Tips for Preventing Water Damage in Your Absence
If your home has suffered water damage, SERVPRO has the team and equipment to bring your property back to preloss conditions.
Water Damage Prevention Tips While You're Away
Everyone deserves to get away once in a while, but coming back to your home in Bryan, TX, after a relaxing trip or holiday to find water damage can ruin the end of a good time. To avoid the need for water pipe repair when you return from your vacation, here are a few tips to follow before you leave.
You should be checking your home for potential problems that lead to water damage on a regular basis anyway, but it is especially important before you plan to be away for a while. Make sure none of the hoses or supply lines are leaking. Check for broken shingles on the roof and clogged rain gutters. Test the sump pump in your basement by pouring water in and seeing if it kicks into gear.
If you find any problems during your inspection, you will want to fix them. Water remediation specialists can mitigate any existing water damage and perform water pipe repair so that secondary problems such as mold growth don't develop in your absence. Clean your gutters, and insulate exposed pipes, especially if your trip takes place during the winter months. Set your thermostat so that your home remains warm so that your pipes don't freeze while you're gone.
Ideally, you have a neighbor, friend or family member who can check on your house periodically. If that's not the case, however, you can still protect your home by cutting off water flow altogether. One way to avoid a broken pipe is to drain all the water out of it before you go. You can also turn off the main water valve to the house. If water isn't flowing to your pipes, your home is less likely to be flooded.
No one wants to come back from vacation to discover that water pipe repair and water mitigation is necessary. By taking these precautions, however, you can relax fully during your trip, knowing your home is safe from water damage.
3 Lint Cleaning Techniques for Preventing a Dryer Fire
Lint and dust can gather behind and under your dryer, increasing the odds of a lint fire.
Three Lint Cleaning Methods to Avoid A Dryer Fire
Protecting your College Station, TX, home from fires can keep your family and investment safe. Homes fires can have many sources; however, clothes dryers are often the culprit. Lint and dust collect in several parts of the unit and increase the risk of a blaze that could spread quickly. You can lower the risk of a lint fire by using a few daily and weekly cleaning strategies, and most are simple to perform.
1. Clean the Lint Screen and Trap Area
Lint can gather in the dryer’s screen and down in the trap where the filter sits. This could cause a dryer fire because the accumulated lint might be difficult to see, even when the screen is removed. To clean this area, pull the screen out, remove the excess lint and then rinse the part with water. Next, use a slim vacuum attachment to clean the empty trap. Remember to dispose of all the lint carefully.
2. Vacuum Around the Dryer Weekly
Lint and dust can gather behind and under your dryer, increasing the odds of a lint fire. This can be especially dangerous if you have a large family with multiple individuals doing laundry throughout the week. However, you can keep the area clean with weekly vacuuming, which can be especially important if your dryer does not sit flush to the floor.
3. Clean the Exhaust Hose
Cleaning out your dryer’s exhaust hose can keep the unit functioning efficiently and prevent fire damage that could spread to other rooms. Before you begin, unplug the dryer to prevent the risk of electric shock. Vacuum the inside of the hose and use a hook tool to ensure it is completely empty of lint before you reattach it. You can ask a fire damage and restoration service to inspect your dryer if you are unsure about whether your cleaning techniques are effective.
A lint fire can devastate your College Station, TX, home. Knowing how to maintain your dryer can reduce the risk and may even extend the life of the unit.
Mitigation and Restoration: What's the Difference?
This facility took on a lot of water after heavy rains. SERVPRO was quick to respond and start the extraction and drying process.
What's The Difference Between Mitigation And Restoration?
If your Brenham, TX, business has been affected by severe flooding or rainstorms, chances are you've contacted a flood cleanup company to help get your building back to normal. You'll probably hear the terms "mitigation" and "restoration" used quite a bit, and you may be unclear about the difference. Here’s a look at what each means.
Mitigation is your first line of defense after your building has been damaged and includes measures used to stabilize the situation before more damage can occur. The mitigation company should respond quickly and take steps such as:
- Inspecting damage
- Making sure the structure is stable
- Boarding up windows
- Setting up tarps
- Removing furniture and other items
- Storing property
- Extracting water
A flood cleanup company responsible for mitigation takes the first steps in dealing with the damage, but depending on the severity, further work may be needed to prevent bigger problems and eradicate the possibility of health risks from mold or other pathogens. This is where restoration comes into play.
A restoration company is responsible for bringing your property back to the state it was in before the storm damage occurred. Once mitigation has been completed, the job of repairing structural damage can begin. The company should clean and sanitize any parts of the structure that have been exposed to mold, bacteria or other pathogens, and can disinfect and restore any salvageable items that have been removed from the building. Restoration can be a lengthy process, depending of the severity of the storm damage. After everything has been dried and disinfected, repairs might range from replacing some drywall and painting to rebuilding entire sections of the structure.
In many cases, a flood cleanup company can offer both mitigation and restoration. Now that you have more insight into what to expect from both types of services, you should be able to make an informed decision when choosing a company.
Fire and Water: Reclaiming Your Home From the Elements
If your home experiences a fire loss, don't hesitate and give our SERVPRO of Brazos Valley team a call for your fire restoration needs.
Taking Back Your Home From The Elements with Fire and Water
If your home catches fire, there will likely be quite a few problems that need to be addressed. Fire damage is only one of the issues with which you have to contend when your home catches fire. A common side effect of a house fire is excess water and its damaging aftermath.
Extraction and Disinfection
When a fire breaks out in your home in College Station, TX, it damages everything it comes into contact with. In addition to the destruction it leaves in its wake, it puts out a substantial amount of heat, which can lead to a myriad of problems:
- Busted pipes
- Melted supply lines
- Cracked toilets
- Broken water tank
Even if by some miracle none of these problems occur, a lot of water comes out of the fire hose used to put out those flames. It’s almost a guarantee, therefore, that any home with fire damage also has significant water damage. Before fire restoration specialists can deal with the soot and smoke, they have to clean up the excess water.
Cleaning and Purifying
After the water has been removed, the technicians can tackle the soot. Every surface in every room where there was fire is probably going to be covered in soot, so every surface has to be cleaned. The techniques the professionals use remove the soot while protecting the surface from any further damage. When all the soot is gone, the smoke cleaning begins. Industrial air scrubbers are used to purify the air, removing not only the smell of the smoke but the particles that cause it. Foggers may also be used to sanitize smoke-infused rooms.
The fire damage left after the flames are overcome may be your primary concern, but it is not the only issue that must be resolved. Expert technicians in College Station, TX, who specialize in fire and water damage can offer a comprehensive restoration service.
The Proper Schedule for Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
By having a regular testing schedule, you can protect the fire sprinkler system’s dependability.
The Appropriate Maintenance Schedule For Fire Sprinklers
When you own a business in Brenham, TX, it is important to make sure your fire system is working properly. Regular tests of each fire sprinkler and the function of the system as a whole help keep your business compliant with national, state and local fire codes. It also ensures that your system provides the necessary fire suppression during an emergency.
The first level of testing is the visual test. Set a schedule for visual inspections of the sprinklers, alarm and signal devices, control valves and pipes. Once or twice a month, you should check sprinklers for certain issues that could alter its effectiveness:
Valves and gauges should be checked every quarter to make sure they look like they’re supposed to look. At least once a year, check your system’s pipes and fittings, and make sure any signage posted is still accurate.
When it comes to how well your fire system functions, there are certain time frames for testing each of the parts. While the National Fire Protection Association does not require official certification to perform tests, your state and local agencies may have such restrictions. No matter who performs the test, though, you don’t want to wait until the fire sprinkler system malfunctions and floods your building to know there is a problem. Then, on top of replacing broken parts, you’ll be calling water restoration specialists to clean up a mess that could have been avoided with proper maintenance.
The mechanics of your system should be tested quarterly, and switches should be tested at least twice a year. Your test technician should complete a full test of the system annually to check water flow, alarms and antifreeze concentration. Every five years, it is a good idea to send a sampling of sprinklers to be tested in a lab and replace old sprinklers and valves before they become faulty.
To avoid fire sprinkler cleanup, your system needs regular maintenance. By having a regular testing schedule, you can protect the fire sprinkler system’s dependability.
Get Rid of Plant Mildew in 4 Steps
If you suspect any mold damage in your home, you can contact SERVPRO, we are always ready to help you
4 Steps To Getting Rid of Plant Mildew
Plant mildew is prone to develop in humid or wet climates. Mildew may develop if a plant remains warm, wet, shaded, and improperly ventilated. Powdery mildew is one of the most common types of plant fungus. This type of mildew does not require moisture, but it thrives in warm conditions.
Most mildew can slow down growth and even kill a plant over time. Here are four steps you can take to eliminate mildew on plants.
1. Carefully inspect the plant to determine the type of mildew and identify the conditions that have enabled mildew to thrive. In order to come up with the right treatment, you should determine the type of plant mildew you are dealing with and the conditions that have promoted mildew growth.
2. Remove and destroy the affected portions of the plant. This can help to increase air circulation, which may make a plant less prone to develop mildew. Mildew is more likely to spread if you leave affected portions on a plant or compost these trimmings.
3. Change the way you water. Avoid overwatering or pouring water down over leaves. Water from the side of the plant directly on the roots.
4. Use a fungicide. There are many fungicides, including treatments that contain beneficial bacterium and those that are absorbed into plant tissues where they continue working for weeks. Other treatments include a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a quart of water, neem oil, sulfur, or lime-sulfur.
You may also reduce the chances of mildew growth by selecting fungus-resistant plants and spacing them out in suitable areas, in terms of light and moisture levels. If you are experiencing difficulties with mold or plant mildew, contact a company that offers mold and mildew testing, containment, and cleanup in Burton, TX. Experts can identify the source of the issue and help you prevent mildew from spreading or intensifying.
What Your Adjuster Needs From You
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
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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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.