Recent Posts

What Your Adjuster Needs From You

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

A carpet wet by water damaged in a home If your home suffers from a water damage event, please give our SERVPRO of Brazos Valley team a call today

What Does Your Adjuster Need?

As a homeowner, you do not plan for your home in Bryan, TX, to flood, but if it does, it is important to know the critical first steps to take. Your home adjuster is tasked with assessing the damage, and there are a few key things you can document to assist with the analysis:

  • Written list of all that is damaged or destroyed
  • Cost to repair or replace damaged items
  • Pictures of the damage
  • Estimate from restoration specialists

Structural Damage

If there is visible damage to the house itself, you need to make note of it. Make a list of every wall that has signs of water damage. Check your floor for warping or missing tiles. If there are cracks in your walls or in your foundation, put that on the list as well. Take pictures of everything you write down to back up your statements. It is advisable to contact professional water damage restoration technicians to get an estimate in writing of how much the repairs to your home are going to cost to give to your home adjuster.

Destroyed Possessions

The insurance claim you file is likely to include damaged items in your home. Make an inventory of everything that needs to be replaced as a result of the flooding. Beside each item, list when you purchased it and approximately how much it would cost to replace it. Keep the damaged items and take digital pictures so you can print them out or email them.

Once you have compiled an inventory of the damage to your home for your insurance claim, make a copy for your records before you hand it off to the home adjuster. That way, if there is a discrepancy between what the adjuster finds and what your records show, you have your own proof. Ensuring that you and the adjuster have the same information may help your insurance company settle your claim and get your home back to normal more quickly.

3 Steps for Preparing Your Business for a Winter Storm

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

A facility being restored from a massive amount of water damage after a storm. If your business suffers any storm damage, SERVPRO can help you quickly and efficiently

3 Steps To Prepare The Winter Storm For Your Business

When you’re a business owner, you never have time to slow down if you really want to make your establishment into a success. Unfortunately, the weather often has other plans, especially during the chilly winter months in College Station, TX. Closing down for a day won’t kill business, but experiencing a pipe break or other serious damage as a result of a winter storm certainly can. That’s why you should always prepare your business before the storm can hit by:

  • Clearing out and shutting off your water before the storm hits
  • Making a plan for snow and ice cleanup ahead of time
  • Replacing weather stripping on exterior doors

1. Avoiding Frozen Pipes

Frozen and burst pipes are the most common form of winter storm damage that the modern business encounters during winter conditions. The issue starts off with a small leak but can quickly develop into a flooding deluge in a matter of minutes. That’s why shutting off your water and clearing out your pipes before a storm is crucial for protecting your premises. This way, you’re not only preventing more water from working its way into the building but also getting rid of any that might already be present in the pipes.

2. Weather Stripping

As snow falls, it’s likely to pile up against your doors. While this in itself is harmless, it can quickly become problematic when the snow begins to melt. If your weather stripping is worn, melting snow can seep under your doors and into your business, ruining rugs, carpeting and other belongings in the process.

3. Cleanup Plans

In the event that all of your efforts fail, you should already have a snow and ice cleanup crew chosen to come take care of any issues you might experience. Having a team already chosen allows you to mitigate further water and ice damage from the winter storm, meaning you’ll have your business back as soon as possible.

What Is the Difference Between Mold Removal and Remediation?

9/14/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold inside one closet Have you discovered mold in your home? SERVPRO has the expertise and equipment to properly remediate any size residential infestation.

What Is The Difference Between Removal and Restoration of mold?

As a homeowner, one of the greatest challenges you might encounter in your Brenham, TX, home is how to get rid of mold. Black mold and other types of fungi can be caused by a variety of issues, most of which are related to water problems around your residence. A mold cleanup and remediation company can help you remove this substance from your home; however, knowing the difference between removal and remediation can give you greater peace of mind as your dwelling is being treated.

Remediation Must Come First

Before mold specialists can perform mold cleanup, they need to discover what is causing it. They may inspect a variety of spaces to look for water leaks:

  • Under kitchen and bathroom sinks
  • In basements
  • Around outdoor water lines

Mold remediation can help your techs discover the source of mold growth so they can target it for removal later.

Air Cleansing

The second step mold techs may take in remediation is to purify the air while they work on containing any mold they discover. Using filtration machines with HEPA filters can help trap mold spores in the air, which may slow any spreading. It may help you breathe easier too, as mold can create an unpleasant smell.

Mold Removal

Once mold is identified, it can be removed. Whether your techs are dealing with black mold or some other strain, they have the know-how to dismantle and pull out damaged building materials, including insulation and drywall. They can also advise you about replacing these items and whether any items stored in affected areas will need cleaning and restoration.

Discovering you have a mold problem in your Brenham, TX, home can be disconcerting, particularly in the case of black mold. However, when you understand the difference between mold removal and remediation, you can feel more confident about the steps for your home's treatment.

Flush a Water Heater in 4 Easy Steps

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

A Hand attaching the hose to a home water heater By routinely flushing the water heater home, you can extend the life by years.

How To Flush A Water Heater in 4 Simple Steps

Water heater maintenance is fairly simple, but it can go a long way toward preserving the integrity of your device and extending the life of it. One thing that you can do to prevent costly repairs and damage is to flush it regularly. If you have never performed a water heater flush before and want to know how, this post can serve as your guide. Before you begin, you will need the following:

  • A standard garden hose
  • A screwdriver
  • An outside area to which you can divert water
  • Protective gear

Once you have the necessary tools, it’s time to get to work.

1. Turn Off the Device

Before you can begin working on your water heater, you need to turn it off. For a gas heater, extinguish the pilot. For an electrical one, pop the breaker that powers the heater.

2. Connect the Hose and Prep the Area

Once your heater is off, prep the drainage area and connect the hose to the drain valve. Be sure to wear protective gear while you work to prevent burning and bacteria contamination.

3. Start Draining

Once the area is prepped and the hose is attached, it’s time to start draining. Open the drain valve and allow the water to stream for several minutes. You can help the water drain faster by opening the kitchen sink’s hot water valve. Wait a few minutes, and then turn it off. Wait until the flow of water from the hose has turned into a trickle, then go inside, turn on the hot water faucet once more and let the remainder of the water flush.

4. Close Off the Valves and Restore Power

Once the tank is completely empty, disconnect the hose and close the valves. Turn on your kitchen faucet and leave it on until the flow of water has returned to normal. Once you’ve confirmed that the tank is full, restore power to the heater.

By routinely flushing the water heater in your Bryan, TX, home, you can extend the life of your heater by years. Follow the steps above for guidance.

Mold Prevention Begins With Moisture Control

8/20/2021 (Permalink)

Black mold inside one closet Call our SERVPRO for your mold inspection and remediation needs today!

Moisture Control Is The First Step Toward Mold Prevention.

Discovering mold growth can be disheartening, especially when your College Station, TX, mold remediation team informs you that the problem is much more extensive than you initially thought. What began as a leak under the sink has now become a mold problem that extends into your floor joists and up into your drywall. What could have been a quick, inexpensive fix has now just become a costly restoration.

Mold spreads quickly, which is why mold prevention is key. Fortunately, preventing mold is simple, and begins and ends with controlling water damage. If you want to prevent mold from sprouting in your home, here is what you need to know:

  • Identify and fix problem areas
  • Dry out problem areas
  • Install proper ventilation
  • Invest in mold-resistant products

Correct the Problem

Preventing mold begins with identifying and correcting problem areas before they become problems. In the best-case scenarios, the problem areas are small and consist of a leaking pipe; in the worst-case scenarios, the problem areas are fairly large and encompass large patches of roof. Whatever the case is with your home, if you want to prevent further damage and preserve the integrity of your home, invest in quality repairs.

Dry Out the Problem Area

The next step of mold prevention involves drying out the problem area. Water damage isn’t contained to just the surface; rather, it can run deep beneath the flooring and into your home’s floor joists, drywall and/or insulation. In order to get rid of the problem completely, you need to know how deep the problem goes and implement proper drying techniques.

Install Ventilation

Many homes are affected by mold growth simply because they lack proper ventilation. You can prevent mold contamination in your home by improving airflow and installing vents in moisture prone areas.

Invest in Mold Resistant Products

Finally, you can prevent mold by equipping your home with mold resistant products. Some materials to consider include mold-resistant drywall and mold-resistant insulation.

Mold prevention doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. If you can control the moisture levels in your home, you can control mold growth.

Inspections and Precautions Can Help Preserve Your Commercial Roof

8/10/2021 (Permalink)

Hole on ceiling Roof leak damages ceiling in commercial property

Commercial Roofing

A roof leak can lead to a lot of water damage problems and may require professional repair and restoration services. It’s important to keep your commercial roof in excellent shape to prevent leaks, holes, and cracks caused by debris and weather conditions. By inspecting your roof and looking out for potential problems, you can lower the risk of dealing with water damage in the future.

Inspect the Roof Often

To maintain your roof, inspect its integrity frequently. If a severe storm occurs in Brenham, TX, an inspection can help identify any kind of water or wind damage. While examining your rooftop, look for bubbles in the roof cover. Bubbles indicate there is trapped moisture within the cover and may lead to a roof leak.

Roofing inspections can help you stop a problem before it gets out of hand. If there is a lot of standing water on top of your roof, take care of it quickly. Prolonged standing water can deteriorate the roof cover and weaken or rust the roof deck. Cracks and tears can allow water to seep beneath the roof cover and into your building.

Watch Out for Signs

Along with frequent inspections, keep an eye out for any of the following appearings inside your building:

  • Water stains
  • Unexplained mold
  • Strange odors

Although these problems don’t always stem from the roof, they can be your first sign of trouble. If you notice such issues, it can be best to check for any holes, cracks, or other signs that could lead to a roof leak just in case.

Being proactive in your roof upkeep can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Don’t forget to maintain your roof by cleaning gutters, trimming trees, and keeping rooftop vents sealed. You can prevent a lot of damage by being aware of potential problems and by doing all that you can to preserve and maintain your commercial roof.

Why Sewers Backup in Heavy Rains and How To Prevent This Common Issue

7/27/2021 (Permalink)

Debris on the floor of a living room. Debris after storm damage.

Why Do Sewers Back Up During Heavy Rains, and How Can You Avoid It?

In developed areas, sewer backup is not all that uncommon when it rains heavily. However, just because sewage backup is not uncommon does not mean that it is fun or easy to deal with. A backed-up sewer can be a costly and hazardous issue. Though a College Station, TX, water restoration team can help remediate the issue in a timely and cost-effective manner, your best bet would be to prevent the situation entirely. However, in order to prevent such an issue, you need to know what causes it in the first place. Here are just three of the most common causes of sewage backup:

  • Rain water overflows the storm drains.
  • Vacant land was recently developed.
  • A grassy area was recently paved over.
  • The building is old.

A sewer backup typically has nothing to do with the structure itself. That said, because a backed-up sewer means blackwater, it is imperative that you contact a water remediation team right away to assist with cleanup efforts. This team can also provide tips on what you can do to prevent a backup from happening in the future.

Preventing a Sewage Backup

Preventing future flooding or damage may be as simple as replacing the old trap on your home with a new one. Here are a few easy and affordable fixes you can make to keep your home flood-free:

• Replace old ill-fitting sewer trap plugs with fit-all plugs. The fix will cost you just $10 but could save you thousands.
• Install a back-water check valve for the entire home. This is only necessary if your plumbing is not designed for rain water flow.
• If your plumbing is designed for storm water flow, install back-water valves on toilets and fixtures that are at or below ground level.

A sewer backup can be a costly and hazardous event. While the storm remediation team in College Station, TX, can help you clean up the mess as quickly and inexpensively as possible, you can avoid the whole ordeal by implementing certain precautions. Save your home and yourself a world of headaches by employing the preventative measures mentioned above.

How To Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher: The PASS Method

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Fire Extinguisher Fire Extinguishers are for small fires.

How To Use A Fire Extinguisher Using The PASS Method 

Having a fire extinguisher in your home is never a bad idea, but it won’t be of much use if you don’t know how to properly operate it. When an emergency happens, seconds can mean the difference between a minor kitchen fire and total disaster. Thankfully, there are a few basic tips and one simple acronym that can help you and your family to easily remember the basics of using an extinguisher:

• Assess the size of the fire. Extinguishers are meant for smaller fires still in their infancy, known as the incipient stage. If the flames have grown taller than an average adult (5-6 feet), your extinguisher won’t help. Evacuate the home immediately and call 911.

• Check the available pressure. If the flames are still incipient, the next step is to check the pressure gauge on your fire extinguisher. A needle in the green means you’re good to go. If it falls anywhere outside of this acceptable range, abort and get your family out of the house.

• Position yourself appropriately. Learn and memorize the effective discharge range of your extinguisher ahead of time. Before you begin, position yourself as far away as possible while still ensuring that the discharge will reach the fire itself. Have an exit strategy in mind in the event that the flames are unable to be controlled.

• Utilize the proper technique by remembering the PASS method:
P – Pull the pin from the handle.
A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
S – Squeeze the trigger to initiate discharge.
S – Sweep from side to side while continuing to aim for the base until the fire is out or the extinguisher stop discharging.

Keeping these simple tips in mind will help to ensure that you are getting the most out of your fire extinguisher in an emergency. Once the flames are out, contact a professional cleanup and restoration specialist in Bryan, TX that can help repair any fire damage and remove smoke odors from the home.

Ways to Prevent the Spread of Mold During Cleanup

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Professionals help limit mold contamination by creating a containment area.

What Can Be Used To Prevent Mold Growth

By the time you discover mold, from seeing it or smelling it, you already have a big problem. Mold spores exist in the air all around you and are never fully gone. The problem is when spore populations are excessive and when they encounter a damp environment indoors, where they take hold and grow. Mold thrives anywhere with moisture and oxygen, including in Bryan, TX. Indoors, you often find mold on materials damaged from water, such as from a leaking roof or a broken pipe. It's critical for mold cleanup to begin as quickly as possible, even in the first 24 hours, to prevent the fast growth and development of additional colonies.

Since spores are so small, they easily find their way indoors flowing in your ventilation system and even hitching a ride on your clothing. With particles dispersing that easily, how can you avoid mold contamination in other parts of your building especially during cleanup procedures? Well, professional mold remediation specialists minimize further contamination through two key practices.

1. Containment. Professionals help limit mold contamination by creating a containment area. Ventilation and fans are turned off and a negative air chamber is created using basic principles of airflow, where air moves from high pressure to low-pressure areas. This in conjunction with physical barriers helps prevent the escape of spores from the contaminated area during mold cleanup.

2. Air Filtration. Mold spores are tiny, microscopic particles and exist naturally in the air. To prevent additional spreading of the spores from the mold contamination area, filters knowns as high-efficiency particulate absorbers (HEPA) are used with all air scrubbers and vacuums. These filters trap the tiny particles and prevent airborne distribution to other parts of your building.

When you have mold growing indoors, spores are more abundant leading to further spread of mold in your building. The process of mold cleanup is a serious task that should be done with deliberate care and consideration. Thankfully, professional mold remediation specialists use careful containment and filtration methods during the removal of mold-infested materials, minimizing the spread of mold in your building.

Rid Your Contents of That Residual Smoky Smell With These Content Cleaning Tips

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

Fire loss in a home, ceiling collapsed and insulation is coming out Fire loss in a Bryan, TX home.

Content Cleaning Tips

Most house fires can be devastating, but even when they’re not, they can still result in long-term, costly effects. One of those effects, though unnoticeable by the eye, is the smell. Your home’s contents may smell charred and burned long after the last flame has been put out. Without implementing the right content cleaning methods, including dry-cleaning, you may find that you’re going to work smelling like an ash-pit for months into the future. Fortunately, you can eliminate the smoke odor from your belongings fairly quickly, by doing the following: 

  • Air out your home.
  • Call in a Bryan, TX, fire restoration team to test the items in your home.
  • Separate the salvageable from the non-salvageable.
  • Take the salvageable items to be cleaned.
  • Replace the items that you had to get rid of.

Once you’ve aired out your home, had a fire restoration team in to help you determine which items are safe to keep and which are not, and separated the salvageable from the non-salvageable items, it’s important that you have the salvageable items dry-cleaned and thoroughly rid of the smoke odor before bringing new items into your home. If you purchase new belongings before having the old ones cleaned, you risk contaminating the new items, and cleaning them won’t be covered by your insurance.

Items that you may be able to save with dry-cleaning include

  • Clothing
  • Bedding
  • Curtains
  • Some furniture

Hard-surfaced items such as your kitchen table, refrigerator, end tables and other wood, tile and linoleum fixtures may be able to be cleaned with a strong chemical cleanser or an appropriate restoration mixture.

After a house fire, it is crucial to deep clean all of your belongings if you hope to rid your home of that smoke smell entirely. If dry-cleaning and other deep cleaning measures don’t help to eliminate the smoke odor, you may want to consider content storage for more valuable items until you can find a professional in Bryan, TX, who has the skills, know-how and materials to clean them for you.