Recent Posts

3 Ways To Prevent Cigarette Fires

8/26/2022 (Permalink)

Man smoking As long as you take preventative measures to avoid a cigarette fire, you won't have to worry about contacting fire restoration professionals.

Prevent Cigarette Fires

Would it surprise you to learn that in 2014 alone, upward of $400 million in residential property damage was caused by cigarette-related sources? From how smokers dispose of cigarettes to where in the house they choose to light up, each use indoors comes with a certain degree of risk. Here are three tips to protect your house from a potential cigarette fire.

1. Don't Smoke in the House

The average American has dozens of combustible chemicals in their home, including air fresheners, cleaning solutions, cosmetics, and cooking sprays. These materials can act as prime fuel sources when exposed to the heat given off by cigarettes. These agents often build up on the carpet and furniture. Outdoor smoking is one of the easiest ways to alleviate the danger of a cigarette fire.

2. Dispose of Cigarettes Safely

You may also have to worry about an ashtray fire if you smoke. To prevent an ashtray from tipping over and becoming a fire hazard, you should purchase a deep, wide-brimmed one, which will be inherently more stable. Even when putting a cigarette into an ashtray, it's critical to make certain that the butt is completely out. Submerging spent cigarettes in water can guarantee that they pose no danger. Keeping ashtrays away from your house is also an option.

3. Educate Your Family To Avoid a Fire Cleanup

Having a serious conversation with any children in the household can make all the difference. They need to understand that cigarettes, lighters, and matches are not toys to be played with. Whether your family lives in San Antonio, TX, or any other part of America, the training will be equally beneficial.

As long as you take preventative measures to avoid a cigarette fire, you won't have to worry about contacting fire restoration professionals. These tips can help keep you and your family safe for years to come.

3 Ways To Maintain Your Rental Home's Pipes

8/21/2022 (Permalink)

Tree roots and mud Take care of tree roots.

3 Ways to Keep Your Rental Home's Pipes in Good Condition

If you have an older rental home in San Antonio, TX, remember that regular pipe maintenance prevents plumbing issues and potential damage. Follow the tips below to keep your rental home in peak condition and save yourself the headache of cleaning up from leaking or busted pipes.

Why Maintenance Is Important For Your Rental

Problems with pipes often come from clogs or faulty piping. Over time, sludge, hair and whatever gets flushed down a toilet or drain can build up in your pipes, clogging the system. While you can quickly clear sink clogs with a treatment, mainline clogs can lead to leaking and damage.In older homes, polybutylene pipes can become brittle and, without proper maintenance, can break. These pipes made from a plastic resin can sometimes react with oxidants found in public water, resulting in micro-fractures and an overall weakening of your system.
How To Maintain Your Pipes

Use an enzyme treatment: Pour an enzyme mixture down your drains and into your toilet regularly, starting once a week and gradually moving to once a month. Let the mix sit in your pipes overnight, flushing it out with hot water in the morning. You can also find a mainline enzyme mix to clean out your entire piping system four times a year.

Be aware of what you put down your drain: Ask your tenants to be wary of what they put down the sinks. Do not put hair down a bathroom sink or certain food scraps down a kitchen sink, even if it has a garbage disposal.

Take care of tree roots: Tree roots can grow into your home’s pipes, so ensure that you’re plumbing system is not affected by a wandering limb. You can flush a root-killing treatment down your toilet twice a year to kill off any stray roots without harming the tree.

Regular pipe maintenance is essential for keeping older homes free from damage. Use treatments and caution to prevent your home from needing professional services for water damage or plumbing issues. Have peace of mind knowing your rental home is safe.

How To Restore Water-Damaged Documents in 3 Steps

8/15/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents due to flooding Protect your information in these documents from future damage by either digitization or storing physical copies in a secure location.

Restoring Water Damaged Documents

If water damage occurs at your San Antonio, TX, business, you are likely wondering whether or not you can restore wet documents. Fortunately, the answer is often yes. The following outlines the three-step recovery and protection process.

1. Document Drying

When it comes to drying documents, you have a few options. If the documents are only slightly damp, you may be able to let them air dry. Avoid laying them flat to prevent smudging. For more severely damaged documents, a certified restoration service can use more sophisticated techniques. Freeze drying involves freezing the document and then using a high-pressure vacuum to turn the liquid into a vapor. This removes the moisture from the papers without exposing them to liquid again.

2. Document Sanitizing

Wet documents have often been exposed to bacteria and other contaminants through the water they came in contact with. They can be sanitized through a process known as gamma irradiation. This technique exposes the material to Cobalt-60 radiation, which kills the offending microbes without further damaging the documents.

3. Document Digitizing

Unfortunately, not all flooding can be prevented in the future. Despite today’s sophisticated restoration techniques, not all documents are salvageable. This means that your important documents should be protected from future water damage. You could make copies and store the originals off-site in a secure location. However, it is often simpler to digitize the documents. There are scanners and software available that make this process easier, or you can hire professionals to do it for you.  

When a business incurs water damage, many owners worry about wet documents. In many instances, these can be restored and cleaned so they are safe to use. It is also important to protect the information in these documents from future damage by either digitization or storing physical copies in a secure location.

Commercial Irrigation System Troubleshooting Tips

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Sprinkler System It is best practice to examine your sprinkler system periodically to avoid future irrigation problems.

Troubleshooting Commercial Irrigation Systems

A working sprinkler system can produce a lush, green landscape for a San Antonio, TX, business. However, if it malfunctions, it could cause flooding. If the ground is too saturated, especially near any buildings, you could wind up with water soaking through cracks in the foundation and entering your basement or concrete slab. If this scenario occurs, you should call in a water damage cleanup team. Before that situation happens, try locating and repairing the leak yourself. Here are some simple ways you can troubleshoot.

Examine Irrigation System

The first thing you will want to do is walk around the area where you have sprinklers.

  1. Stop at each sprinkler head. Inspect to make sure none are broken or missing.
  2. Look for water that is not where it should be or is pooled up. Pay particular attention to any water that is near a building.
  3. Listen for the sound of running water. If you have a leak or a broken pipe, you should be able to hear it.
  4. As you are inspecting your irrigation system, place markers at each location where you have found a problem so you can return to it quickly when you go back to fix it.

Repair and Replace

Once you have finished your walkthrough, return to the flagged areas and start your repairs. Clean out dirt and debris from clogged sprinkler heads. Replace any rubber seals or gaskets that were leaking during your inspection. Repair or replace any broken or missing sprinklers.

Perform Maintenance Checks

It is best practice to examine your sprinkler system periodically to avoid future irrigation problems. Doing a thorough check of your irrigation system when you start using it each year will help identify any repairs needed before bigger problems occur.
Investing time to troubleshoot and repair any problems at your business yourself will save time and money and provide a beautiful landscape for your customers and San Antonio, TX, residents for years to come.

When a Fire Happens

7/9/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO green vehicle Our vans are ready to head your way!

Fire Happens

Common households in San Antonio, TX mishaps happen all the time. However, most of these don’t involve an insurance claim. Throughout the United States, household kitchen fires occur every 18 seconds! That statistic is mind blowing! The typical scenario is when the cook becomes distracted and the stovetop is left unattended.

Phone calls, a knock at the door, children calling for their parent’s attention are all common reasons we hear for the cause.

Here at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio, we’re well equipped to react to these calls, typically, responding and on-site the day of the event.

With state-the-art cleaning supplies and chemicals partnered with industry-leading training for all our technicians, SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio can handle any size job that comes our way.

Most fire/smoke damage clean-ups take 3-5 days, involving structure cleaning of the walls, ceilings, and floors, HVAC system, and air duct cleanings.

Soot spares no one and contents is also part of the job scope when performing smoke damage mitigation cleaning. Hard surface furniture, sofas, chairs, and other upholstered items are cleaned including Bric a Brac items in drawers and cabinets. Literally, everything in the home gets cleaned. By the end of the job, the house is the cleanest it’s ever been!

We here at SERVPRO of Northwest San Antonio are ready for the unexpected. We’ve planned and prepared for your emergency.

Should the unexpected happen to you. Please know we’re here to make it “Like it never even happened.”

3 Ways Exterior Maintenance Can Reduce Storm Damage

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

Construction worker wearing safety harness and safety line working on a metal industry roof new warehouse Failure to address flaws with a facility's exterior can allow a strong storm to enter the facility's interior.

3 Ways Exterior Maintenance Can Help You Avoid Storm Damage

As every property manager knows, keeping up on exterior maintenance can pay big dividends. Failure to address shortcomings with the exterior of a facility can allow a strong storm to penetrate into the interior of a facility in San Antonio, TX. Therefore, a regular maintenance program by professional contractors is likely to strengthen the bottom line. A building maintained to high standards offers protection in several ways.

1. It Reduces Wind Damage.

Strong walls, a newer roof and modern windows can fight off the effects of high winds. Sustained wind gusts will seek out the weakness in a building and tear off gutters, increase the size of cracks and even break windows. A regular building inspection can locate weaknesses and schedule timely repairs.

2. It Repels Water.

Incessant rain is notorious for finding the shortcomings of a building's defenses. Looking at the roofing system should be the centerpiece of any exterior maintenance program. Any time water is allowed into a facility, it can wreak havoc with electrical systems, increase the likelihood of mold formation and break down materials. The services of a professional storm mitigation team will be needed if too much water enters.

3. It Keeps Everyone Safe.

A poorly maintained building is full of dangers for employees and customers. In the midst of a storm, items can fall from the roof and pose a threat to passersby. This could expose a company to liability lawsuits. Also, water entering the building could pose electrical shock hazards as well as increasing the possibility of trips and falls. A secure building exterior is safer for everyone.

Storms cause billions of dollars in damages every year to U.S. companies. There are numerous ways to minimize the possibility of property damage and injuries from storms. A strong exterior maintenance program is one of the best ways to ward off damage from hail, hurricanes and tornadoes. It offers an additional layer of protection for a business.

How to Care for Damage Belongings After a Flood

6/9/2022 (Permalink)

Wet documents If you have wet documents caused by a broken pipe or flooding let a professional take care of it.

How to Handle Flood-Damaged Personal Property

You may not sit around thinking much about what would happen in the workplace if there was flooding. However, a flooded company could cause widespread damage and have a disastrous effect on your business. Along with damage to your San Antonio, TX, building, you may have severe damage to contents such as documents, furniture, and electronics. Fortunately, there are ways to salvage and restore these items. 

1. Cleaning Carpets

A flooded company will likely mean that any carpet you have in the building will have extensive water damage. This can make the environment unhealthy. In some cases, you may not be able to save the carpet. But a professional flood restoration company has the equipment and techniques to clean up after many flooding incidents. Technicians will rip out the carpet and then replace the padding underneath. Using industrial-strength machines, technicians will then extract the water. Lastly, the technicians will sanitize the carpet before replacing it. 

2. Dry Cleaning Furniture

Content cleaning will also apply when there is wet furniture. Using a similar process, technicians will thoroughly remove any water from water-damaged furniture. Sanitizing the surfaces will be critical too. The process will also include completely drying the furniture. This will discourage mold growth.

3. Cleaning Electronics

If you have wet computers, printers, or other electronics, don't touch them or turn them on. Let a professional handle this cleaning task. A technician will assess the extent of the damage. Often, the technician will have to disassemble the computer and clean the motherboard. This task requires a delicate and careful approach. 

4. Cleaning Documents

Whether from a broken pipe or other cause, flooding can inflict a lot of damage on documents. These include files, books, maps, and other important paperwork. Freeze-drying is often the most effective technique for salvaging and restoring wet documents. 

If you have a flooded company, you may experience a lot of water damage. Thankfully, professionals can clean many of the ruined items. 

The Value of 24 Hour Restoration Availability

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of North West San Antonio crew SERVPRO is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may tackle disaster cleanup with the care and attention it deserves with our 24-hour service.

The Importance of a 24-Hour Restoration Service

Your commercial buildings need protection. Storms, fires, and other hazards can happen at any time. When disaster hits, you need to be able to respond quickly and effectively so that you can protect the structures and property that are vital to your business.

A professional restoration company with 24 hour service can help you contain the damage, even if something happens in the middle of the night. Here are some of the benefits of SERVPRO's 24/7 service in San Antonio, TX.

1. Fast Response Any Time
If a heavy storm strikes in the middle of the night and causes water damage to your building, you will need a cleanup crew on-site as quickly as possible to begin the drying and restoration process. There are many types of hazards and unexpected events that can cause damage to commercial property and the sensitive equipment and documents that your business needs in order to operate.

No matter when you need help, SERVPRO will respond to your call within 1 hour. They will be on-site in 4 hours, and they will provide a verbal briefing within 8 hours. These deadlines ensure that you will get a prompt and professional restoration whenever it is needed. 

2. Get Expert Help
Disaster cleanup can be a stressful process for any business owner. You might not know the best ways to save damaged property and restore your building. The 24-hour service provided by SERVPRO includes the very best techniques and equipment for restoring damage related to mold, water, fire, and smoke. If your commercial property houses important documents, SERVPRO can safely transport them to a Document Restoration Facility that uses state-of-the-art technology to dry and restore sensitive materials.

SERVPRO is always open. 24-hour service ensures that you can approach disaster cleanup with the care and attention it deserves.

3 Tips for Conducting Effective Fire Drills at Work

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

Red tank of fire extinguisher. Overview of a powerful industrial fire extinguishing system. Have a plan so that you can get back to business quickly and safely after a fire. SERVPRO can help you, call us!

3 Tips For Conducting Effective Workplace Fire Drills

As a business owner or manager, you care about your employees and their safety. Emergency preparedness against disaster is an important part of maintaining a safe workplace. Make sure that your employees are prepared for the event of a fire in San Antonio, TX, by using these three tips to make your fire drills more effective.

1. Start with a Plan

Before jumping into a drill, make sure that you start with a detailed plan. Here are a few items to include:

Map out evacuation routes. Keep these posted in visible areas. Mark the location of fire extinguishers.
Designate an employee to act as fire warden. Assign other responsibilities as needed, such as shutting down equipment or helping at-risk individuals out of the building.

Decide on follow-up communication. Have a system for determining whether everyone has been safely evacuated. Identify a set meeting place outside the building.

Know who you will call for fire cleanup and restoration after the emergency has passed. Have a plan so that you can get back to business quickly and safely.

2. Set Fire Drill Goals

Set specific objectives for each fire drill. These could include improving evacuation time (assign someone to clock this, such as the fire warden) or efficiently shutting down necessary equipment. Make and keep a goal for the frequency of fire drills. Plan on at least two to three each year.

3. Evaluate After the Drill

After you've completed a fire drill, take the time to debrief with your employees. Discuss what went well and make specific observations about needed improvements. Ask for feedback from everyone involved to identify any hiccups that need to be worked out before the next drill.

Drills are an important way to prepare for potential emergencies in the workplace. Make the most of your time, and that of your employees, by ensuring that your drills are effective. Plan ahead, be specific in your objectives and take the time to communicate both before and after drills.

Does Your Team Know How To Use a Fire Extinguisher?

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

Thai people in the conflagration preventive extinguisher training program, Safety concept. Focus on fire tray. Selecting an appropriate fire extinguisher and training your employees on how to use it can help you avoid extensive fire damage at your business.

Does Your Team Know How To Use A Fire Extinguisher?

A fire can negatively impact your business's daily operations in San Antonio, TX. Equipping your space with fire extinguishers and training your employees to operate them can prevent fires from spreading and devastating your business.

Which Extinguisher Should You Choose?

A fire can potentially break out anywhere in your business, but having multiple extinguishers throughout your premises can provide significant protection. Also, you must know which types of extinguishers can effectively address different fire causes.

  • Class A extinguishers contain pressurized water that puts out fires involving solid combustibles, including paper, wood, cloth and plastic. They can help prevent fire damage in office settings containing documents, furnishing and electronics.
  • Class B units can extinguish fires in industrial settings. They contain CO2 or dry foam to combat oil, petroleum, gasoline, paint, propane solvents-related fires.
  • Class C units address fires due to faulty wiring or electrical malfunctions and are helpful near a fuse box or office equipment. However, they rob these fires of the oxygen that sustains them.
  • The powdery agent in Class D extinguishers puts out fires involving metal substances at businesses dealing with biotech materials.

You may need to consult with a fire restoration and cleaning service to address the extensive damage resulting from a kitchen fire. However, a nearby Class K fire extinguisher can minimize flames involving fat, grease and oil. Dry and wet chemicals in these units can keep these fires from spreading by lowering the high temperatures that cause combustion.

What Are the Steps for Operating an Extinguisher?

Keeping extinguishers on your business premises is not enough to prevent fire damage. You must ensure that everyone on your staff knows how to use them by following the PASS steps as follows:

  • P: Pull the unit's pin
  • A: Aim the unit nozzle toward the bottom of the flames
  • S: Squeeze the handle while the extinguishing agent discharge
  • S: Sweep the extinguishing from side to side while it emits the extinguishing agent

Choosing an appropriate fire extinguisher and training your staff to use it can prevent help you avoid extensive fire damage at your business in San Antonio, TX.