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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

The Proper Schedule for Fire Sprinkler Maintenance

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

Automatic fire extinguishing system 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.

Visual Inspections

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:

  • Obstruction
  • Corrosion
  • Cleanliness

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.

Functionality Tests

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

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

Plants with mildew 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

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.

3 Tips for Winding Down Wind Damage at Your Business Property

6/23/2021 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Missing shingles on a roof due to high winds.

Prevent Wind Damage To Your Business

With the power to bring in foreign objects from around town or forcefully move objects on your premises, property damage is a valid fear with wind. It can damage walls or cause a roof leak by slamming objects into a building. By adhering to these three tips, you can prevent damage to your commercial property in Burton, TX.

1. Protect Windows

Windows are one of the most vulnerable entryways for objects to wreak havoc indoors. By protecting windows with plywood before a major storm, you can stop loose objects picked up by the wind from coming through easily broken glass to break valuable electronics or furniture. If your business is in a constantly stormy region, storm shutters are helpful to quickly lock down the building.

2. Landscape With Wind in Mind

If the weather often includes severe wind, the premise should be landscaped so trees are a distance over their total length from any building. Trees can fall over or snap to cause a damaged roof. A roof leak leads to storm debris and water finding a way indoors to further damage business assets.

If the trees cannot be relocated, proper maintenance is essential. If the tree is decaying or damaged, it is likely a candidate for becoming harmed by the wind. If a tree is identified as high risk, it should be replaced or removed altogether.

3. Make the Roof As Windproof As Possible

There are specialty shingles with wind-resistance ratings. They are often made of asphalt and need special installation by a roofing expert. With them installed, you can worry less about missing shingles except in the most devastating storms. Additionally, owning a roof tarp is recommended so you can protect a damaged roof until it can receive repairs.

Storms can be very powerful, but they can be mitigated. Even with preparation, the assistance of a specialty storm damage cleanup service for a roof leak and other property damage can, fortunately, treat the aftermath. Wind doesn’t have to win. By preparing for it beforehand, you protect your investments.

Mitigating Damage Done by Water

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

Leaking water heater A leaking water heater can cause major problems in your home.

Keep Your Damage Minimal

A leaking water heater can cause major problems for your Brenham, TX, home. Even if the leak is slow, you may not notice the water right away. Leaving pooling water unattended could cause damage to your building materials and furnishings. Thankfully, you can work with a residential water cleanup specialist to start taking care of the damage done by unruly water.

Inspection: An initial inspection can help the professionals better understand where the water is coming from. A broken water heater needs to be taken care of in a different way than a leaky faucet, for example. Once the source of the problem is identified, the professionals will better understand how to create a cleanup plan.

Extraction: Depending on how much water the failed water heater was able to let escape into your home, the extraction may include airing out space or actually sucking up standing water. Standing water has to be removed quickly to avoid mold growth and further damage to your belongings.

Dehumidification: Even after the initial excess water has been removed, you may need to have some more work done to take care of high humidity. Above-average levels of humidity can attribute to unwanted fungus growth. Many professionals use a negative air chamber to help remove the excess moisture from the air.

Restoration: Finally, making quick repairs can help slow down the damage done by a leaking water heater or another source of flooding. The sooner your belongings are cleaned and sanitized, the less likely the water damage will spread. A big part of the restoration process is the removal of all damp items. Cutting out saturated drywall and replacing it with dry materials can save you a lot of headaches in the future.

It's not always easy to get ahead of water damage caused by a leaking water heater, broken pipe or sewage backup. Acting quickly to start the cleanup process can keep your damage minimal.

Protective Gear for Mold Mitigation

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

specialist in PPE combating mold in an apartment 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.

3 Things You Should Throw Away After a House Fire

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Cosmetics Throw away all the cosmetics after a fire.

3 Things You Should Throw Away After a House Fire

The hardest part of recovering from a house fire in Bryan, TX is usually identifying things that can be salvaged and those you need to throw away. Sentimental items, for example, can be hard to dispose of, and there’s always been confusion between keeping or dumping canned foods.
Here are things you should throw away after a fire, no matter what:

  • Perishable and non-perishable food
  • Medication
  • Cosmetics

1. Any Food That Survived the Blaze

Food that gets exposed to high heat can cause health effects. While that is obvious for anything that was in permeable packaging during the fire, edibles that were in sealed jars and cans should also be tossed. That’s because the heat triggers bacterial contamination and also gives the food a lousy taste.

2. Medication

Medicines tend to lose potency after a fire. On top of that, they can also get contaminated by firefighting chemicals and other products that might be near them. There may be no signs of soot or fire damage on the packaging, but some meds do change their chemical form under hot conditions. That’s why it is important to trash them and get a new prescription after a house fire.

3. Cosmetics

Throw away all the cosmetics after a fire to avoid health effects. Heat changes the chemical composition in most of these products, resulting in a toxic situation. Anybody who uses heat-exposed creams runs the risk of health effects that can cost them more than they would have spent on replacing the cosmetics. For that reason, do not use any beauty stuff or toiletries that survived the house fire, even if they have no signs of burns or soot damage.
Trashing things that survived the high heat situation might seem like a waste of money, especially after losing so much. However, using these items threatens your well-being and your wallet as well.

3 Benefits of Commercial Storm Insurance

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial building destroyed by hurricane winds Commercial roof damaged by hurricane winds.

What Are The Benefits Of Commercial Storm Insurance?

When a severe weather system enters Bryan, TX, companies are at risk of severe devastation. Hurricane Katrina was an intense storm that hit Lousiana, has a price tag estimated at approximately $86,000 by today's standards. Irma, another major Category 5 system, blew through several states is estimated to have caused about $31,850. At these costs, storm insurance is vital for business owners who may not have the available cash to pay for expensive restoration costs. A storm policy is likely to offer the following benefits.

1. Offer Compensation for Harmed Materials
Your insurance coverage usually handles payment to replace or restore lost valuables and possessions. It's referred to as property loss. The high winds and immense rain may have ruined several vital components, drenching them thoroughly. Content cleaning crews and experts from a storm remediation company should meticulously examine each item.
The following are typically part of the plan:

  • Electronics
  • Technology
  • Fixtures
  • Documents
  • Furniture
  • Inventory

2. Structural Damage
The largest expense is usually from fixing the facility itself. Storm insurance tends to provide funding for the property's remediation and restoration. Owners usually pay a deductible amount first. The insurer then cuts a check for the rest of the amount. Maximums may exist, so check with your agent.
Use this money for roof repairs, flooring replacement, drying procedures and tear-outs. This section is useful for physical work.

3. Water Damage
A common issue with storms is flooding. Your agent is likely to question how water intrusion occurred as flood payments sometimes require a separate policy. General insurance coverage does work for saturation that isn't a result of an external flood. Broken pipes, sewage backups and roof collapses create moisture issues. These typically are part of your plan.
Storm insurance is an owner's safety net, giving financial support during hard times. In general, commercial owners may use the policy to manage the property's reconstruction and assist in product and equipment replacement.

Is My Fire Sprinkler System Ready for a Commercial Fire?

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Sprinkler head activated.

A well-designed fire sprinkler system is an excellent way to protect your commercial building. They not only save money, they’re the best way to save lives. Many insurance companies also often offer massive discounts on their fire insurance premiums for buildings with a sprinkler systems, too.
However, Burton, TX, regulations may require proper maintenance as well, depending on the use of your property. NFPA 25 establishes the required maintenance and inspection schedule for all types of fire suppression systems. If you meet these standards, your risk of severe property damage from a fire plummets to a fraction of a building without active suppression.

What Are the Benefits of Fire Sprinklers?

Water fire sprinkler systems are the most common. The benefits are many and include:

  • Low cost
  • Drastic reduction in fire damage
  • Virtually eliminate fatalities
  • Slash water damage

A study in a single Texas county in 2018 showed a financial savings of over $140 million and no fatalities during the year on properties with well-maintained fire suppression systems. Interestingly, it also found that in 93% of fires, only a single sprinkler head activated.
This makes fire sprinkler cleanup much more affordable. Fire hoses pump out ten times the volume of a single sprinkler head, so the damage tends to be isolated. Fire damage experts in Burton, TX, can restore all the damaged areas back to their original condition either way, but buildings with sprinklers are always going to be much less expensive to repair.

Is Testing Required?
Yes. NFPA 25 has a strict schedule for sprinkler system testing, which includes some maintenance. It’s also how you can be certain the system is fully functional.
You may be able to do weekly inspections yourself (or an employee) for some systems. Mostly, this is just a check to ensure the water pressure gauges show enough pressure and to look for obstructions near sprinkler heads. However, monthly, quarterly and annual inspections need to be by an expert in most cases.
If your fire sprinkler system has been inspected and tested according to schedule, you can be almost certain your building is ready for a fire. It’s probably the best protection for the money.

How Can I Deduct Storm Damages For My Business?

4/17/2021 (Permalink)

Five air movers placed on the hallway of a commercial building. Concept drying a commercial facility Drying a commercial facility after storm damage in College Station, TX.

If your business in College Station, TX has sustained severe storm damage and your insurance policy doesn’t include coverage for storms or floods, you will need to pay the expenses out of pocket. It may be possible, however, for you to claim a deduction on your income taxes to cover some of the expenses.

Business Casualty and Theft Loss Deduction

There are some rules you will need to follow in order to take a deduction for your business losses. The losses are grouped into two categories: casualty losses and theft losses.

Casualty Losses
These losses would include the damages of business property due to one of the following events:

  • It is an unusual circumstance.
  • The event was unexpected and was not intentionally triggered.
  • It was a sudden and fast-moving situation.

Examples of storm damage casualty losses include floods, earthquakes, and accidental fires.

Theft Losses

If someone has stolen money or property from your business unlawfully, your loss may be tax-deductible. Losses can include such crimes as robbery, burglary, or blackmail.

Proving Proof
In order to take the casualty and theft loss deduction, you will need to provide proof of the event. You have to explain such things as:

  • Details about the casualty, including the date it occurred
  • Documentation showing the value of your property before and after the event
  • Proof that you own or lease the building
  • Any insurance reimbursement

How to Figure the Deduction
You should consult with your tax accountant, but a general rule of thumb is:

  • If the property is totally destroyed, you must figure out the price the property was worth at the time of destruction, taking into consideration any improvements made and any depreciation. From this, you should subtract the salvage value of the property as well as any insurance reimbursements.
  • For property that hasn’t been completely ruined, you should evaluate the fair market value (FMV) of the property before and after the event. Annual appraisals typically show the FMV.

If your business insurance doesn't cover storm damage, discuss your tax options with your accountant right away.

3 Surprising Things About Commercial Roof Damage

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

Roof torn off from storm damage Roof damage in Bryan, TX.

Prevent Storm Damage To Your Commercial Roof

The roof over your business works hard. How often do you check it? Roof damage can be discrete, so you should inspect it at least twice a year. If there is a weather event, that number should be ramped up. Read on for some surprising tips you may not have considered when looking to prevent storm damage to your commercial roof.

1. Small Rainstorms Can Cause Lasting Damage
It's a common misconception that roofing is only affected by large disasters. In fact, wind damage can occur at speeds of just 45 mph. That isn't typically thought of as intense, but it can cause minor wear to your roof that builds up over time. Similarly, light rain can cause issues if it is accumulating in places.
Following proper safety precautions, a property manager, or local roof damage specialist in Bryan, TX, should do a thorough scan of the roof. Monitor for any of the following problem areas:

  • Cracked shingles
  • Peeling edges
  • Broken flashing

Flashing is generally a strip of thin steel that is located near any surface perpendicular to the roofing, such as exterior walls, vents, or chimneys. Its purpose is to steer water away from these compromised places on your roof. Damage should be addressed promptly to prevent excess moisture.

2. Clogged Gutters Can Hurt Your Roof
Another tip to prevent roof damage is to regularly clean gutters. Clogged gutters can weaken the integrity of the materials, and they can back up water into places it shouldn't be. After all, the purpose of a drainage system is to drain this excess liquid. If left unkempt, water can erode your roof or even seep into your building. Eventually, you will need a roof rebuild.

3. Trees and Branches Should Stay Clear
Furthermore, when conducting a roof check, look out for any debris. This is usually caused by overhanging trees. Clear any rogue branches, mitigating the chance of harm. Older trees, especially, can be uprooted during a storm, wreaking havoc.
It's best to take care of any roof issues quickly. Failure to inspect, clean gutters, and clear debris can lead to long-lasting roof damage. Protect your commercial roof so it can continue to protect you.

Taking Care of Personal Belonging After Water Damages

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

Wet floor, water standing on floor. Water damage in a home Water damage in Brenham, TX.

Taking Care of Personal Belonging After Water Damages

One of the heartbreaking things about a major water in a home event is all of the damage that occurs to your personal belongings. Everything from clothing to furniture to photographs and paintings can become saturated with a flood of water. Even if the water is from a clean source, the problem is overwhelming; if the water is dirty or contaminated, the issue is magnified. Fortunately, with fast action and the right equipment and cleaning techniques, many of your most cherished items can be restored to good condition. A company that is experienced in water damage repair has access to an array of powerful cleaning methods.

Choosing the Right Cleaning Option
Trained technicians will pretest your personal belongings to identify candidates for restoration. This saves time and money. Sadly, some items are just too far gone to rescue after water in a home disaster. Many valuable items, though, can be saved by one of the following advanced cleaning methods:

  • Foam cleaning
  • Wet cleaning
  • Immersion cleaning
  • Abrasion cleaning
  • Dry cleaning

Cleaning specialists have the ability to clean drapes and blinds, carpeting, upholstery, documents, photographs and even electrical components. They can even find the source for odors and implement a deodorizing plan that will stand the test of time.

Getting the Best Results
Inadequate or improper cleaning after a broken pipe or some other water spill can have disappointing results. Fragile items can be ruined by harsh cleaning methods and documents can be rendered useless by inexpert handling. Your items in your home in Brenham, TX, are too valuable to trust amateurs. A SERVPRO franchise is always Here to Help by following the best practices of the cleaning and restoration industry. Certified technicians will match the best cleaning method to your items. They work with a restore versus replace mentality whenever possible. If you have water in your home, trust the cleanup process to the experts.

How To Keep Your Pets Safe From Fires

3/24/2021 (Permalink)

Old man rescuing dog from natural disaster Keep your pets safe from fires.

Keep Your Pets Safe From Fires

A fire emergency in your home is a frightening experience. When this happens, the last thing you want to worry about is whether Fido and Fluffy are okay. Even if services from a residential fire restoration company become necessary, the expense and inconvenience of building repairs are minor compared to the heartache of losing a family pet. Here are some steps you can take to make sure your cuddly critters remain protected from flames.

Firefighters and Pets
Easing the job of firefighters is one way to increase pet safety. Improve their ability to rescue furry friends by:

  • Enclosing pets near main entrances when possible
  • Keeping leashes nearby and collars on them
  • Placing information about your pets inside a front window

The easier you make life for those responding to a fire emergency in Burton, TX, the greater the likelihood your fur babies will escape unharmed.

Fire Prevention and Pets
Having animals in your home requires taking safety measures beyond those required of homeowners without furry companions. Good pet preparation mandates that you put all your four-legged friends’ paperwork into one, easily accessible spot. This increases your ability to escape fires with essential documentation in hand.
Fire drills should include steps for rescuing pets. Assign family members to specific animals. Choose the individual most likely to be near each one in the event a fire breaks out when people are home.
Take measures to prevent dogs and cats from starting fires. This is especially important for younger pets. Confine them to limited spaces with baby gates or place them in crates while away. Remove stove knobs so that curious noses do not accidentally turn on burners. If you enjoy candles, consider investing in a flameless alternative.
A household fire emergency is a frightening proposition, made worse by the fear that your pets’ lives may be in danger. Use these recommendations to help keep fur babies safe and secure.

3 Benefits of Professional Fire Restoration

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Home structure 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.

The 3 Water Damage Categories Explained

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Blue background of water with the words WATER CATEGORIES in the middle There are 3 categories of water.

The 3 Water Damage Categories Explained

All floods are different. The costs and damage associated with flooding in your commercial property are associated with the water category. After all, having issues during a water pipe repair is different than a sewage backup. There are 3 categories of water. While all of them are dangerous to a building, they require different methods to clean up the damage.

1. Category 1
If you could choose which type of damage you got, you would want category 1. This water is not dangerous to humans or animals. It comes from a clean water source. Often it comes from a broken pipe, overflowing sink, malfunctioning appliance, rainwater, snowmelt, or broken toilet bowl. While this is not contaminated, it is still important to have necessary water pipe repair and remediation tasks performed quickly. This prevents mold from growing and doing more damage to your building.

2. Category 2
Category 2 water damage comes from greywater. This water contains some contaminants. Depending on what is in the water, humans and animals who encounter it could experience irritation and illness. This is because the water often contains harmful microorganisms. This water often comes from malfunctioning dishwashers, sump pump failures, urine spills, fire sprinklers, and condensate water. After experiencing this type of damage, you must have a water pipe repair, cleanup, and decontamination performed.

3. Category 3
Category 3 water damage is the worst option for your business. This is called black water occurs from sewage backups, storms, or rising creeks and rivers. You can also experience category 3 damage if a category 2 flood was not cleaned up correctly. This is why you must hire a water restoration professional as soon as possible. Failing to do so could lead to additional damage.
If your business was flooded recently and sustained damage, you need to act quickly. Ensure that the water in your Bryan, TX, business is cleaned up properly. This ensures minimal damage to your building.

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

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine 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.

5 Ways to Help Prevent Your Pipes from Freezing

1/17/2021 (Permalink)

The pipelines in the insulation and pressure gauges flow and return pipes in the boiler room of a private house household Apply insulation directly to the pipes

Ways To Protect Your Building Pipes This Winter

Water expands when it freezes, causing damage, such as a burst pipe. The best way to prevent these problems is to make sure your pipes don't freeze over in the first place. Make use of the following methods to help protect your Brenham, TX, building's pipes this winter.

1. Let Your Faucets Drip.
Standing water is significantly more likely to freeze over than moving water is. If you don't use a faucet regularly, make sure to open it up and let just a little bit of water drip. This can make a huge difference in the long run.

2. Fortify Your Building's Insulation.
Add additional insulation to areas in your building that have exposed piping, such as the basement or maintenance rooms. This can help trap heat inside the building and reduce the likelihood of having to deal with a frozen pipe.

3. Drain Outdoor Hoses After Using Them.
Before you store away any outdoor hoses, make sure to completely empty the water inside. When you're done with the hose, close the inside hose bib valves. Keep the outdoor valves open until all the water has drained out.

4. Apply Insulation Directly to the Pipes.
If a frozen or burst pipe is a frequent issue for you, you might want to consider applying insulation directly to the exposed piping. You can use products such as heat tape or pipe sleeves. Even a light layer of newspaper can be effective in a pinch.

5. Increase Your Building's Heat.
You might also want to consider turning up the thermostat to increase the heat in the building. While this will raise your heating bill, it might be a viable solution if you find yourself frequently paying for frozen pipe repairs.
A frozen or burst pipe can cause massive amounts of water damage in your commercial building. While the above tactics can help reduce your risk, they can't guarantee your complete protection. Make sure to contact flood remediation experts for additional assistance.

3 Tips for Electrical Safety After a Storm

1/17/2021 (Permalink)

water coming out a light fixture It is important to be cautious in situations involving both, such as water in light fixtures

3 Tips for Electrical Safety After a Storm

When you think about severe weather, the concerns at the front of your mind are probably flooding, high winds, debris, and tornadoes. Issues surrounding electricity and household appliances that use it are generally not something you consider beyond preparing for a power outage. However, there are electrical hazards associated with leaks and flooding both during and after a storm. One of these is water in light fixtures. This occurs when rain has found a way in through cracks and other ceiling damage. Here are three tips for electrical safety after a storm in Burton, TX.

1. Turn Off the Power
One of your first actions after discovering a flooded area or leakage in your home should be to turn off the power if safely possible. This can be done at the main electrical panel/circuit breaker. If the affected area is limited to a room, turn off the power to that room. If the water encompasses further, turn off electricity in the whole house.

2. Don't Touch
You should avoid touching or going near anything vaguely electrical that is wet. If there is water in light fixtures, do not touch them. Do not enter rooms connected to the house's main power line if they are filled with standing water and electric equipment. Water, unless completely purified, conducts electricity. Even soaked carpeting can shock you if you come into contact with it. If they are wet or in a flooded room also try not to touch:

  • Outlets
  • Fuses
  • Plugs
  • Cords
  • Electric appliances

3. Contact Professionals
Since electricity and water combine to make a serious hazard, it is important to contact a professional electrician after discovering a flood area or leak. Electricians can examine electric components, determine if they are safe to use, and remove/replace them if they are not. It may also be in your best interest to contact a professional cleanup service to remove the water and assess water damage.
Electricity can be dangerous enough on its own without mixing it with water. It is important to be cautious in situations involving both, such as water in light fixtures.

How To Handle Mold in Your Home

1/17/2021 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold. Removal of black fungus in the apartment and house. Mold removal is serious business.

After a devastating event, such as a hurricane or flood, your home in Burton, TX, may sustain heavy water damage. Water that sits for just a few hours is an invitation for mold growth. Even if you want to handle mold removal yourself, it is imperative to contact a professional to take care of the problem.

How Do Professionals Remove Water and Mold From Your Home?

Depending on the extent of the damage, a mold remediation specialist may be able to take care of the problem in just a couple of days, or it may take several weeks. For example, if the carpeting isn't saturated with water, it may only require thorough cleaning and sanitizing. When extensive damage has occurred, full restoration may be required which will take a long time to fully eliminate the problem. The typical process for water and mold removal includes the following steps:

1. Eliminate the Water Source
The expert examines the entire area inside and surrounding your home to eliminate the water source.

2. Dispose of Damaged Materials
This could include carpeting, drywall, furniture, and structural materials. The professional disposes of any materials that cannot be salvaged.

3. Remove the Water
Trained professionals use high-powered pumps and vacuums to remove the water, and fans and dehumidifiers dry out the area.

4. Clean and Disinfect
After advanced cleaning techniques clean surfaces, air scrubbers, and foggers remove odors from the air.

5. Remove Mold
Antimicrobial treatments are applied to infected areas to remove mold. Experts are trained to spot and handle black mold removal as well. Further mold growth is discouraged with the use of high-efficiency particulate air equipment.
Mold removal is serious business. Mold that goes untreated will continue to grow until it permeates the structures inside your home, including areas hidden behind walls. The longer you wait to call a professional to inspect, the more damage can occur, so call for assistance as soon as possible.

4 Things a First Responder Needs To Know About Floods

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

House in floodwater. As a first responder, you need to know a little about flooding before trying to help

4 Things a First Responder Needs To Know About Floods

Flooding is a serious disaster that can happen anywhere, even in Burton, TX. Because of their prevalence, a first responder, such as a remediation worker or medical professional, must know several things about this disaster before attempting flood response activities.

1. What They Are
A flood occurs when water sits on usually dry land. It can include depths of 1 inch to those that swallow a house.

2. When They Happen
Flooding can happen anytime, but there are certain times where it is more common in certain areas. For instance, coastal states are more likely to see flooding in hurricane season, while the Midwestern States have more flooding during the late spring and summer. In the North, ice storms often happen in the early spring. Meanwhile, the desert states see flooding during their monsoon season at the end of summer. Because they can happen at any time, responders must stay on top of their preparations, like having supply bags and current immunizations ready at all times.

3. Where They Happen
Floods happen everywhere. However, they are most common near bodies of water and downstream from dams.

4. How They Happen
As a first responder, you will see a variety of types of flooding. The most common way they occur is when the ground does not absorb excessive rain and snowmelt, bodies of water overflow, rivers become blocked, water containments break, or tidal surges occur.
Depending on the problem that caused the flooding, its characteristics can be very different. For instance, it can happen slowly or quickly. Those that occur quickly are called flash floods. These are often caused by storms, while slow flooding is caused by rain or snow.
As a first responder, you need to know a little about flooding before trying to help. Knowing what a flood is, when and where they happen, and what causes them is a good start to your knowledge.

Understanding Mold in Commercial Buildings

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Green mold growth on wall Mold damage in Bryan, TX

One of the tasks that business owners have is ensuring the health and safety of employees while they’re at work. Environmental safety is an area that focuses on identifying hazards, reducing accidents, and limiting exposure to harmful substances. Black mold is a situation that should be resolved promptly.

Mold is Everywhere

First, it’s important to understand that mold is found everywhere. Mold is outside on soil and plants. Mold is inside near leaking roofs and around windows. Here are some helpful facts about mold:

  • Mold is a fungus
  • Mold spores are in the air
  • Mold can be any color including black, green, purple and orange
  • Mold can grow on any organic substance

Business owners should be aware of the sight and smell of molds in order to prevent them from becoming an issue. At the first sight of mold, contact a mold remediation specialist to perform mold cleanup.

Mold Thrives on Moisture
Mold needs two things to spread: moisture and oxygen. Because black mold thrives on moisture, any area in your building that is prone to high humidity levels is susceptible to mold. Fortunately, there are simple things that business owners can do to prevent mold. First, fix a moisture problem. If you notice a leak in the roof or around plumbing fixtures, repair the problem. Caulk windows that have high condensation or infiltration of water. Second, reduce humidity levels in your office below 45 percent. A hygrometer can be purchased to check your humidity level. Third, increase ventilation in the kitchen, bathrooms, and other areas with water. Finally, if your Bryan, TX, experiences any amount of flooding, ensure that the area is completely dried and cleaned.

Mold is Remediated
Some companies claim they can remove mold from your office building. However, this is incorrect because mold spores cannot be completely removed from the air. In contrast, mold is remediated. Professional mold remediation services follow a specific cleanup and restoration process.
As a business owner, it’s important to understand mold. Work with a professional restoration company if you notice any signs of black mold.

Your Fire Escape Plan Should Include The Following Four Things

1/12/2021 (Permalink)

Map of a house and escape routes Be sure that you have a fire escape place and practice it often

Your Fire Escape Plan Should Include The Following Four Things

Preparing for a disaster is often put on the back burner. After all, how likely is it that something devastating may happen? These are regrettable decisions, especially when traumatic events do occur. Homeowners may think that fire is unlikely; however, flames spark suddenly. There is no going back once it starts. Fire escape plan protocols are one way to be proactive, putting family and safety first.

1. Draw an Escape Map
Your emergency escape plan should be more than conceptual. It should be a physical creation reviewed by everyone in the household. The visual information is important in ensuring that everyone in the home understands the best routes for an exit. As a group, walk the house, determining how to best get out in case of trouble. Two paths should be selected just in case flames block part of the residence. Hang up the map somewhere visible.

2. Pick a Meet Up Spot
Once outside, people need to gather quickly. Fire escape plan procedures should include a common location. Consider a neighbor's yard across, a light post, or a mailbox.

3. Practice Exit Movements
Know how to maneuver. The emergency escape plan should detail how to handle a blaze's heat and smoke. Air quality improves closer to the ground so to improve breathing remain low. Crawling is preferred to walking or running. Teach family members to close doors as they move through the place. If it's impossible to exit, explain how to barricade into a room. Seal vents and doorways with duct tape or towels. Open windows for fresh air.

4. Establish Priorities
A fire restoration company in College Station, TX, has specialized equipment to remediate and rebuild the building. The crews also have the technology to clean personal contents. Discuss that valuables, therefore, should be left. It's more important to move quickly and unencumbered.
Don't wait for a crisis, hoping that everyone will be okay. Take time and effort to think ahead. Fire escape plan procedures are important tools to safeguard those you love.

Preventing Pipe Leaks From Wrecking Your Business

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

The pipelines in the insulation and pressure gauges flow and return pipes in the boiler room of a private house household Surround pipes that are exposed to low temperatures with warming insulation

Damaged pipes are disruptive to any office. The physical ruin that even a little dampness creates is shocking. By executing preventive measures, you can lower the odds of a water-related disaster from ever developing.

Causes of Leaking Pipes

Broken plumbing is the result of many factors, including:

  • Cracked seals
  • Corrosion
  • Clogged lines
  • High water pressure
  • Intrusive tree roots
  • Loose water connectors

The existence of these problems commonly results in destructive flooding, in which case your building may require the sort of extensive refurbishment that only a commercial water restoration expert can provide. Find one that services businesses in College Station, TX, before further destruction or mold has the opportunity to develop.

Prevention of Leaking Pipes
Avoid dealing with the aftermath of damaged pipes and use these defensive actions to keep yours from becoming a problem instead.
Start with your interior. Have your HVAC regularly inspected by a qualified contractor who can assure that your drain lines remain clear of clogs. As winter arrives, decrease the chances of faucets freezing by gently running them. Surround pipes that are exposed to low temperatures with warming insulation.
Attend to your exterior with the same level of care. Periodically inspect your roof and have any deterioration immediately treated by a professional. When leaves start dropping, clear gutters and downspouts of debris. If your building features outdoor hose connections, remove the spigot bibs in the fall and turn off the connections in colder months to inhibit pipes from bursting.
Leak detection systems can also be employed to prevent flooding. Ones that are active use moisture detection sensors to automatically halt water flow. Passive systems, also known as water alarms, are inexpensive and easy to install. The downside is that their batteries must be regularly replaced.
Damaged pipes are a common occurrence with the potential to negatively afflict your office. Reduce the chances your building suffers a watery mess with these recommended procedures.

4 Reasons Why Fire Sprinklers Can Keep Your Business Safe

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler A fire sprinkler system could be a great solution

Here Are Four Reasons Why

Even if the National Fire Protection Association reported more than 100,000 structure fires that were nonresidential in 2019, the majority of fire damage does not occur in commercial buildings. A big reason for this is because most businesses have a fire sprinkler system installed. It might seem like it would be more dangerous to experience a fire at a store or hotel than at home in Brenham, TX, but that is not true; again, thanks to sprinklers. Sprinkler systems can make a big difference when it comes to fire safety.

1. Reaction Time Is Fast
In the event of a fire, you need to respond quickly. A fire sprinkler can react much quicker than most people can. This is why they are so effective. As soon as a sprinkler senses fire, it releases between 10-25 gallons of water every minute.

2. Water Targets Specific Areas
Some people worry that sprinklers will release fire everywhere. This is not the case. When heat activates the system, fire suppression only occurs around the area of the temperature increase. This way, water does not unnecessarily damage unaffected parts of the building.

3. Sprinklers Require Professional Installation
When you invest in this form of fire protection, you will need to call in a professional. By law, sprinkler systems need to follow NFPA safety codes and standards. In addition, local regulations will also apply. Because of this, you can rest assured knowing everything in your system works correctly.

4. Accidents Are Rare
Contrary to popular belief, it is rare for a sprinklers to operate on accident. This can be a concern for some business owners because fire sprinkler cleanup is often not an easy job without the help of a fire damage restoration expert. The good news is, you should not have to worry about this unless you are near the system with excessive heat.
If you are a business owner who is looking for a way to keep your commercial property safe, a fire sprinkler system could be a great solution. With fast response time and professional installation, this fire safety equipment can be a life-saving investment.

Is Your Water Heater Making Noises?

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Old water heater A water heater can make many noises, and not every noise is the same

How much do you know about the water heater in your home in Burton, TX? If it is not much, you are not alone. Indeed, water heaters are one of the most important yet little understood plumbing fixtures inside common households. Sometimes, part of the mystery comes down to the noises these little closet devices make. What was that pop? Why is it knocking? If these thoughts sound familiar, it may be time to learn about the different noises water heaters can make.

Types of Noises

Although water heaters make many noises, not all of them are cause for alarm. Some noises, like ticking or tapping caused from the heat trap, are quite normal. Other noises you should be more concerned about include:

  • Cracking, popping or rumbling
  • Knocking or hammering
  • Singing, screaming or screeching

If you hear any of these noises coming from your water heater, it could indicate you have a maintenance or repair issue.

How To Solve Problematic Noises
If you are hearing noises that signal problems, you likely need to remove built up sediment or replace a part. You can solve most noise problems with some basic troubleshooting, but you should still take any noise seriously. If you ignore a noise, it could lead to bigger problems like leaks and flooding. Instead of performing standard maintenance, you will need to call in a water damage remediation expert.

How to Prevent Problematic Noises
Water heaters have different lifespans. How long yours lasts depends on how well you take care of it. Keep up on maintenance. The best way to clean out sediment buildup is by draining the tank via a water heater flush. While anyone should flush a tank once a year, homeowners who live with hard water need to be particularly concerned with this maintenance chore.
A water heater can make many noises, and not every noise is the same. Sometimes, noises are nothing to worry about, and other times, you will need to fix something. Keeping up on maintenance should reduce the chance of problems.

Addressing Smoke Odor After a Fire at Your Business

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone deodorization treatments require evacuating a business's premises

Addressing Smoke Odor After a Fire at Your Business

If a fire occurs at your business in Burton, TX, your first concerns will be your employees and property. Fire and smoke cleaning may salvage your physical property, including

  • Furnishings
  • Paperwork
  • Electronics
  • Building Structure

A lingering smoke odor after extinguishing a fire indicates that smoke damage persists. A fire restoration company can address the problem with sanitizing and odor eliminating methods.

Air Filtration
Robust air filtration addresses soot particles and the smoke odor left behind by the fire. A tightly woven HEPA filter reinforced with activated charcoal traps and neutralizes odor-causing particles. After passing through the filters, purified air returns to the environment. You and your employees may enter the business space during air filtration, which does not necessitate evacuation.

Thermal Fogger
Smoke odor can penetrate the air and your business's porous surfaces, including upholstery, carpets and drapes. Thermal fogging involves heating a deodorizing substance until it becomes foam or droplets that attach to odorous particles and neutralize them. Thermal fogger machines are particularly useful smoke cleaning tools because they decontaminate hard-to-reach areas, including cracks and crevices, and cleanse odor-producing particles from the air after a fire. It is necessary to vacate the space and leave time for the fogging substance to take effect.

Ozone Treatment
Ozone resembles oxygen because it consists of oxygen atoms, but unlike oxygen, which contains two oxygen atoms, ozone contains three. Smoke restoration professionals use machines that release ozone into the environment where its third oxygen molecule seeks out the odor-causing molecules and attaches to them. This process, called oxidation, neutralizes the offensive odor and purifies the air. Ozone deodorization treatments require evacuating a business's premises until the process is complete and oxygen levels return to normal.
After a fire at your business in Burton, TX, smoke cleaning is a priority so that your employees and customers can comfortably occupy your space. A fire restoration service specializing in air purification and odor neutralization can help get your business back to normal operation.

How To Identify and Prevent Frozen Office Pipes

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

drying equipment in a building Water cleanup services

One primary cause of water damage is a pipe bursting triggered by freezing. Knowing how to prevent this situation from forming can stave off a situation where you must hire a commercial water restoration specialist to help return normalcy.

Identifying Frozen Pipes

Your office plumbing in Bryan, TX, may be compromised if one or more of the below scenarios exist:

  1. Water refuses to run or only trickles out
  2. Your pipes display a visible frost
  3. Odd smells are detectable

Broken pipes create big problems. When one of the above conditions is detected, hire a diagnostic technician to tend to your building’s structural vulnerabilities before a messy water cleanup situation transpires.

Preventing Frozen Pipes
It is impossible to stall winter’s arrival, but preventive measures reduce your odds of sustaining water damage induced by freezing. Before temperatures drop, drain water from your most vulnerable spigots. Perform this action inside bathrooms and kitchens, as well as with sprinkler water supply lines.
If your kitchen has cabinets with piping, open them and allow warm air to circulate. Keep thermostats steady, never allowing the temperature to dip below 55 degrees, especially when nobody is around. On exceptionally cold days, allow faucets to drip, as any movable liquid discourages blockages from forming.
Similarly, more intensive structural improvements can be made to discourage icy accumulation. Placing insulation around vents and lighting fixtures works great to prevent heat from escaping. Sealing fissures further reduces warmth seepage. Spots surrounding utility service outlets remain especially susceptible to wall fractures, so pay extra attention to these areas.
Finally, install heat-emanating 60-watt bulbs within zones where freezing is most likely to take hold. Be sure to remove combustible materials from the vicinity of your new lighting, as failure to do so could cause a fire.
Water damage precipitated by frozen pipes is entirely preventable. Protect your office by lowering the chance of issues developing during the snowy season. Then, periodically check for signs of frosty complications before a critical scenario develops.

Flood Cleanup Requirements

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

roof collapsed on living room Storm damage in Brenham, TX

Dealing with a flooded home in Brenham, TX, means much more than being faced with unwanted water and drying out the house. If the waters were caused by Mother Nature, it may bring contaminates and microorganisms into your home. Anything that water touches requires additional cleaning requirements to ensure it is done right. After calling your insurance company to make a claim, your next call should be to a water damage and restoration specialist. They will have the tools and techniques to ensure the flood clean up process is done right.

The Cleaning Process

Once you get the approval of your insurance company, you can begin cleaning and preparing your home for restoration. Below are important steps to take:

  • Document all areas and items that were affected.
  • Remove any mud that has built up.
  • Dispose of wet items that can’t be cleaned. Be sure to take photos of the items.
  • Any clothing, bedding, rugs and other textiles should be washed in hot, soapy water.
  • Dishes, silverware and other kitchen items should be run through the dishwasher or cleaned with antibacterial soap.
  • Use a special flood disinfectant on every surface that has been exposed to floodwaters.
  • Move wet furniture and similar items that can be salvaged to a dry, secure location.

Safety First
When it comes to cleaning requirements for flooding, safety should also be the top priority. Depending on the severity of the damage, it may mean wading through contaminated waters or dealing with a significant amount of leftover debris. Proper PPE should be worn when working in a flooded area. That should include long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, goggles, face mask, disposable gloves and disposable booties.
A flood can leave a big mess that means extra cleaning requirements. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, trust a professional that is Faster to Any Size Disaster to ensure the cleanup is done fast and the right way.

What To Do When Mold Growth Persists Despite Your Cleaning Efforts

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on closet Black mold growth in a closet

Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?

It can be frustrating to locate black mold in your home. It's a definite hazard, plaguing your structure. The spores feed on organic material, inhabiting anything from paper, drywall, wood and flooring. Essentially, once it takes hold, it's going to spread. Upon seeing the sight, residents often react quickly, spraying the contamination with bleach or other chemicals. At first, the spotting disappears, leaving a sense of accomplishment; however, a few weeks later, the discoloration pops up again. Why does the growth reoccur? Consider your initial disinfection methods as well as the condition's source.

1. Skip the Household Cleaners
Easy do-it-yourself mold cleanup products don't reach the depth of the infestation. The microbes bore into porous objects, making a new home well within the confines. It's hard for a liquid spray to penetrate as well. Therefore, the initial actions could simply act as a bandage, covering up a much more serious wound. You can keep applying, but the root of the trouble hasn't been handled.

2. Get an Assessment of the Trouble
Skip the store-bought treatments; instead, work with a mold restoration company in Bryan, TX, to inspect the premises. The specialists can evaluate the following:

  • Cause of the black mold
  • Level of air quality
  • Types of organisms
  • Extent of the spread

With that knowledge, the crew can implement thorough, appropriate measures to sanitize and rebuild the property.

3. Fix the Cause
What allowed the fungus to reproduce? A water source must exist, acting as a catalyst. The analysis should have uncovered this issue. Tend to it. As long it continues, the fungal growth will remain.

4. Tear Out the Contaminated Matter
The best form of mold remediation is extraction. By removing the damaged items, the spore count is minimized, permitting a comprehensive repair job. Expect to take out your flooring and cut out part of the drywall.
Proper procedures can eradicate the black mold production. Locate and mend to the moisture's origin. Then, eliminate and replace any impacted substances.

Is a Basement Flood Covered by Insurance?

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. Visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. 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.

How To Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

Fire extinguisher instruction labels set. Instruction extinguisher and protection of fire with extinguisher illustration You can use the acronym PASS to help you remember the steps

House fires can happen at the drop of a hat, so it's important to not only have a fire extinguisher in your home in Burton, TX but also to know how to use it properly.

Remember To PASS

You can use the acronym PASS to help you remember the steps to effectively use an extinguisher:

  • Pull the pin.
  • Aim at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle.
  • Sweep the spraying extinguisher from side to side until the fire is out.

It's also important to know how to keep yourself safe while fighting the fire. After all, fire damage can be repaired much more easily than you can.

Leave an Escape Route
Before you start fighting a fire, make sure that you have a clear escape path by moving around so that the fire isn't between you and the door. Avoid blocking the paths of everyone else in the building while you're working to extinguish the fire.

Know When To Quit
Even a small kitchen fire can quickly get out of control, so to protect yourself, you need to be ready to know when to run. The moment you start questioning your ability to extinguish the fire is the moment you need to evacuate, even if you haven't started trying to fight it yet. Similarly, if the fire continues to grow while you're working to put it out or if it is still burning when the extinguisher runs out, it's time to use your pre-planned escape route and leave it to the professionals.

Call the Fire Department
If you can, have someone else call the fire department while you're using the extinguisher, or call as soon as possible. Even if you're able to take care of it yourself, it's still a good idea to have professionals make sure that it's completely out. They also may be able to help you figure out what caused the fire and prevent it from happening again.
Knowing how to properly handle a small house fire is vital to keeping you and your family safe. Make a plan, know how to properly use a fire extinguisher, and be ready to call in the experts if you need to. After all, your lives are worth much more than any amount of fire damage.

How To Keep Your Business From Flooding

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Gutters full of debris needing to be cleaned. Remove debris from your rain gutters

Flood Prevention Measures

If you own a business in Brenham, TX, you can take flood prevention measures to prevent excess water from severe weather like storms and hurricanes from causing the following.

Property damage
Power outages
Mold development
Air contamination

Here are some tips to help you protect your business.

Maintain and Clean Your roof.
Strong winds that deposit debris or pounding hail can cause cracks in your roof that allow stormwater to enter. Periodically inspecting your roof, removing debris or heavy snow, and repairing damages will prevent water from entering your building.

Inspect and Clean Gutters.
Gutters that collect debris won't divert rainwater or melting ice from your roof. Water that cannot flow away can make its way into your building through a roof's unsealed cracks and fissures, or windows.

Install Flood Shields.
The best flood prevention measures keep water from entering your building through existing openings like doors and windows. Installing flood shields around these entry points creates barriers that prevent water from entering and significantly reduce flood cleaning efforts.

Add Temporary Dams
Portable flood barriers are convenient and cost-effective. Standard options inflate using floodwater or air. They create a strong angled wall that prevents water from getting through. These dams can be taken down and stored until they are needed.

Use Sandbags.
Placement of sandbags around your building's foundation or entry points and windows can deflect and absorb water before it enters your business. Although building a wall of sandbags can be labor-intensive, it is a useful option to fall back on during an emergency.

Check Your Drainage.
When rain is light, observe how water flows near your building's foundation. There should be enough of a downward slope of the surrounding land to divert water from the building.
Taking flood prevention measures is not a guarantee of protection from severe weather, but a local storm restoration company in Brenham, TX, can help with the cleanup.

3 Strategies for Avoiding Water Damage During a Business Closure

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

drying equipment placed on the floor of a building Drying equipment in Bryan, TX

Actions To Take Before You Close Down Your Business To Prevent Water Damage

Your Bryan, TX, business is probably a major financial and emotional investment that you strive to protect. However, you may be overlooking some common dangers that could damage it if you do not take steps to prevent them, especially when your business is closed for a holiday or a long weekend. One such issue is unexpected flooding. However, there are a few actions you can take before you close down that may prevent water damage and the need for costly water pipe repair.


1. Shut Off the Main Water Valve


Turning off your building’s main water valve can prevent leaks, flooding from a broken pipe and plumbing line malfunctions. If you have a landlord, notify him or her that you are closing the building for a holiday or vacation so he or she is aware the water will be turned off. If your building has in-cabinet plumbing, leave the doors open to expose the pipes to warm air, as this may prevent them from freezing.


2. Have Your Sump Pump Tested


If your building’s basement has a built-in sump pump, it is wise to have it tested before you leave for any length of time. A flooding cleanup and restoration service can help you test your pump and advise you about whether you might require any additional flood protection. This can be especially important if your building sits in a low-lying area and your basement has flooded in the past.


3. Insulate Larger Pipes


If you are unable to shut off your building’s water because you share it with other businesses, you can still protect your section of it by ensuring larger water pipes that run along exterior walls are well insulated in cold weather. This can prevent water from freezing inside the pipes, which may cause them to burst and leave you with an expensive water pipe repair bill after you return from vacation.

Unexpected flooding at your Bryan, TX, business during a closure can result in water damage and other costly problems. However, you can avoid water pipe repair and restoration costs by treating and adjusting your building’s plumbing system before you leave.

How To Handle Category 3 Water

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

If your commercial building in Burton, TX, is being affected by flooding, one of the most important steps to take is to determine what category of flood water you are dealing with based on the level of contamination. The worst-case scenario when it comes to water damage to your building is to have category 3 water on your hands. Here is some information on how to identify this type of contaminated water and what to do next.

How To Identify Category 3 Water

Category 3 is the most contaminated of the three types of water that can affect your building. Here is the best way to identify what type of flood water you are dealing with:

Category 1: Called “clean water”, this type of water comes from a safe water source such as a burst pipe or leaking faucet.
Category 2: Labeled “gray water”, this is water that is mildly contaminated and can come from sources like dishwashers, washing machines, or a toilet overflow with no feces.
Category 3: Known as “black water”, category 3 water is grossly contaminated with bacteria, chemicals, or other substances that potentially cause harm if ingested or not handled properly. This type of water can come from a sewage backup, toilet overflow, or flooding rivers.

How To Handle Category 3 Water

While both category 1 and category 2 water should be dealt with promptly to avoid damage to your building and to prevent the progression of contaminants, category 3 water requires immediate attention from a water damage restoration specialist. Whether caused by storm damage or plumbing issues, make sure to clear the area of all people and pets and wait for the professionals to arrive.
Dealing with flood water and the damage it can cause is stressful enough, but is also important to consider everyone’s safety during the process. Remember to act immediately and call the professionals when you know you have category 3 water on your hands.

3 Frequently Asked Questions About Mold

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

Black spots of mold on a wall Stachybotrys Chartarum also known as black mold

How Can Mold Establish Itself Without Being Detected?

If you have ever been surprised to discover significant mold growth in your Bryan, TX, business, you probably understand how easily mold can establish itself without being detected. Under the right conditions, a problem can develop in as little as one day. The more you understand the processes that enable this to happen, the better you can protect your workplace and employees.

1. What Causes it to Develop?
Mold is actually a type of fungus that is present in virtually every environment. The reproductive units of mold, spores, are airborne. Outdoors, these tiny particles serve to ensure that organic matter decomposes when necessary. In spaces where high humidity coincides with warm temperatures, resting spores can trigger mold growth that will eventually damage vulnerable surfaces, such as wood or drywall.

2. What is Black Mold?
Although the term black mold is commonly used to describe Stachybotrys chartarum, a particularly insidious species of mold, it can also appear as in green or brownish forms. Many species that are black in color are, in fact, not Stachybotrys. Because it can be extremely for an amateur to tell whether an infestation warrants extensive removal based on appearance alone, you should always contact an expert specializing in mold remediation with questions and concerns.

3. How Can I Prevent an Infestation?
Spores can continue further into their life cycle when they have found a moist environment to thrive in. Water damage or any event that creates a buildup of moisture can trigger accelerated growth. The best way to prevent a problem is to ensure that items in your space have properly dried after any moisture event. Continually check areas around showers, windows, or faucets so that you don't leave wetness unattended.
As a business owner, few things can cause as much peripheral stress as the prospect of a potential mold infestation. By educating yourself on its causes and signs, you give yourself the power to protect your workplace proactively.

Time to Call a Restoration Company?

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers and dehumidifiers placed in office due to water damage Commercial water damage in College Station, TX

Water damage is the second most common filed insurance claim in the United States, and for good reason. If left unresolved, water damage can pave the way for subsequent issues in your commercial building. A restoration company can easily remediate sewage overflow, pipe burst cleanup and other types of water-related damages. Read on to find out whether it's time to enlist professional assistance for your building in College Station, TX.

Evidence of Water Damage

Water damage can manifest itself in obvious ways. Coming across any of the following could signal that it's time to call the professionals:

Damaged Floors: Leaking water can pool underneath the floors and cause damage. This often comes in the form of loose tiles and peeling linoleum. In extreme cases, water can even pool up from underneath the floor.
Mold Presence: Where there's water, mold is sure to follow. Even if you don't suspect water damage, you should still perform regular mold inspections, just to be safe. Inspect the darker, damper areas in your building and check for musty smells.
Damaged Walls: Water from a broken pipe can build up behind your walls, causing them to swell and bulge. You may also notice peeling or cracking paint as a result of the deformed walls.

Preventing Water Damage
Don't feel shy about calling a water restoration or sewer cleanup company for preventative assistance. Schedule time to inspect the pipes and septic systems in your building regularly and call for professional assistance if you notice any obvious damage. Remediation specialists can replace old, corroded pipes in your building, thus preventing any major accidents before they occur. After all, preventative measures are much more affordable than dealing with pipe burst cleanup, or other major accidents.
Water restoration experts exist to help protect you and your building from serious water damage. Pipe burst cleanup, blocked drains and sewage back flow are just a small handful of issues that they can help you remediate. They can also assist with preventative measures to help keep your building safe. After all, you can't take water damage too seriously.

Keeping Your Home Free of Mold After a Storm

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores on the top of the picture it says MOLD SPORES NEED MOISTURE Mold spores thrive on moisture

When a storm rolls through Burton, TX, the effects can be disastrous and long-lasting. In addition to inflicting structural damage to your home, storms cause severe water damage that leads to mold growth and further damage. Through the help of professional removal and remediation services, you can prevent the long-term effects of an infestation. There are also ways to clean-up in the immediate aftermath of a storm to maintain the safety of your home.

The Defining Characteristics of Mold

Mold is hard to detect in its early stages of growth, and its invisibility makes the fungus difficult to understand. Combatting mold growth requires a deeper understanding of its defining characteristics, which include:

  • Microscopic spores that can enter any area of your home
  • Ability to exist both outdoors and indoors
  • Production of a strong and unpleasant odor
  • Dependence on moisture to survive

The fungus needs water in order to thrive, so the best way to prevent an infestation is to rid your home of any moisture. Flooding provides the optimal condition for growth: standing water that is prone to bacterial and fungal growth. The small size of the spores means that your home could be infested without even realizing it. With professional assistance to aid in mold removal, you can keep your home dry and also mitigate the effects of an infestation. Immediately Clean the House It takes only 48-72 hours for mold growth to begin. In the immediate aftermath of a flood, it is best to remove wood items that can easily permit fungal growth. Work on cleaning and drying the house in the days after a storm, and make sure to open windows and doors so that you are not exposing yourself to potentially harmful odors. The best way to protect your home is to work on disinfecting the space as soon as possible. Professional removal services can also offer assistance as you restore the house to its former condition.

Choosing the Right Respirator Face Mask for Mold Removal

7/26/2020 (Permalink)

specialist in combating mold in an apartment Mold cleanup in Brenham, TX

All mold cleanup projects require safety equipment, with respirator face masks being key instruments of protection. If you plan on tackling such a job yourself, do you know which option is best for you.

Types of Respirator Masks

Here are some of the best-reviewed respirator masks on the market today, all of which have pros and cons:

  • GVS’s SPR456 Elipse P100 Dust Half Mask Respirator – comes with a carrying case and storage bag, but utilizes a confusing sizing system
  • 3M’s Mold Removal Respirator – features a four-point harness for extra comfort, but does not come with filters
  • RNF’s Supply Disposable Mask Particulate Breathing Respirator – these inexpensive, one-use masks cannot be adjusted
  • Zelbuck’s Respirator Mask – can work with other brand filters, but takes some wearing before feeling comfortable
  • Gerson’s Mold Remediation Respirator – made of silicone for extra durability and lighter weight, yet has flimsy filter connectors

This is, by no means, an exhaustive list and should only be used to illustrate the variety of choice in respirator face masks available to mold sufferers in Brenham, TX. Whatever you decide upon, the selection you make will have significant impact upon the ease and effectiveness of your mold damage removal productivity.

Selecting a Respirator Mask
Weigh your preferences when considering what type of mask will work best for you. Is a disposable face mask the most cost-effective choice or would a more durable respirator save the maximum amount of money? Also, contemplate how many units you will ultimately need to purchase. How can you know a respirator mask feels comfortable if you are unable to try any on before buying? Most importantly, have you checked the safety rating of the equipment you are thinking about using? An excellent way to avoid confusion altogether is by contacting a mold removal service that can handle the entire task for you.
Use of proper protective equipment is mandatory for any mold eradication project. If ever you feel unsure of which can help you get the job done safely, comfortably and affordably, remove all guesswork and simply hire an expert.

How To Create an Effective Office Fire Escape Plan

7/5/2020 (Permalink)

Evacuation plan - first floor A fire escape plan can save lives in an urgent situation

Best Practices for Your Plan

If you manage an office building in College Station, TX, you may have noticed an emergency escape map hanging in the lobby or a main hallway. Would you know how to escape an office fire, without looking at the map? A fire escape plan can save lives in an urgent situation, but only if you and your employees know how to execute it. Here are a few best practices for your plan:

1. Collaborate with others. Including key team members and employees in the preparation process is vital to ensure their support when it’s time to activate your emergency escape plan. You can also delegate leaders to run regular practice drills with all building staff.

2. Evaluate each floor of your space. What potential hazards are in your immediate surroundings? How would a natural disaster or fire affect them? Can you find at least two ways to escape each room you work in? Visualizing uncommon scenarios will help you see and correct blind spots in your fire escape plan.

3. Create an alert system. Think about how you’d alert your staff to an emergency, whether through an alarm system or via personal contact. Are there any people who require special considerations because of a language barrier or disability? Appoint a leader to notify personnel working inside the building and those who are off that day. Then, define the primary and secondary methods of contact and a system to confirm each person’s response.
4. Designate a safe meeting place. Pick a location outside the building (away from other hazards, if possible) to gather and take a headcount. In addition, consider alternative work locations if the building requires smoke damage repair.
By challenging yourself to create and implement a thorough fire escape plan, you’ll be able to navigate a stressful situation with a clear head. For more fire safety ideas and resources, see the Red Cross.

3 Things To Know About Secondary Damage

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall Secondary damage, such as black mold, is any damage that occurs as a result of the initial damage

Here Are a Few Things You May Want To Know

After a flood or storm at your Bryan, TX, business there may be a chance for some secondary damage such as black mold to develop. This type of damage can cause a number of problems for your business as well, so it’s important to have it repaired as quickly as possible. Here are a few things you may want to know.

1. What It Is

Any damage that occurs as a byproduct of another type of damage can be classified as secondary. In many cases this type of damage can be expected to correspond with the first, meaning that a restoration crew may already be expecting to see these types of damages when they arrive for the restoration process.

2. Where It Comes From

Secondary damage can come for a number of sources. For example, fire suppression efforts may lean to flooding which makes the water damage secondary to the fire. Additionally, high humidity can lead to mold problems which can turn into black mold if not fixed. Other examples can include water soaking into the hope after a flood and causing swollen wood or cracking stone, or a storm leaving a hole in the roof which can lead to flooding. If you have any type of damage to your business property it’s best to contact a local restoration service to have it fixed as quickly as possible.

3. How To Remove It

If there is secondary type damage at your place of business then a local restoration company may be able to help. These professionals are trained to deal with a variety of damage types, and with a little work can soon have your company property looking “Like it never even happened.”

Secondary damage, such as black mold, is any damage that occurs as a result of the initial damage. It can happen if the original damage is left un-repaired, or is repaired incorrectly. Fortunately, a local restoration service can help clean up and repair these types of damages as well.

Preventing Water Damage While You're Away From Home

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Insulation covers for pipes If you are going on vacation during the winter months, make sure you protect the pipes

Getting a much-needed vacation provides rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. But if you arrive home from your trip to discover a flood, the disaster would quickly spoil your fun. The good news is that you can prevent many types of residential floods. From water pipe repair to careful inspection, you can actively prepare your home before you head out for several days or weeks.

Inspect Key Areas of Your Home

Certain parts of your property are prone to water damage. If you want to avoid coming back to a flooded house, carefully look at these areas for defects or weaknesses that could invite water inside:

  • Rain gutters and downspouts
  • Pipes and other parts of the plumbing system
  • Roof
  • Foundation

Shut off the Water
Turning off the main water to your Brenham, TX, home can reduce the risk of needing to do a water pipe repair or cleaning up after a flood. The location of the shutoff valve may be different from home to home. You should be able to find yours in the basement or near the utility closet. Check with a plumber if you can't find it.

Insulate the Pipes
If you are going on vacation during the winter months, make sure you protect the pipes. When temperatures plummet, the water in your pipes can freeze. This can cause a broken pipe, leading to a pipe burst and tremendous flooding.

Service Your Appliances
Even if your appliances are newer, you should regularly check to make sure they are functioning properly. Contact a professional if necessary. You'll want to verify that appliances such as dishwashers, washers, water heaters, and refrigerators are not leaking. If you detect any problems, repair them promptly. Never leave on vacation if you know there are any risks of these appliances spilling water onto your floors.
It's good to know that professional flood remediation specialists can handle water pipe repair and other cleanup needs. However, it's better to take these steps before you leave on your next trip.

4 Factors To Consider When Buying a Smoke Alarm

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Smoke alarm A smoke alarm protects your home from the impacts of a fire

4 Factors To Consider When Buying a Smoke Alarm

Equipping your home with the tools to help you and family members survive a fire is a serious business. A home should always include a couple of current and operational fire extinguishers, as well as a smoke alarm system that is appropriate for your home. When buying a fire alarm, you should consider at least four key factors.

1. The Size of the Home. Follow this precept: the larger the home the more fire alarms you need. You should have at least one on each level, and one near each bedroom for optimal fire safety.

2. The Type of Smoke Detector. Two main types of devices are in widespread use: an ionization fire alarm and a photoelectric alarm. They detect fire through different technologies. An ionization device is good at picking up fires that ignite quickly, while a photoelectric unit is better at detecting slow, smoldering fires. A dual-sensor alarm employs both technologies.

3. The Power Source. Some alarms are operated by regular household batteries, while others use lithium batteries that last for the lifespan of the detector. Newer models are integrated with the household electrical current and some come with battery backup in the case of a power outage.

4. The Expense. Ionization alarms that use household batteries are likely to be the least costly. The next step up is for a photoelectric alarm, followed by dual-sensor alarms and then by an integrated system.
If your home in Burton, TX, is impacted by fire, you will need the services of a professional fire cleanup team. Certified technicians can remove soot and smoke damage from all surfaces through a proven restoration process. Using a variety of cleaning techniques, they will treat ceilings, walls, and other surfaces. Using advanced equipment such as industrial air scrubbers and fogging devices they can even remove the odors associated with a fire. A smoke alarm, a fire extinguisher, and a reputable fire cleanup team protect your home from the impacts of a fire.

Responding to Fire Damage Effectively

5/21/2020 (Permalink)

Responding to Fire Damage Effectively 

Feelings of sorrow and fear overwhelm the victims of residential fires because they are forced to watch the flames engulf and destroy their homes and personal belongings. Firefighters will respond as quickly as they can so that they can save lives and reduce the devastation, but they are often too late to prevent fire damage. Also, firefighters will break windows to create ventilation and use large amounts of water to put the fire out.

If you need someone to repair and restore your smoke damaged home, turning to a fire restoration team is the smart move. When you enlist their services, the team will begin cleaning soot from walls to tackle the lingering smoke odor. In addition to getting rid of the lingering smoke odor, your fire restoration professionals will also send your personal belongings to another location to be cleaned and repaired.

After they have finished cleaning soot from walls, your trusted experts might need to paint your walls to give you the best results possible. Although they won't always be able to fix all of the fire damage, they will impress you when they take care of your smoke damaged home, and they look forward to meeting your needs. Peace of mind is only one phone call away, and you can get started as soon as you are ready. Visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com for more information on fire damage.

Rental Properties and Plumbing Issues

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

a new plumbers snake on a white background For sink and drain clogs, you can avoid water damage by using a snake or drain auger to loosen and free the blockage

How to Deal With Frequent Clogs

Do you know what polybutylene pipes are? If you own an older rental property from the late 70s to the mid-90s, you probably do because manufacturers touted the plastic material as the industry standard for residential plumbing. Unfortunately, these pipes have a tendency to fail and become brittle over time, meaning if replacement isn't possible, care and maintenance are a must. Talk to a plumbing specialist in Brenham, TX, to assess the risks of keeping these pipes and how to deal with frequent clogs in the meantime.

Snake
Hot water
Enzyme cleaners

Snake
Most investment properties suffer from common clogs that have nothing to do with the pipes under your home. For sink and drain clogs, you can avoid water damage by using a snake or drain auger to loosen and free the blockage. Most of the time, hair and other organic materials cause minor drainage issues.

Hot Water
Because polybutylene pipes are sensitive and fragile, most plumbers do not recommend harsh commercial cleaners. Hot water can free up blockages caused by a buildup of grease in the line. As the grease heats, it melts and loosens from the pipe walls, which may cause the material to flush further down the drain, toward larger openings.

Enzyme Cleaners
Enzyme cleaners are a popular choice for plumbing maintenance and upkeep. These cleaners help to prevent the buildup of gunk in the plumbing lines, ensuring that fragile pipes remain clear of damaging compounds and chemicals. While the cleaners cannot repair the integrity of weak or failing pipes, they can prolong the lifespan of fragile connections.
Rental properties with polybutylene pipes may need new and updated systems, but with care, the plumbing system, if in good condition, may last long enough for you to afford the upgrade. Contact a local plumber to assess your pipes and diagnose any problem areas for immediate addressing.

3 Tips for Preventing Mold After a Flood

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall. Phrase 48-72 hours Significant mold growth can occur in 48-72 hours.

Tips On How To Reduce the Possibility of Mold

Mold is certainly one of those words that you hope to never hear in relation to your home. Mold is pervasive and can spread rapidly and easily if left unchecked. If your College Station, TX, residence has recently experienced a plumbing leak or flooding, there are some tips you should follow to help reduce the possibility of mold.

1. Work Quickly
One of the most important things to know regarding mold growth is that it happens quickly. Mold can spread to numerous areas of a home in as little as 48 hours. Thus, it’s essential to be aware of potential water both inside and outside your home. Perform regular inspections of all water sources to check for leaks. If you identify a water leak, fix it immediately. A small trickle can quickly become a major problem. Once you experience any type of water damage, clean it up and dry out the area as soon as possible. The faster you can clean up water problems, the less likely it will lead to mold issues.
2. Contact a Professional
It’s likely you will need the help of a professional to resolve mold growth. If you find mold in your home, it’s imperative to contact a mold remediation specialist immediately. Mold gives rise to many misconceptions, and homeowners mistakenly think it’s a problem they can resolve on their own.
3. Use Mold Remediation Techniques
Getting rid of mold involves more complicated steps than most homeowners realize. Mold growth can cause major damage so it’s wise to call in the experts. A professional will survey and assess the harm to the area. An expert can then begin to contain the mold and use air filtration to remove mold spores from the air. The next step is mold removal using specific treatments. The final step is cleaning your belongings and restoring your home.
As a homeowner, you want to do your part to prevent mold damage. Clean up water quickly after flooding and contact a professional to help restore your home.

Most Commercial Fires Are Partial Losses

4/19/2020 (Permalink)

Warehouse Fire Inside Commercial fire loss in Bryan,TX

Most Commercial Fires Are Partial Losses

While improvements in building materials and fire safety have made a major difference in recent decades, a fire loss is still one of the most common insurance claims in Bryan, TX. This is especially true in older commercial structures, many of which were built before modern electrical codes, but a fire can happen in any structure. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 2018 statistics show that

There were almost 500,000 structure fires.
Fire departments responded to a fire about every 24 seconds.
Total property loss was almost $44 million.

However, most fires don’t end up as total losses. A partial fire loss claim is considerably more common, and while it’s a big relief to not lose everything, a partial loss does bring up some additional issues that you should be aware of.

A Partial Loss Can Include Hidden Damage
Not only does smoke like to find its way into every crack and crevice, but water and mold are also likely to cause considerable damage behind walls after fire suppression efforts. This requires an inspection by an expert, who may use thermal imagers and other equipment to locate hidden damage.
Also, a partial fire loss may leave a visible portion of the business untouched. The insurance company is required to pay for a “uniform and consistent appearance,” meaning that they may have to repaint or retile undamaged areas to match the restored portions of the building.

A Partial Loss May Be a Lower Priority for Insurance Companies
Commercial fires can often impact multiple parties in shared buildings. This can overwhelm an insurance adjuster, who is often facing a serious backlog of work. Even if your business has just smoke damage, it may be enough to shut down normal operations, so you might have to be assertive about your needs. Generally, the best way to speed up your claim is to call a professional fire restoration company that is used to dealing with insurance companies in Bryan, TX. Not only will they help with insurance claims, but they are also the ones who will do everything necessary to return your business to its original condition.

3 Backup Electrical Power Options for Your Company

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) on a white background. A UPS works by providing battery backup on the installed device

Consider The Following Options If There Is A Power Outage At Your Business

As a Burton, TX, business owner, you have many responsibilities. Day to day tasks and meetings consume a great deal of your time; however, it’s critical to be prepared for the future. Disasters of any type can occur within a matter of seconds and preparing your company is paramount. Consider the following options if there is a power outage at your business location.

1. Uninterruptable Power Supply

A natural disaster, such as a storm or flood, can cause the power to go out at your company. A great way to be prepared for such an event is to have an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) on all your computers and electrical equipment. A UPS works by providing battery backup on the installed device. A UPS can be used for any type of electrical equipment including computers, theater systems, network equipment, and servers. There are different types available so do some research to determine what type will best meet your needs. The most basic UPS allows users to quickly save their work before safely powering down their computers during a power outage.

2. Wi-Fi

In addition to losing power, storm damage and other natural disasters may disable your Wi-Fi connection. Fortunately, you have several options to keep your Wi-Fi connection. First, you can use the data plan on a cellular phone as a hotspot to continue working. Second, you can install a UPS (mentioned above) on your networking equipment.

3. Generator

A longer-term option for electrical power during a power outage is a portable generator. A generator works by producing electrical energy. There are several brands, models, and types of generators available. One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a generator for your business is power configuration. It’s important to understand how many watts of electrical power your business needs.
If a storm, flood, fire or other natural disaster leaves your company without power, consider the power options mentioned above. A commercial storm expert can also assist with storm cleanup to get your business up and running again.

Preventing Floods Through Landscaping

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

Garden flowers in rain 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.

Mold Cleanup Tips

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on window frame Mold growth on a window frame in a Brenham, TX home

Discovering house mold is unpleasant, but most mold problems can mitigated fairly easily. If the problem is very small, you may even be able to handle it yourself. Here are some tips for getting rid of mold in your home.

Assess the Problem

The first step to getting rid of mold growth is to figure out the extent of the problem. Large mold issues should always be handled by professionals. There are several signs that you need professional help:

  • The growth covers more than 10 square feet.
  • The growth is the result of extensive water damage.
  • The growth is suspected to be in your air vents (i.e., you can smell it but not see it).

If any of these conditions exist, look for certified mold mitigation experts in Brenham, TX. These specialists have the necessary training to contain and remedy your mold growth problem.

Assess the Surface

If you only have a small patch of house mold, you can likely get rid of it yourself. The location of the fungus determines how you clean it. Hard surfaces can usually be cleaned by scrubbing with plain detergent and water until all the mold is gone. Make sure to dry the surface completely so that the problem doesn't return. Porous surfaces such as ceiling tiles will likely need to be thrown out if they have mold growth.

Assess the Cause

It doesn't do any good to get rid of mold if the circumstances that led to the growth aren't addressed. Make sure that you fix any leaky pipes or plumbing issues as soon as you discover them. Keep the humidity in your home within a 40-50 percent range. By eliminating excess moisture in your home, you can prevent most mold problems.
House mold may be an inconvenience, but you shouldn't ignore it. If you have mold in your home, take the appropriate measures to fully mitigate the problem.

What You Need to Know About Mold

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a white wall - SERVPRO logo in the picture 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.

Quick Tips to Fix a Leaky Faucet

2/18/2020 (Permalink)

Leaky tap A leaking faucet can turn into a bigger problem

Quick Tips to Fix a Leaky Faucet

Most people in Burton, TX, have experienced the troubles of a leaking faucet at home. At the least, this can be annoying to listen to. More significantly, it can raise your water bill. If you don't repair this issue soon, it could gradually cause significant damage to your floor, walls and other materials in your home. Learning how to repair this problem yourself could spare you a lot of grief down the road.

Preparatory Work
When you've got a dripping faucet, you might not think it's a big deal at first. Ignoring this issue, however, can cost you in your pocketbook in the long run. You don't have to be a professional to tackle this repair job. Here's how you get started:

  • Turn off the water to the sink. Find the knob under the sink and turn it clockwise.
  • Plug the drain so you don't lose a screw or other pieces and parts.
  • Identify the type of faucet you have.

Removing the Faucet
Once you know what type of faucet you've got, it's time to start removing the pieces so you can identify the problem and replace the appropriate part. You may either have a compression faucet, ball faucet, ceramic disk faucet or cartridge faucet. A leaking faucet could occur on any of these and at any point in the mechanism. Start by taking out the handles and nut. You should then see the stem. Pull it out and remove the seat washer in it. The stem is often the culprit and may need to be replaced.

Put Them Back On
Once you purchase a new stem, you should have a fixed leak. Other parts, such as the washer or nut may have worn out. Once you assemble the parts back together, turn the water back on and check to see if you took care of the leak.
A leaking faucet can turn into a bigger problem, requiring you to call a professional water removal company. If you replace the faucet as soon as you discover the leak, you can save yourself a lot of trouble.

Minimize Water Damage on a Wood Floor With Rapid Cleanup

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Wet carpet on hallway Carpet damaged by water in Brenham, TX

The plumbing system in your commercial enterprise can seem like a mystery to all but the most experienced plumbers. Most of the time, the pipes and fittings work as intended and the water flows to faucets, sinks, and commodes without interruption. Sometimes, though, often when you least expect it, a pipe burst or hidden leak spray water onto flooring, ceilings, and walls. To prevent further damage, the source of the water should be fixed as soon as possible by a licensed plumber or professional experienced in plumbing repairs. The next step is water removal. This should be undertaken by a professional water remediation company that has the training, equipment, and experience to handle the issue no matter the situation.

Wood Floor Water Removal

When a pipe burst occurs onto wooden flooring, specific techniques should be used. Since wood tends to be porous, the water can seep into the wood and began to weaken its structural integrity. A professional team that includes a water damage restoration technician will complete the following steps:

  • Remove as much water as possible with towels and mops
  • Use advanced equipment, such as wet vacuums and powerful dryers
  • Monitor the drying process until complete
  • Measure the moisture level to ensure dryness
  • Clean and sanitize the area
  • Document the process for the insurance company

If left for too long, a wet floor can give rise to the formation of mold. A professional team in Brenham, TX, ensures the job is done right.

Carpeting Water Removal

Every water emergency for a business is a little different. A pipe burst might happen on carpeting, requiring a slightly altered cleanup process. If the water is contaminated, the carpeting will likely have to be discarded. If the water is clean, the carpeting could be saved with quick action. Faster to Any Size Disaster is a crucial element of effective water cleanup. A rapid response reduces expenses and damage.

Balancing Restoring Property Damage and Insurance

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Hands of two people on a table Let us handle the negotiations for you, nobody wants to deal with insurance claims

Properties in College Station, TX, faced with unexpected damage from flooding, storms, fire or a burst pipe can easily be overwhelmed. Once the situation truly sets in, the next stressful task can be filing the claim. SERVPRO understands how overwhelming it can all be. That is why we provide claim services to ensure the restoration process goes as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

First Steps

At the first signs of damage, restoration and mediation experts are highly trained and provide a fast emergency response. The sooner the damage is addressed, the fewer problems there will be down the road. Below are tips to ensure that your restoration claim can happen as quickly as possible.

File Claims Quickly – The faster you contact your insurer, the fast the process can start. Additionally, the longer you wait, the more chances of the damage spreading.
Understand Your Policy – No policy is the same. Having a complete understanding of what is and isn’t covered can help you avoid headaches during the process.
Documentation Matters – The minute it is safe to enter a property, take pictures of the damage. Keeping receipts and logs of inventory is also helpful.
Trusted Professionals Only – Unfortunately, some people try and take advantage of people facing a disaster. Only use trusted, certified professionals with a proven track record.
Mitigate the Damage – After documenting the damage, take temporary steps to reduce further damage. This could include tarping over roof damage or boarding up a hole. Be sure to leave major repairs to the experts and document the steps you have taken.

Here to Help

Along with having certified technicians to handle mold, water, and fire damage, we also have claim services to assist in the process. The delicate balance between getting a property repaired while keeping costs down is another area of our expertise. We document the inspection process and work closely with customers and insurance adjusters to ensure a smooth process for everyone involved.
After a disaster, don’t go it alone. From quick response time to claim services and restoration, we strive to get things “Like it never even happened.”

What Is Black Water?

1/16/2020 (Permalink)

Six air movers placed in an office Commercial water damage in Bryan,TX

What Is Black Water?

When preparing your business to handle floods in Bryan, TX, you may have heard of the dangers of black water. But what is it, and why is it called that?

Blackwater isn’t necessarily black, though it can be dark or cloudy in color. The term refers to water that has been contaminated by a source of sewage, such as toilets or wastewater mains. When floods mix with water from unclean sources, or water damage causes leaks from unclean sources, this can lead to black water. There are a few important things everyone should know about this contaminated fluid.


1. Why It’s Unsafe


Contaminated water is unsafe because it exposes you to the bacteria and other disease agents in fecal matter. Because black water comes from toilets and wastewater lines, it is generally contaminated with high levels of feces and other bodily wastes. Exposure to this can cause severe health problems, especially if the water has been standing long enough to stagnate and breed bacteria. Because of the high risk of water damage, most flood water is considered black.


2. Black vs. Gray


Not all contaminated water is considered black, however. Dirty water from other appliances, such as washing machine water or water mixed with coolant from a refrigerator, is considered gray water. Gray water poses its own risk but is not the same sort of health hazard as its black counterpart.


3. How To Avoid It


When waters start to rise, it’s best to avoid coming into contact with the water if at all possible. Any flood water, whether moving or standing, may have come in contact with a contaminated source. To try to prevent water contamination, however, always check that your structure’s water and sewage lines are appropriately reinforced against water damage. Shut off water to the building if necessary if you are capable and if you know that a flood will soon strike.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com.

3 Ways To Prevent Mold From Spreading During Cleanup

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Specialist wearing protective clothing during mold cleaning Anyone present during mold cleaning should always wear protective gear

Ways to Reduce the Chance of Spreading Mold

If there is mold growth in your Brenham, TX, building, you will need to have it removed as soon as possible. However, during the removal process, it is sometimes possible to spread the mold even more. For this reason, mold cleanup should always be done by a professional, and certain procedures should be followed. The following are some ways to reduce the chance of spreading mold.

1. Contain the Area

One of the most important things to do during mold removal is to properly contain the area of the growth. This will keep mold contamination from easily spreading to other places in the building. Plastic tarping, as well as negative air pressure, may be used to keep the spores from leaving the containment area.

2. Wear Protective Clothing

Anyone present during mold cleaning should always wear protective gear. This may include gloves, face masks and Tyvek suits that are worn over your regular clothing. Not only will this help to protect you from the mold and keep it from causing any health issues, but it will also help to keep you from carrying mold spores throughout the rest of the building. Removing the protective gear before you leave the area will allow you to walk through other spaces without carrying stray spores with you.

3. Reduce Air Circulation

Because spores travel through the air, it is important that circulation is limited during mold cleanup. If your building has an HVAC system, this should be turned off during the process. You should also make sure that there are no fans in use. Keep windows and doors closed to prevent any wind from stirring up the mold.
Because it is so easy to inadvertently spread mold, you should be sure to hire a professional mold remediation service to perform the mold cleanup for you. They will be able to locate all instances of mold growth in the building and can remove them thoroughly and safely. Once the mold has been removed, you should perform maintenance regularly and manage moisture levels to keep it from returning.

Tips To Avoiding Storm Damage in Your Building

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

The exterior of a building with a window covered with plywood Cover your building with plywood to protect it from weather damage

Tips To Avoiding Storm Damage in Your Building

Anyone who has ever dealt with the damaging effects of a heavy storm knows that preparation is the best way to minimize damage. It's impossible to control the weather, but there are things you can do in your building to get ready for events such as a major winter storm or severe rainfall. If you are conscientious and vigilant, you can protect your property and important assets.

Keep an Eye on the Weather

Living in College Station, TX, can bring some nasty weather. Though some things may come by surprise, most of the time, you can anticipate oncoming storm damage by watching the weekly forecast. When you know fierce winds or downpours are coming, you do some of the following to protect your building:

  • Cover windows with plywood or shutters.
  • Bring any outdoor furniture or other items inside or tie them down.
  • Make sure your building's rain gutters and downspouts are in good shape and will divert water away from the property.

Winterize

As the winter months approach, you'll need to start getting ready for freezing temperatures. Cold weather can cause issues such as a pipe break. If you have a sprinkling system on the property, make sure you blow out the lines to remove any water from inside.

Look at the Landscaping

Have a look at the trees close to your building. If any of them are old or at risk of falling, considering trimming or removing them. Strong winds could blow trees over onto your building, causing massive damage.

Inspect the Roof

A roof leak during a winter storm could be devastating and require the cleanup from a professional water removal company. If your roof is damaged or weak in any areas, repair it quickly. It will be too late to do this once the storm comes, so examine it annually.
Whether from a winter storm, summer thunderstorm or any other form of Mother Nature's fury, weather can cause terrible damage to your building. Don't neglect these important maintenance steps.

How Business Interruption Insurance Can Help After a Loss

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Causes of business interruption insurance Keep your company financially secure in the event of a business interruption

When a fire or other disaster strikes your Brenham, TX, business, your income flow may be disrupted for a while. Some companies go out of business in such a situation. Fortunately, you can invest in interruption insurance to keep your company financially secure in the event of a business interruption.

What Is Covered?

When purchasing insurance, it is important to keep in mind what expenses your business is likely to incur during an interruption. Insurance can cover many different expenses, including the following:

  • Payroll
  • Temporary relocation
  • Operating expenses
  • Profits

Your insurance agent can assist you in selecting the best coverage types and limits for your business. Also, understand that this type of insurance is generally sold as an add-on to other business insurance policies and will only apply to covered losses listed in the policy. Make sure you talk to your insurance professional and carefully read the policy so that you know exactly what is and is not covered.

How Long Do Payments Continue?

Some insurance types, such as car insurance, will often pay out once per claim. Business interruption coverage is a bit different in that the payments usually continue for the length of the interruption up to the coverage limits. For example, if a business experiences a fire, the interruption insurance will likely pay for lost income and other covered expenses from the date of the fire until the fire restoration process is complete or the coverage limit is met, whichever comes first. Many business owners underestimate the time it will take to recover from serious damage, so research and talk to your insurance agent to make sure your coverage limits are appropriate for the types of losses covered.
Every year, many businesses experience fires, flooding and other disasters. It is important to have coverage not only to restore the property, but also to keep your business afloat in the interim. Interruption insurance can keep your business financially sound while you or a certified restoration company get your commercial building back to preloss condition.

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.

Top 3 Things You Need to Know About Making a Water Damage Claim

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage in a Bryan,TX home

Making An Insurance Claim For Water Damage To Your Home

If you have experienced severe damage to your home from bursting pipes, navigating insurance coverage to fix the broken pipe might be a little overwhelming. Here are the top three things you need to know about making an insurance claim for water damage to your home in Bryan, TX.

1. Different Types of Damage May Not Be Covered

The number one thing you should know about insurance coverage to fix a broken pipe is that your insurance company might pick and choose what kind of damage is covered under your policy. Familiarizing yourself with what is and isn’t covered can help you fight for the benefits you deserve and can also help you be aware of your out-of-pocket costs.

2. Gradual Damage May Also Be Covered

So, your insurance company sent a company specializing in water damage repair and restoration of bursting pipes in your home. Months later, you smell something unpleasant near the site of the repair. If your insurance company determines that mold or mildew has occurred gradually as a result of a covered claim in the recent past, they may cover the repairs for the new damage as part of the existing claim.

3. You Can Challenge a Denied Claim

The third thing you need to know about home insurance is that you have a right to challenge a denied claim. If it seems like a claim should be covered under your policy, ask for a detailed explanation as to why your claim was denied and who made that call. You can also ask your representative for a second opinion or a review of the denied claim to clarify, or even change, the final coverage decision.

“Like it never even happened.”

While suffering the aftereffects of bursting pipes can be a real headache, filing an insurance claim can sometimes be even more of a hassle. By keeping these three tips in mind, you can be a little more prepared to navigate your water damage claim.

What To Expect From Fire Restoration Services

8/13/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage restoration in Breham, TX

Steps To The Fire Damage Restoration Process

A fire in your building is going to leave quite a bit of damage behind. Not only do you need fire damage restoration but also water damage mitigation. Here is what the fire restoration process is likely to entail when specialists in Brenham, TX, arrive at your building.

Assessment

The first thing technicians are likely to do is survey the damage. They inspect the whole property to find anything that needs restoration:

  • Walls and insulation
  • Ceilings
  • Flooring
  • Equipment
  • Inventory
  • Documents
  • Landscaping
  • Signs

The specialists can provide you an estimate that may help when filing a claim under your commercial fire insurance policy. Once they have an itemized list of everything that needs to be done, the cleanup can begin.

Water Remediation

A lot of water goes into putting out a fire. Therefore, fire damage restoration often starts with water remediation. If your building is equipped with a sprinkler system, it may limit the amount of damage the fire itself does but it can also cause water damage. Technicians also have to contend with the water the fire rescue team used to douse the flames. Restoring what the water destroys is part of the cleanup process.

Smoke and Soot Removal

Another aspect of fire restoration is smoke cleanup. Technicians have techniques for removing soot from the cracks and crevices for a complete cleaning. Smoke will likely need to be removed from surfaces, and the air may need to be filtered to neutralize smoke particles in it.

Rebuilding

After all damaged materials have been removed and all remaining surfaces cleaned, the final restoration begins. Walls that are torn out need to be rebuilt. Ceiling and floor tiles that are broken or damaged must be replaced. If the fire only affected one area, it must be made to match the surrounding area so that your building looks the same as it did before the fire.
There are several steps to the fire damage restoration process. Knowing what to expect before it begins can help you stay on track.

3 Ways to Prevent Mold From Spreading in Your Commercial Building

7/24/2019 (Permalink)

Regularly cleaning your carpets also helps to keep mold at bay

Keep Mold From Spreading and Protect Your Commercial Building

When you discover a mold infestation in your College Station, TX, business, you want to prevent the substance from spreading and causing further damage. From carpet cleaning to regular maintenance, there are a number of ways to control mold problems in your facility. Below are some steps you can take to keep mold from spreading and protect your commercial building.

1. Clear Air Ducts

Mold may be trapped inside your air ducts even if you aren’t able to see it. If you notice a musty odor wafting through your building, it could indicate that there are mold spores hiding in your ducts. You can stop mold from accumulating in your building’s vents by cleaning them out regularly or calling a professional to take care of it for you. Clear ducts discourage mold growth and help keep your building clean.

2. Clean Carpets

Regularly cleaning your carpets also helps to keep mold at bay. To perform a thorough carpet cleaning, simply scrub the carpet using an effective cleaning product. Once the carpet is dry, vacuum it in order to suck up any remaining particles of dust or dirt. You may also try using a steam cleaner to cleanse your carpet more extensively.

3. Maintain Your Building

The simplest way to prevent mold problems from appearing is to maintain a clean facility. Hiring cleaning services can keep the building polished and make it less likely for mold to crop up. To prevent moisture and dirt from accumulating, you can also place a mat by each entrance and encourage people to wipe their feet before they step inside. Taking small steps can help create an environment that doesn’t encourage mold growth.
If your College Station, TX, business has a mold problem, don’t hesitate to call for help. Whether you need a carpet cleaning or air filtration services, mold remediation professionals can help the condition of your building return to normal.

What is Fire Damage Restoration?

7/17/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage restoration in a Bryan, TX home

If you or anyone you know has been through a home fire in Bryan, TX, needless to say, it can be both physically and emotionally taxing. Once the fire is over, the damage cleaning and rebuilding process must begin. Between the fire, smoke, and the fluids used by firefighters, you might be looking at a bigger mess than expected, especially when water damage starts to set in.

Start with Mitigation

Fire restoration begins with mitigation, which means cleaning up the most damaging aspects as quickly as possible. Leaving water to sit for more than a day or two will cause mold to start growing, leading to even bigger problems. Of course, before reentering the premises it’s crucial to ensure the building is still stable and safe. Hiring a professional fire restoration company will ensure your safety, save you time, and give you peace of mind that the restoration process is being completed in the best way possible.

  • Board-up walls or doors where needed and tarp the roof.
  • Dry the building out. Water damage can come from both firefighting solution and fire-damaged pipes.
  • Deodorize all surfaces. It’s important to complete this quickly, as soot residue can cause further damage to surfaces the longer it sits.
  • Pack belongings that can be saved, and take an inventory.

Time to Rebuild

Once your home has been taken care of, your belongings may require content cleaning and restoration, which can be done painlessly and very effectively by many restoration companies. Smoke damage to your clothing and other belongings cannot usually be removed by a simple wash and dry. Dry cleaning for most clothing is the best option. As far as other items like photos, artwork, and furniture, effective restoration is accomplished best with professional-grade tools.
So, whether you’re dealing with fire restoration alone or with a group of family or friends, it might be a project beyond what anyone is willing or able to take on alone. Teaming with professionals will ensure your home is put back together as close to perfect as possible.

What To Do When Your Crawlspace Floods

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

After a storm, a home flood may find its way into your crawl space

Residential Water Restoration

If your crawl space has experienced a home flood after a storm in, Burton, TX, it's important to take care of any repairs as quickly as possible. Fortunately, your local team of water damage restoration professionals may be able to help. Here are a few things you may see them do to restore your home.

1. Dry the Area as Quickly as Possible

One of the first things you may see your restoration company do is dry the area as quickly as possible. A large part of water damage comes from allowing parts of the home to soak in the flood water. Removing this water can help prevent structural issues, as well as potential mold growth. Your restoration company may utilise pumps or properly rated vacuums to help get rid of the water, as well as dehumidifiers to help dry the space further.

2. Sanitize the Areas after Drying

Once the water has been removed from your crawl space after a home flood, it's important to go through any sanitation steps that may be required. This can help prevent the growth of any bacteria in your home, and make the space livable again. Once this step has been completed the restoration professionals can then begin looking for additional damage, make a repair schedule, and restore your home so it looks like nothing ever happened.

3. Check for Possible Additional Damage

After the area has been dried and sanitized it's important to check for any additional storm damage to the area. The team working on your restoration may look for places where walls have been weakened, foundation damage, areas where mold may have a good growth habitat, and other potential problems. Once the area has been accessed they can begin making a schedule for repairs.

After a storm, a home flood may find its way into your crawl space. Your local restoration team can help you get the area as dry as quickly as possible, sanitize the space thoroughly, and check for any additional damage. If you have any questions these professionals may be able to help.

How To Deal with Smoke Damage After a Fire

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Contact a fire damage restoration service

How to Remove Smoke Odor from Your Building

After a fire at your College Station, TX, business, smoke cleaning may be a task that needs to be tackled. Fortunately, smoke odor can be removed from the property. Here's what you may want to know.

1. Contact a Professional

One of the first things you may want to do after a fire is contact a fire damage restoration service. These trained professionals can help deal with a number of types of damage that may come hive occurred. Not only can they clean up fire and smoke damage but may also have the equipment to remedy water damage from sprinkler systems, or flooding from a fire hose.

2. Sort Damaged Items by Type

When conducting a fire damage or smoke cleaning you may want to start by sorting damaged items by type. Doing so can help ensure that the proper cleaning processes are used for each item. Electronic items may need special treatment along with any paper documentation that needs to be restored. Meanwhile, hard surfaces such as metal filing cabinets or desks may require only a wipe down with a special cleaning solution. You may want to talk to your professional service about the appropriate method for each item type.

3. Use Filtration Machines if Needed

If the scent of smoke damage remains in the air after all repairs have been made there are a few ways the problem can be remedied. Many experts have filtration units, such as a thermal fogger or ozone machine, that can be used to help remove smoke odor from the air. Doing so can help your business smell as new as it looks once repairs are completed.

When performing a smoke cleaning on your business property after fire, the first thing you may want to do is call a professional. Remember to sort any non-structural items by damage type so that they can properly be cleaned by the appropriate method. An ozone machine or other filtration device can be used for any odor remaining in the air. If you have any questions a professional can help.

3 Tips for Dealing for Drying Your Business and Preventing Water Damage

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial water cleanup in Bryan, TX

Three Water Damage Tips to Help Dry the Affected Area

If water has flooded your commercial building in Bryan, TX, you will need the help of a water damage cleanup company to dry any remaining water, repair any damaged structures, and restore any soaked items. However, if not addressed quickly, standing water and excessive moisture can cause secondary damage to your building and result in mold growth, deterioration of walls, or the buildup of bacteria and of harmful contaminants. To help mitigate the amount of the damage that happens to your building, follow these three water damage tips to help dry the affected area while waiting for the restoration company to arrive.

1. Turn Off the Water Source

As soon as you realize water is entering your commercial building, you will want to do what you can to prevent any more water from entering your building. While water seeping in from a flood or overflowing river might be impossible to stop, common plumbing issues, such a pipe burst, can be dealt with by turning off the water to your building.

2. Remove Items

If safe to do so, remove items such as furniture, food, or personal belongings from the affected area to prevent unnecessary damage. You should only proceed with trying to clean up the area using these damage tips if there is no possibility of an electrical hazard and the water is from a clean water source, such as leaking pipe or faucet.

3.Dry Walls and Floors

Once you’ve removed all items from the area, follow these cleaning tips to dry the area of water:

  • Use towels and mops to dry water from hard floors
  • Open windows and doors
  • Use fans and humidifiers if available
  • Attempt to dry as much water as possible from wet walls

Whenever possible, follow these drying tips to prevent further damage from occurring to your commercial building until a restoration company can arrive. Once the professionals arrive, they’ll use special drying equipment and methods to finish the job.

What To Do If You Discover a Leak Under the Kitchen Sink

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

A leak that goes undetected for a long period of time can cause flooding in your kitchen

While a small amount of dripping from your kitchen sink can be easy to repair, a leak that goes undetected for a long period of time can cause flooding in your kitchen and will eventually lead to water damage and mold growth. If you discover a leaking sink in your home in Burton, TX, you will need to take several steps to discover the source of the leak and address the problem. Here are some tips on what actions to take when dealing with an under-sink leak.

Potential Causes of a Leaking Sink

There are several reasons your sink my start to leak, most of which just require a small kitchen repair. Discovering the exact cause of the leak is the best way to determine what you should do next. Here are a few common causes:

  • Leaky garbage disposal sink flange
  • Loose or defective drain lines
  • Bad internal seal on the bottom of the disposal
  • Flooding supply line fittings and connections
  • Drain leaks due to loose joint nuts or joint seal

Minimize Water Damage

Any time you find leaking water in home, prompt action is necessary to minimize the amount of water damage that occurs. For a leaking sink, you need to shut off the water source and try to clean the surrounding area the best you can. Remove anything you have stored under the sink and use towels to dry the area the best you can. If any water got onto your kitchen floor, thoroughly dry it using towels and a mop. If any water damage has occurred to your kitchen cabinets or kitchen floors, a water damage cleanup company can help completely remove all water from the area and reverse any damage that has occurred.
Not only is a leaking sink annoying to deal with, but it can also cause extensive damage by flooding your kitchen. Finding out the source of the problem, cleaning the area the best you can, and contacting a water cleanup company can minimize how much damage occurs.

3 Types of Mold Tests

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

A musty smell in your home may mean that you have fungus growing somewhere.

A musty smell in your home may mean that you have fungus growing somewhere. You need a mold assessment to know for sure, though. Mold kits that you find at your local hardware store in Burton, TX however, are not going to tell you much. A professional assessment by a certified mold specialist or environmental hygienist can give you much more accurate information. There are three types of tests for mold damage that professionals can perform.

1. Air Tests

A sample of the air in your home can tell you whether or not you need mold cleanup, even if you don't see evidence of black mold growth. This is useful for discovering problems in your HVAC system or in the walls behind large appliances. When scrutinized at the lab, the sample can tell technicians what kind of mold you're dealing with.

2. Bulk Tests

Certain materials in your home are more prone to mildew and mold than others. Materials that can be removed can be tested in another location. A mold assessment on a sample of the material can tell you how concentrated the mold growth is before the mold remediation process begins.

3. Surface Tests

Technicians can collect samples from the surfaces in your home with swabs or tape. Then they determine whether or not you need black mold cleanup by examining the samples back at the lab. These tests are useful if you want to confirm that the fuzz you see on the surfaces is indeed mold and not some other substance.

If you smell something musty when you walk in your front door, it is best to hire certified professionals to perform a mold assessment. Tests of the air, materials and surfaces of your home can help you make a plan for proper remediation to take care of it. The more accurate your assessment is, the more likely you are to be able to keep the growth from returning.

What’s That Smell? What You Should Know About Mold Odor

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth can cause odor, and is a major reason why it should be controlled, mitigated, and remediated.

Many people when entering a dank area may notice a musty odor. This smell often elicits thoughts of mold, mildew, and cold, damp, and unclean conditions. Mycotoxin is often the culprit. These toxins are produced by fungus such as mold, and they highlight the importance of proper mold remediation in areas that have such a stale odor.

What You Should Know About Mold

What Causes Odor?

Smells are actually molecules floating through the air that make their way to your nose when you breathe. Each molecule has a unique shape, and like a key in a lock, that shape fits into smell receptors in your nasal passages. When a mycotoxin molecule is inhaled, it activates smell receptors in the nose. These receptors fire nerve impulses that travel to the brain, and the experience of smell is achieved, unique to the type of molecule that activated the receptor. In this way, you can differentiate between the smell of a freshly baked apple pie and the musty stench of mold.

Where Does Mold Grow?

Many areas in the United States have climates that facilitate mold growth, including Bryan, TX. Here are some common areas:

  • The Pacific Northwest has a damp climate that can encourage mold and mildew to flourish.
  • Hawaii is another area that is humid enough for mold to grow.
  • Florida and some other southern states are warm and humid most of the year and commonly experience flooding.

Water droplets in these places splash onto existing mold colonies and act to spread spores to other areas that have yet to experience mold growth. In a moist environment, these areas act as substrate for new mold to start growing from the introduced spore.

Mycotoxin in these areas of the country may be more pronounced because of the increased propensity of mold to grow there. The smelly culprit of moldy stenches abounds in areas where mold and mildew grow. It’s the molecule that prompts the moist smell that you associate with mold and wet places, and is a major reason why mold growth should be controlled, mitigated, and remediated.

4 Tips For Maximizing the Effectiveness of Your Smoke Detectors

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

The batteries in each detector should be replaced once a year

4 Tips to Avoid Fire Damage and Keeping Your Family Safe

Everyone knows you need an effective fire alarm system in your home. What does that look like, though? Here are four tips to keep your family safe and avoid as much fire damage as possible.

1. Have Enough Detectors

One smoke detector won’t do. Even a small, one-bedroom apartment in Burton, TX, should have at least two. You should have a smoke detector in the following locations:

  • One on every floor
  • One outside every sleeping area
  • One inside each bedroom

2. Have the Right Types

There are two main types of smoke detectors. Ionization detectors are triggered by small smoke particles, such as the ones created by grease fires. A photoelectric fire alarm is triggered by large smoke particles, such as the ones created by smoldering upholstery. Since you never know what kind of fire is going to break out, you need both types in your home. Some detectors are even equipped with components of each.

3. Connect Your Detectors

For maximum fire protection, it’s a good idea to make sure all your detectors are connected. This is especially important if you have a large home. If one detector goes off in a connected system, it triggers all the others, letting you know to expect smoke damage and evacuate in time.

4. Replace Old Detectors

If the detector near the fire malfunctions, you are going to have a lot more fire damage cleanup on your hands. Replace detectors every 8-10 years, and test them periodically to see if they’re working or need to be replaced sooner. The batteries in each detector should be replaced once a year. Fire detectors that don’t work don’t do you any good.

Your fire alarm system is only as strong as its weakest detector. Keeping them in good working order and making sure you have enough of the right types can help you avoid extra fire cleanup and can help keep your family secure.

How To Claim a Tax Deduction for Storm Damage

5/7/2019 (Permalink)

Roof damage due to storm in Brenham, TX

How To Claim a Tax Deduction for Storm Damage

Business or commercial property owners may be able to deduct storm damage on their taxes. Review IRS publication 547 on Casualties, Disasters and Thefts and consider the following pointers regarding tax deductible damage and writing off losses after a storm in Brenham, TX.

Deduct Primary Damage Not Covered By Insurance

Damage is only deductible if a business or building owner has property insurance and files a claim or does not have property insurance. If the owner has a policy and chooses not to file a claim, this deduction is not available. In general, primary damage is directly due to a storm:

  • Broken or damaged windows or doors
  • Roof damage
  • Water damage

Accidents, secondary damage and ongoing deterioration are not deductible. It can be difficult to distinguish between primary and secondary damage. In general, corrosion, rot and mold are considered secondary damage or ongoing deterioration. Mitigation and restoration experts can clarify which types of damage are primary or secondary.

Report Casualty Losses

It is necessary to report casualty losses due to storm damage for the purposes of deductions. The requirements for business losses are less stringent than personal losses. For a business loss, there is no need to reduce loss amounts by $100, calculate a 10 percent of adjusted gross income offset or itemize.

Monitor Disaster Status

If the president declares a disaster area in the location of a business, additional opportunities and benefits may become available. Business owners may gain the option to deduct casualty losses on the current year or amend the past year's returns. Deadlines for filing payroll and excise taxes may also be extended.

Writing off business property damage not covered by insurance as a tax deduction can help to lighten the financial burden of dealing with storm damage in Brenham, TX. If a business or building owner is unsure whether damage is tax deductible, he or she should check with an accountant.

BBQ Weather is Around the Corner

5/4/2019 (Permalink)

A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren't considered.

There is nothing like firing up the grill for the first time after the winter!

Did you know, July is the peak month for grill fires? A backyard barbecue can become dangerous quickly if proper safety precautions aren't considered. SERVPRO of Brazos Valley wants you to have an enjoyable and safe summer.

Consider the following tips to ensure your summer celebrations are disaster-free!

  • Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overchanging branches.
  • Keep children and pets away from grill area.
  • Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.
  • When using a charcoal grill, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container.
  • Never leave your grill unattended.
  • Anyone using fireworks or standing nearby should wear protective eyewear.
  • Do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case or in case of fire. Children should never pick up fireworks that may be left over as they may still be active.
  • The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public display conducted by trained professionals.

4 Steps of Timely Mitigation

4/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can start to grow in damp places within as little as 24 hours after the storm has torn up your roof.

A leak in your attic after a storm in Burton, TX is a clear sign that you need roof repair. To prevent additional damage, you need to call storm mitigation experts as soon as possible. The sooner they can get started, the sooner they can work through the four steps needed to resolve the problem.

1. Assessment

The first thing the specialists do is analyze the roof damage to see what needs to be fixed. If there are no signs of leaks or damp insulation in your attic, you probably don’t need to replace the roof altogether. If, however, water has already made its way into your home, they know that the process is going to be a little more complicated than replacing a few shingles.

2. Drying

Mold can start to grow in damp places within as little as 24 hours after the storm has torn up your roof. Getting the wet areas dry as soon as possible, therefore, should be a priority. Saturated materials should be torn out and replaced. Tarps should be placed on the roof over the open areas so that no further damage can occur.

3. Removal

Roof repair also includes removing damaged materials before contractors can start to rebuild. Damaged shingles, chipped flashing, damaged vents and other broken parts must be taken away so that they can be repaired or replaced.

4. Restoration

If your attic flooded as the result of heavy rains or wind damage, the waterproof layer will likely need to be replaced. After that is down, the roofers can rebuild the other components of your roof. Once repairs are complete, it is a good idea to set up an appointment for the next inspection to protect against future damage.

Roof repair is not something you want to delay. Timely mitigation is vital to repairing the problems that exist and preventing secondary issues from occurring.

Preparing Your Commercial Property for the Spring Thaw: 3 Tips

4/19/2019 (Permalink)

The spring thaw can bring serious flooding to the area and your commercial property.

When spring comes to Burton, TX it can mean warmer days, the end of snow and ice and an increase in business as people venture out to enjoy the weather. However, the spring thaw can also increase the risk of flooding in your area, which could cause serious damage to your building. Being prepared can reduce this possibility and help you prevent long-term moisture problems that might plague your property in the future.

1. Plan Ahead for a Weather Shift

It may not always be easy to predict when spring has come to stay, especially in March, when a cold snap still might be possible and cause a frozen pipe to burst. Having a plan in place might help you to better handle a variety of weather-related issues that might cause a flood. Let your managers know where they can find the contingency plans if you are not present and keep your employees updated about any changes you make, especially when the weather turns unpredictable.

2. Back Up or Move Paper Records

A spring flood will likely affect the lower floors of your building first, which could spell trouble for any paper records, employee handbooks or other paper goods you have stored in the basement. To protect these important documents, consider moving them to higher ground or to a moisture-free facility that specializes in storing such items long term. Recent records can be transferred to digital storage and backed up on a cloud server for safekeeping.

3. Work With a Flood Damage Service

When thawing happens rapidly and flooding gets out of control, being connected with a water damage and restoration service can give you peace of mind in case the worst should happen. Experienced technicians have both the equipment and experience to perform drainage, tear out of damaged building materials and drying of flooded areas to restore and prevent future moisture issues.

The spring thaw in Burton, TX can bring serious flooding to the area and your commercial property. Being prepared and taking a few simple actions may lessen the risk of damage to the building and its contents.

Can Mold Thrive in a Dry Climate?

4/15/2019 (Permalink)

It is important to control the interior moisture levels of buildings located in a dry climate.

Mold is less likely to form outside in dry climates, but fungus can still pose a problem if excessive moisture is present indoors. Learn more about the risks for black mold and other species in buildings located in a dry climate.

Leaks and Backups

A roof leak or plumbing problems can result in conditions that support mold. Any of the following incidents may cause mold to grow:

  • Broken supply line
  • Leaky pipe
  • Roof leak
  • Sewer backup

A broken pipe or backup can introduce a lot of water into a structure in a short period of time. The risk of black mold rises whenever contaminated water is involved. Slower leaks can also support hidden mold.

Appliances

Mold may grow wherever moisture and organic material are present. This includes in or near a number of appliances:

  • Dishwashers
  • HVAC systems
  • Water heaters
  • Washing machines

Building owners or managers should check for leaks and ensure that appliances stay clean. Mold growth in any part of an HVAC system can spread spores throughout a structure.

Bathrooms

Sinks, toilets and shower facilities elevate moisture levels. Owners or managers should install and operate exhaust fans rated for the size of each bathroom, keep facilities clean and quickly fix backups or leaks.

Dormant Mold

If conditions conducive to mold growth persist for 24 to 72 hours before the cause is fixed and a building owner does not pursue mold remediation, the risk may not be completely eliminated. Mold that has begun growing may dry out and pose a serious problem when moisture levels rise again.

It is important to control the interior moisture levels of buildings located in a dry climate. Black mold and other species can form inside of any structure. If a musty odor or other signs of mold are present, an owner or manager should contact a mold cleanup and restoration service in Burton, TX.

A Vendor You Can Count on in Emergency Situations

3/26/2019 (Permalink)

Work with SERVPRO to make the claim services process exponentially easier.

A Vendor You Can Count On In Emergency Situations

Insurance adjusters often get a bad rap because they're "slow to handle claims," but the truth is that insurance companies can only move as fast as their vendors—of which there are often many. From the initial emergency response team to the cleanup crew, and from the appraiser to the underwriter, a single claim goes through many professionals before the adjuster can make a final decision. When one vendor experiences a hold up, all vendors experience a hold up, which can delay claim services by days or even weeks. When insurance companies work with SERVPRO, however, the claims process moves exponentially quicker.

Work With The #1 Restoration Franchise in Emergency Situations

In the event of an emergency, even a single day delay can have costly consequences for insureds. Not only does a delay mean that a business has to keep its doors closed for another day longer, but also, a delay can result in more extensive damage. Secondary damage, which occurs after 24 to 48 hours, is costly to fix, as it often involves structural damage. Examples of secondary damage include the following:

  • Rotted drywall
  • Rotted structural beams
  • Buckling hardwood floors
  • Mold growth
  • Peeling vinyl and other flooring materials

In an emergency situation, the right Brenham, TX emergency response team will not only be on site within one to four hours, but also, it can help speed up the claim services process.

How SERVPRO Assists With Claims

The national leader in damage restoration not only responds immediately to emergency situations but also, it performs pretesting and itemized loss inventory. It also provides insurers with the fast, accurate information they need to make sound claims decisions, including a complete electronic file, online access to files and informative reports that can serve to improve results and cut job cost data.

If you own an insurance company in Brenham, TX and if you're tired of getting blamed for delays that are out of your control, consider switching from several vendors to one. Work with SERVPRO to make the claim services process exponentially easier.

Does Your Water Heater Need To Be Replaced?

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Water heaters are meant to last, and some have been documented to be in fine condition for over 25 years.

Does Your Water Heater Need To Be Replaced?

Water heaters are meant to last, and some have been documented to be in fine condition for over 25 years. So, how can you tell if your water heater needs to be replaced? Here are four tips that can help you determine if you need to replace your aging heater, or if you can repair it.

1. Noise

A heater that grumbles with loud noises as it heats the water probably does not need to be replaced. The grumbling, cracking, and crunching sounds often occur due to sediment buildup, and that is typically a problem that can be fixed with a simple water heater flush.

2. Puddle

Water puddles under the heater can come from cracks in the main tank, a loose valve, or condensation. Check to see where the water is coming from in order to determine if you need a new unit. If your heater is an older model, it may be time to replace it to prevent a flood.

3. Age

Depending on how often the water heater was used, what type of heating unit it is, and what type of water feeds into the tank, your water heating appliance may last from between 10 and 20 years. Many begin to demonstrate some type of problems beginning at around eight years, while others may have a complete failure after working for 12 years. In other words, there is no set-in stone answer regarding age.

4. Rust

If your water is rust colored, it could be that the heater has become corroded and needs replacement. It could also mean that the pipes leading into your home are the old iron type that has begun to flake the rusty bits into the water coming into your house. If you find rust, call in a residential water specialist in Burton, TX to determine where the rust is coming from.

You can depend on hot water from your water heater if you check for signs that it needs replacement or repair. Take care of the heater tank, and it may give you hot showers for years to come.

Quick Tips to Get Rid of Black Mold in a Shower

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

There are several reasons why you should hire specialists to handle mold cleanup, removal and remediation.

Quick Tips to Get Rid Of Black Mold In A Shower

Shower mold is a common occurrence in Burton, TX. Specifically, residential bathrooms retain a lot of moisture, which causes fungus to thrive. Spot mold in your shower? Below there are specific precautions to take to get rid of it.

Recognize the Problem

Black mold has a distinguishing color and texture. It has a gray or dark green hue and has a slimy looking appearance. This fungus grows in areas where there's a lot of moisture. The moldy sections in a shower include:

  • Curtains
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Tiles
  • Drains
  • Grout
  • Caulk

When you notice mold in your shower, your first instinct may be to clean it. Instead of relying on DIY cleaning methods, consider hiring mold remediation specialists. This is a better approach because it’s a safe, effective removal process.

Take Precautionary Steps

Shower mold is often an indication that it has penetrated into the sheetrock. DIY topical treatments won't solve the problem. The following are some do's and don'ts to help get rid of mold:

  • Do stay out of the shower (or bathroom)
  • Do turn off fans and HVAC systems
  • Don't do anything to dry the shower
  • Don't blow air on any areas of visible mold growth
  • Don't touch or scrape the mold
  • Don't apply disinfectant or bleach on the affected area

There are several reasons why you should hire specialists to handle mold cleanup, removal and remediation. One, the mold is not safe, so you need to limit your exposure. Two, the fungus growth may be more extensive than you realize. Finally, even if you can remove it using DIY methods, the problem is likely to return.

Shower mold is a serious matter. Once you have taken the necessary safety precautions above, the next step is to have the fungus removed as soon as possible. Emergency restoration services are the way to go to solve this problem. These companies have highly-trained technicians and the proper equipment to safely remove the fungus growth.

Dealing With Water Damage

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

There are three different categories of water

Dealing with damage due to flooding in Bryan, TX can be a devastating affair.If you don’t take the right steps to dry out your home and remove all the water, you could be dealing with the results for years to come. Whether the water damage is from a leaky pipe, rainstorm or flood, you want to restore your home as soon as possible. 

Types of Water

There are three different categories of water: 

  • Category 1 (clean water),
  • Category 2 (gray water) and
  • Category 3 (black water). 

Category 1 is clean water. Clean water sources could include water pipes, steam lines, water heaters and sometimes rainwater. If it is category 1, it will look and smell like tap water. 

Categories 2 and 3, gray water and black water, present risks. It is important to understand the difference between the two. If your home has contamination from flood waters or sewage backup, a more extensive cleanup will be required.

Visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com for more information on storm damage.

3 Types of Building Materials Affected by Flood Waters

2/25/2019 (Permalink)

Flooding damage in a Bryan, TX home

3 Types of Building Materials Affected by Flood Waters

When flooding occurs at your Bryan, TX, home, not all the damage may be immediately apparent. In fact, swelling wood, damaged drywall and other problems might not be visible until the flood waters are removed by a professional storm cleanup and restoration company. Once you take stock of the damage, knowing how the building materials in your home can be affected by flood waters may help you take the firsts steps in having the damage repaired.

1. Wood

Wooden furniture and hardwood floors can sustain serious damage from almost any type of flooding event. Because wood is a porous material, it can absorb water and cause warping. Molding and wainscoting may crack due to swelling wood and might need replacing. Treated wood furniture may not absorb as much water and may be salvageable.

2. Insulation

Your home's insulation can suffer serious damage during a flood, especially if a water supply line breaks directly next to an interior wall that contains it. Even if the wall itself does not appear damaged, wet insulation can cause mold growth and foul odors that may eventually seep out into your home. Restoration experts can perform a flood cut, which removes part of the wall to expose the insulation so it can be inspected and removed.

3. Drywall

Any affected drywall near the source of the flood may be salvageable if you act quickly. Having sections removed and properly dried may allow you to put it back once the area is checked for mold. Drywall that must be removed for water pipe repair should be moved into a room with low humidity so water evaporation does not damage it. 

Your Bryan, TX, home can be affected by flooding in many ways. However, when you understand how water can affect its building materials, you can act quickly to prevent swelling wood, insulation rot and other water damage.

3 Top Document Restoration Methods

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Whether it’s a critical business document or simply a treasured personal certificate, our documents can be integral to our life and livelihood. What happens when they are damaged in a flood or other disaster? Many documents can’t be replaced easily while others require time that we can’t afford. Document restoration services offer a great solution when disaster strikes your most important papers. Here are some of the ways College Station, TX, recovery firms save documents.

How Paper Restoration Works

While in years past, a lost certificate, water-damaged degree or singed letter was damaged forever, advances in technology have turned things around. Now, thanks to advanced restoration processes, companies like SERVPRO can restore: things like

  • books and magazines
  • paper documents
  • manuscripts and files
  • x-rays
  • photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
  • parchment
  • blueprints and maps

and a myriad of other sensitive documents using means both creative and high tech.

Document Cleaning and Disinfection

Flooding and other events can leave documents exposed to dangerous sewage or even black water. Document restoration specialists can help by using gamma irradiation to sterilize harmful bacteria, viruses and chemicals.

Document Drying

Water exposure can leave documents damp at best or soggy at worst. Air dried documents tend toward warping or harmful brittleness that leaves them illegible or vulnerable to damage. Paper restorers use vacuum freeze-drying techniques to extract liquid in a way that keeps documents intact.

Digitizing Services

An alternative to risking paper damage is converting documents to digital formats. SERVPRO restoration specialists can convert your documents to modern digital versions, saving you storage space and peace of mind from the threat of future water damage.

Documents are critical records that reflect everything from intellectual property and business strategies to personal achievements and sentimental milestones. Damage to them no longer must be catastrophic. Call the document restoration specialists at SERVPRO to get your documents back like new.

3 Steps To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Rental Home

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Mold can grow almost anywhere. All it needs is some moisture and the right temperature

Follow these 3 Steps To Stop Mold Growth

Rental properties can come with many surprises, not the least of which can be leaking pipes. Taking care of leaks as soon as they are detected is a way of practicing good mold prevention. Preventing the growth of mold can be a good way of making certain that your Bryan, TX, home is in good condition year after year. By following these three important steps, you can stop mold growth in its tracks.

1. Shut off the Water

Water damage can be a top cause of mold growing inside homes. Although serious spills can potentially contribute to the growth of mold, a constant trickle of water is a much more likely cause. Once a leak is detected and the growth of mold suspected, take steps to turn off the flow of water. Some pipes will have a shut-off valve that can be activated to prevent water from flowing into a pipe even when a fixture is in the “off” position. This can be a good first step to take in mold prevention. 

2. Turn Down the Heat

Warm, damp conditions tend to be ideal for accelerating the growth of mold inside a home. Cooler temperatures halt the growth cycle of mold spores, so turning down the heat can be another good way of preventing this from happening. Turn down your home’s thermostat so that the heater will not automatically cycle on during the night or while you are out of the house. 

3. Keep Some Heat Available

Very cold temperatures can cause the water in pipes to freeze, especially in areas where the pipes enter the home from the outside. If the water in these pipes freeze, the ice may expand and has the potential to burst the pipes, causing a leak to occur. This can lead to additional instances of mold. Keeping some heat available can prevent this from happening.

Talk With the Pros

If you suspect that your Bryan, TX, rental home has mold, speak with experts as soon as possible. Taking mold prevention steps in the first place is a good practice. 

From Frozen Pipes to Damaged Roofs, Winter Storms can Play Dirty

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

A burst pipe can damage and destroy property

Winter Storms can Play Dirty

Business owners in Bryan, Texas have many responsibilities, including taking good care of physical structures. As autumn days grow shorter, property owners should take steps to prepare their buildings to greet Jack Frost when he comes calling. Winter storms can cause frozen pipes, which means trouble. A pipe burst can lead to mold growth. Freezing storms can also damage roofs. A Drip, Drip Here… And a drop, drop there… Frozen pipes, however, are no laughing matter. A burst pipe can damage and destroy property. When pipes freeze, the ice inside begins to expand. The cold, brittle metal will then begin to crack and split. Here are ways to protect pipes:

  • If possible, insulate them against cold and wintry drafts.
  • Keep the heat above 45 degrees Fahrenheit (7 degrees Celsius) in all areas of the building.
  • Turn the heat on before freezing storms strike

Good Coverage

Most people probably do not think about the benefits of a solid, intact roof until they feel water dropping onto their heads. Roofs take many beatings from the weather, and none worse than during a fierce winter storm. High winds, icy missiles, and bitterly cold temperatures combine to wreak havoc on roofs. Much damage comes from what are known as ice dams, which form along gutters. Icicles often signal their presence. These blocks keep water from draining off the roof, so the water may pool up instead. If this water is left to stand, it can seep under shingles and leak into attics. These damp conditions make a perfect environment for mold to grow and thrive. There are ways to protect roofs from winter hazards:

  • Keep gutters cleaned out.
  • Monitor the roof condition and clear off any standing water.
  • Inspect attic conditions regularly

Restoration Is Possible

Sometimes, despite preparation, winter storm damage occurs. When it does, business owners should contact their insurance companies and a restoration specialist. The best professionals can restore commercial structures to their preloss conditions. Visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com for more information on commercial storm damage.

5 Flood Preparation Tips for Your Business

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

When it comes to flooding, being prepared ahead of time can help you protect your business property.

5 Flood Preparation Tips For Your Business

When it comes to flooding in Bryan, TX one of the first things you may want to do is protect your business. Fortunately, there are many useful flood preparation tips you can use if you believe your company property may be in danger. Here are a few you may want to consider.

1. Know Your Flood Risk

Knowing your flood risk can help you protect your business from flood damage and black water. Your risk factors include things such as the location of your building, and the type of weather in your area.

2. Keep an Eye on the Weather

It's also important to know what type of weather to expect in your area. If you experience frequent rain or snow you may want to take more permanent measures such as the inclusion of a retaining wall around the property.

3. Back Up Any Files

One unfortunate side effect of flooding is that oftentimes electronics and files can be damaged. You can take precautions by backing up electronic files on a server, and putting paper files away from areas that could be flooded.

4. Protect the Building

If you know a storm is coming you may want to protect your business building from flood damage. Some precautions you can take include boarding over windows, sloping your landscaping away from the building, and moving any furniture or electronics away from doors and windows.

5. Make Repairs Quickly

If your company building is flooded, then you may want to contact a flood damage restoration service as it's important to get in repairs completed as quickly as possible. Not only are quick repairs important for reducing a possibility of additional damage, but they can also help ensure your business stays up and running.

When it comes to flooding, being prepared ahead of time can help you protect your business property. A few helpful tips include knowing your flood rest, keeping an eye on the weather for potential storms, backing up any of your files that could potentially be damaged, and doing what you need to do to protect the property.

What to Do if You Smell Natural Gas in Your Home

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

A gas fire can start and spread easily

How To Prevent Gas Fire?

If you have appliances in your College Station, TX, home that are operated using gas, it is possible that a leak could occur. If you notice a gas smell in your house, you should take some precautions to prevent starting a gas fire.

1. Turn Off the Stove

A common source of gas in your home is the stove. If you have a gas stove, make sure that it is turned off. If the gas is coming from this location, that might be all you need to do to fix the problem.

2. Turn Off the Gas Meter

If natural gas is leaking from somewhere else in your home, you should turn the gas off at the meter. This should keep the gas from continuing to fill your home.

3. Open Doors and Windows

To keep the gas from building up and creating the potential for a gas fire explosion, you should open all of the windows and doors. This allows the house to ventilate and will make it easier for the gas to leave your home.

4. Don’t Use the Electricity

If you have a gas leak in your home, the built-up gas is highly flammable. Don’t turn on any electrical objects, including the lights, and don’t handle any plugs or outlets. Even a small spark could turn into a big gas explosion.

5. Call a Professional

After leaving the house, you can contact emergency restoration services to take care of the natural gas leak in your home. It is important that you have a professional inspect the house to make sure the built-up gas has dissipated, and the source of the leak is repaired.


Because you cannot see if there is a gas leak, an unusual smell will likely be the first indication that there is a problem. A gas fire can start and spread easily, so make sure to follow these steps to keep your family and your home safe.

An Easy Way To Control Mold in Your Home

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Mold in a Bryan, TX residential

If you are lucky, you will never have to worry about a fire burning your home to the ground. Still, a catastrophic event may not pose the greatest risk to your Bryan, TX, house. On the contrary, mold growth from water damage may destroy the comfort, value and appearance of your dwelling.

Inspect Your House

If you want to keep mold in check, you need a comprehensive mold prevention strategy. The first step is understanding whether you have mold growing in your living areas, though. When inspecting your house for signs of mold, pay special attention to places with high levels of humidity. Specifically, look in the following areas for mold growth:

  •  The kitchen
  •  Bathrooms
  •  The Attic
  •  The Basement or crawlspace

Understand How Mold Spreads

To thrive, mold needs humidity and a food source. While keeping an eye on places that have sustained water damage is a good idea, you must realize that mold can easily hide inside your house. That is, drywall, carpeting, subflooring and grout often make ideal places for mold to live.

Go to Battle

To ensure mold does not wreak havoc on your home, you must battle it effectively. By quickly repairing leaks, you cut off the water supply mold requires to grow and spread. Remember, though, simply because you can no longer see mold does not mean it is gone. If you think you have a mold problem, you may want to contract with a reputable mold remediation service. Expert technicians have the knowledge and equipment both to locate mold and to stop it from spreading throughout your home.

Your home is your castle, and you want to keep it in excellent shape. Because water damage can promote mold growth, you must work diligently to repair leaks. You must also understand how to find hidden mold. With a bit of effort, though, you can likely keep mold from ruining your home and decreasing its resale value.

Your Business Is More Than Property, Equipment and Furnishings

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

No size loss is too large for our SERVPRO of Brazos Valley team to handle

Yesterday, you had a thriving business in Bryan, TX. A fire brought that to a screeching halt, leaving you with extensive fire and water damage. Property insurance will restore your building, equipment and other assets but you won’t reopen anytime soon. Without revenue and customers, the company’s survival is in jeopardy.

It is at this moment that your interruption insurance comes into play. It may help you pay for the following:

  • Taxes
  • Rent and lease payments
  • Loan payments
  • Wages for key employees
  • Training costs for replacement employees
  • Temporary relocation to a new location, if practical
  • Association fees and dues
  • Continued advertising
  • Lost profits

Not Every Business Interruption Triggers an Insurance Claim


You cannot purchase commercial interruption insurance without first having a property damage policy. The two are linked. If you have a property damage event that is not covered by your insurance, there won’t be interruption compensation.

Additionally, interruption payments will not be triggered if your closure is considered partial. Only a complete shutdown qualifies.

Your Policy Tells You When the Interruption Ends
From an insurance perspective, the interruption most likely ends when you reopen for business. Your next big challenge is to bring back your customers.

If you offer terrific products and services, it’s easy to have faithful customers. However, customers are also creatures of habit. If they are in the habit of frequenting your establishment, and you suddenly shut down, they will likely get in the habit of frequenting someone else’s establishment.
Your number one goal during the shutdown is to make sure that your customers know you are coming back. Advertising is an excellent way to accomplish this. Also, remember that grand reopening sales are always a good idea in the world of retail.

A Speedy Fire Restoration Keeps the Interruption Period Short
A short interruption insurance period is good for business. The best way to accomplish this is to bring in the best insurance-approved fire damage remediation firm to handle your restoration. You want to reopen quickly.

Do You Understand the Three Types of Water Contamination?

1/17/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage from a supply line in a College Station, TX home

In the normal course of life, most people don’t give much thought to their homes being invaded by a flood of any size – whether it comes from a simple toilet overflow or a rising river levels near your town of College Station, TX. Contaminated water can come from many sources and has three major stages, referred to as categories. Saving your affected belongings may depend on the type of contamination your home is exposed to, so understanding which type you are dealing with can be important.

Water Contamination Categories

  • Category 1: “Clean Water” coming from leaky faucet or a broken supply line. Can transform into category 2 or 3 depending on temperature or length of time left standing.

  • Category 2: “Gray Water” from dishwasher or washing machine overflow, toilet overflow contaminated with urine but no feces. Can contain viruses or bacteria. Can turn into category 3 if not cleaned up.

  • Category 3: “Black Water” is water flooding from deep in toilet, rivers or streams contaminated with sewage, chemicals or microbial growth.

If acted on quickly, smaller clean water problems can often be cleaned up just by using a shop vacuum or the extraction setting of a carpet cleaner. After drying out the flooring, little or no contamination is left behind. Left untreated, however it can advance to a category 2 or even 3 event, so time is of the essence. A category three flood which involves contaminated water containing bacteria or viruses is more serious and can turn into a category 3 situation in no time.

Category 3 floods involve black water, or contamination that contains sewage or heavy chemicals. This situation is not to be taken lightly and you should call an emergency water restoration service in College Station, TX, to clean your flooring and belongings of all traces of contaminated water.

If the worst happens, remember the three categories of contamination and get the appropriate help to clean your home. It could make the difference between saving your home and belongings and starting over.

What To Know About Drain Cleaners

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Clogged drain in a Bryan, TX home

What To Know About Drain Cleaners

Most homeowners in Bryan, TX, have experienced a clogged drain at some point. There are a number of cleaners on the market designed to take care of just such a problem, but what exactly to they do? Can using a cleaner damage your pipes, and are there safer alternatives out there? Here are a few things you may want to know about drain cleaners and their effect on your home’s plumbing system.

1. How Many Drain Cleaners Work

A drain cleaner typically works by producing a heat-causing chemical reaction, which can push through and break up a clog. The chemicals used are usually either caustic like lye, acidic such as muriatic acid, or oxidizing like bleach. All of these can lead to damaged pipes over time.

2. What Damage They Can Cause

When pouring chemicals to clear a clogged drain, it’s important to take care as some can cause skin irritation or even burns depending on the strength. These chemicals can have the same affect on your pipes. If left to sit too long they can work through older metal or plastic pipes, and cause a leak which can lead to water damage in your home. If you have water damage from a leaking pipe, it’s best to contact a water damage and restoration service.

3. Safer Drain Cleaning Alternatives

There are some safer alternative for clearing a clog, whether it's a sink drain or sewage cleaning need. One of the first the many people think of is a drain snake in which a tool is inserted into the drain to pull the clog out. Other options include plungers and non-toxic cleaners. Non-toxic cleaners are comprised of enzymes which can eat through the clog. They may take a little more time, but should not harm your pipes.

Cleaning a clogged drain doesn’t have to leave you worried about damaging your home. Not only are there pipe safe alternatives out there, but if you’re unsure about the clog a professional can take care of the problem for you.

How To Remediate Smoke Odor

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Ozone generator work quickly in neutralizing smoke odor

Stubborn smoke odors may linger after the early stages of fire cleanup are complete and restoration is underway. Several smoke cleaning methods may be helpful for removing signs of smoke damage and odor from a home that has recently suffered a fire. Restoration professionals can recommend the most effective methods for eliminating the smell and every trace of staining.

Cleaning and Repainting Surfaces

Surfaces that have been exposed to smoke may exhibit staining and other signs of residues. Restoration professionals may use equipment such as:

  • Chemical sponges
  • Degreasing cleaner
  • Stain-blocking primer

These items and formulas can get rid of surface stains and prevent these stains from resurfacing through fresh paint. Cleaning off residue may also reduce smoke odors. After visible smoke cleaning is complete, it will still be necessary to remove or neutralize smoke particles in the air.

Filtering the Air

Cleanup professionals may recommend the use of air filters to capture smoke particles. Effective filtration methods include:

  • HVAC air scrubbers
  • HEPA filters
  • Air purifiers

Air scrubbers connect to a central HVAC system and filter air as it circulates. This can help to get rid of odors that linger in ducts. HEPA filters can be used in an HVAC system or free-standing filtration devices can be operated throughout a home.

Neutralizing Smoke Odor

There are several specialized methods for neutralizing smoke odors. Restoration professionals may recommend the use of:

  • Ozone machines
  • Hydroxyl generators
  • Thermal foggers
  • Vapor modification

Ozone machines and thermal foggers work quickly, but will require temporary evacuation. Hydroxyl generators and vapor modification may take longer, but occupants can remain in a residence during these treatments.

Smoke cleaning experts can recommend the right combination of odor-reduction solutions for a residence in College Station, TX. Rely on the equipment and expertise of a fire and smoke damage restoration firm to find the most effective methods for getting rid of smoke odor.

Why Are Polybutylene Pipes No Longer Used?

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial loss in Brenham, TX

Polybutylene pipes were commonly used in the late twentieth century. Some structures built between the 1970s and mid-1990s that have the original plumbing may still have poly pipes. This material is unreliable and may be unsafe. Most building codes in North America ban the installation of poly pipes. Learn more about why this pipe material is no longer used and why property owners should replace poly pipes at a commercial structure in Brenham, TX.

Poly Pipes Degrade

Chlorine and other oxidizing treatments used to treat water can cause pipes made out of polybutylene to break down. As the pipes become more brittle, chemicals in the pipe material may start to leech into water. New plumbing materials such as PVC or CPVC are affordable and less likely to degrade.

Poly Pipes Break or Leak

As poly pipes start to wear down, they may be more likely to cause water damage than other pipe materials. These pipes may require more frequent repairs, which can be challenging as components made out of this material are no longer available. The condition of these pipes, which are likely to be more than twenty years old, will continue to worsen over time.

Poly Fittings Are Not Available

Poly pipes relied on Quest fittings, which are no longer made. Although it may be possible to use copper, PVC, CPVC, or PEX push fit or transition fittings with the same outside diameter with poly pipes, these connectors are not designed for use with this material. Using these fittings will not make the pipe material more durable.

Property owners may want to invest in new plumbing for a commercial structure in Brenham, TX. Although this update can be costly, weakened polybutylene pipes can result in expensive water damage and increase the risk of secondary damage, such as mold growth. If a pipe bursts, contact a mitigation and restoration company.

How To Complete a Sewage Cleanup

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

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)

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.

How to Handle a Roof Leak

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

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 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)

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)

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)

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)

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/.

Your Sprinkler System Is Always on Duty

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

That fire sprinkler may well have saved your business, but it left quite a mess behind.

When it comes to fire suppression, nothing could be simpler than a fire sprinkler. It sits up high, usually on a ceiling, and is attached to a pressurized water pipe. The sprinkler head itself is basically a water valve and water deflector held in the off position by glass bulb containing a liquid. When the temperature at the bulb is high enough, several things happen.

• The liquid expands and glass bulb shatters.
• The water flows through the sprinkler head dousing everything beneath it.
• A device attached to the water supply pipe senses the flow of water and sets off an alarm.
• The water continues to flow until a valve on the supply pipe of the fire sprinkler is shut.

Sprinklers Operate Independently

Hollywood would have us believe that, when one sprinkler goes off, they all go off. It looks great in the movies but not in real life. If your business has a small fire in a room with multiple sprinkler heads, it may set off one or two but not every sprinkler in the room.

Some Areas Should Not Be Equipped With Sprinklers

This really comes down to common sense. Different types of fires need to be fought with different materials. Your computer room, phone room or any room with sensitive electronics or high voltage equipment would not be candidates for fire suppression by water.

Water Damage is Preferable to Fire Damage

Depending on the pressure and size of the connected pipe, a sprinkler can discharge between 20 and 40 gallons of water per minute. How long it flows determines the extent of the fire sprinkler cleanup necessary. Hopefully, the fire department arrives quickly and shuts off the sprinkler.

It’s Time to Clean Up the Mess

That fire sprinkler may well have saved your business, but it left quite a mess behind. Finding water damage experts to deal with your situation in Bryan, TX, is simple. They can apply their experience and specialized equipment to your water damage and have it cleaned up sooner than you think possible. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

The Storm Restoration Process and What To Expect

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Although restoration specialists may tear out floors, walls, or ceilings, the building will be rebuilt to its pre-damage condition.

If you have recently experienced a severe storm in Bryan, TX, your building may have suffered some storm damage. Often, heavy rains lead to water damage stemming from both the roof and the basement of buildings. Damage like this can disrupt the flow of your workplace and can lead to serious mold issues.

The storm restoration process can help ensure that all water is removed and that the structure of your building is repaired. Although it might take a while before the workers tear out all damaged walls and floors and completely restore the building, it is worth it in the long run. Here is a general overview of the process and what you might expect from your local restoration professionals.

1. Inspecting the Damage

Once the storm has stopped, experts can come in and assess the damage. They’ll look at what’s been ruined and what type of damage has occurred. This can help them create an efficient plan of action for the following weeks or months.

2. Removing the Water

Once the inspection is complete, water damage specialists will start pumping out the water. This is one of the first things done to prevent future damage. Vacuums, pumps, and open ventilation is used to help remove the water.

3. Drying the Building

Once most of the water is successfully taken out of the building, drying is the next big step. Professionals can bring in specialized equipment that is made specifically to dry certain areas. Dehumidifiers and fans can be used, as well.

4. Cleaning the Affected Areas

Professionals might tear out extremely damaged parts of the building and will start the cleaning process. Flood water is very contaminated, so affected items will need special cleaning. With the help of sanitizing equipment, odors can be removed from the building.

Once the building has been completely restored, things can go back to normal. Although restoration specialists may tear out floors, walls, or ceilings, the building will be rebuilt to its pre-damage condition. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

3 Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

By following the above tips, you can reduce the uncertainty and stress of the situation for you and your family.

A pipe burst in Bryan, TX, and you now have a flood covering the entire first floor of your house. In this unfortunate situation, it is fortunate that you have homeowners insurance. When do you file an insurance claim for the water damage? What is your responsibility as the homeowner? Review the following three tips to help the process of filing a water damage claim go as smoothly as possible.

1. Act Fast

The best time to contact your insurance company after a flood wreaks havoc on your home is as soon as possible. First, ensure that you and your family are safe. Second, call your insurance agent to report the loss and find out the next steps. Each insurance company has its own specific policies and procedures when it comes to filing an insurance claim, and by adhering to these you help speed the process along. Next, contact a water restoration company to assess the damage and begin the process of water removal, dehumidification and restoration.

2. Keep Records and Receipts

Before any work is completed, take pictures of the water damage and make a list of all damaged contents in your house. Keep copies of the claim forms you complete. Save every related receipt including work done by the water restoration professionals as well as expenses accrued from hotel accommodations if your home is unlivable.

3. Partner With Professionals

Communicate and share records with the insurance adjustor assigned to your claim. Keep in close contact with the restoration company, and request copies of all paperwork and receipts. The water restoration specialist and insurance adjustor may communicate directly with one another as well. If something is unclear to you, ask for clarification.

Filing an insurance claim for water damage at your home in Bryan, TX, initially may seem overwhelming. By following the above tips, you can reduce the uncertainty and stress of the situation for you and your family. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

2 Critical Keys To Odor Removal After Flooding

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

After a flood in Bryan, TX, you are probably worried that your home will never smell the same again. You are right to be concerned about this, but it is possible to prevent and remove odors from water contamination and mold growth after a storm. The secret to success is twofold: start immediately and clean effectively.


1. Start Cleanup Immediately.


When there is a flood, your home and personal belongings are at risk from water damage itself, but also biohazards like sewage and other contaminants in the water. Flood water from a storm is often referred to as "black water" for this reason. Mold growth can also begin within 48 hours.

As time passes, materials exposed to flood water are absorbing the liquid and all its microscopic contents. The risk of structural damage increases, but also extended exposure to contamination makes it more difficult to save and clean materials the right way. After mold colonies form, mold remediation is needed, and the overall cleanup becomes costlier as containment becomes important to prevent the spread of mold spores and more colonies.


2. Clean the Right Way.


Each item exposed to water will be different in how it should be treated after a flood. Some items may need to be disposed of, such as carpet padding, but some items can be disinfected and saved, like carpet. Trained experts are knowledgeable about the cleaning process and can help your family with effective cleaning of your home after a flood.

No matter where you are, mold spores are in the air. That's very normal. The problem comes when materials don't dry thoroughly, and those spores form colonies of mold. It's very difficult to clean deeply rooted mold growth from porous materials, but the combination of containment, thorough drying techniques and antimicrobials is the key to solving the problem and preventing odors from coming back.

Flood water cleaning may seem overwhelming, but there is help. Flood restoration specialists have the resources and training to remove water quickly, clean materials thoroughly, and dry your home completely. Look for specialists with IICRC training to ensure effective odor removal techniques are used.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

The Types of Fire Damage Insurance Will Not Cover

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

Not all fire damage is covered by home insurance. Insurance companies figure out the cause of the fire and evaluate any special circumstances. Your home in Bryan, TX, can be denied coverage if it is classified under any of these criteria. Understanding the process for a home fire insurance claim will allow you to know when to not expect compensation.


What Is Typically Covered?


To know the types of claims that are denied, it should be understood what are typically accepted claims. Insurance policies cover events that are caused by one of many usual causes:

• Lightning
• Cooking flames spreading
• Candles gone awry
• Defective appliances
• Electrical malfunctions
• Any other fires caused by accident

While these sources are covered, it is important that the fire is also unintentional.


Intentionally Setting a Fire Puts Your Compensation in Flames.



While it may seem like a smart move to burn a house down to start anew with the compensation, it will not work. Because of this possibility, insurance companies will send a professional team to investigate damaged property to piece together what happened. If the insurance can determine that a home fire was set intentionally, a claim will be completely denied.

Not only is the insurance claim denied, arson is a prosecutable crime that additionally puts property owned by others at risk. When the money never comes, potential fines from convictions and civil lawsuits from neighbors hurt even more.


A Vacant Residence Means No Coverage.


If a house has been uninhabited for a length of more than a month, it is considered vacant. With typical coverage, a vacant home fire is not covered if the insurance company can prove the home was unoccupied for an extended time. There are, however, special plans that cover properties that are uninhabited for a long period.


Restoration Regardless of Coverage.


Even in cases where insurance decides to not offer compensation, fire damage to your home and property can be cleaned by consulting a professional fire cleanup company. Regardless of your insurance claim, a home fire doesn’t have to claim all of your property.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

Rental Safety 101: Stop Mold in Its Tracks

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

There are few household problems that set off more alarm bells than the discovery of mold. The best way to deal with mold growth in your Bryan, TX, rental home is to stop it from ever happening by practicing safe mold prevention techniques. There are many reasons to monitor your rental for signs of mold:

• You can avoid the unpleasant sights and smells of a mold growth
• You want to minimize exposure to side effects of mold
• You may be found liable for repair costs, depending on the cause of the mold and the structure of your lease

By carefully checking your rental home regularly and creating an environment that is not mold-friendly, you can save yourself the headaches of a mold outbreak.


Find Potential Sources Immediately.


Mold growth flourishes in damp environments, so the most common source of the fungus is water damage from leaks and spills. Be sure to clean up any spills in your rental home immediately before they have a chance to seep into the baseboards where mold can develop. If you see signs of a leak in your ceiling or walls, such as damp or soft spots, you should find the source and address it immediately. Shut off water at your main line and locate the leak yourself or contact a service professional to prevent it from spreading.


Eliminate the Climate Mold Needs.


With the leak stopped, you should focus on making your place as inhospitable to mold as possible. Dry air is key to mold prevention, so you want to remove as much moisture from the air as possible. An air conditioner in the summer will help to suck moisture out of the air, while running your heater in cold months will inject fresh, dry air into the rooms.

Although it can be a scary proposition, mold prevention is easy with preventative measures. Stay vigilant about identifying possible sources of mold, then fight them as soon as you find any. You’ll be glad you did when your rental stays fresh and healthy year round.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

Secondary Damage: What Is It, and What Does It Mean for You?

6/26/2018 (Permalink)

As a homeowner in Bryan, TX, you work hard to protect your family as well as your property and possessions. Unfortunately, sometimes the weather or plumbing has other ideas. If a flood occurs in your home, you face immediate problems as well as other issues down the road. Long-term damages fall into the category of secondary damage, which can trouble you if you’re not prepared or if you’re not ready to act. This type of damage can come in the form of black mold, among other troubles.


Mold.


A flood in your home could ruin flooring, walls, ceilings and many of your personal items. This damage can occur swiftly before you even know what’s going on. Even after you extract all the water, there’s more work you need to do if you want to avoid buildup of mold. This fungal invader can come in different forms. In fact, there are more than 10,000 types, but the most common in the home are the following:

• Black mold, or stachybotrys atra
• Cladosporium
• Aspergillus


Humidity Issues.


High humidity is a breeding ground for bacteria and other troubling problems, particularly in the basement or cellar of your home. It may even cause the growth of black mold. The longer water sits on your floor or walls, the better chance you have of experiencing these issues. Not only do you need to remove the water, but you need to dry the area thoroughly.


Other Problems.


Further secondary damage could come in the form of foul smells. Flood water tends to bring in undesirable odors because it can include sewage or water from filthy rivers. Make sure you thoroughly clean up using deodorizers.

You don’t want black mold, humidity problems or other issues after a flood to make your life miserable. Pay attention to all problems that can occur. A highly trained technician can help you evaluate trouble-prone areas in your house.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

The Benefits of Having an ERP

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

You go to great lengths to protect your commercial property investment. You purchase a solid insurance package. You conduct regular maintenance on the property in Bryan, TX, to make sure everything is in working order. It is also a good idea to consider having an emergency profile with SERVPRO. Having an action plan for emergency situations that affect the structural integrity of your building has many benefits.


1. Emergency Basics.


An emergency READY profile (ERP) details all the basic information you need to respond efficiently to various situations. It gives you concise instructions of what to do that are specific to your property. If you experience flood, fire, mold or storm damage, the ERP app gives you quick access to everything you need to know to start the recovery process.


2. Chain of Command.


Your emergency profile establishes the specific person or persons who are in charge when disaster strikes. Knowing ahead of time alleviates confusion when a problem arises.


3. Mitigation Specialists.


Your emergency plan keeps you from having to find mitigation professionals once you have a problem. It helps you establish a relationship with the SERVPRO team nearest you so that they are ready to spring into action when you notify them.


4. Business Continuity.


Another part of emergency preparedness is deciding how you are going to keep your business in Bryan, TX, open while the physical location is unavailable. Having a business continuity plan helps you avoid an interruption in revenue.


5. Free Assessment.


This emergency plan is offered free of charge. You don’t have to budget for it and you still reap all the benefits of knowing exactly what is going to happen if damage occurs.

Your local SERVPRO representative can help you make a plan to safeguard your business after an emergency. You get a detailed plan of action, a clear division of labor and access to trusted professionals to help restore your property. Call today to set up your ERP.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

Reduce Snow Damage in Your Business

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

A dangerous snow storm happens every so often in Bryan, TX. Sometimes such a storm can take businesses by surprise, which could result in danger to employees and damage to buildings and property. It’s essential to be prepared to deal with inclement weather to help minimize the problems caused by freezing precipitation and deadly wind chills.


Prepare Before the Storm.


You already know that a storm could happen sometime between fall and spring, so consider some simple steps to minimize damage to people and property before the bad weather hits.

• Make an emergency action plan that includes contingency plans for extreme precipitation or dangerously cold temperatures.
• Inspect buildings for adequate insulation and seals.
• Test carbon monoxide detectors and emergency generators regularly.
• Ensure you or someone on site can shut off water valves in case of a pipe burst.
• Create an emergency kit with blankets, flashlights, and food to last up to three days.
• Watch the news and keep updated on severe weather alerts or warnings.
• Communicate with employees on current policies regarding inclement weather.


Maintaining Safety.


Keeping people safe in a snowstorm should always be the top priority. When weather forecasts indicate that road conditions could be hazardous, it’s essential to make a quick decision on whether employees should be at work. If possible, employees might be allowed to work from home until the weather emergency is cleared. When in doubt, make conservative decisions on when to close your business to keep employees and customers safe.


Restore Building Safety.


Upon returning to the building after a severe storm, it’s important to look for possible damage since heavy precipitation and freezing rain can block ventilation, and the extra weight of accumulation can put unexpected weight on roofs and other surfaces. Sometimes electric and plumbing systems can be damaged during severe weather, so don’t forget to check any areas that might be affected by a burst pipe or power outage. It will be helpful to clean up any water damage quickly to prevent additional hazards.

When a snowstorm hits in Bryan, TX, be prepared ahead of time. Have a plan in place to get your company back to business as usual as quickly as possible.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

Help — I Smell Gas!

5/13/2018 (Permalink)

A gas fire is one of the most terrifying experiences a homeowner can face. Avoiding this tragedy starts with knowing what to do when you smell natural gas. Your safety is the number one concern, and there are a few simple rules that will help you and your loved ones remain safe.


What To Do If You Smell Gas


• For your safety and the safety of your family, evacuate immediately.
• Do not touch appliances, thermostats or anything with an electrical switch. Any spark, even from static electricity, can trigger a gas explosion.
• Do not light a flame.
• Do not bother to open the windows. Some guides recommend that you do that to vent gas, but remember, houses have gas and oil hot water heaters, furnaces and air conditioners that turn themselves on automatically. Any one of these could easily generate a spark and start a gas fire.
• Once you are in a safe location outside the home, call 911 or Bryan, TX, emergency services and report the emergency.


What Happens Afterwards


Usually, these situations have a happy ending. The utility company safely shuts off the gas, the fire department vents the house, the source of the leak is identified, and the repairs are made. Of course, for the next six months, you can expect to occasionally hear the question “Do you smell gas?” but that is to be expected after such a traumatic experience.

Other times, however, the crisis ends badly. A gas fire, like any other fire, is a life-changing event. Things cannot get back to normal until the fire and water damage are addressed. Insurance is a part of the solution but the key to making it a home again is to bring in the best restoration specialists available in Bryan, TX. This allows you to put this experience behind you so that you and your family can return to leading normal lives as quickly as possible.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

Why Is There Mildew on the Plants and What Can Be Done?

5/13/2018 (Permalink)

Why Is There Mildew on the Plants and What Can Be Done?


Plant mildew is a parasite. It grows on living plants, and if left untreated, could result in the death of your shrubs and greenery. When you find this type of growth in or around your Bryan, TX, home, you may have a few questions. Like with other fungus growth, it can be beneficial to call in a residential mold expert for a little extra help.


Why Growth Happens


Mildew growth can take place on almost any type of plant, but some may be more susceptible than others. This growth may start for a variety of reasons, including the following:

• Garden is too congested.
• Plants are overwatered.
• Little light reaches the vegetation.
• The area is warm.

Plant mildew can start to grow when only a few of these conditions are met. Once it is on one plant, it can easily spread to nearby shrubs, flowers or vegetables through wind, water or on animals.


How To Get Rid of It


Because you want your indoor and outdoor gardens to thrive, you need to do what you can to get rid of this fungus growth as quickly as possible. Your first step should be to wash off the leaves using regular water. Once the powdery substance has been removed, you can prepare your plants to ensure the growth does not come back. This can mean pruning overgrown vegetation, thinning out congested gardens, moving a plant into direct sunlight or taking an indoor plant outside. More sun and a nice breeze can help keep your potted greens from becoming too moist.

Other things you can do to prevent this unwanted mildew growth is to use mildew-resistant potting soil. This special soil helps prepare your plants for mildew. With the nutrients from the soul, the plants may be able to fight the growth off on their own.

While plant mildew may not present a danger to your home, it can still be a big nuisance. Taking care of the problem and preventing its return can improve the health of your garden.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

5 Steps to Commercial Fire Safety

5/13/2018 (Permalink)

It is impossible to guarantee that a fire will never break out in your commercial property in Bryan, TX, but you can increase fire safety. If you do not already have a contingency plan in place for employees or other occupants to follow in the event of a fire, here are five simple steps you should take.

1. Establish an emergency plan. This plan should include a method for reporting fires as well as an evacuation plan. You may want to hold a mandatory meeting on a regular basis in which you inform employees or occupants about their roles and responsibilities.

2. Post maps with emergency escape routes at strategic locations. People may panic in the event of a fire and forget the specifics of the contingency plan. It is a good idea to post the best evacuation routes in strategic places throughout a building, such as near stairs or elevators. Make sure that these plans indicate that elevators are not safe to use during a fire.

3. Create a contact list. This list should include the names, titles, departments, and contact information for all employees.

4. Identify essential services. Depending on the businesses in the building or the needs of the facility itself, you may want to specify which services require attention and who will perform these tasks in the event of an emergency.

5. Store important records in a secure location. Keep important documents such as accounting, employment, or insurance records in a safe location on- or off-site.

These five steps are intended to help you create a contingency plan to promote the safety of all employees or occupants in a business or commercial property. Following these steps will make you better able to account for all of the people in your building. If you do experience a fire, contact a certified commercial restoration service in Bryan, TX.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

What To Do Immediately Following a Flood

4/10/2018 (Permalink)

Even in instances where the visible damage is minimal, flooding can be one of the worst natural disasters. In addition to ruined belongings, dealing with flood insurance, mold damage, and others, after-effects can make it difficult to recover. To help you get back in your home quickly, here are three steps you should take immediately if a flood hits Bryan, TX. These steps should be completed as soon as safely possible, even before the arrival of the insurance adjuster as they can take a while to get to your home if the damage is widespread.


Document the Damage


While you wait for the insurance adjuster to arrive, you should take the time to account for all the damage caused to your home. Take pictures of the inside and outside of your home, as well as pictures that show the level that the water reached. This can help with your flood insurance claim or any disaster relief applications.


Take Inventory of Belongings


You should also take inventory of all your possessions and record any flood damage they’ve suffered. If you don’t have a detailed list of your possessions, now is a great time to start one. If you already have a list, then you should use this time to make sure it’s up to date.


Disinfect Your Home


In addition to the ruined furniture and upholstery, you should account for invisible mold damage. To do so, follow these steps to disinfect and deodorize your home:

• Get rid of any mud on your floors and walls using a shovel and water sprayer.

• Disinfect all non-porous surfaces such as floors, walls, cabinets, and countertops that contacted the flood water.

• Take your rugs, upholstery, and other porous items outside to dry. You can use an antimicrobial solution to counteract any mold growth so far.

By following these tips, you can get a head start on repairing your flood damage before your adjuster even arrives. If you work with a qualified flood restoration professional, which may be covered by your flood insurance, you may be able to return to your home before too long.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com/.

Tackling Mold's Move-In

3/28/2018 (Permalink)

Most Bryan, TX, homes can be vulnerable to mold in some shape, color, smell, or form. After all, many of the materials that make up the house itself can set the stage for a fungus party. It may be a great time for, say, black mold, but you probably have other ideas. Does mold go away on its own? This question can be answered in the short list below.


1. An Unwelcome Guest


After you've located the affected areas of your house, the ideal next step is to plan mold cleanup. Calling professionals who understand the ins and outs of this pesky substance is usually a good first step; however, even the pros can tell you that addressing mold is no light business. Mold can seep in underneath walls, carpets, bathroom tiles, and other subtle places, so it is important that your house becomes an area of close scrutiny.


2. Moisture Is Key


Most homeowners are familiar with the occasional leaky roof or dripping pipes. These small nuisances can become bigger issues when mold becomes the new house guest. If black mold has taken over any part of your house, a simple drying of the area does not quite do the trick. Mold can be a long-time roommate, even if you've let your house dry, so the best bet is to plan a cleanup.


3. Invisible Pests


Even if you've addressed a moisture problem, it is possible that you are only at the beginning of your mold cleanup quest. Spores – the reproductive cells that allow mold to spread – are impossible to spot. They can travel through the air, on clothing, and in various parts of the house. It is important that you approach a mold problem the appropriate way so that the spores will be no more.

Whether it's black mold, mold spots on your walls, or anything in between, a mold infestation can be serious. Knowing you've placed your trust in the right remediating hands can not only identify all affected places but can also ensure the mold is really gone.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com.

What is the First Step after Flooding

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Mitigation is the First Step

When dealing with any flood damage, the best way to begin the repair process of water in business structures is through a process known as mitigation. The process of mitigation involves removing excess water and drying out the structure so that damage is mitigated and or reduced.

The first step in that process involves pumping out excess water as flooding water recedes. This is an important step in reducing further structural and electrical damage that can be caused when water sits inside a structure for any length of time. The next step involves a process that will take any remaining water out of the buildings walls and floors.

This drying process is created when a heated air movement system that eradicates excess water is put into the building and used to evaporate any excess water that cannot be vacuumed up or pumped out. The heated air movement process is more thorough in getting inside walls and floors as compared to other types of drying systems.

For more information visit SERVPRO of Brazos Valley.

Improving Your Air Quality in Bryan, TX

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

How can I Improve the Air Quality?

For most businesses in Texas, the ductwork is constantly being used either because the air conditioning is going or the heating is going to keep the building comfortable. The problem with having your air conditioning or heating system running all the time is that the ductwork in your building can become dirtier than it normally would be. This can be a problem for a variety of different reasons, but one of the main problems is that it can reduce the air quality for your tenants or employees.

Signs that you need your air ducts cleaned:

  • Stale or dusty smell in the building
  • Filters that have not been changed
  • Dust or mold around air vents

For more information on HVAC cleaning services visit SERVPRO of Brazos Valley.

Preventing Secondary Damage in Commercial Buildings

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

The longer you wait to treat water damage, the more secondary damage might occur.

The best way to prevent damage is to start cleaning up immediately. If the water intrusion is extensive enough, it is recommended that you call a water remediation specialist in Bryan, TX. 

Remove all the water

Clear the water-damaged area of all furniture. Pull up any wet carpet and padding. If you have drywall, you may need to cut holes in the wall or do a flood cut to help the walls air out properly. Use fans to help dry the space more quickly. You can even use dehumidifiers to speed things along. It is important that you dry the room within 48 hours; otherwise, you may suffer from black mold growth. 

Water damage can cause a lot of problems down the road if it is not properly taken care of. Call a professional to make sure your commercial building is dried out correctly.

Visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com for more information on commercial water damage.

How Does Leaking Water Act As a Trigger?

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Water leaks, leading to humidity, can happen in a few different ways:

• Slow leaks through unsealed windows

• Steadily malfunctioning appliances

• Floods or sewer backups

Slower, long-term leaks have similar effects to secondary damage in that both are difficult to spot and, as a result, may have extended lengths of time to do damage. 

What Should You Do After You Notice a Leak?

Some people mistakenly believe that all they have to do following a flood or leak is clean up standing water. The problem with this is that even when the water appears to be gone in your home, significant humidity levels can cause the perfect conditions for black mold and bacteria to thrive. Therefore, it is essential to enlist the help of a reliable water removal specialist in Bryan, TX. These professionals possess the equipment to effectively dry the area. They also have the experience to know when the problem is truly solved. 

There are numerous ways that you can eliminate black mold concerns following a flood or leak. With a quick response and water removal specialists at the ready, you can enjoy peace of mind in a mold-free home.

Visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com for more information on mold damage.

Contingency Plan for Fire Damage

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Learn how to best prepare your company before and after a fire occurs to help prevent damage and potentially save lives. Meanwhile, it’s highly important for your business to have a contingency plan prepared in advance. It should include:

  • A data storage device, such as a cloud server in action at all times. This preserves records and files safely and consistently, even if printed office paperwork goes up in flames.
  • Reach out to all employees, customers or suppliers about next steps. Keeping everyone in the loop is important for rebuilding your business with a loyal team effort behind you.
  • Contact your insurance company immediately. Record all business losses and get started on restoration with the help of your insurance agent before any fire damage gets worse.

Never take risks with your business. Create an evacuation plan that will help everyone get to safety when necessary, and have a strong contingency plan in place to efficiently handle the resulting fire damage.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com.

The Potential For Damage after Flooding

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

It is important that you investigate all of the potential damage caused by flooding.

What you see may only be part of the problem. Moisture can be hidden in the walls. If not properly taken care of, it can lead to mold. Moisture meters can help you assess the damage to your walls. 

Sometimes, drywall can be salvaged. It may require performing a flood cut. These are made approximately 12 inches above the flood line. You will need to tear out any insulation behind the cutout section. By removing this section of wall, you can more easily dry the area behind the wall and salvage the remaining structure. It is also important to check your base molding and flooring. Carpet may need to be pulled back for proper drying. 

Flooding can cause damage beyond what is visible to the naked eye. It is vital to know what type of water you are dealing with. Gray and black water should be handled differently than clean water. Assess the damage thoroughly and make sure you dry the affected area out completely to prevent further issues such as mold. 

Visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com for more information on water damage.

How do I make a fire claim?

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Your insurer will assign your case a claims adjuster to help with mitigation.

The professional will guide you through the entire process and consider the cause of the loss. Then he or she will negotiate with you on a settlement that will consider structure, furnishings and other personal belongings that were lost, as well as all damages to include: 

Smoke damage

Smoke smell

Water damage

Caustic substance removal

Stains

Mold Removal

Many don't think of all the various types of damage associated with their loss. For example, smoke smell can remain in the home or business long after it's repaired if not treated properly.

At this point your adjuster will go over how much coverage you have and anything you can do to obtain additional help to cover losses, if necessary. Then, the claims settlement process begins. It's important to realize that although it may all seem overwhelming; the decisions are always yours.

Visit  SERVPRO of Brazos Valley for more information on fire damage.

Flood Risks to Your Home or Business

3/20/2018 (Permalink)

Risks of Flood Water and Damage to Home and Business Properties

Without proper mitigation and air movement of an affected area, you risk the growth of harmful mold. Mold growing in walls, flooring, and even the foundations of buildings can cause a lot of damage to your home or building.

Cleaning an area that is flooded as quickly as possible helps to mitigate the chances of mold and bacteria growing within your home or business. Many property owners will want to wait for an adjuster after a water damage or flood. They are afraid that their damaged property due to a water loss may not be covered. However, the longer the water sits the worse the damage will get, and some insurances will not cover secondary damage.

For more information about mold visit  SERVPRO of Brazos Valley.

When Is a Flood Cut Necessary?

2/27/2018 (Permalink)

An experienced team will have the equipment and expertise to handle this situation.

In the case of catastrophic flooding, whether from a storm or from a broken power line, it is best to call experts in Bryan, TX, as soon as possible. One of the advanced techniques they may use is called a flood cut. At its most basic, a flood cut is when the contractor makes a cut in the drywall, usually 12 to 18 inches above the damage line from the water event. Here are three scenarios where a flood cut may be necessary.

Sewage Backups

In cases of sewage backups, a tear out of the drywall is definitely necessary. The drywall has been tainted with dirty water that has the potential to carry disease and to make the living space unhealthy. In this case, the wall will have to be removed about 12 inches above the flood damage. This also allows for better cleaning and drying of the area.

Visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com for more information on storm damage.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today! (979)779-3333

What should I do if I have water behind insulated walls?

2/27/2018 (Permalink)

Insulated Walls

If there is insulation behind the walls, a flood cut will be necessary. Once insulation has been damaged by flooding, it cannot be dried effectively enough to retain its insulating properties. Therefore, saturated insulation needs to be taken out and replaced after the water has been removed.

If the water that has flooded the commercial building it will be polluted with dangerous chemicals, a flood cut will need to be performed. This is the only way to certify that the contamination will not be released at a later date into the living space, potentially causing harm to employees.

Flood cuts are not always necessary after a flooding event. In cases where the water is clean, and there is no insulation, this technique can be avoided. As always, it is best to call in the water damage experts for guidance in these situations.

Visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com for more information on storm.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today! (979)779-3333

How to Protect Your Business Before and After a Fire

2/15/2018 (Permalink)

Trying to create the perfect disaster plan for your company in Bryan, TX is virtually impossible. After all, a variety of unexpected things can occur when the moment strikes, forcing everyone involved to simply adapt and react accordingly. However, devising a smart evacuation plan ahead of time for employees to practice can be crucial, while setting up a proper contingency plan affects how your business deals with the aftermath.

When you’re proposing a plan for evacuation procedures, here are some key things to incorporate:

  • Ensure a map of the building with exit doors and escape routes is systematically placed around the office for convenient viewing at all times. Take practice runs with employees to help them pinpoint their closest exits, or demonstrate an alternative escape method in case the fire happens to be blocking their intended exit.
  • Teach employees risk assessment questions. While small fires can often be quickly contained with the use of a fire extinguisher, any fire has the potential to get out of control. Enforce a meeting to discuss risk assessment questions employees should immediately consider when a fire erupts.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com.

What You Should Know About Secondary Damage and Mold

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Quick Mitigation Prevents Secondary Damage

Following a flood or a considerable water leak in your home in Bryan, TX you may be faced with costly repairs due to secondary damage. This damage is directly related to high humidity in the home. Inclement weather, inefficient siding and more can expose your home to leaking and subsequent humidity. Black mold, for example, can become a pressing concern if the water damage is not fully managed from the beginning.

What Is Secondary Damage?

After water has breached your home, moisture can seep beneath the flooring or behind the walls and promote humidity in those places. High humidity levels can cause unwelcome dampness to linger and create unexposed mold problems.

Visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com for more information on water damage.

How To Prevent Secondary Water Damage

1/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water can be intrusive and harmful. There is more to its cleanup than just removing the water and addressing the visible damage. If a facility is not cleaned properly, it can lead to secondary water damage that could result in hazardous conditions and black mold.

Types of Water Damage

Primary water damage is the damage that you can see and detect. It is the obvious damage. Primary damage might include moisture wicked into drywall, warped floors, wet carpet and pad, and water-damaged furniture.

Secondary damage isn’t always as obvious, so you may not notice it right away. It is usually the result of long-term damage that was not taken care of in a timely enough manner. It can result in swollen doors, wood floors, baseboards and door casings. You may see cracking walls. Water that evaporates quickly can also lead to secondary water damage. The high humidity allows moisture to penetrate porous material like fabrics. This type of damage can be extremely harmful to your home. It can cause structural damage and lead to black mold problems.

Visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com for more information on commercial water damage.

College Station Smoke and Soot Cleanup

11/21/2017 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Brazos Valley will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 
(979)-779-3333

How to get rid of mold

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

• Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
• Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air, and they may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
• Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. 
• Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise the mold may return.
• Let your nose lead the way. Mold often produces a strong, musty odor, and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
• Even higher than normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If you think your home or business may have a mold issue, contact the professionals at SERVPRO today!

Water damage restoration

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of Brazos Valley

SERVPRO of Brazos Valley specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Broken Washing Machine Hose

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

A broken supply hose causes more than half of all water damage insurance claims. These insurance claims are costly. The average claim is around $6,000. If the homeowner fails to monitor the condition of the hose, it can burst. A busted hose can spill hundreds of gallons of water within an hour. A few tips to remember are:

  • Buy proper length hoses when installing a washing machine or replacing old hoses. Select a length to fit the space rather than trying to force a proper fit.
  • Allow enough space between the wall and the machine to avoid kinks in the hoses. Aim for 3” to 4” but adjust as needed to avoid sharp bends in the hoses.
  • Inspect washing machine hoses regularly. At minimum check the hoses once or twice a year. Keep an eye out for kinks, damage, rust or snags in the braided stainless steel, and signs of a leak.
  • Shut off water supply valves when not in use and when you will be away from home such as when vacationing. The constant water pressure on the washing machine hoses can contribute to hose failure.
  • Replace washing machine hoses regularly. Read the manufacturer’s recommendations and install new hoses as suggested. If the hose is more than five years old, there is an increased risk of it wearing out. More than 80 percent of hoses fail between their sixth and tenth year of use.

Water damage timeline

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Brazos Valley provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Brazos Valley arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Brazos Valley

SERVPRO of Brazos Valley specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Water damage cleanup

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Brazos Valley is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Brazos VAlley

SERVPRO of Brazos Valley specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Keeping Commercial Winter Storm Damage From Crippling Your Business

11/20/2017 (Permalink)


Keeping Commercial Winter Storm Damage From Crippling Your Business

As a business owner, you thrive on being able to serve your loyal clients, but they'll lose faith if you can't hold up your end of the bargain. Frozen pipes and other casualties of winter storms can put your facilities and operations out of commission, and such unexpected downtime makes it impossible to profit. Here's what you should know about the relationship between your building and winter weather.

The Commercial Risks of Winter Storm Damage

Commercial properties run many of the same extreme cold weather risks that you might be familiar with if you own a home, such as:

High winds that damage roof layers, frozen pipes that cut off water supplies to key processes, sudden freezes that may cause pipes to burst if you forget to turn the heat on in time, and cold snaps that can create ice dams and weaken structural roofing members, such as gutters, flashing and membrane layers.

Although these incidents are distinct, they can all weaken your building's envelope, or the outer layer that separates it from the elements.

Whether you're facing a pipe that burst or a roof that lost some of its flashing in a gale, these areas allow water to enter your property. Over time, such damage can further weaken structural materials and render your business unfit for operation. Or it might contribute to mold growth that ruins your stock and compromise safety in your building. If you've suffered damage, then fast, comprehensive restoration is vital.
Visit http://www.SERVPRObrazosvalley.com for more information on storm damage.

Summer Home Mold Growth - Preventative Care

7/25/2017 (Permalink)

Mold found behind wallpaper

Summer is here! Now is the perfect time to make sure an optimum level of home protection from mold damage. Being one step ahead of mold growing, is the key to prevent a greater problem down the road.

Common places to control

Fungi normally needs a moist environment to grow. Typical areas where mold can be found in the home include:

  • Heating and air conditioning systems
  • Around windows
  • Bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms
  • Basements and crawl spaces under the property
  • Pipes and ductwork
  • In attics due to leaking roofs

Indoors Care

During the summer months it is typical to find higher levels of mold growth due to the increase in relative humidity. It is known that 65%-70% relative humidity will enhance mold growth. Your home air conditioning unit helps to control the humidity in your home during the warm months. Therefor, it is extremely important to keep constant air circulation in your home. Regular air filter changes and air duct cleanings can insure your unit will work properly all summer long. 

Indoors Mold Prevention Checklist

  • Indoor Humidity: Keep the indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent and use a dehumidifier to lower when necessary.
  • Wall Leaks: Weather strip and caulk leaky windows.
  • AC Drain Leaks: Be sure the HVAC units drain properly. Have regular inspections of AC units to insure they are running smoothly.
  • Ductwork Condensation: Inspect unit’s ducts for excess moisture. Repair or replace when needed.
  • Air Filters: Use a high quality air filter for AC units, and change it regularly.
  • Bath Vent Fans: Install bathroom fans to ventilate after showers.
  • Window Condensation: Install insulated glass or storm windows to avoid condensation.
  • Vent Gas Appliances: Make sure gas and kerosene heaters and fireplaces are ventilated.
  • Roof Leaks: Check attic for roof damages, and repair.
  • Plumbing: Examine pipes for leaks and insulate.

Outdoors Mold Prevention Checklist

  • Blocked Drainage: Keep drains and downspouts clean.
  • Foundation: Channel water from downspouts away from the house to prevent leaks.
  • Water under house: Check crawl space for excess moisture.

If you find yourself dealing with a mold issue, no matter how big or small, the experts at SERVPRO are trained and ready to help make the situation "Like it never even happened."

Brazos Valley Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

8/17/2016 (Permalink)

Be careful! Without proper training, you could be spreading mold throughout your home.

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Brazos Valley for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Brazos Valley specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today! (979)779-3333

Bryan - College Station Storm Damage

8/17/2016 (Permalink)

Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in The Brazos Valley and surrounding areas.

SERVPRO ofBrazos Valley specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit The Brazos Valley, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today! (979)779-3333

Firework Facts

6/24/2015 (Permalink)

it only takes one three dollar firework to caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in fire damages

For many Americans, fireworks are a hallmark of the Independence Day celebrations that binds the US in it's festivities. However, it only takes one three dollar firework to caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in fire damages to residential and commercial properties. Consider some of the following facts:

* in 2011, fireworks caused an estimated 17,800 reported fires, including 1,200 structure fires, 400 vehicle fires and 16,300 outside and other fires.

* There fires resulted in an estimated 40 civilian injuries and $32 million in direct property damage, with no reported fire deaths.

* On Independence Day in a typical year, fireworks account for two out of five of all reported fires, more than any other cause of fire.

So remember these facts as you are celebrating with family and friends! Have fun, but stay safe! 

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