Recent Fire Damage Posts

Navigating Fire Damage Estimation

1/7/2022 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Brenham, TX.

Steps To Take After Fire Damage To Your Commercial Building

Besides the emotional turmoil, one of the biggest costs of a fire is damage. In 2018, experts estimate the average cost of repairing fire damages at around $12,000. It takes time for your Brenham, TX, business to get back to normal, but you can help by jump-starting the fire damage estimation process. Here are two steps to take as soon as the flames die down.

Document the Damage

Your insurer won’t waste much time getting to you, but in the meantime, you can help by documenting some things on your own. Those include:

  • Taking pictures
  • Taking notes
  • Taking inventory of damaged personal property

Use a disposable camera to take pictures of the damage. Look for smaller damage and take notes to help you remember things. Your notes should also include any property that has been damaged or destroyed. A good rule of thumb is to begin the process before doing any cleanup.

Call Your Insurer

It can be tempting to wait a few days to settle down from the incident to reach out to your insurer, but this isn’t the best approach. That’s especially true if there’s a chance that weather or vandals could cause any further damage to your property, as insurers won’t want to cover that. Instead, as soon as the fire is out, and the immediate threat is gone, reach out to initiate the insurance investigation process. Your insurer will schedule a visit to help you get a good initial estimate of how much the damages will cost. With that in hand, you can start shopping around for contractors to help with repairs.

A commercial fire can be stressful, but there are steps you can take to make things flow smoothly and quickly. Understanding the ins and outs of the fire damage estimate process is one of them. Use these tips to help get back on track fast.

Steps To Take After a Fire

12/10/2021 (Permalink)

effects of fire damage in a home. What do I do if my home or business suffers from fire damage? The answer is simple, give SERVPRO a call! Our crew is highly trained and experienced.

Following A Fire, What Should You Do?

It's hard to imagine a fire happening to you, but what if your home does catch fire? Are you prepared? Do you know what to do? When you're in the midst of the crisis, it can be hard to decide which steps should be completed first. However, as you work with fire restoration professionals, you'll be able to get your life back on track.

1. Contact Your Insurance Agent

As soon as possible, call your insurance agent. Before the smoke from the fire clears, you'll get phone calls from contractors and other professionals with services to help you. Before you sign any paperwork, however, you'll want to know exactly what your fire insurance policy is going to cover.

2. Contact a Fire and Smoke Restoration Company

The clean up that happens right after the fire can have long-term effects on the rest of the restoration process. Your insurance company may recommend specific fire restoration professionals in Bryan, TX. These experts have dealt with many fires and have the specialized training, equipment, and cleaners to protect your home.

3. Categorize Your Belongings

In addition to separating those items that have been damaged from those that are still in good condition, you'll want to take an inventory of your losses. Separating your items into groups makes this process easier. Ask your insurance company about the information they need.

4. Arrange a Place to Stay Throughout the Reconstruction Process

After the fire and smoke cleaning professionals have had a chance to inspect your property, they can give you an estimate of how long the clean up and restoration process will take. At this point, make plans to stay at a  Bryan, TX, hotel or with family and friends who are willing to host you. In some cases, fire insurance policies will pay for food, clothing, and shelter.

Before you need to worry about fire restoration services, take steps to prevent fires. Make sure you have adequate insurance policies in place. Plan ahead to avoid trouble in the future.

Fire and Water: Reclaiming Your Home From the Elements

10/6/2021 (Permalink)

A home damaged by fire If your home experiences a fire loss, don't hesitate and give our SERVPRO of Brazos Valley team a call for your fire restoration needs.

Taking Back Your Home From The Elements with Fire and Water

If your home catches fire, there will likely be quite a few problems that need to be addressed. Fire damage is only one of the issues with which you have to contend when your home catches fire. A common side effect of a house fire is excess water and its damaging aftermath.

Extraction and Disinfection

When a fire breaks out in your home in College Station, TX, it damages everything it comes into contact with. In addition to the destruction it leaves in its wake, it puts out a substantial amount of heat, which can lead to a myriad of problems:

  • Busted pipes
  • Melted supply lines
  • Cracked toilets
  • Broken water tank

Even if by some miracle none of these problems occur, a lot of water comes out of the fire hose used to put out those flames. It’s almost a guarantee, therefore, that any home with fire damage also has significant water damage. Before fire restoration specialists can deal with the soot and smoke, they have to clean up the excess water.

Cleaning and Purifying

After the water has been removed, the technicians can tackle the soot. Every surface in every room where there was fire is probably going to be covered in soot, so every surface has to be cleaned. The techniques the professionals use remove the soot while protecting the surface from any further damage. When all the soot is gone, the smoke cleaning begins. Industrial air scrubbers are used to purify the air, removing not only the smell of the smoke but the particles that cause it. Foggers may also be used to sanitize smoke-infused rooms.

The fire damage left after the flames are overcome may be your primary concern, but it is not the only issue that must be resolved. Expert technicians in College Station, TX, who specialize in fire and water damage can offer a comprehensive restoration service.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 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 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.

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 for more information on fire damage.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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 at

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

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


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.

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?
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