Warning: Extended contact may cause a severe reaction to the skin. Please exercise caution.
The scary room lurking just a few feet above your head is typically one of the least visited places in the home. It is remarked for its odd bizarre characteristic of being filled with pinkish white cotton candy textured substance. This place is known as none other than the Attic.While it may look like fun to play in the puffy pink clouds, or fiberglass as its known in the construction world, its not to be messed with except by professionals.
What is Fiberglass?
Fiberglass is made of recycled plastic, glass, and sometimes sand. It keeps your home at a comfortable temperature by insulating you from the changes of the outside world. In other words, it stops the heat from escaping. This can save significantly on your energy bill by not requiring your air conditioning unit to work as hard.
When to Replace your Insulation
While fiberglass is designed to last for decades at a time, over the years it can wear down. If your home is older and you notice a large spike in your electric bill during the summer it might be the insulation to blame.
When fiberglass becomes wet it is also time for a replacement. Due to its absorbent nature fiberglass will soak up water. Caught early enough, fiberglass can be dried but if left to sit the best/easiest course of action is to replace it.
Storm-Proof House Checklist
Creating the right barrier can protect your home even in extreme situations like the one above. This personal dam could set you back $10,000!
So a Tropical Depression has made its way into the Gulf of Mexico. Chances are, you are not going to evacuate. Most Houstonians will choose to ride out a storm as long as it is classified below a Hurricane. Even then a category 1 Hurricane doesn't spark enough fear to cause mass evacuations. If you do plan on riding out the storm here is a checklist you should perform to protect your property before hunkering down.
- Visual Inspection of your roof. Make sure there are no holes and places where water will enter your home.
- Nail sheets of plywood over every window to protect it from flying debris.
- Trim any loose branches nearby.
- Bring any potted plants or loose objects inside lest they come flying through your window!
- Call your insurance company to make sure you are covered in case you do suffer storm damage. SERVPRO of Friendswood/Pearland recommends you do this before Hurricane seasons starts as it usually takes a few months for your policy to go into effect.
- Do a video walk through of your home. This has become more popular in recent years with the surge of technology and it is a fantastic way to keep a record of your personal contents for the insurance companies.
- Lock down that Garage door. If your garage gives way your entire house instantly becomes at high risk for wind or water damage.
- Line all exterior doors to keep rising water from entering your home.
Do you have any other tips for protecting your home during a storm? Message us on Facebook!
Tip: Add a splash of bleach to water for an impromptu sporicide. CAUTION beach may stain or be hazardous to some delicate materials.
When most people find mold in their home the first instinct is to throw it out. The majority of the time, that is easy to do and a good decision. Then comes the day you find mold in someplace you can't exactly throw away such as on a wall. What now? Take a trip to Home Depot or Lowes and ask for something to help clean off mold and you will hear one word- Sporicide.
What Is Sporicide?
Sporicide is a chemical mixed together that is toxic to growing micro-organisms. In this case, it is used to kill young mold by quickly suffocating it and dissolving the roots. A more household name for sporicide is disinfectant.
It is advised to use a small amount of sporicide when performing household maintenance in moist areas of your home such as the bathroom. It's use will aid in preventing the growth of mold. When mold is barely visible and beginning to take root, you can use a higher concentration to remove it safely from the wall. Remember to air out the room afterwards.
All SERVPRO franchises have access a unique selection of chemicals accessible only to the SERVPRO family. These disinfectants and cleaners are specially concocted by our team of chemist in Tennessee. Their soul purpose, to make sure we are able to use only the best possible product for your home.
Need your home Spring clean? Give SERVPRO of Friendswood/Pearland a call today at 281-412-6211.
Is Houston A Flood Zone?
This picture shows how deep floodwaters got along the Sam Houston Tollway. No wonder people were able to drive boats through the tollbooths!
After Hurricane Harvey, thousands of people were sent into a financial panic. Most people did not have flood insurance because their house was not located in what is considered a flood zone. Thanks to FEMA, Federal Emergency Management Agency, many of these families were able to begin the recovery process. But what now? What does this once every hundred years storm mean for your insurance? You will be surprised.
New Flood Zones
Did the Harvey floodwaters cause over $5,000 in damage to your home? If they did, congratulations, you are now in what is considered to be a flood zone. Even if you have never flooded before this one event was all the insurance companies needed to raise their rates for flood insurance in your area. While it is possible and likely Houston will never experience another Harvey, we can not predict how the rivers and flood zones will change. Hence, causing the caution for all the raise in insurance.
Do You Need Flood Insurance?
There is no easy answer to that question. If you are in a flood zone, many communities will require you to have it. Here at SERVPRO of Friendswood/Pearland we say "You can never have too much insurance. Better safe than sorry." Our recommendation is if you are along the coast or in a flood zone including those formulated after Harvey, purchase flood insurance. If you are outside of a flood zone speak with your agent to calculate the risk and consider putting together an emergency storm fund. If you do deny to purchase flood insurance your agent will need to receive it in writing. Ultimately, the decision is yours.
Either way, SERVPRO of Friendswood/Pearland will be ready to take care of you when the next storm hits; And if you do have insurance we are on their vendor list. All you have to do is request us and we will come take care of you. Experienced a catastrophic weather event? Call us at 281-412-6211.
How To Survive A Flood
30,000 were put into shelters after the Houston Flooding.
After the onset of Hurricane Harvey, many homes both in flood zones and out were trapped underneath the gulf waters. Those in Dickinson who believed to be safe soon found themselves in danger. So what should you do if you get put into that situation?
I Am Trapped By Water! What Now?
- Do Not Panic. This is the most common bit of advice. Keeping a cool head will allow you to develop the best plan of action.
- Do Not try to drive through the water. Trust us on this one, even if you have a heavy duty truck it only takes two feet of water to wash it away.
- Do Not call 911 if your life is NOT in immediate danger. But DO advise a family member of your current situation.
- Be prepared to get on the roof or up high. If there is no opening, make one. Only do this if the water is just beginning to come into your home.
- Unplug all electronics and put them up high. If you end up having to swim through the water you will avoid a 'shocking' situation.
- Move your furniture to someplace higher, if you can. If the water is only coming in a little put blocks underneath the feet of the furniture to give it a little lift.
- Write all information you need to remember on your arm in case the power goes out or you lose the documents. Ex: Emergency numbers and Social Security (if you don't know it).
- Be patient. The flood waters will go down, there is not much else you can do until it does.
To monitor the flood gauges near you, we recommend looking at this map.
For advice on your chances of flooding, see here.
Congratulations! You made it through the worst of the flooding and a catastrophic once-in-a-lifetime disaster. What comes next? Thankfully this part is easy. Call SERVPRO of Friendswood/Pearland. We have access to hundreds of storm teams and refined mitigation techniques to help return your home to normal. Not only are we certified to mitigate the water, unlike other mitigation teams (including other SERVPRO franchises) we can rebuild. You have been through enough, let us take care of you.
Suffered A Flood? Call Us at 281-412-6211.
Identifying The Category Of Water In Your Home And What It Means
The Categories of water refer to the range of contamination. Depending on where the water comes from and what is contained inside it helps our SERVPRO of Friendswood/Pearland teams to determine what tools they will need to give you the best clean possible while also protecting themselves.
Category 1: Water that originated from a sanitary source and poses no substantial risk from exposure, inhalation, or ingestion. Examples of this include broken water supply lines; Appliance malfunctions; rainwater and clean tub or sink overflows.
Category 2: Water that contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by human hands. Examples of this includes an overflow of water from a washing machine; toilet overflow with urine but no feces; and punctured water beds.
Category 3: Water that is grossly contaminated and pathogenic, toxins, or other harmful agents. Examples of this include sewage; storm or flood waters; and water from the trap of the toilet regardless of contents.
Where Is The Mold In Your Home?
This is a variety of mold found in a building near Kemah that was abandoned after a fire.
10 Most common areas for mold growth in your home.
Mold is a living organism that belongs to the fungi family (like mushrooms, yeast, and even some cheeses like blue cheese).
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mold can grow on virtually any organic material as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that grow on wood, paper, carpet, food, and insulation. Because mold eats or digests what it is growing on, it can damage a building and its furnishings. If left unchecked, mold eventually can cause structural damage to building materials.
10 Places to Watch for Mold Growth in Your Home:
- Underneath kitchen sinks
- Underneath or behind refrigerators
- Bathroom shower or under sink
- Behind walls that also house plumbing
- Stacks of damp or wet newspaper or cardboard boxes
- Around air-conditioning units
- Wallboard or around windows that leak
- Under carpeting that may have become wet
- Attics & Crawl Spaces
How To Change A Smoke Detector
Smoke detectors are an often forgotten about safety feature of your home. That is until it begins to beep to remind you to change the battery. FEMA recommend you change the battery in your smoke alarm once a year and replace the entire device once every five years.
Replacing the Battery
What You Need:
9 volt battery (typical battery used, may vary)
Ladder or Step Stool
- Set up the ladder underneath the smoke detector to give you better access.
- Turn the smoke detector counter clockwise so the face either comes off or drops down still attached by a few wires.
- If there are wires attached to the face, squeeze the area where they connect and they should pop off. If they don't, leave it be and move on to step 4. Do not cut the wires.
- The smoke detector may beep once it is disconnected, that is okay. Remove the backing over the battery housing and replace the 9 volt battery. Most current models do not require a screwdriver for this.
- Place the smoke detector back over the base and turn clockwise to lock it in. You should hear or feel it click.
For more information on smoke detectors, see the FEMA page here.
Time Is Money
Did You Know: After a Hurricane an average of every one out of three family owned businesses will not recover.
We work with your schedule
Here at SERVPRO of Friendswood/Pearland we understand how embarrassing it can be to have a damage repaired or cleaned. Especially for restaurants who need to maintain a certain level of cleanliness for their customers. Seeing a SERVPRO van in the front of the building may turn people away.
Our solution is to make ourselves available 24/7 and preform with the utmost discretion. Our teams have been known to come in at night, after hours or work from the back of the store out of sight. This allows your business to continue to run as usual.
Getting back to normal as soon as possible
Occasionally there does come the disaster preventing a place of business to function entirely. Here along the Texas cost, that usually involves a Hurricane. For every day work is delayed is another day of lost revenue. Time is Money. If your entire business is shut down SERVPRO of Friendwood/Pearland will work around the clock to get you up and running again in the event of any disaster. After Hurricane Harvey, we had some businesses open within 3 days!
Hurricane Harvey Final Facts
The 'Be Someone' graffiti is one of the most memorable landmarks of Houston. It sits above I-45 near downtown.
August 17- September 2, 2017
- 82 confirmed deaths
- Harvey was the first major hurricane to hit the US since Wilma (2005)
- Was the first Category 4 Hurricane in Texas since Carla (1961)
- Over 200,000 homes were damaged or destroyed
- 738,000 people registered with FEMA
- More than $378 million dollars have been paid out
- The Hurricane caused $125 billion in damage
- The first point of landfall was August 25 in south central Texas
- Only 20% of homes hit had flood insurance, leaving the other 80% left without coverage
- Some areas were recorded getting up to 51 inches of rain
- The highest wind speed recorded was 134 mph
- Texans Football Player J.J Watt raised a staggering $37 million in relief funds for Harvey
Facts and information credited to:
Amadeo, Kimberly. “Hurricane Harvey Shows How Climate Change Can Impact the Economy.” The Balance, www.thebalance.com/hurricane-harvey-facts-damage-costs-4150087.
“Hurricane Harvey Aftermath.” Www.cnn.com, www.cnn.com/specials/us/hurricane-harvey.
“Hurricane Harvey: Facts, FAQs, and How to Help.” World Vision, 11 Dec. 2017, www.worldvision.org/disaster-relief-news-stories/hurricane-harvey-facts.