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What to Do After a Basement Flood

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. It is visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flooded basement in Bryan, TX

Take the Following Steps to Minimize Any Further Water Damage

Discovering that your basement in Bryan, TX, is flooded may cause you to panic. However, by taking the proper steps to remedy the situation, you can find peace of mind and bring your home to a restored state. Immediately after a basement flood, it’s vital to contact emergency restoration services as soon as possible. In the meantime, be sure to take the following steps to minimize any further water damage.

1. Remove Valuable Items

If any of your valued belongings are located in the affected area, make sure you remove them immediately. Once they are out of harm’s way, place them carefully in an area that will permit them to dry completely. It’s important to choose a spot that is far away from the basement, such as a garage or a room located on the second floor. If you’re concerned about whether you’ll be reimbursed for your damaged belongings, look into your insurance coverage policy.

2. Dry Out the Room

Once you’ve removed all your belongings after the basement flood, you can begin to dry the area. While this is a job that a professional can do more thoroughly, it’s crucial to do what you can to prevent additional damage. Use a strong fan or dehumidifier to thoroughly dry out the area and check for any signs of mold growth.

3. Inspect Your Gutters and Drains

A flooded basement can often lead to damaged gutters and drains. When inspecting these areas, be sure to carefully remove leaves, twigs and other forms of debris. After your gutters and drains have been properly cleaned, take a moment to scrub the drain screen. Maintaining clean drains and gutters can help to keep significant water damage at bay.
By properly taking control of your basement flood, you can help to prevent further harm to your living space. Remember to do your part and leave the rest to the experts for lasting results.

How To Identify Mold Indoors

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Mold in the corner of the window Mold in the corner of the window

Here Are Some Ways To Identify Indoor Mold

When it comes to homeownership, mold can be an unwelcome guest. If you suspect mold growth in your Burton, TX, home, don't panic. It can feel overwhelming, but mold spores actually live everywhere, and they're not always problematic. Many types of mold do not affect humans, but it's still important to regularly check susceptible areas. Here are some ways to identify indoor mold, either on your own or with the help of an indoor environmental specialist:

1. Visual Inspection The simplest way to detect mold is by sight. If you find green, black, or white spots around water sources, it's likely mold. Mold can develop in any place where moisture is trapped, so be sure to inspect areas that are often damp. If you catch it early and it's contained in a small space, mold cleanup can be simple. If the mold damage has spread, however, you may need to call in experts in mold remediation.

2. Odor Inspection Many people associate damp spaces such as basements with a musty smell. That musty odor is more than likely undetected mold. The source of the water and thus the mold could be hidden behind walls or simply not taken care of, which leads to that mildewy smell. If you detect that all-too-familiar musty odor, it's time to clean up the mold.

3. Mold Test An indoor environmental specialist can be a valuable asset for identifying mold. As mold damage may go deeper than you expect, a professional mold test can help expose the severity of the issue. When mold growth is uninhibited, the cleanup process can require expert services. They can create a custom remediation plan, from common mold to black mold cleanup.
Discovering mold in your home isn't fun - but it needn't be a crisis, either. Many mold types are safe and it's only unchecked mold growth that becomes an issue. Take the time to inspect your home and when in doubt, keep your home safe with the assistance of an indoor environmental specialist.

Do I Need Content Cleaning Services After a Home Fire?

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

A wall from the living room has a big hole and is black due to fire in the home Residential fire damage in Brenham, TX

Content Cleaning Services

After the flames of a home fire are extinguished and you are finally able to enter the structure again, it can be devastating to find many of your belongings burnt by fire. Even items that were left untouched by flames can be affected by smoke and soot, and a burst pipe or fire hose can cause extreme water damage. Fortunately, you do not need to face the task of sorting through your things on your own. A fire damage cleanup specialist in Brenham, TX, can offer content cleaning services and professional dry-cleaning to help with the process.

Why You Should Consider Professional Cleaning Services

If only a small section of your home was affected by fire damage, you might wonder if you can tackle the task of sorting through and cleaning your items on your own. However, there are several reasons you should always seek professional help:

A professional will know which cleaning method is best for each item, such as dry-cleaning or abrasive cleaning
Restoration specialists can clean or repair items you might otherwise throw away
Damaged electronics require special handling to avoid device failure
A specialist will know which items pose a potential risk to you and your family

An Overview of Content Restoration

Before cleaning or repairing any of your belongings, the restoration specialist begins by evaluating and testing your items to determine what can be salvaged and what needs to be thrown out. If the structure of your home is under repair or unsafe to work in, it might be necessary for the specialist to take your items off-site for content storage. They might also take an inventory of your items, which can help make the insurance claim process easier. Salvageable items will be evaluated and restored using dry-cleaning and other methods if necessary.
Consider content cleaning services to avoid having to part with many of your items. Knowing your most-valued possessions are in capable hands can help put your mind your ease in the aftermath of a house fire.

What to Avoid During and After a Flood

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

flood waters overtake house Flood waters surrounding a house in College Station, TX

Things You Should Avoid During and After a Flood

When a severe storm is headed your way, you have to consider the threats of flood water, wind damage, and hail damage. Depending on the extent of the storm, you might be anticipating a lot of destruction. It can take weeks or months for your storm damage experts to make all of the repairs. Despite how worried you may be about the state of your home and property during a storm, it is even more important to consider your safety. There are a few things you should avoid during and after a flood.

Don't Stay Home If It's Not Safe

Nothing is more important than the safety of you and your family, so don't stay at your home if it might not be safe. There are a few things to keep in mind when you are evacuating your flooded home in College Station, TX:

  • Make sure there is enough gas in your vehicle to get you safely out of harm's way.
  • Keep cash on hand, as it may be hard to access your bank accounts during a severe storm.
  • Try to keep your phone as charged as possible, and bring a car charger along if you can.
  • Communicate with your friends and family, so they know your plans and can check on you.

Be Aware of Mold

Mold can thrive in warm, moist and dark environments, which can make a home damaged by flood water a perfect place for it to grow. It can spread quickly as well. It's important to keep a look out for it, particularly where there is water damage.

Stay Away From Standing Water

When you return after a storm, you should avoid standing water as much as possible. With downed power lines, there could be electricity running through standing water. Not only is that a potential danger, but there could be bacteria, which can cause infection.
Flood water is not something to mess around. Keep you and your family safe by staying as far away from the danger as possible.

How To Prepare Your Business for a Power Outage

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

Broken snapped wooden power line post with electrical components on the ground after a storm A power outage can be an unpredictable interruption to your business operations

A power outage can stop your business dead in its tracks, but it doesn’t have to. Properly preparing your business can help you avoid safety concerns or lost business when the power goes out.

Have a Plan in Place

Having a plan in place before an outage occurs, can help you minimize the consequences. These are some of the items you may wish to include in your plan:

  • Procedures for your employees to follow
  • Safety measures for employees and customers
  • Contact information for utility providers, emergency services and disaster recovery services in  Bryan, TX

Install a Generator

One of the most effective ways to prepare for a power outage is to install a generator. Depending on the size and nature of your business, you may wish to install a permanent generator, purchase a portable generator or both. Whichever type of generator you go with, it is wise to ensure that your employees have been properly trained to safely operate it. You may also want to test the unit regularly, to make sure that it will function when needed and that it supplies enough power to operate your vital equipment.

Protect Your Data

Installing uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) on all your computers can help avoid data loss. A UPS unit can serve as a battery backup, allowing you to continue operating your computers for a limited amount of time, depending on the unit. This can give your employees time to save anything they have been working on and then safely power down the machine. Power surges sometimes precede or follow a power loss. Installing surge protectors on your equipment can help prevent data loss from electrical damage. Another option to consider is utilizing off-site data backup services.
A power outage can be an unpredictable interruption to your business operations. Planning for potential outages can help you continue smooth operations, even when the lights go out.

Common Causes of a Flooded Basement

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water flows out of drainage hatch Sewage overflow in the Burton, TX area

Most Common Causes of a Basement Flood

It's a homeowner's nightmare - walking downstairs to find a water-filled basement. You may be wondering how this could have happened to you, what you can do to fix it, and how to prevent future troubles in your Burton, TX, home. A flooded basement can happen in both dry and wet weather conditions, to the surprise of many. Here are some of the most common causes of a basement flood.

1. Inadequate Seals

Correctly sealed walls and floors are crucial for keeping your basement dry. If these items are sealed improperly during construction, or if age has taken its toll on the sealant, then water can work its way inside. Tile and grout can be resealed regularly but more advanced problems likely require the expertise of highly-trained water damage specialists.

2. Sewage Overflow

Inclement weather is often the first reason that comes to mind if you find a basement flood, but a flood can happen even if the weather is dry. A sewer backup can occur when there is too much water in the sewer system or if there is a blockage in the system. This forces the sewer water back toward your home and it may enter your basement through a toilet, shower drain, or sink.

3. Water Line or Tank Failure

Your water lines or tanks could also be responsible for a flooded basement. Water damage of this type can be due to a burst or split pipe, old equipment or pipes, or if your pipes sustain damage such as a puncture. Keeping an eye on the state of your water tank and pipes can help prevent a lot of trouble.
As basements are the lowest feature of houses, they are naturally prone to gathering water. If you find yourself in the midst of a basement flood, you should act as fast as possible. Getting your basement dry and restored to a safe state is of utmost importance.

Why You Should Buy a Smart Smoke Detector

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light The smoke alarm is a key part of your Burton, TX, home

Types of Smart Smoke Detectors

The smoke alarm is a key part of your Burton, TX, home. It keeps your family safe and limits the need for fire damage cleanup professionals.
Yet this detector is due for an upgrade. That is why smart devices have entered the market in recent years. They can send a message to your phone telling you that the alarm is going off. You can then contact emergency personnel immediately, even if you aren’t at home. Of course, the sooner you can call the fire department, the less likely that you will need extensive fire cleanup.
There are several different types of smart smoke detectors. They include:

  • Smart batteries
  • Smart smoke alarms
  • Listeners

Smart Batteries

A smart battery fits into your smoke alarm just as a regular battery would. However, this device will notify your phone when the alarm is going off, and when the battery is running low. Each battery lasts up to five years.

Smart Smoke Alarms

Smart smoke alarms also send you mobile alerts when the battery is low. You will get push notifications when the alarm is going off, as well. You can even turn off false alarms from your phone.
As with regular detectors, they come in photoelectric and ionized varieties. Ionized devices are cheaper while photoelectric ones are less likely to produce false alarms.

Listeners

As its name implies, a listener hears when the smoke detector is going off and sends you an alert on your phone. They are best for larger homes that require multiple devices. Instead of putting a detector in each bedroom, you can just plug a listener into the hallway outlet. One listener provides coverage for an entire floor.
Tests have shown that a smart smoke alarm works just as well as regular ones when it comes to detecting fire in the home. Some of the "smart" aspects of the devices vary in their effectiveness.
Still, a smart detector can help you limit fire damage to your home when you are miles away. They are thus an important innovation in fire safety.

Top 3 Reasons Mold Loves Bread

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth on bread Fungus growth tends to thrive on bread

Top 3 Reasons Mold Loves Bread

You may remember warnings about leaving your bread in a dark cupboard or breadbox. Fungus growth tends to thrive on bread, but most people don’t know why. Discover the top three reasons mold loves bread and how to prevent an outbreak in your kitchen.

1.Mold Needs Food

Like all fungi, mold needs nutrients. Bread mold feeds off the following:

  • Sugar
  • Carbohydrates
  • Starch

A fresh loaf of white bread is ripe with all three nutrients, thus making it a high-energy food for mold as well as you and your family.

2.Mold Grows in Places With Low Air Circulation

Mold spreads by releasing spores into the air. These spores float around looking for a place to settle. Places with low air circulation are ideal because they encourage the sprouting of a spore colony. In fact, most bread comes sealed in a bag which is a perfect storm for an outbreak.

3.Mold Prefers Humid Temperatures

Humidity can make mold spread like the plague in as little time as one day. To prevent bread mold from ruining your future lunch, store your purchases in your refrigerator. The cold shrivels up spores. You can also attempt to bake your bread as soon as possible since mold cannot survive in high temperatures.
An infestation on a forgotten loaf of bread can spread to other areas of your home, which is why it’s important to keep in mind the conditions that make it flourish and adjust your habits accordingly. Mold remediation experts in Brenham, TX can be recruited if you suspect mold damage in less obvious places than food. They can complete a black mold cleanup or fridge mold cleanup as well as fix any issues that are contributing to water damage.
Learn about the top three reasons that lead to the formation of bread mold to keep your kitchen safe. You may never want to keep fresh bread in your pantry again.

3 Ways Leaking Pipes Can Affect Your Business

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Four rusted pipes Metal can corrode and rust which may result in a broken pipe and flooding

Ways That a Leaky Pipe Can Affect Your Business

Damaged pipes in your Burton, TX, building can create several problems. While you may be more concerned about severe damage caused by pipe bursts, even smaller issues like leaks are not something that should be ignored. The following are just a few ways that a leaky pipe can affect your business.

1. Damaged Building Materials

While a leak might not cause a significant amount of lasting damage if it is discovered and repaired early on, persistent leaks can be more troublesome. Porous materials may be particularly affected, but those that are considered more sturdy are not entirely safe. Over time, even a small leak can damage the materials and structure of your building. Materials like drywall can rot and deteriorate while wood can start to warp and become misshapen. Metal can corrode and rust which may result in a broken pipe and flooding.

2. Mold Growth

When mold spores are exposed to moisture, it is easy for them to spread. When the water is not removed, a large growth can form in as little as a few days. Damaged pipes in your building can cause mold to grow if they are not repaired right away. If this happens, then you could end up with a mold infestation inside your walls.

3. Higher Bills

The damage caused by leaking pipes is not always physical. Sometimes, it is financial. Even if the leak is relatively small, if it continues for a long period of time, the cost of your water bills can increase drastically. Not only is water being wasted, but your money is as well. In some cases, an unexpectedly high water bill can be the first sign of a leak.
Whether your damaged pipes are causing a build-up of water or just a small leak, you should have them fixed immediately to reduce the effect that they have on your building and your business. Contact a cleanup and restoration company to inspect the area and make any necessary repairs.

3 Tips To Help You Save Money at Home

9/11/2019 (Permalink)

corroded water heater on left, new water heater on right Perform regular maintenance to your water heater

Utility bills can be a significant expense when you own a home, and that's only one item in your budget that helps you keep your house functioning properly. You can lower your utilities, as well as your maintenance cost, for your home in College Station, TX, by building three key habits.

Regular Maintenance

Facility management experts know that few things can drive up overall building upkeep costs as much as inefficient machinery. The same is true for your home. Make sure that you keep up a regular maintenance schedule for all your major appliances or equipment:

  • Water heater
  • Furnace
  • HVAC system
  • Washer and dryer
  • Refrigerator

In addition to these tasks, it is also important to take care of your roof. A small leak can end up costing you a lot of money when you need water damage restoration. Keeping up with your maintenance schedule is essential to lowering the overall maintenance cost of your home.

Energy Efficiency

Using electricity is typically inevitable, but you can have some control over how much you use. Replacing all your light bulbs with energy-efficient options is a good start. You can also buy appliances that are certified energy savers. Not everyone can replace all the appliances at once, but even small changes can make a big difference over time.

HVAC Protection

In addition to regular upkeep, your HVAC system needs to rest every now and then. Older systems can freeze up from overuse. Change your thermostat settings when you know that no one is going to be at home. While you don't want to completely turn the heat off when you leave the house in the winter, you can lower the temperature to use less energy. If you want to make it even easier, consider purchasing a programmable thermostat that automatically changes the settings at certain times of the day.
Your maintenance cost line shouldn't be the biggest item on your budget. With these three tips, you can significantly lower what you spend overall.