What Type of Smoke Alarms Do You Need in Your Home?
Dual sensor alarms are often the right purchase for homes
In a house fire, time is precious. A few seconds can make a big difference in determining your safety. Without an effective smoke alarm system, you may not know about the fire until it is too late. Even if you currently have some type of alarm, it’s helpful to evaluate the device and make sure your Belton, TX, home is equipped with the right one.
A smoke detector does not come in a one-size-fits-all solution. There are various models that serve different purposes. You should understand what is available and when each might be effective at protecting you and your loved one.
Photoelectric alarms use a strobe light to warn you of danger. When smoke enters the alarm chamber, light triggers the alarm.
Ionization alarms ionize the air within the unit with a tiny amount of americium. These alarms are effective at detecting fires that start and grow quickly.
Dual-sensor alarms incorporate elements from the other two. Though these cost more, they are often the right purchase for homes.
Know How They’re Powered
Before you choose a smoke alarm, you should understand how the device gets its power. Many detectors use regular AA, AAA or 9-volt batteries. You should change these regularly, though some units will indicate when the batteries are almost dead. Other units use longer-lasting lithium batteries that you’ll need to check every 10 years or so. Newer homes often wire the alarms directly into the home’s current.
How Big Is Your Home?
When it comes to fire safety, size matters. The square footage of your home should play a role in what type of alarm you have and where you place them. Fire mitigation companies recommend that you wire all the detectors together so that when one sounds, they all do. Make sure you have a detector in each bedroom and in the hall outside the bedroom.
A smoke alarm may look like a simple item, but it can be a lifesaver. Knowing how these alarms function and which are most effective can come in handy during an emergency.
How To Identify Mildew Versus Mold
Mold and mildew damage in Temple, TX
Have you noticed black spots on the walls? Is the caulk in your bathroom looking discolored? These growths can become problematic and require immediate care, but before you take steps to clean it, know whether it's mold or mildew. Both of these common fungi thrive in moist, humid areas, and, to an untrained eye, these spores can be difficult to decipher. Mold damage needs identification, so get a good look at what is spreading and note the color, pattern and texture.
Grab a ladder, a hand-held magnifying glass, and a camera (the one on your phone should work well). You'll want to get up close to the area, and the photograph can help distinguish features. If you have mildew, it usually develops as a flat pattern on the surface of objects. In addition, it is often gray or white in color with a powdery, fluffy appearance. Because it does not penetrate into material, you can use cleaners and sponges to remove it from your home.
Usually black or green, this fungus appears to have no regular pattern, instead looking more like fuzzy, slippery splotches. If this is what you're seeing, most likely the mold has developed from a larger unseen issue. Mold damage from moisture may have invaded the walls or a leaky pipe could be causing unseen problems. Locate a mold remediation company in Temple, TX, to handle the situation. The experts will need to locate the source of the issue, fix that first, and then clean the area. Surface cleaning would only eliminate what you're seeing and allowing the fungus to fester, simply reappearing again down the road.
Mold damage can become problematic, so before you grab a cleaning bottle and wipe away the discoloration, evaluate what you see. Sanitizing is good, but you want to ensure that you care for your property in the best manner. If in doubt, call the professionals and allow them to determine the best methods needed.
4 Steps to Take If Your Building is Damaged by Water
Commercial water damage in Belton, TX
4 Steps to Take If Your Building is Damaged by Water
From a severe storm in Belton, TX, to broken pipes, there are many things that can cause water damage to your building. It can be an incredibly frustrating situation and how you handle it is important. Performing the following steps quickly after damage has occurred can make the process of repairing your building go more smoothly.
1. Call Your Insurance Agent
The first thing that you should do if you have experienced water damage is to contact your insurance company. This will allow you to begin and complete the claims process more quickly. In some cases, waiting too long to report damage can result in your claim being denied, so this is another reason not to hesitate.
2. Contact a Restoration Company
Your next call should be one to a restoration service that can do water cleanup and repairs. They can start working quickly to return your building to its previous condition. Depending on the severity of the damage, this can take a while, so the sooner work begins, the better.
3. Document the Damage
You don’t just have to sit around while you wait for an insurance adjuster to arrive. The company will need proof of the damage in your building, so you can begin documenting this. It is a good idea to take pictures of any affected areas and create a list that you will provide to the adjuster. Do not throw out any belongings, but set them aside for inspection.
4. Start on Mitigation
Because this kind of damage gets worse the longer it sits, you should also begin cleaning up a bit while you wait for the cleanup and restoration company to arrive if it is safe to do so. Move items to a dry location and block off other areas to prevent the water from spreading.
If you have water damage in your building, take action right away to prevent secondary damage from occurring. Be sure to inform your insurance agent as soon as possible to get the most from your insurance policy.
Steps To Ensure Your Property's and Residents' Safety in the Event of a Hurricane
Clear debris from gutters and drains
Steps For Hurricane Preparedness
Buffeting winds, heavy rain, massive flooding and powerful tornadoes, all these disastrous occurrences can happen as the result of a hurricane. Those who live in Academy, TX, are aware of the havoc these storms can create. In 2017 the total costs of hurricane damage and other weather events in the United States were in the area of $306.2 billion. Part of property management is the responsibility of preparing your buildings and tenants for the possibility of a hurricane. Take the following steps for hurricane preparedness.
1. Prepare Your Property
Inspect hurricane shutters if applicable. Test to make sure they open and close correctly. In addition, make sure to take the following precautions:
- Clear debris from gutters and drains.
- Secure objects such as trash cans and grills to prevent additional hurricane damage.
- Purchase additional building materials.
- If you own a generator, make sure it is in running order.
- Go over all insurance policies to verify they are up-to-date.
2. Prepare Your Staff
Education is vital for your staff. It is crucial for them to know the terms used for changing weather patterns. Make sure they’re aware of the difference between watches and warnings. Discuss emergency preparedness plans and conduct drills. Educate them on evacuation orders and what steps to take to get themselves and residents off the property in an orderly manner.
3. Prepare Your Residents
Communication is essential in preparing your residents for the hurricane season. Think about holding a seminar to discuss emergency plans for those who live on the property. Give out first aid kits and a hurricane safety checklist. Along with your staff, educate tenants on the terminology of hurricane weather conditions. Let residents know you are concerned for their safety and well-being.
Hurricane damage costs billions of dollars every year. Taking steps to prevent property damage and keeping your staff and residents safe is always foremost in your mind. Speaking with a storm damage specialist in preparing your property for the hurricane season can save you money in the long run.
Top 3 Flooring Tips After Water Damage
Water damage in a Holland, TX kitchen
What To Do About Your Ruined Floors
Water damage in your Holland, TX, home can be devastating to your emergency fund. One of the major costs that homeowners face when dealing with the aftermath of a pipe break is the restoration of carpet or hardwood flooring that has been damaged in the process. Here are three tips to keep in mind when deciding what to do about your ruined floors.
1. Type of Damage Matters
The first thing to keep in mind when dealing with water damage to your flooring is the type of water. For example, floors soaked with clean water from broken pipes are more likely to be recoverable than damage to your floors from sewage or storm water. Knowing what kind of water can also be helpful for insurance and repair professionals to assess the true scope of the damage.
2. Insurance May Cover It
If you have not yet done so, contacting your insurance company after a pipe break can be an excellent way of minimizing your out-of-pocket costs for replacing or restoring your flooring. An insurance representative can come out and give you an estimate of how much your policy covers or can at least give you advice as to what course of action you should take.
3. Professional Advice Can Save You Money
Seeking advice from an emergency restoration company can help you to save money on repairs and replacement. Qualified professionals can give you advice on whether your floors can be salvaged or if they need to be completely replaced. An expert opinion can also give you the peace of mind about possible hidden damage that might surface in the future, saving you time and money in solving problems before they start.
Whether it’s a pipe break or storm damage, restoration of your flooring is an important aspect of recovering from water damage. Working with professionals and having all the details can help you to make smarter decisions about whether you need to repair your carpet or hardwood floor and can give you a wider range of options to make it “Like it never even happened.”
4 Steps of Roof Restoration
Missing shingles on roof
4 Steps of Roof Restoration
Your roof protects your commercial building in Chilton, TX, from water damage and other problems that can be caused by being exposed to the elements. When you have a roof leak, it leaves your building vulnerable. Storm restoration experts can fix your roof in four straightforward steps.
1. Find Damage
The first thing technicians have to do is locate the damage. There are many problems that could lead to a leak:
- Missing shingles
- Damaged flashing
- Dented vents
- Clogged gutters
Once they have assessed the damaged roof, they can formulate a plan to resolve it. They will likely be able to tell you how long it's going to take to fix the roof leak and how much it will cost to do so. Before they can restore the building, however, they have to clean up the water damage the leak left behind.
2. Tear Out Soggy Material
Once a ceiling or wall is waterlogged, the material is not useful anymore. It must be torn out. The same goes for insulation. All soggy material must be removed before mold starts to grow.
3. Disinfect Area
Storm water from a damaged roof is often contaminated. This means that, even after the wet materials are gone, the remaining structure must be disinfected to remove all microbes or other germs that are in the water. Technicians use industrial cleaners to disinfect the area and prepare it for new materials.
4. Rebuild Structure
The restoration company doesn't just leave your building gutted. Any ceiling tiles or drywall that were torn out must be replaced. The problem that allowed the leak to occur also must be fixed. The job isn't done until everything is rebuilt.
When you notice that a roof leak has caused water damage to your building, it is important to call the professionals. They can work through the steps of the repair process to make sure your building is as good as new.
Why You Should Consider Business Interruption Insurance
Fire damage in a commercial property in Rosebud, TX
Cleaning up in the aftermath of a fire on your commercial property in Rosebud, TX, can leave you with a lot on your plate. In addition to dealing with fire damage, water damage and reconstruction, you may also have to cope with lost revenue during the restoration period. However, business interruption insurance can make a huge difference when it comes to protecting your business in the event of a temporary, unexpected closure.
What Is Business Interruption Insurance?
Business interruption insurance covers lost income if your building is affected by a sudden disaster and forced to close its doors. Many policies will include coverage for:
Rent or leasing payments
The primary goal of this insurance is to cover standard operating expenses and make up for the profits you would have earned if your business had not been affected by the disaster. In many instances, the policy may also cover the costs associated with temporarily relocating your business to a new building.
Choosing a Policy
Before deciding on a policy, there are a few things to consider. You must have complete financial records for your business, as your insurance payouts are based upon documented expenses and revenue. Also, make sure to check what documentation the policy requires to establish proof of loss. Furthermore, remember that clearing smoke damage and other aspects of a business fire is often a multi-day process. Thus, a good insurance policy should cover your company for more than just a day or two. Bear in mind that there might also be a two- or three-day waiting period before coverage takes effect.
To reopen your organization as quickly as possible, it is important to ensure that skilled fire cleaning and restoration experts attend to the property immediately following the incident. Nonetheless, a good-quality cleanup may still take some time, depending on the extent of the damage. Whether the business is closed for days, weeks or months, business interruption insurance can help your organization stay afloat during the recovery process.
Can Mold Grow in Dry Climates?
Broken water heaters can cause mold damage
Can Mold Grow in Dry Climates?
Mold is a natural spore that breaks down dead trees and leaves. Most people know that black mold thrives in moist environments. That is why mold is commonly found in wet, rainy areas.
If you own property in a hot, desert environment such as Marlin, TX, you might think that you don’t have to worry about mold growth. Yet even though you may not deal with huge rainstorms or hurricanes, you still could end up with excess mold in your commercial building. That is because mold can develop in indoor wet areas such as:
- Air conditioners
- Hot water heaters
- Leaky sinks
Don't Get Caught Unprepared
People in wet climates are accustomed to looking for black mold. Yet those in dry environments do not usually regularly check their roofs, air conditioning units, or windows for mold spores. They may not even think about mold until it becomes a visible problem with a nasty odor. By that time, you will probably need extensive mold cleanup in your building.
So even if you live in a dry city, you keep an eye out for puddles or leaks and take care of them as soon as possible. Don’t forget to look for ponds of water on the roof.
Similarly, you need to make sure that the roof has proper shingles and shields. Poor installation of these features can cause leaks and subsequent mold growth.
Warm climates are especially susceptible to monsoons and humidity. This combination creates a breeding ground for mold, especially if your building develops a leak. Mold can start to grow just one to two days after the leak develops.
Since mold is found naturally in the environment, it is impossible to eliminate these spores from your Marlin, TX, building entirely. However, you do want to limit the amount of black mold in your commercial space. Professional mold remediation specialists can help your building get back to its normal mold level.
The Need for a Business Continuity Plan
SERVPRO of Temple & Belton is available 24 hours a day to assist you when disaster strikes.
Any interruption in your day-to-day business procedures in Temple, TX, can lead to financial losses. A combination of lost revenue and the added expenses associated with the disruption often means a loss of profit from which is can be hard to recover. Much of the time, your insurance policies won't cover all of those losses and it certainly can't entice customers to return once they've moved on to your competitors. Protect yourself from this situation with a business continuity plan.
Four Steps for the Development of a Business Continuity Plan
- Identify critical business processes and determine the resources that keep those processes in motion. Consider the impact if you were to lose your facility, any of your personnel, technology including either hardware or software, or any of your key vendors.
- Identify the actions you'd take to recover. Document the plan, including objectives such as how to ensure employees are safe, what would be necessary to get critical business functions back online, how to protect company assets, and how you'll communicate with clients, employees, and vendors.
- Put together a business continuity leadership team. This group of professionals should be skilled at communication, logistics, and emergency response protocols. During a disaster, this team would put the emergency continuity plan into action.
- Train employees in how to follow the emergency response plan when a disaster takes place. These trainings could be presented in a variety of formats. For example, you could run a practice scenario or lead a tabletop discussion. Disaster recovery exercises should be run at least annually.
Fortunately, there are many resources to help you create an effective emergency response plan. For example, FEMA has a continuity guidance circular and the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety has a dedicated site to help you protect your business.
Prevent serious losses with a solid business continuity plan. You'll appreciate the chance to utilize all resources for recovery following any type of disaster. With a solid plan in place, you can swiftly ensure safety and get critical business procedures back on track.
How Many Fire Alarms Should Be in Your Home?
Sometimes, the smallest solutions can make the biggest difference. Think about the effect a fire alarm can have in your home. You hope to never need these devices, but you're grateful when they detect problems in your Belton, TX, house. Unfortunately, many people don't have enough of these smoke detectors. This is particularly the case in older homes. It's vital that you have the correct number of alarms, so you can have the peace of mind knowing you're doing your part to stay safe.
How They Help
While a fire alarm won't prevent fires from starting or smoking from infiltrating your home, it can ensure that fires don't spread. A properly installed and functioning alarm can help you in the following ways.
- Alert you when fire and smoke are present in your home.
- Emit a loud enough noise to wake you up from a deep sleep.
- Give you sufficient time to alert the fire department, put out the fire yourself (if it's safe to do so) and evacuate if necessary to avoid the effects of smoke damage.
In the Bedrooms
Fire restoration specialists and experts recommend that you place smoke detectors in every sleeping area of your home. This should be the ideal whether you have a one-bedroom apartment, a seven-bedroom home or anything in between. This can give you the assurance that everyone in your household has protection.
Outside Sleeping Spaces
In the entryway leading into bedrooms, you should have an alarm as well. Fire damage can be severe, but the correct number of alarms can help ensure that you and your loved ones get out safely in a timely manner.
Every Level Covered
You should be in good shape as long as you have at least one detector on every level. Don't forget to place one in the basement as well.
A fire alarm is one of the most critical devices you can have at home. Make them a priority for your family's well-being.