Recent Posts

3 Backup Electrical Power Options for Your Company

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Consider The Following Options If There Is A Power Outage At Your Business

As a Burton, TX, business owner, you have many responsibilities. Day to day tasks and meetings consume a great deal of your time; however, it’s critical to be prepared for the future. Disasters of any type can occur within a matter of seconds and preparing your company is paramount. Consider the following options if there is a power outage at your business location.

1. Uninterruptable Power Supply

A natural disaster, such as a storm or flood, can cause the power to go out at your company. A great way to be prepared for such an event is to have an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) on all your computers and electrical equipment. A UPS works by providing battery backup on the installed device. A UPS can be used for any type of electrical equipment including computers, theater systems, network equipment, and servers. There are different types available so do some research to determine what type will best meet your needs. The most basic UPS allows users to quickly save their work before safely powering down their computers during a power outage.

2. Wi-Fi

In addition to losing power, storm damage and other natural disasters may disable your Wi-Fi connection. Fortunately, you have several options to keep your Wi-Fi connection. First, you can use the data plan on a cellular phone as a hotspot to continue working. Second, you can install a UPS (mentioned above) on your networking equipment.

3. Generator

A longer-term option for electrical power during a power outage is a portable generator. A generator works by producing electrical energy. There are several brands, models, and types of generators available. One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a generator for your business is power configuration. It’s important to understand how many watts of electrical power your business needs.
If a storm, flood, fire or other natural disaster leaves your company without power, consider the power options mentioned above. A commercial storm expert can also assist with storm cleanup to get your business up and running again.

Preventing Floods Through Landscaping

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Garden flowers in rain Landscaping can protect your Brenham, TX home against floods

Prevent Interior Flooding

When water enters your home, costly repairs and professional cleanup can become necessary. One of the best methods to prevent interior flooding is to solve the problem outdoors, draining and diverting any outside flooding away from the home. The following are just a few of the ways that a savvy homeowner can use landscaping to improve the look of a property while protecting against floods.

1. The Downspout

One of the simplest and most effective solutions is to use gutter downspout extensions and diverters to keep standing water away from the foundation. These can be simple wedge-shaped trays that push water out a few extra feet or extensible plastic piping that reroutes the flow to desirable areas such as a garden. Downspouts can also be connected to rain barrels to create a secondary water supply.

2. Slopes, Swales and Channels

Note the natural shape of your property and the typical flow of water during a heavy rain storm. Any place where water tends to collect without flowing outward and away from the house may require a small channel lined with rocks or gravel to ensure proper drainage. Shrubs and trees can also serve a purpose in directing water and preventing soil erosion during particularly heavy outside flooding.

3. Saving the Garden

Aesthetic considerations for your backyard garden should harmonize with regional conditions. If your garden lies in the path of rain drainage, ensure that you use native plants with high water tolerance. Lighter mulches and loose soils such as peat moss may become displaced as water flows out of the garden, so additional precautions with choice of ground cover and bordering materials may be necessary.

Outside flooding scenarios in Brenham, TX can be a serious concern for both the state of the home and the landscape, but with appropriate planning, the excess water can be redirected to your benefit.

Mold Cleanup Tips

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on window frame Mold growth on a window frame in a Brenham, TX home

Discovering house mold is unpleasant, but most mold problems can mitigated fairly easily. If the problem is very small, you may even be able to handle it yourself. Here are some tips for getting rid of mold in your home.

Assess the Problem

The first step to getting rid of mold growth is to figure out the extent of the problem. Large mold issues should always be handled by professionals. There are several signs that you need professional help:

  • The growth covers more than 10 square feet.
  • The growth is the result of extensive water damage.
  • The growth is suspected to be in your air vents (i.e., you can smell it but not see it).

If any of these conditions exist, look for certified mold mitigation experts in Brenham, TX. These specialists have the necessary training to contain and remedy your mold growth problem.

Assess the Surface

If you only have a small patch of house mold, you can likely get rid of it yourself. The location of the fungus determines how you clean it. Hard surfaces can usually be cleaned by scrubbing with plain detergent and water until all the mold is gone. Make sure to dry the surface completely so that the problem doesn't return. Porous surfaces such as ceiling tiles will likely need to be thrown out if they have mold growth.

Assess the Cause

It doesn't do any good to get rid of mold if the circumstances that led to the growth aren't addressed. Make sure that you fix any leaky pipes or plumbing issues as soon as you discover them. Keep the humidity in your home within a 40-50 percent range. By eliminating excess moisture in your home, you can prevent most mold problems.
House mold may be an inconvenience, but you shouldn't ignore it. If you have mold in your home, take the appropriate measures to fully mitigate the problem.

How Can I Deduct Storm Damages For My Business?

3/19/2020 (Permalink)

Five air movers placed on the hallway of a commercial building. Concept drying a commercial facily 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 Things You Should Throw Away After a House Fire

2/25/2020 (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 the 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 problems, including respiratory issues and food poisoning. 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 implications. 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 skin infection 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.

What You Need to Know About Mold

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a white wall - SERVPRO logo in the picture Mold damage in a Burton,TX property

If you're a business or property owner in Burton, TX, you're probably concerned about the possibility of finding mold growth in your building, especially the more harmful types such as black mold. Happily, there are several ways to keep mold from being a problem. In the following article, we'll talk about what mold is, how to prevent it, and what's involved in a mold cleanup.

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that propagates through airborne spores. Mold is everywhere, and can be found indoors and outdoors. It thrives anywhere that there is a moist environment. It can enter a building in several ways, including:

  • Windows
  • HVAC Systems
  • Air Conditioners
  • Vents
  • Doorways
  • Attached to:
    o Bags
    o Pets
    o Clothes
    o Boots and Shoes

Common types of mold include stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold, trichoderma, a mold usually found in damp carpeting or wallpaper, and aspergillus, which is found in air conditioners and on food.

Preventing Mold Damage

To prevent mold damage in your building, it's important to eliminate any possibility of a moisture problem. If there is a high degree of humidity present, try to use a dehumidifier or an air conditioner to bring it down. Making sure that the building is well ventilated also goes a long way towards keeping the mold out. Plumbing and roofing should also be inspected to ensure that no leaks are present, and any vents should be vented to the outside.

Consult with a Professional

If you've encountered a mold problem in your building, it's important to have it taken care of by a professional mold remediation company, especially when dealing with a more toxic type such as black mold. These professionals are equipped to do a thorough mold cleanup, which involves removing the source of moisture, cleaning and disinfecting using specialized treatments, and repairing any damage caused by the mold. They can make sure your building is completely safe and mold-free in no time. But hopefully you won't need to call them; by following the information provided above, you can stop it before it becomes a problem.

Quick Tips to Fix a Leaky Faucet

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Leaky tap A leaking faucet can turn into a bigger problem

Quick Tips to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Most people in Burton, TX, have experienced the troubles of a leaking faucet at home. At the least, this can be annoying to listen to. More significantly, it can raise your water bill. If you don't repair this issue soon, it could gradually cause significant damage to your floor, walls and other materials in your home. Learning how to repair this problem yourself could spare you a lot of grief down the road.

Preparatory Work
When you've got a dripping faucet, you might not think it's a big deal at first. Ignoring this issue, however, can cost you in your pocketbook in the long run. You don't have to be a professional to tackle this repair job. Here's how you get started:

  • Turn off the water to the sink. Find the knob under the sink and turn it clockwise.
  • Plug the drain so you don't lose a screw or other pieces and parts.
  • Identify the type of faucet you have.

Removing the Faucet
Once you know what type of faucet you've got, it's time to start removing the pieces so you can identify the problem and replace the appropriate part. You may either have a compression faucet, ball faucet, ceramic disk faucet or cartridge faucet. A leaking faucet could occur on any of these and at any point in the mechanism. Start by taking out the handles and nut. You should then see the stem. Pull it out and remove the seat washer in it. The stem is often the culprit and may need to be replaced.

Put Them Back On
Once you purchase a new stem, you should have a fixed leak. Other parts, such as the washer or nut may have worn out. Once you assemble the parts back together, turn the water back on and check to see if you took care of the leak.
A leaking faucet can turn into a bigger problem, requiring you to call a professional water removal company. If you replace the faucet as soon as you discover the leak, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.

Minimize Water Damage on a Wood Floor With Rapid Cleanup

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Wet carpet on hallway Carpet damaged by water in Brenham, TX

The plumbing system in your commercial enterprise can seem like a mystery to all but the most experienced plumbers. Most of the time, the pipes and fittings work as intended and the water flows to faucets, sinks, and commodes without interruption. Sometimes, though, often when you least expect it, a pipe burst or hidden leak spray water onto flooring, ceilings, and walls. To prevent further damage, the source of the water should be fixed as soon as possible by a licensed plumber or professional experienced in plumbing repairs. The next step is water removal. This should be undertaken by a professional water remediation company that has the training, equipment, and experience to handle the issue no matter the situation.

Wood Floor Water Removal

When a pipe burst occurs onto wooden flooring, specific techniques should be used. Since wood tends to be porous, the water can seep into the wood and began to weaken its structural integrity. A professional team that includes a water damage restoration technician will complete the following steps:

  • Remove as much water as possible with towels and mops
  • Use advanced equipment, such as wet vacuums and powerful dryers
  • Monitor the drying process until complete
  • Measure the moisture level to ensure dryness
  • Clean and sanitize the area
  • Document the process for the insurance company

If left for too long, a wet floor can give rise to the formation of mold. A professional team in Brenham, TX, ensures the job is done right.

Carpeting Water Removal

Every water emergency for a business is a little different. A pipe burst might happen on carpeting, requiring a slightly altered cleanup process. If the water is contaminated, the carpeting will likely have to be discarded. If the water is clean, the carpeting could be saved with quick action. Faster to Any Size Disaster is a crucial element of effective water cleanup. A rapid response reduces expenses and damage.

Balancing Restoring Property Damage and Insurance

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Hands of two people on a table Let us handle the negotiations for you, nobody wants to deal with insurance claims

Properties in College Station, TX, faced with unexpected damage from flooding, storms, fire or a burst pipe can easily be overwhelmed. Once the situation truly sets in, the next stressful task can be filing the claim. SERVPRO understands how overwhelming it can all be. That is why we provide claim services to ensure the restoration process goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

First Steps

At the first signs of damage, restoration and mediation experts are highly trained and provide a fast emergency response. The sooner the damage is addressed, the fewer problems there will be down the road. Below are tips to ensure that your restoration claim can happen as quickly as possible.

File Claims Quickly – The faster you contact your insurer, the fast the process can start. Additionally, the longer you wait, the more chances of the damage spreading.
Understand Your Policy – No policy is the same. Having a complete understanding of what is and isn’t covered can help you avoid headaches during the process.
Documentation Matters – The minute it is safe to enter a property, take pictures of the damage. Keeping receipts and logs of inventory is also helpful.
Trusted Professionals Only – Unfortunately, some people try and take advantage of people facing a disaster. Only use trusted, certified professionals with a proven track record.
Mitigate the Damage – After documenting the damage, take temporary steps to reduce further damage. This could include tarping over roof damage or boarding up a hole. Be sure to leave major repairs to the experts and document the steps you have taken.

Here to Help

Along with having certified technicians to handle mold, water, and fire damage, we also have claim services to assist in the process. The delicate balance between getting a property repaired while keeping costs down is another area of our expertise. We document the inspection process and work closely with customers and insurance adjusters to ensure a smooth process for everyone involved.
After a disaster, don’t go it alone. From quick response time to claim services and restoration, we strive to get things “Like it never even happened.”

What Is Black Water?

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

Six air movers placed in an office Commercial water damage in Bryan,TX

What Is Black Water?

When preparing your business to handle floods in Bryan, TX, you may have heard of the dangers of black water. But what is it, and why is it called that?

Blackwater isn’t necessarily black, though it can be dark or cloudy in color. The term refers to water that has been contaminated by a source of sewage, such as toilets or wastewater mains. When floods mix with water from unclean sources, or water damage causes leaks from unclean sources, this can lead to black water. There are a few important things everyone should know about this contaminated fluid.


1. Why It’s Unsafe


Contaminated water is unsafe because it exposes you to the bacteria and other disease agents in fecal matter. Because black water comes from toilets and wastewater lines, it is generally contaminated with high levels of feces and other bodily wastes. Exposure to this can cause severe health problems, especially if the water has been standing long enough to stagnate and breed bacteria. Because of the high risk of water damage, most flood water is considered black.


2. Black vs. Gray


Not all contaminated water is considered black, however. Dirty water from other appliances, such as washing machine water or water mixed with coolant from a refrigerator, is considered gray water. Gray water poses its own risk but is not the same sort of health hazard as its black counterpart.


3. How To Avoid It


When waters start to rise, it’s best to avoid coming into contact with the water if at all possible. Any flood water, whether moving or standing, may have come in contact with a contaminated source. To try to prevent water contamination, however, always check that your structure’s water and sewage lines are appropriately reinforced against water damage. Shut off water to the building if necessary if you are capable and if you know that a flood will soon strike.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com.