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Archived Blog Posts

Commercial Carpet Cleaning

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Carpet Cleaning

Commercial carpets are a big investment.  They are meant to last, but with so much foot traffic, properly taking care of them often is necessary.  Besides vacuuming the carpet regularly, your commercial carpet should also be deep cleaned to extend the life of your carpet and keep it looking well kept and professional.

A clean, healthy carpet helps set the first impression your customers have when they walk into your business and should provide a clean and safe environment for your employees.  Carpets are also the place where a lot of airborne particles and other dirt gathers over time.  Besides aesthetics, keeping a clean carpet also helps provide healthy indoor air quality.

Commercial carpet cleaning from SERVPRO of North Irving can:

  • Eliminate most stains.  We will never charge you extra for spot removal.
  • Extend the life of your carpet.
  • Reduce wear.
  • Maintain your carpet’s color and texture.
  • Clean only high-traffic areas or your entire carpet.
  • Work after-hours to prevent any business interruptions.

Our technique:

  • Our technicians will assess the best technique to clean your commercial carpet.  We will either use Bonnet Cleaning or hot water extraction.
  • Apply spot treatments where necessary at no extra charge.
  • Your carpet will be dry and ready to use again within 1-2 hours depending on the environment.

How Often Should My Carpet Be Cleaned?

Different environments can have a number of effects on your commercial carpet.  We typically notice commercial carpets need cleaning from once to twice a year.  However, if you notice a build of dirt on your floors, it’s time to schedule a cleaning.  Every business is different.

Set Up An Appointment

Give us a call.  We will often be able to give you a quote over the phone and set up an appointment time convenient to your business.

SERVPRO of Ellis County has over 30-years of experience remediating water, fire, and mold damage.  We are also a Texas Licensed Mold Contractor servicing Waxahachie, Ennis, and all other communities in Ellis County plus those surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com



“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

What Happens if My Clothes Get Dirty Water on Them?

1/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage What Happens if My Clothes Get Dirty Water on Them? We use hydraulic pressure, which is a gentle way to push detergent-laden water through the textile and rid it of contaminants.

What Happens if My Clothes Get Dirty Water on Them?

When we’re called to a water damage by a homeowner, we often see that they’ve tried to stop the spread of the water by putting towels on the floor.  This is a common reaction.  Other times, the homeowner has no choice in what gets wet because the water has spread to the living room, laundry room, or bedroom where clothing, shoes, pillows, etcetera were on the floor and have been impacted.

We call all of these contents--clothing, towels, shoes, etcetera--textiles. Imagine flipping your house upside down. Anything that falls off the house and does not break when it lands, like towels, shoes, clothes, teddy bears, are textiles.  

When the water that wets the textiles is clean, that’s considered Cat 1 Water.  For Cat 1 affected textiles, throwing them into a laundry machine at home is an acceptable way to get them clean.  But what do you do when the water is dirty, like in a cat 2 or cat 3 (sewage) water damage?

Cat 2 and Cat 3 affected wet textiles don’t have to be thrown away.  Our Esporta Wash System can safely sanitize those items and make them safe to wear and handle again.

Unlike traditional dry cleaning, Esporta is a wet wash system that uses a combination of up to six environmentally friendly detergents.  Textiles are placed inside the machine, where they spin in detergent-laden water while staying in place, meaning the textiles are not cleaned by agitation like traditional washing machines but by hydraulic pressure instead.  The textiles stay in place while the water is pushed through them, making this system gentle on all fabrics.

The end result are textiles that are near neutral pH and food-grade clean.

How Results Are Proven

We prove the results of our wash system by using ATP testing.  We take ATP tests of the textiles pre and post wash to ensure our customers that their clothing is safe to wear again.  To learn about ATP testing, read our blog Proving Contamination Levels (and Cleanliness) in Textiles.

If you have a water damage with affected textiles, trust us to clean them.  Our crews will collect all affected textiles and take them back to our cleaning facility.  When they’re clean, they will be delivered back to you.  

SERVPRO of Ellis County has over 30-years of experience remediating water, fire, and mold damages.  We service Waxahachie, Ennis, and all other communities in Ellis County plus those surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth, and we’re a Texas licensed mold contractor.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

What Do I Do When My Clothes and Shoes Have Mold?

1/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation What Do I Do When My Clothes and Shoes Have Mold? These mold-affected boots were restored by our office after they were in a water damage.

What Do I Do When My Clothes and Shoes Have Mold?

It happens more often than we think it might.  A water damage happens on a 3-day weekend when you decided to go visit some friends in a different city.  When you come back, not only do you have a water damage on your property, but you see that some of your clothes and shoes have gotten wet and now they are mold.

What do you do?

  1. Take care of your water damage.  This is the most important step because it impacts the home you’re living in.  The longer water is allowed to stand, the more thoroughly it will soak everything and have the possibility of causing secondary damage to your floors and carpets.  
  2. Ask your cleanup and restoration company if they can clean and sanitize textiles.  If they say yes, the company should be able to take any affected clothing, shoes, etcetera and take them back to their facilities for cleaning.  Ask your restoration company:
    1. Will you clean the items in-house or subcontract it?  Remember that traditional dry cleaners are not usually equipped to handle mold-affected clothing
    2. How will I know my clothing is safe to wear again?
    3. What if I need some clothing back now?
    4. When will I receive my items back?
    5. Will you work with my insurance company it can be part of my claim?

How Can SERVPRO of Ellis County help?

  1. We are a full-service company.  We can take care of both your water damage and clean your mold-affected clothing.
  2. We’re available 24/7 every day of the year, and we’ll be at your door in 4-hours or less ready to help mitigate your water damage.  As soon as you see a water damage, give us a call.  
  3. We are one of the few Esporta Certified firms in the Dallas, Fort Worth Metroplex.  Unlike traditional dry cleaners, we can clean mold-affected textiles.
    1. We’ve successfully cleaned over 100,000 items.
    2. We have a specialized textile cleaning crew in our facilities that know how to take care of mold affected clothing and shoes.  
    3. Most items are ready to be returned within 2-weeks.
    4. We offer a 72-hour emergency item cleanup, where we clean clothing you need to continue living your life while the rest of your wardrobe is getting finished.  We deliver all items back to you.
    5. We ATP test items to scientifically prove they’re food-grade clean and safe to handle again.
    6. We work with all insurance providers to try to make textile cleaning part of your claim. Since we do not have access to your insurance policy, we can never say anything definitive until we speak with your adjuster.

Mold and Water Damage Items.  Act Quickly.

Water that is not cleaned up will permanently damage almost anything in your home.  Call us as soon as you see a water damage on your property.  Likewise, mold will also destroy what it is growing on if its not remediated quickly.  Mold can eat clothing, leather, and even walls.  If you have mold-affected clothing, we will take them back to our facilities and immediately get in contact with your insurance to try to get your claim approved.  The faster we can remediate your items, the higher the chance of your textiles being saved.

SERVPRO of Ellis County has been responding to emergency water, fire, and mold damages for homes and businesses for over 30 years in the Dallas, Fort Worth Metroplex.  We’re a licensed Texas State mold contractor and offer free assessments.  We're available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.  Call us any time.  We're ready to help.

"Like it never even happened." only happens here.

Commercial Cleanup and Restoration: Handling the Size of Your Job

1/11/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Cleanup and Restoration: Handling the Size of Your Job A desiccant dehumidifies large spaces.

“Can you handle the size of my job?”

We’ve responded to many different types of commercial losses.  Hi-rise buildings with 25 affected floors, a flooded warehouse with 50,000 square feet to extract and dry, a business with smoke and soot damage, a gym that completely needed to be sanitized, a flooded studio with high end equipment, a hospital with delicate medical equipment--we’ve helped many commercial clients cleanup and resume business operations quickly.

It’s understandable when a property manager or owner is concerned that their business can be put back together correctly and quickly when the size of the loss is large.  We always reassure them that SERVPRO of Ellis County has the resources it needs to get the job done right.

Large-Loss Water Damage:

When a water damage spans into the tens of thousands of feet or involves a multi-story building, we deploy a team of managers and crews of technicians to start remediating the property.  A manager will first determine the source of the loss and ensure that it’s taken care.  Meanwhile, another manager will assess the affected areas throughout the building and begin instructing crews on how to quickly extract the water and from where.  As the crews work to extract, our managers will begin to execute a drying plan.  Drying large spaces will usually require a desiccant, a sophisticated machine that will be stationed outside of your building and will dehumidify your space using a system of vents that our technicians will install.  Every day, a manager will be on-site to ensure the drying process advances and will make any necessary changes to equipment volumes to meet drying goals.

Large-Loss Fire Damage:

When a fire happens, the loss is multi-faceted.  We have had experience handling every aspect of a fire damage, from emergency board-up to clean up, to reconstruction.  Our teams will first place emergency board-up materials to prevent any precipitation from entering the building and detering possible break-ins.  Due to firefighting efforts, the building will usually also have a water damage.  A mitigation team will extract standing water and dry the structure to help prevent mold growth.  Then, our smoke and soot cleanup crews will come in and begin to clean the salvageable structure.  Anything that has been permanently damaged will be removed.  Another cleanup crew will transport any affected items back to our facilities, where they will be cleaned, deodorized, and stored until they can be delivered.  Finally, a reconstruction crew will rebuild any portion of your building that was damaged.  

Large-Loss Mold:

A mold greater than 25 contiguous feet must be filed with the State of Texas.  Our licensed mold contractor and our crews will visit your business and begin containment to stop the spread of airborne mold particles.  Once the state has given us permission to begin your project, our certified mold technicians will begin remediation efforts, from demolition of permanently damaged structure, to air scrubbing and sealing remediated surfaces to help prevent future mold growth.  After your building passes inspection, our reconstruction team can rebuild any portion of your building.

If your business has experienced a large loss, call us.  We’re ready to help.

SERVPRO of Ellis County has over 30-years of experience remediating water, fire, and mold damages.  We service Waxahachie, Ennis, and all other communities in Ellis County plus those surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth, and we’re a Texas licensed mold contractor.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com



“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Mold Growth In Your Home

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Growth In Your Home

Mold may cause allergic reactions or exacerbate respiratory problems.  It’s not surprising when we receive a call from a homeowner or a business who wants us to take a look when they find growth on their property.  Sometimes, we even receive phone calls from concerned homeowners asking us to assess their property after a family member begins to experience symptoms.  

What Causes Mold Growth?

Many times, mold is caused by a leaky pipe that hasn’t been noticed.  Mold can begin to grow in as little as 72-hours, yet a small drip on a pipe hidden behind a wall can be noticed weeks or months later.  Mold can also be caused by a water damage that was not handled properly.  If any portion of your structure (or a content) remains wet, mold will likely begin to germinate.  If you find a leaky pipe, contact your plumber and get it fixed as quickly as possible.

What Is Mold and What Does It Look Like?

There are different types of mold.  What you’ll commonly see is black and white spots around the area where the leak or water damage occurred.

Mold spores are microscopic, float in the air, and can exist almost everywhere, outdoors and indoors, making it impossible to completely remove.  When mold has access to water, mold spores can grow into colonies.  Some restoration businesses advertise mold “removal” services, but this can’t actually be done.  Mold can be remediated, not completely removed.

How Do I Prevent Mold?

Get your pipes inspected, especially around your kitchen and bathrooms.  If you have a water damage, make sure that an experienced mitigation company extracts all water and properly dries your contents and structure.  Since mold thrives in high-moisture environments, keep your property’s moisture levels to below 45%.

What Happens If I Have Mold?

Before any remediation can take place, any water leaks must be fixed.  If you suspect mold, hire a Texas licensed mold remediator to assess your property.  Depending on the size of the mold, the remediator will tell you what the next steps of your remediation project will be.  While you wait for help, do not circulate the air in the area you suspect has mold.

SERVPRO of Ellis County is a Texas licensed mold remediator.  We have over 30-years of experience with mitigation and remediating water, fire, and mold damaged properties.  We often receive phone calls from concerned homeowners asking us to check out potential mold growth.  We’re always happy to respond and let you know whether you need mold remediation services.  Give us a call to schedule your appointment today.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Waxahachie, Ennis, and all other communities in Ellis County plus those surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com



“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Mold Remediation in a Business

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation in a Business

We understand the negative impact of business interruption, which is why we’ve worked with many businesses in the past to remediate their commercial mold damage either after hours or during the weekend.  We are a Texas licensed mold remediation contractor and can start helping you immediately.

What is Mold?

Mold is fungi that can grow in moist environments and possibly cause allergic reactions to some people.  There are many types of mold.  Some are not typically harmful to humans, while others are considered toxic. Molds release small spores in the air, which can be inhaled.  An indication of mold is a strong musty smell, even when none is visible.  Some mold is clearly visible and appears as black and white spots near a moist source.

What Happens When I Find Mold?

Give us a call and we will come out to assess your property.  We will be able to describe the next steps we have to take to remediate your mold safely and legally.  If the mold is small enough to not need state-filed paperwork, we can begin the job immediately.  If the mold is large enough to involve the state, we will set up containment to keep you and other occupants safe while the legal paperwork is filed and processed.  Our experts will also give you more instructions on-site to prevent from disturbing the mold.

Will Remediation Interrupt My Business Operations?

Many businesses ask us to work after-hours, overnight, or on the weekends to remediate their mold.  We have experienced crews who have done this many times in the past and have had successful results.  We will create a work schedule for your remediation project so your business is minimally or not interrupted at all.

If you suspect mold in your business or see visible growth, give us a call.  We’re always available and always ready to help.

SERVPRO of Ellis County has over 30-years of experience.  We service Waxahachie, Ennis, and all other communities in Ellis County plus those surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Where Mold Hides

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Where Mold Hides

Mold tends to grow in warm, dark, moist environments.  For this reason, we are not surprised to find additional mold behind walls where pipes are present when a homeowner or business owner has called us for a bit of visible mold on a bathroom or kitchen wall.  Inspecting for mold in places that are not typically is important to keep a safe and healthy environment.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are ideal places for mold to grow since they tend to be more humid than other rooms around the house.  Look around your tub or shower.  Typically, it will be dark green or black on the caulking or wall joints.  Look also under and behind your sink, especially if you have a cabinet with pipes running inside of it and into the wall.  Also look at your exhaust vents.  Mold spores are airborne and can very easily reach your fans and travel to other portions of your house if mold begins to grow in them.

Kitchen

Kitchens are also popular places for mold growth because of their increased humidity level.  Look under your kitchen sink, especially if it sits atop a cabinet.  Also take a look behind your refrigerator and dishwasher.  If you’ve experienced a refrigerator or dishwasher leak in the past, be especially vigilant.

Bedroom

The reason to look in closets it because they tend to be dark and not have a lot of air circulation.  If you put clothing that is freshly washed and not completely dry, that moisture may make your closet a humid environment.

Basement

While not very popular in Dallas, we still encounter homes every now and then with a basement.  If you have a basement, pay attention to any point on the wall that is showing structural weakness.  If you smell anything resembling strong must or mildew but you cannot find a source of moisture, call a mold remediator.

Attics

Attics are often a place of mold growth, particularly if the home or property’s roof has been damaged.  If you’ve experienced roof damage, have your attic checked out for a water damage.  Today, attics are also popular places to place air conditioners and water heaters, both of which have higher probabilities of leaking.

Laundry Room

Make sure that both your washer and dryer are working properly and not leaking.  Heat released by your dryer can make this room humid.  Often, there are vents in these rooms that help humidity escape; also check those vents for possible growth.  

If you suspect or see mold growth in your home or business, give us a call.  We are a Texas licensed mold contractor and can guide you every step of the way.  We’re always available and always ready to help.

SERVPRO of Ellis County has over 30-years of experience.  We service Waxahachie, Ennis, and all other communities in Ellis County plus those surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

How Much Does Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Cost?

12/30/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial How Much Does Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Cost? Photo credit Adjusters International

How Much Does Commercial Fire Damage Restoration Cost?

In the aftermath of a fire damage to your business, a lot needs to be taken into consideration.  As a business owner or manager, you need to find the fastest and most cost-effective way to remediate their property so your business can reopen.  

You don’t have unlimited time to make a decision.

Many companies will offer you an estimate for restoration services.  If this estimate is generic and not guaranteed--be careful. Often, significant additional costs are attached to your bid once they begin work.

SERVPRO of Ellis County will assess your fire damage and offer you a firm estimate.

We believe fire restoration process must be transparent and simple.  This is what you can expect when you call SERVPRO of Ellis County:

Emergency Services

After receiving a call, we will visit your property and perform emergency services to avoid secondary damage.  If the fire department was present, there will likely be a water damage on your property along with smoke, soot, and possible damage to windows and the roof.  We will extract all water and board up affected roof portions, windows, and doors, to prevent weather damage and break-ins.

Damage Assessment

While our emergency crews are performing emergency services, an experienced mitigation project manager and reconstruction project manager will assess your property for damage.

  • Mitigation Project Manager: this expert will outline what areas of your property need to be cleaned, deodorized, and if any contents have to be packed out.  Their bid will include everything we need to do to perform these services.  Their estimate will include all emergency services performed.
  • Reconstruction Project Manager: this expert will detail all areas of your property that have been damaged and create a bid to rebuild them.

Bid

A firm estimate will be prepared to detail the full scope of the project.  As soon as you or your insurance, if this is a claim, is approved, then the project can begin.  Our project managers will present you with a tentative timeline to complete cleanup and remediation services for your business.

We work with a sense of urgency.  Our goal is to get your business back to operation ASAP.

SERVPRO of Ellis County has over 30-years of experience.  We service Waxahachie, Ennis, and all other communities in Ellis County plus those surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com



“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

3-Expert Contact Team

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

3-Expert Contact Team

We understand the stress that comes after experiencing a loss.  Customers want their property to be put back together, but that often involves coordinating handfuls of different vendors, each with its own schedule, invoice, and contact information.  It becomes the responsibility of the customer to keep up with everything, and that can be overwhelming.

At SERVPRO of Ellis County, our goal is to make our customers’ project:

SIMPLE

Our promise to you is to simplify the process by assigning you a 3-Expert Team.  Each of these team members will take care of all aspects of your project from beginning-to-end.  Rest assured that if you ever have a question, they’ll have the answer.

  • Project Coordinator:  this expert will work with your insurance company to process your claim.
  • Project Manager:  this expert will handle every aspect of the mitigation portion of your project, from water extraction and drying, to fire cleanup, to cleaningmold remediation, and asbestos abatement.
  • Reconstruction Manager:  if this expert is needed, they will manage the reconstruction of all damages to your property and conduct a final walkthrough with you to ensure you’re satisfied.

1 Office.  3-Experts.  Your Project 100% Completed.

Our team of experts will oversee every aspect of your project and manage your insurance claim.  They’ll work with you from beginning-to-end.   

We’re ready to help as soon as you call.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Commercial Cleaning Services: From Water Damages to Biohazard Cleanup

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Cleaning Services: From Water Damages to Biohazard Cleanup Photo credit Ecoteam

Commercial Cleaning Services: From Water Damages to Biohazard Cleanup

We often receive calls from businesses.  Some types of calls we handle often, such as water damages.  Other calls ask us to perform services that many people don’t know we can perform.  

Biohazard and Bloodborne Pathogen Cleanup

Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms in human blood that are infectious and can cause diseases, such as hepatitis B, C, or HIV.  An employee, student, or customer can get hurt and the area needs to be cleaned.  Employees or janitorial services may not be equipped to safely handle this type of biohazard cleanup.

Crime Scene Trauma, Vandalism, and Graffiti Cleanup

Broken windows and doors need to be boarded up quickly to prevent precipitation from getting inside the building and other potential vandals from easily re-gaining entry into the property.  We can put up sturdy, weatherproof boarding within a matter of hours.  If trauma has occurred at the crime scene, we will clean and remediate the property after the police have left the scene.  Another service we provide is same-day graffiti removal.

Vehicle Cleanup

Most businesses have company vehicles that at times need to have a thorough cleaning.  At times, it's a simple matter of food and drinks accidentally being spilled and the upholstery needs to be cleaned.  Other times, vehicle cleanups involve bloodborne pathogens and have to be treated with extra care.  We have cleaned cars, trucks, and many kinds of commercial vehicles.

Pest & Rodent Infestation Cleanup

After the pests or rodents have been taken care of by an exterminator, we can come in to clean up any mess left behind.  Because some animal fecal matter can pose a risk if inhaled, we are careful to use appropriate chemicals and personal safety protection.  Any areas that were possibly damaged by the animals can also be reconstructed.

Kitchen ATP Testing & Sanitization

Restaurants call us to test their kitchens for ATP--adenosine triphosphate--to ensure their surfaces are disinfected and sanitized.  ATP is found in all living cells. Anything alive has ATP.  The greater the ATP level, the greater the microbial contamination.  We can test an entire kitchen for ATP and have results ready within minutes.  If an area of the kitchen needs to be decontaminated, we can clean those trouble spots immediately.

Mold Remediation

We are a licensed mold contractor in the State of Texas and are always prepared to remediate mold of any size in businesses.  Oftentimes, mold is caused by a slow leaking pipe that simply wasn’t detected in time.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Water Damage in Dallas from a Broken Pipe or Frozen Burst Pipe

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage in Dallas from a Broken Pipe or Frozen Burst Pipe Photo credit Mobile Home Repair

Water Damage in Dallas from a Broken Pipe or Frozen Burst Pipe

It doesn’t happen often, but severe cold weather is when our office begins to receive calls from homeowners and businesses with water damages.  The culprit is almost always the same--a burst or broken water pipe.

A water damage caused by a burst pipe can cause damage to a property if it's not addressed quickly.  

Our office can usually respond to emergency water damage calls within 4-hours, even during winter storm events.

The Hazards of Waiting

Secondary damage from water is often preventable if you act quickly.  Secondary damages include floors buckling and water being absorbed by additional materials that may have initially resisted it, like walls and furniture.  In a matter of hours, even clean water will start becoming contaminated and the risk of having to permanently throw away materials and structure increases.

Mold

If a structure isn’t properly dried after a water damage, then mold and mildew may start to grow in days.  Mold is a living organism that can grow anywhere, at times without being openly visible to property owners.  Our technicians will inspect and dry water-affected areas to prevent mold growth.  The area around the burst pipe should also be inspected and dried properly.

There is a science behind structural drying.  To learn more, read our post “The Science of Drying after a Water Damage.”  Give us a call and trust our 30+ years of experience to take care of your property.

Is There Structural Damage?

Structural damage around the leaky pipe may be difficult to assess, depending on the location.  Call us, and we will send an experienced contractor to find possible structural damage and fix what’s wrong.

Prevention

Keep an eye on the weather and prepare if below-freezing temperatures are on the forecast.  For winter weather safety tips, see our post “Winter Storm Preparedness: Building an Emergency Kit”.

If you experience a burst or broken pipe for any reason, give us a call.  We're ready to help.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Category and Classification of a Water Damage

12/29/2017 (Permalink)

Category and Classification of a Water Damage

When we arrive at a property to begin emergency water damage services, one of the first things our technicians note is the category and classification of the water.  Identifying the water this way serves an important purpose.

Category

The category of water tells us how dirty it is.  Water can be categorized in three different ways:

Cat 1.  The source of the water is sanitary and the water does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure.  An important note about Cat 1 water is that it will eventually change category if it is not cleaned or if it comes into contact with other unsanitary surfaces or materials.

Cat 2.  This water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if a human consumes or contacts it.  Cat 2 water potentially has unsafe levels of microorganisms, or nutrients for microorganisms, as well as other organic or inorganic matter which may be chemical or biological.

Cat 3.  This water is grossly contaminated and may contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents.  This is the dirtiest classification of water.

We categorize water for various reasons.  One is to know the level of care our technicians must take to safely work to clean the environment it’s in.  If the water is dirty, we will a spray antimicrobial and antifungal chemical to kill bacteria and help prevent further microbial growth.

Another reason to categorize water is to understand what materials that the water has come into contact with can be salvaged or not.  Materials in Cat 1 water have a high chance of being salvaged, while materials in Cat 3 water have little to no chance (unless items can be sanitized in the Esporta Wash System, which we can do).

Classification

Class 1.  This is the least amount of water, absorption, and evaporation.  Only a portion of a room or area is affected, or a larger area with the water contains materials that have minimal absorbed moisture.  Little or no wet carpet or cushion is present.

Class 2.  This class involves a large amount of water, absorption, and evaporation.  At least an entire room with carpet and pad is affected.  The water has wicked up the walls less than 24-inches.  There is moisture in structural materials and substructure soil.

Class 3.  This involves the greatest amount of water, absorption, and evaporation.  Water in this class may have come from overhead.  Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, cushion, and subfloor in virtually the entire area are saturated.

Class 4.  This class relates to specialty drying situations, such as wet materials with low permeance or porosity.  These types of losses may require longer drying times and specialty drying methods.

Classifying water helps us know what drying techniques to use, the amount of equipment to set, and, potentially, how long the drying process may take.

Rest assured that no matter the category or class or water involved in a water damage, we will be prepared to stabilize the situation and help prevent secondary water damage.  We have over 30-years of experience and have mitigated all categories and classes of water damages.  We are always ready to help.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

The Science of Drying after a Water Damage

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

The Science of Drying after a Water Damage

Drying a property after a water damage needs to be done correctly and quickly.  SERVPRO of Ellis County's technicians are trained in the science of psychrometrics and follow strict industry-approved standards to ensure secondary water damage is minimized.

Psychrometry is the calculation of relative humidity and water-vapor pressures from temperature and barometric pressure. It’s also called hygrometry.

If your home or business has a water damage, we will:

  • Inspect your property to detect any wet materials.
  • Measure the amount of moisture in the wet materials.
  • Set up professional drying equipment.
  • Monitor wet materials every day to ensure they dry properly and quickly.

Why Drying Quickly is Important

Materials can often dry on their own if the moisture if the moisture in the wet material moves to drier air (assuming there is drier air).  The problem with letting nature take care of drying your property is that it simply takes too long and the chances for secondary damage become high.  This is the reason we use professional drying equipment, such as air movers, dehumidifiers, and other specialty equipment, to help speed up nature.  Our technicians know the right amount of equipment and its most efficient placement to dry your structure.

How We Monitor the Drying Process

We will visit your property every day to check the drying status of all wet components.  We use a start-of-the-art monitoring equipment and a proven scientific process to help the speed of drying.  As areas become dry, we remove equipment.

DryBook

We document all drying data into a proprietary program called DryBook.  This is how we:

  • Manage industry drying requirements.
  • Provide real-time documentation of the drying process.  This documentation is given to your insurance provider, should you file a claim.
  • Validate services are executed to standard.
  • Report to all stakeholders involved.
  • Allow real-time updates.

Our technicians have the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”  We’re ready to help.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

I Have a Water Damage. What Happens Now?

12/28/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage I Have a Water Damage.  What Happens Now? Photo credit SERVPRO of Tracy

I Have a Water Damage.  What Happens Now?

We’ve helped restore many homes and businesses after a water damage.  For over 30 years, we’ve responded to water damage emergency calls on a daily basis.  We can help you, too.  

#1 Call us; we’ll be there in less than 4 hours

SERVPRO of Ellis County's promise is to respond to all water damages within 4 hours of receiving a call.  We will gather information about your loss and dispatch a prepared crew immediately.  We offer emergency services 24/7/365.

#2 Call your insurance (if you want to file a claim)

While we’re on the way, give your insurance provider a call and let them know what is happening.  Inform them that SERVPRO of Ellis County is on the way.

#3 Extraction

When we arrive, we will inspect the extent of the water damage and begin extracting all the water.  Our crew will document all affected areas and begin the documentation process for your insurance claim (even when an insurance claim is not filed, our documentation process is still the same).  

#4 Drying and Monitoring

Once all standing water has been extracted, we will set professional equipment to begin drying your home.  We will place air movers, dehumidifiers, and possibly other specialty equipment for hard-to-reach places.  We will return to your property once a day to monitor the drying process and remove equipment.  For more information about our drying process, read our blog “The Science of Drying after a Water Damage.”

#5 Restoration

After your property is dry and clean, we will send one of our Reconstruction Project Managers to assess the damage, if any, the water caused.  We will submit documentation and work with your insurance to get all necessary reconstruction approved.  Once we get the green light from your insurance provider, we will repair your property.

Your 3-Expert Contact Team will work with your insurance provider and on your property

A 3-Expert Team is a team consisting of a Project Coordinator (works with your insurance), Mitigation Manager (will manage the entire water damage), and Reconstruction Project Manager.  They will be assigned to you and be your main points of contact for everything regarding your project from beginning to end.  We understand stress levels are likely to be high, and we want to simplify the process and be here to help.

If you find your property has experienced a water damage, don’t despair.  We’re an experienced, certified, and professional team that can help.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

What To Do While You Wait for Service During a Storm

12/26/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What To Do While You Wait for Service During a Storm Photo credit to SERVPRO of Upper Bucks

What To Do While You Wait for Service During a Storm

In the event of a major storm, there may be an inundation of calls to emergency cleanup and restoration companies.  These types of storms are usually related to water damage--whether it be because of flooding or an extreme winter event.  Although rare, when these events happen, you may have to wait until a company can visit your property and start emergency remediation services.  If this is the case, consider the following:

To-Do Immediately:

  • If possible, shut off the source of water.
  • Call us to request emergency services.  We will give you an approximate time of arrival.
  • Call your insurance provider to begin your claim.

To-Do While You Wait:

  • Move children and pets to a safe, dry space.
  • Be careful as you walk from wet surfaces to dry; injuries from falling on slippery surfaces is common.
  • Elevate items that can be damaged by water off the ground.  These items are usually textile, paper, or wood-based, such as rugs, clothing, art, books, and end tables.  Do not lift items that are too heavy to lift safely.
  • If the room is safe, mop or blot water; do not use your home vacuum.
  • Stay away from any rooms with sagging ceilings.
  • Leave wet appliances shut off.
  • Put aluminum foil or wood blocks between your wooden furniture legs and carpet.  This will help the stain on your furniture to permanently transfer to your carpet.
  • Remove all colored rugs from carpeted areas to prevent dye transfer.
  • Gather loose items off the floor.  This will create a safer walking environment.

Beware:

  • Companies that show up without any equipment and ask you to wait.  This type of company is not prepared to handle your claim.  
  • Door-to-door sales teams of Individuals without affiliation to an industry recognized company with a positive reputation.  Do not give these individuals money to start your project.

Ask:

  • How will you help me process my insurance claim?
  • How will you keep my property safe?
  • How will you dry my property?
  • How will you know when my property is dry?
  • Are your technicians certified to remediate water damages? By whom?
  • Who will be my main point of contact?
  • Can I call you 24/7?
  • What is your website?

Honest and reliable companies will arrive prepared and provide you with a straightforward and easy-to-understand explanation of what the process will be to help you remediate your home.  They should be easy to reach at all times--even at 3 A.M.  They will also be very easy to find online and have a professional and thorough website.  

Your home is likely your largest investment--trust only a company with experience.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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www.SERVPROelliscounty.com

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Winter Storm Preparedness: Building an Emergency Kit

12/23/2017 (Permalink)

Winter Storm Preparedness: Building an Emergency Kit

Winter Storm Preparedness in Texas may not be a consistent need.  For the last few years in Dallas, winters have generally been mild with just a few days of freezing temperatures affecting us.

Nevertheless, one important thing we’ve learned in our business is: never say never.

Our office and employees must be prepared for any sized disaster, no matter what.  After all, we can’t respond to calls if we’re in the middle of an emergency ourselves.

To be prepared for a possible winter storm, consider items we have in our own preparedness kit

Vehicle Preparedness Kit

This kit supposes that an emergency may include being stranded for any reason and needing to wait to be helped.

  • First Aid Kit
  • Blanket, wrapped in a plastic bag to keep clean
  • Mittens, Hats, Jackets, also wrapped in plastic bags
  • Cell Phone Charger
  • Flashlight
  • Extra Batteries for flashlight
  • Ice Scraper
  • Flares
  • Tow Rope
  • Kitty Litter
  • Full Tank of Gas (or Full Electric Charge)
  • Spare Tire
  • Jumper Cables, 8ft 10 gauge
  • Pet Food, if traveling with pets
  • Pet Leash
  • Spare Water

Home Preparedness Kit

This kit is helpful if the power goes out of your neighborhood and you have to wait for it, and your heater, to come back on.  This is not a kit for homes that live where there is consistent, heavy snowfall.

  • First Aid Kit
  • Blankets
  • Mittens, Hats, Jackets
  • Cell Phone Charger (battery packs, pre-charged)
  • Flashlight
  • Extra Batteries for Flashlight
  • Food that does not require cooking (for humans and pets)
  • Spare Water (in case pipes are frozen)
  • Radio, battery operated

Other important home preparedness aspects to consider:

  • Know where your water shut off valve is.
  • Know which circuit breakers control parts of your home.
  • Know where the gas shut off valve is.
  • Get your fireplace checked once a season.
  • Have phone numbers of emergency response companies.

If you experience a water or fire damage in your home this season, please give us a call.  We’re ready to help.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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Visit:

www.SERVPROelliscounty.com

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Thank You for 32 Years!

12/22/2017 (Permalink)

Community Thank You for 32 Years! Billy and Mary Weaver, 1986

Our franchise was started 32-years ago as a family owned and operated business. We still are to this day. Back then, we had one service -- carpet cleaning. Today, we offer seven core services, and we're preparing for more in the upcoming year. 

The past 32-years haven't had a dull day. In the emergency restoration industry, we simply never know what will happen. From a water damage at a large business or a fire at a home to a major storm hitting a portion of our country, we have to always be ready when our phone rings. 

This past year, our office traveled to Rockport and Houston to help with the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, and we spent nearly three months working for those who called for our help. Communities there continue to recover. We'd like to acknowledge the strength of our fellow Texans as they rebuild, and we'd also like to thank other SERVPRO franchises, restoration companies, and volunteers from around the United States as they helped our fellow Texans. 

2017 was a busy year for our franchise. We saw our SERVPRO family grow. Our team has many new faces, and our seasoned employees are mentoring a new generation. Our employees come from all walks of life with a unified purpose--to help. Our technicians have responded to calls at every hour of the day, during all holidays, without complaint. We always say that it takes a unique person to work in our industry and enjoy themselves. The jobs are not always pleasant to see (or smell), but if the spirit of stewardship lives strong in that person, they can always perform their work and be satisfied in having helped. Those are the people our franchise has hired.

We are grateful for our employees and customers, and we look forward to a happy and safe 2018. Thank you for 32 years, Ellis County.  We look forward to many more. 

What to Do After Fire Damage at Home

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What to Do After Fire Damage at Home Photo by SERVPRO

What to Do After Fire Damage at Home

We have helped many families put their homes together after a fire damage.  Our team of managers and technicians have worked with every insurance provider to assess damage, clean, and rebuild every type of home--including everything inside of it.  We can help you, too.

After the fire department’s job ends, our work begins.

Full-Service Process:

  1. CALL US.  We will immediately dispatch a project manager to visit your property and assess the damage and any emergency services needed.
  2. EMERGENCY BOARD-UP.  We will tarp any damaged portions of your roof along with windows and doors.  Our team uses heavy plastic and 2x4 wood to create a waterproof barrier that will also prevent possible break-ins.
  3. MITIGATION.  We will extract any water that may be on the property after the fire department has left.
  4. PACK-OUT.  With insurance approval, we will pack out all contents of your home and move them to our cleaning facility.  Packing out contents will also give our reconstruction and cleaning teams a safe environment to work as we rebuild your home.
  5. CLEANING.  Different crews will work on different aspects of your project.  One crew will be dedicated to cleaning your home, while another will clean your contents and another your textiles.  We can clean all items typically found in a home, such as furniture, clothing, toys, and electronics.
  6. RECONSTRUCTION.  Our reconstruction team will coordinate all reconstruction services, including scheduling.  The Reconstruction Project Manager will work you to choose any replacement materials needed, such as flooring, carpet, and cabinets.
  7. PACK-BACK. Once your home is rebuilt, all of your cleaned contents will be delivered back to you.  

Your 3-Expert Team Works With Your Insurance and on Your Home

A 3-Expert Team is a team consisting of a Project Coordinator (works with your insurance), Mitigation Manager (board up, cleaning, pack out), and Reconstruction Project Manager.  They will be assigned to you and be your main points of contact for everything regarding your project from beginning to end.  We understand stress levels are likely to be high, and we want to simplify the process and be here to help.

Delivering Emergency Items to Temporary Housing

During the restoration process, many families are temporarily housed in an apartment or hotel.  Some also choose to live with a parent or family member.  While this is happening, it’s important to continue normal-life functions as much as possible, like going to work and school.  This is why we ask you for any important items you, your children, or pet may need, like a week’s worth of clothing or a favorite blanket.  We will work to clean those items and get them back to you immediately.

We understand the interruption and stress this may cause you, so we’ll do all we can to make sure this process goes smoothly.  Our goal is to get you back to normal as quickly as possible.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

What Happens to Smoke and Soot Affected Clothing?

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What Happens to Smoke and Soot Affected Clothing? Before and after photo of a smoke and soot-affected pair of jeans after being washed in the Esporta Wash System.

What Happens to Smoke and Soot Affected Clothing?

One of the first items we take out of a smoke-affected home are textiles--clothing, shoes, teddy bears, bedding, towels, etcetera.  Sometimes these items smell like smoke, but no visible soot is on them.  Other times, the soot is so heavy, you can hardly tell the original color of the item beneath.

Usually, homeowners are quick to throw away these items, thinking they are unsalvageable.  

The truth is, the majority of smoke and soot affected clothing and other textiles can be cleaned.

We are one of the few Esporta Certified businesses in the Dallas, Ft. Worth region.  The Esporta Wash System is a specialized machine that uses hydraulic pressure to gently clean the fabric.  Unlike traditional dry cleaners, our system is a wet wash and uses six-environmentally friendly detergents to remove all smoke particles and soot from a textile.

We successfully wash over 85% of smoke and soot affected textiles regularly.

Full-Service Process:

  • We remove all affected textiles from your home and take them back to our cleaning facility.
  • If anything is wet, we set it aside to begin the drying process and prevent mold.
  • We inventory all the clothing and create an estimate for your insurance company.
  • Once your inventory approves cleaning, we spot clean your clothing and then wash it.
  • Clothing is set in a humidity-controlled drying chamber.
  • All items are professionally finished by being pressed, hung, bagged, and boxed.  Leather items are conditioned.
  • Items are delivered back to you.
  • Any items that were not salvageable are reported to you and your insurance.  We even provide your adjuster with a replacement cost report.

Rush Items Delivered Within 3-Days

We understand that while a fire damage claim is being processed, our customers still need clothing to be able to continue going to work and school.  For this reason, we ask our clients which items they’d like rushed, and we do everything in our power to make sure they’re returned within three days.

Proven, Scientific Results

To prove the results of our wash, items are pre and post-wash tested using ATP Testing.  Using a scale, we know when a textile is safe to wear again or if it needs to be washed again.  We’re not satisfied until all textiles are food-grade clean, meaning it’s actually clean enough to eat off of.  This is how we know without a doubt that it’s safe to wear or use again.

It’s not clean until it’s food-grade clean.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Renters: What To Do After An Apartment Fire

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Renters: What To Do After An Apartment Fire Photo by SERVPRO

Renters: What To Do After An Apartment Fire

We’ve helped many renters that have experienced a fire in their apartment.  Our team knows how to work with many insurance providers to provide the help both renters and property owners rebuild after a fire loss.  We can help you, too.

We’ll Work With Your Insurance

You will be assigned a Project Coordinator whose responsibility is to establish a relationship with your insurance adjuster.  They will communicate with them frequently about the status of your claim.

Content Cleaning

We can inventory all items, whether they’re damaged or not, and clean all salvageable contents that are inside your apartment.  If necessary, we will move them to our office’s cleaning facility.  We can clean all items in your apartment, including furniture, toys, electronics, clothing, bedding, shoes, etcetera.  

Pack-Out & Pack-Back

If items need to be packed out, they will be taken to our office cleaning facility.  Your items will be cleaned and stored until you can take them back again, whether it be at your cleaned and rebuilt apartment or another place you call home.

Rush Item Cleaning and Delivery

We understand that while the fire damage restoration is taking place, our customers need to resume normal activities like going to work and school.  For this reason, we offer a rush item service, where our customers can request items they need, such as clothing.  We prioritize these items for cleaning and delivery them quickly, usually around 3-days.

Full Service 3-Expert Team

You won’t have to worry about coordinating handfuls of different people and companies to handle your claim.  We know this will be a stressful time, so our promise to you is to simplify the process by assigning you a 3-Expert Team.  Each of these team members will take care of all aspects of your project from beginning-to-end.  Rest assured that if you ever have a question, they’ll have the answer.

  • Project Coordinator:  they will work with your insurance company to process your claim.
  • Project Manager:  they will clean all your contents and service your pack-out and pack-back.
  • Reconstruction Manager:  if they are needed, they will rebuild any damages to your apartment.

We understand the stress that comes with a fire loss, and our team of experts will work with you from beginning-to-end.  We’re ready to help as soon as you call.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Property Owners: What to Do After an Apartment Fire

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Property Owners: What to Do After an Apartment Fire Photo by SERVPRO

Property Owners: What to Do After an Apartment Fire

At SERVPRO of North Irving, we are experienced commercial fire damage restorers.  We understand the urgency to both get the job done quickly and correctly.  Our managers and technicians are experienced fire damage restorers, and our office also offers reconstruction to rebuild your damaged apartments.

We have helped many property managers rebuild their apartment complexes after a fire.  We can help you, too.

Emergency Board-Up

As soon as we’re called to your property, we will begin emergency board-up services.  We will tarp damaged roofs and also cover damaged broken and windows.  Boarding up a property immediately helps deter break-ins.  We will also make our board-up waterproof to prevent precipitation from entering the building.

Emergency Mitigation

If there is any standing water in the apartments, they will be extracted on day one and the drying process will begin.  We do this to prevent any further damage and mold growth.

Cleaning

After a Project Manager assesses the property, we will begin cleaning each apartment.  We will remove all damaged structure and clean the soot off all the entire structure.  We will also work with the renter’s insurance provider to get permission to remove their contents inside and move them our storage and cleaning facilities.

Deodorization

Our technicians will use various techniques to eliminate the smoke smell from the apartment.  This will involve removing all materials that have absorbed smoke and cleaning all residues from the walls.  We will also install air scrubbers with HEPA filtration to remove airborne smoke particles.

Reconstruction

If the structure of the apartment has been damaged beyond repair, our technicians will remove the damaged portions.  At this point, one of our Reconstruction Managers will assess the damage and begin working with your insurance provider to begin the reconstruction process.  

Full Service 3-Expert Team

Handling a fire damage claim is stressful enough.  Instead of coordinating the efforts of a handful of vendors, our promise to you is to help simplify this process by assigning you a 3-Expert Team, which is a team of three individuals in our company that will manage your project from beginning-to-end.  Should you ever have a question about your project, our Team will answer it.

  • Project Coordinator:  they will work with your insurance company to process your claim.
  • Mitigation Project Manager:  they will clean the apartment and handle your renters’ contents claims.
  • Reconstruction Project Manager:  they will rebuild any damage to your apartment.

We understand the stress that comes with a fire loss, and our team of experts will work with you from beginning-to-end.  We’re ready to help as soon as you call.

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Winter Storm Preparedness: Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

12/17/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winter Storm Preparedness: Prevent Frozen Water Pipes Photo by the Dallas Morning News.

Winter Storm Preparedness: Prevent Frozen Water Pipes

Winter storms don’t happen very often in Dallas, but, like the old saying goes:

“If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes.”

The National Severe Storms Laboratory categories a winter storm as having snow, sleet, or freezing rain.  In Dallas, we can see any of this type of precipitation, although maybe for just a few days out of the year.  Nevertheless, when the temperature is below the freezing point and precipitation is in the forecast, that’s when our office knows what types of calls we’ll be getting: water damages.

How Water Pipes Freeze and Break

A water damage during a winter storm happens when your pipes freeze.  When water freezes, it expands and creates pressure inside the pipe, which can cause it to break.  The pipes that are most likely to freeze are those outside the home that are exposed.  Other vulnerable pipes are those indoors that don’t have access to heat, like those under your kitchen cabinets or in the garage.

Indoor Frozen Pipe Prevention

  • Before temperatures reach freezing, insulate exposed and vulnerable pipes.  You can do this by installing pipe sleeves or even wrapping the pipes with newspaper.
  • Close the garage door to prevent cold air from coming in.
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
  • Keep your home heated above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

What To Do Until Help Arrives

If your pipes still freeze and you have a water damage, give us a call immediately and follow the following steps:

  1. Don’t delay.  Call us as soon as you notice your water damage.  The longer water stands in a structure, the more damage it will cause.  As soon as you call, we will schedule a crew of technicians to travel to your home and begin remediation.  
  2. Cut off the water source, if possible.
  3. Get textiles off the floor.  Many homeowners rush to put down towels to stop the water flow, and that’s okay.  Towels can easily be cleaned at our textile cleaning facility if need be.  What you want to look out for are small fragile textiles or objects on the floor that can be damaged by water.
  4. Begin documentation.  Start with the point of origin and all affected areas.  While our technicians will also take the document, it's important to start documenting as soon as possible to prove your loss to your insurance company.

Be Aware of the Weather

Keep your eye on the weather forecast.  Not only will you be prepared to travel safely, it’ll also give you to valuable time to prepare your home and keep it, and everyone living inside it, safe.  

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County, Texas and other communities surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth.

We can be reached 24/7/365 at (972) 935-0827.

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

Protecting Pets During Winter Weather

12/17/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Protecting Pets During Winter Weather Photo by Blue Cross Animal Hospital

Protecting Pets During Winter Weather

At SERVPRO of Ellis County, we are all pet lovers.  We even have an office pet--an African Grey named Gracie.  Whether it's our own pets or those of our customers, we’re always looking out for our furry (or feathered) friends and making sure their environments are safe and clean.

This is why protecting pets during winter is an important topic for us.

Bring your pet inside.

If the temperature outside is uncomfortable for you, it’s also uncomfortable for a dog or cat.  

Indoor Care

  • Keep your pet in a kennel or other safe environment free from poisons or other items they may chew (e.g. exposed electrical cords or your favorite loafers) when they’re not being supervised.
  • Have an extra supply of cleaning supplies should an accident happen.

Exercise

  • Make time to take pets out for a walk.
  • Dry your pet’s paws and in between their towels with a towel after a walk.  The cold and any chemicals used to melt ice or snow can be irritable to their skin and poisonous if they lick it off.
  • Short-haired pets may need to wear a sweater outdoors.

Food

  • Place your pet’s water and food in a plastic bowl--their tongues may stick to a metal container.  
  • If your pet can safely spend a lot of time outdoors, they also may need to consume more food since their body will need more energy to stay warm.  
  • Outdoor shelters should be big enough to allow movement, but small enough to contain body heat.  They should also be a few inches off the ground and the door covered with a heavy plastic to prevent precipitation from getting inside.

Carpet Cleaning

With so much time being spent indoors, more dust and dander will accumulate in your carpets than usual.  We recommend vacuuming at least twice a week to keep your carpet clean and prevent it from getting damaged.  

For a deeper cleaning, give us a call.  We’d be happy to schedule a carpet cleaning anytime.

Upholstery and Textile Cleaning

If your pets have been taking a nap on the family couch, it may be time to get it cleaned.  We can come to your home and clean your upholstery, or we can take it back to our cleaning facility.

If your pet’s bed needs a wash but is too big for your home washer, or if you just want them professionally cleaned, give us a call.  Our Esporta Wash System is a specialized wet-washer that handles large pet beds and cleans them to food-grade clean.  Our technicians will pick up all textiles you’d like cleaned and deliver them as soon as they’re done.

HVAC and Duct Cleaning

If your family is sensitive to dust, odors, and other contaminants, consider getting your duct cleaned. Give us a call.  We can inspect your home’s ducts and make a recommendation to keep your home’s air quality safe during the winter.  While your pets are staying indoors for harsh winter days, consider changing your air conditioner’s filters every 1-3 months.

To schedule a cleaning appointment, give us a call at (972) 986-7677.  

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  

“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

What To Do After A Hail Storm Damages Your Roof

12/17/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What To Do After A Hail Storm Damages Your Roof Photo by Wylie News

What To Do After A Hail Storm Damages Your Roof

During Spring of 2016, North Texas got hit with a major hailstorm.  SERVPRO responded to the city of Wylie, where softball-sized hail and strong winds damaged homes’ roofs and other property.

Our office responded to calls about roof damage.  While it’s impossible to prevent hailstorm damage to our homes, you can still be prepared for the aftermath.

After the Storm

Give us a call at (972) 935-0827.  We’ll get to work protecting your property right away.

Services Provided by SERVPRO of Ellis County

Our office is a full-service provider.  We can provide you with the following services:

  • Roof Tarping.  We will tarp your roof with thick, waterproof plastic sheeting to prevent any precipitation from getting inside your home and causing further damage.
  • Window Tarping.  If any windows were affected by the storm, we will also tarp them.
  • Interior Damage.  If any water has gotten into your home from the storm, we will immediately extract the water and begin drying your property.  It’s important to do this quickly to prevent mold growth.
  • Documentation.  We will document all damage to your roof and interior of the home.  All documentation will be forwarded to your insurance provider to support your claim.  Our Project Coordinator will bridge communication between you and your insurance to make sure you’re taken care of.  
  • Reconstruction.  A Project Manager will inspect the damage to your roof and create an estimate to rebuild it.  They will work directly with your insurance provider and rebuild your roof once approved.
  • 3-Expert Team.  You will be assigned our Full Service 3-Expert Team.  This means that if you ever have a question or concern about your project, one of the three experts that are managing your job will help you from beginning to end.

Stay Safe -- Stay Indoors

Most importantly, do not go outside while the hailstorm is happening.  If the hail is large enough to cause damage to your home’s roof or break a vehicle’s windshield, it will also hurt you.  

SERVPRO of Ellis County is always ready for the unexpected.  We service Irving and all surrounding Dallas communities.  

If you need help after a hailstorm, give us a call at (972) 935-0827 anytime.

Fire Safety: Portable Heaters

12/17/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Fire Safety: Portable Heaters Photo by FEMA

Fire Safety: Portable Heaters

Portable heaters are popular during the winter, especially when a temporary cold spell falls and you need just a little bit more heat to be comfortable.  Most are inexpensive, making them attractive purchases every year.

Yet, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 25,000 home fires are associated with the use of space heaters.

Our office works with fire damaged homes on a daily basis, and we know that safe practices at home can’t be undervalued.  Safe practices with space heaters are important to prevent the loss of property and contents.  

Space Heater Purchase Considerations

  • Purchase a heater with the latest safety technology.
  • Buy one that’s meant for the size of the room you’re heating and no larger.
  • Put the heater on a safe platform away from pets, children, and foot traffic.
  • Choose a heater that has a thermostat so it can know when to turn itself off.

Electric Space Heater Safety

Electric space heaters are the only safe heaters to use indoors because they don’t need ventilation.  After purchasing an electric heater, consider:

  • Plug it in directly into a wall outlet or a short, heavy-duty extension cord.
  • Purchase a unit with a tip-over safety function.  This will cause the heater to turn itself off if it notices it’s not standing upright.
  • Understand the electrical needs of the heater(s) your purchase and be mindful not to plug so many in that you overload your home.
  • Give the heater 3 feet of space on every side.

If you or anyone you know has experienced a fire damage, please give us a call.  We’re available to help anytime, and we work directly with all insurance providers.  Our office offers damage assessment services, property, content, and textile cleaning, and reconstruction services.  

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Ellis County and all surrounding Dallas and Ft. Worth communities.  We can be reached 24/7 at (972) 935-0827.  

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“Like it never even happened.” only happens here.

For more heater safety information, visit energy.gov.

Proving Contamination Levels (and Cleanliness) in Textiles

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Proving Contamination Levels (and Cleanliness) in Textiles An ATP Meter tests the Relative Light Units given off by contaminated textiles and helps us determine the level of contamination.

Contaminated Textiles

Contaminated textiles happen at almost all water damages and fires.  Our team at SERVPRO of Ellis County routinely intakes contaminated sheets, blankets, shoes, clothing, and even teddy bears.  One of the first actions our textile team does is test the items for their contamination levels.

We use ATP testing--adenosine triphosphate.  ATP is found in all living cells and used as a coenzyme; it is often called the molecular unit of currency of intracellular energy transfer.

Anything alive has ATP.  The greater the ATP level, the greater the microbial contamination.  

We take an ATP sample of our textiles before and after they are washed, and this is how we prove 1) your textile was dirty enough to warrant professional cleaning, and 2) after being washed, our team has successfully cleaned your item.

Taking an ATP sample is simple.  

First, we use an ATP Sampling Swab and swab the surface area of the affected textile.  The swab is coated with a detergent that lifts ATP from the textile.

Then, we moisten the swab with a bioluminescent reagent, which will make the ATP create light.  The amount of light that is created is directly correlated to the amount of ATP on the textile.

Finally, we insert the wet swab into an ATP meter, which measures the light.  The result we receive is in Relative Light Units (RLU).  Using this data, our technicians know the level of contamination.  

Our measurement of textile contamination is:

  • Pass:  <10 RLU
  • Caution: 10-29 RLU
  • Fail: >30 RLU

A Pass score puts the item at a “food grade safe” level, meaning it is clean and safe to handle or wear again.  If an item receives a Fail score, it will be washed again.

Proven Clean

At SERVPRO of Ellis County, we have invested in the most technologically advanced wash system--the Esporta Wash System.  With Esporta and the ATP sampling system, we can always prove our results.  An independent study by Wonder Makers Environmental took sewage-contaminated textiles.  The study concluded that the Esporta Wash System is effective at removing bacterial contamination and that the ATP sampling system is an effective means of field verification.

Since textiles are what we wear, what we sleep on, what our children play with--cleaning and making them safe to handle again is always our top priority.  We can prove it.

SERVPRO of Ellis County serves the Irving and surrounding Dallas communities.  

SERVPRO of Ellis County's Full Service 3-Expert Team

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

General SERVPRO of Ellis County's Full Service 3-Expert Team SERVPRO of Ellis County's Full Service 3-Expert Team has all the answers.  It is designed to simplify projects and help reduce customer stress.

Policyholders are happier with fewer points of contact on a claim.

That’s the point that a survey from J.D. Power & Associates proved (“How Homeowners Really Feel”). 

It’s easy to understand why this is true.  When our customers call us, chances are that something bad has happened.  A water damage.  A fire damage.  Mold in their kitchen or attic.  Stress is likely to be higher than usual, and our customers want the damage to be fixed and their lives to go back to normal.  They want it, “Like it never even happened.”

Yet, when a typical water or fire damage occurs, the following representatives are called into place: vendor technicians, vendor management, insurance liaison, textile cleaner technicians, textile cleaner management, textile insurance liaison, reconstruction crews, reconstruction management, reconstruction insurance liaison...

The list can go on and on.  It becomes very difficult to coordinate all those appointments, names, and companies and keep track of all the expenses and timelines happening at once.

SERVPRO of Ellis County understands that simplicity is key.

This is why we have our Full Service 3-Expert Team.  Whenever you need information about your project, you can contact our 3 expert employees that are managing your project from start to end.

Full Service 3-Expert Team:

  1. Job File Coordinator
  2. Project Manager
  3. Reconstruction Manager (if necessary)

Job File Coordinator: this person is responsible for coordinating all documentation and project updates to your insurance provider.  They work hand-in-hand with your adjuster and communicate with them to process your claim.  

Project Manager:  this person is on your property when the damage first happens.  They will be responsible for coordinating clean-up and remediation crews to stop any further damage from happening on your property.  They will make sure your property is cleaned and dried correctly.  If necessary, they will also coordinate mold remediation, asbestos abatement, textile cleaning, contents cleaning, and packouts and packbacks.

Reconstruction Manager:  if reconstruction needs to happen at your property, this expert will go to your property and assess the damage.  They will coordinate various tradesmen to rebuild your property--and take care of all the scheduling, materials, and expenses.

When you hire SERVPRO of Ellis County, rest assured our Full Service 3-Expert Team will take care of all the details.  

We’ll take care of you.

“Like it never even happened,” only happens here.  

SERVPRO of Ellis County services Waxahachie, Ennis and surrounding Ellis County and Dallas communities.

Texas Strong: Hurricane Harvey

12/14/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Texas Strong: Hurricane Harvey "Texas Strong" logo from the "Harvey Can't Mess With Texas" Relief Concert.

Cat 4 Hurricane

We were watching the news as Hurricane Harvey headed for Houston.  We hoped it would weaken as it approached land, but forecasters warned of the storm strengthening.  The thought of Houston being hit with a Category 4 Hurricane seemed like it out of the question, but in our industry, we know better than to say, “That’ll never happen to us.”

So, we prepared.

We are SERVPRO of Ellis County, and our offices are near Dallas, Texas.  Houston is about a four-hour drive southeast of us.  In the days leading up to Hurricane Harvey, our office was divided.  Some of us were working on emergency damages around North Texas.  Others were busy at the office, readying vehicles and trailers and loading them to the brim with supplies.  

All of us had our minds on Houston, Corpus Christi, and Rockport.  We began to receive phone calls from family, friends, and colleagues down there.  Evacuations began.  We prepared our homes up here for those who would be displaced.

For hours, our office searched for open hotels for our crews to stay.  The ones that were still open were full.  Others couldn’t guarantee there would be anyone there when we arrived.  

So, we packed tents.

We told our families we were headed for Houston, and then we left.

A SERVPRO from the Houston community gave us a call and offered our technicians to sleep in his warehouse.  Streets were still accessible to their office for the moment, and that was all the space they had left.  It was a plan.

For over a month, our technicians worked 12 to 15-hour days, 7-days a week.  The schedule was simple and repetitive: get up at 6, work until 6, plan and verify the next day’s schedule, eat, sleep, repeat.  We responded to every call we received, visited homes, sucked out water, dried, and treated properties.  Back home in Dallas, our North Texas crews did the same to compensate for the work their Houston-bound teammates would normally take care of.  

We are grateful to every first responder that bravely faced the storm and saved people’s lives.  

We are grateful for SERVPRO offices from around the nation that left home and came to Texas.  

We are grateful for the many organizations in our state and Louisiana that lent a hand and are continuing to help today.  

Harvey arrived on August 17, 2017.  Our company continued working on homes in Houston, Corpus Christi, and Rockport until a few weeks ago.  It is now December.

“Texas Strong” was on our lips as rebuild efforts began.  It still is today.

Additional IICRC Water Damage Restoration Technician Certifications Earned

5/2/2017 (Permalink)

General Additional IICRC Water Damage Restoration Technician Certifications Earned Justin Doherty and Jessica Slown show off their new IICRC Water Damage Restoration Technician patches.

Congratulations to Jessica Slown, Justin Doherty, and Krystie Barnett for passing the Water Damage Restoration Technician exam.  

These individuals are now certified and recognized by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) as having achieved a level of expertise where they understand and can perform the standard of care required for water damages.

Earning this certification will ensure our team members can always give the best possible and informed care to our customers.  With Justin and Krystie out in the field, to Jessica working with customers in office administration, we can continue to provide a positive beginning-to-end experience where our customers know and trust that meeting their needs are our first priority.

We’re proud of Jessica, Justin, and Krystie’s achievement, and we continue looking forward to having them as part of our family.

 

How to Avoid Bacterial Build-Up on your Linens

4/26/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning How to Avoid Bacterial Build-Up on your Linens An internal shot of the Esporta washing machine.  This shows how our machine's compartments lock items in place to ensure a gentle and efficient wash.

We’re talking about the linens on top of your mattress--sheets, blankets, and comforters.  All of these items are meant to keep your mattress clean and to keep you comfortable and warm while you sleep.

But if you don’t clean them often enough, they eventually become a bacterial mess.

Bacterial Build-Up

What is on your skin rubs off onto your linens.  That includes any ointments, unwashed makeup, and whatever else you’ve carried on your skin and hair and haven’t washed off before bed.  Over the course of just a few days, this mixture will accumulate on your linens and rub against you as you sleep, possibly causing your skin some problems like irritation or acne.

Washing Sheets

Sheets are easy to clean.  Throw them into your washer once a week using the warm/hot water setting.  Don’t overcrowd the machine.  After their wash, throw them in the dryer with a rubber dryer ball to make sure they dry evenly.  Then, store them in a cool, dry place where dust won’t find them so they can stay fresh and clean for their next use.

Blankets and comforters are usually protected by your top sheet, but eventually they need some love, too.  These can be washed at home, too, however, large ones with heavy fibers can be a challenge to wash properly.

Washing Large or Heavy Blankets and Comforters

For these pieces to be cleaned, water should penetrate the fibers to force the contaminants off.  But we’ve heard about some trouble people have had at home.  From not being able to properly soak the comforter all the way through to household washing machines just not having enough power to penetrate heavier fibers and actually leaving soap behind on the fabric itself, these comforters are not getting their due.

If you’re having trouble washing your heavy comforter or blanket, we can help.

Our Esporta Washing System will disinfect your comforters and blankets.  Our machine will lock your textile in place while detergent-laden water is pushed through all its fibers, ensuring that bacteria and dust are washed away in the most gentle manner.  We use a combination of five to six different types of Esporta detergents to ensure disinfection.  After its wash, each comforter is dried either in a gentle dryer cycle or air dried in a specialized chamber.  We test your comforter to ensure it meets our disinfection standards, and you are always provided with a copy of those results.

We’ve successfully sanitized thousands of textiles, including those that have been in sewage-contaminated water.  We pick up and drop off your textiles anywhere in Dallas, Fort Worth Metroplex.  Call or email us today if you have questions or you’d like a free quote.  

We’re ready to help.

 

Fun During Career Day at Maple Lawn Elementary

4/20/2017 (Permalink)

Community Fun During Career Day at Maple Lawn Elementary 4th Grade Teacher at Maple Lawn Elementary Trying Out Personal Protective Equipment

We had a blast with the Rockets during College and Career Day at Maple Lawn Elementary in Dallas, Texas.  SERVPRO of North Irving spent the morning talking to the school’s 4th grade classes about the types of experiences SERVPRO technicians experience in the field.

“We talked about fire and water damages and what might cause each of those,” explained Michael Weaver, owner of SERVPRO of North Irving.  “The kids talked about natural disasters causing water damages, including tsunamis in Asia.  I was really impressed with their depth of knowledge.”

Since our office is also Texas State certified to perform mold remediation, that topic was brought up, too.  “Mold is that stuff on old cheese,” one student said.

“And the pizza my brother once left in his room for a week,” another added.

When we took out some personal protective equipment and asked for volunteers to put it on, a lot of hands went up--including the teacher’s.  As the students giggled when their teacher put on a full kit, other student volunteers also put on smaller pieces of the equipment.  With cries of Fight the Mold! and Ghostbusters! everyone was ready to go to work.

“Ultimately, we just wanted to remind the kids to stay safe,” said Michael. “It was a really fun day for us, and we hope to be invited back.”

“The Weavers are amazing to volunteer their time and talents to come to speak to our students on College and Career Day,” said Stacy Owens, Counselor at Maple Lawn.  “They are passionate advocates for SERVPRO and their integrity is evident.  I would trust them with any clean-up that I may need in the future.”

A Day in the Life: Christi Robinson, Sales

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

General A Day in the Life: Christi Robinson, Sales Christi Robinson, Sales

“Good morning!” is what Christi says as soon as she walks into the marketing and sales office.  She’s greeting Gracie, the office pet.  A few moments later, Christi is at her desk, and the day’s work begins.

“One part of my job is to finish estimates, lead crews on some projects, and complete follow-up visits,” Robinson explains.  This is what she’s scheduling before 8 A.M. before the crews arrive and the entire office begins to hum with the day’s excitement.  For a few quiet minutes each morning, it’s just Christi and Gracie checking emails and preparing.  Then, Christi is gone to the daily Work-In-Progress meeting, and by 8:30, she’s out the door to the day’s field work.

When Christi is not in the field working with a customer, she’s at the office preparing, sometimes with the rest of the marketing team.  “My other responsibilities are to market to old and new clients and assisting with social media.”  Most of our office’s candid employee shots on our social media accounts have been taken by Christi.  She’s well known around the office for her ability to capture someone in their best light.

She’s also known in the field for her ability to connect with customers.  “People, no matter what their social status, are vulnerable in time of need.” She keeps this in mind as she works with people experiencing damage at their properties.  “They want an open ear or a shoulder to lean on when going through a loss.  That’s what I try to provide for them throughout their entire project.  It’s what they deserve.”

Between water and fire damages, mold remediation, general cleaning, and now with textile cleaning added to our list of services, Christi’s day can be unpredictable.  It’s the life of a sales representative in an emergency restoration company.  “Every day is like opening a present--it’s something new and interesting.  It keeps me motivated.”

After years with our company, success is still defined by one thing for Christi.  “A smile.  I’m fulfilled when we can make our customers smile.”

Our 30-Year Anniversary: Thank You, Ellis County

12/2/2016 (Permalink)

Community Our 30-Year Anniversary: Thank You, Ellis County Billy and Mary Weaver months before opening SERVPRO of Ellis County in 1986.

We opened our doors December of 1986.  Back then, our owners were expecting their son; he turns 30-years-old himself in a few months and now co-owns this business.

 

This place has changed in three decades.  We started cleaning carpets with our two original owners.  Today, our range of services has grown to include water and fire damages, mold remediation, restoration, cleaning such as biohazards, soft contents, and, yes, still carpet, but with much more modern machinery.  

 

Even with our growth, our first dollar made hangs in a frame in our entrance hallway. Our first check received, also for $1.00, is nearby.  It's important for us to remember where we started and retain our humility.

 

SERVPRO of Ellis County is an independently run, family owned business, and the values we hold continue to drive out daily operations.  Our goal is to provide service of the highest quality to our clients in their time of need.  A vital component to our first class service comes from our employees. Our technicians and managers are always trained in the latest restoration and reconstruction techniques, and they have a passion for helping clients put their homes and businesses back together after an emergency situation.  Without our employees, our business simply wouldn't be what it is.  Over the years, they too have become part of our family.

 

It's been a great adventure so far, and we haven't done it alone.  

 

To the thousands of clients that have given us the opportunity to restore their homes and businesses, thank you.

 

To our employees that helped us grow our business, thank you.  

 

We appreciate your support more than we can express in words.

 

We're grateful to have been part of the Ellis County community for the past 30 years, and we hope to continue making it "Like it never even happened" for many more.

Mold Growth on Soft Contents: From Inspection of Damage to Remediation or Removal

11/29/2016 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Growth on Soft Contents: From Inspection of Damage to Remediation or Removal Our Esporta Wash System can remove mold growth from up to 85% of all soft contents and restore them to food-grade safe quality.

Soft Contents are anything that won’t break when dropped on the floor--blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, etcetera.  Mold can grow on these items the same way it can grow on walls and floors.  Oftentimes, soft contents are thrown away--even those of high sentimental value like a baby blanket.  However, these items are oftentimes restorable and don’t have to be thrown away at all.  If you have items that fit into this category, we can help.  

 

SERVPRO of North Irving is now a certified Esporta Wash System operator.  We have a skilled team of technicians that know how to restore contents that have mold on them before they are damaged to an unsalvageable state.  Usually, our team can restore up to 85% of all soft contents.  This is how:

 

Step 1:  Content Removal

All soft contents that are covered in mold are removed from site and brought back to our restoration center.  Contents are sorted accordingly.

 

Step 2: Tagging

Contents are tagged for identification purposes so they can be returned to their owner later.

 

Step 3: Washing and Sanitizing

Contents are washed in our Esporta Wash System.  All contents will end the wash cycle with a food-grade safe level of cleanliness.

 

Step 4: Drying

Contents enter our drying room where the humidity level is monitored and no other contents are allowed inside to avoid cross-contamination.

 

Step 5: Packing and Content Return

Contents are carefully wrapped and packaged.  Contents are then returned to our client.

 

If you have a question or would like to schedule a scope with one of our mold experts, give us a call today.

 

SERVPRO of North Irving is proud to be both a licensed mold contractor with the state of Texas and a certified Esporta Wash System operator.

 

“Like it never even happened” only happens here.

A Day In The Life: Julie Goguen, Accountant

11/29/2016 (Permalink)

General A Day In The Life:  Julie Goguen, Accountant Julie Goguen, accountant for SERVPRO of Ellis County

She’s been working for at least an hour before most people have taken their first sip of coffee--not that she’ll take any if you offer her some.  “Dr Pepper is my caffeine, but not until lunch time,” she says. “Hot fries do wake me up, but I can’t have those for breakfast, can I?”

 

She laughs. She’s always in a good mood, which is what she’s known around the office for along with her ability to be everyone’s friend.

 

And here we find what might be one of the few extroverted accountants in the world.  And the bravest.  There was once a loud bang outside the office.  When everyone either cowered around their desks or ran to the back of the building, Julie was the only one that ran out the front door.  It turned out a car was backfiring.  Not that the rest of us scaredy-cats would have known.  She also stopped a robbery at a department store one random Tuesday evening, but that’s a story for another day.

 

Julie is married with three kids and a few dogs at home.  We think they have a pretty normal life, but they might be The Incredibles trying country living for a while until the world needs them again.  We’ll see.

 

What we know with certainty is that Julie is the Keeper of Keys for our office.  She knows the name of every client that’s needed our help in the past year.  She knows every tax identification number by heart.  Due dates and phones numbers are ingrained in her memory.  Birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions are stored in mind, too.  She comes in early, stays late, answers messages in the evening, two, five, or six in the morning, keeps our books updated, our ratios comfortable, and our vendors alert of our changing needs.  Her department is well-oiled machine.  

 

If you ever hear her say, “If you don’t turn in your receipt, I’m not going to give you the reimbursement. That’s final,” you know she’s talking to the owner.  It happens.

 

A while back, she saw the movie The Accountant and said, “I can do better,” and we all believed her.

 

And, sometimes, yes, she sneaks in some hot fries in the morning.

ABC: Always Be Caring is Our Marketing Team’s Motto

11/29/2016 (Permalink)

General ABC: Always Be Caring is Our Marketing Team’s Motto Christi and Megan are making sure every client's job is going well.

We know the other one: Always Be Closing.  Well, we do things differently around here.  

 

Our perspective comes from a critical aspect of our job, and that is that our customers reach out to us on some of the most horrible days of their lives.  When half of someone’s house is full of water or they just had a fire, they don’t want a pitch.  They don’t want a price list.  They want their life restored, and that’s what our responsibility becomes.  

 

So, when that call comes, even if it’s at 3 A.M., we show up, take our client’s hand, and start to help them get through what is going to be a very emotional time in their life.  There’s going to be a lot of people coming into their home.  There’s going to be movement.  Machines.  Noise.  Paperwork.  

 

In the middle of everything, we let them know everything is going to be okay.

 

Back at our office, our team is making sure of that.  Our office administrators are working with adjusters and insurance companies every day.  The assigned production manager and the technicians are taking care to dry the structure and prevent mold.  In-house, more technicians are handling soft and hard contents cleaning that have been removed from the home.  We want to make sure we can save as many items as possible.  We know that family quilt has been around for two generations, and smoke damage isn’t going to ruin it under our watch.  Meanwhile, our reconstruction team is getting prepared for the rebuild.  Our entire company works in-sync and always for the benefit of our customer.   

 

That’s why everyone meets every morning for a Work In Progress (WIP) meeting to talk about every client job to make sure we’re all on the same page and know and meet our objectives every day.  Additionally, every Tuesday morning, the marketing department has a meeting that no one is allowed to miss--ever.  Not even the owner is allowed to miss it.  Our sole purpose is to bring our files and discuss how each and every one of our clients are doing.  Our questions are simple:

 

  • What happened at their home?
  • How quickly did we respond?
  • Did we address all of their concerns and questions?
  • Did we “make it like it never even happened”?
  • Are they safe in their home?  
  • Are they happy?

 

If the last answer is no, we know our job is not done.  We won’t stop until the customer is happy.  

 

Because we care.

A Day in The Life of Sales & Marketing Representative Megan Troup: Three-Year Anniversary Edition

11/2/2016 (Permalink)

General A Day in The Life of Sales & Marketing Representative Megan Troup: Three-Year Anniversary Edition Megan Troup celebrates three years with SERVPRO of Ellis County

A typical day for Megan Troup begins at her desk in the marketing offices at 7:30.  She checks her day's schedule and makes sure she knows where she's heading for the day.  At 8 A.M., she's promptly at the day's Work-In-Progress meeting, working with production management and making sure her clients' jobs are going as planned.  By 8:30, she's making a few phone calls and by 9:00, she's out the door.  She wishes everyone a happy day and out she goes.

Sometimes she doesn't stop until 10 or 11 that night.  When she’s the On-Call Manager and a customer needs her at 2 A.M., she’s up for that, too.

A marketing representative’s job doesn’t just involve route sales.  It’s also about following customer leads when someone calls into our office requesting bids, making sure clients’ current jobs are exceeding expectations, and finding new customers that may not know how SERVPRO can help.  

When asked about her experience, Megan had this to say, “Last month I celebrated my work anniversary.  Three years with SERVPRO of Ellis County,  and the time has flown by!  Each day on the job is different than the last--and all have proven to be equally fulfilling. Getting to meet new people every day is exciting, and helping put people's' lives back in order is rewarding beyond measure.  Each job provides a unique situation with a new set of problems and solutions to gain knowledge from for future use. The learning is progressive which keeps my interest level high.  I have certainly used my knowledge gained while working here with SERVPRO while handling issues in my personal day-to-day life.  I look forward to many more work anniversary celebrations in years to come with SERVPRO of Ellis County!”

Megan's drive for her job comes from her passion to help those that have experienced a loss.  When Megan responds to a call, what she is looking to do is provide a way to put that person's home back together.  For Megan, the job becomes a personal mission to help--to make it “Like it never even happened.”  The job isn’t done until our core statement is true.

Caring professionals like Ms. Troup are what make SERVPRO the leader in the restoration industry.  SERVPRO of Ellis County looks forward to many more happy years with Megan.

SERVPRO of Ellis County becomes an Esporta Certified Operator; Now Offers Smoke, Soot, and Sewage Damaged Soft Contents Restoration

11/1/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning SERVPRO of Ellis County becomes an Esporta Certified Operator; Now Offers Smoke, Soot, and Sewage Damaged Soft Contents Restoration Esporta iS4000 Wash System

When our customers experience a water or fire loss, many times their damaged soft contents are considered to be non-restorable.  That means that items of high sentimental value such as wedding gowns, family heirloom quilts, porcelain dolls, or a child’s favorite stuffed animal are thrown away.  

 

Beginning mid-November of 2016, SERVPRO of Ellis County will be able to restore up to 85% of these items and return them to their owners.  

 

Our business is busy redesigning a portion of our building to house a new Esporta machine to operate an expanding function of our business, soft contents cleaning.  An Esporta machine looks like a washing machine you have at home but about four times bigger.  It has specialized washing chambers and technology inside that allow soft goods to be washed with different agents without ruining the integrity of the fabric.

 

For our customers with water and fire damages, our services will continue to be seamless; the only difference now will be the additional offering of our Esporta Wash System should any of their soft contents have been affected.  If they have, our crews will pack-out their soft contents and bring them back our office for sorting, cleaning, drying, folding, and packing.  In a case of an emergency, a customer can have their clothing cleaned within 24-hours.  Otherwise, a customer can have their clothing cleaned in 72-hours and other soft contents items restored soon after.

 

Any customers without existing damages that would like soft contents cleaning can also contact us for cleaning or estimates.

 

If water, fire, or mold damage has affected your soft contents and you think they’re ready for the landfill, give our office a call and let us help you.  Our office will also be equipped to clean large amounts of sports equipment such as jerseys and pads.

 

SERVPRO of Ellis County is excited to add soft contents restoration to our portfolio of work.  For any questions, please contact us at 972.986.7677.

This Thanksgiving, Prevent a Turkey Fryer Fire

11/1/2016 (Permalink)

Fire Damage This Thanksgiving, Prevent a Turkey Fryer Fire Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance away from buildings or other flammable materials.

Did you know?  Most home fires occur on Thanksgiving.

 

Frying a turkey is fast, easy, and most importantly--delicious.  The oil creates a crispy exterior while keeping the meat moist.  For even more flavor, the SERVPRO of Ellis County family likes to inject the turkey with a combination of melted butter and our favorite spices.  Whichever way you like your turkey cooked, please keep safety as your top priority. 

 

Every year, SERVPRO of Ellis County responds to calls from customers whose homes have suffered smoke damage, many related to Thanksgiving-related fire incidents.  This holiday season, keep the following safety tips in mind to keep your family and home safe from fire:

 

  • Turkey fryers can easily tip over.  Use them on a flat surface.
  • An overfilled cooking pot will cause cooking oil to spill when the turkey is put in.
  • A partially frozen turkey will cause cooking oil to splatter when put in the pot.  Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before inserting it into the oil. 
  • Even a small amount of cooking oil spilling on a hot burner can cause a large fire.
  • Use a fryer with temperature controls to prevent overheating the oil.
  • Turkey fryers should always be used outdoors a safe distance away from buildings or other flammable materials.
  • Source: U.S. Fire Administration

 

From our family to yours, we wish you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Why Your Business Needs An Emergency Ready Plan

7/19/2016 (Permalink)

Building Services Why Your Business Needs An Emergency Ready Plan Sleep Like a Baby Tonight By Preparing for the Worst Today

An estimated 50% of businesses that close due to a disaster, such as fire and flood never reopen.

SERVPRO of Ellis County has worked with many businesses in the area to ensure they are prepared for any emergency. 

Between 2004-2008 16,360 fires happened in retail stores and other mercantile properties such as grocery stores beauty and barber shops.

Those fires caused $648 million in property damage. Fire damage is worse after normal business hours. Fires that started bwtween 9PM-5AM caused $75,000 dollars in damage. Fires that started between 5AM-9AM caused $24,000 dollars in fire damage.

More than 60% of U.S. small businesses do not have formal emergency response plans & do not back-up their data off site.

No Plan Means You're Less Likely to Recover

80% of companies that do not recover from a disaster within 1 month are likely to go out of business. 75% of companies without a business contingency plan fail within 3 years of a disaster.

70% of small business that experience major data loss go out of business within a year.

43% of companies that experience catastrophic data loss never reopen.

51% of companies with data loss closed within 2 years.

80% of companies that do not recover from a disaster within 1 month are likely to go out of business. 75% of companies without a business contingency plan fail within 3 years of a disaster.

Tips For Creating a Successful Emergency Ready Plan

  1.  Let the professionals help you. Work with an emergency restoration company for assistance in creating your emergency ready profile.
  2. Identify and label utility shut-off locations.
  3. Identify local utility contact information.
  4. Identify local emergency contact information such as fire, police, and hospital contacts.
  5. Establish main internal contacts for purposes of employee safety and emergency work authorization.

The SERVPRO® Ready Plan is a tool for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial. It allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile. Please contact our Commercial Business Development Representative Marc McMillan to setup your free Emergency Ready Profile.

972-935-0827, 214-325-1755

As a trusted leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO of Ellis County has highly trained technicians that are dedicated to responding faster to any size disaster. We provide 24-hour emergency service and have the training and expertise to handle your restoration and cleaning needs. 'Ready for Whatever Happens' so we can make it 'Like it never happened' 

Pass Inspection, Increase Market Value, Sell Home Faster

7/13/2016 (Permalink)

Cleaning Pass Inspection, Increase Market Value, Sell Home Faster Sell Homes Faster

SERVPRO of Ellis County can help sellers resolve trouble spots you may have before listing your property up for sell or schedule for inspection. Homeowners can choose to handle these issues themselves to avoid filing an insurance claim for the damage because it may not be covered under the home's policy.

Whether the problem is a water stain on a hardwood floor or a mildew smell in a room, reassure your clients that your SERVPRO of Ellis County Franchise Professional can get their home in top show condition and ready to sell.

It's a fact: A clean, fresh smelling home sells faster. Unfortunately, not all homes are maintained in the same way. Nearly all realtors are faced, at some point, with a diffcult listing to sell.

Veteran realtors encourage clients to keep their homes in top condition for very important reasons:

•Increased market value

•Reduced list to sale conversion times

•Enhanced reputation for quality listings and quick sales

Five Tips for an Air Duct Cleaning

3/18/2016 (Permalink)

General Five Tips for an Air Duct Cleaning Wesley performing an air duct cleaning.

5 tips for an air duct cleaning

  1. Assess for mold.
  2. check for clogs and debris
  3. Get multiple cleaning estimates for the best value.
  4. Know EPA recommendations.
  5. Do the research when choosing a professional.

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