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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

How to Avoid Furnace Fires | SERVPRO® of Rockwall/Rowlett

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

putting filters in furnace If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here to help. Contact SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett to learn more.

Wow! This summer has definitely been a warm one. But with fall upon us, we may be thinking about cranking up our furnaces again. Waking up with toasty toes rather than a freezing nose has its temptations.

About 62 million houses in the U.S. use natural gas furnaces for heat. Other houses use wood furnaces, and a proud few still burn coal. These suggestions focus on gas furnaces, but it’s important to perform preventive maintenance on any type of furnace.

Clean-Up Time

Clean around the furnace. Do a quick clean-up, making sure no insulation, paper, boxes or anything else is stored within three feet of the furnace.

Clean the furnace itself. Dirt can cause motor overheating, and it can prevent you from seeing problems with wiring or other issues.

Look at Your Air Filter

Is your air filter clean? Dirty air filters can reduce air flow and lead to overheating, increasing the chances of fire.

Check Chimney Flues and Outside Vents

Check for buildup inside the vents, as well as outside obstructions such as birds’ nests.

Is Your Smoke Alarm Working?

It’s a good time to check both your smoke and CO alarms. If you don’t have them—get them.

For Some Things, You Need a Professional

Every year, it’s a good idea to have your furnace serviced by a professional. They can check for items such as a cracked heat exchanger, incorrect pressure in the furnace and even flame color, which can indicate how well your furnace is functioning. If you haven’t had your furnace serviced lately, this is a good time to make an appointment.

If your home has suffered fire damage, SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett can help. Our agents are on call around the clock so we can start helping you get back to normal, fast. Contact us at any hour for assistance.

Planning and Executing Workplace Fire Evacuation Drills | SERVPRO® of Rockwall/Rowlett

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

red fire alarm hanging on gray concrete wall If your business experiences any fire damage, you can count on us. SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett specializes in fire restoration.

Understanding your business’ risk levels from a market perspective is key, but it is important to also understand the risk levels you face from disasters and emergencies. Fires at businesses occur every year, and for those who do not focus on lessening their impact, they can be devastating.

While there are many elements to fire safety in the workplace, we highly encourage businesses to start with what will keep their staff as safe as possible by creating a system for evacuation drills. These drills will not take up much time and will help your staff know exactly what to do if the fire alarm sounds.

Create a System for Evacuation Drills at Your Business

Consult with your local fire officials. There are many online resources available for business owners to do their research regarding fire safety, but do not forget about community resources as well. The local fire squad will likely be able to schedule a visit and provide you with valuable counsel regarding the best evacuation routes to set up based on the specifics of your building.

Communicate and mark fire evacuation routes. After you have decided what evacuation routes suit your needs, be sure they are labeled clearly and your staff is aware of the upcoming drill. Keeping everyone looped in will create more transparency and be sure every one of your staff members are prepared when the drill begins.

Have fire drills frequently. While it is possible to have drills too frequently, we generally find that the problem is not scheduling them often enough to make an impact. You should have them with enough regularity that they are fresh in everyone’s mind, so that even if a fire does start unexpectedly, everyone remembers exactly what the protocol is.

Run different fire scenarios. Fires can start and spread in a multitude of ways, especially in a commercial or office space. Keep your drills dynamic by taking this into account—have the drill begin in different spots around the office, so your staff can become accustomed to using different exits with little notice just as they would need to in a real fire.

If your business has experienced fire damage, you can count on us. We specialize in commercial fire restoration and will be here for you at any hour—contact us today.

Navigating Storm Damage Insurance | SERVPRO® of Rockwall/Rowlett

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

severe roof damage from a large tree landing on gray house If you are facing Storm Damage let us help you get back to your pre-Storm conditions. Call SERVPRO of ROCKWALL/ROWLETT for all your Storm Damage needs

Boom! Storms can hit at any time. They’re not just frightening and dangerous. Storms can be expensive. The Congressional Budget Office notes that American households experience about $34 billion in storm-related losses every year.

In those first hours after a storm, you may be scrambling to recover possessions, locate a missing pet or find a place to stay. At the same time, you may be looking at hundreds or thousands of dollars of repairs. Careful planning can help you cover those costs.

Plan Ahead

Check Your Coverage. United Policyholders, a nonprofit group that advocates for insurance policyholders, suggests everyone become familiar with their insurance policy before a storm hits. For instance, check the wording of your policy to see whether storm water that backs up from sewers or drains is covered.

Maintain Your Property. Your insurance claim may be weaker if your home was already in poor repair. Always make sure your gutters are clean. Keep your roof in good condition. Take care of any damage as it happens. To help prove your damage was due to a sudden event, keep “before” photos of your house in good condition.

Moving Forward

Safety Is No.1. After a storm, make sure you and your family are safe. Check for hazards, such as fallen power lines. You may need to move to a temporary shelter. Do what you can to limit ongoing damage. For example, you may need to place a tarp over a hole in your roof.

Look Into Federal Help. Your local FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Assistance) office may be able to help you find emergency shelter. If the storm has caused widespread damage in your area, FEMA may already have an agent on the ground where you live.

Take Pictures, Take Notes. If your home was damaged, make detailed documentation.

File Your Claim. First, look at your insurance policy. You may not want to file a claim that’s smaller than your deductible. When you’re ready to file, reach out to your company. They’ll assign an agent to help you through the process. Keep records of your conversations with your agent. With persistence, you should soon have your property in tip-top shape again!

We have deep experience working with insurance companies to get claims processed. If you experience storm damage, contact us at any hour for quick assistance.

How Can I Detect and Correct Leaky Pipes? | SERVPRO® of Rockwall/Rowlett

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

Quick—can you name the sources of water damage in your home? You might easily name storms, old roofing, floods and even leaky appliances. One source of water damage that often falls out of sight/out of mind…leaky pipes!

If you do have leaking pipes in your home or business, you need to promptly locate them. Unlike storm damage, slow leaks are not usually covered by insurance.

Maybe you’ve never done a plumbing of any size. The prospect can seem scary. But if it’s in an accessible place, you can often fix a leaky pipe by yourself. This video and many others like it show you the basics of fixing a leaky pipe.

Find It. Fix It. Or Get Help.

Where is the leak? What should you look for when you suspect a leak…or feel actual dampness around your toes?

  • Ceiling stains
  • Damaged flooring
  • Loose, flaking caulking or grout
  • Looseness of your sink faucet or handles
  • Mold or mildew
  • Puddles (of course)
  • Tiles that keep coming up
  • Toilet that moves when you rock it

Pinpoint the exact source. Saying, “My bathroom plumbing is leaking” is just the first step. Any number of pipes might be causing your bathroom tile to come up. Now, it’s time to narrow down. Check the access panel behind your tub. Look under countertops. Try partially filling your tub or sink. See if you can find water welling up around any pipe joints you see. (Small leaks can be detected by wrapping a dry paper towel around the joint.)

DIY, or call an expert? If you can see and get your hands around a leaky pipe, you can likely repair it yourself. But plenty of leaks are just hard to get to. Or maybe you still can’t pin down a source. Call in a reputable plumber to take it from there. Even for small leaks, early attention will save you money down the road.

I’ve Fixed the Leak, But It’s Looking Moldy

Now that you’ve fixed the leak, does the spot need a clean-up? Call SERVPRO®. In business more than 50 years, we’re experts at cleaning up after water damage.

We’re a local franchise of a national company. That means we have the sense of urgency of a small business, but we can draw on national expertise.

Need to clean up some water damage? Contact us at any time, round the clock for quick service and great results.

CPR and AED Awareness Week

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

Do you know how to use the emergency equipment in your home or office? Do you know what tools you have on hand?

Every year, from June 1st through June 7th, is National CPR and Automated External Defribrillator (AED) Awareness Week. 

This awareness week was initially established in 2007 by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and the National Safety Council. The idea of the week was to make more people aware of how these instruments can help in bringing life saving assistance to those who need it, as well as educating others in how to utilize this equipment in their homes or offices.

Given our line of work, SERVPRO of Rockwall / Rowlett works alongside many emergency organizations, assisting with restoration, cleanup, and the spreading of awareness beneficial in crisis situations. 

For additional information, or to sign up for a training session in your area, visit heart.org or redcross.org

How to Handle Hoarding

6/4/2019 (Permalink)

When hoarding hinders your restoration, SERVPRO of Rockwall / Rowlett is ready to help!

As a property manager, insurance agent, or landlord, there are many various types of situations you might encounter when you deal with tenants; One of those is hoarding.

According to The Mayo Clinic, “Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them.” Majority of the people who struggle with hoarding don't recognize their tendencies to be problematic. Hoarding can lead to large amounts of accumulated items, which can range from regular household things, clothing, trash, furniture, and anything else the occupant doesn't want to get rid of.

A hoarding situation could be discovered when our franchise arrives on-site after being called to respond to a fire or water loss. Or, it could be that the situation is brought to the attention of the property manager or landlord. However it is discovered, we are able to communicate with the insurance company about contents coverage and, after receiving approval, contents can be packed out, cleaned (when possible), dried, and stored by SERVPRO of Rockwall / Rowlett so that work on the fire or water loss can begin.

Every situation varies, but we are passionate about showing compassion in the midst of difficult circumstances. If you encounter a hoarding situation at one of your properties, or with one of your insureds, call SERVPRO of Rockwall / Rowlett, and let us help make it “Like it never even happened.” 

SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett is Storm Ready

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Storms will happen. We are ready. Are you?

When storms or floods hit, SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett is ready!

We have seen an enormous amount of rain already this spring, and hurricane season started yesterday! 

Our professional teams are ready to respond to your home or business following water damage.

Since we are locally owned and operated, SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett is able to respond quickly to your loss. We know that, by getting on site faster, we are able to reduce the damage and prevent additional damage, which keeps restoration costs lower.

While we're located in Rowlett, we are ready to serve wherever we're needed. Through our nationwide network of franchises and elite Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the United States, we are equipped to handle any size disaster. We mobilized to help our neighbors in Houston when Hurricane Harvey hit. Whether the need is local or abroad, we are ready to respond.

Have storm or flood damage? 
Call us today 214-607-1900

What Does Homeowners' Insurance Cover for Mold Damage?

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Homeowners' Insurance coverage of mold can be tricky. Do you know what your plan covers?

You should check with your insurance agent as to the specifics of what your personal homeowner's coverage plan provides - this isn't extensive or a guarantee of coverage, just what is most common.

Homeowners' insurance usually covers mold if a "covered peril" caused the mold. In that case, your insurance policy will likely pay for repairs and clean-up.

Here are some of homeowners’ insurance covered perils:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Damage caused by vehicles
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from plumbing, heating, air conditioners, sprinkler systems, or household appliances
  • Frozen pipes

Some real world examples when homeowners’ insurance will likely cover you in the event of a loss:

  • An ice dam forms in a roof gutter during a rough winter, and water backs up under your shingles. The water leaks into your attic, soaks your attic floor and insulation, and creates mold.
  • A pipe bursts in your home and dumps gallons of water on the floor and saturates drywall while you're at work. Mold begins to form before you call.
  • A washer hose springs a leak and damages behind your washer. The washer hose isn't old, you stop the leak, and report the damage immediately, but not before mold forms.

These are "sudden and accidental" incidents. Insurance companies typically cover this type of damage. In fact, non-weather related water damage is one of the most common home insurance claims and one of the most expensive.

SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett has experience working with insurance providers, and can help navigate the mitigation of your home damage with your insurance company.

What Doesn't Homeowners' Insurance Cover for Mold Damage?

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Whether your mold damage is covered by insurance or not, we can help.

{You should check with your insurance agent as to the specifics of what your personal homeowner's coverage plan provides - this isn't extensive or a guarantee of coverage or lack thereof, just what is most common.}

Homeowners' insurance covers mold damage if it was caused by a "covered peril." [See our other blog, "What Does Homeowners' Insurance Cover for Mold Damage?"] Otherwise, an insurance company will likely not cover mold damage. There are exceptions, which we will get into later. Homeowners' insurance policies usually don't cover mold that resulted from a preventable water leak, flooding, or high humidity.

When homeowners’ insurance will likely NOT cover you:

Your basement pipes freeze and burst. You don't notice it for a few weeks. Now, you have a few inches of water on your floor and mold growing. 

Broken shingles on your 40-year-old roof allows water into the attic. Water saturates wood and insulation and leads to mold in the attic.

Mold forms in your shower. You don't think much about it until one day you notice that it's really unsightly and you're concerned about whether it's making your family sick.

In these cases, an insurer will likely not cover the damage. Why? An insurance company expects you to take care of your house. That means properly ventilating the bathroom, replacing an old roof, and checking your basement regularly; An important reason to stay on top of home maintenance.

Also, the standard homeowners' insurance policy does not cover water damage caused by a flood.  Thus, if a flood causes water damage that leads to mold, the resulting mold issue would not be covered by your home policy. 

A separate flood policy may cover mold and mildew, as long as it’s not caused by the homeowner’s failure to inspect and maintain the property after the flood. That means that, once you can get back into your home, you need to start trying to clean up and keep mold from growing or spreading. 

How do you know if my homeowner insurance policy covers mold?

As mentioned earlier, homeowners’ insurance companies usually don't cover mold damage unless it's directly related to a "covered peril." The good news -- there are exceptions.

Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if there is any language about mold claims. Some insurers offer limited coverage for mold claims. This may mean limiting how much the insurer will pay for a mold-related claim. An insurer may increase the cost of a home insurance policy if you have mold-related coverage.

If you don't have mold coverage, you can buy an endorsement to your insurance policy that adds mold coverage. An endorsement is when an insurance company adds additional coverage to a regular home insurance policy, for an additional fee.

SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett has experience working with insurance providers, as well as with individuals. We can help navigate the mitigation of your home mold damage with your insurance company if it's covered, or help you navigate the remediation if it isn't.

Growing More So We Can Help More

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Climbing up and growing together!

With continued mold services, commercial emergency services, and an increase in residential involvement, SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett has experienced a full circle of growth over the last year.  

Our depth of knowledge and service has grown to incorporate new abilities to impact our communities in a positive way and, just in time.
The significant rains we have received this spring have created a higher demand for water damage restoration as well as mold remediation than we have seen in the past. Our team is ready to step in and help the members of Rockwall and surrounding communities.  

From helping homeowners restore their properties after various types of damage, to assisting business owners in returning back to business "Like it never even happened," we celebrate our growth and look forward to continuing to grow in the years to come.  

If you've experienced water damage in your home or business, please give us a call - we'd love the opportunity to help.

Recent Rains Increase Demand for Mold Experts

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

mold on wall Do you have mold in your house? SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett is a licensed Mold Remediator in the State of Texas

Heavy rainfall amounts have impacted much of Texas recently. Many homes and businesses have been impacted by rising flood waters and leaky roofs.

SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett has been on the scene to quickly handle water mitigation and flood cleanup for those who called us onsite. Some who tried to clean up themselves are now dealing with a much more serious mold issue.

If you suspect mold growth in your home or business, SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett is certified by the State of Texas for Mold Remediation.  
Here are some things to consider:

  1. Do not take for granted any unusual growth. Mold takes on many shapes, forms, and colors.
  2. Try to determine or recall what the source might be. Is it an unknown water leak? Is it from a previous, un-mitigated water damage?
  3. Do some inspecting. Are more than 25 square feet impacted? In the event that there are 25 or more square feet of affected surface, the state of Texas requires a Protocol from an Industrial Hygienist (which includes the types of mold present and clearance testing to confirm the mitigation is completed) and a work plan be submitted to the state prior to any remediation efforts begin. This is to protect customers from non-licensed contractors causing mold to spread throughout the facility.
  4. If you suspect you have mold, call SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett. We can and will help you with any size project, no matter how big or small.

Overnight Leak Doesn't Dampen Business

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Despite a water loss, SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett worked quickly to ensure that this business was back in business.

SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett responded to a call from a flooded restaurant supply company that rests in the suburbs of Dallas.

On the outskirts of Rockwall, bumped up next to Fate and Royse City, an unassuming building reported that nearly 4,000 square feet of office, showroom, and warehouse space had flooded due to a small sink supply line that ruptured sometime after 5:30pm the night before.

We dispatched a team immediately, who started pushing water out of the warehouse and used an on-site shopvac to extract what water they could from the office area and continued working until the rest of our team arrived.

Once our Crew Chiefs and technicians were on site, they promptly assessed the extent of damage, and put together an action plan to begin the mitigation process. Due to some specialty treatments on the wall, the drying process took a few additional days. However, the walls were dried, the carpet salvaged, and business was not disrupted for more than a couple of hours on the first morning. SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett helped make it "Like it never even happened."

State of the Art Technology Elevates Customer Service

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

Have an emergency? We're Here to Help.

At SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett, we utilize technology to better serve our customers all over the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex.

From iPads equipped with proprietary apps that allow our crew chiefs to input and analyze data at lightning fast speeds, to iPhones linked to e-mail and GPS, we have reduced response time to losses; and have the capability to get the right amount of equipment placed and running more quickly than ever before. Our mobile digital technology allows our on-site technicians and crew chiefs to share real, live-time data with our office staff. 

Our ability to respond more quickly, process data faster, and start the remediation process of any fire, water, or natural disaster damage at record speed and efficiency boosts the performance of our crews and staff. Because of these advancements, we are able to:

  • save clients money through restoration instead of demo and replacement
  • close insurance claims in record time due to quicker turn around on estimates
  • document and confirm drying reports and send them to all interested parties in a matter of minutes. 

Here at SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett, we are happy to find a balance in leveraging new technology and wireless connectivity to give back our customers their homes and businesses.

Flooded Four-story Apartment Building

5/13/2019 (Permalink)

No job is too big or too small!

A plumbing line malfunction on the 4th floor of this under-construction apartment complex caused flooding from the 4th floor all the way down to the 1st floor garage area. After only 12 hours of water migration, the water had already affected insulation, drywall, kitchen cabinets, and flooring throughout 12 separate units. 

SERVPRO of Rockwall/Rowlett was called upon to dry out the structure. The picture shows our response team vehicles in front of the damaged structure. We immediately deployed our crews and provided a one-hour response time, eliminating further water migration and secondary damage to the building.

The contractor was thrilled and he said "We were very impressed with the response time of the crews and how well they took control of the situation."