Author Archives: ServiceMASTER Restore of Houston

How Much Damage Can a Category 5 Hurricane Do?

Hurricane Cleanup is Necessary for This Flooded Area

How Long Does it Take to Clean Up After Hurricane?

According to local experts, it takes a surprisingly long time. Particularly when major highways and roads are underwater for days or weeks, the clean up can take a long time. During such times the traffic patterns will be affected, and it could take weeks until electricity is established uniformly across the city. Whenever roadways are cleared of water and debris, and utilities are established, structural drying can begin to take place. Carpets will need to be dried, as will drywall and siding. Roofs will also take some time to repair, which is why emergency roof repairs will be in order when applicable. 

What Do You Need to Clean Up After a Hurricane?

One of the things that you will need to address after a hurricane is any mold encroachment. The dirty water that entered the home due to the hurricane will have affected any porous materials. Such porous materials include drywall, carpeting, and upholstery. Once the water has settled, it will introduce mold spores and mildew. If there are any items that cannot be cleaned, they will need to be removed. Experts suggest that homeowners should have approximately twenty-four to thirty-six hours after a flood before mold sets in. 

Who Pays for Cleanup After a Hurricane?

After a hurricane, one of the most important questions that will need to be addressed is who will provide monetary assistance. When the president grants funds to address hurricane damages, the American people pay for the damage assistance through taxes. Taxes are used to fund wars overseas, education, and other public services. In the short-term, funds come from the sale of treasury bonds, which are paid back decades from now. Charities can provide some assistance, as well. Please consult your homeowner’s insurance to see if any of your hurricane damages qualify for coverage.

Who Helped Clean Up Hurricane Katrina?

Hurricane damage cleanup in Houston, TX was especially important after Hurricane Katrina. After Hurricane Katrina, the disaster recovery response included federal government agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) and the United States Coast Guard. Other non-governmental organizations were also involved, including charities and private donors.

How Much Damage Can a Category 5 Hurricane Do?

Strong hurricanes are defined by powerful winds. In order for a storm to qualify as a hurricane, it must possess sustained winds of seventy-four miles an hour or more. While all hurricanes have the power to wreak damage, some are more powerful than others. Meteorologists use the Saffir-Simpson scale to determine the ultimate categorization of hurricanes.

  • A Category 1 hurricane has speeds ranging from seventy-four miles per hour to ninety-five miles per hour. These storms can knock down tree limbs and power lines.
  • Category 2 hurricanes range from ninety-six to one-hundred and ten miles per hour. They are likely to uproot trees, disrupt electrical power over wide areas and do roofing damage.
  • Category 3 hurricanes have winds ranging from one-hundred and eleven miles per hour to one-hundred and twenty-nine miles per hour. Roadways will inevitably be blocked by falling trees and poles.
  • Category 4 hurricanes are distinguished by wind speeds of one-hundred and thirty miles per hour to one-hundred and fifty-six miles per hour. These major storms do devastating, even catastrophic damage. For weeks or months afterward, damage will need to be mitigated.
  • Category 5 hurricanes are any hurricanes with wind speeds over one-hundred and fifty-seven miles per hour. They are immensely destructive. Any structures that receive a direct hit from these hurricanes will be destroyed. Recovery will take months.

Cleanup After Hurricane

Whenever you need emergency plumbing repairs, it’s important to know that there are experts who can help. If you have experienced hurricane damage, you may need to address the following factors. 

  • Roof damage. If your roof suffered a direct hit from the hurricane, you will need a roof replacement.
  • Exterior wall damage. If your siding was impacted, it will be to be inspected, repaired and, in some cases, replaced.
  • Flooding damage. If your home was flooded, it is likely that your carpets will need to be replaced. If your walls have been infected, a home inspection should take place to determine what can be repaired and replaced.

Hurricane Cleanup Companies

There are many hurricane cleanup companies in your area. In order to find out more, please do your research. You may ask for referrals from friends or neighbors, or conduct an internet search. As always, it is important to select a company that has a good reputation and is certified and licensed where applicable.

Hurricane Debris Cleanup

After a hurricane, there can be so much scattered debris that it can be difficult to ascertain where to begin. There are many items on the agenda. Cut and toss of trees may be involved. Emergency fuel may need to be supplied. Debris removal and sign repair may be in order. Temporary generators may need to be installed. If your area is prone to hurricanes, it always pays to have a back-up plan and be prepared.

Hurricane Cleanup Is Necessary for All Neighborhoods Affected by Hurricane Damage.

Hurricane Lane Cleanup

Hurricane Lane was a category five hurricane that occurred in 2018. One human fatality transpired. It occurred on the southeast of Hawaii on August 21st. Hurricane Lane is just one example of the kinds of hurricanes that can occur, and cause a huge impact in your area.

Scheduling an appointment for your hurricane cleanup has never been easier. Our staff at ServiceMASTER Restore of Houston are ready to take your phone call at (832) 412-3919. Discover more about what a hurricane cleanup in Houston, TX can do for you!

How Do You Clean Up Water Damage?

A Water Damaged Home.

What does water mitigation mean?

When you’ve had a flood or storm or other event cause water damage to your property, to clean up the water and repair damages, you’ll want to hire a professional water mitigation company. You may hear people talk about water mitigation or restoration interchangeably. What is the difference between mitigation and restoration? Water damage mitigation is a process meant to prevent to  reverse the damage caused by water in a building. Mitigation may refer just to water removal or it may refer to the whole clean-up. Water damage restoration refers to the whole process of water damage cleanup from removal to drying items and moving them back into the structure.

If you’ve had storm damage or water damage in Houston, TX and require storm damage cleanup, reach out to the reliable professionals at ServiceMASTER Restore of Houston. Schedule us by calling (832) 412-3919.

Anytime severe weather hits, both the inside and outside of your home or business can get damaged. Roofs are particularly susceptible to storm damage, so after a storm passes, it’s wise to get a roof inspection to find out if there is any damage.  

What does a water mitigation company do?

Once your home or business has been damaged by a storm or leak or burst pipe, a water mitigation company can come in and clean-up the damage. At its basic level, the water damage mitigation process involves removing water from the damaged space, and may involve a complete restoration process that includes drying the space, drying items like furniture in the space, and moving those items back into it once everything is dried. Each situation will be a little different, depending on the extent of the damage. Following are the basic steps required for water damage mitigation.

Water damage mitigation steps

  • Inspection and assessment: The first thing a professional will do is inspect the damage and assess it, so an effective course of action can be developed
  • Removal and extraction: Using pumps and vacuums, the water is removed from the building. This step will get the bulk of the water out.
  • Drying and dehumidification: Any remaining water will be dried with specialized equipment and the space will be dehumidified so no moisture will remain to damage the structure.
  • Cleaning and sanitation: The water damage mitigation team will then clean any items that can be restored, and sanitize the space. Odors are also removed.
  • Restoration: The home or business is finally restored to the point before it was damaged by water. Restoration could involve minor repairs like replacing drywall panels or it could require major rebuilding or renovation.

What can water damage do?

When a home or business is damaged by water, the water can damage everything from floors and carpets to wood furniture and upholstery, as well as damaging electronics, plumbing, walls, and appliances. Water damage also risks mold growth, which is expensive to remove.

Damage is generally divided into three categories and four classes. The first, Category 1, involves clean water, which poses no threat to humans. This is the type of damage usually caused by broken appliances or an overflowing sink. Category 2, or gray water damage, means the water is contaminated and contains microorganisms that can get you sick if you ingest it. Broken sump pumps or toilets or seepage usually cause Category 2 damage. When you have sewage back-ups or standing water that’s contaminated, this kind of damage is Category 3, or black water. Black water is highly unsanitary and will contain bacteria and other microorganisms that may cause illness on contact or if ingested.

Class 1 water damage is the least harmful. Items have absorbed very little water and is easy to clean. Class 2 water damage means there is a high rate of evaporation, and carpets and cushions are usually damaged in this way. Class 3 damage evaporates the quickest. It’s usually caused by overhead sources like sprinkler systems, and soaks walls and furniture. Class 4 damage is the type that will require a water damage mitigation service to clean up. Water damage to flooring is commonly classified as Class 4 damage.

What do you do if your house has water damage?

Before a water mitigation service arrives, your house is water damaged you can take some steps to prevent it from becoming worse. If you have a burst pipe or other plumbing problem like water heater failure, you can stop the flooding by turning off the main water line. A major safety concern is electrical power. If you can safely do so, shut off the electricity as well as gas, if you have natural gas lines. Try to assess the damage and document it, especially with photos. This documentation can be used when filing an insurance claim. If at all possible, try to get very valuable possessions out of the home

Water damage mitigation cost

The costs to restore your home or business from water damage will vary depending on the severity of the damage. The average cost is about $2,700. Much of the cost will depend on the category of the damage. If it is clean water, or Category 1, clean-up will cost about $3.75 per square foot, while Category 2 gray water damage will run on average about $4.50 per square foot. Black water, or Category 3 damage will average about $7 per square foot. Depending on the circumstances, insurance may cover the cost. Check with your insurance company to see what is covered.

A Water Damaged Floor.

Water damage mitigation services

If your home or business has experienced water damage and you are looking for water damage mitigation services in Houston, TX, rely on the professionals at ServiceMASTER Restore of Houston. You can reach our team by calling (832) 412-3919.


Is Professional Carpet Cleaning Worth It?

ServiceMaster Offers Deep Cleaning Carpet Care Services.

Does carpet cleaning really work?

When it comes to carpet care, carpet cleaning really works when you need to deep clean your carpet. While carpet cleaning does not eliminate the need for vacuuming, it can benefit your carpet in several ways.

If you have set-in stains on your carpet, a professional carpet cleaning can remove almost any stain from the carpet. A carpet cleaning can also prolong your carpet’s life. Even with regular vacuuming, pockets of debris can build up in the carpet and cause damage. With a professional cleaning, the pockets of debris get removed and your carpet will last longer.

A carpet cleaning also eliminates the lanes or pathways that build up from foot traffic. This is something vacuum cleaning by itself is unable to do.

If you want to improve your carpet care, carpet cleaning can often get your carpets looking like new. For a professional cleaning service, make sure to call (832) 412-3919 to reach the team at ServiceMASTER Restore of Houston.  

How do I keep my carpet looking new?

No one wants dirty, grimy carpets. That’s why you take care of your carpets by vacuuming them. But, eventually your carpets will show signs of wear. If you want to improve your carpet care and make your carpets look new, you can follow these tips:

Ways to keep carpet looking new

  • Get a professional carpet cleaning about twice per year.
  • Take off shoes when you come in and encourage guests to do so as well.
  • Add rugs to protect the carpet.
  • Vacuum using baking soda and vacuum regularly, at least once per week. Baking soda helps eliminate odors.
  • Keep an emergency kit with a variety of stain removers on hand, including commercial stain removers and club soda for wine and beer spills.

Following these steps regularly will keep your carpet in good shape. Vacuuming is an essential duty for good carpet care and maintenance. You should vacuum at least once per week to help keep the carpet looking new. Higher traffic areas should be vacuumed more frequently. You should also make sure to get stains cleaned up as soon as possible before they set in.

Taking care of your carpet is as important as taking care of your plumbing. One appliance you should always maintain when you are taking care of home maintenance is your water heater. Make sure to get it checked by a professional.

How do I clean my carpets myself?

Carpet care is essential and keeping your carpet clean is a relatively easy task. Here are some basic carpet care instructions to follow. One of the main things you want to do regularly is vacuuming. Vacuum at least once per week. When you vacuum, make sure to use attachments to get under furniture and to clean the edges of the carpets and baseboards. Also to vacuum thoroughly, pass over the carpet both horizontally and vertically.

Make sure to clean stains as soon as possible before they get too set into the carpet. Stains should be dabbed and not rubbed and once the stain is removed, the area should be rinsed with a white cloth and water. The area should then be allowed to completely air dry.

If you are looking for a carpet easy to care for, no one carpet is necessarily easier to clean than another. Higher quality carpets tend to be easier to maintain. High quality carpets will be dense and hide the backing when the fibers are bent back. Stain resistant carpets also help when cleaning.

Does cleaning carpet ruin it?

Getting your carpet cleaned professionally, will not ruin its look. In fact, modern carpet cleaners are safe for the carpet and a carpet cleaning can enhance your carpet care. If you are removing stains with an all-purpose cleaner, these cleaners are also safe. Just make sure to follow the directions on the cleaner.

Should you Scotchgard carpet after cleaning?

While Scotchgard or other protective coatings are not necessarily a magic shield over the carpet, it can be worthwhile to use such products after having the carpet cleaned. These products act as a soil retardant and make it easier to get stains out and make the carpet easier to clean in general. These products also last anywhere from 6 months to 1 year until they need to be reapplied. These products, however, do not protect against pet urine and some red wine spills. Pet urine requires a cleaner with enzymes in it to clean the urine from the carpet.

Vacuuming Is Essential for Carpet Care.

Carpet care services

There are several carpet cleaning and carpet care  services in the area.

But if you need top quality carpet cleaning, whether for home or office, and you are looking for a leading carpet care service in Houston, TX make sure to give our team a call at (832) 412-3919. We are the dependable carpet care team for the area.

What is Applied Structural Drying?

A wet vacuum disinfects beige home carpet.

What is Applied Structural Drying?

Applied structural drying is an important part of saving homes that have been ravaged by water damage. Water damage resulting from a flood or leak can have massive ramifications for a home. Applied structural drying combines knowledge, expertise, and state-of-the-art technology to dry homes effectively. After a property has experienced severe flooding, it is only a matter of time before the damage remains permanent. Applied structural drying incorporates a data-driven approach to damaged materials in a home, and is delivered with the objective of drying the home as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If you live in Houston and are experiencing water damage, Houston, TX structural drying may be for you!

How do Air Movers Work?

Air movers circulate air in a concentrated space. While there are many potential uses for air movers, their most common purpose is for drying dampened areas. Commercial air movers may be used for removing fumes, cooling, and blowing away dust, debris, dirt, and leaves. With regard to how they function, air movers circulate air at rapid speeds and are thus essential for water restoration jobs. These machines offer high-velocity airflow, which translates to faster drying times, and more efficient use of the limited time contractors have.

How do You Get Moisture Out of Carpet?

There are several ways in which you can get the moisture out of a carpet. To begin with, ensure that you act fast, so you can diminish the effect the water will have on the carpet materials. One of the easiest ways to remove the moisture from your carpet is by renting a wet vacuum. Wet vacuums easily remove the water from your carpet, and if you believe you will only need to use one once, the cost is inexpensive. Another trick is to create air flow in the area. Create as much airflow as you can in the wet area to help remove the odor and moisture from the room. High powered fans are best for this job, as are air movers.

Will a Dehumidifier Dry Carpet?

If used in conjunction with an air mover, and high-powered fans, a dehumidifier will absolutely help dry the carpet in an affected area. For example, if a room or basement has become flooded, it will be important for homeowners to use all the tools possible, as rapidly as possible, to save the surrounding carpet and foundation. A dehumidifier pulls moisture from the air, and in turn, helps dry the carpet. Removing moisture from the air will also produce an aggregate effect on the surrounding areas of the home, as water damage can pervade most areas and lead to mold or mildew.

A wet vacuum cleans a stain on the off-white carpet.

Can Wet Carpet be Saved?

If you have recently been faced with a horrendous weather event that has left your living room drenched in water, you might be thinking: “can my carpet be saved?” There is hope. Carpet can be a costly investment, and ensuring that investment is revived to full potential is worthwhile. The biggest factor counting against you is time. After you have determined the source of the water, and stopped the leak, clean and disinfect the carpet. Lots of air circulation will be vital at this point. Next, the carpet pad will need to be removed, and more air circulation applied. It is important at this point to recognize if this is a job for restoration experts. If the task is small, the carpet pad may not need to be replaced. If the damage is catastrophic, calling an expert will be necessary.

The use of a dehumidifier will greatly assist the process. If you have experienced a flood, report the issue to your homeowner’s insurance.

Advanced Structural Drying Technologies

Pioneering structural drying technologies have changed the home restoration landscape. The science of applied structural drying revolves around three industry-standard techniques. Rapid drying is enacted through powerful, truck-mounted extractors to eliminate water. Vacuum squeegees pick up water from hard floors and high-volume pumps clear flooded spaces. Humidity reduction is created through the use of axial fans and centrifugal air movers to flush water vapor out of the house. Continuous monitoring is next. Measurements are taken throughout the house at scheduled intervals through the project. Moisture sensors are used to chart the extent of water intrusion. Successful results have occurred after the navigation of this three-step process.

Structural Drying Cost

The cost to restore a regular, non-catastrophic water leak averages to approximately $2,400, with a range of $1,000 to $3,800. Cleaning up and drying out the house ranges from $3.75 per square foot to $7 per square foot, depending on the amount of water that has passed through the area. Typically, drying out a 10-foot by 12-foot room costs $200-$400. These costs do not factor in the construction that is required to return the home to its original state, such as replacing floors or repairing a roof.

Structural Heat Drying

Structural heat drying is another form of carpet restoration. Warm air is typically used to transfer heat into the structure through convection. The heat source warms the air and then the air warms the structure and the liquid water. For small areas, heat lamps can be used, which employ infrared rays. Convection (hot air) and radiation (IR) are the two main mechanisms used to employ heat in restorative drying.

One of the important factors that will positively affect the exterior of your home is a gutter installation. Gutters funnel rainwater away from the foundation of your home. Gutters are integral to your home health.

Structural Drying Techniques

There are many structural drying techniques that can be used for your home or property if water damage has occurred. The following list comprises several of these techniques.

  • Active extraction of water using special tools.
  • Use of air movers to evaporate moisture.
  • Application of dehumidifiers to prevent secondary damages. Wood rotting and mold are eliminated through this process.
  • Ideal temperature maintenance.

Scheduling an appointment for your applied structural drying has never been easier. Our staff at ServiceMASTER Restore of Houston are ready to take your phone call at (832) 412-3919. Discover more about what applied structural drying in Houston, TX can do for you!

How Do You Fix Damp Walls?

Moisture Level Testing, Structural Drying Services

Damp Walls

Leaks are a common household problem. Whether they come from a damaged roof or a broken pipe, water can cause some major damage to your walls, such as swelling, staining, structural damage, and the presence of mold or mildew. If your walls are beginning to swell or stains are beginning to form, then your home is calling out for help. It is time to consider getting a structural drying service done for your home.

What is Structural Drying Services?

Structural drying services are a set of techniques that professional home restoration and improvement companies use to help rid the moisture from the structural components of your home, such as the walls.

There are three major techniques that are typically used for structural drying, extraction, evaporation, and dehumidification. In order for to ensure the safety and stability of your walls, it is important to hire a professional restoration team to aid you with structural drying services, as doing it on your own could result in missed moisture which can turn into even more damages and costly repairs.

Need a restoration team in Houston, TX then call ServiceMASTER Restore of Houston at (832) 412-3919.

Types of Structural Drying Services

It is important to understand exactly what a restoration specialist is doing to your home when you invest in structural drying services. That way, you can be confident that you are getting the best services possible for your home.

Water Extraction

Especially when your walls are starting to bubble or develops severe stains, excess water that is pooling is extremely dangerous to the structure of your home. It is a vital first step for the restoration professional to remove the water first. In order to do this, they will use a suction machine to clear the standing water from the structure.

Evaporation

After most of the water has been removed from your walls, or the affected structure of your home, then the evaporation process begins. Airflow machines are used to create a current of air over the affected areas, resulting in the natural process of evaporation to quicken. This will speed up the drying process and put a stop to any further water damage.

Dehumidification

As with the natural cycle of water, evaporation leads to condensation which puts a lot of moisture in the air. Too much moisture can cause problems for your home such increase the temperature (as the moisture acts as a heat trap), and create a favorable environment for mold to grow. Dehumidifiers are brought in to counteract the moisture brought on by the evaporation process, giving your home an extra shield against water damage.

Moisture Level Testing

Periodically during the drying services, a moisture level test is done to monitor the humidity in the air and the moisture locked in the structure. Once your structure and air have passed the moisture level test, we know that the drying process is complete, and you have reassurance that your structure is sound.

Why Are My Walls Damp?

Knowing the process of structural drying services is one thing, but knowing what caused your damp walls is a step towards prevention.

Moisture Coming From Down Under

When the bottom of your walls near the floor start to show signs of bubbling or staining but the upper parts are remaining dry, then you know water is coming from underneath. Poor site drainage and poor sub-floor ventilation are usually the leading causes of rising moisture underneath your home. In order to prevent these problems, it is important to make sure that you are getting your drainage pipes regularly inspected and that the ventilation in your sub-floor is clear of dirt, grime, and debris. This way, moisture doesn’t become trapped underneath your floors and rise into your walls.

If you are building a new home, it is always a good idea to ensure that your construction team is installs a damp-proof course to help keep moisture away from your floors and walls.

Condensation

Though not as common as some of the other factors on this list, condensation still presents a problem for the structures of your home. In order to prevent condensation, make sure that your home has proper ventilation to help expel excess moisture.

Leaks

Leaks in your roof, from a broken pipe, or even a faulty window are usually the most common reasons for wet walls and structures of your homes. This usually occurs after strong storms, cold weather that freezes causes pipes to burst, and lack of routine maintenance.

In order to avoid water and structural damage caused by leaks, it is important to have your roof inspected after every major storm as well as once during the fall and spring. If your roof shows signs of damage, then it is important to ensure that you get the roof repaired or replaced immediately. Hesitation or Procrastination leads to disaster.

When it comes to pipes, if you suspect there is a leak, call a professional plumber right away and turn off the main water valve to your home. This will prevent further damages until the problem can be solved.

Finally, ensuring that your windows are up to date and properly maintained will reduce the chance of broken frames or glass panels.

Water Damage, Moisture Build Up, Damp Walls, Structural Drying Services

Contact Us

If you are looking for professional structural drying services in Houston, TX then call the professional team at ServiceMASTER Restore of Houston. Our years of experience has helped us develop the best tricks in the trade when it comes to structural drying services. Call us today at (832) 412-3919 for a consultation.

Getting Back to Normal With Fire Damage Restoration

Fires are one of the most traumatic things that could happen to your family. Your once safe haven is completely shattered as your shelter burns to the ground. The most vital thing is safety, so getting your loved ones out of the danger is of the utmost importance. After everyone is out of harm’s way can you then start assessing how you rebuild your lives. One of the first steps is calling your insurance agency and reporting the incident. That way you can immediately start getting smoke and fire damage repair to your home. For fire damage restoration services in Houston, TX, call ServiceMASTER Restore of Houston at (832) 412-3919 today.

What is Fire Damage Restoration?

fire burns through a residential roof

If You Have Had a House Fire and Need Fire Damage Restoration Services, Call Us Today

Any time severe damage occurs to your home, restoration is needed to salvage items that can be saved from peril. If your home has flooded, water damage restoration services are used to dry out your home and belongings. The same thing happens when there is a fire. After a fire has wrecked your home, fire restoration specialists come in and remove smoke, ash, and other signs of fire damage from the home to try and save as many valuables as possible.

In addition to the removal of smoke and ash, remnants from fire extinguishers have to be removed as well. Depending on what type of fire extinguisher was used, this could include water, foam, carbon dioxide, foam, or other chemicals. If water or chemical damage has occured from the fire extinguishers, that increases the fire damage restoration cost total to around $12,700. Luckily, a lot of this will be covered by your insurance.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Smoke Damage?

Smoke damage is classified as covered peril in the majority of homeowner policies. Because smoke will permanently damage porous materials like wood, carpets, and mattresses, insurance will often pay to have these items cleaned or replaced. Disputes among homeowners and insurance companies often come up on whether cleaning the items of the smoke smell is sufficient enough or if they need to be fully replaced. Most insurance companies will pay for a cleaning, and will only replace the items if the smoke smell still remains after having them professionally cleaned.

Sometimes insurance will also cover replacing parts of your landscaping as smoke damage kills plants by contaminating the soil. If insurance won’t cover the full extent of your fire damage restoration needs and you do have to pay for some of it out of pocket, rest assured that you can these expenses as casualty loss deductions on your tax returns.

How Do You Clean Up After a Fire?

fire damaged tv

We Provide Fire Damage Restoration Services To Help Save Your Home And Valuables

If your home is still salvageable after a fire, fire damage cleanup is important. Not only are you able to preserve valuables, but are able to find and repair any hidden damages that the fire caused. These could be issues like water damage and mold, ash in the air ducts, warped housing from the extreme heat, and more. Oftentimes, a roof replacement will be needed as fire will have partially or completely ruined your roof in its escape. Many professionals need to be called in order to get your house back to safe living conditions. Your insurance company can help you make these calls and find you a place to stay while renovations and restorations are going on in the home. Contractors and structural engineers wll need to perform repairs and a thorough inspection of the house.

Fire Damage Restoration Checklist

When cleaning up after a fire, it is important to have a licensed contractor perform a through adjustor’s inspection. Areas of the house that could be inspected for damages include:

  • The roof. A burnt roof, rot, or mold could all be results of the fire.
  • The foundation. Beams and structures around your house that are made of metal could have gotten warped from the high levels of heat, putting the integrity of your walls and foundation in danger of collapse.
  • Cracks in your foundation and flooring. Heat from the house fire could have dried out your flooring, exposing the foundation underneath. This could also cause your foundation to shift, resulting in large cracks that can allow water to get in and cause other problems like mold.
  • Windows. Glass could have burst or discolored from smoke damage. The window frames could have melted or warped, resulting in moisture and mold problems.
  • Interior walls. The inside of the walls need to be checked for mold growth that could have been caused from burst pipes in the fire, or water damage from trying to put the fire out.

Get Fire Damage Restoration Today

Live in your home safely without the threat of smoke, mold, water, or fire damage. When you call the experts at ServiceMASTER Restore of Houston at (832) 412-3919 for fire damage restoration services in Houston, TX, you are ensured quality recovery of your possessions and removal of damage.

What to Do When You Have a Sewage Leak

Dirty Water in Sink from Sewer Backflow

Sewage Backflow Exposes You to Several Dangerous Diseases. Be Sure to Call an Expert Quickly!

Houston homeowners deal with a lot of challenging weather phenomena. Floods become a casually destructive part of life. The smelly crisis that no one expects to face is a sewage leak, which can have devastating effects on your furniture and other possessions. On top of that, raw sewage can endanger your health. To help prepare you in the event of an emergency, we’ve constructed a compact guide. We’ll explain some of the common causes of sewage leaks, dangerous side-effects, the sewage clean up process, and what steps to take for your water damage insurance claim. 

How Sewage Leaks Happen

There are two primary categories when it comes to sewage leaks: system clogs and flood-related. Clogs are the most common cause of leaks at home. Mineral deposits, tree roots, and miscellaneous flushed items can clog up your sewer line and cause waste water to flow back into the house. If left untreated for long enough, this can lead to some unpleasant smells and dirty water coming out of your toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and floor drains.

The second and most devastating cause of sewage leaks is backflow caused by heavy rain and flooding. When local drains can’t keep up with the huge amount of water surging through the street, it can force water through your sewer line and into your home. The waste water typically enters the house through the lowest drain, which is often located inside the basement.

What are the Harmful Effects of Sewage?

The good news is that most diseases related to sewage water exposure are spread only through ingestion. The bad news? There are a lot of diseases spread through sewage water exposure. The following illnesses, pathogens, and bacteria should show you how serious this matter is. (Thanks to Mr. Rooter for providing this list!)

Illnesses Associated With Raw Sewage Exposure

  • Dysentery
  • Typhoid Fever
  • Gastroenteritis (Stomach Flu)
  • Campylobacteriosis 
  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Salmonellosis
  • Diarrheagenic E. coli
  • Giardiasis
  • and More!

Leaks in the House

Clean Up With a Sewer Leak

Make Sure to Wash Your Hands Often and Keep Them Away From Your Eyes and Mouth!

Whether the backflow was caused by a clog or local flooding, you should take serious precautions to protect yourself and your family in the event of significant sewage leak. Wash your hands frequently! Also, be careful about touching your face, eyes, or mouth if you come into contact with the waste water. Don’t consume any food that has been exposed to the raw sewage.

Minor leaks can usually be dealt with using store-bought cleaning products some assistance from your local plumber. For larger emergencies, you’ll want to call your local restoration service to clean and sanitize every room that’s been affected. They’ll also help you aerate each room to help get rid of the smell.

Leaks in the Yard

If the sewage leak is limited to the yard, you may have a damaged sewer drain line. This is often the result of a shift in the ground, pipe corrosion, or even invasive tree roots. While the smelly, soggy patches in your yard may seem like a simple inconvenience, raw sewage will endanger local animals and nearby plants.

Make sure to quickly call your local plumber for broken pipe repair and specify that the damage is in your yard. When the pipe eventually becomes clogged, the sewage water will likely flow backwards up into your home. If a tree root was the problem, you’ll also want to have the roots trimmed back for safety.

Sewage Clean Up Process

Cleaning up large sewage leaks is a very involved process that should start as soon as possible after the flooding event. You’ll need to coordinate with your flood insurance agency (which we’ll talk about later) and speak with a restoration company that you trust. Remember, the sooner you begin the restoration process, the more possessions you should be able to save.

Sewage Backup Cleanup

Pumping Out Waste Water From a Flooded Home

Sewage Clean Up Always Starts By Pumping Out The Waste Water From the Affected Areas.

After surveying the damage, the first thing your flood restoration crew will do remove all of the waste water and contaminated materials in the affected spaces. Next, your sewage clean up company will sanitize the areas to protect your family from any leftover bacteria, viruses, etc. Finally, the team will aerate your home to start removing the smell.

There’s a high chance that the affected rooms will also be suffering from excess humidity. If that’s the case, you’ll want to ask your restoration company to dehumidify your house as well. This will prevent any mold spores or mildew from growing for the time being. If you want to clean away any mold that’s already grown in the house, that’s going to be a different sort of service (but it could be a smart idea).

Once cleanup has finished, your restoration company will let you know which possessions are salvageable and which items will need to be thrown away. Don’t try to save anything that’s been too damaged or contaminated. This could be potentially dangerous for your home and health.

How to Clean Up Sewage in the Basement

A Dark, Dusty, and Dirty Basement

Basement Sewage Clean Up Should Start With Turning Off Gas and Fuel Lines.

Thanks to Hunker for all these great DIY tips! If you are personally cleaning out a basement with sewage water, the process should start turning off any gas or fuel lines connected with that area. Natural gas is highly flammable and the extra methane from the sewage adds further danger into the mix. Assuming the remaining water waste has been drained out of the area, you’ll want to open up any nearby doors and windows to start venting the air. As long as you aren’t standing in water, carefully unplug any electrical devices in the area with a broom or another long wooden object.

Take pictures of all the furnishings and valuables in the affected area, especially those you believe are going to be thrown away. This will help with your insurance. Start removing debris from the floor in bags. To avoid tracking waste throughout the house, hand the bags off to a helper and have them immediately place it outside. If there’s a window in the basement, it’s better to toss bags directly outside instead of taking them through the house.

Use a shop vacuum through the area multiple times and remove the contents in trash bags to outside the house. If there is still water in the area, make sure the cord is hung high over the floor and your extension cable is connected to an outlet with a ground-fault. Once the floor is cleared of water, you can remove any degraded wall material with a reciprocating saw. After the flooring has been removed and the concrete base vacuumed, use a chlorine bleach mixed with water to clean the ground.

How Do You Get Rid of Sewer Smell?

Aerate the house for at least 24 hours. Your restoration company can help you speed the process with pro-grade fans. For salvageable items, you can use undiluted white vinegar to spray down furniture and other possessions to eliminate the small. If your carpet hasn’t been damaged, you can remove the smell by sprinkling baking soda and vacuuming it out the next day.

How to File Water Damage Claim

Wood Flooring Damaged By Flooding

Be Sure to Take Pictures of Your Home Before You Have Any Repair Work Done!

Before we start on the water damage insurance claim process, remember one important tip: take pictures of everything before your adjuster arrives. This will provide valuable documentation for your claim and show which items were damaged as a result of the sewage. File an official claim through your insurance company’s website, mobile app, or physical paperwork. Once you file the claim, your company must respond within 15 days with a “yes” or a “no”.

The Insurance Claim Process

  1. Gathering Documentation
  2. Submitting Claim (online or physical document)
  3. Insurance Company Sends Adjuster
  4. Adjuster Submits Findings
  5. Insurance Company Provides Claim Response
  6. Insurance Provides Check for Repairs
  7. You Save All Receipts to Give to Insurance

During that two week period, they’ll send an adjuster to survey the damage, ask you questions, and provide further information about the claims process. If your company rejects the claim, they’ll provide a written response as to why. When they do accept your claim, you’ll soon have a check from them to pay for repairs. Make sure you hold onto all receipts related to sewage clean up and repair work, as these will likely be taken care of by your insurance policy.

Schedule Your Sewage Clean Up Today!

If your home has been impacted by a recent sewage backflow, our team at ServiceMASTER Restore of Houston would love to help you! With our sewage clean up and removal in Houston, TX and the nearby areas, we’ll help you save as many of your cherished possessions as possible, and get your home back in shape. We can assist with aerating the property, dehumidifying the interior, and sanitizing the area to protect your family. If you’d like learn more, talk with one of our courteous staff at (832) 412-3919!

Common Water Damage Emergencies – Protecting Your Home

Corrugated Metal Roofing During a Heavy Rain

Severe Rain Causes Many Flooding Emergencies, But There are Several Other Potential Sources.

In a climate like Houston, TX, flooding and other water damage emergencies are hard to avoid. That’s why planning ahead of time is so important. A few simple steps can be the difference between a pleasant rainy day and thousands of dollars in ruined property. Here’s how you can prepare your home!

How Do I Stop My Basement From Flooding?

Flooding is one of the most catastrophic emergencies that your home can face. While some damage may be unavoidable, there are several simple steps you can take to make your home more flood-resistant.

If you haven’t installed one already, start your preparations with a capable sump pump. This hardware can be powered by battery or electric cord, but water-driven models are best against extended rainfall. Your next step should be to examine your gutter system. Is it smoothly directing water away from the wall (without splashing)? If not, you may to clean out your gutters, install an extension, or even replace the entire system.

Other Common Sources of Flooding

Not every flooding event is caused by the weather. Here are some unexpected causes of water damage:

  • Busted water heaters
  • Ruptured pipes
  • Malfunctioning washing machines
  • Sewer backflow
  • Leaky roofing

If you hear scraping or knocking noises coming from water appliances, you may have an issue with hard water content. This can lead to accelerated appliance failure and leaks. If your tank water heater is constantly leaking or growing mold, it may be time to switch to a new model (perhaps one of the Rheem tankless water heaters).

Your roof is essential in the fight against interior leaks and flooding. If you suspect there may be a leak in your roof, a timely inspection from your local roofing professional could save your from nasty mold growth in the attic and walls.

Get Started on Your Home Restoration Today!

If your home has already been affected by a recent storm, contact our team at (832) 412-3919 for ServiceMASTER carpet drying, professional cleaning, and general restoration! We’d love to help you rid your home of excessive moisture and mold.

Why Is Your Washing Machine Leaking?

The washing machine has helped out immensely in the years since its invention, allowing people to wash a lot more clothes a lot more quickly. But washing clothes inside does pose risks, like the machine leaking water or breaking down. Not only does your water bill increase, but leaks close to the washing machine wires can starts electrical fires. Call (832) 412-3919 for our Houston leaking washing machine cleanup services today.

Is Your Washing Machine Leaking From The Bottom?

If You Need Leaking Washing Machine Cleanup Services, Call Us Today!


There are many reasons why water could be leaking from under your washer. Maybe you stuffed the previous load too full and water is overflowing. Maybe a valve came loose, or the door wasn’t closed all the way. Targeting why your washing machine is leaking water will help you know where and what parts need replacing. Regular plumbing maintenance can help to keep your washing machine in top condition and prevent leaks from happening.

Reasons Why Your Washing Machine May Be Leaking:

  • The drain hose is loose, clogged, or cracked and leaking.
  • Fill hoses are not too tight or loose and a new rubber washer was used to help put the fill hoses in place.
  • The water-inlet valve could be leaking, corroding, or clogged with mineral and rust deposits.
  • Putting too much detergent in to make up for the lack of suds due to your hard water can cause your water levels in the washing machine to overflow.
  • Front-load washers have a seal around the door that often gets debris build up that prevents the door from fully shutting and preventing leaks.

Call For Leaking Washing Machine Cleanup


If your washing machine is leaking, getting it repaired quickly is recommended to prevent mold growth, water damage, and potential fire outbreaks. If you need leaking washing machine cleanup services in Houston, TX, call ServiceMASTER Restore of Houston at (832) 412-3919 today.

3 Reasons Why Excess Humidity Should Concern You

Excess Humidity

If You Think Your Humidity Levels are Too High, Check for Mold in Your Window Corners.

Are you experiencing a buildup in moisture within your home? Homes in hurricane prone environments are especially vulnerable to excess humidity, which can cause some serious damage within your home. Here are three crucial reasons why you should be concerned when you start to notice this moisture buildup.

Reason #1: Furniture and Fixture Damage

Everyone knows how much damage flooding can inflict on your furniture and flooring, but not many people think about the long term effects of moisture damage. Excess humidity can also cause wood rot in your wooden furniture and paneling. One of the first signs you need your home dried and dehumidified is moisture beads on your windows, whose corners are also susceptible to excess humidity.

Reason #2: Accelerated Energy Use

When your family starts to feel the muggy effects of high indoor humidity, it’s not uncommon to see a spike in air conditioning usage. After all, moisture amplifies the feeling of heat on your skin, making ambient temperature feel warmer than it actually is. As a result, you might start seeing a surge in your energy usage, which can greatly impact your monthly utility bill.

Reason #3: Reduced Air Quality

During extended periods of high humidity inside your home, air contaminants like mold and mildew have the opportunity to grow and thrive. Spores released from this growth is circulated throughout your home, clogging up your air filter (which increases HVAC system energy usage), and spreading from room to room. These contaminants can cause allergic or asthmatic irritation when inhaled, harming the respiratory system.

When it comes to your home’s humidity, keeping it balanced is just as important for your health as it is for your belongings. If you’d like more information on how to reduce excess humidity inside your home, talk with a specialist at (832) 412-3919.