5 Space Heater Safety Tips
As the temperatures drop lower and cold weather rolls in to stay for awhile, you’re probably breaking out the space heaters to warm up your home or business. While space heaters provide wonderful warmth during the colder months, they also can be safety hazards if they aren’t properly set up and monitored to ensure they don’t pose any risks to you or your home. A space heater fire is never on anyone’s agenda, so we recommend following these 5 space heater safety tips to avoid any unwanted fires from occurring:
- Carefully place your space heater at least 3 feet away from flammable objects. If any objects come in contact with the space heater’s electric heating face or a hot surface, it poses a serious fire risk. As a general rule, never sit or drape anything over your space heater, don’t set it near rugs, furniture, bedding, clothing, window treatments, or other flammable materials. Also, make sure that it’s sitting on a level surface so that it doesn’t accidentally fall or tip over.
- Don’t use extension cords. Plug your space heater directly into an outlet. There’s a much higher chance of your space heater overheating or otherwise malfunctioning if it’s plugged into an extension cord or an outlet strip. Minimize these dangers by plugging your space heater directly into an outlet that has the power capacity necessary to fire it up and keep it running.
- Unplug it when you’re not using it. This should go for almost all appliances, but it’s especially relevant for your space heater. When you’re not using your space heater, you should first turn it off and then you should unplug it. Having a space heater running while you don’t want it to be running poses a fire hazard as well as a waste of energy.
- Clean, inspect, and maintain your space heater. On a regular basis, you should clean your space heater and wipe it down to avoid dispersing dust and other allergens throughout your house. You should also carefully monitor your space heater to ensure that it’s working as it’s supposed to and nothing wonky is happening. If anything seems out of order, turn it off and unplug it right away until a professional can inspect it and you can safely run it again. Alternatively, you can just dispose of it and purchase a new space heater.
- Don’t run your space heater in the bathroom or a basement. Space heaters should never be run in places that are humid or wet because space heaters are not meant to be wet. Don’t handle your space heater if your hands are wet or you just got out of the shower. The electricity from the space heater could run through the water and shock you. This is dangerous and should be avoided at all costs.
While we love our space heaters as much as the rest of you, it’s important to run them safely when you have them operating. SERVPRO of West Fort Worth is here to help you with any fire damage, water damage, storm damage, or mold that comes your way this fall and winter season, and we’re available 24/7 at (817) 560-3086. Give us a call today to discuss how we can help you fix any damage to your home or business.
What to Do After Storm Damage, Repairs, Tips
Blog Summary: While storms can wreak catastrophic damages upon a home or commercial building, promptly addressing the storm damage—first, to make emergency patches and then to take care of longer-term restoration—will go a long way in getting your home or business back to normal. Follow these tips from SERVPRO of West Fort Worth.
What to Do After Storm Damage, Repairs, Tips
Knowing the right steps to take after storm damage can go a long way toward protecting you and your family, as well as your property and finances, from risks of further loss. As challenging as storms can be, learning the steps to take before a storm comes through and turns your life upside down will arm you with the knowledge you need to stay prepared. Here are some tips from the restoration and cleanup specialists at SERVPRO of West Fort Worth.
Five Things to Do After Storm Damage
You can mitigate some of the damage caused by a storm by following this checklist:
Check your home for damage.
While not all storm damage will be apparent immediately after the storm has passed, checking your home's condition will give you a clearer picture of the extent of the damage left by the storm.
SERVPRO of West Fort Worth's experts provide a word of caution to take all the necessary safety precautions when checking your home since unexpected damage may cause injuries. Watch out for loose or exposed ceiling tiles or floorboards, broken electrical lines, and slippery floors. Fortunately, some safety tips can help:
- Avoid standing water
- Avoid checking for storm damage in the dark.
- Watch out for exposed nails, window damage, collapsed walls and roofing materials, and broken glass
- Switch off the electricity and shut off the main gas line before entering a damaged home
Assess the potential damage
During a storm, some areas in a home are more susceptible to damage than others. One site that is often vulnerable is the roof. Common signs of roof damage include:
- Split seams
- Dented, missing, or broken shingles
- Holes in the roof
- Leaks in the ceiling or roof
Other areas that are susceptible to storm damage include doors and windows. Inspect all windows for damaged frames, broken panes, cracks, and holes. Remember to board up any broken windows.
Also, assess your home's exterior, looking for damage such as dents, holes, cracks, and chipping to any brickwork, paint, or siding. The storm could have also damaged outdoor appliances such as air conditioning units.
Taking all the necessary precaution, be sure to remove debris from the gutters and roof, and then check that the downspouts are intact and unobstructed so they can continue diverting water away from your home. Remember to check for mold, which is common after flood damage.
Get in touch with your insurance carrier.
Document the damage and loss that has been caused by the storm, taking photos before removing or moving any objects or debris. Remember to document any additional costs incurred due to the loss, such as hotel receipts or other temporary living costs.
Once all this information is together, contact the insurance provider to determine whether your insurance plan covers the damage caused. Likewise, inquire about the steps to take to make a claim.
Attend only to the damage you are capable of handling.
In some cases, the storm might not have caused extensive damage, and you may be able to restore what little damage exists with a few repairs before seeking professional repair services. Prompt repairs can go a long way toward limiting the damage.
If that's the case, you should begin with what you can fix yourself, taking care not to cause additional damage. For example, if wind and water are getting into your home through a broken window, board it up as soon as possible. However, if you're not confident in your repair skills, it's best to get in touch with a company that can offer emergency repair services.
Choose the right contractor.
The next step is to hire a professional and trustworthy cleaning and restoration service company to restore your home to its former glory. Choosing a contractor that will promptly attend to your home's restoration, take care of water damage, and immediately mitigate the presence of potential mold is critical.
It's essential to ensure that your house is once again a habitable, healthy living environment. That will likely require water cleanup (flood cleanup) and mold removal by a specialized commercial cleaning service.
Getting Back to Normal
While storms can wreak catastrophic damages upon a home or commercial building, promptly addressing the storm damage—first, to make emergency patches and then to take care of longer-term restoration—will go a long way in getting your home or business back to normal.
SERVPRO is a leading storm damage restoration company that has served Fort Worth for upwards of 50 years. They can handle all aspects of the restoration process, from water removal to debris cleanup.
For more information about storm damage cleanup and restoration, contact SERVPRO of West Fort Worth.
SERVPRO of West Fort Worth
3717 Commerce Place Suite E
Bedford, TX 76021
Commercial vs. Residential Water Damages in Fort Worth, Texas
Standing water in commercial office space
As we move into the colder, wetter months, we all have to consider the possible damages that our structures can sustain during this time of year. Summer’s storms are past, and now from leaky roofs and moldy siding to deep ruts in the driveway or potholes in the parking lot, the fall and winter months will bring their own set of concerns to both home and business owners. Weather won’t be as violent, but rains can last a lot longer, and then will come sleet, ice, and snow.
For the homeowner, some of the exterior concerns due to weather will be:
- Eroded landscaping
- Rutted driveways, especially those that are graded either up or downhill
- Moldy siding, window sills, door-jambs, window panes, and roofing
- Rotting wooden fencing and decking
- Leaking roof
- Puddles and pooling
For the business owner, some of the exterior trouble spots can be:
- Potholes and eroded surfaces in public parking areas
- Eroded walkways or damaged, buckling sidewalks and public walkways
- Leaking roofs
- Damaged materials and machinery that have not been stored properly
When it comes to the interior spaces, businesses have to keep an eye on employee bathrooms and kitchen/break areas to make sure that leaks are handled immediately and that spills are cleaned up right away. During bad weather, customers and vendors will track water and debris into your building, and both for safety and aesthetics, it will be a good idea to keep up with this type of accumulation to prevent water damage. Have an umbrella stand ready for everyone who comes through the door!
Homeowners also need to keep up with spills, leaks, and traffic, but it will obviously not be such a large job. In a home, water damage is more likely to come from a water heater or dishwasher that is malfunctioning, or a washer that has developed an issue.
One thing both types of structures have to be concerned about is mold, however - it is never a good thing to realize that a colony has taken hold in either your home or your business.
The team at SERVPRO of West Fort Worth is experienced in all types of clean up after water damage to both homes and businesses, and mold remediation is one of our specialties. Call us today at (817) 560-3086!
How Often Should You Be Replacing Your Roof?
When it comes to knowing how often you should replace your roof, there really isn’t any hard and fast rule. You have to keep an eye on its condition to be able to tell if you need to start thinking about it. If your roof is showing signs of damage, that could lead to major water or storm damage to the rest of your home. Our team wanted to share a few potential issues your roof may develop; any one of these may mean it’s time to replace your roof.
An asphalt shingle roof should last between 20 and 30 years, so if you have a 40-year-old roof, just keep in mind that you will probably need to replace it entirely in the next 1-5 years.
Shingles can curl in two ways: by “cupping,” which happens when the edges of the shingles turn upward; and “clawing,” which is when the edges stay flat and the middle starts to come up. Both are signs of weathering and indicate that potential leaks may possibly be developing, depending on the extent. Every homeowner finds themselves replacing a missing shingle, but it can be just about impossible to get a new shingle to match the color of an old one. Granule colors have changed pretty significantly over the years, and shingle colors often change with years of weathering. If your roof is starting to look like a patchwork quilt, you may want to consider replacing it soon.
Cracked shingles are typically caused by wind damage, and if the damage is extensive and not isolated to just one area, you should start thinking about replacing your roof within the next few years.
Algae Or Moss
This is not a big deal when it shows up on your roof, but it doesn’t give your home or business a great look. You don’t want to take matters into your own hands by power washing or scraping it away since that will often chip off all the protective granules and essentially render your shingles useless. You can use a wash that's one part bleach and one part water to remove algae or moss, and if you do decide to replace your roof, consider tiles that are algae-resistant.
This issue is pretty obvious: if light can get in through your roof, so can rain. If you see any water stains during the next rainfalls, and if they spread or expand, you have an active leak, and it is time to contact SERVPRO of West Fort Worth immediately to help remediate the water damage and potential mold growth.
A sagging roof is typically an indication of a structural issue and demands immediate attention. There could be a problem with the decking in the attic or with the supports in the foundation, which is even worse. You're not necessarily in imminent danger, but this is the kind of thing that's a lot easier to take care of when it's small and localized, so call your roofing professionals right away for this roofing issue.
When it comes to replacing your roof, there is no hard and fast rule. If you are experiencing water damage, it is probably time. Remember that SERVPRO of Hurst-Euless-Bedford is here to help if you are dealing with water damage, fire damage, or a mold infestation. We are committed to getting your business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned!
Office Fire Safety Precautions to Observe
In the event that a fire ever occurs in your office, it’s important to have a few fire safety precautions in place to keep your employees and commercial building prepared for dealing with one. While having a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors goes without saying, do your employees know what to do if the alarm sounds or they have to use the extinguisher?
Here are a few fire safety precautions that you should ensure are in place:
- Make sure your employees know how to use a fire extinguisher. Every 6 months or so, hold a training session where your employees learn how to use a fire extinguisher if they don’t already know how to use one. Something as simple as this could be the difference between an accidental office fire from a microwave or a lighter being extinguished or burning up everything in sight. Here’s a great article on how to use a fire extinguisher.
- Regularly change your smoke detectors’ batteries and ensure one is installed in every room. As a general rule of thumb, test your smoke detectors once a month and replace their batteries twice a year. By ensuring that your smoke detectors do their job and have the battery juice to sound, you can prevent office fires whenever smoke occurs first.
- Share your office’s evacuation plan. Depending on the size of your office, you need to have one or multiple evacuation plans to adhere to the building’s fire code. Make sure to take into account any legal requirements for fire evacuation plans before you post them around the building and share them.
- Do a few fire drills. Sharing your office’s evacuation plan isn’t enough. Hold a couple fire drills and run your employees through the proper evacuation routes so they know where to go if the building catches on fire. Rehearsing an evacuation plan makes it that much easier to take action in the event that a fire actually occurs.
With all of these fire safety precautions in place, we hope that you’ll never have to manage the aftermath of an office fire. However, If you ever end up dealing with fire damage, water damage, mold, or other natural disaster damage, give SERVPRO of West Fort Worth a call at (817) 560-3086. Our team of professionals are trained and equipped to help you manage restoration and cleaning.
What To Expect From A Commercial Restoration Project
As a business owner, you already have a lot on your plate on any given day. You need to know who to call when something goes wrong or your business is damaged. Whether the damage your business is experiencing is from water, fire, or other weather-related issues, you need a company with the expertise and availability to assist you quickly after a disaster.
Here are some things to look for when seeking a Commercial Restoration Company.
Lost time is lost money. When looking for a company to help you restore your business, you need a team that understands how important and necessary it is to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.
When in the midst of a disaster, you need to be able to pick up the phone and have immediate assistance from a team of highly trained professionals. It is important to pick a company that is available 24/7 for emergencies and near your business.
In times of stress, you need people who can talk you through it and communicate a plan, not add to it. When seeking Commercial Restoration, make sure you find someone that is ready to communicate a plan, a time frame, and peace of mind.
SERVPRO of West Fort Worth is ready to be that company for you. We have experience in damage restoration and have covered commercial loss for many clients. Here are examples of restoration projects we’ve handled:
- Flood Damage
- Fire Damage
- Inclement Weather Damage
- Damage from Equipment Failure
- Damage from Vandalism
- Damage from Accidents
- Damage due to Aging of Property
We are available 24/7 and are experts in restoration projects in restoring businesses to their proper condition. If you would like to receive assistance from our team of highly trained professionals here at SERVPRO of West Fort Worth, call us at (817) 560-3086 or seek assistance online!
Dealing With Water Damage in your Attic
Considering the attic isn’t an area that is used often by homeowners, it’s easy to forget about it. This is the main reason water damage in the attic often goes unnoticed. If water damage isn’t addressed, it can cause more damage to the areas below the attic and potentially cause mold. The signs of water damage usually include water stains, mold, or musty odors in your home. It is important to make sure you take the proper steps to assess the damage as soon as you notice in order to assure your safety and health, and avoid expensive repairs.
In order to address the damage, you must first find the source of the problem. Begin by evaluating the damage. Where is the water coming from? Could it be a burst pipe or a hole in your roof? Make sure to check the roof for leaks on a regular basis. The water damage in your attic can also be caused by a lack of ventilation. Humidity can get trapped in the attic and cause a buildup of condensation, which causes water damage. Be sure to remain safe throughout this process and turn off all electrical items before touching anything.
The next step is to inspect for mold and fix any leaks. As previously mentioned, water damage can lead to a more serious issue, mold, and mildew. Mold can grow in as little as 24 hours, and it’s easy for it to go unnoticed. When inspecting for mold, it is important to take the proper precautions and be careful. Some mold is toxic to humans and if the mold is a serious issue rather than a small one, it’s best to contact a professional. It is also advised to contact a professional before attempting to fix any leaks unless you have to tools and skills to do so with ease.
SERVPRO of West Fort Worth is always ready to help and assist you with any water damage or mold you may have! If you’re in over your head with water damage, give us a call at (817) 560-3086.
Why an ERP is Absolutely Necessary for Your Business
An ERP, or Emergency Ready Plan, is a method of planning for emergencies before they even occur. Why should your business have an ERP? Your emergency strategy will be carefully devised to guide you and your employees when taking the decisive action necessary during a disaster of any size. The SERVPRO Ready Plan information will give you the security of emergency preparedness, and your plan information can be downloaded into our Ready Plan app to instantly share with SERVPRO so that the damage can be intercepted right away.
Here are some things to consider while putting your ERP into place:
- Talk with your employees to formulate as many disaster scenarios as they can come up with. The most recent hurricanes that have hit Texas have created numerous learning opportunities for preparedness. Studying such tragedies can help you more effectively project other possible disasters to better plan for them.
- It is necessary to create an ERP that protects anyone in the building. The Department of Homeland Security refers to this as “Protective Actions for Life Safety,” and includes:
- Fire Drills. Rehearsals for action during a fire.
- Sheltering. Sheltering staff during a natural disaster.
- Sheltering in Place. Sheltering staff during a man-made emergency.
- Lockdown. Eluding an active shooter.
- Stabilizing an incident means preventing further damage on the scene. This can be accomplished by training your employees in various rescue procedures including:
- First Aid and CPR
- Proper Use of Fire Extinguishers
- Without guidance during an evacuation, people will often panic. Consider adding an evacuation team to your ERP:
- Assign point persons to guide evacuees out of the building.
- Appoint helpers to assist persons with disabilities.
- If an exit is blocked by a hazard such as a collapsed ceiling, make sure the evacuation team is trained to redirect employees to an alternate exit.
SERVPRO of West Fort Worth is a reliable, professional provider of emergency cleaning and restoration services when you experience fire and water damage. SERVPRO can expertly help you devise an effective Emergency Readiness Plan for your business here in the Benbrook/Lake Worth area.
Getting Your North Texas Home Ready for Fall Season Storms
Getting your home ready for the colder temperatures and stormy weather conditions of fall is smart, whether you are a homeowner, a business owner, or both. Weather may be unpredictable during the fall here in North Texas, but you won’t have to worry about it if you prepare now. Here at SERVPRO of West Fort Worth, we have some preparation projects for you to consider:
- Remove dead leaves and debris from your gutters and drainpipes. This will prevent clogging during wetter weather. Drain all outdoor faucets ahead of freezing weather now, as well.
- While late summer is not the time to heavily prune trees and bushes, it is a good time to remove any branches that are dead or look like they could prove dangerous during a fall storm. If you have a tree that you think may be dead or dying, contact an arborist to come and take a look at it. If it is actually dead and near your house, you will want to have it removed before anything happens during a fall storm.
- Examine all your windows and doors for cracks. If you find any, have them sealed now so that you can stay warm and save energy this fall and winter. You’ll be saving both time and money here!
- A roof inspection ahead of colder weather will tell you if your roofing needs any attention before fall storms. Loose shingles can be replaced more easily when it’s warm and dry outside. If you have siding on your home, look it over well for any loose sections; fall storms bring wind that can create problems here.
- Make sure your entrance walkways are in good shape with no buckling or crumbling. When the surrounding ground is wet it can compromise cement, causing it to crack and split, and that’s an accident just waiting to happen.
If you need help with the job of preparing your home for the upcoming stormy season, just call the professional team here at SERVPRO of West Fort Worth. We have the experience and skills needed to take care of your property and belongings to keep them safe. We can get your home or business Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, too!
Top Three Spots to Check for Water Damage in your North Texas Home
Catching water damage before it becomes evident can save you time and money, so knowing the top spots in your home to regularly monitor for damage is crucial for any homeowner. Instead of waiting until a water stain appears on your ceiling or water pools on the floor under your sink, make it a priority to inspect these three spots for water damage on a monthly basis.
- Check under the sink.
Sinks are regularly located in your kitchen, your bathrooms, and maybe even in other rooms in your house. Since water flows from the faucets and comes up through pipes underneath the sink, it’s not uncommon for leaky sinks to occur. Always inspect the cabinetry and piping underneath your sink for any leaks or moisture.
- Don’t forget to look behind the toilet.
Your toilet is another frequently-used appliance in your home that uses a lot of water with every flush. Monitoring the space behind and around your toilet for any water damage is always a good practice.
- Take a look at your roof.
It’s easy to forget to look at your roof for water damage, but if your gutters aren’t working properly or your roof isn’t in good shape, there’s a fair chance that water may be seeping through your roof into your attic, your garage, and your ceilings. It can be hard to know what to look for, but any obvious water stains are a bad sign. Be sure to check out the roof from the exterior and the interior sides (your ceilings).
Water damage can be costly and affect the structural integrity of your home, and so it’s important to keep an eye out for water damage before it wreaks havoc. If you’re looking to buy a new home, here are a few things to look for to ensure that you don’t prematurely buy a home that’s susceptible to water damage.
If you recognize the signs of water damage on one of your regular rounds inspecting the vulnerable areas of your home, contact SERVPRO of West Fort Worth at 817-560-3086. With state-of-the-art technology and training, our disaster restoration professionals are equipped for handling the job.