How to Prevent Mold in Storage Containers in Dallas
Moldy storage containers? The Dallas mold remediation experts at SERVPRO provide extensive mold removal and prevention solutions.
Storage containers hold things for later. Eat the leftovers later. Wear those sweaters later in the year. Put up the holiday decorations even later.
But sometimes when you go to retrieve what we stored away, it’s not as you left it. What you wanted to preserve is not worth saving anymore. A plastic bin in the attic was eaten through by rodents. One of the kids pulled one thing out and didn’t put the lid back on.
But what about the damage that happens even when a sealed container wasn’t even tampered with? How does damage happen in that case? Mold.
SERVPRO does its fair share of mold removal in the Dallas area, so we know all about how mold behaves. To promote a healthier community, we share our mold prevention tips. Read on to learn how to prevent mold in storage containers.
What Causes Mold Inside of Dallas Storage Containers?
Mold stands to ruin whatever it shares a container with. This could be food, clothing, books, or anything mold spores can attach to and live on.
Mold thrives in tucked-away spaces. It feeds off of dirt and sprouts in moisture. When you place something wet or even slightly moist into a container, mold is prepared to start growing as soon as you close the lid.
1. Choose High-Quality Boxes and Storage Containers
How well do your containers seal? Mold issues may be a sign of containers that don’t seal properly.
Moisture and mold spores sneak through small gaps around the lid or cracks in old containers. Dirt and heat (like our hot Dallas summers) also contribute to mold growth progression.
With some items, you wouldn’t want to leave it to chance. For instance, baby keepsakes, family quilts, and bridal gowns. For irreplaceable cloth material items, vacuum-sealed bags are more protective.
If it’s something you wouldn’t want to be ruined, be sure to store it safely in a well-made and flawless container.
If that antique gown or precious quilt does get ruined by mold, call our SERVPRO for location in Dallas, TX, for details about our textile recovery Esporta wash system.
2. Clean and Dry Items Before Putting Them Into Storage
The most important tip for how to prevent mold in storage containers is to make sure items are clean but more importantly, that they are completely dry.
Even slight dampness is enough to encourage some mold growth, so inspect each article for any sign of moisture. Anything is found to be at all wet or damp should be given time to dry before it’s packed up.
3. Use Desiccators Inside the Containers
Shoeboxes are a popular container. We repurpose them to mail things off, wrap gifts, hold art supplies, etc. You’ve probably noticed these little desiccators packets labeled “silica gel” tucked in these shoeboxes. As you buy new shoes, you may want to start saving these.
These little helpers are a moisture absorber for storage boxes. If it’s a challenge to keep moisture out of a certain area, drop a few into the container for good measure.
But they do have a shelf life. They do last a good while but they don’t absorb moisture forever. If you’ll be storing things for several years. Keep this in mind if you plan to store things for a few years or longer.
4. Allow For Airflow
Airflow promotes a healthy environment by promoting ventilation. Sometimes unwanted things end up in the air. Think about how you would open a window to clear out an odor, like burned microwave popcorn. Keeping the air moving prevents mold spores from hanging around.
Airflow helps things dry out quickly and more completely. Ventilation carries wetness out of a room to reduce the chance of trapped moisture in the space.
Consider spreading out stacks of containers in such a way that allows airflow in the storage space or add fans for extra ventilation.
5. Find a Climate-Controlled Unit in Dallas
Dallas doesn’t get to be quite as humid as the coastal areas of the state, but that doesn’t mean that wetness won’t get into a unit and cause molding storage.
Summer rains can make things a bit steamy out there. The roof might leak. However moisture gets in, that leads to mold in a storage unit. Choosing a facility with climate-controlled units ensures that your possessions are safe and dry in a cool and well-ventilated space.
Recap of how to prevent mold in storage containers:
- The container should be in great shape and completely clean (vinegar is ideal for cleaning plastic containers). Allow the container to completely dry out before using for storage.
- The contents of the container should also be clean and completely dry.
- Storage spaces should be well ventilated and climate-controlled.
- Consider storing textiles in vacuum-sealed bags. These work best as clothing containers.
- Consider adding silica gel packets (desiccators) to storage containers for extra protection.
Professional Mold Removal Services in Dallas
SERVPRO of North Irving team fights toxic mold at every turn. Our Dallas mold remediation experts have extensive experience in mold removal and prevention solutions.
We’re available 24/7 for Dallas mold removal services. Our mold remediation process is thorough as we make it like it never happened.
Call us any time at (972) 986-7677 to schedule a free consultation or for any questions you have about eliminating and preventing mold growth. We’re here to help when you need us.
Dallas Roof Restoration Vs. Roof Replacement
Is your roof in need of restoration or reconstruction? SERVPRO provides building reconstruction services for Dallas residents.
In Dallas, we’re no strangers to wild weather. In October of last year, 10 tornadoes hit our area in a single day and caused significant storm damage in Dallas. With climate change in effect, we can expect to see an increase in storm activity.
Severe storms serve as a reminder of the shelter a roof provides. While we stay dry and safe, the roof takes a beating from forceful winds, hard rain, hail, and sometimes even a tornado.
At SERVPRO, our hope is that you remain safe when facing extreme weather but we are also here to remind you to check your roof once a big storm has passed. Storm damage roof repair could be necessary.
While it’s a tremendous relief for your home to still be standing after a major event, that doesn’t mean the structure went unharmed. Severe conditions like hail, ice storms, and extreme wind cause damage that eats away the integrity of the roof (shingle damage especially).
Can a Roof Be Repaired Instead of Replaced?
Considering the time and cost that goes into a complete roof replacement, a simple repair is preferable. However, repairing the roof may not be the appropriate remedy.
The extent of the damage and how long it’s been that way determine the extent of remediation. It may just be a small area of damage that needs patching. But if there is significant damage underneath these trouble spots, it needs more extensive work.
Roof Repair Vs Roof Replacement Vs Roof Restoration
Understanding what roof remediation involves begins with understanding the three different approaches: roof repair, roof restoration, or a complete roof replacement.
We’ll go over each of these.
The least involved process, a roof repair is best for minimal roof damage. A small section of the roof (30% or less) sustained minor damage. Examples of this would be missing shingles or replacing a few pieces of rotting wood.
Now for the most involved roofing repair method. For a roof replacement either the entire roof is removed to make way for the new one, or rebuilt on top of the original roof.
If the roof is older than 20 years, a replacement is more than likely necessary. If you notice roofing work happening on your neighbor’s houses, that’s a strong hint that it’s time to call the professionals (like SERVPRO)
Signs of a roof beyond repair or restoration: cracked or curled shingles, bald spots, dark streaks, mold, moss, indications the roof will collapse, etc.
Roof restoration is less extensive than a complete replacement. The purpose of the project is to restore the roof back to preloss condition (including resurfacing the roof with a protective treatment).
Restoration isn’t always related to weather damage. Other scenarios are roof improvements when a home is up for sale/rent, or when the roof causes heating and cooling issues inside the home.
To qualify for a roof restoration, the roof needs to be structurally sound and not old. Any leak issues should be readily repaired. Roof restoral situations: some fire damage, water damage, hail damage, wind damage, etc.
The advantages of roof restoration are:
- Lower cost and less invasive than a complete replacement
- HVAC savings
- Extends the life of the roof
- Tax benefit
- Less landfill waste
So, why do Dallas homes end up needing these repairs?
Common Causes of Dallas Roof Damage
Our SERVPRO specialists have seen roof damage of all kinds. Here are the four types of damage we see most often in the Dallas area.
1. Dallas Water Damage:
Leaks in a roof are usually caused by weather damage and a leaking or soggy roof is bad news.
Contributing factors: damaged shingles, faulty roof installation/manufacturing, warped flashing, issues with a skylight, or a chimney.
If your roof is “California style,” it’s susceptible to valley damage. This occurs where the pieces aren’t cut properly for effective rainwater channeling.
If you’ve had a new roof installed within a year or so, leak repairs ought to be covered by the warranty.
2. Dallas Fire Damage:
A house fire to the property or even from a neighboring property can cause damage even if the roof didn’t burn at all due to extreme heat from the flames.
From the asphalt shingles to the rafters, damage from a house fire penetrates the roof structure.
3. Dallas Hail Damage:
Texas-sized storms will sometimes drop hard ice pellets known as hail. Hail damage is either surface-level shingle damage or it impacts the deeper layers.
The shingles are the protective skin of the roof. Weakening these pieces leads to areas of exposure and leaks.
When high-impact hail chunks cause cracks or depressions, this creates vulnerable points for water to sneak in. This, of course, leads to leaks and may progress to rotting of the wood.
4. Dallas Wind Damage:
And while hail is rare, strong winds come with storms of all seasons. Every piece of the roof (no matter how small) comes together to protect the integrity of the structure.
When winds peel off shingles or other pieces, this leaves the roof exposed to water and other damage.
Whatever the cause, SERVPRO is here 24/7 for immediate response to Dallas, TX storm damage events. Call us anytime, day or night.
Steps to Dallas Roof Restoration
Say you do need a roof restoration. What does the Dallas storm damage repair process involve? Here are the essential parts.
- Assessment: A professional roof restoration service (like our SERVPRO team) visits the property to inspect the entire roof. They meticulously search for any signs of vulnerability or water damage. When needed, we’ll place emergency tarping on the roof to prevent further water damage during roof replacement or restoration.
- Cleaning: Remove debris and wash away dirt/grime. Other trouble areas may be discovered during the cleaning process. Any rust, moss, mildew, or lichen is also removed.
- Seal weaknesses: The seams, flashing, or fasteners are checked for cracks or wear. Damage around vents, skylights, chimney, etc. may also have water or moisture entry points. These problem areas will be sealed.
- Repair/rebuild the roof: New materials replace broken, worn, rotten, or warped parts to bring the roof back to its original state.
- Coating: Adding a protective layer extends the life of the roof elements. Coating options are acrylic, asphalt emulsion, solvent-based asphalt, or solvent-based silicone.
SERVPRO's roof recovery goal is to restore the roof back to its original condition or better.
Contact SERVPRO For Professional Roof Damage Repair in Dallas, Texas
Roof damage repair is something most property owners can’t complete on their own. It involves professional equipment and a trained eye for flaws in the roof (that may not be apparent to others). Construction or installation that isn’t done properly may cause issues in the future.
During the inspection, our SERVPRO experts uncover any and all roof issues to prevent matters from getting worse. Next, we do a thorough roof restoral. Our professionals ensure that the construction is sound and that the roof is watertight. (Check out the before and after images of a collapsed roof from a storm that brought a tree down on a Dallas residence.)
SERVPRO’s Dallas building reconstruction services are carried out by experienced professionals so you won’t have to worry about flaws in the work.
We make it "Like it never even happened." Call the team at SERVPRO of North Irving when the next major storm event blows through or any time you have any roof damage concerns.
How to Dry Wet Carpet In 7 Simple Steps - Dallas Restoration Experts
Dallas Carpet Cleaning Services from SERVPRO
Walking on a wet carpet feels spongy. This is because carpet can soak up a surprising amount of water and tends to trap water as well. Unfortunate events like a pipe bursting, flooding from storms, or a sewage invasion creates a situation where the carpet takes in as much water as it can hold.
Dealing with flooding events is overwhelming but our SERVPRO in Dallas is here to give you some pointers on how to send that water where it belongs - out of your house or business! In this guide, we’ll show you how to dry wet carpet.
Is It Okay to Leave a Wet Carpet Alone?
Water and moisture trapped on the surface and deep within the carpet layers is a prime spot for mold growth. Soggy carpet causes further damage when it makes contact with wooden surfaces such as the subfloor or furniture.
To avoid the growth of unhealthy mold and more property losses, it’s important to solve wet carpet problems as soon as possible.
How Long Before Mold Starts to Grow in Wet Carpet?
At SERVPRO, our goal is to eradicate harmful mold because it makes an environment toxic. It aggravates allergies and causes illnesses.
Mold easily takes root in wet carpet and breeds. This process starts as soon as 24 hours from the time of absorption or up to 48 hours.
Soaked carpet is a clear warning of potential mold growth, but there are other signs you should look out for. Let’s go over how to detect mold in carpet.
Carpet is supposed to be all one color. If you see strange spots unrelated to anything else (like stains or heat damage) check it out. Black, green, blue, red, or white spots are colors that may indicate mold or mildew growth.
Mold stains are a sign of advanced mold growth. Carpet should be either professionally treated (not just cleaned) or completely replaced.
Mold makes its presence known with a smell. You may recall what mold smells like from tossing old food (like cheese that has gone bad). Occupants of a space may be “nose blind” to smells. When a visitor is honest enough to tell you that something smells weird, this could be a sign of mold.
3. Indoor Allergies
Mold isn’t the only thing that causes allergies, but it is a material that causes acute symptoms for allergy sufferers.
Doctor visits, air filter changes, dusting, switching to hypoallergenic pillows, and air purifying machines are all preliminary measures to curb allergy issues.
If someone in your home or business continues to suffer after you’ve taken proactive measures, inspecting the carpet should be one of your next steps.
4. Lesser Water Damage or Damp Carpet
A carpet doesn’t have to be completely soaked to be a source of mold growth. If you detect that a carpet is moist, damp, or moderately wet it might already be growing mold.
Remedies depend on how long it’s been wet. The longer it’s been holding water and moisture, the better the odds are that mold has begun to grow.
If it’s caught sooner, cleaning and drying are appropriate. If damp carpet has been sitting long enough for delamination (when the glues in the carpet start to separate) to happen, replacement is best.
7 Steps to Drying Wet Carpet
With water events, there are several things to do for recovery. Carpet drying is one of the most important tasks. Interiors must be completely dried to avoid mold growth, carpet especially.
When it’s time to get started on the drying process, here are seven steps on how to dry wet carpet. These ensure that the carpet is acceptable for living conditions.
1. Remove Furniture from the Carpet
Depending on the extent of the water damage, you should remove from the room everything you want to preserve. Family photos, electronics, valuable furniture pieces, etc. are all things that could be destroyed with exposure to moisture.
Unfortunately, items with extensive and permanent water damage may have to be disposed of. Items like upholstered furniture need special cleaning care.
It’s important that you protect your furniture from further water damage. Either remove it from the wet carpet or place a barrier between (like foil around the legs).
TIP: For paper items you want to save (like books), place them in the freezer. Freezing the water in the paper will stop the damage. Remember--liquid water is what causes the damage, not frozen water. To restore water-damaged paperwork and books, we need to go through a process called sublimation. Normally, frozen water turns into liquid which then turns into steam. Sublimation is when the frozen moisture in an item is extracted straight to steam and the liquid part of the process is skipped. This is how what were once-wet books and papers are saved.
SERVPRO has a sublimation machine to save your water damaged books and paperwork. Just give us a call, and we’ll be on our way.
2. Soak Up Water and Remove Moisture
Agenda item number one in recovery is to remove as much water and moisture as possible mechanically. This is done with towels, mops, and extraction machines.
Carpet that has been touched by sewage cannot be cleaned. This damage will result in carpet having to be replaced.
Depending on how much water there is to remove, a shop vac may or may not be able to suck up all the water. A heavy-duty water extractor is the best way to get water out of carpet.
Dehumidifiers help remove problem moisture, but water extractors are always the first step.
3. Create Air Flow
Ventilation aids the drying process. Opening windows gets the air circulating, but only if the humidity outside is lower than it is indoors.
4. Use a Fan and Turn Up AC
Along the lines of airflow, fans and the AC help dry the room and then help with drying the carpet. The higher the power, the better the drying effect.
Use portable fans and ceiling fans to encourage drying. Your air conditioner isn’t as effective as fans are, but turning up the heat promotes drying because warm air captures more moisture.
5. Steam Clean the Carpet
Once the carpet is dry enough, steam cleaning goes to work to kill bacteria and mold spores.
Severely damaged carpet is likely to need professional Dallas carpet cleaning.
6. Replace Carpet Padding
Next, inspect the carpet padding. Pull up the carpet for padding removal. If it’s moderately damp and not soaked, laying out the affected sections in the sunshine dries it.
It’s not worth salvaging carpet padding that is very wet or has been wet for a long time. Padding is inexpensive to replace.
Once the padding has been remediated or replaced, put the carpet back.
7. Drying Carpet with Baking Soda
Baking soda is a favorite household helper. If you sense an odor or you think it could just use a freshening up, baking soda is perfect for this.
Once the carpet is mostly dry, sprinkle the baking soda generously over the affected area. Let it sit up to 24 hours. This may require more than one package of baking soda.
Once it’s had enough time to work, vacuum it up. Baking soda on wet carpet soaks up moisture and takes care of odors.
Cleaning up after a water event is a big job. We hope you can recruit enough help to do a thorough job. Should you need assistance, please give our SERVPRO a call. We’re available 24/7.
How Long Does it Take for Wet Carpet to Dry?
While you complete the steps of how to dry wet carpet, you might wonder how long before it all totally dries.
This depends on the extent of water exposure and absorption. This ranges from minor situations that take about half a day to more extensive damage that takes up to three to five days.
Waiting for everything to dry is sometimes inconvenient, but the goal with wet carpets is to see to it that the carpet, the padding, and the subfloor are totally dry.
Contact Our Dallas SERVPRO Carpet Cleaning Experts Today
SERVPRO of North Irving is here for any Dallas water emergency. When water soaks your carpet, we’re here to get everything back to normal.
Our trained Dallas cleaning staff removes all water and moisture to keep mold growth and further damage from happening. Our goal is to both recover invasive water property damage and promote a healthy environment for occupants.
We’ll do a thorough Dallas water damage removal and provide advice on how to prevent and take action on future carpet soaking situations. We answer the call 24/7 at (972) 986-7677 or you can complete our convenient online contact form!
How to Fix Water Stains On the Ceiling
Water Damage Repair Services
The longer you own a home or property, the more issues are likely to arise. Repairs range from simple to major - fix it and forget about it. But water damage leaves a reminder.
As you wash your hands at the sink, you may ask yourself how a crystal clear fluid could leave such unsightly brown spots on the ceiling and walls? And does this mean another repair ordeal?
When water mixes with other materials, it leaves a stain (such as drywall particles, plumbing residue, mineral deposits, etc.). Once it dries, these other elements stay on the surface. So it’s not the water itself that stains the ceiling, it’s what emerges to the surface.
Before you call the contractor or make that trip to the hardware store, let us share some tips on how to fix a water stain on the ceiling.
Step 1: Locate the Source of the Leak
Eliminating the appearance of the problem doesn’t mean there is no longer a problem. This first step calls for an investigation of what caused the stains in the first place. Addressing the cause of the issue saves you the trouble of having to remove the stains all over again.
As professional mold remediation specialists, SERVPRO of North Irving recommends that you inspect for any mold issues. Mold is unhealthy. If you find signs of mold around the affected areas but can’t find the source of the water causing it, call SERVPRO of North Irving. We’re here to help you prevent a mold problem from getting worse.
(If you’ve already taken care of the necessary repairs and checked for mold, skip ahead to Step 3.)
A water spot signals an issue that may lead to further damage such as electrical problems. It may be necessary to cut a hole into the ceiling to inspect for leaks and check the condition of the joists.
Below are common causes of water damage.
Sometimes the water isn’t coming from the dwelling but from the sky. If the stain is on your ceiling and no plumbing is passing through this area, it’s likely there is a leaky roof issue.
Shingles may need to be replaced, and seals may need to be redone on the roof above the damaged area. A roof inspection may be needed to check for further damage beneath the shingles, such as a failing waterproofing layer.
Of course, the other source of water in a home is the plumbing that carries running water into the house. It’s common for water to run along the rafters and drop to the ceiling.
When the roof seems to be in good shape with no leaking issues, this calls for a plumbing investigation. Check for potential plumbing issues surrounding the stain.
Step 2: Determine the Extent of the Water Damage
A multipoint inspection uncovers any additional damage or contributing factors to the leaks around the walls or ceiling. This is especially important for finding and eliminating mold or mildew from the home.
For example, if you find a leak around your shower, this may be an indication of a bigger problem. The deterioration of pipes, the radiator, caulking, or the shower pan are common issues with damage around a shower.
The older a home is, the more chances there are for things to break down. For example, caulking in the bathrooms only lasts about 10 years and should be redone as needed.
Shower pans wear out (with plastic ones having a shorter shelf life). If you suspect the shower pan is giving way, you should check the subfloor. For those in a pier and beam structure, this involves entering the crawl space beneath the house. Check the floor joists for further signs of water damage.
An aging radiator may also cause leaks. Such leaks are caused by a breakdown of joints, valves, fittings, or vents. Rule out this potential cause with a close inspection of your radiator unit.
Any of the above tasks may involve removing wall partitions. Hopefully, you can keep these pieces intact so that they may be put back (wall sections with mold or mildew should be replaced with new materials). If you can reuse these pieces, we’ll go into how to fix a water stain on the ceiling.
Step 3: Fixing the Ceiling Water Stain
If the stain is from a water leak that was repaired a long time ago, you can cover the water stain on the ceiling with the following methods:
- Bleach solution
- Oxiclean solution
- Removing with sandpaper (This may worsen the look of the ceiling. This might be acceptable for a utility space such as a garage).
- Drywall replacement
Removing ceiling water stains with bleach is a more popular method.
How to Remove Water Stains From the Ceiling Without Painting
Because it can be hard to match old paint and have it blend well, we recommend trying the bleach method first for ceiling water stain repair. Bleach is a widely used stain remover for clothing and linens, so it makes sense that it would remove a water stain from the ceiling.
Steps For Removing Water Stains From The Ceiling With Bleach
- Assemble your supplies:
- Safety glasses or goggles
- “Paint clothes” (that you wouldn’t mind getting damaged)
- 2 containers
- Sponges (at least 2)
- Bleach (or Oxiclean as an alternative)
- Tea towel
- Drop cloth (to protect carpeting)
- Clear the area below the ceiling. Remove anything that would become damaged and discolored by the bleach. Bleach stains are permanent. Put down your drop cloth (if needed).
- Put on your work clothes, goggles, and gloves.
- Ensure the room is well ventilated with either an open window or fans.
- Mix 1 part bleach with 3 parts warm water into one container and have a second container with water. (For Oxiclean, mix 1 scoop or 2 tablespoons with 1 pint of warm to hot water.)
- Dip one sponge in the bleach solution and wipe the stain.
- Rinse with a second sponge soaked with plain water.
- Dry with a tea towel.
- Repeat as necessary.
Hopefully, this method will save you a trip to the home improvement store. If not, you can try painting it.
How to Fix Water Stains on the Ceiling with Paint
When bleaching doesn’t work, the damaged wall can be replaced or the stains can be painted over. Cutting out the stains and replacing the drywall is an option, but it’s extra work.
Steps to Paint Over a Stain
- Gather supplies:
- Safety goggles
- Paint clothes
- Drop cloth
- Paintbrushes or paint rollers (if not using spray paint)
- Oil-based undercoat
- Stain-blocking or stain-sealant primer and paint. (For best results, select products intended for water stains.)
- Clear the area of any items that may be damaged by substances and spread out your drop cloth.
- Prep the affected area by cleaning it (see bleach cleaning directions above) and let it dry. Sanding off some of the stains may also prep the area.
- Remove any loose paint flakes.
- Apply the oil-based undercoat and let it dry overnight.
- Carefully apply the stain-blocking primer. Kilz is a popular brand for this. (Upshot makes a spray-on product intended to match with aged white ceilings.) Let the primer dry.
- If the stain still shows, apply another coat. (Two coats is usually enough.)
- Assess the appearance of the primer. If the stain no longer shows and it looks acceptable, adding coats of paint isn’t necessary.
- For a finishing touch or to make the repaired area blend in with the rest of the ceiling, apply the best match shade over the primed area.
- Apply one coat of paint at a time until you achieve the desired look. (Retexturing the ceiling may be required.)
Before long, you’ll have a ceiling that looks normal again and blends in with the room as it should.
Contact SERVPRO North Irving if You Need Any Help
At SERVPRO of North Irving, we are all too familiar with the damage water causes to a structure. We hope these tips on how to fix a water stain on the ceiling help you remove those blemishes that distract from the beauty of your interiors.
We must remind property owners to be mindful of the potential for mold growth around water damaged areas. Mold and mildew must be managed to maintain a healthy living environment.
SERVPRO of North Irving has decades of experience in mold remediation, water damage restoration, and ceiling repair. We’re here to help you address mold issues along with water damaged ceilings and walls. Call us today at (972) 986-7677 or complete our super easy contact form anytime!
Dallas Movie Theater Cleaning Services and Sanitation Strategies
Dallas Movie Theater Cleaning Services
Dallas, TX Movie Theater Reopenings
As of May 1, Governor Greg Abbott gave movie theater owners the green light to reopen their doors and welcome back audiences.
However, most movie theater chains are not yet ready to start selling tickets again. One primary reason for this is that COVID-19 has halted movie production, so there aren’t many new movies coming down the pipe.
Once the studios are ready to resume operations for theatrical film releases, movie theaters may begin to plan and prepare for reopening.
Such plans should include health and safety measures that prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, including a complete movie theater cleaning.
Our goal is to help Dallas area businesses successfully prepare for reopening once they are ready. A comprehensive reopening strategy should include modifying your standard operating procedure to adopt the current official guidelines for virus spread prevention.
We’ll go over best practices to maintain a safe and healthy theater facility that provides your guests and staff with a secure environment in light of COVID-19 concerns.
Safety Precautions to Protect Your Customers
Once you reopen, the goal is to minimize communal health risks. This plan is three-pronged: increased thorough cleanings, routine sanitation throughout the operating hours, and direction on how people can help prevent the spread.
General Health Protocol
For businesses that have been closed seven days or longer, the CDC Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Businesses recommends a complete and thorough cleaning.
SERVPRO is prepared to do a comprehensive professional movie theater cleaning of your facility in preparation for welcoming patrons. Our IICRC trained technicians use CDC-recommended and EPA-registered disinfectants.
Below are the guidelines from the Texas Movie Theater Reopening Checklist.
- “High touch” areas should be regularly and frequently disinfected. Think of door handles, counters, bathroom fixtures, etc.
- Regularly disinfect any items or surfaces that come in contact with the public.
- Self-serve hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap, or other similar disinfectants should be furnished throughout the facility so that they may be readily available to employees, contractors, and customers for hygiene maintenance, as needed.
- Place signage in areas of high visibility that remind staff and customers of what role they play in virus spread prevention measures. These signs may include social distancing reminders, policies about non-admission of affected persons, reminders to cough and sneeze into the elbow, increased hand-washing, where to find hand sanitizer, etc.
- Clean and disinfect communal areas between uses. In the case of a movie theater, this would mainly be the individual screening theaters. Allow ample time between showings to fully disinfect the seats, armrests, etc.
- Designate a staff member to monitor the shift to ensure that employees and customers are abiding by the protocols and that the policies are being properly implemented.
Special Considerations for Guests
If you’ve ever been to a sold-out movie, you’ll remember how close you end up sitting to complete strangers. So the concern with theaters is that cramped quarters with limited ventilation are prone to the spread of germs. For this reason, adjustments should be made to seating arrangements.
Below are more suggestions from the Texas Department of State Health Services on how to promote health and safety best practices once reopening to the public.
- Utilize remote ticketing options to manage capacity limitations. (Current capacity is set at 25% and using an automated system prevents ticket sales from breaking the set threshold.)
- To ensure proper spacing, keep at least two empty seats (or six feet separation) between parties in any row with the following exceptions:
- Two or more members of the same household may sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.
- Two individuals who are not members of the same household but who are attending together may sit adjacent to one another, with two seats (or six feet separation) empty on either side.
- Alternate rows between customers (every other row is empty to create a buffer).
- Disinfect seats and “high touch” areas between screenings.
- For movie theaters providing food service to patrons:
- Do not leave condiments, silverware, flatware, glassware, or other traditional tabletop items on an unoccupied table.
- Provide condiments or flatware only in single-use, individually wrapped items, and provide condiments only upon request.
- Clean and disinfect the area used for eating (tables, counters, etc.) between waves of guests.
- For in-theater food service:
- When procedures require patrons to write down their own order, provide single-use pencils and notepads. Prevent the public from sharing pencils and paper.
- Use disposable menus (new for each patron).
- Wait staff must sanitize and wash hands between interactions with customers.
- Movie theaters with counter food service for patrons:
- Have employees and contractors follow proper food-handling protocols.
- Disinfect any items that come into contact with customers.
- Contactless payment is encouraged. Where not available, contact should be minimized.
Dallas Health Protocols for Employee Safety
When it comes to the successful implementation of new policies, employees play a critical role in a safe and confident reopening. Expectations and procedures should be clearly communicated both in writing and in retraining.
Below are policy guidelines from the Texas Department of State Health Services on how to promote health and safety best practices when training your staff.
- All movie theater employees and contractors should be consistently trained in best practices. This consists of appropriate cleaning/disinfection procedures, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.
- All movie theater employees or contractors should be screened for symptoms prior to or upon arrival at the facility.
- Any movie theater employee or contractor who presents symptoms of COVID-19 should be sent home. These symptoms are:
- Sore throat.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100F.
- Chills/shaking with chills.
- Muscle aches.
- Losing the ability to taste or smell.
- Close contact with a person confirmed to have COVID-19.
- Affected employees or contractors may return to work once 72 hours have passed since recovery.
- Criteria for employees or contractors to return post-COVID diagnosis are as follows:
- 10 days passed since the symptoms were first presented.
- The disappearance of symptoms (cough, shortness of breath).
- Symptoms absent without the aid of fever-reducing medication.
- Employees or contractors who seem likely to have COVID-19 and do not get a medical evaluation or COVID-19 testing should be considered as a positive case of COVID-19. Thus, they cannot return to work until they meet the three-step criteria listed above or receive clearance from a medical professional before the 10-day window closes.
- Employees and contractors should notify the business of close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. Before returning to work, such individuals must self-quarantine and remain symptom-free until 14 days have passed since the date of the most recent contact.
- Employees and contractors must wash or sanitize their hands immediately upon entry to the theater.
- Employees and contractors should remain at least 6 feet from one another.
- If social distancing is not feasible among staff, face-covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation should be stringently practiced.
- Movie theaters that provide meals for employees and/or contractors should opt for individually packaged food and utensils rather than serving meals buffet-style.
- When feasible, employees should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks.
- Any movie theater cleaning services should wear the appropriate PPE (masks and gloves) and follow disinfectant use with rigorous handwashing.
Consider integrating policies and practices recommendations from all regulatory agencies (governmental, industry, and corporate) when piecing together your modified standard operating procedures.
It’s also a good idea to ask your experienced management and staff members for their input on how to best meet the health and safety needs of your particular facility.
Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Theater Facility
Various areas of the theater need special attention:
- “High touch” areas: Washed and sanitized regularly.
- Kiosks/point of sale systems: Wiped down with an electronics-sensitive wipe.
- Mats/rugs: Fibrous rugs that trap germs should be replaced with washable ones.
Below are facility cleaning recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
- Regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Gloves should be worn when cleaning and disinfecting.
- First clean surfaces using soap and water, then follow up with disinfectant. Cleaning with soap and water cuts down the number of germs, dirt, and impurities. The disinfecting step kills germs that remain on surfaces.
- “High touch” surfaces should be regularly and routinely cleaned. The more often an item or surface is used, the more frequent cleaning and disinfection should be applied.
- “High touch” surfaces: countertops, desks, doorknobs, faucets, handles, keyboards, light switches, phones, sinks, tables, toilets, etc.
- Public use surfaces and objects (point-of-sale keypads) should be cleaned and disinfected between uses.
- Communal areas should be regularly cleaned and disinfected by staff.
- Staff should be well-trained in the appropriate use of cleaning and disinfection chemicals. This includes:
- Wear disposable gloves throughout the cleaning process (this includes handling trash).
- Require additional personal protective equipment (PPE) when needed for certain chemicals or splash risk.
- Remove gloves carefully to avoid personal contamination or contamination of the surrounding area.
- Immediately wash your hands after removing gloves or after being in contact with someone who has symptoms of illness.
- When soap and water are not available and hands do not appear dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) may be used to clean hands. Soap and water is the proper way to clean hands that are visibly dirty.
EPA-registered household disinfectant products are the best for sanitizing surfaces. Read instructions thoroughly before use. Some disinfectants may call for keeping surfaces wet, wearing gloves, or using ventilation.
Diluted household bleach solutions and alcohol solutions with at least 70% of alcohol may be used as a disinfectant alternative. When properly diluted, household bleach that is not expired is effective against coronaviruses.
4 teaspoons bleach to a quart of water
5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach to a gallon of water
Best Practices for Using Bleach:
- Look for an expiration date. Bleach that is expired will not be effective.
- Consult the label to determine if the bleach product is intended for use as a disinfectant. (Some laundry bleaches may not be suitable as a disinfectant.)
- Thoroughly read and follow manufacturer’s instructions for use including application and proper ventilation. Do not mix household bleach with any other cleaning product.
- Leave the bleach solution on surfaces for at least 1 minute to complete the sanitation process.
- Bleach solutions effectively disinfect surfaces for up to 24 hours.
(Soft surfaces are carpeted floors, rugs, and drapes.)
- Vacuum as usual.
- Clean all “soft surfaces” using soap and water or other appropriate cleaners.
- Disinfect with EPA-registered household disinfectants effective against COVID-19.
- When applicable, launder items according to manufacturer instructions at the warmest water temperature setting allowed and allow items to dry completely.
(Electronics are ticket kiosks, tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines.)
- When feasible, affix wipeable covers to electronics.
- Consult manufacturer instructions for appropriate cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
- If no specific guidance is provided for the device, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays that contain at least 70% alcohol.
Cleaning & Disinfecting A Dallas Building Or Facility In The Event Of An Illness
In the event of a COVID case on the premises, businesses do not necessarily need to close operations. Close off those areas affected by the sick person.
- Increase air circulation in the area by opening doors and windows.
- Wait before you clean and disinfect the affected areas (ideally, 24 hours).
- If the area is normally vacuumed, use one equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Wait until the room or space is vacated to start vacuuming.
- Clean and disinfect all areas and surfaces the person who is sick may have used or touched.
- When feasible, temporarily turn off fans and the HVAC systems that circulate the air in the affected room or space. This prevents particles from spreading throughout the facility.
- Once the affected area has been given the appropriate waiting time and has been disinfected, it can be reopened for use.
- Workers who have made close contact with the sick person should self-quarantine per company policies.
Again, remember to include corporate and industry guidelines when updating your policies.
Monitor the following websites for the latest advisories:
Dallas Movie Theater Cleaning and Sanitation Services
SERVPRO is here to help Dallas-area movie theaters confidently prepare for reopening.
We offer a thorough and professional movie theater cleaning service which may include Dallas biohazard cleanup or Dallas commercial carpet cleaning.
Knowing that the facility has been thoroughly cleaned by trained professionals enables your staff to work with confidence and reassures your customers that your theater is safe and clean.
What We Offer:
- We are a trusted name in commercial cleaning for the Dallas area with 34 years of superior cleaning and sanitation services in Dallas, TX.
- Round-the-clock 24/7 services for emergencies (such as an on-site confirmed case of Coronavirus) or overnight scheduling to work around lengthy theater hours.
- SERVPRO is the most recognized biohazard cleanup and restoration brand in the nation. Our IICRC trained technicians and industrial disinfectants have been trusted by international airports and federal agencies to prepare spaces for safe and sound use. Our effective disinfecting services meet the needs of any sized facility in any kind of situation. (Including expertise with Dallas restaurant coronavirus cleaning and Dallas retail store coronavirus cleaning.)
- Our uncompromising safety and hygiene standards mean we protect our MVPs: our staff. We insist that our technicians have the proper PPE while on site. Other cleaning companies are cheaper, but they are likely cutting back on PPE to be able to quote lower prices.
With SERVPRO of North Irving, it’s always safety first!
- Professional bioremediation and commercial cleaning services to thoroughly clean, disinfect, and sanitize all areas with CDC-recommended & EPA-registered disinfectants for porous and non-porous surfaces, and walls up to 8 feet.
- Moisture-sensitive surfaces will be hand-wiped with a disinfectant-wet towelette.
- Present to your patrons a certificate that your property was completely cleaned by SERVPRO.
- Social media announcement from us announcing your cinema cleaning has been completed and your theater is ready to safely and securely re-open.
- Facility refresh services include:
- Air duct cleaning with new A/C filters
- HEPA air scrubbing
- Upholstery cleaning (such as cinema seat cleaning)
- Carpet cleaning
We’re here to help movie theaters have a confident and successful reopening. Please reach out to us with any questions you may have about facility sanitation, cleaning products, or to get started with our complimentary cleaning estimate.
Call us at (972) 986-7677 or fill out our quick and easy contact form anytime!
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned for Dallas
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned services are available in Dallas. Call SERVPRO today for a free cleaning consultation.
The Standard for “Clean” Has Been Raised
COVID-19 has changed what clean means.
Today, customers and employees are looking for a higher standard of clean that goes beyond traditional janitorial services. We all want to make sure that the places we go into aren’t just clean--we want to know they are safe.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a proactive viral pathogen cleaning service designed for a higher standard of clean.
Before COVID-19, our franchise was routinely cleaning biohazard decontamination. Now, we are building on our decades of experience and expertise to elevate the standard of cleanliness for Dallas's commercial properties.
Contact us for a Custom Cleaning Plan
Every property has different cleaning needs, so each of our cleaning plans is tailor-made for each of our clients.
Contact us online or call us today to schedule a meeting with your Cleaning Protocol Consultant.
Step 1: Consult
A variety of factors need to be considered to create a cleaning program that meets the unique needs of your property, and that’s why our program starts with a complimentary consultation.
A Cleaning Protocol Specialist will be assigned to take care of you. They will visit your property to understand exactly what you need and create a custom cleaning program designed to suit your needs perfectly. They will consider factors such as:
- Type of cleaning detergents and disinfectant best suited for your environment
- High-frequency touchpoints
- Square footage
- Cleaning frequency: one-time, daily, weekly, monthly, etcetera
- Time of day cleaning needs to take place to eliminate business interruption
Your Specialist will be your one-point contact and available to you whenever you need them.
Step 2: Clean
We will use your finalized cleaning plan to visit your property and provide our expert deep cleaning services.
While every cleaning plan is bespoke to each of our clients, they will all:
- Adhere to protocols set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Utilize best-in-class SERVPRO proprietary detergents and disinfectants.
Deep cleaning services will involve any of the following as needed:
- Cleaning of porous surfaces. This may involve vacuuming, deep wash carpet cleaning, and upholstery cleaning.
- Cleaning of non-porous surfaces with appropriate SERVPRO detergents. This will rid the surface of dust and grime.
- Disinfecting of non-porous surfaces with a disinfectant.
Technicians will use professional cleaning equipment crafted for sanitization, like Ultra Low Volume foggers and Electrostatic Sprayers.
The disinfectant of our choice is SERVPROXIDE, an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant that meets both the lowest toxicity category and is certified for direct food and contact use by the National Sanitation Foundation. Read more about our franchise’s uses for SERVPROXIDE here.
Cleaning schedules will be made to fit your needs, with the goal to visit your property at a time to eliminate business interruption.
Step 3: Certify
After cleaning is complete, it’s time to let everyone know.
At this stage, you will:
- Be given a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned badge. It will be installed at your window with a cleaning date to reassure everyone who enters your property.
- Be given access to digital collateral to market your property’s level of clean.
Are you re-opening? If your cleaning coincides with your business’s reopening, our franchise will share your business’s name, reopening date, and location with an image of your businesson our social media pages--all complimentary as congratulations to a fellow North Texan business continuing its services.
Preparing Your Commercial Property for Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned
Our processes are designed to be simple. Once your custom cleaning plan has been created and finalized, we’re ready to get started. Leave everything to us.
- We will keep track of your cleaning dates and remind you of your upcoming cleaning days in advance.
- When your cleaning is scheduled, our technicians will arrive and clean your property according to your plan.
- If your schedule or cleaning needs need to change, your Cleaning Protocol Specialist will always be available to readjust your service.
- Should your property ever have a fire or water damage emergency, you will be on our priority list for emergency restoration services. We will already be familiar with your property and will respond immediately.
Over 1 Million Square Feet in Professional Dallas COVID-19 Cleaning
Our family of SERVPRO franchises have among the most experienced COVID-19 cleaning technicians and staff in North Texas.
Should your property ever need COVID-19 cleaning for either a suspected or confirmed case, we will be on the way to clean and sanitize your property--24 hours a day, every day of the year.
When our hometown of Dallas was just beginning its quarantine months ago, we understood that our franchise would be called to help clean our city’s properties. It became our mission to help first responders and essential businesses have clean and safe vehicles and properties to continue their daily operations. We have made a commitment to continue providing COVID-19 cleaning services to North Texas for as long as needed.
Since COVID-19 started, we have sanitized:
- Over 1 million square feet of property space after positive COVID-19 diagnosis for the following types of companies and industries:
- First Responder Offices
- Office Space
- Thousands of pounds of textiles using our Esporta Wash System.
- Hundreds of vehicles, including:
- Police Vehicles and Motorcycles
- Industrial Machinery
Schedule a Free Cleaning Consultation Today
Consultations and estimates are complimentary. Contact us online or call us today to schedule a time to meet your Cleaning Protocol Specialist.
Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is the New Standard of Clean in Dallas
The need for professional cleaning and sanitation services is necessary. SERVPRO is the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration, and partnering with a full-service cleaning and restoration company provides the benefit of decades of experience and expertise from a trusted brand.
SERVPRO of North Irving has been serving our hometown of Dallas for over 30 years. We have cleaned and restored thousands of properties, and today we are answering the call for COVID-19 and higher standard sanitization cleaning to keep our fellow North Texans safe.
Call us today.
We are Here to Help.
Click here for more about Dallas.
Decontamination and Cleaning Guidelines for Reopening Restaurants After Lockdown
Restaurant COVID-19 Decontamination and Cleaning Services
Americans sorely miss eating at their favorite local restaurants, and the Dallas area is no exception. Restaurant workers are likely looking forward to going back to what they do best - serving delicious meals in the comfort of a welcoming dining area.
As of now, Governor Abbott has declared that many businesses (restaurants included) are allowed to reopen May 1st at 25% of its established capacity. Texas counties with five or fewer COVID cases can fill up to 50% of their capacity.
Abbott said that businesses are to open at their own discretion. Those restaurants that are ready to open must do so with care and caution to ensure the health and safety of both guests and staff.
Restaurant runners are already bacteria mitigation experts, but it’s wise to put together a best practices strategy including updated cleaning guidelines for virus spread prevention efforts.
Priority #1: What Every Owner and Employer Needs to Know
Right on time the National Restaurant Association recently released a publication on COVID-19 reopening guidance.
Restaurants need not navigate this process on their own. Comparing notes with others in the industry helps ensure that all your bases are covered.
Below are some tips for cleaning and sanitizing as restaurants reopen from the National Restaurant Association:
- The entire restaurant facility should be thoroughly cleaned and sanitized (especially if it has been shut down for a while). Special attention should be given to decontamination of “high touch” areas. However, complete cleaning guidelines should also include sanitizing areas that are rarely touched. Ensure that disinfectant products are the appropriate strength and that they are used properly for best effectiveness.
- Ensure that disinfectants are not coming into contact with food.
- Disinfect everything at dining tables between patron uses, especially high touch areas. Discard any single-use items. Consider wrapping utensils and doing away with presets at tables.
- Remove citrus wedge bins and unwrapped straws from self-serve drink stations. Give lemons and limes to customers upon request in containers with lids. Provide wrapped straws only. Think of other germ-catching items around self-serve stations and make the necessary modifications.
- Sanitize reusable menus before each use and dispose of used paper menus.
- Establish a schedule that includes more frequent cleanings on the back end as well as the front end.
- Check restrooms regularly. Clean and sanitize more often in relation to how frequently each is used.
- Make hand sanitizer readily available to guests. Consider installing touchless hand sanitizing dispensers.
This is only a preliminary list. Communicate with your staff to explore anything relevant that addresses the special hygiene needs of your restaurant.
Priority #2: Update Existing Policies and Procedures
Our way of life has completely changed this year and so must our practices. It’s more important than ever for management to do their part to prevent virus spread in public use areas.
To properly adjust to a new normal, make sure your updated protocol includes the following:
- Social distancing promotion with posted reminders and floor markers. Reduce the number of people standing around in waiting areas by offering wait alternatives (like texting them when it’s their turn).
- Clearly outline expectations for use of staff PPE (personal protective equipment like masks and gloves).
- Set clear guidelines regarding employee health practices including comprehensive sanitizing and disinfecting schedule/instructions.
- Promptly discard all expired food items.
- See to it that there are a sufficient number of sneeze guards at self-serve stations such as salad bars & buffets.
- Frequently change, wash, and sanitize eating utensils. Consider eliminating self-service silverware.
- Minimize the inventory “grab and go” food coolers.
- Make sure food handling certifications (including ServSafe) are current. Offer food handler refresher training.
Come together as a team to put together a comprehensive and updated safety protocol. Listen to feedback and concerns from your staff to account for the needs of your particular operations. Use clear and consistent communication to ensure everyone is on board with the updated practices.
Priority #3: Monitor Employee Health and Provide Proper Safety Equipment
Restaurants aren’t always able to control what customers do, but they do have a say in how their staff functions during shifts.
Below are some recommendations on how to direct your staff to ensure they are in the best condition to serve customers.
- Make it clear that sick employees should not come to work. This is an FDA Food Code guideline.
- Monitor staff for signs and symptoms of illness. Pre-work screenings may be necessary such as taking temperature to make sure the employee doesn’t have a fever.
- Establish rules for staff who become ill. Per CDC guidelines, a worker with symptoms of COVID should self-isolate for 7 days, and is not ready to return to work unless symptom-free for at least 3 days (without the use of medications like fever reducers).
- Establish hand hygiene protocol including:
- How often they are expected to wash their hands,
- Appropriate use of hand sanitizer.
- Don’t touch the face with your hands.
- Update glove usage procedures:
- Refresh employees on the already established glove usage rules.
- Increase glove usage for food and money handling wherever appropriate.
- Place glove dispensers near sinks to remind employees to wash their hands before and after donning gloves.
- Use color-coded gloves to avoid cross-contamination - one color for food handling and one color for other purposes (such as cashiers who handle money).
Employees play the most important role in the hygienic maintenance of your restaurant. Take special care of them so that they can take care of your facility and your customers.
Priority #4: Implement Social Distancing
While government officials like Governor Abbott are starting to roll back some of the lockdown rules to allow restaurants to gradually open, they continue to be adamant about social distancing and protecting senior citizens.
Phase 1 of reopening in Texas outlines that restaurants are to reopen with only 25%-50% capacity (depending on the number of COVID-19 cases in the county). This guideline supports our community efforts for social distancing.
Below are some suggestions for social distancing success!
- Post friendly reminders about social distancing best practices.
- Adjust your floorplan to reinforce the current state rules for restaurant capacity (such as a temporary removal of some tables and seating).
- Limit party size.
- Make sure tables are at least six feet apart.
- Rope off or install barriers between tables that can’t be moved (like booths).
- Encourage cooperation from your guests and have a trained employee monitor the capacity in the reception and dining areas. It helps to have a monitor who has excellent customer service and communication skills. Some customers may not respond well to restrictions.
- Reserve space for delivery personnel so that they can maintain space and expediently serve those who need to stay home (like our senior citizens).
- Post advisories that people who are sick or symptomatic are not allowed to enter your restaurant. Encourage those who are sick to order take out instead.
- Provide and instruct public-facing staff to wear face protection.
- If possible, install transparent barriers at counters for public-facing staff.
- Reduce physical contact by encouraging/incentivizing mobile ordering, use of POS tablets, and contactless payment. Ideally, the cashier should be minimally handling credit cards, currency, and machines.
- Furnish hand sanitizer dispensers for guests (contactless if possible).
- Design a strategy that prevents guests from congregating. This includes floor markings, encouraging people to wait elsewhere (in cars), opening additional entrances/exits, adjusting traffic flow from bathrooms. The goal is to keep people apart as much as possible.
- See to it that the staff aren’t working too closely together. Space them six feet apart whenever possible. This means staggered registers and making space between workstations.
- Limit how many employees occupy the break room at a time.
- See to it that the staff is aware of important social distancing policies with training and prominent notices.
Preventing the spread now means preventing future lockdowns. When everyone does their part, we can avoid more closures.
How Restaurant Operators Can Instill Customer Confidence
Stepping into a restaurant for the first time in months may feel a bit surreal. The first step of helping the public ease back into a favorite American pastime is to reassure patrons that the establishment is safe.
Here’s how to do that.
- Conduct a complete and thorough cleaning (such as SERVPRO of North Irving commercial cleaning services). The confidence a sparkling clean restaurant brings will shine through from the management to the staff and finally to the customers.
- Be transparent about your cleaning practices. When customers see staff diligently following conscientious cleaning guidelines, they will see first-hand evidence of your attention to cleanliness.
- Communicate your updated health, safety, and cleaning policies around your establishment and on social media. This lets people know exactly what measures are being taken to prevent the spread of illness.
Easing into this new normal is an adjustment for all involved. With a little empathy and thoughtful communication, you put your customers at ease through the reopening process.
Follow Your State or City’s Guidelines on How to Reopen
Governor Abbott announced that restaurants will be allowed to open at limited capacity starting May 1st. While this is expected to override any local government orders, it may be wise to adhere to what local officials advise.
Each state (and cities within each state) has a different timeline for when they plan to reopen businesses (such as restaurants).
Local advisories may not be enforceable per state override, but it still serves as cautionary guidance based on the data specific to your city. Check in regularly with updates from the City of Irving and Dallas County.
The National Restaurant Association is also keeping the industry updated with reopening information.
SERVPRO of North Irving Coronavirus Cleaning and Decontamination Services for Restaurants
We have no doubt that you put full trust in your staff to do quality cleaning. However, your staff may not have the use of the best disinfectants in the industry (like our SERVPROXIDE) or have enough PPE to go around.
SERVPRO of North Irving has the professional deep cleaning experience and all the equipment needed (PPE included) for our IICRC trained technicians to comprehensively sanitize your restaurant for reopening.
What we have to offer:
- 24/7 service for biohazard cleanup emergencies or overnight scheduling that works around your operating hours.
- SERVPRO is the most recognized cleaning, decontamination, and restoration company in the country. Our disinfectants are trusted by international airports and federal agencies to clean their properties. We have effective disinfecting services for any sized facility and for any kind of situation (such as grocery store cleaning).
- Professional bioremediation services to clean, disinfect, and sanitize the property while also protecting our MVPs - our technicians. Other cleaning companies may offer lower prices, but they may do this by reducing PPE supplies to their staff. We practice uncompromising safety and hygiene standards.
- We apply CDC-recommended & EPA-registered disinfectants on all porous and non-porous surfaces, including walls up to 8 feet.
- We hand-wipe all moisture-sensitive surfaces with a disinfectant-wet towelette.
- We hand-wipe all high-touch surfaces.
- Receive a certification of your property’s cleanup as completed by SERVPRO.
- Social media announcement from us announcing your restaurant has been cleaned and is ready to re-open.
- Refresh services include:
- Carpet cleaning
- Upholstery cleaning
- Air duct cleaning with new a/c filters
- HEPA air scrubbing
SERVPRO of North Irving is honored to serve the community alongside our revered restaurateurs. We’re here to support the safe and efficient reopen of our cherished eateries. (Learn more about our biohazard cleaning prices!)
Call us today at (972) 986-7677 or complete our super easy contact form anytime!
What To Do If Your Sink Overflows in Dallas
What to Do if Your Sink Overflows in Dallas, Texas
There’s no arguing that bathroom overflows are an unwelcome interruption in your day to day life. When a toilet or a sink overflows, it can make a big, wet mess.
Sometimes kids wash their hands or brush their teeth at a sink and forget to turn the water off. When a sink is properly draining, the basin won’t fill up while the faucet runs. But when running water fails to drain, whether it’s due to hair stuck in the drain, or something else blocking the pipes, you may walk in on an unpleasant surprise - water spilling over the sides of your sink.
Often, you’ll find a sink that shares plumbing with a dishwasher or a washing machine. A gurgle is heard through the sink as the machine drains, but if the pipes are blocked, the wastewater will make its way up through the sink.
Aside from being a rude interruption to any otherwise normal day, sink overflows may cause damage to the subfloor or growth of bacteria and mold. Delayed action could require Dallas mold removal and could also mean further damage that leads to costly repairs. Luckily, there are simple steps you can take now to tackle overflow issues.
My Sink is Overflowing! What Should I Do?
Once you’ve turned the faucet off, investigation of the blockage begins. A kitchen sink filling up with water is due to the drain overflowing, so we’ll zero in on troubleshooting the drainage set up. Below are some things you can try before you call the plumber.
1. Check the Garbage Disposal
With enough water in the drain, run the garbage disposal. If the water starts to empty out properly again, then the disposal line is now clear and the problem is solved. Issues with the garbage disposal can cause drainage problems for dishwashers, so make sure the garbage disposal is run regularly and stays clear of obstruction.
2. Try Boiling Water and Salt
(Please use caution when handling boiling hot water)
Sometimes stubborn clogs need a little push out of the way. Boiling water works well for this. Start off by pouring half a cup of table salt down the drain.
Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. Pour all of the hot water into the sink. If the clog does not clear out the first time, you may repeat this step once more.
3. Baking Soda and Vinegar
If you’ve done school science experiments, you’ve probably witnessed what happens when baking soda and vinegar interact. It bursts with bubbles and foam. Imagine this expansive reaction in a confined space like a drain and how it would move clogs along and out of the way.
Start off by putting a cup of baking soda into the drain. Then pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain. As you would with the salt treatment, follow up with pouring a pot of hot water down the drain.
Some advise against using chemical drain cleaners because it can cause cumulative damage to the plumbing and it’s not environmentally safe.
4. Use a Plunger
If the above suggestions were unsuccessful, it’s time to get out the tools. Sometimes a double sink has only one drain that is blocked. In this case, you’d seal the clear drain with a stopper. Next, position the plunger to cover the drain hole. Add enough water to cover the plunger’s bell so it seals well with the drain. Use the plunger with the same repetitive motions you would use with a toilet.
5. Clean the P-trap
The p-trap is a u-shaped point near the drain used to help keep odors out of the room. It is usually u-shaped and can be found near the opening of the drain, directly under the sink.
Hopefully, it won’t come to this, but a blockage in the p-trap may need to be cleared.
For this fix, you will need a bucket, a wrench to remove the lock joint nuts, and something bendy to send through the curved pipe (like a coat hanger).
Find the p-trap under the sink. It will be U-shaped like the curve in the letter P. Place a bucket underneath the p-trap. While holding the p-trap pipe, loosen each nut with the wrench.
Carefully remove the p-trap pipe. Some water may spill out and that is what the bucket is for.
Use your flexible tool to push out any blockages. If you feel the coathanger pushing against something, but it won’t clear, you can try a plumbing snake. Move the instrument around inside the pipe thoroughly to clear out any remaining debris.
If another faucet is available, try running water through the trap to see if water passes through easily. Once you’ve cleared the piping, put the p-trap back on and tighten the joint nuts securely.
Sometimes vent blockages for the washing machine can get clogged and cause draining issues. Locate the vents for your washing machine or kitchen sink and check the vents for blockage.
If you’ve tried every practical measure and the problem persists, contact a trusted plumber.
Dallas Clean Up After a Sink Overflow Disaster
The next task is to clean up the areas affected by the overflowing sink.
A thorough response now saves you from other problems like damage to nearby materials and structure or contamination. The key is to remove as much water and moisture as possible.
Overflow Cleaning Procedure:
- Mop up as much water as possible from floors, pantries, and cabinets.
- Leave cabinets and doors open so that all dampened areas have a chance to dry out.
- To more thoroughly dry out the area, use cross-ventilating electric fans.
- Thoroughly clean all surfaces with antibacterial cleaner.
If after some time construction materials like wood are still damp or there are signs of mold/mildew growth, remove and replace the affected items.
If the water mixes with sewage, contact our team at SERVPRO for Dallas sewage cleanup.
Sink Overflow Prevention Tips
We can avoid the hassle of a sink overflow by being proactive to keep drain clogs from happening in the first place. Drains are not built to handle everything winds up in the sink, so gating the drain is the best way to avoid these issues
- Food - Minimal food should end up in the sink. Throw food scraps into the trash and use a sink strainer to catch food particles that end up in the sink. Coffee grounds, pasta, rice, and fibrous foods are common culprits for clogging drains, so keep them out of the sink as best you can. Use a strainer and empty it regularly to keep the sink clean and clear.
- Grease - Hot grease looks clear and fluid like water, but when it cools it becomes gummy. Fatty grease and oil will build up along the sides of plumbing and create stubborn clogs.
- Hair - Loose hair clogs up a vacuum cleaner hose and it will do the same to your drain. Bathroom sinks are especially susceptible to hair clogs because it’s a place for personal grooming. Use a cover that collects the hair but still lets the water through the drain. This way you can swiftly toss the hair collection into the trash instead of having to fish it out of the drain.
Sink strainers can also catch things you don’t want to get into the drain like expensive rings, fallen eye contacts, and small toys. These sink accessories are typically inexpensive and are found in stores everywhere.
Call Our SERVPRO Today for Dallas Water Damage Restoration
SERVPRO of North Irving is located in Dallas and is here for life’s emergencies. If a sink overflow gets out of hand, we’re here to perform a complete Dallas water repair.
We’ll remove all water and moisture to prevent mold and damage from happening. Our goal is to keep a watery mess from ruining your home while promoting a healthy home environment for your family with bacteria and mold prevention.
We’ll thoroughly clean up the mess and advise you on how to prevent future overflows. We’ll answer the call 24/7 at (972) 986-7677 or you can complete our convenient form!
Dallas Grocery Store Cleaning Guidelines for Coronavirus
Grocery Store Cleaning During Coronavirus
Problem germs come in many forms, but viruses are particularly pesky. Viruses are persistent because they rely on other living beings to survive.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the influenza (a.k.a. the flu) virus makes the rounds all year, but is most likely to spread during fall and winter. The flu survives through person-to-person contact as its lifespan shortens outside of a host’s body.
Public places full of people (like a Dallas grocery store) present plenty of new host opportunities for viruses. More bodies in a high-use space means more chances for contagions to spread. With diligence in consistent cleanings, we can mitigate the spread of viruses in retail spaces.
Importance of Preventing Pathogen Spread in Grocery and Retail Stores
How do viruses spread? According to the CDC, droplets are released into the air when infected people sneeze, cough, or talk. Most often, the virus travels through the air and lands in the mouth and nose of the new host.
It’s also possible that the viral microbes will land on surfaces to be picked up by the skin. When it’s picked up by the fingers, a person could unwittingly allow the virus inside by touching vulnerable entry points like the nose and mouth.
The strain of Coronavirus that is responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic advances the same way. The Coronavirus is more contagious than the flu because it can live on surfaces for several days, and we’ve not yet built up an immunity to it.
Due to public health measures like “shelter in place” directives, we’ve seen a growing demand placed on grocery stores facing increased shopping traffic. Under current circumstances in cities across the country, grocery stores remain open as an “essential service,” to serve those who need to stock up on supplies for remaining at home.
More traffic means that high touch areas (surfaces humans frequently touch like bathroom door handles and shopping carts) will accumulate germs and must be kept clean to prevent the spread of contagious viruses.
Because the coronavirus is believed to be more contagious and can live on surfaces for days, it’s important that we keep busy public places (like grocery stores) disinfected.
Essential Areas to Clean in a Retail or Grocery Store
More shoppers visiting the grocery store means more hands touching things. As mentioned before, areas that are handled most frequently are called “touch areas.” By giving more attention to germ-prone areas, store workers play a significant role in preventing the spread of viruses.
How do you properly clean sections of a grocery store?
Grocery Store Cleaning Checklist
- Shopping carts: As carts are used throughout the day, constantly wipe down the touch areas of the cart (especially the handles) with disinfectant cleaner. Treat hand baskets the same way. Nightly power washing serves as a proactive measure to sanitize and prepare the carts for use the next day.
- Checkout aisles: Cashiers (and with the assistance of baggers) should frequently clean the checkout area. The conveyor belt, rails on each side of the belt, customer counter, and the bagging area should be wiped down at pace with the number of customers passing through.
- Important: Keep credit card reading machines clean. Cash and plastic cards are known for harboring germs.
- Restrooms: Public restrooms in a store probably already receive several cleanings per day, but with a recent emphasis on public health, it’s wise to increase the frequency of cleaning. Customer and employee restrooms should be sanitized throughout the day: floors, doors, stall walls/doors, all handles (including paper towel and soap dispensers), sinks, counters, baby changing sections, etc. Once the store is empty for the day, a more comprehensive cleaning should be done from top to bottom. Sanitize everything.
- Floors: Floors are high-traffic areas, and grocery store floors get even more foot traffic now that restaurant traffic is prohibited beyond carry-out. For more efficient and thorough floor sanitization, consider using an industrial auto-scrubber.
- Walk-in freezers and refrigerators: Because freezers and refrigeration units house more prepared food these days, it’s a best practice to keep them clean for food safety. Give extra attention to these areas where products are handled by customers. These areas should be routinely cleaned. At the time that works best for your store schedule, remove the items from the refrigerator or freezer and clean the surfaces with no-touch products. This mitigates contamination.
The above is not a comprehensive list, but it does cover some of the main trouble spots. Be aware of places where hands leave behind germs and coughs/sneezes may leave behind pathogens.
SERVPRO Cleanup Scope and Disinfecting Procedures for Dallas Retail Stores
In light of recent events, our SERVPRO has had a focused intent on assisting Dallas area public health efforts. We consult the CDC recommendations to keep our decontamination services and procedures aligned with official policies.
The CDC has emphasized consistent cleaning of “high touch” areas. Below is a list of examples of areas that collect germs with greater frequency.
Cleanup Scope of Work and Planning
These “high-touch” areas must be sanitized regularly:
- Bathroom fixtures
- Light switches
Germ-prone heavy use areas:
- Carpets and rugs
- Elevator cars
- Fitness equipment
- Kitchen/food areas
- Playground equipment
- Retail spaces
- Sales counters
- Shelving and racks
- Stair handrails
- Water fountains
Cleanup Does Not Protect Against Future Contamination
SERVPRO is prepared to do our part for public health in the Dallas area by fighting COVID-19 with complete and thorough Dallas commercial cleaning services.
Please note that the decontamination process only eliminates the microbes present at the time of the cleaning. If an area is suspected to be contaminated again, the sanitation process must be repeated.
We understand that you probably don’t want a cleanup crew in the store while customers are present. With our 24-hour operations, we work around your store’s needs.
Other Measures Grocery Stores Should Take to Protect Customers and Workers
At SERVPRO, public health is a top priority. We’re here to support our Dallas area grocery stores by promoting efficient service and sanitation best practices.
We’ve seen swift action by retailers to adjust to the current circumstances. For your consideration, below are examples of effective measures currently in use by grocery stores.
- Dedicated shopping time for senior citizens: Allow the elderly exclusive access to the store the first hour of the morning when the store has not yet been touched with so many hands. This also helps curb a rush that puts our vulnerable seniors at risk with not enough social distancing.
- Hand sanitizer dispensers and courtesy wipes: Your cashiers may get slammed with long lines. Make sure they have hand sanitizer to protect themselves and disinfecting products (like wipes) to clean high touch areas and surfaces that could be sneezed on.
Place hand wipe and alcohol rub dispensers at entrances and other key points of the store. It’s recommended to use mounted dispensers to discourage portable containers from wandering away.
- Hand washing breaks and cash handling protocol: If possible, rotate your cashiers out of register duty for handwashing breaks. Instruct them to sanitize their hands if they touch something a customer has handed to them like coupons and credit cards, but especially cash.
- Transparent guards at checkout: For years, sneeze guards have been used to protect buffet food and plexiglass has been used to protect clerks from criminals. Today, we are beginning to see see-through guards installed at registers. This protects your cashiers should someone unknowingly spray pathogens onto them. Store staff are on the front lines and need all the protection they can get. It keeps them working to help the community but also keeps them from getting the virus and then passing it onto others.
- Distancing markers: For the protection of all, 6 feet is the personal spacing guideline set by the CDC and the WHO. While it’s not practical to place floor markers in free movement areas, it makes sense to place them where people are stationary (where customers line up). These are gentle reminders to make space with others.
- Staggering of entrance: Too many people in the store at a time makes it a challenge to promote distancing. Allowing only a set number of people at a time to enter helps control crowds.
- Cart sanitation duty: While courtesy wipes are available, that doesn’t mean customers will use them. Dedicating some staff to wiping down carts between uses is a way to ensure one of the most touched surfaces is getting the proper attention.
Why Hire SERVPRO Over Other Dallas Cleaning Companies?
SERVPRO of North Irving has years of experience in thoroughly decontaminating facilities with a variety of Dallas biohazard cleanup services. Past and present experiences have us well-prepared for this current public health event.
SERVPRO is here to partner with our Dallas area grocery stores to maintain a healthy shopping environment. Should you have reason to believe your store has been exposed to the Coronavirus or you just need a more thorough cleaning than the staff is equipped for, we’ve got you covered. Our team will thoroughly clean the areas and have you back up and running within a day.
We have been working one-on-one with facility owners to create tactical cleaning plans. We’re here to educate our community on what actions to take if someone infected with COVID-19 has been on the premises of a retail establishment. We’ve created in-depth protocol guides to help businesses prepare for the potential scenarios. We’ll help businesses save time by sharing our proactive plan resources.
To schedule a bioremediation cleaning or for assistance with planning, just call us at (972) 986-7677 or complete our convenient contact form.
How to Disinfect Laundry After Dallas Coronavirus Infection
SERVPRO uses the Esporta Wash System to disinfect laundry for those affected by COVID-19 in Dallas
Communities across the nation are taking action to prevent the spread of the contagious Coronavirus. As you may already know, this virus can progress into the COVID-19 disease that causes severe respiratory problems.
This disease is mainly spread through airborne droplets released by the sneezing and coughing of an infected person. It’s also believed to live on other surfaces for up to three days.
This means that we may catch the virus if we pick up the microbes with hand contact and then touch vulnerable body entry points such as the mouth, eyes, or the nose.
Can Clothing and Other Textiles Carry Infectious Agents?
Surfaces can harbor contagious microbes, however not much has been studied about Coronavirus living on clothing, linens, and other fabrics. However, if you are caring for someone suspected of or confirmed to have COVID-19, Harvard Medical School's Coronavirus Resource Center suggests handing clothing and linens that have blood, stool, or bodily fluids on them with gloves. Keep them away from your body, and launder them thoroughly.
For this reason, fabrics that a COVID-19 patient has come into contact with should be treated carefully and washed with care.
SERVPRO Procedures for Cleaning Soft Goods Potentially Impacted With COVID-19 Agents in Dallas
In the event of damage caused by flood or fire, soft goods need special care to be restored back to its original state. In the case of a flood or other water damage, the soft goods will become contaminated with bacteria. We use the patented Esporta System for recovery in such events for textile restoration and decontamination.
We expect the Esporta System to have the same results with pathogens from viruses as well. Cleaning all linens and clothing (especially in a care facility) can be a big job.
Concerns with patient and careworker safety is why we offer Esporta Wash System services to effectively sanitize soft goods and assist with the workload necessary to prevent the spread of viral pathogens.
Standard washing machines have limited disinfection capabilities and are prone to cross contamination. The Esporta Wash System is designed to remove up to 99% of contaminants while also avoiding cross contamination.
The Esporta Wash System:
This method has been scientifically proven to be more effective in the sterilization of soft goods. This is made possible by taking the front-load washing machine design a step further with a cage design.
It separates items into individual compartments that methodically pass through the detergent-rich water. Hydraulic pressure works with detergents to effectively flush the fibers of contaminants. The computerized process optimizes the wash cycle and facilitates quality assurance.
The Esporta Detergents:
A three stage process means a more thorough cleansing. Here’s how it works.
- Stage 1: The emulsifying detergent disarms bacteria of its food sheath layer. This allows for deodorization and removal of harmful organic matter.
- Stage 2: Next, the detergent breaks down inorganic material while also dissolving and removing contaminants.
- Stage 3: The final stage is sanitization with the use of hydrogen peroxide to kill molds and bacteria.
- (Fabric softening step optional).
Not only was this process designed to have superior cleaning power, it also uses an eco-friendly and hypoallergenic formula. This means less harm to the planet and no irritants to sensitive skin.
Esporta Wash System Tests:
Esporta technicians take quality seriously. This system has been tested for effectiveness.. A third party laboratory conducted testing on items after washing. It was found that after being processed by the Esporta Wash System, bacteria levels dropped low enough to be considered food grade safe.
ATP monitoring measures the amount of organic material (Adenosine Triphosphate) present in the contaminated object. In one case a raw sewage contaminated comforter measured 6,000 RLUs (Relative Light Units). A post-cleaning reading showed a new result of 10 RLUs (the safety standard for food preparation). A pair of moldy shoes had a reading of 621 RLU and after Esporta processing, this level dropped to an extremely sterile level of 4 RLUs. This proves the decontamination procedures to be highly effective.
Why SERVPRO Is Equipped to Handle Fabric and Textile Cleaning and Disinfection in Dallas
We caution the public to be skeptical of any claims that a product or service prevents or cures the 2019 Coronavirus. No product has been proven to cure or prevent this particular virus strain.
We also want to inform you that one Esporta cleaning will not prevent future contamination. If another contamination occurs, we would need to sanitize the soft goods over again.
While there is no guarantee that all COVID-19 pathogens can be eliminated, SERVPRO believes the Esporta Wash System to be safe and effective at ridding soft goods of infectious microbes. This textile cleaning has been completed without damage to the items.
SERVPRO North Irving is also prepared to provide disinfection and biohazard cleanup in Dallas for buildings and structures.
SERVPRO’s Commitment to Public Health:
- SERVPRO professionals are trained in adhering to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
- SERVPRO is performing all cleanup and bioremediation in accordance with the guidelines provided by the CDC and local authorities.
- SERVPRO’s proprietary cleaning agent, SERVPROXIDE, is an EPA-certified, hospital-grade disinfectant that has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19) on hard, non-porous surfaces.
SERVPRO is continuously checking in for the latest updates and instructions from the Center of Disease Control. We urge our community to stay informed and comply with directives from the CDC.
SERVPRO is committed to doing our part for public health in the greater Dallas area. We’re here to help sanitize areas affected by the Coronavirus, especially in the remediation of treatment areas for COVID-19 patients.
We are prepared to conduct safe removal, secure transport and decontamination of soft goods 24/7. Please reach out to us with any sanitation concerns or questions you have about our cleaning process. Call us at (972) 986-7677 anytime.