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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Reduce Your Recovery Time.

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help! SERVPRO Commercial Cleaning.

When fire, water or mold damage strikes a commercial facility, it has a negative impact on everyone - the owner, the management team, employees, tenants and even customers. Even small fire or water damages must be addressed quickly in order to limit secondary damage and to lessen business interruption.

SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito Professional understands the urgency in responding to your facility following a disaster. By arriving quickly, mitigating damage to the structure and contents, and providing effective cleanup and restoration services, SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito Professionals will help you reopen the doors as soon as possible.

Is your business in need of our services? If not, you never know when disaster might strike. Be prepared and discuss your options and resources with a SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito representative. Call us At 956-277-0645

Summer fire tips

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help! Fire Tips

Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but it is also important to keep safety in mind.  Consider the following  tips, provided by the National Fire Protection Association, to keep your family safe all summer long.

When using a charcoal grill, only use starter fluids designed for barbeque grills; DO NOT use gas, diesel or any other types of flammable fluids.

When using a gas grill, ensure the hose connection is tight and check the hoses for leaks.  Applying soapy water to the hoses will easily and safely reveal any leaks.

When camping, always use a flame retardant tent and set up camp far away from the camp fire.

Always build a campfire downwind from the tent area.  Clear vegetation and dig a pit before building your fire. Always  extinguish the fire before going to sleep or leaving the campsite.

Store liquid fire starter (not gasoline) away from your tent and campfire.  Only use dry kindling to freshen a campfire.

Here at SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito  we hope you are a happy and safe summer!

Five Safety Tips To Prevent A Dryer Fire

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help! Prevent Clothing Dryer Fire.

A clothes dryer is common and convenient household appliance, but it can be dangerous if not properly maintained. Not only can the dryer break and need replacing, but it can also cause a lint fire. Follow these safety tips to help prevent any emergency situations.

1.  Have your dryer professionally installed

Having your dryer installed by a qualified professional can put you on the right path to keeping your home safe. They can make sure that everything is installed correctly and working as it should, preventing any potential safety hazards.

2. Clean the lint filter and dryer vent regularly

The most common cause of dryer fire is not keeping the unit clean. You should remove lint from the filter before and after each use . Lint can also build up in the back of the dryer, so be sure to clean that area as well. The dryer vents should be cleaned at least every three months to prevent blockages.

3. Have the Dryer serviced regularly

It is a good idea to have your dryer serviced on a regular basis. Hiring a professional to clean and inspect the appliance at least once a year can help minimize any problems and keep the unit safe to use.

4. Keep Flammable items away from the dryer

A lint fire is not the only kind of fire that can occur when using your dryer.  If a flammable liquid has been spilled on an item, you should never put it in the dryer. Be sure to keep any flammable materials away from the surrounding areas as well.

5. Make sure the dryer is off before you leave the house

If you are leaving your home or going to sleep , make sure that you turn the dryer off beforehand. If a fire were to start while the unit was unattended, it could spread and cause a lot of damage before you were aware of it.

Here at SERVPRO Harlingen & San Benito we are fire remediation specialists to help you in case of a lint fire, but keeping your dryer cleaned and properly maintained can help keep you and your unit safe.

Call us at (956)277-0645 or visit our website at https://www.SERVPROharlingensanbenito.com/

Hurricane Season 2020

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help! Hurricane Safety.

2020's hurricane season is approaching, and researchers said they think this year will be especially active. The season officially begins on June 1 and runs through Nov. 30.

Scientists at Penn State University's Earth System Science Center project the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season as the busiest in a decade. They say a combination of warm sea surface temperatures and other factors could result in the development of more named tropical cyclones than usual.

A tropical cyclone gets a name when it reaches tropical storm strength, with winds in excess of 39 mph.

The Penn State scientists said their best guess is 20 named storms this year. In a range, they're going with 15-24 storms total.

In 2016, they projected 19 named storms that season (15 was the actual count) and in 2010, their forecast was 23 (19 as the actual count). The past three years -- 2017, 2018 and 2019 -- were especially active, and scientists' guesses on the number of named storms were lower than what occurred.

Sea surface temperatures are one of the main drivers of the development of tropical cyclones, and that can be checked off the list already this year. Why? Surface waters in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean were above normal for the month of March and continue to tick a degree or two above average this April.

The Gulf of Mexico is especially warm right now. Despite its smaller size, compared to the wide-open Atlantic, storms that can make their way into a favorable area for development in the gulf can strengthen in a hurry.

Whether it’s a major storm event, or faulty appliance, SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito will be there , we are just a call away (956)277-0645 or visit our website at https://www.SERVPROharlingensanbenito.com/

Flood Safety Tips

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help! Flood Safety Tips

It's common to see a storm with heavy down pours of rain causing flooding in the most protected neighborhoods. Do you know what to do during a flood? SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito has a few tips for you to follow in case an event was to happen:

Be prepared, created an evacuation plan

Learn and identify different evacuation route to be able to evacuate quickly

If public transportation is relied on, contact the local emergency management for evacuation information.

Turn Around, Don't Drown! Moving water above two feet can knock you down, one foot of water can move vehicles away.

Move to higher ground if there is a chance of flash flooding. 

If told to evacuate, do so immediately. Never drive around barricades. Local responders use them for safely direct traffic out of flooded areas.

If trapped in a building, then go to its highest level. Do not  climb into a closed attic. You may become trapped by rising floodwater. Go on the roof only if necessary. Once there, signal for help.

Be Safe After

Listen to authorities for information and instructions. Return home only when authorities say it is safe.

Avoid driving, except in emergencies.

Snakes and other animals may be in your house. Wear heavy gloves and boots during cleanup.

Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do Not touch electrical if it is wet or if you are standing in water. If it is safe to do so, turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock.

Avoid wading in floodwater, which can contain dangerous debris and contaminated. Underground or down power lines can also electrically charge the water.

Use a generator or other gasoline powered machinery. Only outdoors and away from windows.

Driving during high rain falls can be extremely dangerous. Stay updated by checking service announcements through the National Weather Service.

For more information about flooding visit  https://www.ready.gov/floods. Be proactive and create an evacuation plan to keep safe. It is very important to stay up to date when it comes to natural disasters. SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito values our community, we are here to help when disaster strikes!

SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito specialized in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a flood or water damage event. Our Staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. Call us At (956)277-0645

Minimizes Further Damage

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help! What to do after a water loss?

Knowing the correct steps  to take after a water loss can help you reduce the loss. Timing is so important  when restoring your property. SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito is a certificated restoration service provider in the Rio Grande Valley.

SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito has the  specialized drying equipment to address any water damage. Our SERVPRO technicians are well equipped and trained to use air movers, scrubbers, and dehumidifiers when restoring your property.

Many things can happen by  leaving the excess moisture in place for a long time. Apart from the possibility of making your contents unsalvageable, it may promote the growth of mold that may cause health effects. SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito  team uses dehumidifiers to reduce the levels of moisture in the air.By doing this we make the humidity levels acceptable and create room for evaporation.

If there are odors and particles in the air. SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito will place air scrubbers to remove those odors and particles.

Deodorization is also another way to combat the unpleasant smells. Deodorization is use  to neutralize and mask the unpleasant odors.

No matter how small or how big your water damage is rest assure SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito has the right equipment to do the job!

Roof Leak

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help! Roof Leak

After dealing with a cold winter, some of us are looking upon the spring season. As spring has approached us the weather has been warmer and the trees and flowers have begun to bloom, However, springtime always seems to bring plenty of rain and plenty of rain always brings a higher risk of water damage to your home.

With the increase of showers as well as high winds, roof damage may occur or be revealed as water intrudes through your roof and damages your ceilings and walls. To reduce the risk of roof leaks, you should inspect your roof for any damages from the winter and inspect it after every major storm.

The most common cause of roof leaks is a damaged or missing shingle from storms or fallen branches. If you do experience water damage inside your home from the ceiling or wall, you will want to contact a professional from SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito  to inspect the damage, remove the water, and remediate the damage.

Call SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito at 956-277-0645. 

Here in Your Community. Here to Help.

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help! Give us a call!

During uncertain times, SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito is prepared to help you when it matters most.

Responding during difficult times is what we do, it’s who we are and what we know. Right now, during this most unprecedented moment we share with you, we continue to answer the calls of our neighbors who need us most.

Our business remains open to you as our employees and services are essential during this coronavirus pandemic. If your home or business is in need of cleaning and sanitizing, or any of our core water and fire services, give SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito a call at 956-277-0645 . We are here and ready to serve.

We Are Cleaning Experts

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help! Cleaning Experts.

SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito is here to help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of the coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training:

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Center for Disease and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches. bathroom fixtures. toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables.

1. Kitchen/Food Areas

2. Bathrooms

3. Schools/Classroom

4. Offices

5. Retail Spaces

6. Water Fountains

7. Shelving/Racks

8. Sales Counters

9. Carpets and rugs

10. Stair handrails

11. Elevator Cars

12. Playground equipment

13. Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC  recommends usages of a labeled hospital grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain if the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today For A Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today

SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito At (956)277-0645

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Commercial Cleaning Services

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help! SERVPRO technicians donning protective personal equipment as they work cleaning a building amid COVID-19 pandemic.

SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. We are here to help get your business back to normal. SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito professionals are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your home or business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. The CDC encourages cleaning of high touch surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and tables. 

  • Keeping the Workplace Safe. Encourage your employees to practice good hygiene. 1. Stop shaking hands. 2. Clean hands with sanitizer or wash their hands frequently. 3. Avoid touching their faces and cover coughs and sneezes.
  • 4. Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly. 5. Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning. 

Fire Extinguishers

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Education Learn about fire extinguishers!

SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito wants to keep you safe and we know that little problems can become major issues in the future. When it comes to accidents in our home, or work space many don’t realize they are unprepared till it’s too late. So the more information to prepare you for an on site crisis the better! When it comes to fires many don’t really know how to use a fire extinguisher, or that there's actually four classes of extinguishers. A class is used to aid in putting out ordinary combustibles. Class B is used for flammable liquids (oil, grease, etc.). Class C is for electrically energized fires. Finally class D is suited for flammable metals. To remember how to work an extinguisher think of the P.A.S.S. method. Pull the pin, Aim low, Squeeze the hand;e, then Sweep the nozzle from side to side.

Fire Alarms

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Alarm Education Learn about fire alarms!

Fire Alarm systems are a key essential to our everyday safety. Just as you would charge your phone keeping up with the maintenance of your fire alarm is substantial for everyday safety.  Fire Alarms work by detecting levels of heat and/or smoke, smoke particles pass through the optical detector and trigger the alarm. Fire alarms need to be checked monthly, and depending on the model should be replaced every ten years. The time you change your battery depends on the model and battery compatible. Smoke alarms generally use nine volt batteries and need to be replaced every six months. This information is important to keep in mind and discuss when purchasing fire alarms for your environment. Stay safe and remember to check your fire alarms. 

Water Leaks

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

Act Fast! Have a water leak? Call SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito!

Undiscovered leaks and moisture can potentially build up and cause damage to the floors, walls and ceilings to your home or office, albeit the damage may go unnoticed for an extended period of time. Proper cleanup is important to the restoration of your home or work place. Here, at SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito, we use Thermal Imaging equipment that can detect even the smallest amount of moisture in a home.Once the waterdamage is located, SERVPRO trained professionals can provide water extraction and drying services to help return the property to prelosscondition. Available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito specialists can help protect your property and belongings from further damage. Within one hour from notice of loss a SERVPRO professional will contact you to arrange service. Within four hours of loss notification a SERVPRO professional will be onsite to start services. Within eight hours of onsite arrival, a verbal briefing of the scope will be communicated to the appropriate person.

Types of Smoke

3/17/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help! SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito is here to help!

The following are types of smokes:

1. Wet Smoke. (Plastic and Rubber) Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky and smeary. Smoke webs are difficult to clean up

2. Dry smoke. (Paper and Wood) Fast burning, high temperatures: heat rises, therefore smoke rises.

3. Protein Fire Residue. (Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire) Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

4.  Fuel Oil Soot. (Furnace Puff Backs) While "puffbacks" can create havoc for homeowners, SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito technicians can restore the contents and structure quickly.

5. Other Types. (Tear Gas, Fingerprint powder, and fire extinguisher residue) Special loss situations require special care.

SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Bentio can make it " Like it never even happened."

Call us At (956)277-0645

Ready to Help!

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

We are here to help! The aftermath of a storm can be catastrophic, but SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito is here to help.

It is common to see a storm with heavy down pours of rain causing flooding in the most places. Do you know what to do during a flood? SERVPRO Of Harlingen & San Benito  has a few tips for you to follow in case an event was to happen:

Be prepared, create an evacuation plan.

Learn and identify different evacuation route.

Turn Around, Don't Drown! ® Moving water above two feet can knock you down; one foot of water can move vehicles away.

Move to higher ground if there is a chance of flash flooding.

Be proactive and create an evacuation plan to keep safe. It is very important to stay up date when it comes to natural disasters. SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito values our community; we are here to help when disaster strikes!

Clean Air means Healthy Lungs

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Before and After cleaning AC Ducts. Clean AC ducts can improve the environment and positively impact the health of those around you.

How does SERVPRO clean AC ducts? Well...

1. The process begins by using patented equipment, including a roto-scraper, which automatically adapts to the duct's shape and diameter while traveling through the duct, removing debris and filth before vacuuming begins.

2. Next a powerful push - pull air delivery and collection system transfers the debris from the ducting to a container.

3. Air is filtered through a HEPA filtration system, removing 99.7% of the particles in the airstream. HEPA filters capture debris and keep the indoor environment clean.

4. An optional process, a sealant or coating product may be sprayed to address odor or microbial concerns.

5. Filters will either be cleaned or replaced to remove odor and dirt.

For more information on duct cleaning, Call Us SERVPRO Harlingen & San Benito at (956)277-0645. Remember we are here to help! 

DOs and DON'Ts of Fire Damage

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Damage SERVPRO of Harlingen/ San Benito can help!

A fire can leave behind soot, smoke damage and a host of other problems. Ceilings, walls, wood work, carpeting and floors will often need a thorough professional cleaning. If your home or business suffers a fire, it is important to take the appropriate steps to prevent further damage until SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito arrive. The following tips may help reduce damage and increase chances of successful restoration.

Do:

1. limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet

2. keep hands clean, soot on hands can further soil upholstery walls and woodwork.

3. place dry, colorfast towels or old linens rugs upholstery and carpet traffic areas.

4. Change HVAC filters and leave system off unitl a trained professional can check the system

Don't :

1. Don't attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito. 

2. Don't attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture.

3. Do not consume any food or beverages that may have been stored closed to the fire, heat, or water, as they may be contaminate. 

4. Don't send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Understanding Water Types

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Water Damage SERVPRO of Harlingen/ San Benito can help!

When your home or business suffers a water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup.

There are three types of water.

1. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water sources, rainwater is also considered clean.

2. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes grey water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and others contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. 

3.Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage. flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by a trained professional.

When you have a water damage don't leave your property to chance. Call SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito at (956)277-0645

What should you do when you suspect mold?

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Mold? SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito can help!

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

Stay out of affected areas.

Turn off the HVAC system and fans.

Contact SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

Don’t touch or disturb the mold.

Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.

Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.

Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

Does your work space have mold?

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO's got the Mold Under Control. SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito can help!

How should you manage mold?

Mold can cause dangerous and hazardous health effects, and can also even cause significant damage to your house or business property. Fortunately, SERVPRO of Harlingen & San Benito has the training, protective gear, specialized equipment, and experience necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different and requires a unique solution, the general mold remediation process remains the same. Please review the following steps, which illustrate a typical mold removal process: 

1. Firstly, call SERVPRO Harlingen & San Benito and we will handle the following. 

2. We will conduct a damage assessment. 

3. Mold containment

4. Air Filtration

5. We will remove mold and mold-infested materials.

6. We will clean contents and belongings. 

7. We will successfully reach and complete restoration. 

Be Storm Smart

3/10/2020 (Permalink)

Water damage? No problem. SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito can help!

Floods are the most common and widespread natural disasters in the United State. Whether your home or business is near a coastline, along city streets, in the mountains, near a river or even in the desert there is always a potential for flood damage. The American Red Cross offers the following flood safety tips.

1. Stay away from floodwaters. If you come up on a flowing stream where the water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.

2. If you approach a flooded road while driving , turn around go another way,. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car and move to higher ground.

3. Keep children out of the water. They are curious and often lack judgment about running water or contaminated water.

If a flood does strike call SERVPRO Harlingen & San Benito. Floods have the potential to cause major damage to a structure, when not treated quickly and properly and the cleanup is often an overwhelming task. We are always here to help no matter the size of the disaster.

We build relationships!

12/19/2019 (Permalink)

Cardinal Team Building friendships to strengthen our community.

Here at SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito we go out into the community and discuss how we can help our community be strong and healthy. Whether it be ecological health without nature center, or physical health, promoting prevention of diseases, such as cancer. Our goal is to be active in our community with you!  

Happy Thanksgiving!

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Team Harlingen/San Benito at Thanksgiving Lunch Team Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito! We hope you have a safe holiday break with your families. We are thankful to be able to serve our community and help restore your homes and/or businesses. 

We support our local nature center, you should too!

11/26/2019 (Permalink)

Weslaco Nature Center Nature center fundraises money to support their conservation efforts!

SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito's team supports the conservation efforts of the Weslaco Nature Center. The "Brew in the Woods" community event fundraises money to support native wildlife and promote community awareness and education of Rio Grande Valley biodiversity and ecological health. It is actually home to many native species, such as the Texas Tortoise, Texas Coral Snake, and Blended water snake. Staff explains the dangers that hunting poses on species population and the ecological web as a whole. The center teaches children and community members about protecting the native environment from invasive species, as well as the implications of invasive species. The center works to fosters a great sense of community and support. We also encourage you to visit your local nature center! 

Spreading Breast Cancer Awareness

11/19/2019 (Permalink)

La Feria Fire Station La Feria firefighters wear pink with SERVPRO of Harlingen/ San Benito!

Our team at Harlingen/San Benito works to improve community health and spread education and awareness on health concerns. Our team would like to share some information on Breast Cancer in South Texas. Please feel free to share! UT Health Science Center states that there is an incidence of 104.1 cases of breast cancer per 100,000 women. Hispanic female population in South Texas have a higher incidence of breast cancer (83.5/100,000) compared to Hispanic female population in Texas. How can we help fight breast cancer and lower these rates? Our team encourages you to ask questions and learn about breast cancer. It is important to ask your doctor about risks, be screened, and if needed, implement a prevention plan that works for you. 

2019 Hurricane Season Prep (Pt. 4)

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Hurricane flooding Evac

Rey Luna – Sales & Marketing

(3-minute read)

This blog post concludes the 4th and final portion of our Top 20 Hurricane Prep Tips.

We’ve covered a lot about what to do in the first 3 portions (1-15), so for our final 5 points, I’d like to cover specifically what NOT TO DO during storm time.

Some of these should be fairly common sense, however, I have an uncle who’s done one of these, not just once, but twice! So, this one’s for you, Tio Ben! Lol.

  • Approaching downed power lines.

At first glance, one can say that this point is pretty obvious. True. If we see a broken line, I’m sure we’ll stay clear. But sometimes the damage is not so easily seen, and that can be extremely dangerous. As a rule of caution, DO NOT touch any large metal objects outside as they could be touching a power line that you may not be able to see.

  • Driving/walking in flood waters.

Again, another seemingly obvious point, but ask my aunt Linda how many times they’ve had to replace their car because my uncle thought he’d make it.

So, with that being said… let’s go over the reasons why.

Number 1 is easy! You can ruin your car!

Number 2 is a little more complex. You can’t see what’s lurking in the water. Maybe a dangerous animal or just as deadly… bacteria. You may have just recently shaved and left open pores on your skin leaving room for bacteria to enter. Or you may have a small cut, again allowing bacteria to enter. It’s very unfortunate to have to lose a limb to amputation from a severe staph infection because you couldn’t wait to take the proper precautions.

  • DO NOT Empty in-ground pools.

You may feel like this is a good idea because you’re trying to avoid the pool overflowing… BUT… with extreme rain, such as in a hurricane, the water table (amount of water held in the ground) can rise. And without water to hold down the pool, this can even put enough force for the pool to literally be pushed up out of the ground.

As I’ve been during research and looking at some of the other suggestions by other blogs, I’ve seen repeatedly the suggestion for using candles.

This has to be some of the worse advice for storm time. Especially if you have small children or pets that don’t really stay still. You’re already dealing with one disaster, the last thing you need is for a candle to be accidentally knocked over and start a fire.

  • Approaching wondering animals.

It seems like almost every day I see a growing amount of animal lovers. Which really warms my heart, honestly. But one thing to keep in mind at the end of the day, as much as we want to help our furry friends, sometimes they are not capable of reason and therefore are nervous and confused.

If you happen to come across an animal that you may feel needs assistance, call a professional. Do not approach a scared/nervous animal as they are more likely to show aggression rather than appreciate your help. Remember, they’re scared and possibly misplaced from home. They can and will bite if they feel uneasy.

This concludes our list of Top 20 Hurricane Prep tips.

We hope that we’re not faced with a major storm this year, but should unfortunate events transpire, know that SERVPRO has your back.

2019 Hurricane Season Prep Top 20 (Pt. 3)

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

  • Photos

One other thing to be sure to have on hand would be a camera. If the damage is significant, you may be having to file an insurance claim. If this is the case, then they would require photos of the damage done to your home. So, before any repair or clean up work is done, make sure to snap several photos to document anything that may need repairs.

  • Fuel

We don’t want a repeat of the RGV Gas Shortage of 2017. It’s best to make sure you never go below a half-tank of gas in your vehicles. Top ‘em off as often as possible. You’re not actually spending more money on gas; you’re just replenishing as you go. This will make sure you’re always full and never caught off guard. If you have any gas drums or spare gas tanks, be sure to fill those up as well so that you have a backup supply. You never know when you or someone you know may need an emergency refill.

  • Cash

Something else to make sure you’re topping off every now and then is your on-hand cash supply. This is something that you don’t want to have too much of, as it can be difficult to keep track of and can be more of a risk. The needs of every family are different, but maybe just a couple hundred bucks would be useful to get you out of a bind or purchase last minute/emergency supplies is all that’s needed.

  • Vehicle Prep

In the event of an emergency road trip, you’re going to want to make sure that your vehicle is running 100%. The last thing you want is another unexpected tragedy once you’re on the road away from home and away from friends or family that can help.

  • Communication

Be sure to have a means of communication in the event that cell phones are no longer an option. You may have figured out a way to keep them charged, but if cell towers have been disrupted or damaged, then we lose connectivity. 2-way radios could be an option for you or consider trying Bluetooth antennas. If you’re tech-savvy, this could be an interesting option for you.

One Year Anniversary of the Great June Flood of 2018

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Drone Photo by the National Weather Service.

According to the National Weather Service, the damage caused by the rains brought on by severe thunderstorms last year could be compared to the damage brought on by Dolly in ‘08, the last major hurricane to hit our area.

As of June 25th, State of Emergency Declarations were issued for Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy County.

Although the most affected area was Weslaco, other RGV cities were not immune.

Timeline breakdown

 The following timeline provided by the Mid Valley Town Crier gives a breakdown of the weather events that happened last year.

June 15th & 16th - Meteorologists observe moisture moving across the Gulf of Mexico towards the RGV

June 18th - Pre-dawn storm drops 2-3 inches in Los Fresnos and Harlingen

June 19th - More than 12 in. fall over Duval, Jim Wells & Brooks counties

June 20th - Much of Weslaco became submerged after 16-18 in. of rain fell in less than 12 hours. Brownsville and Los Fresnos we also hit by more rain.

June 21st – Starr County arroyos overflowed their banks when more than 7 inches fell over Rio Grande City. McAllen had rainfall between 6 - 8 inches.

June 22nd - 3 more inches of rain topped of Los Fresnos once again and the McAllen/Mission area.

Damage

Mid-Valley Airport grounds reported 11.36 inches of rain in just 3 hours.

Similar situations were seen throughout the entire Valley… large amounts of rainfall in a very short period. That formula was perfect for overwhelming draining systems and causing mass overflows.

Most of the damage was in large part due to the failure or lack of current infrastructure. Plans were immediately made to improve drainage in the areas that were most affected.

In total, the damage counts amounted to

  • 2500 homes
  • 100+ businesses
  • 2500 vehicles

 Let's Prepare Now!

Hurricane Season has already begun. Spanning from June 1st to November 31st. This means we are to be on the watch for half the year. Plenty of time to prepare and not get caught off-guard.

Let’s take these learning experiences to heart and get ahead of the situation before it becomes a problem.

Should the worst arise, know that you have a neighbor in your pocket with all the resources imaginable to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Why hesitation leads to Mold Growth in the RGV.

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

A water loss from a faulty pipe can lead to mold if not handled properly.

Rey Luna - Sales & Marketing

(2-minute read)

Every day I walk into the office and pop in on our crew during their morning meeting to say, “Good morning” and every day, they’re responding to a new emergency.

SERVPRO professionals handle water damages on a daily basis and the most important thing to them is to take action as soon as possible to prevent mold growth. 

Mold is likely to spread in an environment that has been subject to moisture for an extended period of time.  If your property has sustained recent water damage, it is vital to extract any excess water/moisture and dry out the structure right away.

In an area like ours, down here in the RGV, quick action is especially critical. Since we have a warmer climate, combined with almost 100% humidity pretty frequently, it is crucial that we respond without any hesitation.

Here is a list of things to be on the watch for once you notice that there is moisture present:

  • The presence of visible mold,
  • Strong musty odors which may indicate mold is present. 
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.
  • Stagnant or “stale” air.

Certain conditions may even require the expertise of a qualified Indoor Air Quality/Environmental Professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems.

Now, after seeing just how much effort goes into mitigation work, it’s clear to see why these are situations that require special professional attention.

Commercial Services For Rio Grande Valley Business Owners & Managers

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial clean up

Rey Luna – Sales & Marketing

(1-minute read)

There is no job too big or too small for our SERVPRO team.

Our services are available those in property management, retail, education, healthcare, hospitality, food services, government/military, manufacturing/industrial and many more!

For our commercial customers, we offer a myriad of services such as

  • Water/Fire restoration
  • mold remediation
  • storm and major events
  • disaster recovery
  • COMMERCIAL CLEANING*

SERVPRO of Harlingen / San Benito offers cleaning services ranging from cleaning restaurant hoods to removing biohazard contaminants. We have the specialized training and products to get you back to business in no time at all. Our cleaning services include the following:

  • Air Ducts and HVAC
  • Biohazard and Sewage
  • Trauma and Crime Scene
  • Carpet and Upholstery
  • Drapes and Blinds
  • Ceilings, Walls, and Hard Floors
  • Odor Removal and Deodorization
  • Vandalism

If you or someone you know would benefit from our services, feel free to call SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito at (956) 277-0645.

*Remember: call direct and avoid the lines!

We are also offering No Cost Assessments and No Cost Emergency Response Plans. Our services are available 24/7/365 and we will always execute our jobs with promptness and professionalism.

Find and like our page on Facebook at SERVPRO Facebook.

Who is SERVPRO and Why choose us?

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito.

Rey Luna – Sales & Marketing

(3.5-minute read)

I’m greatly enjoying my new position here at SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito. I’ve always been in the marketing and advertising field, but never for the restoration sector. One of the things I enjoy the most is sharing all the information I’m constantly learning, from specialized certification courses, or from watching our experienced techs in the field.

I will never look at construction the same way again!

I always get the same reaction every time I’m telling my friends and family about what I do… “I should’ve called you guys!”

The fairly typical scenario we’ve probably all had the misfortune to witness: broken/leaky pipe. It’s more of a common occurrence than I first believed. It’s a major pain to deal with. More so out of inconvenience than anything else. It’s not really that large of a situation to call up your insurance company and file a claim.

The last thing you want to have to do is file a claim and mess with your insurance. So, what do you do?? Guess you grab some towels and buckets and cancel your weekend plans, right?

Guess again! Not so fast!

You may ask: “Well what’s the harm in picking up the mess? It has to get done, right?”

The issue is really about all the things that are lying beneath the surface… behind the walls, under the carpet/tile. The things we don’t see.

  • Do you have pets? No matter how well you’ve cleaned up after them, they leave behind all kinds of germs and bacteria, and when they come back into contact with water, those harmful toxins are reactivated and can leave foul odors/stains, or even worse… get you and your family sick.
  • What year was your home built? This may seem like a pointless question at first, but it really helps us find out what tools we’re gonna need to get the job done the right way. See, in the early ’90s, there was a large amount of Chinese Dry Wall being used in home construction. The difference in this type of drywall is that it is a lot more dense, heavier and may even contain metal. This plays a big role in how long we’d need to leave drying equipment set up.

         The type of insulation of your home is another factor to consider. Carpet? Type of carpet pad? Type of tile? Ceramic? Subfloor? Plank wood floor? You get the idea.

  • Relative Humidity. Well you can just open a window, right? That’ll dry it out, right? Relative Humidity. That’s the difference between humidity in the home vs. outside the home. And the difference in whether you might get mold or not. Unless you have the equipment to test the moisture levels in the air, then it may not be the best idea.

You may be able to mop up the surface, but that’s as far as most will be able to reach. It’s the water you don’t see that becomes the problem. Can’t exactly mop behind your walls, or under your tile. A few weeks may go by and you’ll notice a funky smell that never really goes away… and that’s when you’ll know: mold.

Although at first thought, it may seem like unnecessary, fancy solutions to a simple problem… it’s honestly way more than that. Getting in front of the problem to prevent secondary damage is what SERVPRO does best.

So next time you experience any kind of unexpected mishap, test us out and see what SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito can do for you.

2019 Hurricane Season Top 20 PREP TIPS (pt. 1 of 4)

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

Get ready now! Don't wait until you have to!

Springtime is officially wrapped up here in the RGV and we bring in another HOT, HOT Summer. But along with the warmer weather is the higher risk of adverse conditions. Enter HURRICANE SEASON.

Every year we see the same suggestions and preparation steps needed to get ready.

However, instead of waiting until there’s an actual hurricane, there’s really no reason why these steps can’t be started ahead of time so that you’re not at the store looking for supplies with nothing but aisles and aisles of empty shelves.

  1. Family/Household meeting:

This is where you’ll discuss your plan of action. Make sure everyone is aware of the evacuation routes just in case of the rare event that some become separated. It’s also a good idea to assign different roles and tasks to each person and make sure everyone is aware of the duties that are left in their care. Make plans to tackle the rest of the list together early during the summer so as to not be caught off guard. Perhaps setting aside a weekend together as a family to prepare the yard or go over inventory and supplies.

  1. Supplies:

In your preparation, you should be sure to include any supplies or special gear you may need. Battery powered tools, chargers, and any necessary medications for your family and/or pets. Included in his list will be extra clothes, food (preferably non-perishable), first aid kits and anything else you think you’d need for at least a 1 week stay out of town if necessary.

  1. Important documents:

Once out on the road, one can forget that there’s more than just tools and gear you might need. Special documents, cash, and other important information may be especially necessary. It’s important to keep these particular items safe because they are easily lost or damaged. To avoid this, pack a firebox or small fire safe along with your belongings. These are very inexpensive and are also waterproof most of the time. Take extra precaution by taking pictures of those documents so that you have a digital copy easily accessible on your phone or tablet.

  1. Family pets:

Keep in mind the furry members of the family. Animals really can’t prepare like we can so they’re gonna need our help to stay safe. If you have your pets outside, you’ll have to make arrangement to temporarily house them inside and out of the elements. Just like humans, they need food, water and shelter. Make sure you pack an emergency kit for them as well. If you need to evacuate, then you’ll want to keep in mind that you’ll have extra companions. And no… the back of the pickup truck is not a very safe place for them to ride, unless they have a proper kennel secured in place.

  1. Window covers:

Board up those windows early! Can’t stress this enough… prep supplies run out quickly once a storm is announced to be heading our way. Don’t wait! You don’t have to necessarily install everything now, but it’s a good idea to at least buy what you need, and have it set aside ready for when you do need it. There are many ways to go about prepping your windows. Plywood is effective and very cost effective, but, you’re definitely gonna need some help to get the job done. Hurricane Shutters are a nice addition to the home, they add appeal to your home and it’s a lot easier prep your home every year. But this method is more costly. However you chose to go about it, make sure it’s done well in advance!

Keep these tips in mind as you prep for the season and stay tuned for Parts 2, 3 and 4 coming soon!

2019 Hurricane Season TOP 20 PREP TIPS (pt. 2)

6/7/2019 (Permalink)

South Texas flooding.
  1. Loose items in yard:

The reason for boarding up windows to protect your home from any flying debris that appears during storm time. We can further minimize damage to our property and others by taking the time to pick up and store any items that we may have laying out in the yard. Decorative ornaments, lawn statues or figurines and children’s or pet’s toys. Also be sure to wrap up any water hoses or pathway lighting. Taking these measures can prevent further damage to your property.

  1. Insurance coverage:

Probably one of the most important things we can do to protect our properties is making sure that they’re properly covered with the correct insurance policies. A common misconception is that having Home-Owners Insurance alone is enough to cover your damages. However, in the event of a storm where heavy flooding is concerned, you will specifically need flood insurance. A separate policy from that of your home-owners insurance. There are plenty of great companies. Be sure to communicate your needs to your local agent and find what works best for you and your family.

Now, how relevant is this to our local community??? The RGV is not a traditional Mountain Valley. We are a River Valley. More than that… we actually sit on a flood plain. This is due to the fact that in older times, farmers didn’t have the irrigation systems we do now, so they would literally flood the fields with resacas fed from the Rio Grande and the Arroyos. Many of these fields no longer exist, and are now the subdivided neighborhoods we live in. So, yeah… we NEED flood insurance.

  1. Evac route(s):

For us here in the RGV, travel is pretty simple. You go one way, you get to Upper Valley/McAllen area. You go the other way to head to the Island. During storm time though, that same simplicity makes things a little difficult. Because everyone will be evacuating at the same time, and there are basically only 2 ways to go, traffic can become an issue. Be sure to plan back-up routes just in case your first option is not safe or become too congested.

Make this a fun mini road trip for you and the family. Or if you just need a little get-away drive. Drive through different parts of town and get to know some of the outlying areas.

  1. Loss of power/water:

If evacuation is not necessary and you and your family plan to ride it out at home, be ready to lose power and running water. In a situation like this it’s a good idea to store and gather as much water as you can. While still possible, prefill bathtubs and sinks for flushing toilets, cleaning and laundry. My neighbor has his rain gutters collecting water in large drums during storm time.

As far as power is concerned, you can only buy so many batteries.  But you can store as much as you need to in small rechargeable power packs. These come in all kinds of sizes and are especially convenient when you need to recharge your cell phone, but they may also be able to power other small tools such as flashlights and small radios. Be sure to have these charging the moment you know a storm is heading our way and test them frequently throughout the year to ensure they function properly.

  1. Turn off gas/ unplug small appliances:

In the event of a power surge, many of the electrical components in our appliances can be damaged. It’s important to use surge protectors and if need be, even disconnect the power to anything you may feel could be at risk. The last thing you’d want is to have power come back on only to realize that your items no longer work.

It is important to note, if you evacuate your home or business, DO NOT turn off your gas supply at the main meter. Only emergency or utility personnel should turn the valve on or off. You CAN turn off the gas for individual appliances at the appliance valve near each unit if you choose to do so. Most codes now require an appliance valve within six feet of each appliance. 

This completes Part 2 of our Hurricane Preparation list. Stay tuned for Pt. 3 & 4!

10 SPRING CLEANING TIPS/IDEAS (Pt. 2)

6/3/2019 (Permalink)

 6. Appliances: Yes… it’s easy to just sweep the floors you can see, but don’t forget about those hard to reach spots. This is probably easier with 2 people. Take your vacuum and be sure to get all around the refrigerator coils and beneath the fridge as well. This will help the fridge run better and put less stress on it which will help it last longer. Buying small plastic bins will help keep the contents inside neat, organized and help prevent things from spilling.

 7. Clutter: Sell your unused items. This is a great way to not only clear up some space in your home, but also an easy way to make some spare cash! Try having a garage sale and parting with a few things you may not have any more use for. An easy rule to go by is that if you’ve had it stored for over a year and a half… chances are you really can do without it. With the power of the internet, it’s that much easier! Tons of useful apps and platforms allow you to list your items for sale with just a click of a button. Many of these you may have already heard of, but we’ll list a few platforms below.

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Let Go
  • Craig’s List
  • Posh Mark
  • Offer Up
  • eBay
  • Etsy

8. Décor upgrade: If you’ve followed tip number 7, you may have some space to spare in your home now. Adding a few small decorative items can really give your space a new look. The great thing about small décor pieces is that they are relatively cheap. *Hint- try the same apps mentioned above ??. Simple cosmetic upgrades can really transform your home and maybe even enhance your mood. Try a fresh coat of paint for an accent wall and you’ll have a total room makeover for about the same price as a nice dinner.

 9. Don’t forget outside! With so much focus on the interior of the home, we don’t want to forget about that “curb appeal”. This is an area that can be handled at a low cost but may take some time. Keeping the yard nice and trim keeps your home looking great. A quick addition of mulch around trees and bushes give you a great traditional look for only about $3 dollars a bag. If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, try taking a trip over to your local flea market and seek out some patio furniture. You’ll be surprised at the items you’ll be able to find and the savings that go with it!

 10. Relax! And Enjoy the “new” space! invite some friends or family over and take pride in your hard work! New additions and improvements to your home don’t have to cost a lot to get the result you desire. You’ll find that the more you keep up with your home, the more you’ll enjoy spending time there and so will friends and family.

10 SPRING CLEANING TIPS/IDEAS (Part 1)

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Spring cleaning

We’re wrapping up another short-lived Spring Season here in the RGV. Summer’s here! Hello, triple digit weather!

We get home from a long day at work and rush out of the car and try to get into the house as quickly as possible to cool off. The last thing we want to come home to is a messy, cluttered house.

TOTAL MOOD KILLER!

Clutter can add more stress and anxiety to our busy lives. Having a clean, organized space can help you relax and feel more energized.

Here are 10 Tips from the Cleaning Pros here at SERVPRO to help you get organized and enjoy your time at home a little bit more:

  1. Schedule:

Pick out which days certain tasks are assigned. Sometimes we think of spring cleaning as a one time, single-day event. Because we know how much work it’s gonna be… we end up procrastinating.

Breaking down the tasks throughout the week can help make things a little more manageable. Set aside just 15 to 20 minutes a day and you’ll have everyone asking how you keep the house so clean all the time.

Having one day designated for a major cleanout is great, but it can quickly revert back to where you started without a proper maintenance schedule.

Below is a sample weekly schedule to help get things moving.

Monday: Dusting, sweeping- doesn’t seem like a very hard task, but when it’s the only task to focus on you’ll be surprised all the corners that get neglected. Don’t forget those baseboards!

Tuesday: Kitchen- dishes, clear up counter space to avoid clutter

Wednesday: Humpday! Maybe a good day to do the laundry now that we have momentum in the middle of the week.

Thursday: Bathrooms. Probably the most dreaded chore but you’ll find that the more you stick to the schedule, the lighter and lighter the cleaning becomes.

Friday: Moving into the weekend we suggest leaving your floors for this day. With all the foot traffic during the week, this is a perfect time to get ‘em done. Right before the weekend when you may have guests coming over.

Satur…. Pfff! Yeah right! TAKE THE WEEKENDS OFF! #TREATYOSELF #carnesazo

  1. Checklist:

We may be adults, but let’s be honest here… we forget things too. It’s easy to look around and see everything that needs to be done but having an actual written list of things to do helps you make sure you don’t skip anything. Plus, actually seeing checks next to all the things you’ve knocked out gives you a feeling of accomplishment and gives you a visual of the work that’s been finished.

  1. Supplies:

Having the right equipment can help get things done a lot faster and make things a lot easier. Don’t be afraid of spending a few dollars on gear. Getting that gadget you’ve always wanted might make you excited to use it and help you enjoy your housework.

  1. High Traffic Areas: It’s good to give special attention to areas that are used more frequently than others. Because these spaces see more use, they are more prone to harbor bacteria and germs. Make sure to disinfect and wipe them down. Some examples of those can be -
  • Hallway baseboards
  • Carpets (runners)
  • Doorways
  • Door handles
  • Light switches
  1. Loose Power Cords:

This small task can make a huge difference in how your entertainment areas look. Having loose cords or hanging wires coming down from TVs, game systems, or other electronic can make a space seem messy even though it’s clean. A simple fix is to grab yourself some rubber bands or even better: zip ties. They’re super inexpensive and make a great way to neatly hide and tuck away all those cables.

Stay tuned in for Part 2 soon!

Weslaco Emergency Preparedness Meeting

6/1/2018 (Permalink)

On Wednesday, June 30, 2018, we at SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito were invited to the Weslaco Emergency Preparedness Meeting. At the meeting, there were speeches given by the Mayor, Commissioner, the head of the Office of Emergency Management, and Barry Goldsmith from the National Weather Service. During the breaks, the people in attendance would stop by our booth and we would inform them of what we at SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito can do in an emergency. We also informed the business owners about our free Emergency Readiness Plan (ERP) and made appointments to complete ERPs the following week. All in all, it was an amazing experience with the people of Weslaco and we can not wait to follow up with those wonderful business owners!

Storm Proofing

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

With the impending hurricane season, it is imperative that you have all your buildings ready for the possibility of a dangerous storm. You also want to make sure that your buildings have flood insurance, especially because it takes 30 days for it to kick in.

            The following are ways that you can better prepare your home/business for a major storm.

  • Hurricane film
    • This specially made film can keep shards of window glass from getting into your home after the window has shattered.
  • New windows
    • Replacing your old windows with heavy-duty, wind-resistant windows can make a big difference when up against strong winds. Also, they can provide better insulation for your home, and might reduce your energy bill.
  • Storm shutters
    • These can be your best form of protection against high winds, they can also be taken off and reapplied every hurricane season.
  • Skylights and tubular daylighting devices
    • If you do have skylights in your home, it is best to upgrade the glass to strong, energy efficient glass that can protect your home against debris that the wind might throw.
    • A tubular daylighting device disperses light throughout your home by means of reflective tubing and a rooftop dome. These can be especially helpful if you lose power.
  • Doors
    • Replacing your current door with a windstorm door is a necessity when preparing for a strong storm, as these FEMA approved doors can deal with pressure from 250 mph winds.

You can never be too safe when dealing with storms, and as the hurricane season is upon us, it is best to make sure your house is prepared for whatever mother nature throws our way.

Smoke and Soot Cleanup

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises, therefore, smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored to the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 956-277-0645

Does Your Home Have a Mold Problem

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 956-277-0645

Conditions in the Rio Grande Valley are Just Right for Mold

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

  • Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   
  • Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.
  • Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.

If you suspect mold, call us today at 956-277-0645

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito for mold remediation services.

When Storms or Floods Hit the Rio Grande Valley, SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito is Ready

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO ofHarlingen and San Benito specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quickly with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit the Rio Grande Valley, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of over 1,700 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito Today 956-277-0645

Restoring Your Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events in the Rio Grande Valley commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito

SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Faster to Your Water Damage Event

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito 24/7 – 956-277-0645

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito

SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Facing Fire Damage?

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

Here at SERVPRO Harlingen/San Benito, our technicians have a vast knowledge of what to do if your home or business is devastated by a fire. In fact, we are specialized in both fire and water damage restoration. Our excellent experience in cleaning and restoring facilities that have been faced with fire damage is unparalleled to any other company. We do everything from reviewing fire damage tips to caring for your belongings, carpet and upholstery cleaning, odor removal, and assessing commercial fire damage. We are available 24/7, a trusted leader in the restoration industry, and a preferred vendor for many national and local insurance companies. If you are facing fire damage, or just want to learn more about us here at SERVPRO Harlingen/San Benito, make sure to call us at (956) 277-0644, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SERVPROharlingensanbenito/.  

Emergency Readiness Plan

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Hurricane season is just around the corner so as business owners it is crucial to have an emergency plan. Well, here at SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito we offer an Emergency Readiness Plan for your company. This program helps you as a business owner feel at rest when something does happen like a pipe burst, or an electrical fire, or even a hurricane, because the sooner you respond to the emergency the sooner you can get back to business as is. The Emergency Readiness Plan consolidates all of your building information into one application that can be found on your phone or computer as well as a hard copy folder. It shows you were all the shut offs are and your account information for your utilities so if you need to contact them you have it all in one place and you don’t have to go digging through your filing cabinets trying to find out all that information. The two “R’s” Restore and Replace, most people always think that oh just tear everything out and get me all new items, but this process is very expensive because most insurance policies will only help you to get your business to preloss conditions, so everything that you want new you will have to cough up more money to pay for the new items. With restoration is key our team can restore your items and make them look exactly like they looked before the disaster happened. We can also get your business up and running in no time. So if you would like your company to receive an Emergency Readiness Plan call SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito at 956-277-0645. We are open 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Respond Fast When A Water Damage Occurs

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Having a water damage can be super stressful most people don’t know what to do or who to call or how to deal with this. But one thing to remember when dealing with a water damage is that timing is key and that you need to act fast. Within a few minutes of a water damage happens the water migrates to other rooms of your home or business, odors from your carpets get released such as smoke or pet odors, as well as furniture staining carpets, and having all your paper items being destroyed. The longer you wait the more damage happens to your structure. Flooring can begin to bubble or buckle up, drywall will begin to disintegrate, and fungal growth can begin to appear and start to cause health problems. These are just a few things to keep in mind when a water damage occurs. So when you have a water damage that you don’t know what to do with give SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito a call we will assist you while talking to your insurance agent and adjuster, as well as respond quickly to get your structure to the way it was before.

Washing Machines

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

During the springtime, everyone likes to do a lot of spring cleaning. They vigorously clean the bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens, and well they try to clean their entire home. There are some things that we do out of habit that can make our homes back to the uncleanliness. Some of these habits that we do we wouldn’t even think about. Picture this a Saturday morning you are getting ready to have your cleaning day, and you start doing the laundry. Once you finished with all of your laundry what do you do to make the laundry to look nice is to close the door of the washing machine. As soon as you close the door to the washing machine without letting it dry, it starts to have fungal growth and get a particular smell that everyone knows as the wet dog. Just remember to leave your washing machine open for a little bit after you use it to make sure that it dries properly. SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito wants to let you know that we are here for you no matter what.  

Water Damage Categories

4/9/2018 (Permalink)

Picture of a Category 3 Water Damage (Sewer Backup)

Did you know that there are different categories for a water leak/damage? There are three different categories of water leaks and damages: Category 1, Category 2, and Category 3. Category 1 (Clean Water) the water in this category is considered to be sanitary because of the source of the water a sanitary outlet. Some of the sources of a category 1 water damage is that of a broken water line, a tub or sink overflows, rainfall, or ice or snow melting. Even though the water is sanitary, with time it can start to harvest fungal growth and other microorganisms to grow and to make the water unsanitary making the water harmful to be around. Category 2 (Gray Water) is water that has microorganisms and food for the microorganisms. This water usually stems from toilet bowl overflows where there is urine but no feces, discharge from dishwasher and or washing machines, sump pump failures, and seepage due to hydrostatic pressure. Being around this type of water can cause some discomfort or sickness if consumed or exposed to humans. Category 3 (Black Water) is the worst water damage to have because if not addressed quickly health problems can be a huge problem, being around it could bring serious illness or even death if consumed or exposed to humans. This water damage is coming from raw sewage and other contaminated water sources, like ground surface water, rising water from rivers and/or streams, or flooding from seawater from natural disasters. So, whenever you have a water damage in your RV, Home, or Business call SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito (956)277-0645 we will be there quickly to make sure that you and your family are safe!   

A Big Thank You!

4/6/2018 (Permalink)

Did you know that the month of April is appreciation month for all the first responders? Well, SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito would like to send out a huge thank you to all the first responders! We would like to thank you for everything that you do, you all put your lives on the line to help keep us as a community safe. We all wish that we would never have to use your services but when we do need it we are at peace knowing that you men and women in uniform are here to help us no matter what. We admire the outstanding work that you all do for the community. So, if you have a family member or a friend that works as a first responder make sure you thank them and tell that the work they do does not go unnoticed. Once again SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito would like to send out much love and appreciation to all the first responders!

Fungal Growth In A Humid Area

4/6/2018 (Permalink)

Living in an extremely humid area such as the Rio Grande Valley fungal growth is something that becomes very prevalent in our community. Whenever there is a water damage in a structure, the owners of the structure must make sure that the area affected by the water was dried up properly and promptly. When SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito gets a call to a water damage we arrive quickly because we know the longer the water stays the easier it is for fungal growth to appear. As soon as we get there we have our air movers and dehumidifiers to get rid of the moisture in the structure. So when you are in need of a highly trained production team to cleanup the damages caused by water then call SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito at (956)277-0645 no matter the time there is a crew here ready to help you in your time of need!

Getting your A/C units cleaned

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

We all know that we are supposed to change our filters on our A/C units and we all know that once in awhile that we need to have our A/C technician to come out to the house to clean the coil because it will inevitably get dirty. Well, why don’t you get SERVPRO a go at it, our technicians have the training to clean the blower and even the ducts. Our technicians will give you detailed steps on how to care of your A/C unit by talking about which filters are the correct ones to use and other helpful tips to keep your A/C unit running for a very long time.   We all know someone that sneezes as soon as they enter their home or people that have year-round “allergies” it may just be happening because your/their blower or ducts are dirty. So, the next time you are about to pick up your phone to call your A/C technician how about giving SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito a call (956)277-0645. We will make your A/C units look like you have never even used them.

Maintenance of trees during windy season

4/2/2018 (Permalink)

Having trees in front of your house makes the property look welcoming and endearing, but there are some cons to having a tree as well. Having a tree on your property near your home brings shade to your yard and fun adventures for your kids. Trees also tend to grow a lot and sometimes get out of hand. This is when trees can be bad if they are too close to your home. If one day it is super windy, and the wind causes your tree starts to sway and the branches start to scrape up against your house or your roof, and damages end up happening to your home and you try and call your insurance agent to see if they will cover the bill for the damages because of the wind. They won’t be able to help you with the cost of the damage because they will tell you that is lack of maintenance on your trees. So SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito would like to remind you to make sure that you are trimming your trees regularly to prevent this from happening.

How Long is Too Long?

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

When dealing with water damage time is key! The thing that most people think is if I can’t see the water then it’s not doing damage to my property, and that is completely wrong. It’s the hidden water that does the most damage. As soon as a water damage occurs things in your structure start to get ruined. If you have any pets and they made accidents on your carpet, and you thought they you cleaned it up properly, well the smell gets trapped in the pad underneath the carpet and once water contacts the carpet the hidden odors become released. Also, most of your electrical appliances can get ruined, paper items tarnished, and certain furniture can stain the carpets. These problems occur in minutes after the water damage occurs. Some people think I dried up all the water that I can, and I don’t see any visible water so there is no more damage occurring, well that is also false, water migrates, especially in porous materials because the pores in the substance absorb water fast. Items that are porous are things such as drywall, concrete, and most of the studs. So when a water damage happens to you please call us at (956)277-0645 our phones lines are always open and we always have a team ready to help you in your time of need!

What is that?

3/19/2018 (Permalink)

Corner of a structure with smoke web.

The first time I walked in to a structure that had fire damage I was in complete shock. I never seen a house that had a fire incident that occurred in the structure. Seeing what a fire can do is an unforgettable experience I walked in to the structure and I saw what looked like black spiderwebs in all corners of the structure, to myself I thought man these people had a lot of spiders in their structure., but to my surprise those spider web looking things weren’t there because the structure was infested with spiders but it was due to the extreme heat that occurred in the structure. What happens in a structure is that the concentration of the soot is in a pattern and are circle like, well this happens when the intense heat is happening it magnetizes the screws and because of this the soot is attracted to it and it creates a darker circle around where the nail would be. As we go inside the structure we start to see the spider webs as I stated before these are not indeed spider webs these are called smoke webs and they occur when plastic has burnt because the smoke of plastic has a stronger charge than that of wood or cotton so with the already magnetized screw/nail they start to spin and collect in corners of ceiling and curtains. So, if there is a fire near you don’t forget to call SERVPRO of Harlingen and San Benito. (956)277-0645 we are open 24/7 even on holidays, we are there for you when you need it!

Clean Air Ducts Mean Clean Air!

1/19/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that dirty air ducts have the potential to circulate odors and contaminants like dust and mold throughout your home?

Just call SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito at (956) 277-0645 and we will send a team of our trained specialists to take care of you! They will examine your ductwork and make a clean sweep using our Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning System technologies!

Do not worry! Our team can remove years of dust and grime built up, which can not only improve conditioning operation and efficiency, but reduce health affecting allergens!

Just give us a call and remember that here at SERVPRO of Harlingen/ San Benito we care and our goal is to help make it... Like it never even happened.

 

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

5/23/2016 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in the entire Rio Grande Valley.

SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - (956) 277-0645

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito

SERVPRO of Harlingen/San Benito specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Why do we need exhaust fans in the bathroom?

5/17/2016 (Permalink)

A bath exhaust fan can be helpful in many ways:

  • It can remove odors and remove moisture, allowing fresher air to enter the bathroom.
  • It can exhaust humid air, allowing dryer air to enter the bathroom.
  • It also allows proper ventilation in the room that prevents and mildew and fungal growth.

Always try to run the exhaust fan to properly ventilate the bathroom and avoid the bathroom ceiling from staying damp and every surface in the room or they will soon grow mold. 




Precautions to take when a water loss occurs.

5/11/2016 (Permalink)

Home with a water leak.

ith any water loss it is best to call for professional help as soon as possible. But first of all make sure you or your family members are not in harms way  during a water loss. Try removing as much water as possible by mopping the area.  Remove any wet area rugs/carpets that are not permanently attached.  Prop up wet furniture on cushions and raise the furniture of the floor. It is important to try to remove as much water as possible because bacterial growth can grow within hours of the water loss.

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