Recent Posts

Extending The Life Of A Candle

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

General Extending The Life Of A Candle Tips to extend the life of your candle for smell or survival.

We burn candles for a variety of reasons, whether for the aroma or to light the home due to a power outage. Did you know that you could actually assist them in burning longer? 

Tip 1: Freeze your candle. Yes, put it in the freezer! By doing so, you are hardening the wax, which makes it melt more slowly and therefore last longer. It may not be feasible to store all of your candles in your freezer, so simply slip your next-up-to-burn candle into the freezer on the morning or night before you’re planning to light it.

Tip 2: After letting the candle burn long enough for a pool of wax to collect around the wick, blow out the flame. Then, quickly sprinkle table salt into the liquid wax. If necessary, use a toothpick to ensure that the salt actually mixes into the wax and doesn’t just sit on the surface.  Then re-light the candle.  Adding salt serves the same purpose as putting the candle in the freezer—it slows down the rate at which the wax melts, giving you a longer, more economical burn.  What matters most is how long you let the candle burn the first time you light it. Try not to extinguish it until the pool of wax has extended across the diameter of the candle. Blow it out too soon, and you may cause the candle to leave excess wax; if it doesn’t melt on the first lighting, the dry, hard wax around the outside edge will almost never burn.

Tip 3: It can also be helpful to keep the candle wick trimmed to about a quarter inch in length, because longer wicks tend to burn faster.  Leftover wax is a sign that the candle didn’t burn to its full potential. To get the most bang for your buck, make sure that the candle burns both evenly and completely. Finally, remember not to leave the candle near a door or window or in any similarly drafty spot; not only is such a location unsafe, but it can also result in uneven burning.

Flood Water Facts

6/25/2018 (Permalink)

Across the United States, flooding is one of the most commonly widespread weather-related disasters. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert, there is always potential for flood damage.

Though you may have never experienced a flood in the past, there’s no level of security to assure that you won't in the future.  In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. 

According to the American Red Cross (ARC), floods cause more damage in the U.S. every year than any other weather-related disaster.  The ARC offers the following safety tips:

  • Stay away from floodwaters as much as possible.  If you approach a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around, and go another way.  Six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off of your feet.
  • If you approach a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way.  If you are caught on a flooded road and water are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground.  Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water.  They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

If your home or business is ever affected by a flood, contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Westfield at (281) 907-0018.  Even minor floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure when not treated quickly and properly, and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task.  The SERVPRO system is prepared to handle any size disaster.  The sooner work begins; the sooner your home or business can return “Like it never even happened.”

Home Fires: Grilling Safety Tips

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Nearly 8,900 home fires are started by grilling accidents each year.

Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer kick-off barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. To keep you and your family safe while grilling, follow these general guidelines.

General grilling tips:

  •  Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.

Propane grills:

Before you use your grill:

  •  Check the major connection points between the gas (propane) tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners. Tighten if loose.
  • Check the gas (propane) tank hose for the potential (gas) leaks. To do that:
    • Apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle.
    • Turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose (big enough to see).
    • If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
  • If there are bubbles, turn off the tank and check connections, then have your grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the leak doesn’t stop, call the fire department immediately.

When the grill is on:

  • As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners.
  • If the leak stops immediately, get the grill serviced by a professional before using it again.
  • If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.

Charcoal grills:

  •  There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to start the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel.
  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid. Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire.
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources.
  • There are also electric charcoal starters, which do not use fire. Be sure to use an extension cord for outdoor use.
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.

Call SERVPRO of Westfield for your fire restoration needs (281) 907-0018.

Flood Safety Tips: Houston, Texas

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

With the recent rain storms that the Houston and surrounding areas of Texas have been experiencing the past few days, sharing some basic flood safety tips may be very helpful. There is no good time for a flood.  No matter the size, minor or massive, a flood can cause a great deal of damage and poses a risk to people living and traveling through the flooded area.

To provide assistance to you, your family, home, and vehicles to aid in navigating through a flood without harm, follow these simple flood safety tips:

Prepare Before a Flood Hits

It may seem odd preparing for a flood before it even happens. However, if flooding is imminent, be prepared to leave your property. If floodwaters get too high, pack enough clothing and supplies to last a few days. Make sure to put important documents in your bag also. If time permits, try to move furniture and electronics to a second floor and flip off the circuit breakers to avoid electrical fires.

Keep Safe During a Flood

One of the most important flood safety tips to remember is to stay out of the water as much as possible. If you do have to evacuate during a flood, avoid walking through moving waters. As little as six inches of water can make an adult lose their balance and fall. Carry a walking stick with you to check for solid ground under the water ahead of you. Watch out for electrical equipment and fallen power lines.

If you’re driving during a flood, don’t attempt to drive through moving floodwaters. Two feet of moving water could be strong enough to wash your car away. If water begins to rise around your car, abandon the car if you’re able, and go to a safer area.

Dealing with the Aftermath

Return to your home only after being told it is safe to do so. You’ll need to begin the restoration process. Any remaining water should be removed as soon as possible. Everything within the home must be dried and disinfected quickly to prevent mold and mildew that can set in within 24 hours of the flooding. With SERVPRO of Westfield on your side we will help with all your water restoration needs. We are just one phone call away to make your flooding “Like it never even happened.”

Call SERVPRO of Westfield - We're Here To Help (281) 907-0018.

www.SERVPROWestfield.com

Houston Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Houston Smoke and Soot Cleanup

6/18/18 (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 Westfield 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 – 281-907-0018

Restoring Your Houston Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

6/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Restoring Your Houston Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event Commercial Business in Houston, TX

6/18/18

Flooding and water damage events at Houston 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 Westfield

SERVPRO of Westfield 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.

Hazardous Mold Can Begin To Develop Within 24 Hours After Water Damage

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Hazardous Mold Can Begin To Develop Within 24 Hours After Water Damage Air Scrubber, professional equipment provided by SERVPRO.

With the expertise and reputation of SERVPRO of Westfield, we can handle water damage emergencies immediately, as the threat of potentially hazardous mold can begin to grow and develop as soon as 24 hours after the original water damage. 

When a water loss occurs, SERVPRO of Westfield uses specialized equipment like dehumidifiers to dry properties and reduce the humidity levels. This is an extremely important part of cleanup after water damage. 

Normal drying methods may be the first thought of the customer, but in most cases, are simply not enough to reduce the humidity levels in a home after a major accident of water loss. Mold is able to grow behind cabinets, walls and under flooring very quickly, so the threat has to be handled by professionals who know how to properly dry flooring, walls, and other fixtures on the property. 

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.

If you think that your home or business may have a mold problem, we can assist with having you scheduled for a certified mold test and inspection, with a follow up service to use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 281-761-2373

Common Causes Of Water Damage

1/8/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage comes in many forms. No matter how great or small, SERVPRO of Westfield is waiting for your call!  Below is a list of common causes of water related loss:

  • Broken Pipe
  • Washer Overflows
  • Water Heater Overflow
  • Rising Water from Flooding
  • Roof Leaks
  • Leaks from a Broken Window
  • Toilet or Bathtub Overflow
  • Air Conditioner Drip Pan Overflow
  • Broken Appliance Hoses
  • Fire Related Water Damage

Until you experience a water related loss you may not realize how important it is to hire a water damage specialist. SERVPRO of Westfield is trusted by insurance agents and property owners across Houston, TX and they are ready 24/7 to help you get back to life as you know it, "Like it never even happened.”

Residential Services

Whether your Houston and/or Spring home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us.  Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Houston or Spring commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Hurricane Flooding: Health and Water Damage

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hurricane Flooding: Health and Water Damage A potentially dangerous species of mold grows in an apartment in Houston, Texas, after Hurricane Harvey. (Lucas Jackson / Reuters)

Hurricane flooding proposes health and water damage. The dust has settled and the smoke has cleared, but many communities and businesses are still pressing, months later, to recover and repair from the heavily impacting Hurricane Harvey in Houston and other surrounding areas/cities of Texas. You may not give much thought to the possible health threats after experiencing a water related loss, but FEMA warns, "During flood cleanup, you may think the air quality inside your home would be the least of your problems. Standing water and wet materials are a breeding ground for microorganisms, such as viruses, bacteria and mold. A quick response can lessen continuous damage to your home long after the flood".  

The documented dangers of excessive mold exposure are many. Guidelines issued by the World Health Organization note that living or working amid mold is associated with respiratory symptoms, allergies, asthma, and immunological reactions. The document cites a wide array of “inflammatory and toxic responses after exposure to microorganisms isolated from damp buildings, including their spores, metabolites, and components”.

When you experience a water loss, it is important to consider a company like SERVPRO of Westfield to assist with the cleanup, to aid in the decrease of possibly experiencing fast paced mold growth  which can go unnoticed, as mold and bacteria often hide behind walls and cabinets. Storm and water specialists like those at SERVPRO of Westfield are trained to spot risks and eliminate them expeditiously.

SERVPRO of Westfield is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help Call Today - 281-761-2373

Using A Licensed Mold Remediation Specialist

1/4/2018 (Permalink)

Mold can be an invisible intruder, growing behind and around what you first see. Using a licensed mold remediation specialist helps to alleviate undetected mold exposure. Exposure to mold can cause allergies, skin irritation, and a host of other health problems. Mold remediation is a serious job that is best handled by the results of a professional mold inspector, followed up by a licensed mold remediation specialist. Mold is a potentially hazardous health concern that we here at SERVPRO of Westfield take pride in knowing that we are professionally equipped in providing immediate relief from prolonged growth and exposure.

FEMA warns residents of homes that flood, to thoroughly clean and dry any areas affected by flood water to ensure that mold does not grow, but sole residence attention sometimes is not enough. SERVPRO of Westfield uses dehumidifiers to reduce the humidity present in water damaged properties. 

A home owner is unlikely to have access to all of the specialized equipment needed to complete such a task. With specialized equipment used and the expertise shown by the professional team at SERVPRO of Westfield, insurance companies trust our team when their policy holders experience a water loss. Assessing mold growth involves more than just looking at what’s visibly growing on the walls.

Many customers and insurance companies call SERVPRO of Westfield first when they experience a loss or damage, because they trust that the work will be completed with expertise and precision.