Recent Posts

Mitigation vs Restoration vs Remediation - What's the Difference?

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Ceiling Drywall Patch Getting Ready to Paint Water Damage Caused a Small Area of a Ceiling to Collapse with the Need for a Drywall Patch, Texture and Paint

When there is a water damage issue at a residential or commercial property, you will often hear the terms “Mitigation, Restoration or Remediation” being used.  While they seem like they may be similar that actually mean very different things:

Mitigation – reducing the severity, seriousness or painfulness of something

Restoration – returning something to a former condition

Remediation – the act of remedying or correcting something, usually cleaning up, reversing or stopping environmental damage

What using the term “Mitigation” in a water damage situation, it is referring to extracting water and drying out the structure or contents so no further damage can occur.  Water is very invasive and can get into just about any area of a home and cause damage.  This can not only be in the form of direct water but also secondary damage from high humidity.  The sooner water can be removed and humidity brought down to normal levels, the better chance of salvaging more contents and structure.

When the term “Restoration” is used, it is referring to restoring the property or contents to it’s pre-water damage state.  This can mean new paint, new floor, replacing baseboards, etc.  Making it look like the water damage never even happened.

When the term “Remediation” is used in a water damage circumstance, it is normally referring to killing and/or removing mold that may have formed.  Mold can cause a variety of issues for a homeowner.  It is important to get it taken care of so the structure can be safely reoccupied.

It you have a water damage and need mitigation, restoration or remediation assistance, please give us a call at SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas 214-463-5880.

What is PH and the Effects on Your Contents and Cleaning?

7/10/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Employee Cleaning Building Ceiling After a Fire Cleaning a Building Ceiling After a Fire Using a Neutral Rinse Solution for the Second Step

pH stands for Potential of Hydrogen. Solutions are measured on a scale from 0-14 where 7 is neutral, above 7 is alkaline and below 7 is acidic.  To give you an idea, blood is pretty neutral around 7.4. Milk is also fairly neutral holding a pH in the mid 6’s which is why it is something we often drink after consuming something very spicy.  Rainwater is slightly acidic at 5.6 with pure water being perfectly neutral (assuming a temperature of ~77F).  Yes, temperature can play a role in the pH of a solution.  As the temperature rises, the solution will slide further down the scale and become more acidic. 

Very low acidic solutions can corrode or even dissolve metals which is why it is important to be aware of what cleaning solutions are being used in your home or business.  Most cleaning solutions are on the alkaline side.  Another term for something that is alkaline is a base.  Knowing the pH is important for many industries including agriculture, medicine, water treatment, and of course general cleaning.

At SERVPRO of Southwest we do a lot of cleaning, whether it is keeping a jobsite clean on a daily basis or cleaning contents or structure after a fire or ducts or carpets.  It is almost always a good idea to use a neutral cleaner or bring the pH back to neutral after cleaning.  Neutral cleaners are safer for the environment, create less skin irritation, and have lower risk of toxic fumes.  In addition to being safer, they are less likely to create damage to surfaces especially when it comes to natural or untreated surfaces like stone, tile or wood. 

If you need assistance with cleaning, don’t hesitate to give us a call at SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas 214-463-5880.

Have a Happy & Safe Fourth of July

7/2/2022 (Permalink)

Lots of Fireworks in the Night Sky Fireworks are fun but are more fun when caution is taken

From our team at SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas to your friends and family, we want to wish you a happy Fourth of July…more importantly a safe Fourth.  It is a time for cookouts, drinking, fireworks and kids playing.  The combination of these things can lead to undesirable outcomes if caution is not taken.  Below are some tips to keep in mind:

-Check on local laws to see if it is legal in your area to light fireworks.

-It is summer, find an area that is not overly dry and conducive to catching fire.

-Keep a buck of water around.

-Ideally, only adults light fireworks. We know this is not always the case so if children are involved make sure they are highly supervised and understand the dangers of the fireworks.

-Designate an adult to supervise that remains sober.

-Don’t point fireworks in the direction of others.

-Don’t keep them in your pocket or try to light them while contained on your person.

-If a firework does not light, do not try to reignite it.

-After all fireworks have been set off, let duds dwell for 10 minutes before pouring water on them.

We hope nothing happens and everyone safely enjoys the holiday.  If something does happen, we are there to help in any way we can.

Annual Convention in Dallas Texas - July 2022

7/2/2022 (Permalink)

Green SERVPRO Van Parked In Front of Hilton Anatole SERVPRO van parked in front of Dallas Hilton Anatole for the Annual Convention

Each year SERVPRO has an annual convention in which members of every individual owned franchise descend upon a city in an impressive representation of how large and mighty SERVPRO as a team is.  

SERVPRO recently surpassed 2,000 individual franchise licenses! This is especially amazing given that licenses are apportioned by population.  The brand and size of SERVPRO is growing.  

For many of the individual franchises this will be their second trip to the Dallas area in the last year and a half.  A SERVPRO record number made the trip to help untold numbers of residential and commercial customers that were in need due to the hard freeze that took place in February and March of 2021.  These thousands of SERVPRO team members spent weeks away from family and friends to jump in and help.  

The annual convention will be a time for catching up, sharing best practices, stories and reviewing new equipment that can make the services we provide even better.  Once again, it will be hard to miss the green and orange vehicles that will be shining bright at the Hilton Anatole and around town.  And after the week is over, the teams will return home..and it will be "like it never even happened.”

Why Local & At the Curb Shutoffs are Important

5/3/2022 (Permalink)

A Dripping Pipe Under the Sink with a Shutoff Valve A dripping pipe under a sink, know where your shutoff valve is located!

At SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas, we have happened upon some very interesting scenes when we arrive onsite at a water damage issue.  But even before being onsite, we get very panicked calls about water pouring from kitchen sink pipes, washing machines, toilets or a host of other items throughout the house.  Our first question is usually has the water been stopped.  If not, the water has to be stopped before water mitigation and restoration process can begin.  Stopping the issue can either mean a plumber has already been called and is fixing the issue or the water needs to be shut off locally or at the curb. If the plumber in already involved, he or she has most likely has already taken the step of turning off the water in the home in order to fix the problem.

Turning off the water locally refers to locating what is usually a knob or lever at the area of the issue for example under a sink or a hot water heater and rotating clockwise until water is no longer flowing.  There still may be dripping going on.  Sometimes it is not possible to turn off the water locally as the pipe is broken beyond where the valve is located or there is an issue with the valve itself.  It is usually advisable to turn off water locally when possible as it will still allow use of water throughout all areas of the house except for the area of concern.

The next solution is to turn off the water at the curb.  There are many underground pipes that are hidden from everyday view.  Water flows from a central pipe usually under the street area by the curb through a shutoff point and continues to each home.  The shutoff point is also known as the water box.  This is where home owners and tenants have access to shut off the water to the entire house.  

These days, most of the water shut off boxes are made of plastic and are fairly easily accessible.  The other main water box that you see still are circular, cast iron boxes. These will often need a special key to remove the lid.  Once inside the water box, a water key is needed to turn the water off.  These can be a variety of types and can be found on Amazon.   

It is a good idea to make sure you know where your water box is located.  And the next step would be to make sure you have the appropriate water key on hand.  Additionally, make sure that the water box is cleared of any debris or tree roots.  It is a good idea to check once a year to make sure no new sediment has filled up your water box so you have no obstacles should an emergency arise.  

Should water damage affect your home, please reach out to us, we are more than happy to help mitigate and restore your property.

Fun & Practical Easter Tips

4/14/2022 (Permalink)

It is already mid-April which means Easter, a holiday celebrated by a large portion of the US population.  Below are some fun and practical tips for your holiday weekend:

-Always count your eggs before you hide them.  There are countless stories of people forgetting about eggs only to have a terrible odor permeate your home many weeks or months later.  Or having a pet eat a spoiled egg and causing short term problems!!

-Candy inside eggs is typically the go to but other ideas include clues to make it a scavenger hunt, learning items, raffle tickets, action/exercise notes (ie "do 5 pushups"), positive affirmation notes (ie "you are a fantastic helper"), seeds to plant, 1 puzzle piece in each egg to eventually create a completed puzzle.

-Often big kids will snag a good chuck of the eggs before a littler kids has been able to grab one or two.  If possible, make it a team event and make teams of little and big kids.

-Aside from egg hunts, here are some other fun ideas: make your Easter basket, plant Easter flowers, Easter piñatas, Easter trivia, egg & spoon walk relay, pin the tail on the bunny.

-If you want to make a trip to see the Easter bunny but don't have time, there are no video services that allow kids to video chat with the Easter bunny.

We hope some of these ideas enhance your Easter experience.  Have a safe and fun Easter!!

Biohazard Cleanup - Necessary but Not Much Discussed

3/11/2022 (Permalink)

Blood in a stairwell from a crime scene Blood from a crime scene in a downtown Dallas building stairwell

Biohazard clean-up most commonly refers to the clean-up of an area that involves blood, other bodily fluids or other potentially infectious materials.  Often this is a crime scene where someone is now deceased. 

Removing the body is just the first step in the process.  This is typically done by the EMS team or a coroner. The next steps involve cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting the scene.  This is where a professional biohazard clean-up company is usually called upon.  The professional clean-up crew will don personal protective equipment (PPE) such as full facemasks, heavy duty gloves and tyvek suits, and additionally have the right equipment and chemicals for the job. 

Non-salvageable or non-cleanable items such as drywall, bedding, etc will have to be removed, and disposed of appropriately. The remaining structure and items will then need to be sanitized and disinfected.

One of the last major steps in the process is deodorization.  Depending on duration and what happened, odor can be a big issue.  There are a variety of methods to help with odor including air scrubbers with carbon filters that adsorb smells, thermal fogging, and running ozone generators to name a few.  If you or someone that you know is in this situation please give SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas a call to come help get you through this stressful, challenging event.

Cold Weather is Coming to North Texas, Here are Some Tips

2/1/2022 (Permalink)

Large Room with a Huge Area of Wet Carpet A Large, Carpeted Room Flooded from a Broken Sink Pipe

The cold weather is coming to North Texas.  It is always a good refresher to review key tips to help prevent pipes from freezing and breaking:

  • Open all water faucets in your home to allow a very thin trickle of water to flow through the water lines (both hot and cold). Allow the trickle of water to continue to flow throughout the night.
  • Leave all drains open, and do not leave anything in the sinks as such items may cause drains to become clogged and possibly cause flooding of your home
  • Leave all cabinet doors underneath sinks and lavatories open so the water pipes will remain ventilated with warm air.
  • When not at home, leave bathroom doors open.
  • Leave the heat turned to "Auto" and thermostat set at no less than 65 degrees, especially if you will be gone for more than 24 hours.
  • If you turn on a faucet and no water comes out, you should immediately contact a plumber. This may indicate pipes have already frozen in your home. Be sure to turn the faucet back off until the plumber arrives.
  • Check your curbside water box and make sure the turn off is not buried or clogged up with tree roots or weeds.
  • Make sure you and your kids know how to turn off the water locally in every room and at the curb.
  • Pay attention to noisy pipes and moisture on walls or floors and rust stained water.

We hope these tips help prevent any damage but if something does happen don't hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas, we are always here to help.

Commercial Properties Needs Extra Special Attention when it Comes to Emergency Planning

12/27/2021 (Permalink)

There are over 21 million commercial establishments in the United States, occupying 4.9 million buildings. These buildings cover over 72 billion square feet or 1.6 million acres. The U.S. adds about 1.6 billion square feet per year—nearly 110,000 buildings annually, or roughly half-a-million buildings every five years. The sheer magnitude of annual growth in commercial real estate is astounding.

How are you planning on protecting your property?

Most companies attempt to treat a commercial project like a “really big house”, which is a big mistake. Calling and hiring a restoration company without the right education or credentials can cause further damage and business interruption.

With residential homes, the primary purpose is to house a family, whereas commercial structures have a variety of uses and functions. All these factors can affect the restoration process. 

Commercial facilities, if they are greatly impacted by damage, require more time for scoping, planning, and estimating. Additional square footage affected raises the requirements of the commercial project, meaning additional management staff, labor, equipment, and supplies will be needed.

SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas has a highly trained, experienced, and certified team, able to handle all your property damage needs. Our staff receives ongoing training from our corporate training facility to meet and exceed IICRC industry certifications. This ensures we provide the proper assessment and repairs. (For more information on our training and qualifications and how we can help restore your property, please contact us directly.)

When your DFW property is the victim of a disaster or damage, such as water and fire damage, fire and smoke damage, or storm damage, every minute counts to minimize the effect on your building.

Every time we enter a commercial large loss project, we focus on the differences that occur in a commercial building over a residential home. We consider how our communication, planning, and even our conversations might have to be altered to provide the highest level of customer service on a commercial restoration project when speaking with either an owner or property management team.

Your SERVPRO in Southwest Dallas cleaning and restoration team can provide support from water damage cleanup and water damage restoration to fire damage repairs and mold remediation services. As a locally owned and operated facility, we provide commercial cleaning services, residential cleaning services, biohazard cleanup, carpet cleaning, air duct cleaning, mold removal, and more.

When you have a disaster or water emergency in DFW, call us, your trusted leader for restoration services, 24 hours, 7 days a week to restore your home or business. We are centrally located, and you will receive an immediate response. Faster to any size disaster. Make it "Like it never even happened."

214-463-5880

Portable Heater Fires

12/17/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas offer these heating safety tips to DFW residents from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Never use your oven to heat your home
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters, or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel-burning space heaters
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
  • Install wood-burning stoves following the manufacturer’s instructions or have a professional do the installation. All fuel-burning equipment should be vented to the outside to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
  • Install and maintain CO alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. If you smell gas in your gas heater, do not light the appliance. Leave home immediately and call your local fire department or gas company.

Call Us!

When you have a fire damage emergency, SERVPRO of Southwest Dallas has highly trained technicians can help. We’ll clean and restore your fire damage in DFW, “Like it never even happened.” Call us today at 214-463-5880.

Franchises are Independently Owned and Operated.