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A word from our Owners

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Friends,

To say that the effects from Harvey have been a tragic nightmare would be an understatement. Whether you've been directly affected or helping friends and family, it has been the worst disaster our city has ever seen for most of us.

As the water recedes and our neighbors, friends and family are left with the aftermath, I want to be helpful and share some tips on what to do and what not to do. I am sending this out, not as a plug for our company, but to try and be helpful to all that need help, or have or will have questions. Mark and I have been inundated with calls, texts and FB messages and we can't keep up with them all as it is probably the same for you. So, please read and I hope you will find it helpful. Please feel free to share this post.

Those of you who know me, know that my husband, Mark Hart, & I own a few SERVPRO franchises in Texas; Sugar Land, Victoria and NE San Antonio. Two of the three locations of our franchises are in the communities directly impacted by Harvey. Our business is helping with the clean up after water, fire and mold damage. SERVPRO is a national franchise system and in devastation such as this, deploys hundreds of teams to help our communities. If you have confirmed flood or wind driven rain causing water damage, and would like our help, please call our office and ask to be put on our Storm Response Team list; we can have your friend, family or neighbor added to the Storm Response Team to get in line for the cleanup that will have to happen. Our number is 281-313-1338.

The advantages of getting on our list are these:

1. SERVPRO has over 1700 franchises in the country and there will probably be hundreds of SERVPRO teams coming in to help. Getting on our Storm Team Response list will help expedite your getting the help you need as lists will be divided up among the participating SERVPRO franchises.
2. SERVPRO helps manage all jobs through their Storm Teams. If you run into any problems with the franchise that is doing your work, they take action to help resolve it.
3. Standard Industry pricing is used by all SERVPRO's for mitigation services. We have a National reputation to uphold so they monitor this closely.

Having said that, I'm sure you can understand that everyone in our industry is overwhelmed with calls for help. Please understand that a lot of our own employees have been affected and crews traveling from out of town are trickling into Houston (and Victoria) as they are able. There are still areas around town that are not accessible and in danger of more flooding due to rivers cresting and levees failing. (I, myself, am confined to my house as my small neighborhood street is flooded - there is only one way in or out).

Please be understanding to the companies and their staff of people that are trying to help you. Our crews and administrators will be working long days and nights for probably months.

There are a lot of other good companies out there and there are a few things to watch for. BEWARE of fly by night companies that are in it to make a quick buck and leave town. There are some bad apples out there that give our industry a bad wrap.

Things to know:

1. Final billing should be provided once work is completed and is usually put into a line item estimating software program called, Xactimate. This is the industries standard price list used by most Insurance companies.
2. You will be paying out of pocket for the clean up services as rising water is not covered on your normal property insurance policy. In most cases, you will be asked to pay 50% to get started and 50% upon completion. DO NOT PAY 100% UP FRONT.
3. If you have flood insurance, they likely will not cover the entire cost for the cleanup and repairs. Get a copy of your final line item bill (an Xactimate) estimate and submit to your insurance for the maximum reimbursement amount they will cover.
4. Check your policy for wind driven rain coverage, if your home suffered that kind of damage as well.
5. Apply for help from FEMA. I understand they are covering hotel expenses up to 30 days and other essentials.

If you choose to start your own cleanup, keep this in mind; You are dealing contaminated water that has now contaminated your home. The following are some tips to consider:

1. Porous materials must be discarded. All flooring, drywall, cabinets, insulation need to be removed at least up to 12" above the water line. However, industry standard is up to two feet above the affected area as a lot of times you cannot always see how far up the water may have traveled. Wet wicks to dry - I highly recommend removing 2' above the water line.
2. Removal should be taken down to the studs, disinfected, then dried with professional drying equipment.
3. Any fabric material, such as rugs, couches, chairs, etc. should be replaced. DON'T TRY TO SAVE THEM as they are contaminated with bacteria from the rising water.
4. Furniture legs can be replaced. If you are sure that the fabric part of it is not affected, you could save your furniture pieces by just replacing the legs.
5. Watch out for electrical and plumbing if you do your own demo. Your power and water should be shut down while performing demolition. Be careful not to cut electrical or plumbing lines - you don't want to add on to the expense of your repairs.

MOLD IS LIKELY TO GROW IN THESE CONDITIONS. TEXAS law requires that companies are licensed to do any MOLD REMEDIATION. However, sometimes in a disaster situation, the State could decide to relax their requirements. Refer to the TEXAS DEPARTMENT of STATE HEALTH SERVICES; www.dshs.texas.gov.There is some good additional information on there about flood water damage.

We are praying for our entire community during this mess. I hope this is helpful information for all of you. If you have questions, feel free to call our office, 281-313-1338.

Love to all,

Natalie & Mark Hart

Harvey Strengthens to a Hurricane

8/24/2017 (Permalink)

STORM ALERT: Tropical storm Harvey is now a hurricane.  It is forecast to be a category 3 when it hits land fall. Take action and be prepared!  Know what to do in case of an emergency, create a kit,  construct an emergency plan for you and your family and be sure to stay informed.  Below is a list of basic supplies just in case disaster may strike:

  • One gallon of water per person
  • Food, at least a three day supply of non-perishable foods
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flash Light
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Battery operated radio
  • Cash
  • Cell phones

Additional emergency supplies:

  • Prescription medicine
  • Pet food
  • Local maps
  • Important documents
  • Emergency references
  • Blankets and/or sleeping bags

Our team of professionals is "ready for whatever happens". Give SERVPRO of Sugar Land a call (281) 313-1338 if you experience flooding or storm related damages.

Restoring Your Sugar Land Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

8/22/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Sugar Land commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Sugar Land

SERVPRO of Sugar Land specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Flood Safety

8/7/2017 (Permalink)

As we move into the heart of hurricane season, we all need to be mindful that August and September are the busiest months for both Tropical Storms and Hurricanes. Even with a slow start to the season, Mother Nature can change her mind very abruptly!  How are you prepared for a hurricane?  What about what comes after a hurricane?  It is common to see a storm with heavy down pours of rain causing flooding in the most protected neighborhoods.  Do you know what to do during a flood?  SERVPRO of Sugar Land has a few tips for you to follow in case an event was to happen:

  • Be prepared, create an evacuation plan
  • Learn and identify different evacuation routes to be able to evacuate quickly
  • If public transportation is relied on, contact the local emergency management for evacuation information
  • Turn Around, Don't Drown! ® Moving water above two feet can knock you down; one foot of water can move vehicles away
  • Move to higher ground if there is a chance of flash flooding
  • Driving during high rain falls can be extremely dangerous.  Stay update by checking service announcements through the National Weather Service.

For more information about flooding, visit https://www.ready.gov/floods.  Be proactive and create an evacuation plan to keep safe. It is very important to stay up date when it comes to natural disasters.  SERVPRO of Sugar Land values our community; we are here to help when disaster strikes! 

Sugar Land Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

7/31/2017 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Sugar Land for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Sugar Land specializes in mold cleanup and restoration; in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (281) 313-1338

Commercial Water Damage

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at Sugar Land commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

SERVPRO of Sugar Land professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Sugar Land 

SERVPRO of Sugar Land specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Hurricane Season is Approaching

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is coming quick, do you know when hurricane season officially begins?  If you answered June 1st, you are correct!  Hurricanes are unpredictable, which makes it hard to be prepared for one.  Regardless, every business and residence should  have an updated hurricane  preparedness plan in place just in case a disastrous event were to take place.  These plans should include having a clear plan of knowing what to do before the storm hits and who to contact after a hurricane strikes.  SERVPRO of Sugar Land should be part of your emergency contacts.  Our team is ready with the proper equipment and trained professionals to restore the aftermath caused by the storm.  Remember to give SERVPRO of Sugar Land a call - (281) 313-1338. We are always here to help!

Smoke and Soot Clean Up

1/17/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Sugar Land  will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (281) 313–1338

What To Do Until Help Arrives

1/16/2017 (Permalink)

Have you ever experienced water damage in your home?  Each time a house is damaged by water, the type and/or amount of damage can be different and requires different and unique solution.  When sewer water enters your home, it may contain bacteria, viruses, and other microbes that can cause illness.  Fortunately, SERVPRO of Sugar Land have the right equipment and specialized training to quickly fix these issue.  While you're waiting for our services, here are some helpful things to do and not until help has arrived. 

Do's: 

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. 
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with contaminated items. 

Don'ts:

  • Spread contaminated water by walking unnecessarily damaged or we areas
  • Turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air
  • Use household fans to dry the structure and spread contaminants
  • Use products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if they have been exposed to the contaminated areas. 

 

Give SERVPRO of Sugar Land a call if you ever experience any kind of water damage.  Our experts are here to help, 281-313-1338. 

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialist Can Restore your Home

12/5/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Sugar Land is an IICRC firm.  The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies.  IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo. 

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation.  These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufactures, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contracts, and public health professionals.  

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated.  The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.