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Freezing temperatures are likely Tuesday and Wednesday

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Taste of Winter Moves Into North Texas 

North Texas will get a taste of winter weather over the next few days with rain, a strong north wind, falling temperatures and the likelihood of a freeze both Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

A cold front moved through North Texas Sunday night, opening the door for the cold Canadian air to move into the area.

After a cold, wet and windy trip to work and school Monday morning, rain is expected to continue throughout the day. Allow for extra time on your commute.

The roads will NOT be slippery or icy as the temperature will be well above freezing. With widespread rain moving through Dallas-Fort Worth during the heart of the morning rush, the rain will have a impact all by itself.

The rain will begin tapering off after the noon hour. As the temperature falls into the mid-30s by Monday afternoon, some light flurries may mix in before all the precipitation comes to an end.

The strong north wind will continue. That will pull wind chill values down into the upper teens and lower 20s for Monday evening and Monday night. FREEZE WARNING is in effect for Monday night/Tuesday morning. Most of North Texas will see air temperatures drop into the mid to upper 20s by sunrise Tuesday. 

Dress in layers, be aware of the wind chill factor, remove any wet clothing as soon as possible and limit time outdoors. MedStar said don't ignore shivering. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.

Sunshine returns by mid morning on Tuesday. But with that clear sky and the lighter wind Tuesday night, we will be even colder Wednesday morning. One bit of good news … with that hard freeze, that should take care of a large part of the mosquito population. The rest of the week will be sunny, but it will be slow to warm up.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/weather/stories/Taste-of-Winter-Moving-Into-North-Texas-500243751.html

 

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs

Tips for hiring bio-hazard pros

11/8/2018 (Permalink)

Tips for hiring bio-hazard pros

If you need to hire a bio-hazard remediation company, make sure to call one that follows proper procedure and has highly trained staff. Ensure they follow the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) guidelines for dealing with blood-borne pathogens, and ask if staff members are certified in Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER), also offered by OSHA.

Ask what kind of work they've done in the past, and how long they've been in business. When they come to do an estimate, ask specific questions about their plan for remediation, and don't be put off by technical language. A reputable pro should be able to explain what products are being used, cleaning procedures and how long it will take.

https://www.angieslist.com/articles/biohazard-remediation-when-make-call.htm

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here 24/7 365, for all of your restoration needs!

3 cold fronts this week

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

3 cold fronts this week will leave Dallas-Fort Worth in the 30s by the weekend

A series of cold fronts this week will take Dallas-Fort Worth from warm weather Monday to nearly freezing temperatures by week’s end.

Temperatures hit 81 degrees at DFW International Airport on Monday, but by Friday morning North Texas could see lows in the mid-40s.

That’s November for you,” KXAS-TV (NBC5) meteorologist Grant Johnston said. “November is notorious for big temperature swings.”

The first cold front made its way through North Texas on Monday, but it didn't make much of an impact — Johnston called it "weak." The next two cold fronts will be progressively stronger. 

Here’s what you can expect this week:

Election Day — 75/57, mostly sunny

Voters won’t be able to use bad weather as an excuse to not get to the polls. High temperatures are expected to be in the mid-70s on Tuesday. 

Rain isn't expected during the day, but NBC5 meteorologist Samantha Davies said isolated showers could pop up during the late evening hours and after midnight.

Wednesday — 63/57

The second cold front of the week will move through North Texas on Wednesday and bring a chance of rain. Wednesday’s rain isn’t expected to be very widespread, Johnston said. Forecast models show a better chance of rain early in the morning, then clearing out in the afternoon.

Thursday — 56/52, showers likely

Rain chances will increase Thursday and become more widespread, Johnston said. No severe weather is expected in Dallas-Fort Worth, but a few scattered thunderstorms are possible. 

Friday — 52/42, windy and cold

The third and final front of the week will be the strongest, plunging low temperatures into the mid-40s. Friday’s high is forecast at 52 degrees, but Johnston said, “We might be lucky to get to 50.”

The front could be strong enough to give areas along the Red River the potential for frost, according to the National Weather Service.  

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/weather/2018/11/05/3-cold-fronts-week-will-leave-dallas-fort-worth-30s-weekend

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here 24/7 365, for all of your restoration needs

The Number and Causes of Office Fires

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

The Number and Causes of Office Fires

Every year, office fires cause over a hundred million dollars in property damage and several deaths. As much as the idea of wasted money and destroyed capital, we mourn the loss of even one person’s life infinitely more. Evacusafe US is dedicated to the mission of keeping everyone safe, especially those who are mobility impaired. As we work to provide every office in America with the safety equipment they need to keep their staff safe, we also want to help everyone reduce their need to actually use it. The more we all know about what causes office fires, the more we can do to prevent them. Strive for the best; prepare for the worst.

Number of Fires

From 2007-2017, there were an average of 3,340 fires in office buildings each year. That’s almost 10 every day. And it represents tens if not hundreds of thousands of employees. Any fire is a dangerous event so every fire should be taken very seriously. That means no matter the size of the fire, everyone needs to get out of the building safely and quickly. For those with mobility issues, this can be a moment of panic and danger. It’s very easy to head straight for the exit, forgetting that the person in the office next to you is in a wheelchair. And even if you do remember, do you have the equipment you need to get them out of the building without the help of an elevator?

According to the 2010 US Census, 30.6 million Americans have a disability that makes it difficult for them to walk or climb stairs. That’s just shy of 10%, which means that if the average office building has just 50 employees, 16,700 Americans needed assistance getting out of harm’s way. We would love to see every building outfitted with the proper safety equipment to ensure that every single one of them got out safely and efficiently.

Leading Causes of Fires in Offices

Most fires are caused by just a few different factors. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of four office fires were caused by just one of six things:

  • Cooking Equipment: 29%
  • Electrical Distribution & Lighting Equipment: 12%
  • Heating Equipment: 11%
  • Arson: 10%
  • Smoking Materials: 9%
  • Exposure: 4%
  • Electronic, Office, or Entertainment Equipment: 3%

Armed with this information, we hope you will have greater insight into your office risk factors and can take some necessary precautions to lower the risk of fire, thereby lowering the risk of injury or death in the event of a fire. Let’s take a look at these causes individually and review what can be done to make them safer.

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here 24/7 365, for all of your restoration needs

A Few Mold Facts

10/31/2018 (Permalink)

What are molds?

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.

 Top of Page

What are some of the common indoor molds?

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus

Where are molds found?

Molds are found in virtually every environment and can be detected, both indoors and outdoors, year round. Mold growth is encouraged by warm and humid conditions. Outdoors they can be found in shady, damp areas or places where leaves or other vegetation is decomposing. Indoors they can be found where humidity levels are high, such as basements or showers.

What areas have high mold exposures?

  • Antique shops
  • Greenhouses
  • Saunas
  • Farms
  • Mills
  • Construction areas
  • Flower shops
  • Summer cottages

https://www.cdc.gov/mold/faqs.htm#where

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs

Interior clean up

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

Interior Clean-Up

When you’re ready to move inside, do so with extreme caution. Open all doors carefully and never force them ajar; the doorway could be supporting the building’s (now precarious) structure, and shifting its position could lead to injury, further damage, or even a collapse. Find an alternate entry to the front door if necessary, and consult a building inspector or fire marshal before entering any interior rooms with a jammed door.

Once you’re inside, stop and sniff for a gas leak. If you even think you detect the odor, or if you hear a suspicious hissing sound that could be a broken gas line, leave the house immediately and call the fire department. Follow their instructions implicitly and be sure to let your neighbors know what’s going on so they can take the necessary precautions.

As you begin your interior inspection, don’t forget to look up; the ceiling may be unstable or show signs of sagging from water collection. Similarly, the walls and flooring may have been weakened from fire or water damage, so step lightly and test any areas that look questionable before putting your own weight on them. You can use thick plywood panels or wood boards to cover unstable areas, just be sure they extend at least 8-12 inches on each side of the damaged area.

Use fans and open windows to increase the circulation of air throughout the home. If there’s a great amount of water damage and you live in a warm, humid climate, it may be better to keep the windows shut and instead opt for a dehumidifier. In cold weather, the heating system can help remove humidity from the air — just don’t forget to check and clean the filter each day.

Dry any wet items like drapes, carpet, and furniture as soon as possible to avoid permanent mold and mildew damage. Aluminum foil or plastic wrap can be placed under furniture legs for protection, and any fully-dried items can be enclosed in plastic until all cleanup is completed. You’ll need to completely remove large area rugs for proper drying, especially those that extend wall-to-wall.

Before you can start working on ridding your house and belongings of smoke odor, you’ll first need to address any soot. Soot is quite oily, meaning it’s easily transferred among items and prone to staining. You may be able to remove it yourself by taking the vacuum hose and holding it slightly off the surface of the item or area. Never use an upright vacuum or brush tools when removing soot, as that can cause the soot to grind deeper into fabric and carpet. You may even want to hire a professional carpet cleaner to remove the soot with a professional grade heavy-duty shop vacuum designed for these purposes.

To remove soot from walls, use a chemical sponge or another non-water based cleaner. (Be especially careful with plaster walls — water-based cleaners can actually cause the soot to bleed into the wall.) You may have success using paint thinner or rubbing alcohol, though you’ll want to ensure the room you’re working in has adequate ventilation before you begin.

Removing smoke odor from fabrics can be a tricky process, but the good news is that you have several options for treatment. For clothing, it may help to add 1-2 cups of vinegar to each wash load, though it may take several cycles to completely remove it. For persistent smells, try dissolving one cup of dishwasher detergent with one gallon of warm water and soaking the items overnight. Wash them as usual the next day. Never attempt to counter the smell with fabric refreshers or perfumes — at best, it will only mask the smell temporarily, and it could even amplify the problem.

For clothing that can be bleached, try mixing 4-6 tablespoons of trisodium phosphate (which can usually be found at your local hardware store), one cup of household chlorine bleach, and one gallon of water. Swish around the clothes and work the mixture through the fabric as much as possible, then rinse them with clean water.

When it comes to furniture and other items unable to be thrown in the wash, consult your local dry cleaner on which counteractants would be best to use; he may have several recommendations based on which items were affected, so be sure to tell him the kinds of materials you’ll be treating. He may even be able to suggest items for your laundry if you’re still having trouble removing the odor from clothing.

A major problem with smoke odor is that it can travel quite easily, including through walls and air ducts. Unfortunately, this means it can get trapped in air ducts and cause a recurring odor even months after the fire. Your best option to ensure your entire house gets aired out properly is to consult a professional about thermal fogging, a process that opens the pores of walls and neutralizes the smoke odor. It’s especially helpful in homes with attics, though you’ll likely need to remove odor-absorbing insulation from the attic either way.

While there are plenty of ways to clean up your home and property yourself, keep in mind that bringing in a professional may be the best route for certain tasks. While costly, these experts will know the best ways to get your home back to its pre-fire condition; plus, the expense will likely be significantly less than having to replace items after failed attempts to refurbish them yourself. Keep detailed records and receipts for both you and the insurance company; some of the repairs may be tax-deductible.

The fire recovery process comes with plenty of challenges and frustrations, so be sure you have a strong support system to help you through it. You may even discover that the cleanup process helps your family come together as one and bond, so look for silver linings as often as you can. With time, your home will look more like you remember it — perhaps even better! — and with patience, your emotional wounds will heal, as well.

https://www.redfin.com/blog/2016/08/the-guide-to-cleaning-up-after-a-house-fire.html

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here 24/7 365, for all of your restoration needs

What is considered Biohazardous waste?

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Biohazardous waste includes the following materials:

  1. Human blood and blood products: All human blood, blood products (such as serum, plasma, and other blood components) in liquid or semi-liquid form. Items contaminated with blood that, if compressed, would release blood in a liquid or semi-liquid form, or items caked with dried blood capable of being released during handling. Other body fluids or tissues containing visible blood.
  2. Human Body Fluids: Human body fluids in a liquid or semi-liquid state, including: semen, vaginal secretions, cerebral spinal fluid, synovial fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, amniotic fluid, and saliva from dental procedures. Also includes any other human body fluids visibly contaminated with blood, and all body fluids in situations where it is difficult or impossible to differentiate between body fluids.
  3. Microbiological Wastes: Laboratory wastes containing or contaminated with concentrated forms of infectious agents. Such waste includes discarded specimen cultures, stocks of etiologic agents, discarded live and attenuated viruses, blood or body fluids known to contain infectious pathogens, wastes from the production of biologicals and serums, disposable culture dishes, and devices used to transfer, inoculate and mix cultures (BSL-1 through BSL-4 etiologic agents as designated by NIH Guidelines/BSC).
  4. Pathological waste: All human tissues, organs, and body parts, including waste biopsy materials, tissues, and anatomical parts from surgery, procedures, or autopsy. Any unfixed human tissue, except skin.
  5. Animal waste: All animal carcasses, body parts, and any bedding material from animals known to be infected with, or that have been inoculated with human pathogenic microorganisms infectious to humans.
  6. Sharps waste: As defined in Section 9, Sharps Waste. The wastes above must be treated, packaged, labeled, and transported as described in the following sections. Sharps waste procedures are described in Section 9, Sharps Waste.
  7. Recombinant DNA and RNA: As defined in the NIH Guidelines. These wastes must be treated, packaged, labeled, and transported as described in the following sections or as determined appropriate on the EMUA and approved by the Institutional Biosafety Committee

https://extranet.fredhutch.org/en/u/ehs/hamm/chap6/section8.html

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs

Why does my home smell musty?

10/22/2018 (Permalink)

Why does my home smell musty?

If your home or clothing smells musty, chances are you have mold or mildew hiding out. While other things — like a lack of ventilation or high levels of humidity — can make a musty odor more noticeable, they typically are not the primary cause of the smell.

While the term “musty” often brings to mind an old library or your grandma’s attic, mold and mildew can grow practically anywhere—even your modern home or apartment. Essentially, all mold needs to grow is the presence of mold spores, a surface to grow on, warmth, darkness, oxygen, and moisture.

The last ingredient — moisture — is the biggest problem. When all of the other environmental elements combine with condensation, moisture from humidity, or leaking water, mold begins to grow. As mold forms, grows, and spreads, it emits gasses known as microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). So that musty odor you are smelling is not “just” mold but is a result of the chemical compounds released at different stages of the mold’s growth.

https://molekule.com/blog/musty-smells-getting-rid-of-them-from-your-home-clothes/

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs

What Every Employer Should Know

10/16/2018 (Permalink)

Look for Signs of Mold

With all of this attention, you may think that mold infestation is something new or uncommon. It is not. Mold is present in all buildings in some form and quantity. However, certain species of mold spores, in large enough concentrations, can be toxic. Although the health problems of mold exposure are in debate, there is literature tying some health effects to mold exposure. People with immune-compromised systems may experience permanent health effects.Physical symptoms related to exposure to mold or sick building syndrome include eye, nose and throat irritation; respiratory complaints; skin irritation; nausea; dizziness and fatigue. Alert your human resources department and/or office manager to be aware of any such symptoms. If numerous employees complain, or if employees complain of moldy smells, put the building owner on notice and request an investigation. If you own the building, consider hiring an air quality investigator. Although these symptoms could result from other factors, it is important to address them.

Look For the Cause

Mold needs water or moisture and oxygen to grow. Water does not have to flow into the building for there to be enough moisture to promote the growth of mold. Although one-time leaks or burst water pipes may not be a problem if repaired, even a one-time leak, if not properly addressed, can cause unacceptable mold growth. There are a number of potential causes of moisture or water entry:

  • Lack of building maintenance
  • Poor building design or construction
  • Using wet building materials
  • Leaky pipes, windows, or doors
  • Regular, or even one-time flooding
  • Simple plumbing mistakes
  • Excessive humidity and condensation
  • Improper landscaping design or maintenance outside the building, causing water to flow toward the building
  • Any other serious water related problem
  • Address Moisture or Water Issues Promptly

If your building is experiencing water penetration, consistent moisture or leaks, demand that the landlord investigate the cause and promptly provide you with an action plan. If the landlord does not act, put it on notice that you intend to act and that you will hold it responsible for the costs. Give notice to your insurer. Do the same if you are the building owner.

Call in professionals to make an assessment. To stop further mold growth, the landlord or you must investigate and fix the source of the water or moisture. Ask for the help of contractors, the building designer and environmental experts to assess, identify and repair the source. A number of companies investigate mold and will come up with action plans to address it. Responding to mold involves more than just determining and fixing the source of the water. Often several experts must be retained, including experts in toxicology and epidemiology. Expert testing may cost thousands of dollars. If mold is found in large enough concentrations, the building must be cleaned and remediated to ensure the safety of the occupants before they return. Once the problem is fixed, ask the expert to certify that the building is "clean," or demand such a certification from the landlord.

https://www.ehstoday.com/mag/ehs_imp_36553 SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs

Above average storm activity in 2018

10/15/2018 (Permalink)

'Above-average' storm activity so far in 2018 hurricane season, expert says

The 2018 hurricane season has so far seen above-average storm activity and a near-normal number of major hurricanes, according to Colorado State University meteorologist Phillip Klotzbach.

Earlier in the season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's revised forecast issued Aug. 9 noted forecasters expected a "below-normal" season with up to 13 named storms for the entire season, at least four of were to be hurricanes. This hurricane season's first forecast -- issued April 5 -- called for a "slightly above-average" season.  

With approximately 45 days left in hurricane season, the Atlantic has already seen 14.

According to data collected by Klotzbach, the 14 named storms exceeds the 12.1 average for Atlantic storm activity in an entire season. This year has already seen about 82 named stormed days, whereas in years past, about 59 days is the average. There have also been seven hurricanes, surpassing the average five. 

Major hurricanes are ranking at about average; the Atlantic has seen two so far this year, whereas the average is recorded at 2.7. This season has seen five major hurricane days, with an average set at 6.2.Hurricane season extends through Nov. 30. 

https://www.nola.com/weather/index.ssf/2018/10/2018_hurricane_season_sees_abo.html

SERVPRO of Grand Prairie is here for all of your restoration needs