What NOT to Do After an El Paso House Flood
When dealing with floodwater, many homeowners are tempted to put themselves or their families at risk in an effort to save their home or their possessions. This is usually not a good idea. These are three things you should not do after a flood.
- Don't Stay in Your Home
After a flood, there is not much you can do to prevent damage by staying. If you have time, you can place sandbags, move possessions to higher ground, board up windows and take other precautions, but once flooding is imminent, it is best to evacuate to a shelter. Attempting to remain in your home puts you at risk of drowning, electrocution, and contact with contaminants in the water. It also puts the emergency workers who will have to assist you if you get in trouble at risk.
- Don't Rely on Do-It-Yourself Solutions
You may be able to repair the water damage from a minor flood yourself, but when major flooding occurs, by the time it is safe to re-enter buildings, the damage is usually too severe for most do-it-yourself attempts to be successful. Have a plan in place to deal with the floodwater. Contact your insurance company. Don't count on being able to obtain equipment, such as generators, protective gear, and pumps, that you would need to attempt to dry out your property yourself.
- Don't Walk or Drive Through Standing Water
Downed power lines can electrify standing water, posing an electrocution risk. As little as six inches of water can damage your car and cause traction issues. Flood water poses significant risks to homeowners attempting to salvage their property after a flood. It is best to let your insurance company and restoration professionals take the lead and avoid putting yourself at risk, in most cases.
House Fire Plan For Your Southeast El Paso Home
"A person who fails to plan, plans to fail."
Even when taking safety precautions, you can fall victim to a house fire at a moment's notice. In order to be prepared for a devastating event such as a house fire it is important to have a plan in place and make sure all family members know what to do during a fire.
A fire damage cleanup plan for your Southeast El Paso home should include:
- Install the right number of smoke alarms. Test them once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one.
- Ensure that all household members know two ways to escape from every room of your home and know the family meeting spot outside of your home.
- Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.
- Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year.
- Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1.
- Teach household members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.
- Plans for where you and your family will stay after a fire.
- The details of your insurance company.
- A file of important information about your family and pets, including medical needs.
- Emergency contact details such as your doctor, vet, and a fire damage cleanup company.
Never enter your home until you have clearance from the fire department. Many homes are not structurally sound after a fire. The next step is to call SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso. We can take care of every aspect of fire damage cleanup, from removing soot stains and smells to overseeing redecorating and structural repairs.
If you need a fire damage cleanup company, you can trust, call SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso at (915) 234-2679.
When is it Safe for Employees to Return to Work After a Flood?
It's natural to want to return to work as soon as possible after your business suffers from a costly incident, such as a "black water" flood. After all, you have this big expense to pay off and you're losing money just by not being at the office. No matter how eager you are, you still have to consider your employees' personal safety. Keep the following safety considerations in mind before you send your employees back to your Southeast El Paso office.
1. Sweep Up Any Physical Debris. The physical damages should be the first task you address during flood cleanup. Strong floodwaters can introduce harmful objects into the office, such as stray nails and glass shards. Make sure to sweep the office floors thoroughly to ensure every hidden danger is taken care of. As a business owner, your employees' personal safety should be your number one priority. Taking the time and effort to thoroughly clean and disinfect your office building following a black waterflood is a non-negotiable task for you. Contact flood remediation experts for assistance during the cleanup process.
2. Clear Out the Flood Water. Both black and gray water floods pose major safety concerns for your employees. Black water is characterized by the presence of harmful biohazards, such as human/animal fecal matter, raw sewage, and dangerous chemicals. You have to make sure you clear out all of the contaminated floodwaters and thoroughly disinfect every exposed surface before you allow your employees to return to the office.
3.Check the Air Quality. It's very possible that the biohazards introduced with the floodwater are now in the air. Make sure to set up fans and other air filtration devices throughout your building to help eliminate harmful agents. As an additional safety measure, you may want to consider keeping these filtration devices running even after your employees come back.
If your business is experiencing a flood, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso today!
Stopping Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Before It Starts | SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso
Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas. It can cause severe health problems and even death to unsuspecting people in their homes. This deadly gas exists in combustion fumes that result from burning fuel (gas, wood, propane, etc.) in various appliances and machines. Those include stoves, fireplaces, gas ranges, lawnmowers, electric generators, cars, and more. Here are some tips to prevent CO poisoning in your Southeast El Paso Home.
- Have your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances inspected and/or serviced at least once a year by a certified professional.
- Never use gas ranges or ovens to heat your home. Also, don’t use gas camp stoves or charcoal grills indoors. Using these can cause a buildup of CO inside your home, cabin, or camper.
- Don’t use portable flameless chemical heaters (catalytic) indoors. Although these heaters don’t have a flame, they burn gas and can cause CO to build up in your home.
- Be careful when using gas-powered electric generators. Never use them in your home, basement, or garage, and keep them at least 20 feet from windows, vents, or doors.
- When buying gas equipment, be sure to check for the seal of a national testing agency.
- Make sure to vent gas appliances properly:
- Indoor vent pipes should go up slightly as they go toward the outdoors. Doing this will help prevent CO or other gases from leaking if the joints or pipes are not adequately tightened or affixed.
- Never patch a vent pipe with tape, gum, or anything else. This kind of patch can make CO build up in your home.
- Keep the vents for the stove, fireplace, dryer, and furnace clear of snow during and after a snowstorm.
- Have your chimney checked for soot, debris, and corrosion at least once a year. Hire a chimney sweep to clean your chimney annually.
- When the fireplace is in use, open the flues. Close your fireplace or damper only when the fire is completely out.
- Never idle your vehicle inside a garage that’s attached to the house or living space, even if you leave the door open. Have a mechanic inspect your vehicle’s exhaust system once a year to prevent CO build-up.
- If you drive a vehicle with a tailgate — when opening the tailgate, open vents or windows to make sure the air is moving through your car. If only the tailgate is open, CO from the exhaust will pull into the car.
- Install CO alarms in your home.
Checklist: Preparing Your El Paso Home For Spring
As we begin to transition from cold winter temperatures to warmer spring weather, here is a checklist of points on your property to check for winter damage and begin planning repairs. Compared to our typical Texas winters, this one has been pretty chilly with events that caused major damage to many homeowners and business owners.
Here are things to look for during your spring inspection
- Pipes with minimal water flow
- Poor drainage pipes
- Cracks in the foundation, walkways, parking lots, and patios
- Broken or loose pavement
- Missing roof shingles
- Separations or erosion in siding and masonry
- Rotting or loose boards
- Chipped paint
- Broken, cracked, or leaking windows
- Landscaping debris such as fallen leaves or branches
If you notice any of the damages listed above, you can begin making preparations for repairs. Additionally, be sure to contact your insurance company if applicable. While you may not have noticed the damage until months later, it is still possible you have not exceeded the timeline to file an insurance claim. When in doubt, it never hurts to ask your insurance company if your damage is covered. For any water damage, call your local restoration company SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield.
Tobacco Odor In Your Southeast El Paso Home?
After years of smoking in a home, walls and contents become blemished and develop bad odors, and professional cigarette smoke odor removal is often necessary. Cigarette smoke also penetrates more odor-absorbing objects, such as carpets, upholstery, bedding, clothes, and many more.
Additionally, the HVAC system of a building carries the smoke odor and chemicals throughout the structure. The affected surfaces will become unpleasant to look at and the odors may disturb many people.
Ultimately, tobacco residue is extremely hard to remove and requires professional equipment and services. But, if you want to DIY, here are a few tips for cigarette smoke odor removal.
DIY Cigarette Smoke Odor Removal from Homes
To eliminate cigarette smoke odor, you must thoroughly clean the tobacco smoke residue from every surface and corner in the home:
- First, open all windows and doors to let as much fresh air in as possible.
- Clean or replace the air filters, furnace filters, and AC filters.
- Clean walls and ceilings using products with ammonia and glycol — two ingredients that neutralize bad odors. Let the walls dry and check if the odor persists.
- If you can still smell cigarette odor after cleaning, repaint the walls and ceilings with latex paint. Use a sealant designed to lock in odors before painting.
- Clean everything in the home: floors, windows, carpets, furniture, upholstery, draperies, blinds, and other household surfaces, fixtures, and items.
Short-term, less expensive, cigarette odor removal solutions
- Use an air purifier in your home.
- Sprinkle baking soda on the carpets, leave it overnight to absorb bad smells, and vacuum it the next day.
- Place saucers of white vinegar/ coffee/ activated charcoal/ citrus peels around the house and leave them overnight to neutralize the smell.
- Get indoor plants which can absorb up to 87% of indoor pollutants.
- Use scented or non-scented candles.
Completely removing cigarette smoke odor from a home is a very time-consuming and complicated process. If the situation is severe, call a professional smoke remediation specialist, such as SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso/Butterfield, to remove the odor. We provide complete smoke cleaning and sanitation, professional deodorization, as well as duct cleaning services.
Maintaining Your Southeast El Paso Businesses' Commercial Carpets
Although most commercial carpets are made for durability, dirt and debris will still build up over time in them because of all the foot-traffic. Maintaining regular cleaning will be beneficial to your carpet because once a carpet gets too soiled, it may never be restored to its original appearance.
Preventative maintenance actions include:
- Regular vacuuming
- Spot removal
- Pilating the carpet to prevent matting
- Moving furniture to change traffic patterns
- Using walk-off mats to limit the amount of soil tracked onto the carpet
Even when you follow preventive maintenance actions, carpets will still have dirt trapped below the surface that you cannot see with the eye, especially in dark carpets. Carpets act as a filter trapping gasses, hair, dirt, and dust. Did you know that 79% of soil in carpets is dry soil? To reduce that percentage, you should get your company's carpet professionally cleaned once a year. Protect your company's investment by having it cleaned by SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso !
Because each carpet is different, we offer a number of options to keep your carpet and upholstery brand new. Our cleaning methods include:
- Bonnet Cleaning: A less aggressive method for short piled carpets.
- Hot Water Extraction: A deeper cleaning method for all carpet types.
- Deluxe Precondition and Rinse: Helps restore deeply soiled areas.
- Showcase Premier Cleaning: The most thorough cleaning method in the industry.
- Dry Cleaning: When color-fastness is an issue.
For a cleaning from SERVPRO® of Southeast El Paso that is backed by state-of-the-art equipment and technicians trained to the highest standards, call us today to schedule an appointment.
Commercial Fire Damage | SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso
Offices across the United States suffer from fires more often than you think. A fire in the workplace is devastating to not only employees but also the business owner. Depending on how large the fire is if you are not prepared the likelihood of recovering can lower. Educating employees on common fire risks and ensuring they follow protocol can help minimize fires.
Damaged Power Cords
Because offices are jampacked with computers, phones, printers, kitchen appliances, and more, over time the electrical system can become overwhelmed. This can cause electrical shock which can result in a spark or fire starting. To avoid this from happening, check on your electrical panels regularly and make sure no wires are corroded.
If your office is not regularly being cleaned, dust is accumulating. When dust builds up on wood, metal, and plastic it can become a fire hazard. Items that heat up such as computers, microwaves, and wires should always be kept dust-free.
Offices often have many papers, boxes, furnishing, and packaging lying around. All of these items can cause a fire to spread quicker than normal. Although many items are important to the daily functions of the office, try to keep it as tidy and minimal as possible. Fireproof furniture and desks should also be considered for the purposes of limiting what gets damaged and how fast the fire spreads.
Most offices have one computer per employee. Depending on how many employees you have, those can all be fire hazards. Employees should ensure they are not letting their computers overheat, or leaving laptops on materials that can catch fire if the laptop heats up too much. All employees should shut down their computers daily, and especially on the weekend.
After learning of all the fire hazards present in offices, it is important to have a plan. SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso offers an Emergency Ready Profile which allows for us to start mitigation sooner to get you back into your building quicker. Call us today to get one up!
10 Reasons to Choose SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso
When you have a residential loss or a commercial loss, SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso is your best choice to help. We specialize in large and small losses so no matter what we can be there for you, your family, or your company. Below are 10 reasons why we are the best local choice for your needs.
- 24/7/365: SERVPRO knows disaster doesn't wait. We are available days, evenings, holidays, and weekends.
- Communication: SERVPRO will keep you and your insurance informed on the status of your project.
- Reduce Recovery Time: SERVPRO's main goal is to not cause interruption. We will work tirelessly to ensure you are back in your home or office ASAP.
- Lower Recovery Cost: SERVPRO will help you save money and works directly with your insurance.
- Emergency Ready Profile: SERVPRO offers an ERP that can help you plan for disaster before it happens.
- Full Line of Service: SERVPRO will help to solve your cleanup needs. We offer a variety of services.
- A Leader in Storm Response: SERVPRO will help when you need it the most. Remember the 24/7/365?
- Over 50 years of business We've been around for quite some time, so we've seen a few things or two.
- More than 1,700 locations SERVPRO has the power for those larger jobs.
- Experience and training in mitigation damages ranging from a single-family home to skyscrapers.
Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso
How Laundry Can Cause Water and Fire Damage
Laundry is not one of those things to set and forget. Most of us throw in the clothes to the washer and dryer and go out to run errands, but within minutes of leaving, your home can be flooded or in flames from the washer or dryer.
The washing machine in your home has many points where it can cause a flood. The machine's water line can break or starts leaking. Another possibility is the hose hooked up to your washer can actually become detached due to the shaking and shifting of the machine.
The dryer on the other hand can cause a fire disaster. Fires can easily start from clogged lint in your dryer vent. According to the US Fire Administration, 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss. Clean your lint catcher each load, and clean your vent pipe yearly.
SERVPRO of Southeast El Paso specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. We are available 24/7 to help restore your laundry room or property. Don't forget February 10th is Home Warranty Day. Be sure to review your policy!