What To Do With a Leaky Air Conditioner
Air conditioners are convenient, but they can be overtaxed. Make sure to keep up with its upkeep!
As we get deeper into Summer, people will begin using their air conditioners more frequently, kicking on the fans, or lowering their thermostats to accommodate for these sunny, Southern afternoons. With temperatures reaching up to 100 degrees, most people are starting to see the definitive line in the sand, and realizing that Summer is very demanding when it comes to trying to keep cool.
SERVPRO Kaufman County / Mesquite wants to extend a friendly reminder to our readers to check and service your air conditioning units, whether they’re window mounts, or central heating and air. Air conditioning units use the combination of electricity and the mechanisms inside the unit to cool the air that is expelled by the fans. These mechanisms usually involve some kind of coolant, and, you guessed it, water. And where there’s water, there’s the looming threat of water damage if that water ever becomes uncontained.
Leaky water from the attic can ruin ceilings and walls, and even floor-level mounts can leak and effect carpet and vinyl flooring below, leading to extensive and expensive work. But unfortunately, leaky air conditioning units happen to the best of us. Here’s what to do if you find yourself with a leaky unit:
- Keep the air conditioning unit turned off until the leak can be fixed. Mop up and standing water, and look at the extent of the damage. Make sure it’s a task that you can handle. If it isn’t, there are service professionals who can help.
- Start the drying process! Pull up affected carpet and vinyl flooring, use a shop vacuum to lift moisture from affected areas. Apply fans to help create cross-currents of fresh, moving air. A dehumidifier also helps speed up the drying process, so add at your discretion.
- Patch. You may need to patch up any affected drywall, or remove affected baseboards. Be on the lookout for signs of growth.
- Know when to call. SERVPRO Kaufman County / Mesquite is staffed by industry-leading professionals and full-time mitigation and restoration technicians, that can help you with whatever problem you have, big or small. We’re always here to help, and we’re eager to get you back to "Like it never even happened."
SERVPRO's Duct Cleaning Process
Air ducts need a good cleaning every once in a while to ensure good, clean airflow throughout your home or business.
The ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, but you can help change that! Inspecting the duct work in your home or facility should be a high priority. In most cases, the HVAC has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold, and irritating dust throughout your building or home.
A routine part of SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite professional service is inspecting the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning unit (HVAC). Keeping the HVAC and duct work clean can potentially extend the life-span of the equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which may help you save money. Duct cleaning may not always be necessary. SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite professionals will inspect your HVAC system and duct work and make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This inspection can help save you money and provide peace of mind of the health of your HVAC system and duct work.
In some circumstances, such as after a fire, smoke, or suspected mold growth, duct cleaning becomes an essential part of the cleanup process. in these cases, SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite professionals can often restore the HVAC system and ductwork to pre-damage condition.
If you have a fuel-burning furnace, stove, or fireplace, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends they be inspected for proper functioning and be serviced before each heating season to protect against carbon monoxide poisoning.
The SERVPRO Duct Cleaning System is proven to be cost-efficient. Unlike the majority of duct cleaning services, SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite professionals use a portable ventilation and air duct cleaning system to examine duct work and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime.
- The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.
- Next, a powerful push-pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a 16-gallon container.
- Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.97 percent of the particles in the air stream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.
- As an optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.
- Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt
For more information on duct cleaning or to schedule an appointment, contact SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite at 972-329-4747.
The Do's and Don'ts of Fire Damage
Fires are incredibly dangerous; NEVER take one on by yourself. That's best left to professionals.
Dealing with the aftermath of a fire at home or your business can be overwhelming. Fire is a dangerous and complex issue, and much of the damage it leaves behind requires professional attention to ensure the safety and soundness of your home or business going forward.
Beginning clean up and restoration as soon as possible, in a smart and efficient manner, can help get your home or business up and running again quickly. Yet, if you've been the victim of fire damage, it can be difficult to know where to start or what to do, or not do.
The Do's of Fire Damage:
Prioritize safety. A visual inspection is not enough to determine the structural soundness or safety of a building exposed to fire. Regardless of your own opinion, refrain from re-entering the building until it has been cleared by a professional. As well as structural damage, some fires can also appear to be extinguished and restart later, posing a massive safety risk.
Once you are cleared to be inside the building, limit movement to prevent the spread of soot, cover dry furnishings with upholstery sheets to protect them, open windows (if weather permits) to allow ventilation, remove clothing to be cleaned by fire damage restoration cleaners, and throw away any perishables and consumables that were inside during the fire.
Document wisely. Take photographs of all damage, as soon as it is safe to do so. Record conversations, keep correspondence, file receipts and stay organized. Devote a folder in your filing cabinet or cloud service to keeping meticulous records of all things fire related - this will help immensely when dealing with your insurance company to repair the damage.
Call your insurance company as soon as you can, then call SERVPRO Kaufman County, Mesquite, and let our trained experts handle the restoration, and show you why our company motto is "Like it never even happened."
The Don'ts of Fire Damage:
Don't enter before a profession declares the building safe - worth repeating as this can literally be a life-or-death decision.
Don't start to clean up or wipe down. Everything needs to be assessed by the insurance company and you need to be given explicit go ahead before attempting any kind of clean up, even simply wiping soot from the walls.
Don't use items involved in the fire, unless appropriate. All food and drinks inside at the time of fire need to be discarded. Furniture and carpets, etc., should not be used until after they have been cleaned by a fire restoration professional. Electronic equipment also needs to be cleaned and cleared for use by professionals before being turned back on.
Don't turn on the gas, electric or water, until cleared to do so.
Dealing with the aftermath of fire is serious business. Fire and smoke damage is best dealt with by professionals who understand and are trained to provide a high quality clean up.
Call SERVPRO Kaufman County, Mesquite as soon as possible. One of our fire specialists will arrive onsite to assess your property, quickly and professionally. Our team will provide you with a clean-up and restoration plan, as well as securing the building against further damage. By enlisting the experts, you have peace of mind that restoration will be handled to a high standard of safety, workmanship, and service, in a prompt and professional manner.
Hurricane Evacuation How-To
Signs like these around coastal cities are an indicator of where to go to evacuate in case of a hurricane.
Nature can be somewhat unpredictable. With the advent and improvement of forecast technology however, we have the ability to predict certain weather events in advance before they happen. Storm tracking, especially with tropical storms and hurricanes, is much better now than it was decades ago. Because of this, there's more time to consider options before a storm strikes. When it comes to hurricanes, there are a few options that can be considered for your safety:
- Staying indoors and waiting out a storm, preferably in a fortified part of the house such as a closet or bathroom.
- Going to the nearest storm shelter; many will be built in a way to provide additional safety that an average home couldn't.
- Evacuating inland to a safer area to avoid the storm. Evacuation routes are specifically built for this purpose.
Evacuation routes for tropical storms and hurricanes are typically marked with specific road signs. These tend to be more common around towns or cities close to the Gulf or Atlantic shoreline, and are there for your convenience. They assist in helping you figure out which routes to take to get you away from the storm in the event you feel the need to evacuate. In the event of a storm, whether you evacuate or not, it's always good to keep a storm kit on hand. Above all, your safety is what's most important.
Hurricane Season Is Here!
Make sure to keep updated on your local weather for news of tropical storms and hurricanes!
When we entered June, we entered the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane season is a period of time every year, typically from June through November, where the temperature and ocean conditions are just right to form tropical depressions, which commonly lead to tropical storms and occasionally hurricanes. The way a hurricane forms is similar in many ways to the formation of tornadoes in the North American Midwest, so their power and destructive capability should NOT be underestimated. Just a few years ago in 2017, Hurricane Harvey tore through the Texas and Louisiana coastline, quickly becoming one of the costliest storms in U.S. history.
At the time of this writing, the 2022 hurricane season has already seen a tropical storm (Alex), but more could be on the way in the near future. The best way to keep yourself up to date on potential storm events is to check your local news and weather channels. Modern day technology has the capability to predict these storms days in advance, sometimes even up to a week or two. For more information, check out the National Hurricane Center. Their website displays a weather tracker for the Atlantic, and includes a library of public information to help you keep informed about storm terminology, as well as archives on past hurricane seasons. When it comes to your safety, knowledge is one of the greatest tools!
Managing The Heat
Drinking plenty of cold water is key in helping to prevent the onset of heat exhaustion!
As we approach Summer, things are definitely going to start heating up. Just later this week, we're supposed to hit 100° F, and with heat like that, there's a chance that it could lead to heat exhaustion. Heat exhaustion (also known as heat stroke) is the most serious of heat-related illnesses, and it's important to know the warning signs and how to prevent or treat it.
WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION?
Heat exhaustion can be predicted in advance with some knowledge of the signs. These include:
- Dizziness or confusion
- Fast breathing or pulse
- A loss of appetite or a nauseous feeling
- Extreme thirst
- A high body temperature
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT HEAT EXHAUSTION?
- Drink plenty of cold water, especially when exercising.
- Wear light-colored and loose clothing.
- Take cool showers.
- Sprinkle water onto your skin or clothes.
- Avoid extreme exercising.
- Avoid the sun between 11AM and 3PM, when it's highest in the sky.
HOW TO TREAT HEAT EXHAUSTION?
If someone has heat exhaustion, here are a few steps you can take to cool them down and help to mitigate or remove any potential damage:
- Move them to a cool place, such as a shaded area or a building with A/C.
- Get them to lie down with elevated feet.
- Get them a cold beverage. Water and rehydration drinks with electrolytes are best for this.
- Cool their skin down with water or ice packs. High body temperature is a symptom of heat exhaustion.
With these tips in mind, you'll be ready to conquer the Texas summer in style. Always remember to practice self-care to prevent accidents like this, because at the end of the day, you matter not just to your friends and family, but also to yourself.
Getting Your Roof Repaired
Storms can cause lots of damage, even with the right precautions.
As we head into June, storm season is beginning to pick up. With storms, there's always the chance that you could see damage to your home or place of business, no matter what kind of precautions are taken. Sometimes, this manifests itself in the form of roofing damage, usually caused by when a tree or similarly heavy object punches a hole through the roof of a building. With roof damage, this can let in all sorts of things, such as water from current or future storms, humidity, heat, and even small critters you otherwise don't want in your home.
WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT THIS?
SERVPRO of Kaufman County, Mesquite has you covered. We not only help with mitigation and restoration for fire and water damages, but we also cover storm damage as well. Some of our storm services include, but are not limited to:
- Roofing Services
- Roof Tarp Placement
- Tree Removal
- Portable Power
- Temporary Fencing
- And more!
For more information about our storm services, please refer to this link for more information and call our office number at (972) 329-4747. We'll be ready to help out wherever we can!
Smoke Alarm Upkeep
Having a working smoke alarm can be a huge boost to fire safety in the home or business!
Smoke alarms play a vital role in saving lives, and when properly installed, can reduce the risk of fire injury in half.
The National Fire Protection Association recommends smoke alarms be installed in every bedroom, outside all sleeping quarters and on every level of the house. Business owners should consult the local Fire Marshall to ensure specific building fire codes and smoke detector requirements are met.
Smoke alarms work best when paired with a fire escape plan. A plan allows your family, employees or clients to escape quickly and safely in an emergency situation.
Review the following tips regarding smoke detectors installation and maintenance. For more on emergency preparedness contact SERVPRO of Kaufman County/Mesquite.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarms. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm "chirps," the battery is low and should be replaced right away.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
The Do's and Don'ts of Water Damage
Knowing what/what not to do when you have water damage can be a big difference in keeping you and your home or business safe.
When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage. Below are a list of things you should and shouldn't do until help arrives!
- Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building, when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.
- place Aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpet.
- Remove to a safe, dry place any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture.
- Use wooden clothespin to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.
- Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Hang furs an leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist
- Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Leave books, newspapers, magazines, or other colored items on wet carpets or floors to cause straining.
- Leave Oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.
- Use your household vacuum to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.
- Use TV's or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.
- Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
SERVPRO's Emergency Water Services
Getting to the damage quickly can help us to help you prevent water damage loss.
The first 24 hours following a water damage are the most important in preventing secondary or permanent damage, especially with the amount of raining and storming we've been getting in Texas. Within four hours of receiving a loss notification, SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite professionals will be on-site to help ensure a water loss is handled by completing the following steps.
SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite professionals will inspect affected areas to determine the extent of water damage and will review the inspection with you to answer any questions before beginning the work.
SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite professionals will take steps to help protect your home or business, as well as personal property and other contents, from further damage by extracting the excess water and preparing the area for drying. They will explain the needed emergency services to you step-by-step.
To help ensure your home or business and belongings are dried to appropriate industry standards, a SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite professional will monitor the drying process. The updates will be consistently communicated with you.
SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite professionals will repair structural materials, reinstall carpets, and clean affected areas of your property and contents. A final walk-through of the job site will be conducted with you to help ensure the property was returned to its preloss condition.
Emergency Water Damage Tips
- Shut off the water source, if possible or contact a qualified professional to stop the water source.
- Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building when access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents, and other sensitive valuables to a dry place.
- Do not enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers, or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.
- Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water! This could cause electrical shock or damage to the device.
- Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet or enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
For more information on recovering from water damage. fire damage, or mold damage, contact SERVPRO of Kaufman County / Mesquite professionals at (972) 329-4747.