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What You Need to Know About Mold

11/27/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What You Need to Know About Mold 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.

How To Complete a Sewage Cleanup

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Complete a Sewage Cleanup Drying equipment after sewage damage in B

Sewage Cleanup 

Cleaning your bathroom after a flooded toilet can be an extremely messy job for any homeowner in Bryan, TX. Completing a sewer cleanup project quickly and efficiently is crucial to protecting your home and family from additional harm. To properly clean your bathroom, follow these four steps.

1. Remove Debris

Once you shut off water flow to your flooded toilet, you need to remove standing water and debris. You may also need to remove saturated drywall and any wet insulation. 

To prevent excessive exposure to disease-carrying bacteria, you should wear gloves as you handle contaminated items and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. In addition, develop a plan to dispose of debris without contaminating clean areas of your home. 

2. Wash and Sanitize Surfaces

To continue the sewer cleanup, you need to wash every contaminated surface with hot water and detergent. This includes the floor, walls, baseboards and toilet. You also need to wipe down any soiled cabinets or doors. Next, you need to sanitize washed surfaces with a disinfectant solution or water and bleach mixture.

3. Allow Space to Dry

After sanitizing your bathroom, allow the area to thoroughly dry. Open the windows and use fans or a dehumidifier to expediate the process. Make sure that no moisture remains before you replace damaged drywall and insulation.

4. Wash Contaminated Fabric

You must wash and disinfect or throw away the clothes you wore during the cleanup process and any rugs, towels or clothing touched by sewage water. To properly sanitize items, either steam clean them or wash them in water and bleach. 

As Good as New

A sewer backup is an unwelcome surprise that requires a timely response. Some homeowners may not wish to tackle a messy sewer cleanup themselves. If you need assistance, a professional cleanup and restoration team can help you complete the project and return your bathroom to its former glory. 

Must-Haves After a Fire

11/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Must-Haves After a Fire Lightning strike caused fire in College Station, TX

Has there been a fire in your commercial building in College Station, TX? This type of disaster can leave you wondering what to do next. Is it more important for you to put up a security fence or tarp your roof first? Making a fire preparation plan can help you make smart decisions after the flames are put out. After a smoky disaster, you may want to focus on security, a backup plan and help.

Security

Fires can leave your commercial property open to threats. After a fire, you want to make sure that your building is safe from intruders, but you also need to make sure that anyone who goes into the building is kept safe. You can increase security by doing the following:

  • Put up a security fence.
  • Use safety equipment.
  • Stay out of the building until it is deemed safe.

By taking these precautions, you can speed up the recovery process.

A Backup Plan

If you want your business to bounce back after a fire, you need to think about a secondary plan before disaster strikes. For example, you may want to think about finding a secondary office space you can use if your property becomes too damaged to use. You can work out of the rented space while your commercial building is repaired.

Help

When you're dealing with the aftermath of a disaster, you need a team you can rely on. In the case of a fire, this may include an insurance provider, general contractor, emergency responder and fire mitigation team. Each member of the team can help you get your life back to normal. Starting the clean-up process as quickly as possible makes it easier for you to get back in the building.

No two commercial fires are the same. You may need to put up a security fence to keep vandals off of your property, but another building owner may use this protective gear to keep his or her workers safe.

Preventing Floods Through Landscaping

11/18/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Preventing Floods Through Landscaping 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.

How to Handle a Roof Leak

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial How to Handle a Roof Leak Water stains on ceiling on a College Station,TX commercial property

Slight discoloration or a slow drip of water from the ceiling can quickly put a stop to everything else you had on your schedule. This is because the most likely cause of those unwelcome signs is a roof leak, and you know that leaks could lead to extensive and expensive repairs. What should you do when you see water stains running down the walls or a spot on the ceiling that doesn't seem quite right?

Common Damages

Perhaps one of the most important things to do at this point is to understand the risks. Even tiny leaks could eventually lead to really big problems, including

  • Soggy insulation
  • Rotted framing
  • Ruined drywall
  • Damaged ceilings
  • Pooled water inside walls
  • Mold and mildew growth

Exterior Repairs

How do you clean up a leaking roof once you've found it? Gather up all of the tools and supplies you'll need. These may include a cordless drill, a pry bar, hammer, caulk gun, putty knife, and tin snips, if you have them handy. Next, separate tasks into those you can handle on your own and those that require professional attention. Replacing missing shingles or damaged flashing could be dangerous because of slick conditions.

Interior Repairs

The roof leak work on the inside of your building will go a bit differently. You may need to release water from a bowed ceiling. To do this, poke several small holes in the area with buckets below for catching the released water. You'll probably need to pull out sections of wet materials before you begin the drying process. Ask water removal specialists for advice regarding disinfecting water-affected materials.

Turn to Professionals

When you've done as much of the work as you can complete on your own, it will be time to turn the restoration of the roof and ceilings over to a professional in College Station,TX. Remember to contact your insurance provider before you get started to be sure that your claim will be covered.

3 Ways Smoke Can Damage Electronics

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Ways Smoke Can Damage Electronics Fire in Brenham,TX caused damage on electronics

Smoke Can Damage Electronics

If you had a fire in your Brenham,TX, home, you may be surprised by the fire cleanup. Not only does your residential fire damage cleanup team have to replace charred building materials, clean smoky furniture and remove foul odors, but they may also have to clean damaged electronics. Smoke can affect your electronic devices in a variety of ways.

1. Causes overheating. Did you know the layer of soot on your television, printer and other electronic items could lead to an overheating problem? The black film on your electronics actually acts as an insulator. When the heat is kept in, your devices may start to malfunction. Many professionals may suggest you keep all of your electronics turned off until they can be assessed properly.

2. Destroys metals. Soot, a byproduct of smoke, may have a high acidity level. Metals often react poorly to acidity. Metal objects may become discolored. In severe situations, the electronics may even start to disintegrate because of the soot. If you want to recover your electronics, this part of the fire cleanup process has to happen quickly.

3. Leads to short circuits. Part of the smoke damage comes in the form of the magnetic charge caused by the soot. When a magnetic charge is introduced to an electronic item, it can lead to a shorted circuit. This type of damage usually only occurs if the electronics are turned on before they are properly cleaned.

It may surprise you to learn about the various ways that smoke can affect your electronic devices. If you want to save your computers and televisions after a fire, you need to make sure to clean the devices before powering them on. This important fire cleanup step could help you save your treasured electronic devices. Remember, some electronics may not be salvageable after a fire even if they do not seem charred by the flames.

What You Need To Know About Moisture and Building Materials

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 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:

  • Wood
  • Carpeting
  • Drywall
  • Tile
  • Metal
  • Glass

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

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 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

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 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

9/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 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/.