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Nervous Kids During Storms? Use These Hacks | SERVPRO of Allen

5/15/2024 (Permalink)

family watching lightning storm from inside home with candles due to power outage When the storm has passed, call SERVPRO of Allen to help you recover.

Lightning is cracking overhead, the thunder is booming and the tornado sirens just started going off. Your kids are scared, your dog is barking and you don’t know what to do. Storms can be really scary, especially in the late spring and early summer for the Allen community.

While we can’t stop or control the weather, we can certainly control how we get ready for upcoming storms so you can keep your family safe and sound.

Read on as our team offers some easy ways to involve your kids in storm planning so everyone can stay safe, calm and in control during a true emergency.

Knowing What to Look For

While we can all differentiate between a sunny and a cloudy day, we may not know the warning signs of an approaching storm. It’s important to keep an eye on the sky, even if there’s no forecast of a storm. Educate your children about the signs of a dangerous storm, such as rotating clouds, dark or green sky, rumbling thunder and lightning.

Ensure they know what a tornado siren sounds like and when it could go off. Familiarize them with the siren sound during testing days so they can get used to the sound from different areas of your home. Create a practice drill with them where they listen to the siren and time how long it takes them to reach the safe shelter location.

Preparing for the Event

Have you and your family created a storm emergency plan? This includes discussing how and when to reach your safe shelter location and ensuring your emergency kit is packed and easily accessible. Select the lowest level of your home and choose an innermost room that is windowless.

Keep the area clear and designate it as a gathering spot. If possible, move a heavy object such as a table or desk to the room and have your kids practice building a fort around the space and taking shelter inside.

You should also involve your kids in creating your emergency kit! Pack up the basic necessities yourself and then let your kids help choose things like snacks and drinks for the bag.

They can also each pick out their own flashlight and label it with their name. Just be sure to add the extra batteries! Finally, have them help find some candles, matches and any necessary medications to add to the bag.

Finally, let each of your kids pick an activity or game to add to the kit. This step may seem unnecessary, but we promise that you will be grateful for the distraction if you have to shelter for a longer period of time.

Encouraging the Calm

Heaving rain, strong wind and loud thunder can be scary even for adults, so it is only natural for your kids to be apprehensive about storms. One thing that can help calm them down during a severe weather event is to explain how rare it actually is to suffer serious or devastating damage. Most storms only result in minor to moderate damage at most.

Keeping your kids distracted by having them focus on what they can control can also help everyone stay calm. Play games with your flashlights, tell stories out loud and narrate the sounds of the storm in a light-hearted way to keep everyone feeling safe and secure.

Storm damage should always be addressed quickly. Contact SERVPRO® day or night for the restoration services you need.

Tips for Controlling Water Damage and Stinky Smells | SERVPRO of Allen

5/1/2024 (Permalink)

water dripping from ceiling into a large puddle on tile floor Trust our team at SERVPRO of Allen to provide comprehensive services for a full recovery for all your water damage restoration needs.

You don’t want to think about it, but the possibility of suffering from a water disaster is always present. A broken dishwasher, an overflowing sink or a water leak during a rainstorm can cause some serious puddles and floods at a moment’s notice.

Minor drips and puddles can usually be taken care of with a towel or a mop, but larger disasters can quickly cause more problems once the water starts to leak and seep throughout your home.

Dealing with a water disaster right away is crucial if you want to prevent further issues from occurring. A quick call to SERVPRO of Allen can help you avoid rot, mold growth and stubborn musty odors.

The Characteristics of Water

We all have water flowing through our homes in various ways, and we assume that it will always stay where it needs to in our pipes and fixtures. Unfortunately, leaks can happen at any time, and once water gets where it shouldn’t, it will start to infiltrate your floors, walls and ceiling. Water can be really hard to get to when it makes its way behind finished walls or under your wooden floorboards.

To make matters worse, there isn’t proper air movement in these areas of your home, so any sort of moisture in these spaces can linger and become stagnant. It will continue to leak throughout your home until you stop the flow of water and address the problem head-on.

Over time, this lingering water will start to wear away at your home’s internal structures, causing wood to swell, metal to rust and it can even cause mold to form. In only 24–48 hours, a few mold spores can grow into an entire colony.

Tracking Down the Stink

Even if you think you cleaned up all of the water, it is important to let your nose do some investigating over the following week. Mold tends to give off a musty or earthy odor, so if you catch a whiff of something stinky in the room that suffered the water disaster, it is time to get us on the phone.

Our team has the tools and training to figure out exactly what is causing the smell, and we will work hard to access the space with minimal disruption to your home. We will remove the lingering water while also focusing on odor removal. We will secure the affected area by shutting off your HVAC system and closing your vents, and then we will filter the air to remove those stubborn odor particles.

It is our mission to make sure your home is damage-free and smelling fresh before we leave your house!

Don’t ignore signs of a water leak. Contact SERVPRO® for a full recovery.

Submitting an Insurance Claim the Right Way | SERVPRO of Allen

4/15/2024 (Permalink)

team of servpro workers unloading a branded work van and entering a business for a commercial job SERVPRO of Allen is Here to Help® with your business' disaster recovery!

If you have ever suffered through a disaster situation, you know how overwhelming they can be. The chaos, the uncertainty and the sheer danger can be more than enough for someone to handle.

In any disaster scenario, keeping your family safe should always be your top priority. However, there will be steps that you need to take after the disaster is over in order to ensure a complete recovery.

We are here to help you with those steps! Our crew is trained to help you not only overcome any disaster situation, but we can help you submit an insurance claim that is the most accurate version of events.

Responding and Documenting

Disaster situations can be impactful whether they are caused by fires, floods or serious storms. Even though it may be overwhelming to think about, starting the recovery process right away can help you avoid a worsening situation. Compounding damage like lingering moisture, mold or mildew issues can leave you with more problems than what you started with.

Of course, making sure that your loved ones and neighbors are safe first is essential. Once you have determined that everyone is OK and that emergency services are not required, we want you to get us on the phone.

While you wait for us to arrive, take as many photos of your situation as possible. These fresh images will make sure that you are documenting everything accurately. The more images you get, the more comprehensive your insurance claim can be.

The Recovery Process

Once we arrive, our team will know exactly what to do to help you make a full recovery. First, we will want to make sure your home is secure to prevent further damage while we work, which means we will board up windows, lay down tarps and secure your roof.

After that, our highly trained technicians will start working on your restoration and reconstruction projects. We will focus on your quick recovery while also making sure to document the entire process as we go for your insurance company to reference.

We will focus on compiling an itemized list of your losses and then we will add that list, along with the images of your destruction, to your insurance claim to make sure we are getting you the best claim payout possible. In addition, we will also make sure your home meets insurance inspection standards to help lower potential costs.

Our goal is always to restore rather than replace, so we will work alongside you to save as many of your possessions as possible. Don’t leave your recovery to chance! Contact us day or night for a quick restoration while also receiving reliable help with your insurance claim.

When a disaster strikes, call us to make your recovery process—insurance claims and all—simple.

Learn the Basics: Flood Damage Prevention | SERVPRO of Allen

4/1/2024 (Permalink)

rain water pooling on a hardwood floor after a storm with a man in work boots walking through it SERVPRO of Allen is ready to help in a moments notice after spring showers leak in to your home or business.

When you are looking to tackle a problem, how often do you break down the steps and bring it back to what you know? Starting at the beginning and breaking down the basics of a task can help set you up for the most success.

This is especially true when it comes to preparing for storm or flood damage! Sometimes the smallest tasks have the biggest impact, which can help your home avoid serious damage when storms with heavy rain come to town.

Our team wants to help you prevent flood damage as much as possible this season, so incorporate these tips below now so your home is ready for anything the spring season brings our way.

Understanding Flood Zones

Emergency flooding situations can be caused by Mother Nature, but that is not the only way you can wind up with a basement full of water. Leaky appliances, burst water lines, or broken dams or levees can quickly cause a serious situation to develop.

Did you know that our community is considered part of Flash Flood Alley? This narrow alleyway that runs through central Texas experiences intense rainfalls and lacks efficient drainage, which can lead to serious flooding situations really unexpectedly. Knowing your home’s specific flood risk can help you plan ahead.

Knowing how your property reacts when it rains can help you take action faster and more efficiently. If you struggle with drainage around your home, add a rain garden or make sure your downspouts are installed with enough length to deposit the water in a more productive place.

If you have trees on your property, check your gutters regularly to catch the beginning of any clogs or blockages. Better yet, install gutter covers over your gutter system to help keep the yard debris out. Having clear gutters is a vital part of preventing water damage. In addition, you should be inspecting your roof regularly for signs of damage, especially after a strong storm comes through the area.

Additional Preparation Tips

While no one wants to experience flooding, having this experience can actually teach you a lot about your home and property so you can make the changes necessary to prevent it from happening again.

If your basement tends to get wet when it rains, you can hire a professional company to come grade your yard for you. If your yard slopes away from your home instead of backward into it, you will be utilizing gravity to help you stay dry.

If you notice moisture around one of your windows consistently when storms are in the area, you can address these leaks easily with some new caulk! You should also be checking the other windows and doors in your home for the same issues. Finally, you should be addressing any issues with your sump pump right away. The worst time to discover that your sump pump isn’t working is when you need it most.

Starting with the basics of flood damage prevention can help set your home up for a successful and dry season ahead. Remember, we are always here to help you recover if you suffer any sort of home or property damage.

Do you have water damage in your home? Contact us at SERVPRO® for fast recovery.

Staying Alert: Preparing Your Spring Weather Alert Systems | SERVPRO of Allen

3/15/2024 (Permalink)

heavy rain pouring down on an outdoor metal roof in a storm Let SERVPRO of Allen help you get from April showers to May flowers.

We can all appreciate the arrival of the spring season! Warmer days, stronger sunlight and blooming flowers can turn around any mood that is stuck in the winter blues.

One part of the spring season that we all need to be aware of and prepared for is the arrival of spring storms. Storms can be mild or severe at this time of year, and tornadoes become more common the farther into the season we get.

This is why having your weather alerts ready to use is so important! Our team explains some easy ways to stay connected and informed as we make our way into the spring season with confidence.

Phones and the News

How close is your phone to you right now? Is it next to your computer or is it in your hand? We are surrounded by technology all of the time, so it should be no surprise that the majority of us get our weather information from our phones.

The Wireless Emergency Alert system is a nationwide program that can send out weather alerts automatically if the weather turns severe, so be sure that your notifications for the program are turned on. In addition, having a reliable weather app can help you stay on top of the weather as it changes throughout the week.

Just be sure the weather apps that you are choosing are coming from a reputable source. Certain apps and organizations are prone to over exaggerating forecasts for engagement, so stick with nationally recognized organizations or local sources to be on the safe side. You can also sign up for emergency notifications through the city for hyperlocal information.

Using the news is also a great way to stay informed in real-time! If a weather watch is issued, tune into one of our local news stations to watch the storm progress. This live radar can help encourage you to make quick decisions about travel plans or sheltering.

Staying Connected When the Power Goes Out

Life can get a lot more complicated if the power goes out. The time clock for our phones, computers and tablets starts ticking, and your TV will immediately become useless. This is why every household should have at least one other way of staying informed that doesn’t require power to work.

If you aren’t sure if you are able to hear the community weather sirens from your home, make it a point to listen carefully during the next siren test to see if you can hear it clearly from every room.

In addition, you should have easy access to an NOAA weather radio at all times. These radios can be a great backup because they are often hand-powered or solar-powered, which means you can stay connected no matter how long we are without power. Just be sure to carry it with you wherever you go so you can stay informed as you move throughout your house or around your property.

Take the time to get prepared and to update your alert systems so you are ready for when the first major spring storm comes to town. If your home suffers damage, remember that we are here 247 and we will be there to help you recover no matter what!

Serious storms can cause serious property damage. Call SERVPRO® 247 for immediate restoration assistance.

What’s That Smell? Dealing With Sewage Leaks, Safely | SERVPRO of Allen

3/1/2024 (Permalink)

Hydrophobic and dry soil barely absorb water and standing sewage. Let SERVPRO of Allen help you recover from sewage leaks around your property.

If you had to rank the most unpleasant home disasters or situations, we would bet experiencing a sewage leak would be at the top of your list. While they might not cause the most physical destruction, they are simply one of the grossest things you could encounter in your home or business!

Unfortunately, sewage leaks happen all the time and anyone can experience one without much warning. Tackling them quickly can help you avoid lingering issues, so we explain some easy steps to follow if this unfortunate situation befalls you.

Addressing the Situation

When your sewer lines back up, it usually is because wastewater is being forced backwards due to a clog or blockage in the pipe somewhere. These lines can backup into your sinks, toilets or even into your tub. A sewage leak can happen if a pipe or water line leaks or bursts, leaving the toxic water to spill out onto your floor or behind your walls (yuck).

No matter how the sewage ended up where it shouldn’t, you should be prioritizing your safety no matter what. There are three different types of water: white water, gray water and black water. Sewage falls into the black water category because it can contain toxic or hazardous substances like dangerous bacteria or microbes.

Steer clear of the water and avoid walking through it however you can, and find the water shutoff valve that controls the specific pipe to shut it off. Once the water has stopped flowing, you can start opening up windows and turning on fans to let the fumes and stink escape. After giving us a call, block off the area to keep family or customers out of the affected space.

Where SERVPRO®’s Cleaning Team Comes In

In addition to our highly rated restoration services, we also have a top-notch cleaning team that can safely handle any biohazard situation. Our team will be able to assess the situation quickly and gather the right tools and safety gear that we need before heading out your way.

While you are waiting for us to arrive, take some pictures of the situation. While these pictures will most likely not end up in any scrapbook, they are really important for your insurance company! They will want fresh images of the situation, so the earlier you can snap them, the better.

Once we arrive, we will work on identifying the source of the leak and our cleaning team will start removing the sewage and standing water. Since sewage is a biohazard, our crew will be decked out in the latest and safest protective gear and we will make sure we are following all of the necessary safety protocol so the situation stays under control.

We will deep-clean your space and sanitize the entire area once the sewage has been removed and we will also employ our deodorizers at this point to remove any lingering stinky smells. If the standing water caused residual structural damage, our restoration team will tackle these repairs as well.

Leave the mess to us! Our team will take care of your sewage leak with confidence.

Sewage leaks should always be cleaned up by professionals. Call SERVPRO and we will take care of you.

Steps for a Full Recovery After Disaster at Work | SERVPRO of Allen

2/15/2024 (Permalink)

business man in office talking to female SERVPRO rep SERVPRO of Allen is here for your business every step of the way, from ERPs to disaster recovery.

When disaster strikes at your business, it can be really impactful. Not only does the situation affect your team, but it also affects the entire community and your customer base.

That’s why having a reliable restoration company to help you recover is essential. SERVPRO of Allen is proud to offer our restoration services to all of the amazing businesses in the Allen community.

Preparing Before the Disaster

The best way to avoid serious damage during a disaster is to be ready for anything. Creating a recovery plan now will help ensure your staff know where to go and what to do during a fire, flood or storm emergency.

Start with creating a reliable communication strategy so everyone can stay informed throughout the entire event. Develop a chain of command, and ensure everyone knows who is in charge of what.

Take a tour of your building and show everyone where your water shut-off valves are located, along with emergency items like fire extinguishers and exits. Even if you have a custodial staff that would normally be in charge of your building, it is important that everyone has this basic knowledge just in case.

You should also take the time to make sure your employees know where to go in the aftermath. If you have the ability to go remote, set everyone up with what they need. If you have to be together in person, have a backup location that you can use while the repairs are taking place.

Recovering Confidently With SERVPRO®

If you have a plan in place, you can rest assured that we will take over from there and get started on your restoration. Just give us a call, and we will get right to work.

While we work on rebuilding your physical location, make sure to keep your customers informed along the way. They care about you as well and deserve to know when you will be back open for business.

In certain situations, you might even be able to work in your space while we are working alongside you! We will work around whatever we can to help minimize your disruption while we restore and rebuild your damaged building.

Take the time now to create a recovery plan and always be ready to use it at a moment’s notice. If disaster does strike your business, call SERVPRO of Allen for a quicker and more accurate recovery.

Has your business experienced a disaster, or do you want help building an emergency plan? Contact us to find everything you need.

The Solution to All Home Damage Scenarios | SERVPRO of Allen

2/1/2024 (Permalink)

heavy rain pounding down on a blacktop surface SERVPRO of Allen is Here to Help® when any disaster strikes!

When it rains, it pours, especially when it comes to home damage situations. Oftentimes we are surprised by home disasters, especially when Mother Nature is involved, and that can mean more damage than we expected.

Serious storms can cause damage all across our community, or a single appliance failure at your home can lead to widespread damage on multiple levels of your house.

Recovery is always top of mind in these situations, which is why SERVPRO of Allen should be your first phone call when disaster strikes! We can handle your entire recovery with precision and confidence.

The Impact of Home Disasters

Disaster situations can take a serious toll on your home as well as the community as a whole. Even if you are expecting an incoming storm or know that a water leak is happening, it can still be overwhelming to deal with in the moment.

Heavy rain can cause serious flooding concerns and that can eventually lead to structural issues and mold growth. House fires can cause destruction all over the place and soot, smoke and debris can be left behind in their wake.

No matter the situation you are dealing with, a quick recovery is always recommended to avoid compounding damages from setting in. The longer damage sits around, the worse your situation can become.

That’s why a quick call to us is the best way to avoid further issues! We will work hard on your recovery so you can get back to normal faster.

A Single Team for Everything

One huge benefit about working with a local restoration company is that we can be at your home faster. We are available 247 and will get started on your recovery plan as soon as you call us.

Our highly certified experts are highly trained in handling your disaster no matter how large or widespread it became. We will pack up the right tools and the right technicians for the job to ensure we can help you completely.

When your roof is damaged in a storm, we will prioritize your project by securing tarps over the exposed parts and we will also work on saving your possessions from further damage. If your home suffers from a flood, drying out your space and tackling repairs becomes the top priority.

We can even tear down and rebuild sections of your home if the damage is too great to take on. We are a full-service restoration company, which means that you won’t have to work with multiple different people and contractors during your restoration. We will handle everything and anything you need to make a full recovery.

Our highly trained staff, industry-leading equipment and 247 availability makes our team the choice for you when disaster strikes. Give us a call and enjoy sunnier days on the horizon!

Have you experienced a disaster and need restorations? Make one call to our office to start recovery fast.

Staying Fire-Safe During the Chilly Winter Season | SERVPRO of Allen

1/16/2024 (Permalink)

brick chimney with lit fire logs Fire safety is a top priority for us at SERVPRO of Allen this winter. Keep your home safe with these helpful tips!

The winter season in the Allen community offers a brief reprieve from the scorching heat of the rest of the year, and it can be really refreshing at times! Chilly nights can be much more cozy with a warm blanket or a softly flickering fire.

However, any time you use a heat source like a fireplace or a space heater to stay warm, your risk of suffering a house fire goes up. SERVPRO of Allen is here to make sure you are staying warm while also staying safe. Read on to learn some fire safety tips for this winter season.

Preparing the Fireplace

We can all appreciate the warmth and ambiance that a fire can bring, but they can be downright dangerous if your fireplace is not cleaned or prepared properly. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it is crucial that you clean out ash buildup from previous fires before lighting your own, and give your chimney walls a good scrub every year to remove creosote buildup.

Keep flammable materials off of the mantle and away from the hearth, and check on your smoke detector batteries to make sure they are fresh. If you have an electric or gas fireplace, check the lines before you turn it on. A single loose gas line or fraying electrical cord can be a serious fire hazard.

Space Heaters

Space heaters are an easy way to warm up quickly, but they are also dangerous in their own right. Did you know that space heater accidents account for around 1,700 house fires every year?

Set yourself up for success by setting up your space heater carefully. Choose a hard and level surface for the heater, and make sure the cord is laying flat on the ground to avoid creating a tripping hazard.

You should also create a three-foot barrier around your space heater to keep out curious kids and reckless pets. Be sure it is also far away from the wall or anything that could get pushed up against it, like curtains or couch cushions. Get in the habit of turning off your heater whenever you leave the room, especially if you are going to bed.

Safety Features to Consider

It is important to do your research if you are in the market for a new space heater as not all of them are created equally. Just because there are ones that are cheaper or claim to be quick-heating, it doesn’t mean they are safe choices for your house.

Make sure the company you choose has passed the necessary safety certifications and they have reliable reviews on their website and on general search engines. Many heaters nowadays have emergency shutoff switches that will turn off the heater on its own after a certain period of use, which can add another layer of protection from accidental fires.

Finally, check the cord that is connected to the heater. It should be made well and be securely connected to the back of the heater. Choose the heater with the longer cord, ideally six feet or more, so you can set it up in a safe location.

We hope you have a safe and toasty warm winter season! Call SERVPRO of Allen if you suffer from any sort of fire damage so we can handle your recovery from start to finish.

A quick fire damage restoration is just a phone call away. Call SERVPRO® for immediate assistance.

Checking for Water Leaks With Confidence | SERVPRO of Allen

1/2/2024 (Permalink)

close up of condensation on window pane and ledge Water damage can happen anywhere in your home. Call SERVPRO of Allen to restore water damage on your property 24/7, 365.

How many times a week do you run your dishwasher? How often do you run a warm bath for your kids? We use water every day in our households, and we are incredibly grateful for the easy access to water whenever we need it.

Unfortunately, since water is easily accessible and is constantly flowing in and out of our homes, that means that water leaks are also a common occurrence. Knowing where to start looking for leaks is crucial toward catching an issue at the start and preventing serious damage.

Under Cupboards and Sinks

Water flows down drains every day in your house, and that water has to go somewhere! Water lines coming out of your sinks and dishwashers can easily malfunction and cause leaks, and oftentimes these leaks go unnoticed if they start inside a cupboard or kitchen cabinet.

Once the water has started to leak, it can soak into your cupboards, get behind your walls and leak under your floors. Try to get in the habit of checking your water lines often, and run your hands along the pipes to check for residual moisture. If you do discover water, tighten up loose connections or recaulk old seals after cleaning up the mess.

Beneath Certain Appliances

Not all of the appliances in our homes rely on water to function, but the ones that do are used often, if not every day. Water heaters, washing machines and dishwashers all play vital roles in our days, which means they can also malfunction and cause leaks without much warning.

If a leak does start, it will most likely be coming from under or behind the machine, making it harder to notice right away. Pull your machines away from the wall whenever you are deep-cleaning a space to check for water spots, mold growth or new puddles.

Behind the Walls

If a leak starts out in the open, that water will eventually get to a place where it can be hard to dry out in your home. Behind walls and under floors are often tricky places to access without the proper tools or equipment. Once it starts to leak, it can cause some serious structural damage and spark mold infestations.

If you start to smell what could be mold or mildew or a spot on your wall is suspiciously becoming darker than the rest of the area, it’s time to do some investigating.

Around Exterior Windows

As temperatures rise and fall throughout the season, it can be common to have condensation appear on your windows. If it lingers too long or there is too much of it, it can drip down onto your windowsills and warp the wood and surrounding area.

Moisture can also get into your home via any tiny gaps or cracks around your windows and doors. Even the smallest air leak can quickly lead to moisture troubles, so check your exterior walls and doors often for signs of wear and tear.

SERVPRO of Allen is here for you if you do discover water damage! Our team will get right to work drying out your home and addressing repairs. Call us day or night for quick assistance.

Don’t ignore signs of water damage! Call SERVPRO® for a quick restoration.