Archived Blog Posts
Weslaco Emergency Preparedness Meeting
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!
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.
- 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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
- 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?
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
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
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.
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
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!
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
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
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
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?
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?
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!
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
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?
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.
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.