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5 Ways to Prevent Fire Damage

7/22/2020 (Permalink)

Here are 5 ways to protect your possessions and your home from fire damage, courtesy of the Home Safety Council:

  1. Blow out candles before leaving any room. It may look nice or save electricity to have candles burning all around your home, but it could lead to a disaster if left burning close to something flammable.
  2. Learn how to extinguish a small pan fire. If you are cooking and your pan catches fire, be sure you know how to eliminate a grease fire and use the back burners with the panhandles turned toward the back of the stove.
  3. As you get close to the holiday season, be sure that your Christmas tree is at least 3 feet away from all power and heat sources and replace all light strings that show any signs of damage or are missing bulbs.
  4. Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts. They will not work properly in these places. Ceiling-mounted alarms should be installed at least four inches away from the nearest wall. Wall-mounted alarms should be installed four to 12 inches away from the ceiling.
  5. Keep plenty of space around your space heater and make sure it has been tested for safety. Look at the bottom for a label such as ETL, UL, or CSA.

What Should You Do In Case Of Fire Damage?

First, contact your insurance agent to see if any of your damage can be covered under your policy. Second, contact a professional fire damage restoration service to determine if it is possible to repair any fire damage to your home.

Fire Damage FAQ

7/22/2020 (Permalink)

  • How long will the fire restoration process take?
    Because there are many variables and many services involved in fire and smoke restoration, it is difficult to predict exactly how long the complete restoration will take. Consult with your SERVPRO Technician on the estimated dates and phases of your restoration project.
  • Can I clean the fire damage myself?
    We suggest that you do not attempt any “do-it-yourself” cleaning methods without consulting your SERVPRO Technician. Professional cleaning systems and products used by experienced, trained SERVPRO Technicians give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings. Pre-testing, using the right cleaning agent for the particular item, mixing deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions, and using correct dilution rates are just some of the ways a fire restoration technician expertly controls the results.
  • What are some safety concerns?
    At SERVPRO, occupant and worker safety is a top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical hazards, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt electrical cords and appliances are separate out for disposal, and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of the safe operation. Electrical power may be turned off and kept off until evaluation by a licensed electrician.
  • Can I turn on my heating and air conditioning unit?
    We recommend that you not turn on your furnace or air conditioning unit without clearance from the HVAC contractor.
  • What items do I keep in my possession?
    Cash, Medications, Valuable Jewelry, Checkbooks, Personal Documents, Valuable Paintings, Flammables, Pet, Weapons/Ammunition, Gasoline, Cans, Stamp/Coin Collections, etc.
  • How do I keep track of non-restorable items?
    We recommend you make a list of items (including food items) deemed non-restorable. Use a format like a sample below, or obtain a similar form from your insurance company. Make a copy for your insurance company and keep one for yourself.
  • Do I need to move out of my property during the fire restoration process?
    This is ultimately your decision. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. If vacating your premises for any length of time, consider the following: forward your mail to your temporary residence; stop newspaper and other deliveries; notify utility company, Cable Company, etc. of temporary suspension of services.
  • Do I need general contractors?
    There are some items that may require general contractors, such as drywall/painting, electrical, plumbing, roofing, framing/finish carpentry, flooring/carpet, installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc. Please talk with a SERVPRO representative as we have the ability to provide these services to you through our own in-house facility.
  • Do my belongings need to be moved away from the premises?
    Depending on the source, nature, and extent of the fire, it may be best to remove all belongings to a secure facility for cleaning, storage and to make room for restoration or construction. SERVPRO will work with you and your insurance claim representative to manage this process.
  • Will I have access to my belongings while they are in storage?
    Yes, with advance notice we can schedule a time for you to access your requested items.
  • What about special items? Artwork, china, heirlooms, etc.
    Some high-value items require restoration by specialists. Working with your insurance claim representative, we can help you identify these and locate a qualified restorer.
  • Who is responsible for payment for the service?
    Ultimately you, the property owner, are responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing repairs and payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, SERVPRO generally collects the deductible (co-payment) amount from you and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered by the insurance or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full.

Water Damage Restoration Cost Guide

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

According to statistics floods are one of the most disasters that occur in the USA. When water damages take place time is tight and you need to think and act quickly. Such an emergency situation should be stopped as soon as possible in order to prevent the damage from spreading. What can you do? Who can you call? This water damage restoration cost guide is prepared to help you efficiently solve your problem and restore your home to a normal condition.

What is a water damage restoration and how can this be helpful for you? This is a process in which your home is restored to the condition in which it was before the damages occurred or an improved one by removing the problem and its consequences.

Further on in this article, you will find the particular ways to tackle this issue timely and effectively.

Water Damage Restoration Cost Tips

Firstly, contact your insurance company and inform them about the damages that you have had to see which part of the damaged items are eligible for an insurance claim.

Secondly, don’t waste any time and call us on our number 505-828-3567. Waiting more could cause water damages to spread. If a pipe is broken, you have another leak in your house or you are experiencing the unfortunate event of being flooded, any minute is important, especially if you cannot locate the source of the damage or you have no control over it. Let us know what problem you have and ask us for the free information you can receive. We can provide for you a free consult regarding our services and the way we can help you cope with your emergency situation. Check out the water damage restoration services that are provided and how we can be helpful for you.

Thirdly, try to return the process of damage. Use the time you have until the water damage restoration company experts arrive on the spot and, if possible, begin drying up the wet areas or closing the leakage, if you have one. The final water damage restoration cost will also be lower if you do part of the work on your home rehabilitation – in this way the professionals will work less on your damages and of course charge you less.

Use our free water damage restoration cost estimator to receive a quick calculation for your particular case.

Another saving money tip is to do some cleaning along with your restoration. If you contact a cleaning company to clean your carpet for example your carpet cleaning costs will be lower compared to a case in which you contact a company only for carpet cleaning. Ask cleaning and restoration companies 

Water Damage Restoration Costs And Solutions

Factors That Determine Water Restoration Cost

The cost of water damage restoration depends mainly on two factors – the size of the damage and the restoration company that you chose. It is difficult to give an exact price calculation so before going to particular estimates it is important to first take a look at the factors that comprise the water damage restoration cost:

  • Size of the damage. When the water has leaked within your home the restoration company needs to extract it so logically the more it is, the more the time for the experts to work and the higher the price. For example, if your home is 1,000 square feet, extracting water that is 5 inches high would cost $17,310 and if the water is 1-foot high flood repair would cost you about $27,150. Another factor that defines water damage restoration cost is the quality of water that has leaked. If it is pure tab water your expenses will be lower but if it is flood water which is polluted and also dangerous the price for the restoration will be higher. Also, the size of the damaged area within your home is another cost compound factor. Fill in the free estimate form offered to you on our homepage or give us a call to know more precisely what your water damage restoration cost will be, based on your particular case.
  • Check the website of The Federal Emergency Management Agency and in particular the National Flood Insurance Program for extra information that might be useful as well.

    Check the factors that define the water damage restoration final cost to decide which services you would like to receive.

Water Damage Restoration Solutions

Ask for a written estimate that includes all factors of the water damage restoration cost to be able to see what is the price for every service you are going to get. When water damage restoration experts arrive at your home the first thing they do is look around and detect the reason for the emergency situation that you have.

They take with themselves all the special equipment necessary and use it to explore the problem and solve it.

Water damage restoration cost includes cleaning the area from the water and damp, drying it, removing any results from the damage like mold, and finally sanitizing the area that has been infected. All of these are important in order not only to restore your home but also to ensure the health and safety of yourself and your family.

The restoration company will also try to restore some of the objects that have been damaged. For some of them, it will be possible. For other items the price of restoring them may be higher than the cost of buying them new in which case they will not be restored. The water damage restoration cost includes this service as well.

Water Damage Restoration TIps

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

Waking up to a basement full of water, a burst pipe in your kitchen, or an overflow of water in your bathroom can ruin your whole day. Before you call a water damage restoration professional, here are some steps to take to reduce the amount of water damage to your property and possessions.

  • Find out where the water is coming from.  This may sound obvious, but if you’ve just come home and found a gigantic mess and don’t know where it originated, the first thing you need to do is to FIND IT.  If you are not able to find the actual source of the water, you may have a pipe that has burst.  You want to stop additional water from entering your home as soon as possible.  If you have a bust pipe, turn off the water supply to your home, if your roof is leaking, stop the leak as best you can.
  • Figure out how much damage has been done.  Some things can be fixed on your own, but if it involves damage to your drywall, flooring, or ceilings, then it’s best to call in a professional.
  • If it’s something you can manage on your own, then first things first:  circulation!!  Open the windows, turn on the fans, let the room breathe! This will not only help dry things out, but it’ll also help reduce the smell.  Get a dehumidifier out and running – it takes the moisture out of the air and surrounding objects, and helps avoid mold and mildew from developing – a great instrument to have at hand.

After the Fire

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

This Albuquerque Area Home has suffered significant Fire Damage. This Albuquerque Area Home has suffered significant Fire Damage.

In a complex fire (where plastics are burned), the acid gasses combine with heat and water vapor and penetrate cracked and crevices.

When the surfaces cool, the gasses form highly corrosive solutions. These solutions can permanently etch and stain many sensitive surfaces including machinery, and tools, precision instruments, and household appliances, plus marble, glass and aluminum surfaces.  In addition, salts are produced when acids mix with metal and can cause further damage to a metal surface, like the corrosion on cars from salt snow and ice treatments. Fast and proper fire damage restoration service is highly recommended.

Another common product of fire is soot, which is comprised of carbon and other materials, that are completely burned or oxidized.  Some soot particles are dry and can be vacuumed effectively, but most are combined with grease and oils and cannot be vacuumed.  These situations require and alkaline solution that reacts with the oil or grease and release particles, creating a water soluble product that can be washed away with water.

Other soot deposits, depending on their chemical make-up and the surface on which they rest, may demand physical removal with a putty knife or similar instrument.

Even though the chemistry of fires may vary, the most important thing is to dry out the area as soon as possible to avoid further damage caused by acids and contaminants.  A careful consideration of the materials and surfaces affected will then provide and understanding of the fire’s chemistry and allow for a targeted and informed restoration effort.

How To Remove Smoke Damage

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

How to remove smoke damage tips:

    • Cover carpeted areas with towels or old linens to prevent additional soiling.
    • Discard open food packages. The food could be contaminated.
    • Tape cheesecloth over intake and outlet air vents to capture any loose soot in the air. This is even more effective if the cheesecloth is damp.
    • Clean Formica and chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom to prevent permanent tarnishing.
    • Blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes and carpets.
    • Wipe residue from porcelain bath fixtures to prevent etching.
    • Change the air filter on your furnace if it uses forced hot air.
    • If the outside temperature is above 60 F, air out the house to reduce smoke odor.

Common smoke removal mistakes:

    • Wash any papered or flat painted walls without consulting your professional cleaner. Incorrect cleaning procedures could complicate the soot residue problem.
    • Clean carpets or upholstered furniture.
    • Use electrical appliances that have been close to fire or water before having them checked. They could malfunction.
    • Use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. A short circuit could result.
    • Touch anything. Soot on your hands can permeate upholstery, walls and woodwork, causing further damage.
  • Call 505-828-3567 for professional help!

Disaster Preparedness: 40% of small businesses go out of business after a disaster.

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Call Servpro of NE Albuquerque for your Pandemic issues. 505-828-3567 Call SERVPRO of NE Albuquerque for your Pandemic issues. 505-828-3567

It’s a harsh reality of opening a small business.  Most of the owners' efforts are focused on the opening and consequent upkeep of their small businesses.  Many of them don’t find much necessity in focusing on more unlikely and uncontrollable disasters that can affect their business.  With this oversight comes a high cost; 40% of small businesses are never able to open their doors again after suffering a disaster (as reported by CBC & SurveyMonkey’s Small Business Survey). 

With the life-changing altering consequences a disaster can have on any business, it’s important to be prepared in the event of a disaster.  It’s a case of “better to be safe than sorry”.  This is why it is important to have a ready-made plan to follow through with when confronted with the unexpected. Having a disaster readiness plan can’t always prevent a disaster from occurring but it can increase the chances that your business reopens, and stays open, successfully.

Do yourself a favor to prepare for a disaster now, to give yourself a greater sense of peace of mind in the future.  Here are five helpful tips to consider for all small businesses who are wanting to prepare for the unexpected.

1) Keep your Company Records in the Cloud

This one may seem obvious given our society's current reliance on electronic technology and the internet.  Though this doesn’t apply to all businesses; especially small businesses with tighter budgets.  Most cloud based services will give you a limited amount of space to use for free on their service.  This is great for newly started businesses or businesses which are starting to transfer their information from physical copies to the cloud.  Once this storage is fully used then it’s time to consider buying more cloud storage.

Having all of your data stored to the cloud doesn’t mean you have to stop keeping physical records, instead it works as a safety net in the event of a disaster.   It also give you the ability to access all of this information from anywhere, not just your office. This is the one tip that is most versatile for all of the different things it can do for your business.

2) Have a Plan to Communicate to Employees, Vendors, and Customers

When preparing for a disaster it’s best to prepare for the worst case scenario.  If your physical location is out of commission make sure to have a separate plan to address all employees, vendors, and customers. The reason you have a different plan for each is because each set of people have different needs when dealing with your company. 

You should always address your employees first.  They should be properly trained and aware of how to proceed, otherwise they won’t be able to effectively communicate and help with all vendors and customers.  They are the foundation of your business and will be crucial to making sure business will continue as smoothly as possible during this turbulent time. 

Additionally, your employees will be wondering if they will be out of a job or if they need to worry about finding another source of income while the business gets up and running.  This can cause all employees to stress and lead to them leaving the company due to uncertainty.  If they are well informed of what to do during a disaster this can not only put them at ease, but also make sure they still have work to accomplish, knowing they will still be able to get the money they need to provide for themselves and their family.

With vendors it’s important to contact them to work out an arrangement until you can get your business back on its feet.  This way vendors won’t send you products you can’t store, sell, or pay for.  The vendors will respect this and know that if they can work with you they can keep you as a customer, therefore working in both of your favors.  This can help grow your relationship with a vendor and help you during your comeback.

Lastly, it’s important to contact your customer and inform them of your situation.  No need to leave them in the dark and risk them going to a competitor.  Transparency is crucial.  Alert them as to how long and why you will be closed.  Additionally, this also means that you must alert them as to when your “grand re-opening” occurs.  Especially with your best, most loyal customers you don’t want to leave it up to social media to alert them, you want to get in front of them as directly as possible.  If you put forth the effort for them, they are more likely to give you their word of mouth and business.

3) Develop a Plan to Keep Operations Running During the Repair Process

This step goes hand in hand with communicating with your employees.  Make sure all involved in your business are prepared to keep the business running.  If you have an online store, consider shipping any undamaged products or talking to your vendor and getting products drop shipped.  Finding creative ways to keep your business running while your physical space is getting repaired is important in not allowing your business to close.

4) Analyze Potential Threats

As stated earlier, it’s best to assess and prepare for all potential disasters.  When preparing, do be smart about what disasters you prepare for.  For example, in New Mexico, there’s no use in preparing for a hurricane but there is value in preparing for a fire, flooding, even tornadoes; these are some of the most common natural disasters experienced around the state.  So while it’s recommended you prepare for all disasters, be smart about where you are located and what type you prioritize.

5) Actively Practice Drills

Once a preparedness plan has been created and is ready to be put into effect don’t allow it to sit there and gather dust in a folder.  Train employees on exactly what to do and how to use the preparedness plan.  Once all employees have been trained and know their specific responsibilities, practice.  Practice implementing the preparedness plan much like a fire drill is practiced.  If people learn it once and don’t have to use it for years to come, they will forget what to do; making all of the hard work it took to create a plan for naught.

 It may seem unlikely and a waste of time, but in the unfortunate event that you need to use the plan, it can prove to be a business and job saver for many.

Spring Cleaning List for Businesses

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Spring time has become a staple time of year to undertake deeper cleaning projects.  Although this is commonly associated with residential homes, it is just as much needed for workplaces as well as homes.  The cold winter months keep everyone cooped up inside and messes start to grow.  A good cleaning helps to give workers a more open and less hectic environment; additionally, a clean and welcoming place of business helps to attract customers.

Unless you’re an archetypal Danny Tanner or Monica Geller, chances are cleaning isn’t near the top of your to-do-list.  Lucky for you, we are here to help make that part just a tad bit easier with a list of some important areas to inspect during your spring cleaning.  

OUTSIDE

  • Windows

Windows are one of the simplest yet crucial areas to clean.  Beyond making sure you have squeaky clean windows, check to make sure they have tight seals.  Small gaps in window seals can cause cool air to seep out (and warm air in the winter months), as well as allowing water to trickle in. Checking caulking and weather stripping remains intact and up to par can save you money in the long term.

  • Landscaping

This is very important for the presentation of your business.  Now the grass, flowers, weeds and other plants are starting to grow, it’s important to start grooming your landscape.  Don’t wait till your plants get out of control, hire someone now or take some time yourself to pull the weeds, mow the grass, and trim any trees or bushes.  Additionally, this is a great time to plant some flowers if you want to spruce up your place of business.

  • AC/HVAC

When converting your buildings air flow system from heating to air conditioning now is the best time to quality check your system.  Test your system by running it for a while to make sure it’s working properly, check any old or out of date parts that might need replacing.  Clean out the ventilation system by removing dust particles and any other debris lying inside.  Ventilation systems are rarely cleaned, which is why lots of building owners tend to find pest infestation or mold problems when cleaning their vents/ducts.  It’s best to take these precautions while the temperature is in a transitioning period. 

  • Pest Maintenance

Along with the rebirthed trees and plants, spring also brings back hordes of pests.  Ants, spiders, termites, mosquitoes, and even bed bugs can become a problem.  It’s best to take preventative measures to ward off pests instead of being forced to shut the business down for a couple weeks in order to fumigate for pests.  Keep in mind your locale because different areas attract different pests, this will help inform you what to spray for. If you’re located near a ditch you’ll have more mosquitoes, among other pests, than a more urbanized area. Lastly, if you are continually having the same pest problems year after year, try to identify exterior factors that might be attracting those pests and any defects in your building that might be letting them in.

INSIDE

  • Dusting

Simple and effective.  Even if you already dust on a regular basis now’s a good time to dust those harder to reach, and often ignored, areas. 

  • Flooring/Carpets

As people come in from the rainy times and wipe their feet on your carpets, dirt begins to build up.  Don’t let this grime buildup in your building; buy some strong cleaning products for your floors and a top quality vacuum for carpets. In addition to constantly maintaining floors and carpets, now is a great time to hire a professional carpet and floor cleaner to give your floors a deep clean.

  • Reorganization

Reorganizing comes in two parts.  The first is the organizing of all the previous years files into a consolidated area for ease of access.  Best practice is to do this at the beginning of every year so that your files are neatly organized and easy to find when needed.  The second is the reorganization of the office itself.  This is more to keep a clean and presentable workplace.  Ideally this is a continuing process year round.  If the office has gotten out of hand this can be a good time of year to tidy up the office and breathe some fresh air into the workplace. 

Depending on your type of business will help determine what type of spring cleaning takes priority.  For example, if you are in a retail business many of these basic cleanings, such as windows and organization, might already be factored into your weekly/monthly workflow.  Although it never hurts to go over all areas to make sure everything is getting done properly and efficiently.  Additionally, there will be some other more industry specific actions that require priority over window cleaning.  Remember, it’s most importantly to consider your specific business and the area in which you are doing business when prioritizing your spring cleaning.

Home cleaning services see big drop in business during pandemic

5/8/2020 (Permalink)

While having a clean house seems more important than ever, the potential risks that come with bringing someone in to do the cleaning have caused the industry to see a drop-off in business amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Harry Weingardt, the owner of Albuquerque-based SERVPRO of NE Albuquerque, said he’s had about a quarter of the jobs he usually does, so he only has a skeleton crew working to clean the few properties that don’t mind bringing someone in..

Asked why she thinks the 80-year old woman still wants her to come in and clean, Harry said, “I think she’d rather have the house clean.”

When he arrives to do the cleaning, Weingardt said the clients don’t stay and he guesses that they’re okay with his company coming in to clean because they’re practicing good social distancing and everyone is wearing masks.

Harry said when he arrives at a client’s house he immediately wipes everything down with disinfectants, then does the normal cleaning he would do, then wipes everything down again.

Harry is also having his employees take extra precautions, providing them with masks and other personal protective equipment including gloves, he said.

Right now the company is mostly just cleaning commercial buildings, according to Weingardt, but even with the commercial buildings employees are only working about 15 to 20 hrs a week.

He’s already been able to secure some office-cleaning jobs, he said and has been working to get more commercial certifications so he can attract even more commercial clients.

Though things look bleak now, Weingardt suspects things could be looking up for remediation companies in the near future.

He said he guesses that once the state begins to reopen there will be a new push for people who want to “clean everything to a completely sanitized level, so we’re trying to get ready for that.”

Office Cleaning Practices to Help Keep the Coronavirus at Bay

5/8/2020 (Permalink)

COVID-19 so far shows no signs of slowing down, and it is making the world worry.

The pandemic has hit every part of the labor industry and has left no business untouched. It has crashed the economy of almost every country it has hit, and now people can no longer afford to keep their offices shut.

Amid these crises, if you’re one of those people who either have to go to the office or operate the office, then we have just the right tips to help you keep the virus at bay.

Limit Surfaces That Employees Need to Touch

Limiting the options that can help spread the virus is the first way to deal with it. If you have to open your office during the pandemic, make sure to make some changes first.

According to WHO, the virus is spreading through human to human contact, cough and sneeze droplets, and by touching infected surfaces.

You can eliminate the third mode of transmission of the virus by limiting the surfaces the employees have to touch frequently. For example, you should try replacing conventional doors with swing doors, in which employees don’t have to move with their hands and can open them with foot or elbow.

Install motion sensors in bathrooms, so people don’t have to touch faucets. And finally, have motion lights replace switch lights to avoid touching the switchboards. 

Hire Professional Cleaners

Hiring professional cleaners is the most critical thing you can do to disinfect your office entirely. Limiting the contact surface was only the tip of the iceberg. To make sure that no surface is infected, you need to invest in cleaning help. Expert cleaners will leave no place untreated from carpets to windows to office desks. They know how to clean office furniture, carpets, and windows with eco-friendly cleaning strategies and making office environment productive for the employees.

In Edmonton, we have affordable commercial cleaning companies that will be worth investing in, especially during the pandemic, as they will make your office space a safe place for your employees to work effectively.

Hiring these companies after short intervals is recommended to ensure maximum safety and disinfection at the office spaces.

Practice Small Cleaning Tips

Practicing small cleaning tips or even avoiding cleaning mistakes can go a long way. While wiping your desk or any other surface, make sure to not go in a circle or a back and forth position as it will redeposit the germs. Wipe down the surfaces in one direction only.

While dusting, don’t use a dry cotton cloth. Instead, go for a microfiber cloth damped in any disinfectant. Microfiber has a better chance to get rid of the virus than dry cotton cloth. So, use eco-friendly cleaning supplies.

Lastly, gift disinfectant wipes to all your employees and encourage them to use frequently. Also, install hand sanitizers and disinfectant spray wherever you can and make sure that all employees and staff are using them regularly.

Coronavirus, no doubt, has shaken the entire world. The highly infectious virus is hard to control, but it does not mean we should not try to keep ourselves protected. If you’re keeping your office open during the pandemic, make sure to follow these cleaning practices and use echo-friendly floor and window cleaners. It is essential to ask your employees to stay at home if they feel any symptoms and get your employees tested every once a week to limit the spread of the virus. Also, install a disinfectant head spray or tunnel on the building’s entrance to get rid of the virus that your employees might pick up on their way.