Recent Posts

Protective Gear for Mold Mitigation

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

specialist in PPE combating mold in an apartment Before they can take care of your house, mold specialists have to take care of themselves.

Protective Gear for Mold Mitigation

Mold spores are everywhere. They are in the air you breathe every time you go outside, and they are even inside your home. They travel indoors daily on hair, clothes, shoes and pets. If spores multiply and grow in your home in College Station, TX, though, the technicians who handle the cleanup and anyone else who enters the affected area need more than just face masks to ensure their protection.

Body Protection
Mold remediation often releases a concentrated number of spores into the air. Certified mitigation specialists won't start the mold cleanup process until they are fully outfitted in personal protective equipment:

  • Ventilated masks
  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles
  • Boots
  • Coveralls

These protective measures may seem like overkill to the casual observer, but they serve an important purpose. They keep mold spores from getting into the technicians' eyes, nasal passages and lungs. The full-body protection also prevents the mitigation team members from spreading mold everywhere they go after they leave the site.

Structure Protection
Mold damage in one part of your home can easily spread to other areas unless technicians take specific measures to stop it. Just like their face masks provide a shield between them and the mold spores in the air, the polyethylene sheeting over doorways and vents protects the rest of the house from the excess fungus concentrations that are released during cleanup. The affected area must be isolated before mold growth is addressed. If technicians leave the area during the cleanup process, they remove their protective clothing so that they don't spread the mold that may have attached to it anywhere else. Thorough mitigation requires containment so that the job is completed and the mold doesn't come back.
Before they can take care of your house, mold specialists have to take care of themselves. Face masks, gloves and other protective gear are necessary safety precautions throughout the remediation process.

3 Things You Should Throw Away After a House Fire

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Cosmetics Throw away all the cosmetics after a fire.

3 Things You Should Throw Away After a House Fire

The hardest part of recovering from a house fire in Bryan, TX is usually identifying things that can be salvaged and those you need to throw away. Sentimental items, for example, can be hard to dispose of, and there’s always been confusion between keeping or dumping canned foods.
Here are things you should throw away after a fire, no matter what:

  • Perishable and non-perishable food
  • Medication
  • Cosmetics

1. Any Food That Survived the Blaze

Food that gets exposed to high heat can cause health effects. While that is obvious for anything that was in permeable packaging during the fire, edibles that were in sealed jars and cans should also be tossed. That’s because the heat triggers bacterial contamination and also gives the food a lousy taste.

2. Medication

Medicines tend to lose potency after a fire. On top of that, they can also get contaminated by firefighting chemicals and other products that might be near them. There may be no signs of soot or fire damage on the packaging, but some meds do change their chemical form under hot conditions. That’s why it is important to trash them and get a new prescription after a house fire.

3. Cosmetics

Throw away all the cosmetics after a fire to avoid health effects. Heat changes the chemical composition in most of these products, resulting in a toxic situation. Anybody who uses heat-exposed creams runs the risk of health effects that can cost them more than they would have spent on replacing the cosmetics. For that reason, do not use any beauty stuff or toiletries that survived the house fire, even if they have no signs of burns or soot damage.
Trashing things that survived the high heat situation might seem like a waste of money, especially after losing so much. However, using these items threatens your well-being and your wallet as well.

3 Benefits of Commercial Storm Insurance

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial building destroyed by hurricane winds Commercial roof damaged by hurricane winds.

What Are The Benefits Of Commercial Storm Insurance?

When a severe weather system enters Bryan, TX, companies are at risk of severe devastation. Hurricane Katrina was an intense storm that hit Lousiana, has a price tag estimated at approximately $86,000 by today's standards. Irma, another major Category 5 system, blew through several states is estimated to have caused about $31,850. At these costs, storm insurance is vital for business owners who may not have the available cash to pay for expensive restoration costs. A storm policy is likely to offer the following benefits.

1. Offer Compensation for Harmed Materials
Your insurance coverage usually handles payment to replace or restore lost valuables and possessions. It's referred to as property loss. The high winds and immense rain may have ruined several vital components, drenching them thoroughly. Content cleaning crews and experts from a storm remediation company should meticulously examine each item.
The following are typically part of the plan:

  • Electronics
  • Technology
  • Fixtures
  • Documents
  • Furniture
  • Inventory

2. Structural Damage
The largest expense is usually from fixing the facility itself. Storm insurance tends to provide funding for the property's remediation and restoration. Owners usually pay a deductible amount first. The insurer then cuts a check for the rest of the amount. Maximums may exist, so check with your agent.
Use this money for roof repairs, flooring replacement, drying procedures and tear-outs. This section is useful for physical work.

3. Water Damage
A common issue with storms is flooding. Your agent is likely to question how water intrusion occurred as flood payments sometimes require a separate policy. General insurance coverage does work for saturation that isn't a result of an external flood. Broken pipes, sewage backups and roof collapses create moisture issues. These typically are part of your plan.
Storm insurance is an owner's safety net, giving financial support during hard times. In general, commercial owners may use the policy to manage the property's reconstruction and assist in product and equipment replacement.

Is My Fire Sprinkler System Ready for a Commercial Fire?

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Sprinkler head activated.

A well-designed fire sprinkler system is an excellent way to protect your commercial building. They not only save money, they’re the best way to save lives. Many insurance companies also often offer massive discounts on their fire insurance premiums for buildings with a sprinkler systems, too.
However, Burton, TX, regulations may require proper maintenance as well, depending on the use of your property. NFPA 25 establishes the required maintenance and inspection schedule for all types of fire suppression systems. If you meet these standards, your risk of severe property damage from a fire plummets to a fraction of a building without active suppression.

What Are the Benefits of Fire Sprinklers?

Water fire sprinkler systems are the most common. The benefits are many and include:

  • Low cost
  • Drastic reduction in fire damage
  • Virtually eliminate fatalities
  • Slash water damage

A study in a single Texas county in 2018 showed a financial savings of over $140 million and no fatalities during the year on properties with well-maintained fire suppression systems. Interestingly, it also found that in 93% of fires, only a single sprinkler head activated.
This makes fire sprinkler cleanup much more affordable. Fire hoses pump out ten times the volume of a single sprinkler head, so the damage tends to be isolated. Fire damage experts in Burton, TX, can restore all the damaged areas back to their original condition either way, but buildings with sprinklers are always going to be much less expensive to repair.

Is Testing Required?
Yes. NFPA 25 has a strict schedule for sprinkler system testing, which includes some maintenance. It’s also how you can be certain the system is fully functional.
You may be able to do weekly inspections yourself (or an employee) for some systems. Mostly, this is just a check to ensure the water pressure gauges show enough pressure and to look for obstructions near sprinkler heads. However, monthly, quarterly and annual inspections need to be by an expert in most cases.
If your fire sprinkler system has been inspected and tested according to schedule, you can be almost certain your building is ready for a fire. It’s probably the best protection for the money.

How Can I Deduct Storm Damages For My Business?

4/17/2021 (Permalink)

Five air movers placed on the hallway of a commercial building. Concept drying a commercial facility Drying a commercial facility after storm damage in College Station, TX.

If your business in College Station, TX has sustained severe storm damage and your insurance policy doesn’t include coverage for storms or floods, you will need to pay the expenses out of pocket. It may be possible, however, for you to claim a deduction on your income taxes to cover some of the expenses.

Business Casualty and Theft Loss Deduction

There are some rules you will need to follow in order to take a deduction for your business losses. The losses are grouped into two categories: casualty losses and theft losses.

Casualty Losses
These losses would include the damages of business property due to one of the following events:

  • It is an unusual circumstance.
  • The event was unexpected and was not intentionally triggered.
  • It was a sudden and fast-moving situation.

Examples of storm damage casualty losses include floods, earthquakes, and accidental fires.

Theft Losses

If someone has stolen money or property from your business unlawfully, your loss may be tax-deductible. Losses can include such crimes as robbery, burglary, or blackmail.

Proving Proof
In order to take the casualty and theft loss deduction, you will need to provide proof of the event. You have to explain such things as:

  • Details about the casualty, including the date it occurred
  • Documentation showing the value of your property before and after the event
  • Proof that you own or lease the building
  • Any insurance reimbursement

How to Figure the Deduction
You should consult with your tax accountant, but a general rule of thumb is:

  • If the property is totally destroyed, you must figure out the price the property was worth at the time of destruction, taking into consideration any improvements made and any depreciation. From this, you should subtract the salvage value of the property as well as any insurance reimbursements.
  • For property that hasn’t been completely ruined, you should evaluate the fair market value (FMV) of the property before and after the event. Annual appraisals typically show the FMV.

If your business insurance doesn't cover storm damage, discuss your tax options with your accountant right away.

3 Surprising Things About Commercial Roof Damage

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Roof torn off from storm damage Roof damage in Bryan, TX.

Prevent Storm Damage To Your Commercial Roof

The roof over your business works hard. How often do you check it? Roof damage can be discrete, so you should inspect it at least twice a year. If there is a weather event, that number should be ramped up. Read on for some surprising tips you may not have considered when looking to prevent storm damage to your commercial roof.

1. Small Rainstorms Can Cause Lasting Damage
It's a common misconception that roofing is only affected by large disasters. In fact, wind damage can occur at speeds of just 45 mph. That isn't typically thought of as intense, but it can cause minor wear to your roof that builds up over time. Similarly, light rain can cause issues if it is accumulating in places.
Following proper safety precautions, a property manager, or local roof damage specialist in Bryan, TX, should do a thorough scan of the roof. Monitor for any of the following problem areas:

  • Cracked shingles
  • Peeling edges
  • Broken flashing

Flashing is generally a strip of thin steel that is located near any surface perpendicular to the roofing, such as exterior walls, vents, or chimneys. Its purpose is to steer water away from these compromised places on your roof. Damage should be addressed promptly to prevent excess moisture.

2. Clogged Gutters Can Hurt Your Roof
Another tip to prevent roof damage is to regularly clean gutters. Clogged gutters can weaken the integrity of the materials, and they can back up water into places it shouldn't be. After all, the purpose of a drainage system is to drain this excess liquid. If left unkempt, water can erode your roof or even seep into your building. Eventually, you will need a roof rebuild.

3. Trees and Branches Should Stay Clear
Furthermore, when conducting a roof check, look out for any debris. This is usually caused by overhanging trees. Clear any rogue branches, mitigating the chance of harm. Older trees, especially, can be uprooted during a storm, wreaking havoc.
It's best to take care of any roof issues quickly. Failure to inspect, clean gutters, and clear debris can lead to long-lasting roof damage. Protect your commercial roof so it can continue to protect you.

Taking Care of Personal Belonging After Water Damages

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

Wet floor, water standing on floor. Water damage in a home Water damage in Brenham, TX.

Taking Care of Personal Belonging After Water Damages

One of the heartbreaking things about a major water in a home event is all of the damage that occurs to your personal belongings. Everything from clothing to furniture to photographs and paintings can become saturated with a flood of water. Even if the water is from a clean source, the problem is overwhelming; if the water is dirty or contaminated, the issue is magnified. Fortunately, with fast action and the right equipment and cleaning techniques, many of your most cherished items can be restored to good condition. A company that is experienced in water damage repair has access to an array of powerful cleaning methods.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Option
Trained technicians will pretest your personal belongings to identify candidates for restoration. This saves time and money. Sadly, some items are just too far gone to rescue after water in a home disaster. Many valuable items, though, can be saved by one of the following advanced cleaning methods:

  • Foam cleaning
  • Wet cleaning
  • Immersion cleaning
  • Abrasion cleaning
  • Dry cleaning

Cleaning specialists have the ability to clean drapes and blinds, carpeting, upholstery, documents, photographs and even electrical components. They can even find the source for odors and implement a deodorizing plan that will stand the test of time.

Getting the Best Results
Inadequate or improper cleaning after a broken pipe or some other water spill can have disappointing results. Fragile items can be ruined by harsh cleaning methods and documents can be rendered useless by inexpert handling. Your items in your home in Brenham, TX, are too valuable to trust amateurs. A SERVPRO franchise is always Here to Help by following the best practices of the cleaning and restoration industry. Certified technicians will match the best cleaning method to your items. They work with a restore versus replace mentality whenever possible. If you have water in your home, trust the cleanup process to the experts.

How To Keep Your Pets Safe From Fires

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

Old man rescuing dog from natural disaster Keep your pets safe from fires.

Keep Your Pets Safe From Fires

A fire emergency in your home is a frightening experience. When this happens, the last thing you want to worry about is whether Fido and Fluffy are okay. Even if services from a residential fire restoration company become necessary, the expense and inconvenience of building repairs are minor compared to the heartache of losing a family pet. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your cuddly critters remain protected from flames.

Firefighters and Pets
Easing the job of firefighters is one way to increase pet safety. Improve their ability to rescue furry friends by:

  • Enclosing pets near main entrances when possible
  • Keeping leashes nearby and collars on them
  • Placing information about your pets inside a front window

The easier you make life for those responding to a fire emergency in Burton, TX, the greater the likelihood your fur babies will escape unharmed.

Fire Prevention and Pets
Having animals in your home requires taking safety measures beyond those required of homeowners without furry companions. Good pet preparation mandates that you put all your four-legged friends’ paperwork into one, easily accessible spot. This increases your ability to escape fires with essential documentation in hand.
Fire drills should include steps for rescuing pets. Assign family members to specific animals. Choose the individual most likely to be near each one in the event a fire breaks out when people are home.
Take measures to prevent dogs and cats from starting fires. This is especially important for younger pets. Confine them to limited spaces with baby gates or place them in crates while away. Remove stove knobs so that curious noses do not accidentally turn on burners. If you enjoy candles, consider investing in a flameless alternative.
A household fire emergency is a frightening proposition, made worse by the fear that your pets’ lives may be in danger. Use these recommendations to help keep fur babies safe and secure.

3 Benefits of Professional Fire Restoration

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Home structure Fire restoration in College Station, TX.

Three Ways SERVPRO Stands Out From The Competition

When fire damages a commercial building in College Station, TX, the quality of the fire restoration determines how quickly the business can reopen and how much secondary damage occurs. A top-tier restoration service is one you can confidently recommend to your insurance clients.

1. IICRC Certification Ensures Quality Restoration
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification has been setting high standards for the restoration industry since 1972. The standards cover everything from continuing education requirements to liability insurance. Due to these rigorous standards, IICRC-certified SERVPRO franchises are often given preferred vendor status by insurance companies.

2. Quick Response Prevents Further Damage
The soot leftover after a fire has been extinguished is often corrosive, but that is not the only post-fire risk businesses face. The firefighting efforts may have resulted in broken windows and holes in the roof that can allow vandals and wildlife to enter the property and cause even more damage. Standing water leftover from firehoses can lead to mold growth if not dried up within 24 hours. Boarding up openings and beginning the fire restoration process as soon as possible is the best way to prevent further damage. SERVPRO franchises are open 24/7 and are able to get to work quickly.

3. ‘Restore Versus Replace’ Saves Money
SERVPRO technicians are taught to approach every job with a “restore versus replace" mentality. This means that the goal is to restore when possible and replace only when there’s no better solution. Although complete rebuilding services are sometimes necessary after a fire, this approach saves money and allows business owners to keep more of their original possessions.
Business fires are upsetting and stressful, but the fire rebuild process does not have to be. When insurance companies choose IICRC-certified companies with a customer-centric approach to fire restoration, the damage to the property and the stress on the client are both minimized.

The 3 Water Damage Categories Explained

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle There are 3 categories of water.

The 3 Water Damage Categories Explained

All floods are different. The costs and damage associated with flooding in your commercial property are associated with the water category. After all, having issues during a water pipe repair is different than a sewage backup. There are 3 categories of water. While all of them are dangerous to a building, they require different methods to clean up the damage.

1. Category 1
If you could choose which type of damage you got, you would want category 1. This water is not dangerous to humans or animals. It comes from a clean water source. Often it comes from a broken pipe, overflowing sink, malfunctioning appliance, rainwater, snowmelt, or broken toilet bowl. While this is not contaminated, it is still important to have necessary water pipe repair and remediation tasks performed quickly. This prevents mold from growing and doing more damage to your building.

2. Category 2
Category 2 water damage comes from greywater. This water contains some contaminants. Depending on what is in the water, humans and animals who encounter it could experience irritation and illness. This is because the water often contains harmful microorganisms. This water often comes from malfunctioning dishwashers, sump pump failures, urine spills, fire sprinklers, and condensate water. After experiencing this type of damage, you must have a water pipe repair, cleanup, and decontamination performed.

3. Category 3
Category 3 water damage is the worst option for your business. This is called black water occurs from sewage backups, storms, or rising creeks and rivers. You can also experience category 3 damage if a category 2 flood was not cleaned up correctly. This is why you must hire a water restoration professional as soon as possible. Failing to do so could lead to additional damage.
If your business was flooded recently and sustained damage, you need to act quickly. Ensure that the water in your Bryan, TX, business is cleaned up properly. This ensures minimal damage to your building.