Recent Posts

5 Common Types of Mold and How They Could be Affecting Your Business

12/1/2022 (Permalink)

Mold thrives in damp and dark environments where the temperature stays between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The catch? These environments are usually located within walls, behind baseboards, above ceilings, or even within air ducts; areas that we don’t typically inspect. There is no sure way of preventing mold growth, especially in hard-to-reach areas, which means that it is important to know what the effects of different growths may be so you can prepare for any scenario and deal with it immediately.

Alternaria

Alternaria is the most common form of allergenic mold in the world. This velvet-textured, dark green growth, with over 250 different species is commonly seen in areas with high moisture or humidity which makes this one of the most common types of growth to occur after some sort of water loss. Some species of Alternaria can also be found in dry, windy conditions, causing them to be extremely airborne in certain scenarios. 

Aspergillus

Aspergillus is among one of the 3 most common types of mold found in American structures, along with black mold and pink mold. This is another case of airborne mold spores that cling to nearby surfaces such as walls, ceilings, and furniture. They typically make their way throughout a building via the heating or air conditioning system, making it a challenge to identify the exact location that aspergillus may strike next.

Cladosporium

Cladosporium is an allergenic mold type. This can be found in both warm and cold conditions and is often located within indoor materials such as fabrics, upholsteries, and carpets. It is typically an olive or brown color with a suede-like texture. Remember your grandma’s old, mildew-scented furniture? It might not be mildew after all. This is one of the biggest reasons why it is recommended to thoroughly clean all fabric furniture that may be bought second-hand.

Penicillium

Although this growth may be famous for its antibiotic production, it can also be the culprit of multiple health effects. Penicillium is easily recognizable for its blue or green color and velvety texture. It is often found in older buildings hiding under or behind carpets, wallpaper, or ducts. It spreads as rapidly as a virus and if left untreated, can cause serious long-term health effects.

Stachybotrys

Stachybotrys is also known as the famous “black mold”. It is a toxigenic (yes, that means toxic) mold that can cause serious health effects. This mold thrives in wet areas with high humidity levels that maintain these conditions for extended periods of time. It is known for growing on wood, cardboard, paper, or hay. The moral of the story, make sure all rooms are well ventilated and throw away your old newspapers; there’s no need to keep them folded up in boxes within a humid storage room or building.

Although there are thousands of other types of mold spores that have not been discussed in this article, this offers a brief explanation of five of the most common types of mold that could affect your business. If you do happen to notice mold growth, SERVPRO of Parker and Northeast Hood Counties is available 24/7 at 817-596-8714 to assist with most mold remediation-required services.

Is Hoarding a Fire Hazard?

12/1/2022 (Permalink)

Hoarding example Hoarding can be a major fire hazard.

According to the Mayo Clinic, hoarding disorder can be described as “a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distres at the thought of getting rid of items.” In other words, people with hoarding disorder and their inability to get rid of items means that these items continue to accumulate until the clutter eventually spreads to the garage, vehicles, yards, and other storage facilities.

With Christmas approaching, the stuff and things are only going to be more, and the available space will only be less. There is no opportunity more perfect than now to declutter a few areas of the home. Allowing items to build up and take up a mass amount of space can actually be a danger to the home and everyone who lives in it; one of the biggest threats being fire hazards. 

With a variety of items packed into a specific area, hoarding not only increases the likelihood of a fire igniting but can also boost the size and magnitude at which the fire burns. Because of this, first responders will also have a difficult time accessing the fire if one were to break out as well as making it more difficult for them to get the flames under control. In some situations, the fire may be igniting more items faster than the fire department can put them out.

If you or a loved one needs assistance removing cluttered items from the home to prepare for Christmas, SERVPRO of Parker and Northeast Hood Counties is here to help! You can reach us 24/7 at 817-596-8714.

Severe Weather: Fact V. Fiction

12/1/2022 (Permalink)

When it comes to dangerous weather situations, there are many myths that are spread among homeowners. It is important to understand the truths in order to keep your family and your home protected. Here are a few myths and facts about severe weather. 

Myth: Lightning never strikes twice.

Fact: Absolutely nothing can prevent lightning from striking the same person or location more than once. During storms, it is likely that taller buildings will be struck multiple times.

Myth: Trucks and large vehicles can make it through shallow floodwaters.

Fact: It only takes 1 foot of water to lift an average-sized vehicle off the ground and it only takes 2 feet of water to lift large trucks as big as semis. Not only that, but floodwaters can sweep away portions of the road which only makes for a more dangerous driving situation no matter the size of the vehicle. 

Myth: Storms and tornadoes always move east.

Fact: While it is more common for a storm to move from west to east, tornadoes are erratic and can change their direction at any moment.

Myth: Open your windows during a tornado so they don’t explode

Fact: Opening the windows will not change the interior pressure of your house. Tornadoes are violent and will likely destroy your windows whether they’re open or not. With your windows, open-air can easily enter the house and put upward pressure on the ceiling. Scientists believe that the lift provided by this pressure makes it easier for a tornado to lift the roof off your house, creating a far more dangerous situation

Myth: During freezing weather, drink alcohol to keep you warm.

Fact: Alcohol expands your blood vessels, allowing more blood to pass through and therefore, making you feel warmer. Despite this, if you drink alcohol and are then exposed to freezing weather, the dilated blood vessels will cool down quickly, sometimes assisted by sweating, and cause your whole body’s temperature to drop at a rapid rate.

Merry Christmas From Our Family to Yours

12/1/2022 (Permalink)

We just wanted to take a moment to wish all of you a Merry Christmas! We wish for health, safety, warmth, and comfort for you and your families. 

Visit us at https://www.facebook.com/SERVPROparkernortheasthoodcounties and comment on our most recent post to let us know what you got for Christmas!

Maybe Leave DIY To The Professionals

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Most of us are guilty of loving a good DIY project.  Not only can it save you a little money, but it can also allow you to take the time to learn a new trade.  There are some projects, however, that can be incredibly dangerous if not completed to perfection. Here are a few examples of DIY projects that should be left for the professionals.

  • Installing a hot water tank

    • Installing a hot water tank involved dealing with 240 volts of electricity to be fused with the gas lines.  Doing this job incorrectly can result in an accidental explosion.
  • Cleaning led paint
    • Most houses that were built prior to 1980 contain lead in the paint that's on the walls.  This paint must be cleaned but before that can happen, it is important to test the extent of lead within it.  Hiring a licensed professional is essential in this situation.
  • Removing trees
    • This DIY is not only dangerous, but it can also be illegal.  Trees are essential to survival, therefore, most cities have declared it illegal to cut down trees without authorization from the city or a licensed professional. Not only that, but removing a tree improperly can result in damage to structures, injury, or in some cases, fatality.  Cutting down a tree looks simple, but this may be a better project for the pros.
  • Switching from electric to gas stove
    • This is another DIY project that can turn into a legal matter.  This project requires you to handle both gas and electricity.  If executed poorly, it may prove fatal.  Not only that, but depending on where you live, it may also be illegal to do this conversion without the assistance of a licensed professional.  Moral of the story, this is another one to leave to the pros.
  • Electrical rewiring
    • This one tends to speak for itself.  Making any sort of changes to your electrical system can lead to accidental electrocution or even fatality.  Therefore, it does require a permit.

To conclude, there are some DIY projects that may be too dangerous to execute as a DIY project.  Hiring a professional to make electrical improvements, to remove unwanted foliage, or to update kitchen appliances will not only ensure that the job is done correctly and protect you from injury, but it could also avoid running into legal matters.  Of course, if your DIY project does go wrong, you can always rely on SERVPRO of Parker and Northeast Hood Counties to help clean up the mess. We are available 24/7 at 817-596-8714.

How To Remove Cigarette Odor At Home

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Cigarette Odor We can remove cigarette odor!

Here's a scenario: You just bought a house (congratulations!) but the only downfall is that the previous owner was an avid smoker. The entire house smells like cigarettes and the windows and walls have a thin layer of soot coating them. You aren't able to get a professional cleaning crew to tackle the residue before you officially move in which means that this project has now become a DIY. What should you do? Well, here are a few things that you can do to help eliminate that stingy odor.

  • Fresh air
    • When you walk into your new home and are hit with the overwhelming scent of cigarettes, I’m sure the first thing you would do is open a few windows. Fresh air will eventually rid the odor from the house.
  • White vinegar
    • Vinegar is a cleaning agent that can cut through odors naturally. Try leaving a few small bowls of vinegar in the most fragrant rooms to absorb the odors. Also be sure to wipe or spray down all of the furniture, walls, and floors with this agent 5-7 times per week. If you can’t stand the smell of vinegar, try adding some lavender essential oil to the mix. 
  • Baking soda
    • Baking soda is also an all natural odor absorbent. Sprinkle this on cloth furniture, carpet, rugs, curtains, or any other fabric material, allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes, and then wipe or vacuum away. Leaving a few bowls of baking soda lying around will also absorb some of the odor. Be sure to not allow any baking soda to mix with the vinegar though as it will create a chemical reaction.
  • Clean your air ducts and replace the filters
    • Cigarette smells can stick to air ducts and be blown throughout your house. This means that even if you clean your house top to bottom, it won't do any good if the air ducts and filters are still hoarding that odor.

These methods will all take time. Unfortunately, cigarette odor is not a scent that can be quickly or easily eliminated. Of course, if none of these odor removal methods prove to be successful, searching for professional help may be the only option. 

If you find yourself in need of professional odor removal, SERVPRO of Parker and Northeast Hood Counties is here to help! We have the highest quality products and equipment that will cut through almost any smell. We are available 24/7 at 817-596-8714.

Stormwater: Fact V.S. Fiction:

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Storm Drains Does storm water drain lead to treatment plants?

During a rainstorm, flash flooding has potential to enter your home. Because of this, it is important to understand the difference between myths and facts about this water.

Myth: Stormwater drains in city limits lead to treatment plants

Fact: The majority of storm drains, and the pollutants that stormwater travels with, lead to lakes, rivers, ponds, and other large bodies of water.

Myth: Stormwater is clean

Fact: As stormwater flows down roads, sidewalks, and land, it picks up sediment, pet waste, litter, cigarette butts, lawn clippings, fertilizer, and other pollutants that may be found on the ground.

Myth: Stormwater is mainly an urban problem

Fact: Agricultural fields and pastures are a huge contributor to stormwater pollution due to pesticides, fertilizer, animal waste, and sediment runoff.

Myth: The state takes care of stormwater pollution

Fact: The state only manages a portion of land. States often set pollution guidelines, but it is ultimately up to individuals to step up and do their part in managing this pollution.

Myth: Stormwater pollution will eventually go away

Fact: Pollutants in stormwater may be washed away, but as those pollutants leave, more will appear. Throwing your trash over your neighbor’s fence doesn’t mean that the trash isn’t there anymore. Every person has to play their part in reducing litter and agricultural pollutants. 

Knowing the truth about stormwater and how it can be more problematic than often believed is crucial as we near the spring rainy season. Of course, if stormwater does contaminate your home, SERVPRO of Parker and Northeast Hood Counties is here for you! We are available 24/7 for emergencies at 817-596-8714.

Check Your Home For Weakness Before a Storm

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Leaky Windows Check your home for leaky windows before a storm!

Storms. We know that they can be destructive and/or dangerous, especially when water or other debris manages to get inside your home. If this happens it can have a number of negative impacts. For example, if water enters your home it may cause mold growth, lifted floorboards, damaged furniture, or wet walls or insulation. These are the most common occurrences. But, no worries, SERVPRO is here to help. Here are a couple of useful tips!

You can prevent some of these things from happening by “checking your home for weaknesses”. By this we mean, check your windows for any leakage from previous rain, remove any dead branches from trees around your house, secure outdoor items, and periodically have your roof inspected. Doing this won’t guarantee that your home will be completely safe from a storm, but it improves your chances of having no or minimal damage.

SERVPRO of Parker and Northeast Hood Counties provides the services to find & fix these problems. Be sure to give us a call if you have any concerns regarding your home (817) 596-8714.

Different Types Of Smoke Residue

11/1/2022 (Permalink)

Fires are difficult to contain no matter the magnitude and even if you are able to successfully stop the spreading, smoke residue is inevitable. Depending on the size, cause, and location of the fire, the residue may look a little different. Here are five different forms of soot from fires.

  • Dry smoke residue: Dry smoke residue occurs during fast-burning fires that burn at a high temperature. These are typically fueled by paper or wood. Fortunately, the residue is typically powdery and doesn’t smear when you wipe it which makes for an easy clean-up process.
  • Wet smoke residue: Wet smoke is created by low-heat, smoldering fires. Both plastic and rubber produce this residue and the waste is often thick and moist and most often has a stench.
  • Protein residue: Protein residue forms when organic material evaporates during a low heat fire. Often a product of cooking, this residue is essentially invisible to the eye, but can permanently damage or discolor painted, varnished, or other finished surfaces.
  • Fuel/oil residue: Fuel/ oil residue, also known as petroleum residue is not often found in home or business fires unless petroleum was being stored on site. However, it is not uncommon for a building’s furnace to have a “puff back” when igniting, causing a small explosion. This means that the building owner may be dealing with fuel residue even without the instance of a fire. The residue is sticky and strong and often has an obnoxious odor. It will inevitably ruin fabric or upholstery if not cleaned immediately.
  • Fire extinguisher residue: Fire extinguisher residue does not always require cleanup after use unless it is a chemical extinguisher. The reside and clean-up process varies depending on the type of extinguisher used.

Obviously, the ultimate goal is to avoid having any form of fire and therefore, avoid the resulting waste; however, this is not always possible. If your home or business is in need of rehabilitation after a fire, SERVPRO of Parker and Northeast Hood Counties is here to help! We are available 24/7 at 817-598-8714.

A Tornado Warning

10/4/2022 (Permalink)

What is the difference between a 'tornado watch' and a 'tornado warning'?  According to the Red Cross, a 'tornado watch' means that there is potential for a tornado to form.  A 'tornado warning' means that there is already a tornado or one is about to form.  

So what do you do in this situation?  Chances are, if you've been tied into a tornado warning before, you already have an idea of what to keep with you.  However, if you're new to a location that is known to participate in Mother Nature's spinoff (no pun intended) of the children's game 'Twister', there are a few things that you should know as far as preparation goes.

What to Do When You Get Word of a Tornado Watch:

Don't wait for the tornado watch to turn into a tornado warning before stocking your safe space.  When you receive word of a watch, immediately begin packing your safe space (which we'll get to in a minute).  Also keep the news or a radio on and listen to the current weather report.  You'll want to keep track of what is going on and when it is going on so you know how to better prepare.  Let your children, spouse, or other housemates know what's going on so they can stay in the loop (also no pun intended).  Communication in this situation truly is key as we don't want anybody unaware of the determined procedure.  You may consider walking to a neighbor or a friend's house nearby if they have a storm shelter or basement to seek refuge in.  

Where should your refuge be located:

One thing is for certain: if you live in a trailer house or mobile home, you'll want to find a sturdier structure to seek shelter in.  In fact, if you  live in a mobile home in an area that is at risk for having a tornado, you might consider investing in placing a storm shelter on site.

Other practical places to seek refuge include 

  • basements
  • rooms with no windows and few doors located on the lowest floor
  • bathrooms
  • under a sturdy piece of furniture with a mattress, blanket, or towel covering your head and neck
  • closets
  • pantries

Where not to seek refuge

  • rooms or spaces located on the top floor of the house or building
  • cars
  • rooms with windows
  • avoid being near bridges or highway overpasses if you are outside during this time
  • areas located directly underneath a heavy object (ex. when in the basement, don't hide directly under the fridge or piano located in the room above.  The structure of the house could be compromised, causing the object to fall through.)

If you are outside when a tornado hits, run to the nearest sturdy building or even a drainpipe.  The car is not a safe place to seek refuge in this situation.  However, if you do get trapped in the car, keep your seatbelt on, the engine running,  tuck your head down below the windows, and cover as much of your body, especially your head with a blanket or coat to protect against broken glass or flying debris.

Now that we have determined where the safe space should be located, it's time to determine what needs to be placed inside of that safe space.

What to pack in your safe space

  • non perishable food items
  • water
  • flashlight
  • radio
  • portable charger
  • batteries
  • blankets
  • diapers, bottles, formula, etc. if you have a baby
  • toys for children
  • medication

Now that you have your safe space picked out and fully stocked with what you need, it's time to really start watching the weather.  Hopefully you have been listening to the weather report this whole time though.  Here are a few things that you should look for as far as weather conditions go.

Weather conditions that indicate a tornado

  • a dark green colored sky
  • a large, dark, low lying cloud
  • large hail
  • a loud sound that sounds like a freight train

If any of these weather conditions occur, seek refuge IMMEDIATELY!  Fortunately, you already know where to hide at this point and you have all of the materials you need already placed in the shelter.  Once the tornado hits, there's not much you can do except protect yourself and wait it out.  As always, if your home or business does happen to play victim to tornado damage and you are in need of a crew to help clean it up, you can trust SERVPRO of Parker and Northeast Hood Counties to do the job.  Give us a call at 817-596-8714.