Recent Posts

What You Need To Know About Smoke Damage Affecting Your Business

1/17/2022 (Permalink)

A fire destroyed five stores Fire damaged a five-store business in San Antonio, TX.

The Importance Of Smoke Cleaning

When a fire occurs in your business in San Antonio, TX, you likely will want to begin the cleanup and restoration process as soon as possible. However, many business owners do not realize the impact smoke can have on a business and the importance of smoke cleaning.

1. Damage Smoke Can Cause

Though smoke does not cause structural damage to a building, can still have a drastic impact on a business. Soot and smoke damage can cause the odor of smoke to linger, and items in your building may be covered in a layer of soot as a result of the fire. In addition to the smell of smoke that can affect the building and items inside the building, some items may also be discolored.

2. How Smoke Is Removed from a Building

Even if a fire starts in a nearby building, insurance will generally cover the cost of cleaning smoke and soot. Smoke cleaning involves using different methods to clean and sanitize all surfaces, including everything from the ceiling to the floor, that have been affected by smoke. Often, air scrubbers and other devices are also used to ensure the air quality is returned to normal.

3. Time Matters

It’s often important to get rid of smoke odor and soot damage in your business as quickly as possible. The odor of smoke can permeate into walls, furniture and other items in the building, and soot can cause some items to deteriorate over time. As a result of this damage, some structures or items in your building may need to be replaced entirely. Generally, the longer soot and the odor of smoke remain in a building, the more damage is likely to occur.

Knowing how a fire can drastically affect your business and understanding why smoke cleaning is important can help you better prepare for the cleanup and restoration process. Consider working with fire cleanup professionals if your business has been affected by a fire.

Can Your Belongings Recover From Mold Growth? 3 Actions To Take During the Salvage Process

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Baseboard with black mold growth Black mold was found in a home in San Antonio, TX.

Which Items Can Be Salvaged By Professionals from Mold Damage

Moisture and high humidity can attract mold spores into your San Antonio, TX, home, where they can grow across a variety of surfaces. While mold commonly grows on building surfaces like drywall and carpeting, it can also affect your belongings, such as clothing and furniture. Mold cleaning can be difficult; however, before you throw items away, you may want to learn about which could be saved by different types of professional cleansing processes and which cannot.

1. Throw Away Porous Items

Most porous surfaces can absorb water and encourage further mold growth. As such, some items like mattresses, thick rugs and stuffed toys that already show signs of mold damage are usually not salvageable. If your child has a favorite stuffed toy that you want to attempt to save, ask your remediation technicians if they have any mold cleaning processes that may help. You may want to remember, however, that porous items affected by black mold are usually considered unsalvageable because this type of fungus is particularly hard to eradicate.


2. Freeze Documents and Books

If you have important documents and books that developed mold, place them in sealable plastic bags and store them in your freezer. Freezing these items can inhibit further mold growth and protect them until they can be inspected by an expert mold remediation and restoration company. This can salvage items like original birth certificates, wedding albums and baby books.

3. Set Aside Moldy Clothing

If you have favorite items of clothing that have been affected by mold, ask your remediation technicians about what type of options you have for salvaging them. Wet, dry and immersion cleaning may all be possible, especially for leather jackets and shoes. Some companies have access to an Esporta Machine, which cleans soft contents by removing tough odors, dirt and mold in a way that even commercial-grade units cannot.

Mold can have a devastating effect on your San Antonio, TX, home’s contents. However, professional mold cleaning processes may be able to salvage your treasured possessions, even if you believe they are beyond repair.

Dramatic Weather Changes Don't Just Confuse You...They ALSO Confuse Your HOME!

1/4/2022 (Permalink)

Sudden and frequent temperature changes can be uncomfortable for you, but cause multiple problems for your home! Swings in weather conditions can not only make YOUR life chaotic, but can result in moisture issues you may not even realize have affected your home!

One day it’s flip-flops, T-shirts and trips to the beach, and literally the next day it’s “Don’t we have coats and gloves around here somewhere?”…better known as, winter in Texas! It can be challenging – to say the least – to plan wardrobes and activities, not to mention the impact it can have on your home.

Yes…those dramatic temperature and moisture changes can cause your home to accumulate the moisture from condensation, in places you don’t even SEE! Just like people, buildings need to “breathe.” And when the weather changes from 84 degrees to 34 degrees in the span of 24 hours, condensation WILL naturally occur – just like what happens when a hot Texas afternoon hits an ice cold glass of sweet tea. And without a means to address that moisture, it can lead to mold growth quicker than you could ever imagine.

Improper or old seals on windows, inadequate roof or wall insulation and moisture barriers, and poor ventilation can all contribute to trapped condensation…without you even knowing it’s happening right under your very roof and without a single typical sign of a water leak! And as temperatures shift back to the normal ranges and those spaces begin to warm up, it provides the perfect cozy environment for mold to grow AND thrive.

Sometimes, it can continue for months or even years undiscovered. Eventually, you may notice a tell-tale musty odor, or a wall may show signs of discoloration or damaged texture…and THAT’S when the full story of what those sudden weather changes have done to your home, unfolds. Or, you may decide it’s time for a facelift in your space. After binge-watching HGTV shows, comparing prices, styles and features, and shopping bids, you’re finally ready for that long-awaited remodel.

Then your contractor calls with the “news” – they’ve found significant mold inside your walls, and the budget for your dream space is suddenly hijacked by mold. Obviously, you want your home to be safe, and not only remediation but updates to whatever may have caused the issue, now have taken top priority over fancy appliances, designer wall coverings and handcrafted tiles. Fortunately, our professionally trained SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio mold remediation experts have both the knowledge and equipment to properly contain and remove all affected materials.

And not only can we safely and effectively handle the mold, but also remove any remnants of that “musty” smell, with our state-of-the-art air duct cleaning and professional-level odor removal treatment. However, we all know the value of an ounce of prevention, and our in-house construction team can help you make sure your home can “breathe” properly…so YOU can breathe easy, without fear of what may lurk inside your walls and home. Let’s face it, you have enough things to deal with just trying to keep up with the crazy weather changes; your home shouldn’t have to be one of them!

What If A “Fresh Start” Leaves Something “NOT-So-Fresh” Behind?!?

12/26/2021 (Permalink)

You never know what may have happened behind the doors of any tenant-occupied space…until they move out! Those tenants MAY have looked and acted “normal” but you never REALLY know how they used your space – until after they vacant the premises!

The approach of the end of the year means many people – and businesses – begin to make plans for a “fresh start” as the New Year dawns. For some, this takes the form of resolutions or setting tangible goals. Others’ vision takes a more tangible route, as they make a physical change by moving to a new neighborhood, city, state or country. But, regardless of the nature of these fresh starts, often it is spurred by the desire to leave a “less-than-fresh” situation behind.

Suddenly, THEIR “fresh start” becomes YOUR nightmare! For owners of tenant-occupied properties – whether a single-family residence, apartment or condo complex, or commercial space – when a vacancy occurs, it inevitably means they face the task of preparing the space for new occupants.

In some instances, this can be accomplished by a simple cosmetic updates – some paint, maybe new carpet, a few simple upgrades. Those are a property-owners’ dream come true. Unfortunately, this is all-too-often not the case. Let’s be honest, they seemed like normal people, they looked like normal people, they said all the right things…then you saw what they left behind.

One look tells you, it’s time to call in the pros! In a surprising number of cases, even a deep cleaning that would make your Grandma proud, cannot eradicate certain odors or questionable “stains” those tenants may have left behind. The same holds true for physical damage caused by water, ice, cooking and other “mysterious” on-site activities. And whether it’s a residential or commercial space, the headaches can be the same…and frequently compounded as the full extent of some “hidden” damage may be uncovered.

From biohazards to mold to smoke and other odors, it can all be handled efficiently – and professionally – by the specialized technicians on the SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio team. With our industry-leading, proprietary EPA-approved hospital-grade cleaning solutions that adhere to standards set by the CDC, no decontamination job is too daunting. And we all know mold can appear so quickly in damp environments and pose such serious hazards, you need trained remediation experts to properly contain and remove all affected materials. But to ensure all traces of the offending mold has been thoroughly eradicated, this also involves both complete air filtration and then our unequalled odor removal process.

While we’re speaking of air, don’t forget that post-construction punch list. Between dust from new sheetrock and sawdust from new floors or other installations, your air vents are now FILLED with all of those particulates…not to mention fumes from paint, adhesives, plastic coverings and any plumbing updates. A clean space does not “feel” clean if it doesn’t smell clean. And a simple spritz of an air freshener won’t do the job. Put the finishing touches on your beautiful new space, with air duct cleaning and professional-level odor removal treatment.

And, if you want to streamline the process, you can keep all of the work – from start to finish – under one roof: SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio! Not only are we your “go-to” for any sort of commercial property “disaster” issues (and we all know, some tenants definitely qualified as “disasters!”), but we also offer complete building and reconstruction services. Not only does it make it easier for rental property owners to coordinate required work and timelines, but often saves money. As a bonus, since our company has long-standing relationships with most major insurance carriers, we know how to submit claims and properly detail covered work. And, thanks to our SERVPRO credo – “Like it never even happened“ – we really can give even the MOST “less-than-fresh” space the fresh start every property owner wants…and deserves!

Deck Those Halls With Evergreen “Life”…Not An Incendiary “Light!”

12/21/2021 (Permalink)

During the holiday season, never underestimate the risk of unexpected fires as you “deck the halls!” We appreciate the hope and life, represented by those holiday evergreen decorations, but ALSO want to avoid turning it into an unwelcome fiery light!

Those nature-loving Druids definitively established the precedent of featuring evergreens during the holiday season. While the outside world became dormant, the aptly-named evergreen trees and foliage offered a sense of hope and celebrated the perseverance of new life that would emerge when spring arrived.

Eventually, we not only adorned and celebrated this greenery surrounding us outside, but expanded the joy by bringing nature’s winter bounty indoors. And here we are, millennia later, decking those halls with every imaginable form of evergreen…along with increasingly-elaborate decorations. Whether brightly-colored ribbons, lights that sparkle and twinkle, glistening tinsel and metallic reflectors, or a festive combination of every embellishment imaginable, we have certainly elevated that original humble Druid tree!

However, while those trees and lush garlands bring the “light” of hope during the darker days of winter, the tendency to enhance that “light” with our own forms of illumination ALSO represents some possible “dark” outcomes. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has compiled some chilling statistics involving holiday incendiary mishaps:

  • One in five home decoration fires happened in December between 2015 and 2019.
  • Between 2015 and 2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 950 house fires a year caused by Christmas decorations.
  • Christmas lights and candles and other Christmas decorations were the cause of 790 of those fires, and caused an average of one death, 26 injuries and $13 million in property damage each year.
  • The remaining 160 involved Christmas trees and caused an average of two deaths, 12 injuries and $10 million in damages annually.
  • Electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in almost half of home Christmas tree fires. Using too many, old or damaged extensions cords can overload an outlet and cause a dangerous situation.
  • Nearly one in five Christmas tree fires was started by decorative lights, with eight percent started by candles.
  • Roughly two of every five home Christmas tree fires started in the living room.
  • Year round, more than one-third (35%) of home decoration fires were started by candles. This jumped to almost half in December when candles started 45% of such fires. Cooking started one-fifth (19%) of decoration fires.

Don’t dismay…we don’t want to put a damper on your holiday cheer! Thanks to insights gained from hard-won experience, the NFPA offers tips for you to SAFELY deck those halls:

  • Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2” from the base of the trunk.
  • Make sure the tree is at least three feet away from any heat source, like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, and is not blocking an exit
  • Add water to the tree stand. Be sure to add water DAILY.
  • As Christmas trees dry out, they become more and more flammable. Thirty percent of Christmas tree fires were in January. Although Christmas tree fires are not common, they can grow very fast.
  • Be careful with holiday decorations. Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant. This includes artificial trees, if that is your preferred alternative to a live evergreen.
  • Keep lit candles away from decorations and other things that can burn.
  • Use lights that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory. Some lights are only for indoor or outdoor use, but not both.
  • Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Read the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.
  • Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
  • Test your smoke alarms and tell guests about your home fire escape plan.
  • Keep children and pets away from lit candles.
  • Keep matches and lighters up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stovetop.
  • Ask smokers to smoke outside. Remind them to keep their smoking materials with them so young children do not touch them.
  • Provide large, deep ashtrays for smokers. Wet cigarette butts with water before discarding them.

We have seen holiday joy turned into pure heartbreak in the blink of an eye, as the “go-to” experts in fire damage mitigation, remediation and restoration. And our SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio team wants you to be able to deck those halls with that evergreen “life”…while avoiding the consequences of an unexpected incendiary “light!”

At Thanksgiving, Sometimes More Than Your CUP Runneth Over!

11/24/2021 (Permalink)

The bathroom gets a major workout during Thanksgiving weekend, and sometimes it’s NOT up to the task! Aside from the kitchen, the room the probably gets the MOST traffic over Thanksgiving weekend is the bathroom…which often cannot handle the “load!”

With the impending Thanksgiving weekend activities, a LOT of places will be brimming with activity over the next several days. Probably the first few that come to mind are retail outlets – for both groceries AND the upcoming Black Friday sales. And let’s not forget our hometown entrepreneurs on Shop Small Business Saturday. Fortunately, we get a bit of a break on Sunday to just watch TV, worship…and EAT. Then the internet will be abuzz transferring exabytes of data on both Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.

Now, imagine the staffing each of these Thanksgiving extended weekend activities requires. Kind of mind boggling! However, while you would think retailers, dining and entertainment industry workers, along with law enforcement and medical personnel, will probably be preparing for a noticeably uptick, guess who ELSE will be experiencing their historically BUSIEST weekend of the year? PLUMBERS!

Aside from your kitchen (and possibly the TV/family room), what is the room likely to see the MOST use over the next 6 days? The humble (or, not-so-humble) “throne room!” Between the Thanksgiving meal – along with all of the subsequent snacking – and the football binge watching, just on Thursday and Friday alone, imagine how many visitors the bathroom will have. Now, add in any out-of-town overnight guests to that equation. Right?!? And for those who will be burning up the internet at home, possibly stretching their vacation days, that’s even MORE use for the “powder room.” Of course, we haven’t even discussed the kitchen sink or garbage disposal. Suddenly, that whole plumber thing makes a LOT of sense.

To be quite honest, an “overload” of neither is good – and both fall into that dreaded “black water” category. Each teems with all sorts of nasty bacteria and contaminants, which a good ol’ fashioned cleaning with soap-and-water just cannot mitigate. Now is the time to call in the professionals, because the health of you, your family and your loved ones is certainly nothing you want to leave to chance…or “good enough!” It’s time to call in the certified biohazard experts of SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio.

Yes, we said biohazard. Those bacteria are living, breathing, MULTIPYING organisms and any one (or, more likely more) can cause health effects! And our team has seen – and trained – for it all. One of our team members actually lived the bathroom “explosion” nightmare, and saw the entire process first-hand. It was quite the educational experience, and gave her an elevated opinion of the thoroughness and efficiency of the biohazard remediation.

The attention paid to even the most minute details, and the extraordinary lengths employed to protect the well-being of not only the human residents, but that of the pets as well, genuinely impressed our team member…just as it consistently does for each of our clients who face a particularly “nasty” situation. No matter how much something other than your cup “runneth over” this weekend, you can always count on our industry-leading biohazard techniques and experts to join plumbers this weekend on standby and ready to respond to WHATEVER “overfloweth!”

The “Extra Mile” Is Just The Starting Point For US!

10/31/2021 (Permalink)

For our SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio team, going the “extra mile” every day is just “business as usual” for us! For some, going the “extra mile” represents some sort of special effort. But at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio, it’s just part of our daily mindset!

We’ve all heard about a person or organization going that “extra mile” as a demonstration of either their compassion or dedication to a particular personal or professional credo. And this is usually accompanied by some sort of fanfare or recognition. Yet, this can also be viewed as equal parts inspiring and a slightly sad commentary – where doing something “extra” is so far outside the norm, it’s now noteworthy!

In fact, a major insurance company has created an entire award-winning marketing campaign based around the concept of “going the extra mile” with the now-familiar “Jake of State Farm” trying to convince customers that this is just the way they do business! And they aren’t alone in trying to capture a piece of their respective markets by demonstrating their commitment to customer service – consider the advertising of Chick-Fil-A and Lowe’s. But, again, wouldn’t it be nice if this were the practice for EVERYONE…no accolades needed?

Fortunately, we found a company where this IS “business as usual” every day – SERVPRO! When researching business opportunities (over 21 years ago, no less), our owners of SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio appreciated how closely the SERVPRO corporate model dovetailed with their personal values and business principles. With an ingrained mindset of service – c’mon, “serv” is right in the name – this company embodies the ideas of “going the extra mile” in every community from coast to coast.

So now, as a longtime locally-owned, family business, our entire team at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio takes community service and involvement seriously. We not only live and work here, but our children attend school here, our families worship here, and we add to the local economy by shopping here. So, in this quest to find new ways to augment the "SERV" part of SERVPRO, we periodically introduce new services for our community – like our brand new local e-newsletter, the SERVPRO Sentinel!

Focused on local sports, timely information for local residents, our local team members, and some entertaining features, the SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio Sentinel is published monthly to deliver some good, old-fashioned "SERVPRO Clean" fun. After all, we ALL could use a little more good news in our lives!

Not only does our SERVPRO Sentinel provide community news, but also offers helpful tips for residential and commercial customers to help avoid situations where OUR services might be required. Yes, sharing “insider information” may prevent us from getting a job after a “mishap” – and we’re actually okay with that! We would much rather assist our local neighbors in avoiding the aftermath of a disaster, than profit from a tragic misfortune. See, it’s just the SERVPRO way…and one more way that going the “extra mile” is just the beginning for OUR team!

Does “Clean” = “Sanitized” In The “New Normal”?

10/21/2021 (Permalink)

Just because you’ve “cleaned” it doesn’t necessarily mean your home or office is actually sanitized! Every good host or hostess knows cleaning is a major step in preparing for guests…but as we adjust to the “new normal” is “clean” REALLY enough?!?

Can you be counted among the people who read the credits at the end of movies or shows? Some of us do it out of curiosity, a few count themselves as true connoisseurs, and others may just be along for the ride with a credit-reader. But, those who DO stick around for those recognitions may notice a unique addition to recent broadcasts or theatrical releases. Alongside those obscure notations – like “bee wrangler” or “garden topiary sculptor” or “location accountant” – more frequently you will see credits for “health supervisor” or “pandemic consultant” or “COVID compliance.” Just check out a few of your favorite programs, and chances are you will see it!

It makes sense, considering the close contact frequently involved in this industry. However, a “sanitized” environment isn’t just for TV or movie stars. Things like hand sanitizer on counters everywhere, varying forms of social distancing and other precautions have become common sights…something many are calling the “new normal.” And it’s not just for retail and entertainment venues. You see it in many commercial spaces both large and small, community and religious facilities, and even in our homes.

Basically, anywhere people may tend to gather. And we’re on the cusp of the biggest “gathering” time of year…for some, the first time in two years! Which means, as we approach the upcoming holiday season – with long-anticipated gatherings in both homes and workplaces – you can count on adding another item to your “to-do” event checklist this year.

For those who will be hosting any sort of social event this season, “clean” has become a top-of-mind preparation. Now, every good host or hostess knows that cleaning is job one when you’re expecting company (especially those of us who grew up in the South, where we got a “hands-on” education in cleaning under careful adult tutelage and oversight…LOTS of “oversight”). But, in today’s social climate, is “clean” REALLY enough?!?

Whether treasured family and friends, or valued business associates and clients, you want them to feel both comfortable and SAFE at your gathering. So the last thing you want is the looming threat of a biohazard putting a damper on your holiday fun! As we explained in a previous post:

“YES, the COVID virus IS a biohazard! Normally, we think in terms of toxic chemicals or weapons; we’ve all seen those movie scientists in specialized biohazard suits who arrive in those state-of-the-art mobile units ready to deal whatever mutant organism may be threatening the population. But, if you think about it, this could also describe a lot of what we’ve seen on the news over the past 18 months. So let’s break down this whole ‘biohazard’ thing as it relates to our current COVID circumstances. ‘Bio’ signifies any living organism, which definitely includes viruses. And, well...’Hazard’ is pretty self-explanatory.”

Fortunately, our trained specialists in sanitizing and disinfecting on the SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio team, have the solution – so to speak – with our new defensive pathogen cleaning program, Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned. Going way beyond standard janitorial cleaning practices, this is proactive viral pathogen cleaning defining a higher standard of clean to the places we gather.

Our program is grounded in our unique “3 Cs” approach:

  • Consult: Not all businesses or spaces are the same, so we’ll tailor a bespoke cleaning program based on the unique needs of each facility or environment.
  • Clean: Based on the agreed plan, an expert deep clean is initiated using our proprietary EPA-Approved Hospital-Grade cleaning solutions and always adhering to the leading level of cleaning and decontamination standards set by the CDC.
  • Certify: You’ll know a business is Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned by the shield posted on their front window. Along with digital emblems and other collateral, this beacon represents their commitment to the comfort and security of their employees, customers and community. And, you can also reassure any vulnerable family members or friends planning a visit, that you want them to be safe.

So whether a neighborhood gathering or a corporate affair, call in the professionals when you want more than just “clean” – you want to protect every visitor with a space that’s been thoroughly sanitized by the NUMBER ONE choice in clean up and restoration!

What’s Scarier Than Halloween? The Looming Holiday Countdown!

10/5/2021 (Permalink)

With less than 100 days left in this year, the thought of inviting guests into a “less-than-visitor-ready” home can be scary! Believe it or not, the holiday season countdown in ON! And the prospect of inviting guests into your “not-quite-POST-pandemic” home can be a SCARY!

As inflatable spooks, illuminated goblins, and pumpkins all aglow dot the landscape – combined with the almost non-stop advertisements for assorted haunted attractions – we can easily succumb to the “Scary Season.” However, if you want to hear something REALLY frightening, check this out: As of today (Oct. 5th) we are 50 DAYS away from Thanksgiving80 DAYS until Christmas87 DAYS remaining in 2021…and 130 DAYS to Super Bowl Sunday (which just happens to be the day before Valentine’s Day). Talk about some scary stuff!

This dose of reality brings may bring some extra “entertaining angst” since these could be the first gatherings in your home for two years, in many cases. Think about it, the last time you might have gathered for Thanksgiving was 2019. And how old were your kiddos when they got to go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood, school or community event? Of course, there’s the now-infamous celebration welcoming 2020…little did we know! And forget those romantic dinners out or getaways for Valentine’s Day since 2020 when lockdowns had begun to loom large worldwide.

No pressure or anything, but is your home “holiday-ready” for guests who haven’t seen your pandemic cocoon for years? Then there could be lingering additional concerns for not just “clean” but also sanitizing your lockdown environment, so you can confidently welcome visitors for those parties, celebrations, gatherings of friends and family, and anyone else who may want to join the holiday fun.

Hey, we’re just as panicked as you are! We understand the added pressures and stress the holidays, in general, can bring – and the first “big” ones for possibly two years could send your blood pressure and adrenaline soaring faster than an army of the Walking Dead! Fortunately, we have the easiest way to check that whole “safe and clean house” thing off your pre-holiday countdown.

That’s right…the trained specialists at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio. Yes, we do the “big” mitigation, remediation and restoration after major disasters. But, we ALSO do top-to-bottom cleaning, bio-hazard sanitizing and even can clean your AIR! And we do it all with environmentally safe and EPA-certified compounds – clean AND green.

SERVPRO actually takes pride in our chemists' and engineers' research and development of environmentally-friendly products. Literally, from top-to-bottom, we cover the full spectrum of cleaning agents...while keeping it "green":

  • Carpet & Upholstery Green Clean: A biodegradable cleaner, that's pH neutral, it has no phosphates, dyes, fragrances, or solvents.
  • All Surface Green Clean: This cleaning agent is non-toxic, as well as phosphate-free, dye and fragrance-free. Plus, its biodegradable composition allows it to break down quickly.
  • Window Green Clean: A volatile organic compound compliant rapidly biodegrades, and is used premixed with soft water; it doesn’t leave spots or streaking on glass.

Even when dealing with the high levels of contamination in "black water" we still lead the field in both effectiveness AND environmental responsibility, with our exclusive SERVPROXIDE. A hospital-grade disinfectant, SERVPROXIDE is EPA-registered – with the EPA’s lowest toxicity rating! It consists of a stabilized chlorine dioxide-based agent and potent antimicrobial, yet leaves no strong odors and dissipates quickly, making it perfect for use around those who are sensitive to smells.

We proudly participate in the EPA’s Design for Environment (EPA/DFE) Initiative, with these products created exclusively for SERVPRO, and their use is only available through our trained SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio technicians. So while many might associate a “Frankenstein Green” with this time of year, you can turn everyone “pea-green” with envy when you leave the scary tasks of cleaning and sanitizing your space for this year’s holiday gatherings countdown, to the “Clean Green SERVPRO Team!”

The “Hurricane Diaries” – Part VII

10/4/2021 (Permalink)

Random cyclonic activity in a hurricane can cause devastating – yet, random – destruction in its path. With ANY force as destructive as a hurricane roars ashore, structures that were there one day can literally disappear the next!

As we – fingers crossed – began to see an end to the 2021 hurricane season, we know many are still reeling from the effects of earlier named storms along both the Gulf Coast and Atlantic seaboard. In fact, Hurricane Ida continued to leave a wake of destruction in her path as she moved up the Mississippi River valley and into neighboring states. So even as the destruction now fades from the headlines, the aftermath for residents affected by ANY storm continues for months or even years!

And this impact was experienced directly by our “Hurricane Diaries” team member, when her family personally felt the effects of Hurricane Camille when it struck the Mississippi coast in 1969. She once again shares these recollections in another “Diary” entry particularly relevant to this situation, and encourage you to check out some earlier installments chapters (Part I, II, III, IV, V and VI), then dive right in to this new chapter:

“While I’ve shared some very early childhood memories, and some very distinct career memories, of hurricanes in my lifetime, this particular one possibly had the greatest impact on me. For the first time, I had the beginnings of an understanding about ‘real’ things as I would be entering my second year of junior high school…or, at least my parents had started to discuss more ‘adult’ matters in my presence.

“Either way, I was very aware of the major upheaval that was about to happen in my life. I had a good life in La Porte, with friends and a social life, respected academic standing, and had just earned first chair clarinet in the Junior Bulldog Band. But, a job offer too good – and lucrative – for my Daddy to pass up had presented itself (especially as paying for my collegiate education loomed closer and closer), so we would be moving back to Mississippi. We had lived there during my first grade year, and half of second grade before returning to La Porte and our home my parents had built after World War II.

“However, after being absentee landlords for those 18 months, my parents were convinced they needed to sell my childhood home prior to this move. Fortunately, my father had longtime family friends just across the Singing River outside Pascagoula, MS, where he could stay while beginning his new position and searching for our new family home. My mother, my little brother and I stayed behind to get the house and yard in tip-top shape for sale.

“Remember, this was the summer of 1969; there were no picture phones, no fax machines, no desktop computers…and you PAID for every single minute of long-distance telephone calls. So my Daddy would go look at houses every weekend, sometimes even after work during the week, and take notes. He would then call Mama and describe the house, property, location, features and price. They would discuss and decide whether to make an offer or to keep looking. That level of trust STILL evokes profound feelings in me!

“Being that in-tune probably made a major contribution to their 59 years of marriage. However, despite their shared mindset, he still would NOT make a decision of this magnitude without speaking with her first! And so, began THAT weekend…

“After months of searching and discussing, he found ‘IT’ – the perfect home. Ideal location, good school system, near community stores and conveniences, and priced to move. It had charm, a sprawling fenced yard, actually close enough to school where I would be liberated finally from bus ridership! His sole focus that Sunday afternoon was reaching my mother for her final stamp of approval to finalize the purchase.

“Ironically, a heavy storm had blown through Galveston Bay earlier and left our yard quite a mess with downed limbs and lots of leaves – and this was before we had leaf-blowers. This was good, old-fashioned manual yard work. Meanwhile, my mother supervised the clean-up from her perch atop a ladder while she finished painting the eves along that front corner of the house. With no fancy answering machines (we had just gotten off a party line less than a decade before!) and no way to hear the one phone tucked away in the opposite corner of the house inside, Daddy tried in vain to get her okay.

“Having lived along the Gulf of Mexico for the majority of his life, my father was quite accustomed to weathering hurricanes. So, when they lost phone and power lines that night as Hurricane Camille roared in to their west at Pass Christian in Mississippi, my father just hunkered down with the rest of the family and waited it out. Luckily, the western Alabama coastal region was spared the worst of the storm and the next day Daddy ventured out to check on the house with his real estate agent. He had managed to get through to Mama early that morning and they had decided to make the purchase immediately, since schools would be starting SOON.

“So, Daddy and the agent made their way to the site which had so captivated my parents…and found a slab. Nothing else, no frame, no outbuildings, no fence, just a hunk of land with a big concrete slab sitting in the middle. At that point, my parents KNEW their greater angels had been working overtime on their behalf, and they had dodged a major bullet. If Mama had heard that phone, we could have been the proud owners of a slab, just like too many other residents all along the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Gulfport through to Pascagoula.

“Sadly, their predicament also became our predicament. Almost EVERYBODY needed a place to live. Our furniture and the majority of our possessions were in a storage facility, and we began our new schools in Ocean Springs (just east of Biloxi) while living in a motel room on the highway, with a nice-ish kitchenette. We finally resigned ourselves to not being able to find a home large enough for everything, and many items remained in storage for that year. And as a maturing teen, I finally understood what it was like to have to ‘carry on’ after a hurricane turns your life upside down.”

Even though the “dramatic” stories and headlines may have disappeared from news stories, you can count on both our SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio team and the teams from across the nation to stick around even when it doesn’t make headlines…because we’re committed to making it “Like it never even happened.”