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Most Common Causes of House Fires in Fort Worth, TX

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

house fire damage restoration fort worth Contact the Fort Worth fire damage restoration experts at SERVPRO if you've experienced a house fire.

A house that has stood for decades can be destroyed by fire in a matter of minutes. Because of how devastating house fires can be, we as humans have made great strides in fire prevention. Understanding the causes of house fires is one of the most effective ways we can combat such occurrences.

However, despite our best efforts to mitigate the common causes of house fires, fires can and will happen. This is why homeowners cover their property with insurance. When you have a quality fire insurance policy plus a reputable fire restoration company, fire damage can be wiped away.

While SERVPRO is honored to be the trusted brand for fire damage restoration in Fort Worth, we'd rather that home fires didn’t start in the first place. This guide is to raise awareness about the most common causes of house fires so that you might be better prepared.

How Common Are House Fires in Fort Worth?

If you hear a fire truck siren or drive by a house with significant fire damage in Fort Worth, you might wonder how often fires happen here.

In 2019, of the 2192 fires Fort Worth fire department responded to, 618 of these events were residential fires. 

In Texas, it is estimated that a house fire happens every 32 minutes. From 2014-2016, Tarrant County was ranked number 3 for most cases of structural fires in Texas. Houston and Dallas have more fires annually than Fort Worth.

Where Do Fires Start in Houses?

Where do most house fires start? This is the first thing we ask when approaching the common causes of house fires. The first thing we ask when we look for ways to stop the causes of fires at the source is:  When a fire investigation happens, the source of the fire is sought. Documenting how fires start helps us find opportunities to improve on things.

5 Top Causes of House Fires 

While it is possible for a fire can start externally through arson, a lightning strike, or a wildfire, these incidents are rare. We’ll focus on the internal causes of house fires so that we can be proactive to prevent this.

1. Electrical Equipment

Over the last century, we’ve become more and more dependent on electricity. Innovation has answered the call to make circuitry safer. Despite the modern safeguards now in place, house fires that occurred due to wiring and related equipment are at around 7%.

What causes electrical fires in homes? Wires overheat from an overloaded current. Short circuits will spark, and this is tinder for building materials. This could be happening behind a wall, and you wouldn’t know it until the fire had already grown.

Old homes that do not meet current building standards or wiring components that fail after decades of use are the most vulnerable to cause fires. For this, you’ll need the help of a qualified electrician - this includes inspection of old wiring, or investigating circuit problems (like a breaker that constantly trips).

2. Cooking Equipment

Of the top fire causes, most are related to the kitchen, and all too often these fires could have been prevented. Unattended stoves with pots and pans cooking, oven mishaps, and combustibles that are too close to the heating elements are what cause fires in the kitchen. Pressure cookers are also known to explode when not used properly.

There are times of the year when we cook more than usual such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Remember to keep an eye on cooking, especially when using high heat for frying, boiling, and broiling.

3. Candles

According to the National Fire Protection Association, candles caused an average of 7,610

house fires per year. Candles are used for eliminating odors, relaxation, and holiday decoration for Christmas and New Year's Eve. When left unattended, candles could tip over, the glass casing could break, or the flames could set nearby items on fire.

4. Smoking

Of all the causes of house fires, smoking is the most deadly. People smoke to relax. If you relax to the point of dozing off, you are then unable to respond quickly to a cigarette that has fallen from your hands. When the embers of a cigarette make contact with bed linens, carpet, clothing, upholstered furniture, etc. a house fire can easily start. If you must smoke indoors, please do so standing or sitting up (especially when you’re very tired).

5. Heating

Despite our state reputation for being warm, it does get cold here, in north Texas especially. For a short period, we’ll have freezing temperatures with ice and the occasional snow. For places that don’t have central heating, such as a garage, we use space heaters to keep warm.

Among the common causes of house fires, heaters come in second. Some heaters are designed with safety features, but it’s up to us to use them with caution. Don’t keep them running while you’re away from home and don’t use them to heat or dry fabrics.

Does Insurance Cover Fire Damage Restoration?

Homeowners’ insurance is all about the what-ifs. Generally, fire damage is covered by an insurance policy, but it’s best to call your agent for confirmation. We’ll go over the common kinds of coverage.

  • Dwelling - Covers fire damage to the structure of the home. 
  • Personal property - Covers the contents and personal property inside the home. 
  • Loss of use - Covers the expense of living elsewhere either temporarily or permanently. 
  • Personal liability - Pays for damage to the property of others that was caused by your house fire. 

Extensive wildfires in the US have made the news in the last few years, so this should prompt you to check in with your insurance agent and ask about what you can expect for fire coverage.  You might consider increasing coverage for damage to your neighbor’s property or other peripheral issues (for example, damage to an automobile in the garage).

House Fire Prevention Tips

The best way to address the common causes of house fires is to be prepared. Make your checklist with the following actions.

  • Test your smoke alarms. Many people use daylight savings time changes as a reminder to test the batteries twice per year. 
  • Inspect your heating apparatuses. Are there signs of electrical issues? When was the last time your furnace was checked by a professional?
  • Be careful in the kitchen. Keep your oven and stove clean - wipe up oil spills or food particles that could catch on fire. Don’t leave cooking unattended in the kitchen. Refrain from using your stove to heat your home.
  • Check your dryer vents. Lint can cause a fire with a clothes dryer. Clean out your lint traps and make sure the exhaust vent is clear of lint build-up.
  • Mind your power cords. If a cord has been frayed or chewed, discontinue use of the item. Keep cords away from carpets and fabrics.
  • Store flammables safely. Keep aerosols and other flammable chemicals away from heat.
  • Be careful with candles, fireplaces, and cigarettes. We use these to relax, but we must remain alert enough so that these don’t start a house fire. Keep combustibles such as fabrics away from the flames. Use extra caution when pets or children are around and don’t leave matches or lighters out.
  • Have fire extinguishers on hand (especially in the kitchen). Make sure yourself and other members of your household know where the fire extinguisher is and how to use it. Read the instruction label carefully.

SERVPRO Is Here to Assist With Any Fort Worth Fire Damage 

As we approach the end of the year, we use more heat in the form of holiday candles, preparing holiday food in the kitchen, and staying warm in cold months. We should keep common causes of house fires top of mind year-round, but especially during the fall and winter months.

Sometimes despite proactive efforts, homeowners will end up in a fire damage situation. SERVPRO Fort Worth is here 24/7 to respond to any fire issues from isolated damage to a total loss. We do it all from the preliminary tarping and board up to a complete reconstruction. We work with insurance companies so that the process is as efficient as can be. Contact us any time at (817) 589-1499 with questions or for a free estimate for services.

How to Find a Water Leak

10/27/2020 (Permalink)

leaking pipe fort worth water damage restoration Think you have a water leak in your home? Contact SERVPRO in Fort Worth for professional water damage restoration services.

The EPA estimates that 3,000 gallons per year can go to waste from a leak at the rate of one drip per second. Aside from wasting a precious resource, water leaks also impact your budget. Whether you put the water to good use or not, you’ll be charged by the meter’s gallon count.

Another way water leaks will cost you is with water damage accumulation. Fort Worth property owners may not notice faulty plumbing or malfunctioning appliances in tucked-away places (like a water heater) until nearby items and construction have already been ruined.

If the amount due on your water bill is surprisingly high and your utility company can’t explain why then it’s time to look around your property for answers. Today, we’ll walk you through how to find a water leak.

How to Find a Water Leak in Your Home

Some water leaks in the house are obvious (like drips under the sink or behind the toilet. If you discover a problem and fix it, does it stop there? Perhaps not. There could be other leaks that are still wasting water. 

Why not take the time to do a full inspection of your property to make sure there are no other problems? A thorough search for water leaks could save you in the long run - both with utilities and damage repair costs.

Examine Fixtures and Appliances

How to find a water leak in your house begins inside with a high-level inspection. This includes checking all the fixtures and appliances that the plumbing routes to.

  • Toilets: Look over the toilet’s tank parts for wear or weaknesses (especially the flapper valve).
  • Bathtubs and showers: Check bathtubs and showers for drips or puddles around the bases of toilets, tubs, and separate showers.
  • Sinks and cabinets: Look under kitchen and bathroom sinks for signs and smells of water. Check each cabinet near a water usage area to make sure everything is dry.
  • Clothes washer and dishwasher: Run the washer to check for malfunctions. Pull out the appliances to check the connection hoses for leaks. Also, check for puddles around the washer.
  • Water heater: Examine water heater for connection hose leaks or water collecting below. Since water heaters are usually out of sight and out of mind, you might consider fitting it with a moisture sensor alarm, so you’ll immediately know if it springs a leak.

If you come across any puddles, shut off the water supply to the associated appliance or fixture and contact a plumber for further assistance.

Observe Your Water Meter

How to detect water leaks begins with water meter leaks confirmation.This is a surefire way to know if you have an unresolved water leak with your property.

A water meter is usually found near the road where the utility company can access it without intruding on your property. Look for a covered box or a covered manhole. 

If you have trouble locating the water meter, contact your utility company to ask where it is. Once you find the meter, follow the four steps below.

  1. Stop all running water by turning off all water faucets, the washing machine, or the dishwasher. They will need to remain off for the duration of the test. Ask members of the household to cooperate with this by not using any sinks, tubs, showers, toilets, or water-using appliances until the test is complete.
  2. Go to the water meter and copy down the number on the counter.
  3. After some time has passed, check to see if the numbers have changed:
    1. If after a few minutes, you see the number has increased, there is likely a fast-moving leak.
    2. Check again in an hour or two. If the number goes up, then there is likely a slow leak. If the number still hasn’t changed after two hours, then it’s not likely that there are any leaks.
  4. Once you detect a leak by meter confirmation, you can rule out if the leak is happening with outdoor functions. You’ll do this by shutting off the house’s main water supply. 

Keep all water turned off as mentioned in the above steps, but then shut off the water supply to the house itself. This control may be in your basement or utility room. Write down the meter’s counter number. Check again after an hour to see if the number on the counter has changed. If it hasn’t, the leak is inside the home.

Monitor Your Water Bill

How much water use is considered excessive? For a household with four members, a bill that reflects a usage total of more than 12,000 gallons in a given month is too much. A spike like this could mean that there is a leak somewhere.

You can track changes in usage by comparing billing statements over several months. If you see that there is an abrupt change in the amount due (or in the total gallon count), you’re likely being charged for water you haven’t really used. 

Unless someone is somehow stealing water from you, this change can probably be blamed on water leak problem(s). The water leak issues could be complex or underground. 

Be Aware Of Leaking Clues

Once you’ve checked the areas where leaks commonly occur, you’re ready to go a bit deeper in your search for any peripheral issues.

Water leaks can be inaudible or invisible when behind walls or ceilings. If these leaks go on for some time, they eventually make themselves known by showing signs of damage. Here’s what to look for:

  • Wall or ceiling discoloration: Water stains signal that a water leak from pipes or a faulty roof has been going on long enough that the wall and ceiling material is now becoming saturated with water. These marks are typically a yellowish or brownish color.
  • Dripping sounds: It can be hard to hear dripping water behind a wall or ceiling, so if you do hear dripping sounds, this signals that the problem may have progressed into an urgent matter.
  • Deformed walls: Walls and ceilings should be flat and smooth. Any bubbling, bulging, swelling, or warping of paint, drywall, or wallpaper is a sign that water has accumulated so much that it is soaking through the materials.
  • Seeing or smelling mold: Mold can be discovered by its musty odor or dark and speckled spots. This means that water damage has been sitting long enough for mold spores to take root and colonize. 

Water ends up where it doesn’t belong by way of failures with plumbing, appliances, fixtures, or structure (such as the roof or windows). Awareness of how water leaks make themselves known can help you spot trouble right away.

Food Coloring in Your Toilet

How to find where a leak is coming from can be done with a clever color test. This lets you know if your toilet is faulty.

Put a few drops of dye or food coloring in the toilet tank. Do not flush the toilet. Wait for 10-20 minutes. If you see the water in the toilet bowl is tinted with the color you used, this indicates a leak.

This kind of toilet leak happens when the flapper (rubber stopper) in the toilet tank wears down over time. A weakened flapper allows water to bypass the seal. To solve this water wasting issue, replace the flapper with a new one (appropriate for your commode).

Water Leak Outside Your Home

Once you’ve ticked all the boxes for indoor inspection, you can check the rest of your property. Take recent weather into account. If it has recently rained, then it’s uncertain if the puddles or saturated ground is due to a water leak.

Even when finding a water leak outdoors was ruled out by the meter test, you can still check the external water functions for signs of wear (that may lead to future problems). Here’s how to find a water leak outside.

Inspect Your Shut Off Valve

The outdoor shut-off valve is usually located around the water meter. Look for nearby puddles or signs of water saturation around the shut-off valve and any exposed supply lines.

Greener Patches of Grass

How to find a water leak underground can be as simple as looking out over the lawn. Are there patches of grass that are a brighter green than the rest? This could be a sign that some parts are getting more water than others because of a water leak. 

One possible cause is a fault with the irrigation system. If the leak is severe, puddles may form on the surface near the watering system.

Don’t forget to check outdoor spigots, hoses, gaskets, and connection pieces for breakage or aging. Turn on the water to check for weaknesses. Apply the appropriate repair methods to these problems or contact a plumber.

Becoming aware of what seems to be wearing down now helps anticipate future water problems.

Contact the SERVPRO Professionals of Fort Worth Water Damage Restoration

Being on the lookout for signs of water leaks could mean saving lots of money in repairs and utility bills. Those who own properties that are older than 20 years should especially be observant of breakdowns from years of wear and tear. It’s a good idea to schedule routine inspections and maintenance for your home.

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills has successfully resolved water leak issues and repaired water damage for countless properties in Fort Worth, Texas. We have the expertise on how to find a water leak and quickly stop the problem at its source. 

Our water damage restoration Fort Worth services response team is trained on the latest industry advancements, and we send them out with the best equipment in the industry.

Don’t let a water leak issue get out of control. We’re here to help you solve the root causes of water leaks and do the necessary fixes to prevent secondary damage (like wood rot or mold growth). Call us at (817) 589-1499 today!

How to Get Rid of Mold Mites

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

professional mold cleaning in fort worth Contact SERVPRO for professional mold remediation services in Fort Worth.

How many living things are inside your house? Of course, you count your family and your pets, but microorganisms and sometimes pests find their way inside to share the dwelling.

As the expert mold fighters in Fort Worth, Texas, SERVPRO has a thorough understanding of how mold behaves. Here are a few facts about mold:

  • What mold eats: Mold likes to hang around in a building or house because of the abundance of cellulose materials it can consume like drywall, paper, fabrics, carpet, wood, etc.
  • What eats mold: Mold is a part of a grand life cycle. Mold consumes matter, and in turn, other living things consume mold like fungus gnats, booklice, and mold mites. Slugs, roaches, camel crickets, and millipedes are attracted to mold because they want the organic matter that mold breaks down.

So several creatures use mold as a food source, but today we’ll focus on mold mites. When you remove mold colonies from your home, you are likely to remove numerous mold mites that gather to feast on it.

What Are Mold Mites?

The formal name for mold mites is tyophagus putescentiae. Other names for these tiny critters are cheese mites, “putrid cheese eater,” meat mites, flour mites, or computer mites. While they resemble insects, they are not. Mold mites are arthropods and are related to ticks.

Mold mites are hairy and white or tan in color. They are very hard to see as they are no larger than a crumb. Speaking of small bits, thousands of mold mites will congregate on a very small piece of mold. When they cluster together, it’s easier to spot them. If you spot mold, chances are there are mold mites present.

How to Identify Mold Mite Bites

Something bit you. Was it a mold mite? If a mite bit you, it was more likely a chigger than a mold mite. Mold mites do not bite humans, but you might end up with a rash, or red bumps from them (that could be mistaken for mold mite bite). Their long hairs irritate the skin of those who are allergy-prone and may feel like a bite. 

If you spend enough time in a mold-infested environment, you may end up with some stinging and itching from mold mites. This is an adverse reaction rather than a bite.

How to Get Rid of Mold Mites

Mold mites rarely come into contact with humans or bother them, but even so, many homeowners are bothered by any insect-like creature being indoors.

Mold and bugs both thrive in warm, humid areas. Moisture finds its way into your home in many different ways such as faulty roofs, leaky pipes, unventilated bathrooms, spills, drafts, or through the crawlspace. Mold needs a relative humidity of 70 percent or higher at temperatures below 60 degrees to flourish.

Like any pest, the most effective mold mite treatment is to take away what brought them inside in the first place - mold. By taking away their food source, mold mites won’t have a reason to come back. Stop attracting mold mites with the prevention tips below.

  • Remove or clean mold-infested items in all areas of your home.
  • Open your windows to let some light and fresh air in. Ventilation and sunlight inhibit mold growth. 
  • Purge your pantry and fridge of expired food.
  • Wipe down surfaces with hot water and soap. Make sure to dry surfaces thoroughly. Follow up with a disinfectant and go by the instruction label exactly. Some products must sit for a while before being wiped away.
  • Pull excess moisture from the air by using a dehumidifier.
  • Remove any dead or dying plants in or around your home. Remember, mold is a natural decomposer, so dying organic material is a prime target.

How to get rid of mold mites in your house is as simple as removing their food source so they stick to finding sources of mold out in nature instead.

Flooding and Mold Mites

If a home or building doesn’t have a mold problem already, a water emergency (such as flooding) creates an opportunity for mold to take root. Mold will start to grow in a flood-affected structure within 24-48 hours of the incident.

As we said earlier, measures taken to eliminate mold remove the conditions that invite mold mites to move in. The best way to avoid toxic mold growth is to do a complete and thorough water damage cleanup. 

The more extensive the water damage and saturation, the more likely it is that you’ll need professional water damage recovery services. If you’re in the middle of a water emergency mess and you’re not sure what to do, call us at SERVPRO. We’ll answer your questions on how to proceed, and we’ll even do a free consultation.

Professional Cleaning Services & Mold Removal in Fort Worth

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills is not a pest control service, but we can remove the mold that attracted these mites in the first place. We offer complete water damage restoration to prevent mold growth, or a thorough mold remediation if mold is discovered. With our technicians donning the proper personal protective equipment we can get close to the mold so you don’t have to.

SERVPRO is a trusted brand in professional cleaning for Fort Worth properties. We have advanced equipment, industrial-grade cleaners, and the best technician training in the industry. When you encounter water damage, or you suspect there may be mold, call us at (817) 589-1499 for a complimentary quote!

How to Clean House After C-Diff Infection

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

How to Clean House After C-Diff Infection After dealing with a C. diff infection, it's important to thoroughly clean your home. Call the Fort Worth biohazard cleanup experts at SERVPRO today.

By now, the term “coronavirus” is a household name. The pandemic has elevated concerns about communicable diseases and has raised awareness of the importance of hygiene in prevention.

C. diff (clostridioides difficile) causes bacterial infections such as colitis or diarrhea. Because of how contagious and drug-resistant it is, C. diff is considered a public health concern by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SERVPRO is committed to safeguarding the Fort Worth community from viruses and harmful bacteria. We’ll instruct you on how to clean a house after C Diff infection. We’re also on call to assist with infectious disease emergencies year-round - even on weekends and holidays. 

What is C. Diff? 

C. diff is bacteria that can be found in fecal matter, soil, water, surfaces, and sometimes in food. This bacteria is part of the natural flora of a normal digestive system but does have the potential to become toxic. 

Antibiotics can throw the body system off balance by killing off beneficial bacteria. Beneficial bacteria deficiency allows clostridioides difficile (C. diff) to overpopulate and become infectious. Spores from toxic C. diff that exit the body can make others ill.

C. diff causes colitis (inflammation of the colon). Bacterial toxins attack the lining of the intestines and cause illness. Symptoms begin to surface after a few days (or up to a few weeks) from the start of the infection.

Diarrhea for several days is the main symptom, but other signs of C. diff are fever, loss of appetite, nausea, or abdominal tenderness and pain. This infection has the potential to cause permanent colon damage and could become fatal.

Once a patient’s lab results come back positive for C. diff, the patient will be put on antibiotics for 10 days. Once the symptoms clear up, a patient may still be carrying the infected bacteria making them contagious or subject to reinfection.

In rare cases, surgery or fecal transplants may be necessary to treat those with repeat infections.

How Does C. Diff Spread?

Like other communicable diseases, C. diff spreads without adequate hygiene. The infectious bacteria exit the body through fecal matter. When particles from human waste end up on hands, objects, or land on surfaces they cause contamination that will make others sick.

The spread of C. diff can be mitigated by hand washing, disposing of contaminated materials, and communication between healthcare workers. Consistent and proper use of PPE is also a proactive measure to prevent the spread of infectious bacteria.

C. diff is a common biohazard found in healthcare facilities such as hospitals. Infected patients produce loose stools that allow the bacteria to scatter. 

Because of how contagious this condition can be, it’s important to know how to clean a house after a C-diff infection.

C Diff Cleaning Procedures at Home

While this bacteria is known to be resistant to antibiotics and cleaners, there are steps you can take in disinfecting your house from C. diff.

C. diff can live on surfaces for up to five months. With this in mind, maintain proactive hygiene habits when someone in the home has been ill with C. diff. Continue to clean after the person has recovered.

Thoroughly clean the bathrooms or any other area of the house where an “accident” happened. As for C. diff cleaning products, hydrogen peroxide is considered to be most effective against clostridioides difficile bacteria.

Carefully dispose of soiled linens, clothing, etc. These items are contaminated and must be removed. Use PPE such as gloves to safely discard contaminated items.

Everyone in the household must wash their hands frequently. The bacteria may be lingering on surfaces. Handwashing is even more important when handling food. 

Cleaning Recommendations to Prevent C-Diff Transmission

Because this infectious bacteria is so aggressive, it’s important to be consistent. Here are state agency recommendations for disinfecting your house from C. diff:

  • Schedule routine cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces and materials plus air vents and carpets.
  • Use an EPA-approved disinfectant from EPA List K.
  • Using the appropriate dilution, apply cleaners with a clean cloth or spray bottle.
  • When cleaning floors, replace mop water regularly.
  • C. diff cleaning procedures for laundry include regular detergent but with the use of hot water (25 minutes wash at 160 °F). Bleach is optional.

Healthcare facilities should take additional sanitation precautions with shared equipment and when preparing rooms for new patients.

Contact the SERVPRO Professionals for Fort Worth for C-Diff Cleaning and Other Viruses

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills is your expert team for Fort Worth biohazard cleaning! Our technicians are specially trained to perform thorough and safe cleanup according to state and federal guidelines. In addition to C. diff cases, we’ve handled biohazardous situations involving:

  • COVID-19
  • Bloodborne pathogens
  • Infectious disease
  • Rodent infestation
  • Trauma and Crime Scene Cleanup
  • Suicide
  • Unattended death

We are prepared to respond to any biohazardous emergency in the Fort Worth, Texas area. How to clean house after c-diff infection properly includes the appropriate personal protective equipment and the proper EPA-registered cleaners. Households may not have access to all the supplies needed, but we do! We’ll do a thorough and professional cleaning.

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills offers free consultations or free bids (completely confidential) for commercial properties. Make the first step in preventing the spread of C. diff now and call us at (817) 589-1499. We’re available 24/7.

What to Do After a House Fire in Fort Worth: 7 Tips

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

house on fire If you've experienced a house fire, contact the Fort Worth fire damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO. We're available 24/7 to help.

Few things can bring a house to ruin faster than fire.  For communities who have been devastated by wildfires, they know all too well how rapidly fires will consume homes. Then there are isolated incidents that cause a single home house fire: faulty wiring, cooking, candles, falling asleep while smoking, lightning strikes, arson, etc.

In emergencies like these, we try to keep our wits about us as we face hardship.  In this article share advice on how to manage this unfortunate event along with actionable tips on what to do after a house fire. 

What Not to Do After a House Fire

When reeling from house fire aftermath, the homeowner may not be thinking clearly. Below are things to avoid after a house fire, even when they seem harmless at the time.

  • Don’t re-enter the home: Property owners may be anxious to re-enter the home to take account of possessions and look over the damage. It's best that you wait until the fire marshall or the insurance company has given you the go-ahead to go back into the property. Going back inside too soon could impact your insurance claim.
  • Don’t turn on utilities: Fire damage may compromise the safe operation of water and gas connections in the home. It is best to leave utilities off during the recovery process. 
  • Don’t attempt to start or move a fire-damaged vehicle: After a fire damage loss, you are likely to be pooling all your remaining resources together (including transportation). It is best that you do not attempt to drive a vehicle once it’s been damaged by fire. This may not be safe and it could interfere with your insurance claim. 
  • Don’t do your own fire damage cleanup: After dealing with a house fire loss, there is that urge to get back to normal.  It seems productive to get started with cleaning, but it's unsafe. With extensive fire damage, professional clean up services are necessary.

Aside from the above rules, other questions may come up about what to do after a fire in your home. When in doubt contact your insurance company or SERVPRO for guidance.  SERVPRO in Fort Worth is available 24/7 to assist you with any inquires on what to do after a house fire.

What to Do After a House Fire: 7 Tips

When a home is destroyed by fire, the house may be all that you can think about. These tips on what to do after a house fire remind you to prioritize personal welfare matters.  

1. Tend to Your Loved Ones 

Getting everyone out of a structure engulfed with flames is only the beginning of a long process.  

Once everyone is settled, you’ll want to check on the welfare of those who live with you including any pets that you have been able to rescue. 

Medical treatment should be sought for any medical concerns (such as smoke inhalation), especially for pets who are unable to verbalize symptoms.  People with special needs will need a physician’s evaluation for the same reason.

Also important is the mental welfare of those affected by the event. Lean on one another during this time and help secure counseling for those who are struggling emotionally. 

2. Find a Safe Place to Stay

Once immediate medical issues are addressed, it’s time to seek temporary shelter. Reach out to family and friends to ask who might be able to offer a place to stay.

Booking a hotel room or an Airbnb are also options. Some homeowner insurance policies may reimburse you for temporary housing expenses. 

However, some may be low on funds or unable to front the money until insurance claims are approved. In that case, you may be able to turn to churches or disaster relief agencies like the American Red Cross or Salvation Army for free temporary shelter.

Emergency Services may provide trauma assistance that includes housing assistance. Additionally, in the event of fire damage due to a wildfire, you may be able to apply for Fire Management Assistance. Check with fire and EMS on the scene about places that can help after a home fire.

3. Contact Insurance Agent 

Once you’ve taken care of your family's immediate needs, the next most important thing to do is to contact the insurance company for your homeowner’s policy to start a claim. The sooner you initiate the claim, the sooner you can collect upon the policy’s benefits.

The insurance agent will guide you through the post-fire recovery process. Ask your agent any questions you have about what actions you should take and also what the insurance company’s actions will be. You may be required to provide documentation to the insurance company such as a fire report or photos of the damage as part of the claims process.

You’ll also want to look into securing "loss of use" cash if you are eligible for it. This covers expenses incurred from displacement. Save your receipts as the insurance might ask for this later.

The insurance company also assists in securing abatement and cleaning services. At SERVPRO we work directly with the insurance company to make the process more efficient for our clients. 

4. Take Inventory  

Perhaps what homeowners look forward to the most is taking inventory to recoup and salvageable possessions.  This involves sorting through the contents of the home to determine what can be saved and what cannot.

Items you wish to save go into two categories: what is in good condition and what needs fire damage treatment. Good condition items can be put into storage and fire damaged items will be handed off to cleaning specialists (like SERVPRO).

Once you've gathered everything you wish to save, Items that have made it through unscathed can be moved to storage, and damaged items that you wish to recover should be in a separate collection for fire damage. 

There is consolation in finding items that we're spared.  Another benefit of clearing out possessions is to make way for cleaning crews or potential abatement services. Just remember to wait until the property has been deemed safe for re-entry. 

This is also the time to replace important documents like identification documents, passports, etc. Contact the appropriate agencies to order duplicates.

Now for the unpleasant part: itemizing your lost valuables and possessions.  As part of your insurance claim, you will need to provide a complete list of items that could not be recovered. Make this list as you walk around the property to help you remember things that may have slipped your mind.

5. Address Your Finances 

While it may feel like the world has stopped during a house fire recovery, unfortunately, expenses won't. If debit cards or personal checks perished in the fire, arrange replacements for these through your bank.

Mortgage and car payments also continue to be due through the post-loss process.  Your insurance policy or any supplemental coverage you may have might cover some of these payments.

Stopping utilities such as water, electricity, gas, internet, trash collection, etc. saves money as you recover. 

 This is also the time to start calculating other post-loss related expenses incurred during this time such as new clothing or other personal items.

6. Contact a Cleanup Crew

You've done your part. Now it’s the cleaning crew’s turn. SERVPRO’s goal is to make it like it never happened with our complete cleaning and fire restoration services.

SERVPRO in Fort Worth is equipped to handle more than one recovery project at a time.  In addition to fire damage restoration, we do Esporta wash system textile recovery, water damage restoration, and reconstruction of the house. 

One company managing several necessary recovery tasks saves time and makes the process more efficient.  If you hire specialized companies individually, the process could take longer, especially when insurance approval is needed. 

When we work directly with the insurance company, we consolidate the work to make the process more efficient. Our goal is to complete the recovery process quickly so that homeowners get back to normal as soon as possible.

7. Destress!

On top of having to deal with all the stress of your house burning, there are so many action items to manage and address. Remember to pace yourself as you go and take breaks between tasks when you need to.

Take it easy on yourself and turn to your favorite destressing activities. Stress relief activities are a nature walk, getting a massage, watching your favorite movie or TV show,  or getting a family together for a fun activity. With all you've been through, it's important to gain relief through doing the things you enjoy.

SERVPRO is here to take some of that burden from your shoulders. For fire damage restoration in Fort Worth, we are faster to any size disaster.  Call us any time 24/7 at (817) 589-1499 for emergency contact and assistance.

Contact SERVPRO North Richland Hills Today for Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration

SERVPRO’s Fort Worth fire restoration services are at the ready to respond when disaster strikes. After our customer care agents ask you important intake questions, we dispatch our IICRC certified crew right away. 

What our crews do:

  • Roof tarping and board-up
  • Content cleaning
  • Clothing and textile sanitization
  • Electronic service restoration
  • Moving services and storage
  • Fire and smoke odor deodorization
  • Roof replacement
  • Repairs and reconstruction

For over 30 years, we’ve been helping Fort Worth, TX homeowners through the house fire recovery process step by step. This includes working directly with your insurance company to ensure that the process goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible. We’re in your corner! Check out our before and after Fort Worth property fire damage restoration photos.

Call us as soon as possible, 24/7, at (817) 589-1499 for emergency contact so we can get started on your recovery process right away!

Found Mold in Your Dishwasher? Here's What the Fort Worth Experts Say to Do.

8/19/2020 (Permalink)

open dishwasher If you have stubborn mold in your dishwasher, contact the Fort Worth mold remediation professionals at SERVPRO.

When we think about dishwasher appliances we think clean and sanitary. We trust it to do a better job than handwashing. 

The truth is, a dishwasher is the perfect place for mold to grow. Steam from the humidity, ample moisture from the water cycle, darkness, and food particles are everything mold spores need to thrive.

So, why is there mold in your dishwasher? Wouldn’t a hot drying cycle and potent detergents kill off microbes? Not exactly. Mold can live through repeated dishwashing cycles. Mold likes the heat the dishwasher gives off and the detergent may be an unintended food source for the mold.

Mold is an unwelcome guest in your cleaning apparatuses. You wouldn’t want it anywhere around items you want to be sanitary, so you should be aware and proactive to keep mold in a dishwasher at bay.

At SERVPRO in Fort Worth, we are the mold experts. We’ll show you what to do when you discover you have a moldy dishwasher. 

Why Is There Mold in My Dishwasher?

Mold makes its presence known with a pungent and musty smell or dark mold spots appear.

A dishwasher has all the right conditions for mold growth. This environment collects bits of food, is dark, warm, and has ample moisture.

Mold likes to grow on food that is left near the drain area and hides in places like crevices and rubber parts. To be specific, these areas are seals around the door, drain covers, and gaskets.

Mold spores end up trapped inside the dishwasher and make themselves at home in its Goldilocks environment.

Common Causes of a Moldy Dishwasher

The design that keeps water inside for the cleaning process is also a primary factor in mold growth. For the water to stay inside the dishwasher, the door must be sealed, and because it’s sealed off, it doesn’t get adequate ventilation. 

Airflow is needed to keep mold spores from settling. Once the mold spores are trapped in the apparatus, there is the opportunity for mold to grow.

Clogged drains, leaks around hoses, and a lack of cleaning care also contribute to mold growth.

Dishwashers are designed to clean, not all are self-cleaning. Just like a clothes washer, they need regular cleaning.

How to Get Rid of Mold in Your Dishwasher

An appliance that is intended to keep things clean should also be kept clean. When you see mold spots or an odor indicates mildew is in the dishwasher, it’s due for a cleaning. Here is how to clean mold in the dishwasher.

Note: Bleach is commonly used to clean mold, but it’s not appropriate for cleaning the dishwasher (because it can damage the parts). We recommend you opt for vinegar or soap and water when cleaning a moldy dishwasher. Lemon juice works well as a deodorizer.

  1. Pull out the removable parts: racks, utensils holder, drain strainer, rotor, etc. (anything that is designed to be removed from the inside). Clean them with hot, soapy water, rinse, and air dry. 
  2. Next, scrub the inside of the dishwasher (especially hiding places for molds such as the drain opening, rubber seals, crevices, and the seal around the door). Vinegar mixed with hot water and toothbrush works well for scrubbing these areas.
  3. Wipe down the sides with a sponge or rag soaked in the vinegar/hot water mixture.
  4. Run the dishwasher empty for a complete cleaning cycle either using a bowl of vinegar placed in the top rack or a product intended for dishwasher cleaning.
  5. Once the cycle is complete, leave the dishwasher open to dry completely.
  6. Recheck the areas for mold. If you see any mold left, spot clean it with hot water and vinegar. If you do end up doing some touch-up cleaning, allow these areas to dry completely as well. 
  7. Enjoy your sparkling clean dishwasher!

Dishwashers for home-use are fairly easy to clean, however, if you have an industrial-sized dishwasher this process won’t apply. You may need professional cleaning and SERVPRO is always available for commercial cleaning services in Fort Worth.

How to Prevent Mold From Returning

Because the dishwasher is an ideal habitat for mold, homeowners need to be proactive to prevent mold growth. Here are some tips on how to avoid mold in the dishwasher.

  • Thoroughly clean the dishwasher monthly. Don’t wait for mold to show up for it to be cleaned and maintain a cleaning schedule.
  • Periodically check those trouble spots for mold growth such as the crevices, rubber parts, and seal around the door.
  • Remove food particles from collection areas between uses (such as the drain area).
  • Keep the dishwasher slightly open between uses. This allows for ventilation.
  • Run your garbage disposal before you run the dishwasher. Most dishwashers use the same drain as the garbage disposal.
  • Make regular use of any self-cleaning features the dishwasher has such as a sanitization cycle. 
  • Address high-humidity issues in the kitchen with a dehumidifier or added ventilation.

Mold needs the right conditions to thrive. When you mitigate these conditions, mold doesn’t have an opportunity to grow.

Reach Out to Our SERVPRO Fort Worth Mold Remediation Specialists

Keeping up with mold can be a real chore, especially when you have an industrial-sized dishwasher for foodservice. SERVPRO offers professional Fort Worth Commercial Mold Removal services to keep your dishwashing systems as clean as can be!

We’re also here to help homeowners with appliance cleaning when you don’t have the time or are experiencing challenges with cleaning it. 

Reach out to the experts at SERVPRO of North Richland Hills for Fort Worth mold remediation and set up a free consultation about your mold in dishwasher issues. We’re here to answer the call 24/7 at (817) 589-1499 or fill out our convenient contact form.

Mold Removal Fort Worth - Mold Remediation Services

8/12/2020 (Permalink)

mold around window If you find or suspect mold on your property, call the Fort Worth mold remediation experts at SERVPRO.

How would you describe mold? Perhaps dark and patchy? “Black mold” (Stachybotrys) is a common species of mold growth. While black mold is predominant and easy to spot, there are other kinds of toxic mold found in both light and dark shades.

When maintaining a property that is prone to wetness exposure, it’s important to remember that damp conditions are a prime spot for mold growth. In such situations where mold growth is more likely to occur, you’ll need to keep an eye out for it because mold is unhealthy and damaging.

Mold likes to colonize in dark, forgotten-about areas with little ventilation, but you might also find it in areas out in the open (such as a building exterior).

Mold remediation is necessary to maintain a healthy environment and prevent further mold contamination for properties throughout the community. 

You shouldn’t have to live with mold. Our Fort Worth mold remediation experts at SERVPRO offer a full range of services to help you deal with your mold problem. We’ll identify the kinds of mold that are present, pinpoint the cause(s), and then apply the most effective solutions.

What is Mold Remediation?

When solving mold problems, SERVPRO applies mold remediation rather than mold removal in Fort Worth. We do remove mold contamination, but remediation does more than that.

We should also note that because mold spores exist as part of the natural environment, complete mold removal isn’t possible. It’s always present, but proactive measures prevent spores from taking root and colonizing. 

Mold remediation is the removal of toxic mold growth followed by restoration of the affected area. At SERVPRO in Fort Worth, we are the mold remediation experts!

The SERVPRO Mold Restoration Process

Our goal is to remove any and all contamination to restore the property back to its preloss condition. We consistently apply methods to ensure that each job is completed thoroughly. Here’s what you can expect with a complete restoration.

Step 1: Make Contact with Your Local SERVPRO

Our agents at SERVPRO in Fort Worth are available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week to answer your call. During the intake process, we gather information about your circumstances to determine what all is needed for your situation. This ensures that we send out the appropriate team members, equipment, and resources.

Step 2: Mold Damage Assessment and Inspection

SERVPRO’s team of mold experts thoroughly inspects the property for signs of mold. We know where mold likes to hide and what species of toxic mold to search for. We use special tools and mold testing technology to find hidden water sources and detect traces of mold.

Step 3: Prevent Further Spread of Mold

Once we’ve determined where the mold growth is happening, we take measures to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleaning process. 

Measures may include:

  • Isolating the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure.
  • Shutting off fans and HVAC systems.

Step 4: Air Filtration

Our Fort Worth SERVPRO location not only removes mold from visibly contaminated areas but we also work to remove invisible spores.

Our team of professionals uses filtration equipment, HEPA vacuums, and air scrubbers to collect mold spores from the air. This step in the mold remediation process prevents more mold growth.

Step 5: Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials

Perhaps the most important step of mold remediation is removing mold-infested materials. We remove and dispose of contaminated porous materials such as carpet and drywall when they cannot be restored. We eliminate mold colonies and prevent new ones from forming by using professional-grade antifungal and antimicrobial treatments.

Step 6: Cleaning Contents and Belongings

The SERVPRO team takes special care of your clothing, drapes, furniture, and other possessions touched by mold. We work to clean and sanitize these items to restore them back to preloss condition. 

Our goal is to make it "Like it never even happened," so we use fogging equipment to eliminate any odors mold might leave behind.

Step 7: Restoration

In some cases, contaminated materials cannot be recovered and have to be disposed of. SERVPRO replaces such items as drywall, carpet, subflooring, etc. along with painting the surfaces.

Sometimes the damage is extensive and entails a reconstruction of the area. Be it a small touch up or a big repair, we’re prepared to do what it takes to bring the property back to its original state. We make it "Like it never even happened."

Do I Need a Mold Specialist?

With so many mold products on the shelf at the store, you might think that mold removal is DIY. For minor and infrequent mold growth, this is fine.

In the case of extensive mold growth or a mold problem that seems to come back frequently, this is a matter best handled by the mold experts at SERVPRO. 

The bigger the mold growth, the more likely it is that there is more mold lurking in hidden areas and within the air. Our staff is trained to identify various species of toxic mold and use professional equipment to rid your space of toxic mold. 

Extensive growth of mold or an ongoing mold problem is likely to continue to infect your property if you don’t find the root cause(s). Our mold experts will figure out why toxic mold is growing in your space so that you can prevent a relapse in the future.

Commercial and Household Mold Remediation Services

Commercial and residential properties have different needs but they should both be mold-free. Our services tend to the particular needs of both residential and commercial mold removal

Having work done on your home can be rather inconvenient. Our residential service goal is to have the process completed as quickly as possible so there will be minimal disruption to your daily life.

For commercial cleaning, we have the utmost consideration of your operations in mind. Our 24/7 operations allow us to work on the mold issue when customers and employees aren’t around. 

We’re highly experienced in mold remediation for both residential and commercial properties.

Contact SERVPRO Today for Professional Fort Worth Mold Removal

Let the mold experts at SERVPRO of North Richland Hills tackle your mold problem. When our professional cleaning crew comes out to your property, we take care of it so you don’t have to come in contact with toxic mold.

We’ll identify the types of mold present in the space, determine the contributing factors to the mold growth, and apply the best solutions to the problem including restoration.

Don’t live with mold another day! Call SERVPRO of North Richland Hills today at (817) 589-1499 or fill out our convenient contact form.

Does Mold Die When It Dries Out in Your Fort Worth Home?

8/5/2020 (Permalink)

mold on ceiling Have you found mold in your home? Our Fort Worth SERVPRO location provides expert mold remediation services.

On the cleaning aisle of any retailer, you’ll find an assortment of products that promise to get rid of mold and mildew. When we use these cleaning solutions (like standard bleach), does mold die when it dries out?

After bringing in a cleaning service or scrubbing away at the mold yourself, the hope is that you’ll be rid of the mold once and for all. Is a deep cleaning enough to keep mold from showing up again?

We at SERVPRO are the expert mold fighters here in Fort Worth, Texas. We’re here to offer mold solutions to property owners for a healthier living environment. We’re publishing this information so the Fort Worth community can be more proactive about mold issues.

Common Moisture Problems in Fort Worth that Cause Mold

Mold thrives in a moist environment. Standing water or trapped water vapor in the air are the chief causes of moisture problems in or on structures.

Specific examples of what causes this are humidity, leaky appliances, bathrooms, etc. Adequate ventilation is needed so that moisture dries out rather than settling into areas where they make contact with mold spores.

A huge patch of mold is a sign that water or moisture has collected with no way to escape or dry out. So if too much moisture is the problem, will mold die when dry?

Will Mold Grow Without Moisture?

Assuming you do everything in your power to keep moisture from building up, can mold grow without moisture? As a rule, mold cannot develop without some amount of moisture. How much is needed depends on the species. Some get by with very little moisture.

For example, Stachybotrys (common black mold) needs substantial saturation to germinate. We’re talking at least a 90% humidity level to activate, then around 70% humidity to continue to thrive.

So at what humidity does mold die? Is there a threshold at which mold growth becomes unlikely? Humidity occurs when the air is warm enough to soak up water vapor like a sponge. Mold thrives in a warm atmosphere as the air contains plenty of moisture.

Humans will usually detect humidity with physical discomfort. It’s often described as being “stuffy” or “muggy.” So if it feels humid, chances are there is significant vapor in the room.

The sweet spot for humidity is between 30% and 50%. Moisture-rich air with nowhere to go settles into areas where mold will begin to colonize. 

The key to managing humidity is ventilation. Extra vents, fans, opening a window, or using a dehumidifier are all helpful for improving the air quality. Reducing the air temperature with AC also reverses humidity.

What Happens to Mold When It Dries Out?

Does mold die when it dries out completely? If we were to make the environment completely sterile and arid as a desert, will mold die without moisture?

Mold needs moisture to thrive. Without it, mold spores do dry out eventually and become dormant. In this inactive state, the mold spores aren’t dead, they just stop flourishing.

Mold spores are never completely eliminated as they are a natural part of the ecosystem. Once these spores make contact with moisture again, they reactivate within a day or two to reboot the germination process. 

How to Prevent Future Mold Growth

Will mold die on its own? We know mold spores to be abundant and very successful at survival. 

To tackle a mold problem, you have to remove what is contaminated and modify problem areas. Here are some pointers on how to take care of current mold growth and keep dried mold from resurging.

  • Identify the areas where mold growth seems to happen most often and determine the cause. Troubleshoot why to eradicate the contributing factors.
  • Manage interior humidity with improved climate control. Areas that get hot or steamy are susceptible to humidity. The goal is to keep the humidity level under 50%.
  • Ensure areas have adequate ventilation and free airflow. Fans, vents, windows, and AC help. An HVAC company can do a tune-up and check for any leaks in the system.
  • Look for leaks. Water could be trickling from appliances, faulty pipes, broken toilets, loose faucets, or walls and ceilings when it rains.
  • Take action during flood events. Mold starts growing within the first 48 hours of flood damage. Hire SERVPRO for water damage restoration in Fort Worth. We’ll make sure contaminated items are removed and that the affected areas dry completely.
  • Remove and dispose of mold-contaminated objects (like bathroom caulk). Some things could be salvageable, but if it’s porous and covered in mold, it’s best to discard it. Our Fort Worth mold remediation service will determine what items can be saved or not.
  • Remove soggy carpet. If carpet dampness is a common occurrence, switch to alternative flooring.
  • Use mold inhibitors on surfaces. When replacing a mold-infested wall, it could very well get that way again. Add mold inhibitors to the paint.
  • Keep areas dry and clean. Use anti-mold cleaning products. Clean and thoroughly dry items that are exposed to moisture like towels, bathing suits, and shower curtains.

This list is just to cover some basics. There may be other factors unique to your situation that aren’t mentioned here. The trick is to understand how mold behaves and why it’s growing in certain areas of your space. Mold likes moist, dark places with plenty of cellulose materials to consume like paper, fabric, dust, etc. 

SERVPRO’s Fort Worth mold removal services will not only identify any species of toxic mold present (well beyond black mold), but we’ll also be able to point out the factors that made it grow there in the first place. We can help you manage your mold issue.

Fort Worth Mold Remediation and Removal Experts Ready 24/7

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills is Fort Worth’s locally owned and operated provider of expert mold solutions. We’ve done meticulous inspections and thorough residential and commercial mold remediation for many years.

Trying to solve a mold problem at its root source can be like solving a puzzle. With our expertise, we accurately pinpoint and efficiently apply the best solutions.

Our goal is to make it "Like it never even happened." We want the healthiest environment for our customers, so our certified technicians do a thorough remediation to remove toxic mold.

When you have a mold problem on your hands, call our mold experts anytime at (817) 589-1499 or fill out our convenient contact form.

Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration Process

7/30/2020 (Permalink)

fire damage restoration If you've experienced fire damage to your home, call the Fort Worth fire damage restoration experts at SERVPRO.

Fires can happen to anyone and at any time. 80 fire departments in or surrounding the Fort Worth, TX area are prepared to respond when houses and businesses need help.

Did you experience fire damage this year? Maybe a kitchen mishap, 4th of July fireworks on the roof, or (heaven forbid) an electrical fire? Even when the fire happened to the property next door, there may still be damage to yours.

From counting your blessings that the loss wasn’t worse, to reeling from extensive damage, you must address the damage right away.  Smoke and soot are damaging to property and must be dealt with as soon as possible. 

Whether it’s sharing our best fire damage tips or coming out to the property for a free evaluation, our SERVPRO franchise in Fort Worth is here for you. We’re with you every step of the way through the fire damage restoration process.

How Long Does Fire Damage Restoration Take?

How long a complete fire restoration takes depends on the size of the property, the extent of the damage, and the amount of belongings that need to be recovered.

A smaller dwelling project with moderate damage (like an apartment) takes about a week to complete. However, a home around 3,000 Sq. Ft. (also with moderate damage) needs a few weeks to finish. 

During the restoration process, we work to clean and restore your belongings. How many items there are to treat determines how long it takes to get the job done.

For businesses and larger homes, the process can take about a month. Situations with significant loss (like those requiring reconstruction) may need longer than a month and typically involve an insurance claim. When an insurance adjuster is involved, this adds another 2-3 days to the timeline.

Working with a full-service restoration company like SERVPRO has the advantage of a more efficient process. This means we can coordinate the cleaning alongside the reconstruction (when applicable) to minimize the time needed to complete the restoration. 

SERVPRO’s goal is to get your life back to normal as soon as possible, so we aim to keep the recovery process no longer than a month.

What Does a Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration Company Do?

External fire damage leaves the structure exposed to further harm from the elements. For instance, rain leads to rotting and mold that make matters worse.

Internally, fires create problems by burning construction materials. The release of toxic chemicals makes the interior environment unhealthy. Then, acid soot seeps into porous surfaces causing permanent discoloration. Damage is also caused by lingering smoke (to electronics, for example).

SERVPRO’s Fort Worth area fire damage service professionals are “faster to any disaster.” We’re here 24/7 to respond immediately after the fire department leaves. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get started to protect your property and its valuable contents from further destruction.

Our Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration professionals are highly-trained specialists who have the proper equipment to restore your property back to preloss condition.

Our Team of Specialists:

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

We have a “restore first” mission. So we use specialized equipment and cleaning techniques to recover damaged property so replacement isn’t needed. We’re glad to know that we’ve recovered irreplaceable items, so we do our best to make it "Like it never even happened.”

Our Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration Process

SERVPRO is upfront about what to expect during the fire damage restoration process. Below is what a typical fire damage procedure entails.

Step 1: First Point of Contact

Fire damage restoration begins when our Customer Care Specialist takes your call at our 24/7 dispatch center. 

On this call, we begin the intake process. We ask questions about the event so we can send out our Fort Worth fire damage experts - equipped with everything needed to perform a complete restoration.

Step 2: Inspect and Assess the Fire Damage 

To properly outline the necessary fire restoration procedures for your property, we do a complete inspection. Our team is specially trained to assess the true extent of the damage from fire, smoke, and soot. Once we’ve identified everything that needs attention, we create a plan that addresses every inch of damage.

Step 3: Immediate Protection with Board-Up and Roof-Tarp Service

Should you lose a window, wall, or some of the roof from fire damage, we won’t leave your property exposed to the elements or trespassers.

We’ll either board up or tarp these areas as soon as possible to prevent an unfortunate situation from becoming worse.

Step 4: Water Removal and Drying (When Water Damage Is Present)

Sometimes restoring property with fire damage involves water removal and drying. Water from fire hoses, fire sprinklers, or attempts by the occupant to snuff the flames will leave a water mess behind.

First, we extract excess water from the property. Then we remove additional water and moisture from the environment with dehumidifiers and ventilation helpers so the entire area is completely dry.

Step 5: Removal of Smoke and Soot from All Surfaces

The most important step in repairing fire-damaged homes and buildings is the thorough and complete removal of smoke and soot, both externally and internally. 

We use specialized equipment and expert technique to rid roofs, ceilings, walls, belongings, etc. of the damaging remnants of a fire (including the recovery of documents and photos).

Step 6: Cleaning and Sanitizing

Soot and smoke make everything dirty. That’s why we use our expert fire damage cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize it all.

Smoke also leaves a stench behind. We use industrial air scrubbers and fogging to remove smoke and its odor from the environment. You shouldn’t have to live with the smell and you won’t have to.

Step 7: Restoration

SERVPRO’s fire damage services go beyond mere recovery - our goal is full restoration. 

We do the necessary repairs to bring the property back to its pre-fire state. This may include drywall replacement, carpet replacement, painting, or major reconstruction. Our team does whatever it takes to make it good as new.

Contact SERVPRO of North Richland Hills Today for Fort Worth Fire Damage Restoration

For over 30 years, SERVPRO of North Richland Hills has carried out complete fire damage repair and restoration numerous times. 

Our team is “faster to any size disaster” for fire-damaged homes and businesses. It matters to us that your environment is healthy and comfortable. So our goal is to use our expertise, specialized equipment, and resources to make it "Like it never even happened.”

If fire damage happens to your property or the one next door, call us right away at (817) 589-1499. We’re here to answer the phone 24/7. The sooner we can get started on the fire damage restoration process, the better. Let’s get started today so you can get on with your life ASAP!

Signs of Black Mold In Air Vents

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

black mold in air vent SERVPRO of North Richland Hills Provides Professional Mold Remediation for Black Mold in Air Vents

Most of us are in the habit of tossing food products at the first sign of mold. We wouldn’t even consider eating moldy food, so it follows that it’s also unhealthy for us to breathe mold in the air. When mold grows in air vents and HVAC systems, it mixes with the circulating air we breathe.

Air quality issues (such as black mold in air vents) should be addressed. It’s especially urgent for those who are vulnerable to illness (babies, little children, the elderly, and people who are immunocompromised.)

Do you notice a mold problem in your vents or somewhere in your HVAC system? Here at SERVPRO of North Richland Hills, we are the Fort Worth mold remediation specialists and here to answer the call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

What is Black Mold?

The formal name for common black mold is Stachybotrys Chartarum.

While black mold is the most noticeable kind of mold, keep in mind…

  • Mold coexists with us in the natural environment. Only unhealthy molds are the problem.
  • Not all black mold is Stachybotrys.  Other types of mold are also black. To know what kind it is, testing must be done. Our mold specialists can identify what IS toxic.

Noticeable signs of mold:

  • A sweet but musky smell. 
  • Illness (particularly allergy symptoms).
  • The increasing appearance of spotting (black or other colors).

What is unseen are the spores. Microscopic spores travel through the air that enters through windows, and make their way into hair, fibers, or HVAC systems. Mold collection within your air conditioning systems and vents may be where the source of the spores is hiding.

Because mold spores thrive on moisture and quickly reproduce in damp conditions, sources of water must be addressed. In water damage events, mold growth starts in as little as 48 hours.

What Causes Black Mold in HVAC Air Ducts?

How does mold find its way deep into ductwork? Mold makes itself at home in warm and moist temperatures (humid climates). Anywhere moisture gets trapped is the ideal breeding ground for mold.

HVAC Issues to Address:

  • Oversized unit: If an AC unit is too big for the square footage, it doesn’t cycle properly. This causes accumulation of excess moisture that doesn’t have the chance to dry up so moisture gets trapped in the ductwork. 
  • Very cool temperatures: Mold does grow in warm temperatures, but when the AC is producing air that is too cold, this creates condensation. This happens when cold air meets warm air. Condensation is another opportunity for mold growth.
  • Leaks: Cracks in the ducts let moisture and warm air in. Both factors trap moisture in the HVAC air ducts.

Damp and dark places are where mold grows. Ductwork is dark, so mold grows when moisture is trapped there.

What are the Signs of Black Mold in Air Vents?

Sometimes dark areas on the vent surface or between the cracks are just dust, paint, or rust. Does it smell funny around the vent? Are there signs of mold around the air vents? 

Relieved that it was just some dust or fuzz? Keep in mind that dust is food for mold. Keep mold at bay by removing dust in vents and keeping them moisture-free.

Does Mold in AC Vents Need to Be Cleaned Out?

Killing black mold in air vents and other accessible AC areas does help keep some mold out of the air. However the deeper the problem is, the more likely you are to need help from professionals. Without solving the root cause, mold in ac vents just grows back.

Steps For Cleaning Your AC:

  • Shut off the HVAC system.
  • Wear an N-95 respirator
  • Dispose of and double bag anything porous that is water damaged.
  • Thoroughly remove black mold in air vents with a bleach solution or baking soda and detergent solution.
  • Use a wet vac to remove standing water.
  • Apply an EPA registered disinfectant labeled for HVAC non-porous surfaces. Use this to kill mold on all surfaces(ductwork, coils, plenums, pans, etc). It helps to pinch off a section at a time to keep spores from spreading through the ductwork.
  • Use a mold and mildew inhibitor (for HVAC and EPA registered) to all components of the HVAC systems.

While all of the above is progress toward fighting air quality problems, the EPA recommends professional mold treatment help. 

Our team at SERVPRO of North Richland Hills is specialized in mold remediation and we have the right personal protection equipment to do the job safely (including N95 respirators). 

Reach Out to a Black Mold Remediation Specialist

For decades, SERVPRO of North Richland Hills has provided expert mold remediation in the North Richland Hills and Fort Worth areas including commercial mold removal.

Molds exist naturally and cannot be 100% removed and mold remediation is about removing the toxic molds. 

What We Do:

  • Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
  • Mold Containment
  • Air Filtration
  • Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
  • Cleaning Contents and Belongings
  • Restoration
  • Strictly adhere to Texas mold safety laws
  • We’re faster to any disaster and we make it like it never happened!
  • 24/7 service

If you see signs of black mold in air vents or smell mold, the time to act is now! Mold spreads quickly when left untreated.

SERVPRO of North Richland Hills has the training, experience, and equipment needed to swiftly contain the mold infestation and return the AC or furnace to preloss condition. We provide professional mold remediation services to Fort Worth, North Richland Hills, Hurst, Watauga, Richland Hills, Smithfield, and surrounding communities..

Restore your property to a healthy environment and call our mold experts anytime at (817) 589-1499 or fill out our convenient contact form.