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Tips on How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

6/19/2022 (Permalink)

PASS method fire extinguisher P.A.S.S. is a helpful acronym that stands for "pull, aim, squeeze, sweep.

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is an indispensable tool for any fire damage containment plan. However, few people have ever had to actually use an extinguisher, and those who have may have only done it once. It is important that everyone in the home reviews the basics of how to operate a fire extinguisher effectively.
Here are some practical tips on how to use an extinguisher.

1. Use the P.A.S.S. Technique
P.A.S.S. is a helpful acronym that stands for "pull, aim, squeeze, sweep." These are the four steps:

  1. Pull the pin to break the seal
  2. Aim low and point the hose at the bottom part of the fire
  3. Squeeze the handle
  4. Sweep the base of the fire in side-to-side motions

After sweeping the base of the fire and putting it out, back away and watch it carefully for a few more moments. The fire may reignite, and if it does, it is a good idea to have the extinguisher ready. 
Following these steps is the most effective way to use an extinguisher. By using the device properly, you can prevent a small kitchen fire from spreading and doing further damage to your home

2. Evacuate If You Have Doubts About the Fire Extinguisher
If the extinguisher is not working properly, or if you suspect that it is empty, evacuate immediately and call the fire department. Additionally, if the fire seems to have already spread past its initial stage, an extinguisher may not be enough and you will need to evacuate.
Being able to use an extinguisher effectively is a crucial skill that everyone in the home should learn. In the aftermath of a fire, it is important to handle cleanup and restoration as soon as possible. Contacting a professional fire restoration company in Round Rock, TX, will allow you to get the most out of your cleanup efforts and help you return your home to a safe and comfortable living space.

How Professional Certifications Make for Better Disaster Relief

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

People in a training with IICRC logo on top right side of picture The IICRC plays an important role in certifying workers.

What Can Professional Certifications Do for Disaster Relief?

Though not a household name, the Insurance Institute for Cleaning and Restoration Certification (the IICRC), plays a vital role in disaster relief throughout the country. This organization has helped set the standards for cleaning and restoration practices since 1972. Not only does it partner with contractors and restoration professionals to constantly improve standards for effective restoration methods, equipment and products, but it also plays a key role in many professional certifications and training programs.

A successful brand takes advantage of this professional organization and is closely involved in its success. This is one of the reasons many insurance companies and commercial clients rely on a reputable damage remediation franchise when disaster strikes.

IICRC Certified Firms
A certified firm must gain its designation through hard work and training. This is especially valuable in the cleaning and restoration industry, where firms can claim knowledge and expertise that they do not possess. As a certified firm, SERVPRO franchise in Round Rock, TX, has the expertise to complete complex jobs that restore damage caused by storms, flooding, fire, and mold. The benefits to commercial companies are numerous:

  • Peace of mind that the job will be done right
  • Access to trained technicians in restoration services
  • Confidence in the credibility of the franchise
  • Access to insurance expertise

Specific Worker Certifications
A certified restoration company must have at least one certified technician on staff. This mitigation certificate could be in any of several fields that are needed during complex cleanups and recoveries. To receive this certification, a rigorous course must be passed to show sufficient knowledge in the discipline. Certifications include a microbial remediation technician, applied structural drying technician, building moisture inspection, carpet cleaning technician and commercial drying specialist.
The IICRC plays an important role in certifying workers and firms and upholding the standards in the cleaning and restoration industry. A restoration company that partners with this organization can be trusted for high-quality work.

Understanding the Three Types of Water Damage

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Five air movers placed in an area where water damage occur, flooring has been removed Cleaning up after water damage in a home in Round Rock, TX.

Understanding the Differences In Water Damage Categories

Any home can experience water damage, but it's important to understand the three categories by which it is classified. Being able to identify which type of damage you are dealing with can help you address any water issue in your Round Rock, TX, home.

1. Category 1 - Clean Water
Contamination levels determine water damage categories, the first of which is referred to as clean water. As the name suggests, this type contains no dangerous contaminants and is relatively easy to manage. Clean water damage may include an overflowing sink or shower or appliances that leak water from their supply line.

2. Category 2 - Grey Water
Chemical or biological contaminants are the basis of the second category type, known as greywater. Cleaning detergents or urine can lead to greywater in your home's washing machine or toilet. Exposure to this type of water damage poses slight risks and if left untreated, can become even more unsanitary and evolve into the final category type.

3. Category 3 - Black Water
The third category, and the most alarming, features the highest level of contaminants, including bacteria and fungi. Sewage backup (think an overflown toilet) and groundwater flooding due to storms, rising seas, or rivers are the main causes of black water.
Because of the biohazards this category carries, it's vital to let a water damage restoration company handle the job. Flooding and sewage cleanup is best left to the experts as they are fully equipped to remove the infected water, dry the area and sanitize the property to the highest standard.
Understanding the differences in water damage categories can help keep your home and family safe. You'll be in the clear with clean water, while greywater offers more concern and black water means it's time to bring in professionals.

Requirements for Installing and Maintaining Fire Sprinklers

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

fire sprinkler in an office Any business that has a fire sprinkler system on its property, should be aware of the requirements, both legal and practical.

Requirements for Installing and Maintaining Fire Sprinklers

Any business that has a fire sprinkler system on its property, or is considering one, should be aware of the requirements, both legal and practical, for installing, maintaining and testing the system. These requirements will according to several factors: state and local jurisdictions, the type of commercial enterprise and the size of the building.
For example, facilities that are 55 feet tall or higher must have a sprinkler system on the property. General guidelines do not always have the force of law, but these best practices apply in most circumstances:

  • Water supply valves should be easily accessible
  • Valves should include information on what areas they service
  • Sprinkler heads should be unobstructed for at least 18 inches
  • Water pressure should be calibrated for optimal performance

Fire Suppression System Maintenance
Local fire safety codes in Round Rock, TX, and system requirements will drive inspection and testing schedules. Business owners and managers should make sure contractors follow these codes as non-compliance could lead to fines. Testing of the fire sprinkler system goes by component, with mechanical devices such as sprinkler heads calling for attention on a quarterly basis in most cases. Fixed equipment such as valves will have different time frames for maintenance, ranging from annually to every three to five years.

National Fire Protection Association Guidelines
The NFPA prints the Life Safety Code which contains pertinent information on the installation of water-based suppression systems. Once the system is installed, care must be taken to keep it up to date to make sure it works when needed. Business owners should also know that if the sprinklers do stop a fire, a fire sprinkler cleanup should be initiated. A professional fire mitigation company will send trained workers to clean up any water damage caused by the activation of the system.  
A fire sprinkler system is a smart investment and it is a requirement for some commercial buildings. Proactive maintenance will ensure the system works when needed to stop a fire.

How To Handle a Broken Pipe in Your House

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth inside a wall of a closet Avoid secondary damage.

How To Respond When a Pipe Burst

Flooding in your Round Rock, TX, house can cause excessive damage. You can avoid these issues by maintaining your plumbing and fixing problems as soon as you identify them. However, you may not be able to avoid incidents such as bursting pipes. When a plumbing emergency occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, you need to know how to respond appropriately and decisively.

1. Turn Off the Water
When a pipe bursts, it can send a continuous flow of water throughout the house. This can cause water damage and ruin carpet, hardwood, drywall, and furniture. To reduce this damage and stop the water, you need to shut it off immediately. Turn off the main water supply as soon as you notice any water. You should also shut off the electricity in the flooded spaces.

2. Call a Plumber To Address the Bursting Pipes
As soon as you turn off the water, contact a plumber. A licensed professional can assess the extent of the damage, discuss resolutions with you, and repair fractures in the pipes and other serious issues. Many plumbers can respond to emergencies quickly. However, it may take more than 24 hours for one to be able to come to your Round Rock, TX, home.

3. Remove the Water
If it's safe to do so, start to remove the water in your home. You can do this with a wet vacuum. You do not have to wait until a plumber comes to fix broken pipe and water damage problems. Start as soon as you contact the plumbing service and as you are waiting for them to arrive.

4. Hire a Flood Cleanup and Restoration Team
To thoroughly remove all water in your house, you'll need the expertise of a disaster cleanup company. The technicians can also mitigate any mold issues. Plus, they will replace and repair areas of the home that suffered damage.
Bursting pipes can cause significant damage. Following these steps to respond effectively to protect and restore your home.

Recovering From a Flood Using Mitigation and Restoration

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Sandbags for flood defense Placing sandbags strategically could keep water out of your business.

Using Mitigation and Restoration to Recover from a Flood

Experiencing a flood in your Round Rock, TX, business can feel devastating. Fortunately, there are times when you can prepare in advance to prevent damage. With the right flood cleanup company you can also recover more rapidly. But time is of the essence when mending after a flood. Begin by understanding how a professional service can help you rebuild, including the difference between mitigation and restoration.

When To Begin Mitigation
If you hear a rainstorm warning, you may be able to begin mitigation efforts before the storm ever hits. If the flooding is expected to be minimal, steps as simple as repairing cracks and holes, sealing gaps and placing sandbags strategically could keep water out of your business. Shallow water levels, for example an inch or two, may be possible to defend against in this way.
When a storm catches you off-guard, however, or the flooding is deeper, stormwater may make it into your building. Once the storm has passed and reentry is safe, a flood cleanup company can be hired to begin clearing out anything which may continue to cause damage and locate salvageable items. Beginning mitigation as soon as possible provides your business with its best chance of limiting losses.

Why Restoration Is Important
Although it’s a longer process, restoration is often required. While mitigation is meant to stop further damage from being done, restoration is necessary for repairing what damage has already occurred.
A restoration company can step in and begin replacing drywall, cleaning nonporous surfaces, and putting your business back together. During restoration, any additional areas of concern have a better chance of being located and corrected as well, improving the overall outcome and leaving you with a safe facility once again.
A storm can cause extensive damage, even when you try to prepare beforehand and mitigate the extent of the effects afterward. The damage to your business may demand a professional flood cleanup company in order to get you going again.

How To Contain Mold Spores During Cleanup

4/14/2022 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Mold containment in Round Rock, TX.

Ways That Mold Can Be Contained

Despite your efforts to keep it at bay, you've discovered mold growing at your business in Round Rock, TX. In the best interest of your staff, building, and clients, you've hired a professional mold remediation specialist to handle the mold cleanup. You're wondering: is it safe to continue running my business as usual while cleaning happens, or do I need to come up with a different plan? During cleanup, professionals will use containment strategies to prevent the spread of mold. However, the impact to your business practices will depend on the size of the containment area. Here are the ways that mold can be contained.

Limited Containment

For smaller areas of mold contamination, a single layer of plastic sheeting will be hung to contain the mold spores that will be released into the air during cleanup. The sheeting is attached to the floor and ceiling with duct tape, or a metal frame may be used for larger spaces. The area is kept under negative pressure, which prevents the spread of spores to non-contaminated areas of the building. If the mold is not in your main work area, it is possible that you can continue to run your business. Always follow the direction of the remediation specialist when determining your business plan.

Full Containment

In a larger area, in situations where there is massive mold growth, or in spaces that are harder to contain, a double layer of plastic sheeting will be erected, and airlock chambers will be utilized for entrance to and exit from the mold cleanup area. In both limited and full containment projects, all air vents, fans, doors, and stairs will be sealed off to further protect the building's occupants.

General Prevention

Your mold remediation team will wear personal protective equipment that they will keep in a contained area in order further prevent the spread of mold spores to the rest of the building.
Proper mold cleanup can be an involved process, so deciding how to run your business while cleaning occurs is a decision that you should make under the advisement of a remediation professional.

3 Ways To Prepare Your Commercial Building To Handle Intense Winds

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Before the storm arrives, have experts examine the rooftop, looking for any openings or loose shingles.

Three Ways To Secure the Premises

Hurricanes are classified by wind speed, with each level increasing in devastating intensity. In fact, using specialized technology, the National Hurricane Center measures the wind, using the data to place the system within one of five levels. To minimize hurricane damage, commercial owners in Round Rock, TX, should implement essential safety protocols. Getting ahead of the storm has the potential to save headache major costs. The following are three ways to secure the premises.

1. Inspect the Roof

High winds can range from 74 mph to over 200 mph, exerting immense force on the property's roofing. While this structure is designed to handle external elements, issues can arise if it's not in the best shape. Before the storm arrives, have experts examine the rooftop, looking for any openings or loose shingles. Repair them to avoid leaks and saturation.
Discuss upgrading the materials. Wind can pick up the roofing. Add straps to hold the roof framing and wall framing together. Also, speak with professionals about changing to impact-resistant shingles.

2. Clear the Land

Safeguard from hurricane damage by eliminating potential obstacles. Walk around the property, checking for anything loose. Move furniture and bulkier items inside. Pick up sticks and branches. While they may seem innocuous, even minor things can become a significant issue if hurled into the build. Breaks to the exterior permit interior flooding. A water restoration company should assess the moisture and clean up the trouble.

3. Reinforce Windows

Windows and glass doors are incredibly vulnerable. Prepare for this danger. Extreme wind speeds can shatter the glass. Shutters and plywood establish barriers, working to fight against such intrusions. Another option is to purchase windows with a higher wind rating. Look for something with a high design pressure rating. While issues could still arise, the more substantial the build, the lower the risk.
Proactive efforts reduce hurricane damage risk. Before a maelstrom barrels into town, check out the grounds and secure the vulnerable spots. Reinforce weaker zones and pick up possible fliers. Simple steps could make life easier down the road.

3 Things to Consider When Estimating Fire Damage

3/25/2022 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Round Rock, TX.

How to Estimate Fire Damage In Your Commercial Building

After a fire causes destruction in your commercial building, it can be overwhelming to keep track of all the costs and repairs that need to be done. However, monitoring the damage caused by the incident can help you feel in control during a stressful situation. If you are concerned about how to estimate the fire damage in your Round Rock, TX, building, the following tips can give you an idea of where to begin.

1. Roof Repair

In the aftermath of a fire, there is usually considerable damage done to the roof. Depending on the severity of your situation, you may have to either repair or replace your roof. In many cases, roofs require emergency tarping in order to recover from the damage and be fully protected from any further harm. Be sure to pay attention to the state of your roof when assessing the damage from your commercial fire.

2. Water Damage

It is likely that flames and smoke aren't the only causes of damage to your commercial building. If firefighters showed up on your property, their efforts to extinguish the fire may have caused excess water to seep into your building. This can lead to water damage costs in addition to the fire damage that you are already dealing with. As you estimate your fire loss, don’t overlook the effects of water damage.

3. Elimination of Debris

If you notice a smoke odor in your building, it is likely caused by the presence of debris. A vital part of the fire restoration process involves removing all traces of debris and eliminating the odor of smoke and fire on your property. When this step is properly taken care of, your commercial building can be one step closer towards a full recovery.
It’s crucial to have your building restored as soon as possible after a fire. Schedule a fire damage assessment immediately to get an estimate of the damage that has targeted your business.

5 Things To Check When Preparing Your Business for Winter

3/18/2022 (Permalink)

Plumbing system covered with insulation covers. Protect your pipes with insulation.

Preparing Your Business for Winter

Owning a business anywhere can be difficult, but having a commercial property somewhere that endures harsh winters comes with unique challenges. Extreme cold weather in Round Rock, TX, can often lead to problems like frozen pipes, ice dams and other kinds of building damages. To avoid having to call a disaster restoration professional after the next winter storm, make sure your company is ready for the elements. Here are five things to assess when going through your winterization checklist.

1. Plumbing

Frozen pipes can quickly lead to bigger problems, so making sure your plumbing is in good condition should be a top priority. Nobody wants springtime flooding. You can prepare your pipes for colder weather by insulating and sealing any cracks or openings.

2. Insulation

Speaking of insulating, how is the insulation of your building structure? You can keep your business warmer for customers by protecting it with a variety of insulation types. From blanket-style to rigid to foam, there are many options for keeping your commercial space comfortable in wintertime.

3. Roofing

When it comes to storm damage, the roof is a popular place to find it. If you can safely look on top of your building, check for ice dams or block gutters, and clear them out. If you do not have safe access, call a professional.

4. Windows

Before the next winter storm, another place you will want to check are the windows. Remember to inspect them both inside and outside. Doing so can save you money on energy bills throughout the season.

5. HVAC

To ensure your building has proper air ventilation throughout the colder months, take a look at your HVAC system. Replace air filters and make sure everything is working properly.
In order to prepare your business for the next winter storm, create a checklist of tasks you need to complete before the snow starts to fall. Be sure to include the items here.