishwasher and wash the dishes using a low-suds dishwasher detergent. Wait and watch for a few minutes to ensure that no problems arise.

Step #7: Relax in the recliner and breathe a sigh of relief!

How to Respond to a Dishwasher Water Damage Disaster

What if the dish soap misstep causes a water damage mishap? If caught in the early stages, much of the water and suds can be mopped up with towels. A fan or two can complete the drying process. Residual water and moisture may be trapped under the dishwasher. If access to the floor under the dishwasher is available, wipe up the area with dry cloths and position a fan to circulate air under the unit. The excess water may have spread to any cabinet space to the sides of the dishwasher. These areas will need immediate attention to prevent damage to the baseboards, cabinets, or flooring.

If the spill is unmanageable for the homeowner, a call to SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth can take care of the situation. A crew can be on the job in about an hour to begin the water removal and drying process. Highly-trained technicians equipped with the right equipment, advanced cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved cleaning and deodorizing products can take care of the water damage disaster with minimal disruption and limited inconvenience. The SERVPRO team can also handle the insurance claims process from end to end.

For more information about Haltom City, TX, water damage restoration, contact the SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth office at (817) 741-5737 or email office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com

Storm Damage Cleanup for Property Damage Caused by Late Summer Storms

9/5/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth provides damage restoration services for storm damage stemming from late summer tornadoes, derechos, hurricanes, and flash flooding.

SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth is dedicated to assisting homeowners and businesses recover from storm damage in Keller, TX. A knowledge of the types of late summer storms that can cause storm damage in Keller, TX, can help residents be prepared and know what kinds of damage to look for after the severe weather.

Types of Late Summer Storms

Residents of Keller, TX, and Northeast Fort Worth can experience severe weather in late summer. Weather experts describe the severe weather risk hazard: “Tornado risk persists in late summer, especially in parts of the northern tier. Derechos can still result in widespread destruction. The Southwest monsoon lasts through September and brings several hazards. Flash flooding concerns remain high through late summer. The peak of hurricane season occurs in late summer. Severe weather, including tornadoes, derechos, and flash flooding, can result in dangerous conditions through late summer in parts of the United States.”

Below is a closer look at several types of severe weather that can cause property damage in the Northeast Fort Worth area.

Tornadoes

Thankfully, by late summer, the frequency of tornadoes in North Texas is on the decline, though a real and present danger still exists any time tornadic weather is in the forecast. The presence of a hurricane barreling through the region may cause an uptick in the frequency of tornadoes during the months of August and September.

Derechos

The Spanish word “derecho” means “direct” or “straight ahead.” The term was adopted to make a distinction between the damage caused by straight-line winds and the damage produced by the rotational winds of tornadoes. A derecho is a large cluster of severe thunderstorms with straight-line winds. Windspeeds must be at least 58 miles per hour for a storm pattern to be considered a derecho; some derecho windspeeds have been clocked at 130 miles per hour. The damage path of a derecho can be tens of miles wide and hundreds of miles long.

Flash Floods

In the United States, flash flooding reaches its peak in late spring and continues through summer. Warm, moist air east of the Rockies, combined with the Southwest monsoon effect and the occurrence of hurricanes and tropical storms, creates a convergence that increases moisture levels and heightens the risk of flash flooding. Flash flooding can be experienced within minutes of heavy rainfall. On average, more fatalities occur from flash floods than from hurricanes and tornadoes. Most flash flooding deaths occur while the victim is driving.

Hurricanes and Tropical Storms

June through November are the official dates of the Atlantic hurricane season, but the peak of the season occurs in late summer. These turbulent, dynamic storm systems produce heavy rains resulting in flooding and can also generate tornadoes. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan spawned the most tornadoes on record, 120 over nine states, and in 1967, Hurricane Beulah left 115 known tornadoes in its wake.

Property Damage from Severe Weather

A knowledge of the features of late summer severe weather can help homeowners and businesses know what types of storm damage to be on the lookout for when severe weather strikes.

The straight-line winds associated with a derecho, though slower than a typical tornado, are concentrated and sustained. Look for serious roof damage. Shingles, underlayment, and sheathing can be ripped off from the roof. Siding can be peeled from a house, and standard glass windows may be shattered. The high-velocity winds can drive rain at angles approaching vertically, resulting in unique roof leaks at eaves, exhaust vents, and ridge vents.

High winds from derechos and tornadoes can topple trees. The rotational dynamics of a tornado can wrestle a tree into the air and drop it on a roof. The heavy downpours associated with a tropical storm or hurricane can saturate the soil to the point that a moderate wind gust can uproot a tree.

A hurricane or tropical storm can dump a dozen or more inches of water on a city like Keller, TX, whose average annual rainfall is 39 inches. This much rain overwhelms gutters, floods crawl spaces and turns neighborhoods and parking lots into lakes. Water, silt, and sludge can ruin carpets, upholstery, furniture, electronics, appliances, and drywall.

What to Do When Disaster Strikes

When storm damage wrecks a home or business, call SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth as soon as possible. Crews are available 24/7, 365 days a year, including holidays. Every lost minute allows for advanced secondary damage. Warped flooring, swollen baseboards, collapsed ceilings, and mold can significantly increase the time and money needed to clean up and restore a storm damage disaster. The SERVPRO team has the equipment and training to quickly remove bulk water and dry out a structure so cleanup and restoration can move forward.

Homeowners, property managers, and businesses should pre-qualify a dedicated property damage restoration company so that should a disaster occur, only one call needs to be made once first responders have been alerted. SERVPRO crews arrive in about an hour to inspect and assess the damage. Cleanup and restoration begin immediately.

For more information about storm damage restoration in Carter Riverside, TX, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth, TX, at (817) 741-5737 or email office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com

The Importance of Understanding and Following Hurricane Evacuation Orders in the Event of Severe Weather

8/8/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth shares information to help local residents communicate the importance of evacuation to family and friends who live in the path of an oncoming hurricane.

The storm damage cleanup and restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth stress the importance of understanding and following evacuation orders when hurricane landfall is imminent. Although Fort Worth is not a coastal city, Northeast Fort Worth residents may have family members or friends who live on or near the coast of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida and who are in the path of an approaching hurricane. An estimated 7 million people live in the Gulf Coast region of Texas and will need to evacuate their homes to stay safe during the severe weather.

Information gathered after Hurricane Katrina illustrates how many people can be affected by a major hurricane. “The storm displaced more than a million people in the Gulf Coast region. Many people returned home within days, but up to 600,000 households were still displaced a month later. At their peak, hurricane evacuee shelters housed 273,000 people and, later, FEMA trailers housed at least 114,000 households. The population of New Orleans fell from 484,674 before Katrina (April 2000) to an estimated 230,172 after Katrina (July 2006) — a decrease of 254,502 people and a loss of over half of the city’s population.”

Although Texas avoided any direct impact from Katrina, an estimated 220,000 people from Louisiana sought refuge in Texas. Fort Worth is not a coastal city, but residents may have family members or friends who live on the coast, are in the path of the hurricane, and will need to evacuate. When opening one’s house to evacuating friends and family, extra stress may be put on the plumbing system, placing the home at risk of flooding unrelated to the hurricane.

The tips listed below will help homeowners prepare for additional guests and avoid water damage and potential sewage backups.

Tip: Repair any leaky faucets and dripping drains.

Tip: Inspect toilets for leaks. Replace any parts that are showing signs of wear. Rusty chains and hard flapper valves are quick fixes that can save many, many gallons of water.

Tip: Install water-saver shower heads. Unclog slow-moving shower drains, and inspect the caulking and seal around the drain. Replace worn seals. Remove old caulking and replace it with a fresh bead. Repair any broken shower or bath tiles. The caulking around the tub may need some attention, as well.

Tip: If there is even a hint of a leak in an upstairs tub, shower, toilet, or sink, repair it before the guests arrive.

Tip: Be on the lookout for any signs of a leak. Look for water stains, bubbling or peeling paint, and warping in sheetrock and drywall. Listen for dripping, the sound of water continuously running, and gurgling noises in drains. Sniff the air for musty, moldy, mildewy smells. A faint smell of raw sewage inside the home could indicate a leaky sewer pipe in the crawl space.

Tip: Consider pumping the septic tank BEFORE guests arrive to pre-empt any messy situations, especially if it has not been pumped out in four years and usage has been heavy. Prices can vary widely depending on the size of the tank and the service provider. Make several calls. If the septic service will not provide a pricing structure, do not give them the business. Make another call.

Tip: Unclog any slow drains. Hair, grease, and soap residue can build up in the drains and slow down the flow of water, resulting in a backup and overflow.

Tip: Put down plenty of bathroom mats at the shower and tub to catch excess water spillage. Purchase an extra set of mats for when the water-logged mats are being washed and dried.

Tip: Immediately mop up any excess water that spills or puddles in the bathroom or shower.

Tip: Avoid overloading the washer with too many clothes or towels. Consider taking items to a laundromat with high-capacity washers and dryers, which will conserve water, energy, and time.

Tip: If severe weather in the form of a tropical depression or tropical storm is heading in the way of Northeast Fort Worth, inspect gutters, downspouts, and downspout extensions to avoid any water damage from overflowing gutters.

Tip: Pre-qualify a property damage cleanup and restoration company before guests arrive. Make the first call to the industry-leading professionals at SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth. The franchise is locally owned and locally operated by people who care about their community, their neighbors, and those who have been displaced by an evacuation order or by the destructive forces of a hurricane.

If, for some reason, a property damage disaster occurs while the host family is away, guests need only make one call to SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth, the service professionals that were carefully vetted by the homeowner.

For more information about storm damage restoration in Haltom City, TX, contact SERVPRO of Northeast Fort Worth at (817) 741-5737 or email office@SERVPROnortheastftworth.com