Recent Storm Damage Posts

Storm Emergency Services

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Emergency Services

Storms are not a common occurrence in Texas.  In Dallas, we see just a few days of freezing temperatures in a year.  Every few years, a strong hail storm can occur.  Otherwise, we have the luxury of enjoyable temperate or warm temperatures for the majority of the year.

Yet, when there is a winter storm in Dallas and Fort Worth, we see a sharp increase in properties that experience damage.  From flooded homes due to frozen pipes bursting, to fire damages caused by portable heaters, we are always ready to help.  

SERVPRO of Ellis County is always active during storm situations.  We offer the following services:

Water Damage (Flooding)

Usually caused by frozen pipes that have burst, but other times by a damaged roof, we are available 24/7 for your water damage.  We will extract standing water and place drying equipment in your home.  We will monitor the drying process until your home has dried correctly.

Fire Damage

Regardless of the reason for the fire damage, we are available to provide the following:

  • Roof Tarping: we will tarp the damaged portion of your roof using thick, weatherproof plastic.  This will prevent further precipitation from entering your home until the roof can be permanently fixed.
  • Board Ups: we will board up any damaged portion of your property, such as doors and windows.  This will prevent precipitation from entering your home and deter possible break-ins.
  • Temporary Fencing: along with board ups, we can install a temporary fence around your property to deter the public from entering your property and provide an extra layer of security.
  • 24/7 Security Guard: when it is impossible to perform immediate board ups or install temporary fencing (for example, if we’re in the middle of an ice storm), we can assign a security guard to protect your property until our technicians can safely provide other emergency services.

Move-Out / Pack-Out for Contents

Sometimes, a move-out or pack-out is needed.  This is especially the case when the majority or entire property has been affected by smoke or soot.  We will pack-outs your property’s contents and take them to our facility, where they can be cleaned and stored until they’re safe to be returned.  

Temporary Warehouse Space

When a move-out or pack-out is done, we will provide temporary storage space to keep your items safe until they can be returned.

Textile Cleaning

If you have textiles (clothing, plush animals, shoes, etcetera) that have been affected by Cat 2 or Cat 3 water or smoke and soot, they can be taken back to our facility for cleaning.  Priority clothing can be cleaned returned in as little as 72-hours. Learn more about how we clean and prove the cleanliness of water-affected textiles and smoke and soot-affected textiles.

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 are also 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.

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.  

Follow us:

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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.  

Follow us:

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Visit:

www.SERVPROelliscounty.com

“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.

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.

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.