Recent Posts

Preventing mold and bacterial growth in the building’s ventilation system

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Preventing mold and bacterial growth in the building’s ventilation system

Ventilation systems should be checked regularly, particularly for damp filters and overall cleanliness. A preventive maintenance plan should be put into place for each major component of the building’s ventilation system. Contact your equipment supplier or manufacturer for recommended maintenance schedules and operations and maintenance manuals. Components that are exposed to water (e.g., drainage pans, coils, cooling towers, and humidifiers) require scrupulous maintenance to prevent microbial 10 growth and the entry of undesired microorganisms or chemicals into the indoor air stream.

Air duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems. The components of these systems may become contaminated with mold if moisture is present within the system, resulting in the potential release of mold spores throughout the building. All components of the system must be cleaned. Failure to clean a component of a contaminated system can result in re-contamination of the entire system. Water-damaged or contaminated porous materials in the ductwork or other air handling system components should be removed and replaced. Ventilation system filters should be checked regularly to ensure that they are seated properly. Filters should be replaced on a routine schedule.

Source: osha Jan 2019

SERVPRO® of Helotes and Leon Springs will Deep Clean your Restaurant

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of Helotes and Leon Springs will Deep Clean your Restaurant

Obviously, a restaurant's preparation areas should be kept clean. But, besides the everyday cleaning of kitchen equipment and appliances, it is necessary to perform a deep cleaning of kitchens at least once to twice a year.

Appearance

A restaurant's atmosphere, attention to detail, and well-kept facilities are important for a customer's good first impression. The appearance of a restaurant's kitchen can bring in clients as well as scare them away.

Safety

A messy and unorganized look will affect guests' appetites as well as employee productivity. Daily mopping sustains a clean floor, but will not scrub deeply enough to remove certain bacteria. Sticky floors and unwanted objects can cause personnel or guests to slip. For a truly clean floor, it is important to remove: grease, oil, gum and even mold.

For a deep cleaning of your restaurant, please call SERVPRO® of Helotes and Leon Springs today!

Source: Yahoo Finance Jan 2019

Securing Your Home for Hurricanes

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Securing Your Home for Hurricanes

Brace your garage door to prevent more-extensive damage.  Most garage doors are not reinforced, and when the wind gets into the garage, it creates a positive push at the same time that the wind swirling above the structure creates a negative pull. That push-pull combination can cause the roof to fly off. Find a kit that you can buy at home-improvement stores to brace your garage doors.

Secure your windows and doors. Broken windows can let in wind and rain, and they can also increase the pressure under the roof. Storm shutters provide the best protection, but boarding up windows when a storm is on the way can help, too. Make sure doors have several locking mechanisms so they don’t fly open; deadbolts are best. And it’s important to secure windows and doors at all sides of the home -- not just the one facing the body of water where hurricanes could form -- because hurricanes can swirl in any direction.

Source: kiplinger

What Color is Mold?

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

What Color is Mold?

Mold is a type of fungus that consists of small organisms found almost everywhere. They can be black, white, orange, green, or purple. Outdoors, molds play an important role in nature, breaking down dead leaves, plants, and trees. Molds thrive on moisture and reproduce by means of tiny, lightweight spores that travel through the air. You’re exposed to mold every day.

In small amounts, mold spores are usually harmless, but when they land on a damp spot in your home, they can start to grow. When mold is growing on a surface, spores can be released into the air where they can be easily inhaled. If you're sensitive to mold and inhale a large number of spores, you could experience health problems.

If you are concerned your home or business may be experiencing a problem with mold, please do not hesitate to call the certified professionals at SERVPRO® of Helotes and Leon Springs.

Source: webmd

Contaminated Water after a Storm

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Contaminated Water after a Storm

Should you experience a flood in your home after a storm, our team of technicians will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered.

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. Our technicians at SERVPRO® of Helotes and Leon Springs are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for any emergency situations that arise. We have been a trusted name in safety and properly restoring homes and businesses for almost 15 years! We are here to help!

What Secondary Damage can occur after Storm Damage?

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

What Secondary Damage can occur after Storm Damage?

After roof leaks or flood damage, if not properly dried and treated, a home or business can develop mold from the moisture left on: wood, tile, carpeting, windows, concrete, and/or other materials/items that were affected.  SERVPRO of North Austin strives to prevent secondary damage every time we remediate water damage. Building material and flooring are dried and treated to prevent mold and other allergens/contaminates using specialized equipment and cleaning products.

If water damage is not properly treated, the perfect environment is created for mold spores to grow in your home and to contaminate the air that is breathed.

Should you ever suffer water damage due to: excessive rain, storm damage, leaky roof, flood damage, a water heater leak, sink overflow, fire, refrigerator leak, or any other reason water has invaded your home or business, please know that SERVPRO of Helotes and Leon Springs is here to help.  Faster to Any Disaster

Protecting Your Roof During a Hurricane

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Protecting Your Roof During a Hurricane

Protect your roof. Consider hurricane straps to ensure your roof is bolted to the rest of your house. And inspect your roof tiles or shingles to make sure they are secure. Use roofing cement to fix any loose tiles to prevent them from becoming lethal projectiles during a storm and damaging the underlying roofing material. Seal any areas where wires enter the home, minimizing the chance of water damage during heavy wind and rain.

Trim your trees. Broken limbs could land on your (or your neighbor’s) roof/house or become missiles that can break windows during a storm. If your tree damages your house or a neighbor’s house, your insurance cover the damages, but it may pay only a portion.

If your home is damaged during a San Antonio area storm, call the professionals at SERVPRO of Helotes and Leon Springs.  Faster to Any Disaster

Source: https://www.kiplinger.com

Dryer Lint Fires

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Dryer Lint Fires

Between 2010-2014, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 15,970 home fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines each year. These fires resulted in annual losses estimated at 13 deaths, 440 injuries, and $238 million in property damage.

Facts and figures

  • Clothes dryers accounted for 92% of the fires; washing machines 4%, and washer and dryer combinations accounted for 5%.
  • The leading factor contributing to the ignition of home fires involving clothes dryers was failure to clean, accounting for one-third (33%) of dryer fires.
  • A mechanical or electrical failure or malfunction was involved in the vast majority of home fires involving washing machines.
  • Fires involving clothes dryers usually started with the ignition of something that was being dried or was a byproduct (such as lint) of drying, while washing machine fires usually involved the ignition of some part of the appliance.  

Source: Report: NFPA's "Home Fires Involving Clothes Dryers and Washing Machines"
Author: Richard Campbell
Issued: March 2017

HUD Standards Regarding Fire safety in manufactured homes

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

HUD Standards Regarding Fire safety in manufactured homes

Manufactured homes (sometimes called "mobile" homes) are transportable structures that are fixed to a chassis and specifically designed to be towed to a residential site. They are not the same as modular or prefabricated homes, which are factory-built and then towed in sections to be installed at a permanent location.

The federal government regulates the construction of manufactured housing. Since 1976, manufactured homes have been required to comply with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) manufactured housing construction and safety standards, which cover a wide range of safety requirements, including fire safety. Post-1976 manufactured homes bear a label certifying compliance with these standards.

The HUD standard has been enhanced over the years and the HUD "Final Rule" for smoke alarms in manufactured homes is largely based upon NFPA 501. Today, new construction of manufactured housing is required to contain, among other provisions:

  • factory installed hard wired or 10 year battery source, interconnected smoke alarms with battery back-up (including alarms inside or immediately adjacent to all rooms designated as sleeping areas, top of the stairs and on the basement ceiling near the stairs)
  • provisions for special devices for hearing and visually impaired persons.

NFPA's national fire data indicate that manufactured homes built to HUD standards (post-1976 construction) have a much lower risk of death if fire occurs compared to pre-standard manufactured homes. The latest data (2007-2011) also shows that the overall fire death rate per 100,000 housing units is roughly the same for manufactured homes and for other one- or two-family homes.

Despite the federal requirements for factory-installed smoke alarms and the fact that eight out of ten manufactured homes now are and seven out of ten manufactured home fires now involve post-HUD-Standard units (based on 2007-2011 data), 51 percent of fires in manufactured homes were reported as having no smoke alarms present. This suggests a problem with detection devices being removed by occupants.

Source: https://www.nfpa.org

Fire Safety in Manufactured Homes

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Fire safety in manufactured homes

Safety tips

To increase fire safety in manufactured homes, NFPA offers the following guidelines:

  • Choose a HUD-certified manufactured home
    If you are in the market to purchase or rent a manufactured home, select a home built after 1976 that bears the HUD label certifying compliance with safety standards.
  • Keep smoke alarms working
    Never remove or disable a smoke alarm. If you experience frequent nuisance alarms, consider relocating the alarm further away from kitchen cooking fumes or bathroom steam. Selecting a photoelectric smoke alarm for the areas nearest kitchens and baths may reduce the number of nuisance alarms experienced. As an alternative, NFPA 501 permits a smoke alarm with a silencing means to be installed if it is within 20 feet of a cooking appliance. Test all smoke alarms at least once a month by pushing the "test" button. It is not necessary to use smoke or a real flame to test the smoke alarm's operability, and it is risky to do so. Replace batteries at least once a year, and when the alarm "chirps," signaling low battery power. Occasionally dust or lightly vacuum smoke alarms.
  • Make sure you have enough smoke alarms
    If your older manufactured home does not have smoke alarms in or near every sleeping room and in or near the family/living area(s), immediately install new alarms and fresh batteries to protect these rooms.  For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Plan your escape
    Know ahead of time how you will get out if you have a fire. Develop an escape plan which includes having an alternate exit out of every room. Make sure you can open and get out of windows and doors. All post-HUD Standard manufactured homes are required to provide windows designed for use as secondary escape routes for the bedroom. Familiarize yourself with their operation and don't block access to them.  Immediately fix any windows that have been painted or nailed shut, doors that are stubborn or "stuck," and locks that are difficult to operate. Security bars or grates over windows or doors should have quick-release devices installed inside, which allow you to open them in an emergency. Hold a fire drill twice a year to rehearse how you will react if the smoke alarm sounds.
  • Electrical
    Hire a licensed electrician if you notice flickering lights, frequent blown circuits, or a "hot" smell when using electricity. Use extension cords for temporary convenience, not as a permanent solution. Avoid overloading electrical receptacles (outlets). Electrical cords should not be run under carpets or rugs, as the wires can be damaged by foot traffic, then overheat and ignite the carpet or rug over them. Ground-fault circuit interrupters reduce the risk of electrical shock and should be installed by electricians in kitchens and baths. Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters monitor electric circuits for arcing and should be installed by electricians on bedroom circuits.
  • Cooking
    Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires in U.S. homes. Supervise older children who cook and stay in the kitchen when heating anything on the stove. Keep cooking surfaces clean and place anything that can burn well away from the range. Heat oil slowly and know how to slide a lid over a pan if you experience a grease fire. Read more cooking safety tips.
  • Heating
    Keep space heaters at least three feet away from anything that can burn. When purchasing new space heaters, select appliances with automatic shut-off switches. Kerosene heaters are illegal for home use in some jurisdictions. Check with your local fire department before purchasing a kerosene heater. Turn off portable space heaters before falling asleep or when leaving the room. Refill kerosene heaters outdoors, after the heater has cooled down. Supervise children and pets when space heaters are operating. Read more heating safety tips.
  • Walls
    All post-HUD Standard manufactured homes are required to have wall linings that do not promote rapid flame spread, with special protection around primary heating and cooking equipment, such as the furnace and cooking range. Presently, gypsum wallboard has replaced plywood wall paneling and wood based ceiling panels in the fabrication of manufactured housing walls and ceilings. This action has dramatically reduced the impact of fires in manufactured homes. Do not mount anything on the walls – such as paneling, drapery, or wall hangings – that would reduce this protection, especially near major heat sources.
  • Smoking
    If you have smokers in your home, ask them to smoke outside. Wherever people smoke, set out large, non-tip ashtrays on level surfaces and empty them frequently. Thoroughly douse butts with water before discarding. Check around and under cushions for smoldering butts. Read more smoking safety tips.
  • Protect yourself from intruders
    Install outdoor lighting to deter intruders, including would-be arsonists. Keep gasoline, charcoal lighter and other flammable liquids locked in an outdoor shed. Don't store items underneath your home. Store firewood away from your home and keep trash and other flammable debris cleaned up. Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood.

Source: https://www.nfpa.org/