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Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning Air Ducts and HVAC Cleaning

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your home or business.

If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Odors
  • Dirt and debris
  • Other contaminants

SERVPRO of Harlingen / San Benito Professionals routinely inspect the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC).  Keeping them clean can extend the life of the equipment. This can in turn save you money and give you cleaner air to breathe.

However, duct cleaning is not always necessary. We will make recommendations about the best way to address any indoor air quality concerns. This can save you money and provide peace of mind on the health of your system.

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning, call us today, (956) 277-0645.

24/7/365

12/15/2020 (Permalink)

Image of Christmas tree in room 24/7/365

As the weather outside gets frightful and your cozy homes become warm and delightful, the holiday season's aglow, let it snow, let it snow let it snow. According to climate.gov, on February 12, 2010, there was snow present in all 50 states, including Hawaii! Five years later in 2015, its almost happened again, when every state but Florida experienced snow. While it is generally unlikely for certain states to encounter snow, it is still important to know how to be prepared if winter weather strikes at your home, business or while traveling. SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito is dedicated to helping you keep the holidays merry and bright, and keeping your property safe. But what happens if disaster does strike during the most wonderful time of the year? Easy, Call SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito even if it is the night before Christmas. SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year, ready when you need help the most.

Christmas Fire Safety

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Christmas Fire Safety - image of Christmas lights Christmas Fire Safety

The Christmas holiday season is a time of year that we should be spending with family and spreading joy to all of our loved ones.  During this time of year it may be easy to overlook some of the fire hazards that come along with the decorations of the season.

The  NFPA. estimates an average of 230 American homes are damaged each year by fires caused by ignited Christmas trees.  Another 150 home structure fires are caused by line voltage decorative lights.  Together these fires cause an average of 15 deaths, 38 injuries and $26.7 million dollars in property damage each year!  These sobering figures cannot be ignored and safety precautions need to be taken to help ensure you and your loved ones have a safe and enjoyable holiday season without the fire alarm going off.

Here are some great tips we would like to pass your way to help you keep your holiday fire free.

  1. When choosing a tree be sure to pick one that is a fresh as possible. Look to see your tree has green, semi-pliable needles.  Dry needles have a much higher possibility of catching fire.  Cutting down the tree yourself is the best way to ensure its freshness.
  2. If you have an artificial tree be sure it is labeled Fire Retardant by the manufacturer.  While having a real tree might bring a sense of holiday authenticity, the simple fact of the matter is that artificial trees are much less likely to catch fire.
  3. Before putting your real tree in a stand be sure to cut off at least 2 to 3 inches of the base to expose some fresh wood.  This will allow the tree to stay moist and prevent drying gout.  Be sure to check the water level of the tree every day.  A real Christmas tree will be very thirsty in the dry winter months.
  4. Choose where you place your tree wisely.  Never place your tree near any heat source like a fireplace, radiator, heating vents, hot water heater, hot lights or candles.  And of course never place your tree in front of any exit.  In case of a fire you want to make sure you have a clear path to get out of the house.  Another suggestion is to place your tree somewhere that the tree cannot be knocked over by the family pet or playing children into a heat source.
  5. When choosing lights for your tree and extension cords be sure that they are rated properly by an independent testing laboratory and are UL-listed.  Some lights are intended for indoor or outdoor use only.  Today’s LED lights are a great choice as they do not create any heat. We hope it should go without saying, but never use real candles to light up your tree.  This is an old tradition before electric lights were invented and we highly suggest you do not attempt this.
  6. Once you have your new lights selected or have pulled out the lights from storage, be sure to check them well for any loose bulbs or damaged wires. If you can replace the bulbs be sure to unplug them before doing so to avoid any shock.  If the wires or plugs are defective, replace the entire string.  Don’t risk a fire due to an electrical issue as this is the number one reason trees ignite.
  7. When you are ready to plug in your lights, be sure not to overload any one circuit.  Plug a maximum of 3 light strings together.  If you are using LED lights, consult the manufacturer’s suggestion on how many strings you can safely plug into each other to create one chain.  It is highly suggested that you plug all lights into a surge outlet protector instead of directly into a wall outlet.  Lastly, always remember to shut off the lights before going to bed or leaving the house.
  8. If you will be decorating the outside of your home than be sure to choose lights that are intended for outdoor use.  Using indoor lights that are not designed to be used for outside weather can result in them shorting out or even worse.  Don’t run the risk of electrical shock or a fire hazard by using indoor lights outside.  If you are unsure if your lights are safe for outdoor use than look for the color-coded UL logo on the packaging.  A green logo is only safe for indoor use while the red logo can be used inside or outdoors safely.  The same safety precautions need to be taken with any extension cords that are being used.
  9. Once the festivities are over and the holiday has come and gone you are better off taking the tree down as soon as possible.  Real trees do not last that long and the needles will quickly begin to dry out making them a fire hazard.  The majority of fires involving Christmas trees happen after the holiday and not before.  It is also suggested that you remove outdoor lighting immediately after the holiday to reduce any risk of fire and to help preserve the life of your outdoor lights.

Christmas Tree Safety Checklist

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Christmas Tree Safety Checklist Christmas Tree Safety Checklist

My Christmas Fire Safety Checklist

1. Fire Safety for Artificial Trees?

This appears to be the safest choice, as long as it’s UL-listed. Artificial trees can still catch fire, especially if candles are involved, so look for one that is “flame resistant” or “flame retardant.”

2. Fire Safety for a Fresh Tree?

The fresher, the safer. It’s got more natural moisture that way. So check out the needles… if they snap or fall off easily, the tree is too dry. When you get it home, cut 2 inches off the bottom of the trunk and place it in the tree stand with plenty of water. It’ll need about a gallon of water every couple of days, but it will probably need extra water in the first day or two. Studies show that a dry tree is likely to catch fire unintentionally, but one that is kept watered is very unlikely to do so.

3. Where You Place Your Tree Matters

For optimal fire safety, place your tree strategically away from heat sources like candles, space heaters, vents, radiators and fire places — and don’t block stairways or exits! (PSST – And don’t forget about candle safety! Candles are apparently a major culprit around the holidays.)

4. What about Christmas Tree Lights?

Again, UL-listed is the way to go. That’s the independent testing organization that makes sure lights are safe. Look for the label!

Be sure to pay attention to whether your lights are for indoor or outdoor use. (It matters.)

LED lights rock. They don’t get as hot, and the plastic casing is less likely to break than a glass bulb. They last longer and are more energy efficient, too!

5. Check Your Decor for Damage.

Electrical problems cause about 1/3 of Christmas tree fires. So check last year’s decor for damage — a squirrel in the attic eating through the wire, for example. Outdoor lights might wear out more quickly from season to season, so check for damage there, too…. loose bulb sockets, damaged wires or plugs. Those are a no-no.

6. Don’t Overload Your Sockets!

Many manufacturers will tell you how many lights you can string together, but a good rule of thumb is a maximum of 3 strands. So don’t overload a socket or extension cord, even if you use a surge protector.

7. Turn Your Lights Off When Unattended.

That means before leaving the house or going to bed. You don’t want lights left on to cause a problem when you’re not around to act fast. And if you use a remote switch or foot switch, they can be less of a hassle to turn off. Bonus!

8. Dispose of Your Live Tree Soon!

Now hear this: After Christmas is over, have a good cry and then recycle your live tree soon. This was the most surprising thing I found: A 2013 report from the National Fire Protection Association shows that HALF of Christmas tree fires occur in the 20 days AFTER Christmas. Even a well-watered tree should be taken down after 4 weeks, according to the NFPA. So if you put your life tree up right after Thanksgiving, take it down right after Christmas… not on New Year’s Day.

It also goes worth saying that about 20% of these after-Christmas fires were set intentionally, as a method of disposing the tree… but then the fire spread to the house. So dispose of the tree properly — recycle it! — when its needles are falling off. Don’t go into post-Christmas denial!

While we’re on the topic of un-decorating (Is that a word? It is now.), removing your outdoor lights sooner will help them last longer and stay usable next season! Hit the after-Christmas sales to replace your worn-out decorations for a fraction of the price. And who doesn’t love a good deal?

Document Drying & Restoration

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Document Drying & Restoration Document Drying & Restoration

Vacuum freeze drying is the most efficient and effective way to salvage water damaged documents. The document restoration team uses sublimation turning a solid directly into vapor, skipping the liquid stage to avoid causing more damage to the documents.
The state of the art technology used by SERVPRO technicians is the only method approved by National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and General Services Administration (GSA).
Other methods such as dehumidification can alter the structure of the paper's fibers causing them to become more brittle. All employees of the Document Restoration Team are HIPAA Master Certified. Once your items arrived at the SERVPRO facility, 24/7 video surveillance is guaranteed.
SERVPRO's goal is to make the process as simple as possible for our customers.

Faster to any damage

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Faster to any damage - image of different technicians Faster to any damage

Historically files that are closed faster usually result in lower cost. The longer the file remains open, the more opportunity for problems and expenses to rise. The faster a mitigation or remediation project is completed, the faster you can regain control of your life.
Moisture control is the key to mold control. When water leaks or spills occur indoors, act promptly. A prompt response within 24/48 hours and a thorough clean-up, drying, and/or removal of water damaged materials will prevent or limit growth.
When you call SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito a trained uniformed professional will arrive at your property with the equipment necessary to help protect the structure and contents. We will provided a detailed estimate that clearly lists all services to be performed. There are no unwelcome surprises with SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito. Your concerns will be addressed quickly and professionally to help them begin the process of regaining control of your life.

Safety First Before the Feast

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

Happy Thanksgiving Safety First

Each November, families gather to celebrate Thanksgiving by preparing a delicious feast, but if you don't practice safe cooking habits, your happy holiday could quickly become hazardous in a blink of an eye. According to NEPA cooking in the main cause of home fires and injuries with the Thanksgiving holidays being the peak day for cooking related fire. Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday. 

  • Never leave cooking food unattended 
  • Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while kitchen equipment is in use.
  • Keep small children away from cooking area. Enforce a kid free zone.
  • Keep anything flammable away from the stove, oven, or other appliances in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Do not wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep  in the kitchen year round.
  • Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside of bedrooms. 

SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season. 

Choosing the Appropriate Fire Extinguisher

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher Choosing the Appropriate Fire Extinguisher
  • Class A: This is the most common extinguisher and can be used to put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.
  • Class B: Use on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, and oil. 
  • Class C: Designed for fires involving appliances, tools, or other equipment electronically energized or plugged in.
  • Class D: For use on flammable metals; often specific for type of metal in question. These are typically found in factories.
  • Class K: Intended for use on fires that involve vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. Generally found in commercial kitchens.  

For more info feel free to call us SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito at 956-277-0645

Fire Precautions During this Holiday Season

11/10/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Precautions During this Holiday Season - image of smoke-damaged kitchen Fire Precautions During this Holiday Season

Did you know cooking equipment is the leading cause of residential fires? As the holiday season begins and you find yourself in the kitchen more often while hosting friends and family, fire precautions should be top of mind.

A property owner experiences a flood of emotions when a fire ravages their business or home. Fear, uncertainty, stress, and doubt about the future of the property and their livelihood can be overwhelming to the property owner long after the flames have been extinguished and the smoke has clear. After the first wave of heroes have rescued the property, let SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito help you restore it to its preloss condition. Combining rapid response, the utmost professionalism, and open communication throughout the entire job process, we strive to restore not only the home or business structure, but the customer's peace of mind as well.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following eye-opening statistics on structure fires: more then one quarter of reported fires occurred in homes within the last year. Even worse 79% of fire related deaths were caused by home fires. On average, U.S. fire department respond to an estimated average of 354,400 home structure fires per year resulting in $6.9 billion in direct property damage. Most home fires and fire casualties result from five causes: cooking, heating, electrical distribution and lighting equipment, intentional fire setting, and smoking materials.

If the unthinkable happens and a fire strikes your home or business, give the expert at SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito a call at 956-277-0645. We will help make it "Like it never even happened."

Breast Cancer Awareness

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

Breast Cancer Awareness SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito Wear pink is support of Breast Cancer Awareness


Our team at SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito works to help education and Spread breast cancer awareness.
Breast Cancer Awareness Facts:
Breast cancer is one of the most common and well known cancers diagnosed in the United States.
Occurs in BOTH men and women, but is more common in women.
In 2020, is it estimated that 276,480 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
Most breast cancers are found in women older than 50, but 10% are found in women younger than 45.
With increased awareness and research, there are many advances in how to treat breast cancer.
Early detection is key because there are more treatment options available, increased survival, and improved quality of life
Our team encourages you to ask questions and learn about breast cancer!