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Roof Damage After a Fire: Everything You Need to Know

10/4/2022 (Permalink)

Roof fire damage If your Bryan, TX roof has suffered from fire damage call SERVPRO of Brazos Valley

Roof Damage After a Fire: Everything You Need to Know

Roof damage is never good news. In fact, you may have been in such a state of shock after a fire that you didn't even notice the damage that was done to your home's roof. You might not even realize how bad the situation is until it starts raining and water begins to drip into the living room or bedroom of your Bryan, Texas home. That's why it's important to act quickly when dealing with roof damage caused by fire. We'll explain how SERVPRO can help with this common problem, as well as other things you should know about repairing or replacing a damaged roof in the aftermath of a blaze:

Roof Damage is Devastating

Roof damage is devastating to a homeowner, and fire damage only complicates things. Damage caused by flames is one thing, but soot can also cause significant problems. If possible, have a professional tarp the roof until it can be repaired or replaced.

If you've been in a fire, it's likely that your roof will have suffered some damage. While flames are one thing, soot can also cause significant problems. Soapstone and clay tiles are easily damaged by soot and ash because these materials absorb moisture from the air, which increases their weight and makes them heavier than usual. This causes them to crack or break apart on the surface of your roof. Shingles made of asphalt are susceptible to melting when exposed to flames for long periods of time; if this happens then their water resistance is compromised as well and they may leak soon after being installed or repaired.

Soot can also be extremely harmful to gutters that have been installed over an extended period of time because they accumulate debris which eventually clogs them up entirely (even if they're made out of metal). The same goes for siding -- if there's any kind of stain left behind by smoke particles then it will become difficult if not impossible for anyone trying to clean off those surfaces later down the road without damaging them further! 

Finally. insulation has its own set of issues associated with this too -- most notably that its normal function becomes compromised due to increased heat loss. Heat is lost due to condensation caused by excessive humidity levels within an enclosed area. 

Call the Professionals

Due to the severity of roof damage, it is recommended that you have a professional tarp the roof until it can be repaired or replaced. This will help keep the elements out and prevent further damage from occurring.

When you have a company like SERVPRO of Brazos Valley come in to tarp your roof, we will also check for interior water damage. This is because when the fire has burned through the ceiling of your home and reached your attic, it can cause water from the fire sprinklers to leak down into the living space below. This can cause mold growth, which can lead to all sorts of health problems such as respiratory issues and skin irritation.

Your SERVPRO professional will take precautions to make sure that there is no mold growth in your home. 

Working with Insurance

Fire-damaged roofs can be a very stressful and confusing thing to deal with, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. We would recommend calling a professional roofing company like ours to ensure that your fire-damaged roof is repaired as quickly and effectively as possible.

We can work with your insurance company and negotiate a fair price for your roof repairs. From that point forward, we will handle all aspects of the tarping process including:

  • Finding any hidden damage on your home's exterior that may have been caused by smoke or water leaks during the fire
  • Setting up temporary protection from rain until we remove damaged shingles from the roof decking
  • Removing old shingle pieces (if necessary) using specialized tools designed specifically for this task

Act Quickly After a Fire

After a fire has damaged your roof, it is important to care for it properly. This will help you save money in the long term because you won't have to pay for more expensive repairs later. If you are not sure how to do this, it is best to hire a professional. A good roofing company will be able to help you get your roof back in shape and ensure that it stays that way.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the chaos of a fire and forget about your roof. But when you do have a professional fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Brazos Valley come in, we will check for interior water damage and negotiate fair prices for your roof repairs.

Protective Gear for Mold Mitigation

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician with PPE outfit ready to remediate mold 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.

How To Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher: The PASS Method

8/24/2022 (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 a total disaster. Thankfully, there are a few basic tips and one simple acronym that can help you and your family 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 stops 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.

Business Owners Should Expect Experts To Do These 3 Things During Mold Remediation

8/16/2022 (Permalink)

Technician wearing a PPE for a a mold remediation Mold remediation in Burton, TX

Owners Should Expect To See The Following Three Things

One of the major concerns about water damage is moisture's ability to trigger black mold growth. Business owners may go from dealing with a broken pipe or toilet overflow to being told that fungus has infested the space. When this happens, proprietors should prepare for several stages of cleanup. To minimize the spread and restore the building, owners should expect to see the following three things.


1. Block Off the Contaminated Space

A water remediation company in Burton, TX, must start mold cleanup by cutting off the microbes' ability to migrate. After a thorough inspection, the experts determine what is harmed. They cut off the area from foot traffic and set up negative air chambers to stop airflow. It's best not to enter the space, allowing only the professionals to enter and leave. They wear protective gear to limit exposure levels.


2. Remove Moisture Promptly

Black mold feeds on water, so specialists perform a meticulous inspection to see how much dampness is present. With the supply stopped, the reproduction begins to slow down too. Moisture reading tools inform specialists about troublesome spots, guiding the team as to where to start extraction and drying procedures.

Carpet and drywall are concerning since they are porous substances that cannot be treated with chemicals. Tear out these items to reduce wetness and spore count. Flood cuts are made, usually a few feet above the waterline, to ensure proper cleanup. Industrial dehumidifiers run around the clock. These devices extract moisture from the air and materials, quickening the drying time.


3. Sanitize What Is Left

Once aired out, the mold remediation crew washes the rest of the interior and applies an antimicrobial spray. These work effectively on non-porous substances, killing lingering microbes. Content cleaning crews use high-tech equipment to tend to electronics and valuable documents.

Water damage may easily lead to black mold, so it's imperative to act immediately. Secure the impacted areas, and focus on getting these locations dry. With the help of professionals, owners can hinder mold development and restore the property.

3 Benefits of Professional Fire Restoration

7/26/2022 (Permalink)

Wooden structural 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.

Is a Basement Flood Covered by Insurance

7/11/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded basement Flooded basement in College Station, TX

When Insurance Will Or Won't Cover Your Water Damage Expenses

Experiencing a basement flood in your College Station, TX, home can be devastating. Even if your basement isn’t finished, you may store belongings that can be damaged quickly by water. Fortunately, there are water restoration companies that can help individuals cleanup and restore their homes before additional damage, such as mold, occurs. Additionally, insurance companies may cover some of the repair costs. Here are some examples of when insurance will or won’t cover your water damage expenses.

Covered Water Damage
Most homeowners insurance policies cover water damage in the following situations:

  • Broken water heater
  • Pipe burst
  • Washing machine hose break
  • Plumbing malfunction

All of these situations have two variables in common: sudden and accidental. If you’re wondering if your basement flood will be covered by your insurance, consider what caused the damage. Most insurance policies cover sudden and accidental water damage under dwelling coverage or personal property coverage.

Uncovered Water Damage
Having defined what perils are covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy, there are many instances where insurance coverage won’t pay for repairs:

  • Lack of maintenance on an appliance
  • The cost to replace the source of the problem
  • Outside sewer or drain issues
  • Flooding from any source

First, homeowners must take responsibility for properly caring for their home. If there is a continuous leak from a faucet and it causes water damage, it’s not a covered peril. Second, insurance may cover the cost to tear out and replace your damaged floor, but it won’t cover the cost to replace your water heater that caused the basement flood.

Third, outside water lines are not covered under a traditional homeowner's insurance policy; however, you may be able to purchase additional coverage. Finally, any type of flooding is not covered under a regular homeowner's policy. You may be able to purchase separate flood insurance if necessary.

If you find your basement is suddenly flooded with water, find the source of the problem. Identifying what caused the water damage will determine if insurance will cover the cost of the repairs.

The Best Bleach Alternatives For Cleaning Mold

7/1/2022 (Permalink)

Baking soda and vinegar Depending on the material, you may prefer to use standard or slightly stronger cleaning vinegar to kill mold

Mold-Cleaning Bleach Substitutes

Bleach is of limited use for cleaning mold. The most common chlorine-based solution is strictly a surface disinfectant and does not sink into porous materials. As a result, the root system of mold may resume growth after fungus cleanup. Here are several substances that are more effective for eliminating mold.

White Vinegar

Distilled white vinegar is one of the best antifungal cleaners for porous and non-porous materials. There are several ways to use a solution of acetic acid in water to cleanup mold:

  • Apply standard white vinegar at 5% concentration
  • Apply cleaning white vinegar at 6% concentration
  • Dilute standard or cleaning white vinegar

Depending on the material, you may prefer to use standard or slightly stronger cleaning vinegar to kill mold. Vinegar may be less likely to damage, discolor or degrade many sensitive substances than bleach. Keep in mind that vinegar is acidic and may react upon coming into contact with certain substances.

Sodium Borate

Sodium borate, which is often referred to as Borax, is another effective alternative for fungus cleanup. Dissolve one cup of this white powder in one gallon of hot water. Like bleach, sodium borate is basic, whereas vinegar is acidic. If you are not sure about the best cleaning substance for delicate materials or contents, consult with mold remediation experts.

Specialized Fungicides

In some cases, it may be necessary to use a fungicide to kill mold. These substances are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Make sure to follow the instructions on any mold killer you use. Many commercial building owners prefer to have these treatments applied by restoration professionals for maximum effectiveness.

If you see signs of mold growing in a commercial property in Bryan, TX, you should call in fungus cleanup specialists. It is crucial to determine the true extent of an infestation. 

Stopping Roof Leaks

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking roof Remember, many roof damage and flood scenarios may require professional intervention from a qualified cleanup company.

Preventing Roof Leaks

Many homeowners are aware of the potential roof damage that can come from a hail storm. However, many residents of Bryan, TX, don’t know how to respond afterward to prevent further flooding and structural issues from affecting the home.

1. Inspection and Preparation

The first step toward a leak-free roof happens before any storms are on the horizon. Many insurers will insist on regular roof inspections, especially if you have a more expensive policy or property. This sort of preventative maintenance keeps the roof in good shape in case a severe weather event does occur. Sometimes everyday wear and tear is the first sign that a roof will undergo water or wind damage later on.

2. Points of Interest

Most roofing inspections will involve a number of steps. The layering, position, and condition of the shingles are one of the most important initial markers of potential roof damage. If any of the asphalt shingles are broken or missing, water will begin to flow toward and under the plastic barrier beneath, given enough time. Re-roofing is fairly inexpensive and can save money in the long run by preventing damage to plywood, insulation, and structural beams in your attic.

3. Hail

Of course, the concussive force of large hailstones can accelerate this aging process and necessitate immediate roof repairs. If you find yourself in the midst of a hailstorm, safety should be the first priority. Afterward, if you can safely get to any major roof holes or other visible damage, place a tarp or other moisture shield over it. Many insurers insist that homeowners mitigate any potential site of ongoing roof damage until an adjuster can arrive to assess the claim.

Remember, many roof damage and flood scenarios may require professional intervention from a qualified cleanup company. However, with adequate knowledge and preparation, you can face any inclement weather with confidence.

Yard Flooding and Your Home

6/28/2022 (Permalink)

Gutter with leafs One easy and inexpensive fix for outside flooding problems is to clean the gutters to guarantee that no water is spilling over.

Yard Flooding and Your Residence

Most homeowners in College Station, TX, see a well-kept lawn and garden as an aesthetic consideration. However, a number of landscaping practices can help to prevent outside flooding and consequent property damage. Read on to discover more about this interconnection.

1. Grade

The grade or slope of your yard is the degree to which the surface level of the soil falls in elevation as you move away from the foundation of the home. Most houses compliant with local codes will have a gentle slope that directs water away from the base of the house. However, minor problems can develop with slight inconsistencies in the landscaping. If you notice water beginning to pool around your home during a rain storm, especially if it begins to leak through the outer walls, there are a few preventative steps you can take.

2. Gutters

One easy and inexpensive fix for outside flooding problems is to clean the gutters to guarantee that no water is spilling over. A high volume of water pouring directly over the edge of the gutter instead of out the downspout indicates the existence of a clog. Most hardware stores sell extensible tools or attachments that can clean gutters and downspouts without any unwanted damage to roofing materials.

3. Soil and Cover

Sometimes the rain drainage issues occur farther from the base of the house. In these cases, extra soil and strategic planting can come in handy. Use heavier mulches and gravel in areas where you notice high water retention or fast water flow that tends to cause erosion. Hedges and small trees can also help hold finer soil types together, preventing your hard landscaping work from washing down the storm drain.

Being prepared doesn’t have to cost you an excessive amount of time or money. Remember, if you get out of your depth during an outside flooding event, have the contact information of a qualified cleanup industry professional at the ready.

SERVPRO Is Uniquely Positioned to Respond to a Catastrophe

6/1/2022 (Permalink)

trucks from a restoration company SERVPRO is on standby 24/7/365 and ready to respond. Our team is ready to restore your home or business, no matter the size of the damage.

SERVPRO Is Ideally Placed To Respond To A Disaster

When a widespread catastrophic loss hits around Burton, TX, most restoration companies are completely overwhelmed by the number of requests for service. This can quickly compound a disaster because an immediate response is needed to mitigate the damage.

It’s essential that a disaster restoration company gets in right away. They’ll take immediate steps to prevent further destruction, such as:

  • Tarp and board exposed areas.
  • Remove flooding.
  • Squeeze out excess moisture.
  • Decontaminate toxic residue left over from floodwater.

When a disaster overwhelms an area, you need a damage restoration company with the widest reach. That’s why most insurance companies like to use a large organization.

Local Company, Nationwide Resources

SERVPRO has over 1,700 franchises throughout the U.S. and Canada. Their specialized Disaster Recovery Team can call on resources from far outside the region to enter a structure as soon as rescue teams have cleared them.

If a storm severely damages a building, it may not be structurally safe to enter. A recovery team will enter and repair the structural soundness, so that a complete inspection may happen.

Storm damage is pretty random, so a building needs to be structurally appraised before entry. During a catastrophic loss, team availability will be drastically reduced, meaning help from outside the area is essential for faster service.

SERVPRO Is the Top Choice for Many Insurance Companies

Sadly, many restoration vendors have been noteworthy for shoddy service and surprise costs. SERVPRO franchisees have all been vetted by the national corporation and are required to meet many strict standards.

New franchises must go through mandatory training upon opening, and the company offers employee certification training in fire and water restoration as well as carpet and upholstery cleaning. They’re also an approved Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification trainer for the highest standards in restoration.

Continuing Education

Not only do they offer more advanced courses to franchise employees, but they also provide both credit and noncredit education for insurance and real estate professionals. They’re committed to making the process work as smoothly and quickly as possible.

A catastrophic loss is always a disaster, but the response usually makes the biggest difference. Always choose a local company with national resources for the most effective response.