Recent Posts

Mitigating Category 3 Damage

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Technician using wet/dry vacuum for water extraction on a wet floor Extracting water in Northwest Las Vegas, NV

Mitigating Category 3 Damage

Water damage in your commercial building in Northwest Las Vegas, NV, may or may not be contaminated, depending on the water source. Category 3 damage comes from flood water or sewage, which means it may contain harmful bacteria and microbes. When you have this kind of damage, the water mitigation process must contain a step for disinfecting any remaining surface the contaminated water touches. There are a few steps that lead up to cleaning, though.

1. Water Extraction

After flooding, all excess water must be removed from the area. Water mitigation experts can do this efficiently using industrial pumps. Extraction starts the drying out process, which slows down the progression of the damage.

2. Material Removal

Extensive flooding from a toilet overflow often means that the flooring or walls need to be torn out. If they have been saturated, they cannot be cleaned and must be replaced. Before disinfection can take place, technicians must remove all materials that have been destroyed by the flooding.

3. Extensive Cleaning

Because sewage and flood water are highly contaminated, anything they touch much be thoroughly disinfected before the area can be restored. Experts may use industrial-strength cleaners, gamma radiation or other methods to make sure that all germs are gone.

4. Structure Restoration

The last step that occurs before your building can return to business as usual is restoration. Parts of the structure that were torn out are rebuilt and replaced. Items that had to be removed from the area are returned if they were able to be salvaged. Finishing steps such as paint touch-ups or tile matching are completed.
When flood water or an overflowing toilet cause extensive water damage to your building, restoration experts must do more than just dry out the area. By disinfecting the affected space before rebuilding it, they can help you safeguard the people in your building and avoid additional damage.

What Damages a Solar Panel?

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

A solar panel on top of a roof house Solar panels are designed to last up to 30 years

What Damages a Solar Panel?

People in Las Vegas, NV with solar panels should feel confident that their investment should last and they won’t have to worry about panel damage. While the weather doesn’t always cooperate with our wishes, these renewable energy systems are designed to withstand a fair amount of what Mother Nature throws their way.

Panel Durability

Although the many photovoltaic cells that make up a panel are fragile, they are protected by a durable frame and tempered glass. Similar to cellphone screens, even if they shatter or crack, they maintain their form. The glass used is tested to provided a protective layer from hail, wind and sever storms, as well as hold up to excess weight on them.

Common Culprits

Solar panels are designed to last up to 30 years, and may even continue working at a lower capacity after that, but they aren’t 100% resistant to the effects of nature. When general roof damage occurs, there may be a chance that there is also panel damage. The most common causes of damage include:

Falling debris – Dust, leaves and twigs may create tiny scratches that can eventually block some of the cells from absorbing sunlight. Larger branches falling have the potential to create large cracks. Maintaining nearby trees can help deter these problems.
Hail – Panels are designed to withstand hail. For people who live in areas prone to hail storms, or freak storms with larger hail, scratching or cracking can happen. While there isn’t much you can do to prevent hail damage, smaller panels can reduce overall damage.
Rain and snow – As panels age, seals can begin to deteriorate. This may allow moisture to get inside the panel and affect its components. A professional can reseal the panels to help them last as long as they should.

Most people won’t need to worry about panel damage for years to come. A few small steps, like keeping panels free of debris, can easily be added to your spring and fall home maintenance checklist.

Proper Mold Testing For Your Home

9/18/2019 (Permalink)

The hand of someone with a moist meter on wall, testing for mold Mold testing in a home

Proper Mold Testing For Your Home

Homeowners are often concerned about indoor humidity levels and the possibility of mold growth. There are dozens of products advertised for mold testing, but how do you know if they are accurate or whether they can truly tell your risk level? The following items will dispel myths about DIY mold kits and explain the best path forward for a safe home.

Mold Kit Truths

Mold is present everywhere, both indoors and out. It is brought indoors through air ventilation systems, open windows and doors, and even through your clothes and pets. Therefore, every mold testing kit should read positive when trying to determine the presence of mold. The results aren’t useful, because they don’t tell you if the amount of mold is harmful or in need of a mold remediation specialist.

Professional Fixes

The only way to determine whether you have a problem is to hire a competent environmental hygienist to test for mold levels. They should be able to give you clear results, along with a plan of action, if needed. Before choosing a company, ask the following questions:

  • Is the company well-established and experienced in mold testing?
  • Does it also offer remediation services to get rid of health risks?
  • Are the technicians properly trained?
  • Does it have the technology to eliminate mold?

Prevention Methods

If you are determined to take action yourself, there are several steps you can take to prevent mold growth. Regularly getting your roof and plumbing inspected can help identify problems before water damage occurs. Certain rooms like bathrooms and basements are magnets for humidity problems, so addressing excess moisture is important. You should ensure proper ventilation and implement dehumidifiers, if necessary.
It can be tempting to buy a cheap DIY mold kit to try to handle a potential humidity and mold problem within your home. However, the results are often not useful. If you are concerned about mold testing, contact a competent professional to determine the risks and prevention methods.

Showering Makes the Toilet Overflow

8/20/2019 (Permalink)

Auger snake

Clearly, showering should not affect the other plumbing in the bathroom. If taking a shower makes your toilet overflow, you have a clog somewhere between the toilet and the sewer. Proper sewage cleaning is in order. This can be a DIY project, if you are feeling adventurous.

Steps to Clearing the Pipes

1. Get a snake. An auger snake is a plumbing tool that consists of a long, flexible wire that is driven either by hand or by a motor. You can rent or purchase snakes from your local hardware store in Northwest Las Vegas, NV. You'll need a snake that's at least 25 feet long.
2. Snake the toilet. Since you're not sure where the clogged pipe is, begin by snaking the toilet. You can do this through the toilet itself, or remove the toilet and snake through the floor drain. When you are done, run the shower to see if it is still overflowing.
3. Snake the drain cleanout. The drain cleanout is a cap on your main drain, probably located in the crawlspace or basement. Use a long pipe wrench to remove the cap. Be aware that if you have clogged pipes at this point, backed up sewage can run out when you remove the cap. Run the snake through the opening to clear up any clogs. Replace the cap and run your shower again to test.
4. Get help. If your attempts at sewage cleaning have not solved the problem, you have bigger issues and you will need to call a professional plumber. They have longer and more powerful snakes that can reach clogs between your home and the main sewer line.

In addition to sewage cleaning, you may need home cleaning or water damage restoration. If your plumbing problems have resulted in damage to floors, walls, or fixtures, call in the pros who are Faster to any size disaster.

3 Steps To Take Before a Storm Hits Your Business

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Back up all of your files on a cloud

How To Equip Your Business For a Storm

If a spring storm is in the forecast, you need to prepare your business for the bad weather. Ensuring that you take the proper steps in advance can prevent your building from becoming vulnerable to storm damage. If you fail to prepare, it can result in unnecessary expenses and high stress levels. Follow these guidelines to equip your business in Las Vegas, NV, for a storm.

1. Secure Your Building

Before the storm hits, the first thing you should do is make sure each aspect of your building is properly secured. Check to see that:

  • Windows are protected by shutters or plywood.
  • Trees and shrubs near structures are trimmed.
  • The building has no current leaks.

Protecting your windows with shutters or plywood can prevent them from shattering as a result of high winds. It’s also important to check for any existing leaks throughout your building, as they can worsen when the storm hits. You don’t want to pay for repairs or replacements as a result of a pipe burst or another form of damage.

2. Pay Attention to Weather Reports

It will be a challenge to fully prepare your business for a spring storm if you aren’t aware of what kind of damage you can expect. To stay updated before the bad weather arrives, pay close attention to any weather reports that provide helpful information on the storm. The more you know about the weather event, the better equipped you can be when it comes to your area.

3. Protect Your Data

Your business’s data is extremely valuable and must be protected in the event of a storm. Make sure you have a plan in place that will keep your data safe if the weather threatens to compromise it. It may be a good idea to back up all of your files on a cloud so that you can access them at a more convenient time.
The safety of your business should be taken seriously. If a spring storm causes any harm to your property, trust an emergency damage restoration company to bring your business back to its normal state.

Dealing With Fire and Water Damage Does Not Mean the End of Business

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

Fire and water damage in Northwest Las Vegas, NV

The majority of business owners in Northwest Las Vegas, NV, go through their days without the fear of a fire being foremost in their thoughts. With reasonable maintenance and care, most people may never experience the tragedy of fire breaking out in the workplace. But for the few who do see such an unfortunate event occur, the fire damage can be devastating.

Damage Comes From Both Fire and Water

In addition to the heat and flames, water damage is another aspect that must be dealt with. A fire hose pumps thousands of gallons of water in the course of putting out a fire. All of that water can be just as destructive as the flames themselves. Fire damage tends to burn upward, while water runs downward inside available openings.

How Does Water Cause Damage During a Fire?

Water can swell boards, ruin electronics and compromise electrical systems even if the flames never touched them.Water can also cause extensive structural damage to porous materials like sheet rock, wood floors and carpeting. Sodden building materials can become swollen or buckled, potentially leading to floor or ceiling cave-ins. Left too long, excess moisture in building interiors can also lead to issues with mold and mildew.

How To Deal With Damage?

The damage from both water and fire can seem insurmountable, but there is help available. A fire and water damage restoration service in Northwest Las Vegas, NV, can guide you through the process by helping to:

  • Assess and evaluate the damage
  • Provide estimates and other details to file with your insurance company
  • Begin safe cleanup practices, including removal of items and structural materials damaged beyond repair, as well as dealing with smoke damage and mold growth
  • Properly clean and disinfect savable content, storing for later as needed
  • Perform restoration services of damaged areas

There is much to do after a fire and time is of the essence. Don’t let fire damage throw you off course. With professional help, you can see the restoration unfold in front of you and get back to business as usual.

What To Do When Mold Comes Back

7/30/2019 (Permalink)

Mold in structure

Reasons Why Mold Comes Back

You see a few patches of mold growth on the wall of your office, so you have the custodial staff clean it up. In a few days, you notice that the patches have returned in the same spot. It's not the custodians' fault. There are several reasons that the mold may have returned.

Moisture Problems

Mold will not grow in your building in Las Vegas, NV, unless there is enough moisture to feed it. A moisture problem can come from several issues:

  • High humidity
  • Leaky pipe
  • Unresolved water damage
  • Damp carpet or carpet pad

Even if you clean the patch of mold off the wall, if you don't resolve the moisture problem that led to it, it will probably come back.

Mold Structure

The purpose of mold in nature is to break down organic matter. When mold spores settle on a surface, that's exactly what they start doing. There is more to mold growth than what you see on the surface. Tendrils called hyphae grow down into the pores of the material. They excrete enzymes that start to break down the material of your wall or whatever surface hosts the growth. When you just clean the surface, you're only removing half the problem. You are probably also releasing spores, which can affect the air quality in your office.

Improper Mitigation

Only licensed mold mitigation specialists have the necessary training for thorough remediation. They will likely start with a pretest so that they can identify the full scope of the problem. Then they use special techniques that allow disinfectant to reach all the places that the fungus has spread. After mitigation, they can test again to make sure the issue is resolved.
Unless you hire experts to get rid of not only the mold growth but the moisture problem that allowed it to thrive, you will probably see it again, maybe even in the same spot. Understanding the nature of mold can help you recognize the right way to handle the problem.

Flood Insurance Is a Must For Businesses

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

Give SERVPRO a call if you experience commercial flooding.

Coping with the aftermath of a flood in Las Vegas, NV, is likely to be challenging to citizens and business owners. Surprisingly, many business owners may not realize the importance of carrying flood insurance because they assume they are covered under their commercial insurance policies. Naturally occurring hazards such as fire, lightning and wind that produce damage are covered under these policies, as are rainwater, mudflow and melting snow that leaks onto property from above, but commercial coverage does not typically extend to flood damage. Areas that experience snowy winters with rapid spring melts, heavy spring rains or even moderate annual rainfall are at particular risk for the kind of flooding that can damage floors, walls, fixtures, and inventory and cripple a business temporarily or permanently. 

Defining Flood Damage

To understand floods, you must know what makes a flood different from a rainstorm.

  1. Flood water is defined as accumulating from the ground up, as in the overflow from bodies of water, storm surges, blocked storm drains, and rain or snow melt that inundates ground that is ordinarily dry.
  2. Floods cover at least two properties or an area determined to be at least two acres.
  3. Flood damage is confined to buildings in which water and/or mudflow has infiltrated from the ground.

Understanding Flood Insurance

Insurance policies for floods protect business owners against losses to their buildings and what is stored in them. Exemptions include vehicles, loss of use and loss of revenue from having to close the business for any amount of time. If the business is operating with a mortgage from a federally insured or federally regulated lender, carrying flood insurance on the building is required by law. The same is true if the business is operating in an area that has been officially designated as an area at high risk for flooding. Easy-to-use, interactive tools available online enable business owners to determine the status of Las Vegas, NV with regard to flood risk.

Floods and Mold Damage: Should You Have a Flood Policy?

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

People in flood zones already understand the importance of flood insurance

Importance of Flood Insurance

People in flood zones already understand the importance of flood insurance. However, homeowners living just outside the boundary of these flooding zones may not know the value of such policies, especially with the compounding damages of flood waters, like mold growth and structural issues. Flood coverage can offer protections for homeowners even when they don't live within a specified flood territory. However, it is necessary to weigh the advantages of such policies against the potential need.

Likelihood of Flooding

Not every area is prone to flooding, so living within a relatively dry climate may mean less need for flood coverage. However, if you live close to a flood zone, then purchasing the additional coverage is a way of protecting against possible loss. Therefore, check with your local municipality and emergency management office to determine if flood protection is a good idea for you and your residence.

Storm Surge and Mold Growth

While your area may not have frequent flooding, you may still live in an area prone to violent weather, like tropical storms or hurricanes, either of which can cause flooding. When living in an area with volatile weather, the city may ask for evacuations occasionally. Unfortunately, while you may prepare your home for the approaching storm, a flood may occur, leaving your home and belongings vulnerable. Experts say that mold growth develops within hours and colonizes within three days, meaning that areas at risk of evacuation likely require more specific coverages, like for flooding.

Restoration

Another reason to consider upgrading your insurance in certain areas is to offset the cost of restorations. Flooding can cause a significant amount of property damage, and most homeowner's policies will not cover the loss. Therefore, to hire an emergency restoration service in the Las Vegas, NV, area for water and potential mold removal, you will need adequate flood coverage.
While intense storms and flooding do not affect every area in the country, it is necessary to make sure you're covered for potential weather risks in your area. Flooding can lead to mold growth and structural issues that are not commonly covered in homeowners' policies. Therefore, check your zoning and policy to protect your property.

Steps to Take After a Fire in Your Home

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in a Northwest Las Vegas, NV home

What to Do After a Fire?

You've probably learned about proper fire prevention tips and how to safely evacuate your home in case of such an emergency. Do you know what to do after the fire, once you've reached safety and crews have put out the flames? It's critical that you follow effective procedures so you can get your home back to a state where you can return and get your life back on track. This not only involves fire restoration but working with your insurance company.

Your Responsibilities

From the moment you smell smoke, see a fire in your Northwest Las Vegas, NV, home or hear the smoke detector sound the alarm, you need to act quickly. If you take the right actions, you can have peace of mind that you'll get the financial help you need to pay for repairs and that you'll be able to get back home soon.

  • Alert the fire department as soon as you suspect or verify there's a fire.
  • Contact professional fire restoration specialists to start the cleanup and repair efforts.
  • Call your insurance agent and file a claim with your homeowner's insurance or fire insurance policies.

Leave It Alone

It's vital that as soon as the fire crews put out the fire that you don't return to the home and disturb the scene. Not only is this unsafe, but it could cause further damage to the structure of your house and nullify some of your insurance claims.

Let the Insurance and Restoration Companies Coordinate

It's important that you file a claim quickly so your insurance agent can communicate with the fire cleanup and remediation team. The restoration company will inform the insurance agency about necessary repairs, smoke cleaning and the extent of the damage. The company can take photos and send them to your insurance agency as well.
The sooner you file a claim and hire the right fire restoration company, the sooner you'll get on the road to recovery. Make sure you act quickly and effectively.