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November is Child Safety and Protection Month

10/30/2017 (Permalink)

November is Child Safety and Protection Month

Below are tips for helping to keep children safe at home.

  1. Use safety gates. Even before your baby crawls, install safety gates to match your home and protect curious children from harm. Hardware mounted gates should be installed at the top and bottom of the stairs.
  2. Prepare for bedtime: Remove all soft, fluffy and loose bedding from the baby’s sleep area. This includes pillows, blankets, quilts, bumper pads, sleep positioners, sheepskins, stuffed toys and other soft products.
  3. Be mindful of plants. Choose decorative plants that are nontoxic. Common household plants can often cause serious sickness.
  4. Use Doormats. Place a welcome mat outside your home or apartment. Pesticides and other toxins may be carried inside on the soles of people's shoes.
  5. Be cautious of choking hazards. Be vigilant about coins, marbles, keys, jewelry, paper clips, water bottle tops, safety pins, removable rubber tips on doorstops, jeweled decorations on children's clothing, crayons, and hard and round foods.
  6. Check out your furniture. Use angle braces or anchors to secure large furniture to the wall.
  7. Hot water: Set hot water heaters no higher than 120 degrees F. A lower water temperature reduces the chance of scald burns.
  8. Fingerprint your children. Contact your local police department to ask if the department provides home fingerprinting kits. Some departments will fingerprint your child for you. If your local police department does neither, you can easily find fingerprint kits for sale online. http://www.yoursafechild.com/
  9.  Be Mindful of Windows. Screens are meant to keep bugs out, not prevent children from falling.  Never put furniture or cribs near windows where children can easily fall through.
  10. Dishwasher Hazards. Point knives, forks, and other sharp items downward in the utensil basket. Don't fill the dispenser with detergent until you're ready to run the load, and wipe out any that's left over after each cycle. Always replace the cap on the bottle tightly, and store it in a locked cabinet. Keep the dishwasher closed and latched when it's not in use.
  11. Stoves and Kitchen Ranges. Make sure free-standing or slide-in ranges are installed with anti-tip brackets that secure the rear legs to the floor. Manufacturers are required to provide these brackets on ranges made after 1991, but you can contact the company for the parts, or order them from an appliance-parts store. Keep the oven door closed when not using the oven, and never allow your child to lean on or climb on the range or oven door. Install child safety locks on knobs. Install stove guards.
  12. Fire Safety. For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area. Teach kids never to play with matches and lighters. Make a habit of placing these items up and away from young children. Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of every room in case of a fire.

Sources: http://www.parentguidenews.com, www.hg.org, http://www.parents.com, and safekids.org

National Fire Prevention Week

10/5/2017 (Permalink)

National Fire Prevention Week

October 8th - 14th is National Fire Prevention Week.

In a fire, seconds count. Seconds can mean the difference between residents of our community escaping safely from a fire or having their lives end in tragedy.

That’s why this year’s Fire Prevention Week theme: “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!” is so important. It reinforces why everyone needs to have an escape plan. Here’s this year’s key campaign messages:

  • Draw a map of your home with all members of your household, marking two exits from each room and a path to the outside from each exit.
  • Practice your home fire drill twice a year. Conduct one at night and one during the day with everyone in your home, and practice using different ways out.
  • Teach children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them.
  • Make sure the number of your home is clearly marked and easy for the fire department to find.
  • Close doors behind you as you leave – this may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Once you get outside, stay outside. Never go back inside a burning building.

Source: National Fire Protection Association,  http://www.nfpa.org/public-education/campaigns/fire-prevention-week-2

The Three Types of Contaminated Water

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Did you know that SERVPRO of The Hill Country also cleans up sewage backups?

Sewer backups should be considered an emergency since the water may contain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes that cause serious illnesses. Our professionals at SERVPRO of The Hill Country have specialized training and equipment to quickly and safely clean contaminants like sewage.

Water damage can be classified by the three types of contaminated water. Our team of technicians will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered.

The three types of contaminated water:

Category 1: "Clean Water"

Category 1 water is from a clean source like a broken water supply line or leaking faucet. If not treated quickly, this water can turn into category 2 or 3, depending on length of time, temperature, and contact with surrounding contaminants.

  • Water from a clean source like a broken water line
  • If left untreated, can degrade into category 2 or 3

Category 2: "Gray Water"

Category 2 water is contaminated and could cause discomfort or illness. Examples include washing machine overflow; toilet overflow with some urine, but no feces; or dishwasher overflow.

  • May contain bacteria and viruses
  • Can quickly degrade into category 3 if left untreated

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. Our technicians at SERVPRO of The Hill Country are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for any emergency situations that arise. We have been a trusted name in safely and properly restoring homes and businesses for almost 15 years! We are here to help!

Toilet Overflow or Sewer Backup?
Call our office today (210) 361-3235

Why SERVPRO is the Best for Commercial Cleaning and Commercial Damage Restoration

8/21/2017 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO is the Best for Commercial Cleaning and Commercial Damage Restoration

Did you know SERVPRO is not just for disasters such as floods, water damage, or fires in the home?  We also help Commercial Businesses!

SERVPRO employees are certified to clean and sanitize: Upholstery, Carpeting, Flooring, and other hard surfaces.  SERVPRO is even certified to remove biohazard contaminants such as blood, urine, feces, and other things no one else wants to clean.  Refresh your carpeting and office cubical- we also specialize in odor removal and deodorization!   Additionally, SERVPRO is available after hours if services are needed when customers and/or clients are not present.

SERVPRO means reliable, certified professionals will show up at your door.  Please call today for a quote; we would be very happy to serve you on a reoccurring basis.

Hot Water Heater Leak Causes Damage to San Antonio Kitchen

8/20/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Hot Water Heater Leak Causes Damage to San Antonio Kitchen What the area where the water broke through the ceiling looked like when we arrived on scene.

SERVPRO of The Hill Country responded to an emergency water damage call in this San Antonio home. Summer had just begun, and mom along with her two children were enjoying the slower pace of life. The three had spent the morning in their pool and worked up quite the appetite. Mom decided to step inside to get food started for lunch while the kids stayed outside and dried off. Mom opened the backdoor and there in front of her was a flood in her kitchen and a hole in her ceiling. She shut off the water, called her children in to help, and then called us -- SERVPRO of The Hill Country to mitigate the rest of the water damage. The woman had discovered that her hot water heater was to blame for this disaster. The hot water heater, which was located in the attic above the kitchen, had sprung a leak. As more and more water was absorbed by the drywall, water began to pool and the kitchen ceiling started to bow. Eventually the ceiling couldn’t hold the weight of the water any longer and the water flooded the kitchen. Our technicians cleaned up the ceiling debris and extracted the standing water. They also cut and removed additional drywall that had been affected by water damage. It is important to get rid of drywall that has gotten wet as soon as possible because when it gets wet, it loses its structural integrity, and it will help minimize the potential of mold growth. After several days of drying, the moisture levels had met our dryness goal. Another home back to normal after experiencing a water damage emergency. With the help of our team at SERVPRO of The Hill Country, it was like this disaster never even happened.

Damaged Window Seal Results in Water Damage After Rain Storm

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

In June, the Texas Hill Country received several rain storms. Storms are not common in our parts in the summer time. When we do get summer rain, it is the occasional five minute sprinkle and then the weather returns to being sunny and hot. So these Boerne homeowners were shocked to find out that they had experienced storm damage while they were gone at work for the day. 

The couple had returned home from work after a long day and noticed a rather large puddle in their living room. At that point, they were confused about what happened and where the water had come from since there was no obvious cause of loss. That's when the couple realized how wet the area around one of the windows was. Upon further inspection, they noticed that the window seal was cracked. The homeowners fixed the damaged window seal, and then they called SERVPRO of The Hill Country. Our professionals came in and extracted any excess water they could out of the carpet. They were able to save the carpet, but needed to remove part of the pad. Our team set up several air movers and dehumidifiers and before the couple knew it, it was like this disaster had never even happened!

Toilet Leak Causes Secondary Damage

8/18/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Toilet Leak Causes Secondary Damage A mold colony growing inside of the closet, which shares a wall with the once flooded powder bathroom

When you experience water damage of any kind, it is important that mitigation begins as soon as possible. The longer the water is allowed to sit, the greater the extent of the damage that is done to your home and belongings. If it sits for long enough, you may no longer be looking at just water damage to clean up, but you could also have secondary damage. Secondary damage, also known as mold, can begin to occur in as little as 48 hours if water damage isn't tended to in a timely manner or isn't taken care of properly. That is what happened in this house in Comfort. The water damage occurred when a supply line to the toilet had disconnected. The homeowners discovered the leak not too long after it had started, and since the water was mostly contained to the four walls of their powder bathroom, the homeowners figured that they would mitigate the water damage themselves. They put in a couple fans and as soon as the baseboards felt dry, the fans were turned off and put away. Fast forward a few weeks later, the homeowner started to notice black spots inside the bathroom and along adjacent walls. Fearing that it was mold, they called SERVPRO of The Hill Country. Our "Mold Guru" came out and confirmed that it was in fact mold growing. Our team of highly-trained professionals completed the remediation that was needed and made this mold infestation "Like it never even happened."

Leaky Dishwasher Wrecked Havoc on Wood Floors

8/4/2017 (Permalink)

The homeowner of this Bandera home was at home doing housework. Her last task was to load up the dishwasher and run it. So she did just that. She made herself a quick lunch and went into the living room to enjoy it and a little well-earned time in front of the TV and a quick nap.

When she woke up, she went to return her dishes to the kitchen and she saw a massive puddle taking over her kitchen floor. Her precious wood floor. By this time, the dishwasher had already run its full cycle. She set up towels to help retain the water and prevent it from damaging neighboring rooms. Then she called us, SERVPRO of The Hill Country, to handle the existing damage. By the time our technicians arrived on scene, the wood floors had already started warping and, unfortunately, we were unable to save them. Time is of the essence when it comes to mitigating water damage!

If you experience any type of water damage, SERVPRO of The Hill Country is here to help! We have been proudly helping the community since 2002!

Talk To Your Kids About Fire Safety

7/26/2017 (Permalink)

A home fire is a devastating event. No one ever thinks that it could happen to them, but it is important that you have a plan, just in case. Get all members of your household, especially any children, involved in discussing what to do if a house fire should ever start. Check all smoke detectors to see that they are in good, working condition. Come up with how to escape your home if it starts on fire and practice it, along with how to feel for fire through closed doors, how to low crawl, how to stop, drop, & roll, and how to call 9-1-1. Familiarize children with the sound of the smoke alarm. It would also be a good time to inform children about the dangers of playing with fire.

Tragically, many house fires are started by children playing with lighters, matches, and other dangerous household items. As a result, the U.S. Fire Administration estimates that every year, $280 million in property is destroyed and 300 people are killed. Look under beds, in closets, and any other “hiding” spot your child may have for evidence that he or she has been playing with fire such as burnt clothing, burnt or melted toys, or charred matchsticks.  

By taking sensible precautions and informing your family about what to do if a fire starts in your Texas Hill Country home, we can help reduce the chances of experiencing a devastating loss.

Water Damage at Kerrville, TX Retail Store

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage at Kerrville, TX Retail Store Another pleased customer for SERVPRO of The Hill Country!

Back in April, the Texas Hill Country definitely experienced those "April Showers". Most storms are short lived, but when they roll in, one can expect bouts of heavy rain and strong winds. 

When SERVPRO of The Hill Country was called out to this cell phone retail store in Kerrville, Texas, it had recently stormed. The rain was hitting the front door and began seeping through the bottom seal of the door. SERVPRO was called immediately and our highly-trained team of technicians were able to get on the scene fast to reduce the amount of water damage done to this commercial building. Our professionals set up air movers and in a few short days, the carpet around the door was dry and equipment was ready to be removed.