What You Need To Know About Moisture and Building Materials
Wood floor damage in a Bryan,TX home
When homebuilders in Bryan, TX, construct a private residence, they use a variety of building materials. As you likely know, these materials are mostly dry when they leave the production facility. Unfortunately, during and after construction, materials can encounter moisture. While flooding can cause swelling wood, it does not necessarily destroy all types of building materials.
Consider the Type of Building Material
To determine whether excess moisture has destroyed building materials, you must think about the type of building material involved. In virtually all houses, the following types of materials exist somewhere:
As you may suspect, some of these materials resist water damage better than others. When water touches wood, it often swells. Flood remediators usually address swelling wood by removing it altogether. This is often the case with cabinetry, subfloor and manufactured-wood materials. Still, some real-wood building materials eventually dry out. Likewise, drywall can often be dried. Carpeting tends to dry as well. Thus, if your carpet sustained damage from a leaky supply line or other clean-water source, you probably don’t have to replace it. Tile, metal and glass are generally impervious to floodwaters.
Stop the Flood
Before you can think about throwing away or saving building materials, you must identify the source of the leak. In many residences, damaged water pipes are the culprit. By contracting with a skilled plumber in Bryan, TX, you can likely achieve a successful water pipe repair.
Simply because you notice swelling wood does not mean you need to haul all the materials in your home to the landfill. Deciding whether your building materials are salvageable may be beyond your expertise. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. By working with a reputable restoration service, you benefit from industry expertise. You also take advantage of professional-grade equipment and skill to restore your home’s value, condition and livability.
How To Prevent Water Damage During Construction
A flooded site can derail the construction process.
Construction is generally a positive development for any business in Bryan, TX. However, contractors must take proactive steps during the building process to protect the integrity of the site and avoid water damage and unexpected water pipe repairs.
1. Ensure Proper Drainage
Proper drainage is essential. Otherwise, water can pool and flood the work zone. For this reason, you must ensure the ground surrounding the building is properly graded, which will help divert rainwater away from the site.
2. Strategically Store Mechanical Equipment
To minimize the risk of damaging circuits and other vital components, avoid placing mechanical and electrical equipment in exposed, low-lying areas where water can easily collect.
3. Use a Protective Tarp
Without walls, doors and windows, your building is susceptible to rain, snow and other weather elements. Temporary building enclosure tarps create a barrier, helping to shield exposed internal components and building materials from potential damage.
4. Seal Windows and Doors
To prevent unintended water intrusion, you also need to ensure that all newly installed doors and windows are properly sealed and water-proofed.
5. Protect Pipes
Few contractors plan on a water pipe repair during the construction process. Protecting pipes is particularly important during the winter as temperatures drop around the freezing point. To safeguard against a broken pipe, you can insulate exposed pipes with rubber or fiberglass sleeves or direct a heat source toward them.
6. Keep Building Materials Dry
Plywood, drywall, and insulation are vulnerable to water damage. Wet plywood can warp, and saturated drywall is susceptible to mold contamination. Wet insulation loses its R-value, rendering it ineffective. To preserve these materials, find a location where they can be safely stored and protected from potential moisture exposure.
Staying on Schedule
A flooded site can derail the construction process. To minimize delays and the need for water pipe repairs, you should ensure that your team knows appropriate procedures to protect building materials and exposed pipes. If flooding does occur, professional cleanup specialists can assist you and help the project get back on track. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.
Three Ways FEMA Helps After a Flood
Hopefully, these three facts will help you to understand what FEMA and your local EMA branches do to help citizens like you.
If you live in a house that has experienced flood damage after a major disaster-level storm in the Bryan, TX, area, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will likely be on-site at some point. Here are three things that FEMA does to help homeowners like you after flooding has taken place.
1. Send Inspectors to the Site
Inspectors will be sent by this federal agency to storm-damaged homes such as yours for an overall evaluation of the destruction and how extensive it is. If an inspector comes to your house, expect them to take notes, fill out paperwork with you, conduct interviews and survey each room. Photographs may be taken to document any loss. It is important to have proof of ownership for your property before the agent arrives in order for proper government documentation to take place.
2. Provide Shelter
This agency is well-known for helping increase the availability of shelter to flood and other storm victims, as well. It often works with state and local governments across the country to create and approve FEMA Compliant storm shelters in towns and cities across the United States. Your local Emergency Management Agency, or EMA, office can help you if you want to create a storm safe area in your residential area.
3. Assist With Disaster Relief
Besides helping communities offer shelter to their residents, this agency helps such areas find funding for natural disasters such as flooding in order to provide for sufferers. Additionally, local EMA branches work with the federal office to get assistance in restoring their communities after storms and other similarly devastating disasters. For more information on how these agencies work together to help people rebuild their lives, talk to your local EMA office.
Hopefully, these three facts will help you to understand what FEMA and your local EMA branches do to help citizens like you after Mother Nature leaves tragedy in her wake. If you do find yourself in such a situation in the future, remember to stay calm and listen to what your local law enforcement says in order to stay as safe as possible. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.
Moldy Bread: In the Fridge, on the Counter
Bread mold is a common household problem.
Many people have had the experience of pulling out the peanut butter and jelly, knife and plate, and reaching for the loaf of bread in the cupboard bought a few days ago, only to find that it has white fuzz all over it. How did this happen? It hasn’t even been a week! Bread mold is quite common and happens in kitchens around the world, including kitchens in Bryan, TX.
What Is Mold?
The white, green, or black fuzz found on bread is mold. Mold is part of the fungi family; the most famous member being mushrooms. Fungi are different from plants because they do not use chlorophyll to transfer sunlight into energy. Thus, they must get their energy or food source elsewhere. Millions of mold spores travel through the air and can settle on food—in this case, bread—where they may rapidly reproduce if the conditions are right. Fungus growth on bread occurs for three reasons:
1. Desirable nutrients, e.g. yeast
2. Moist atmosphere
3. Warm environment
On the Counter or in the Fridge?
It is common to keep bread on the counter, in a breadbox, or in the cupboard. These places may attract bread mold more quickly than the fridge. They are often dark, humid environments that offer a perfect atmosphere for fungus growth. Fridge mold can occur, but it happens at a much slower pace because the inside of the fridge is colder and there is less moisture in the air. This means that mold can grow in both places, making the best choice for storing bread a matter of preference, atmosphere, and frequency.
A few of the best ways to ensure bread products do not go moldy quickly is to store them in the freezer and thaw them in a closed plastic bag when ready or to only keep amounts on hand for one to two days at a time.
Bread mold is a common household problem. Bread is often stored in warm, moist environments, which is the same environment mold needs to grow. In order to avoid mold growth, store bread in a cool, dry place, like the freezer. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.
Your Sprinkler System Is Always on Duty
That fire sprinkler may well have saved your business, but it left quite a mess behind.
When it comes to fire suppression, nothing could be simpler than a fire sprinkler. It sits up high, usually on a ceiling, and is attached to a pressurized water pipe. The sprinkler head itself is basically a water valve and water deflector held in the off position by glass bulb containing a liquid. When the temperature at the bulb is high enough, several things happen.
• The liquid expands and glass bulb shatters.
• The water flows through the sprinkler head dousing everything beneath it.
• A device attached to the water supply pipe senses the flow of water and sets off an alarm.
• The water continues to flow until a valve on the supply pipe of the fire sprinkler is shut.
Sprinklers Operate Independently
Hollywood would have us believe that, when one sprinkler goes off, they all go off. It looks great in the movies but not in real life. If your business has a small fire in a room with multiple sprinkler heads, it may set off one or two but not every sprinkler in the room.
Some Areas Should Not Be Equipped With Sprinklers
This really comes down to common sense. Different types of fires need to be fought with different materials. Your computer room, phone room or any room with sensitive electronics or high voltage equipment would not be candidates for fire suppression by water.
Water Damage is Preferable to Fire Damage
Depending on the pressure and size of the connected pipe, a sprinkler can discharge between 20 and 40 gallons of water per minute. How long it flows determines the extent of the fire sprinkler cleanup necessary. Hopefully, the fire department arrives quickly and shuts off the sprinkler.
It’s Time to Clean Up the Mess
That fire sprinkler may well have saved your business, but it left quite a mess behind. Finding water damage experts to deal with your situation in Bryan, TX, is simple. They can apply their experience and specialized equipment to your water damage and have it cleaned up sooner than you think possible. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.
The Storm Restoration Process and What To Expect
Although restoration specialists may tear out floors, walls, or ceilings, the building will be rebuilt to its pre-damage condition.
If you have recently experienced a severe storm in Bryan, TX, your building may have suffered some storm damage. Often, heavy rains lead to water damage stemming from both the roof and the basement of buildings. Damage like this can disrupt the flow of your workplace and can lead to serious mold issues.
The storm restoration process can help ensure that all water is removed and that the structure of your building is repaired. Although it might take a while before the workers tear out all damaged walls and floors and completely restore the building, it is worth it in the long run. Here is a general overview of the process and what you might expect from your local restoration professionals.
1. Inspecting the Damage
Once the storm has stopped, experts can come in and assess the damage. They’ll look at what’s been ruined and what type of damage has occurred. This can help them create an efficient plan of action for the following weeks or months.
2. Removing the Water
Once the inspection is complete, water damage specialists will start pumping out the water. This is one of the first things done to prevent future damage. Vacuums, pumps, and open ventilation is used to help remove the water.
3. Drying the Building
Once most of the water is successfully taken out of the building, drying is the next big step. Professionals can bring in specialized equipment that is made specifically to dry certain areas. Dehumidifiers and fans can be used, as well.
4. Cleaning the Affected Areas
Professionals might tear out extremely damaged parts of the building and will start the cleaning process. Flood water is very contaminated, so affected items will need special cleaning. With the help of sanitizing equipment, odors can be removed from the building.
Once the building has been completely restored, things can go back to normal. Although restoration specialists may tear out floors, walls, or ceilings, the building will be rebuilt to its pre-damage condition. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.
3 Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim
By following the above tips, you can reduce the uncertainty and stress of the situation for you and your family.
A pipe burst in Bryan, TX, and you now have a flood covering the entire first floor of your house. In this unfortunate situation, it is fortunate that you have homeowners insurance. When do you file an insurance claim for the water damage? What is your responsibility as the homeowner? Review the following three tips to help the process of filing a water damage claim go as smoothly as possible.
1. Act Fast
The best time to contact your insurance company after a flood wreaks havoc on your home is as soon as possible. First, ensure that you and your family are safe. Second, call your insurance agent to report the loss and find out the next steps. Each insurance company has its own specific policies and procedures when it comes to filing an insurance claim, and by adhering to these you help speed the process along. Next, contact a water restoration company to assess the damage and begin the process of water removal, dehumidification and restoration.
2. Keep Records and Receipts
Before any work is completed, take pictures of the water damage and make a list of all damaged contents in your house. Keep copies of the claim forms you complete. Save every related receipt including work done by the water restoration professionals as well as expenses accrued from hotel accommodations if your home is unlivable.
3. Partner With Professionals
Communicate and share records with the insurance adjustor assigned to your claim. Keep in close contact with the restoration company, and request copies of all paperwork and receipts. The water restoration specialist and insurance adjustor may communicate directly with one another as well. If something is unclear to you, ask for clarification.
Filing an insurance claim for water damage at your home in Bryan, TX, initially may seem overwhelming. By following the above tips, you can reduce the uncertainty and stress of the situation for you and your family. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.
2 Critical Keys To Odor Removal After Flooding
After a flood in Bryan, TX, you are probably worried that your home will never smell the same again. You are right to be concerned about this, but it is possible to prevent and remove odors from water contamination and mold growth after a storm. The secret to success is twofold: start immediately and clean effectively.
1. Start Cleanup Immediately.
When there is a flood, your home and personal belongings are at risk from water damage itself, but also biohazards like sewage and other contaminants in the water. Flood water from a storm is often referred to as "black water" for this reason. Mold growth can also begin within 48 hours.
As time passes, materials exposed to flood water are absorbing the liquid and all its microscopic contents. The risk of structural damage increases, but also extended exposure to contamination makes it more difficult to save and clean materials the right way. After mold colonies form, mold remediation is needed, and the overall cleanup becomes costlier as containment becomes important to prevent the spread of mold spores and more colonies.
2. Clean the Right Way.
Each item exposed to water will be different in how it should be treated after a flood. Some items may need to be disposed of, such as carpet padding, but some items can be disinfected and saved, like carpet. Trained experts are knowledgeable about the cleaning process and can help your family with effective cleaning of your home after a flood.
No matter where you are, mold spores are in the air. That's very normal. The problem comes when materials don't dry thoroughly, and those spores form colonies of mold. It's very difficult to clean deeply rooted mold growth from porous materials, but the combination of containment, thorough drying techniques and antimicrobials is the key to solving the problem and preventing odors from coming back.
Flood water cleaning may seem overwhelming, but there is help. Flood restoration specialists have the resources and training to remove water quickly, clean materials thoroughly, and dry your home completely. Look for specialists with IICRC training to ensure effective odor removal techniques are used.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.
The Types of Fire Damage Insurance Will Not Cover
Not all fire damage is covered by home insurance. Insurance companies figure out the cause of the fire and evaluate any special circumstances. Your home in Bryan, TX, can be denied coverage if it is classified under any of these criteria. Understanding the process for a home fire insurance claim will allow you to know when to not expect compensation.
What Is Typically Covered?
To know the types of claims that are denied, it should be understood what are typically accepted claims. Insurance policies cover events that are caused by one of many usual causes:
• Cooking flames spreading
• Candles gone awry
• Defective appliances
• Electrical malfunctions
• Any other fires caused by accident
While these sources are covered, it is important that the fire is also unintentional.
Intentionally Setting a Fire Puts Your Compensation in Flames.
While it may seem like a smart move to burn a house down to start anew with the compensation, it will not work. Because of this possibility, insurance companies will send a professional team to investigate damaged property to piece together what happened. If the insurance can determine that a home fire was set intentionally, a claim will be completely denied.
Not only is the insurance claim denied, arson is a prosecutable crime that additionally puts property owned by others at risk. When the money never comes, potential fines from convictions and civil lawsuits from neighbors hurt even more.
A Vacant Residence Means No Coverage.
If a house has been uninhabited for a length of more than a month, it is considered vacant. With typical coverage, a vacant home fire is not covered if the insurance company can prove the home was unoccupied for an extended time. There are, however, special plans that cover properties that are uninhabited for a long period.
Restoration Regardless of Coverage.
Even in cases where insurance decides to not offer compensation, fire damage to your home and property can be cleaned by consulting a professional fire cleanup company. Regardless of your insurance claim, a home fire doesn’t have to claim all of your property.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.
Rental Safety 101: Stop Mold in Its Tracks
There are few household problems that set off more alarm bells than the discovery of mold. The best way to deal with mold growth in your Bryan, TX, rental home is to stop it from ever happening by practicing safe mold prevention techniques. There are many reasons to monitor your rental for signs of mold:
• You can avoid the unpleasant sights and smells of a mold growth
• You want to minimize exposure to side effects of mold
• You may be found liable for repair costs, depending on the cause of the mold and the structure of your lease
By carefully checking your rental home regularly and creating an environment that is not mold-friendly, you can save yourself the headaches of a mold outbreak.
Find Potential Sources Immediately.
Mold growth flourishes in damp environments, so the most common source of the fungus is water damage from leaks and spills. Be sure to clean up any spills in your rental home immediately before they have a chance to seep into the baseboards where mold can develop. If you see signs of a leak in your ceiling or walls, such as damp or soft spots, you should find the source and address it immediately. Shut off water at your main line and locate the leak yourself or contact a service professional to prevent it from spreading.
Eliminate the Climate Mold Needs.
With the leak stopped, you should focus on making your place as inhospitable to mold as possible. Dry air is key to mold prevention, so you want to remove as much moisture from the air as possible. An air conditioner in the summer will help to suck moisture out of the air, while running your heater in cold months will inject fresh, dry air into the rooms.
Although it can be a scary proposition, mold prevention is easy with preventative measures. Stay vigilant about identifying possible sources of mold, then fight them as soon as you find any. You’ll be glad you did when your rental stays fresh and healthy year round.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.