Archived Blog Posts
How To Properly Use a Fire Extinguisher: The PASS Method
Fire Extinguishers are for small fires.
How To Use A Fire Extinguisher Using The PASS Method
Having a fire extinguisher in your home is never a bad idea, but it won’t be of much use if you don’t know how to properly operate it. When an emergency happens, seconds can mean the difference between a minor kitchen fire and a total disaster. Thankfully, there are a few basic tips and one simple acronym that can help you and your family easily remember the basics of using an extinguisher:
• Assess the size of the fire. Extinguishers are meant for smaller fires still in their infancy, known as the incipient stage. If the flames have grown taller than an average adult (5-6 feet), your extinguisher won’t help. Evacuate the home immediately and call 911.
• Check the available pressure. If the flames are still incipient, the next step is to check the pressure gauge on your fire extinguisher. A needle in the green means you’re good to go. If it falls anywhere outside of this acceptable range, abort and get your family out of the house.
• Position yourself appropriately. Learn and memorize the effective discharge range of your extinguisher ahead of time. Before you begin, position yourself as far away as possible while still ensuring that the discharge will reach the fire itself. Have an exit strategy in mind in the event that the flames are unable to be controlled.
• Utilize the proper technique by remembering the PASS method:
P – Pull the pin from the handle.
A – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
S – Squeeze the trigger to initiate discharge.
S – Sweep from side to side while continuing to aim for the base until the fire is out or the extinguisher stops discharging.
Keeping these simple tips in mind will help to ensure that you are getting the most out of your fire extinguisher in an emergency. Once the flames are out, contact a professional cleanup and restoration specialist in Bryan, TX that can help repair any fire damage and remove smoke odors from the home.
Business Owners Should Expect Experts To Do These 3 Things During Mold Remediation
Mold remediation in Burton, TX
Owners Should Expect To See The Following Three Things
One of the major concerns about water damage is moisture's ability to trigger black mold growth. Business owners may go from dealing with a broken pipe or toilet overflow to being told that fungus has infested the space. When this happens, proprietors should prepare for several stages of cleanup. To minimize the spread and restore the building, owners should expect to see the following three things.
1. Block Off the Contaminated Space
A water remediation company in Burton, TX, must start mold cleanup by cutting off the microbes' ability to migrate. After a thorough inspection, the experts determine what is harmed. They cut off the area from foot traffic and set up negative air chambers to stop airflow. It's best not to enter the space, allowing only the professionals to enter and leave. They wear protective gear to limit exposure levels.
2. Remove Moisture Promptly
Black mold feeds on water, so specialists perform a meticulous inspection to see how much dampness is present. With the supply stopped, the reproduction begins to slow down too. Moisture reading tools inform specialists about troublesome spots, guiding the team as to where to start extraction and drying procedures.
Carpet and drywall are concerning since they are porous substances that cannot be treated with chemicals. Tear out these items to reduce wetness and spore count. Flood cuts are made, usually a few feet above the waterline, to ensure proper cleanup. Industrial dehumidifiers run around the clock. These devices extract moisture from the air and materials, quickening the drying time.
3. Sanitize What Is Left
Once aired out, the mold remediation crew washes the rest of the interior and applies an antimicrobial spray. These work effectively on non-porous substances, killing lingering microbes. Content cleaning crews use high-tech equipment to tend to electronics and valuable documents.
Water damage may easily lead to black mold, so it's imperative to act immediately. Secure the impacted areas, and focus on getting these locations dry. With the help of professionals, owners can hinder mold development and restore the property.
3 Benefits of Professional Fire Restoration
Fire restoration in College Station, TX.
Three Ways SERVPRO Stands Out From The Competition
When fire damages a commercial building in College Station, TX, the quality of the fire restoration determines how quickly the business can reopen and how much secondary damage occurs. A top-tier restoration service is one you can confidently recommend to your insurance clients.
1. IICRC Certification Ensures Quality Restoration
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification has been setting high standards for the restoration industry since 1972. The standards cover everything from continuing education requirements to liability insurance. Due to these rigorous standards, IICRC-certified SERVPRO franchises are often given preferred vendor status by insurance companies.
2. Quick Response Prevents Further Damage
The soot leftover after a fire has been extinguished is often corrosive, but that is not the only post-fire risk businesses face. The firefighting efforts may have resulted in broken windows and holes in the roof that can allow vandals and wildlife to enter the property and cause even more damage. Standing water leftover from firehoses can lead to mold growth if not dried up within 24 hours. Boarding up openings and beginning the fire restoration process as soon as possible is the best way to prevent further damage. SERVPRO franchises are open 24/7 and are able to get to work quickly.
3. ‘Restore Versus Replace’ Saves Money
SERVPRO technicians are taught to approach every job with a “restore versus replace" mentality. This means that the goal is to restore when possible and replace only when there’s no better solution.
Although complete rebuilding services are sometimes necessary after a fire, this approach saves money and allows business owners to keep more of their original possessions.
Business fires are upsetting and stressful, but the fire rebuild process does not have to be. When insurance companies choose IICRC-certified companies with a customer-centric approach to fire restoration, the damage to the property and the stress on the client are both minimized.
Is a Basement Flood Covered by Insurance
Flooded basement in College Station, TX
When Insurance Will Or Won't Cover Your Water Damage Expenses
Experiencing a basement flood in your College Station, TX, home can be devastating. Even if your basement isn’t finished, you may store belongings that can be damaged quickly by water. Fortunately, there are water restoration companies that can help individuals cleanup and restore their homes before additional damage, such as mold, occurs. Additionally, insurance companies may cover some of the repair costs. Here are some examples of when insurance will or won’t cover your water damage expenses.
Covered Water Damage
Most homeowners insurance policies cover water damage in the following situations:
- Broken water heater
- Pipe burst
- Washing machine hose break
- Plumbing malfunction
All of these situations have two variables in common: sudden and accidental. If you’re wondering if your basement flood will be covered by your insurance, consider what caused the damage. Most insurance policies cover sudden and accidental water damage under dwelling coverage or personal property coverage.
Uncovered Water Damage
Having defined what perils are covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy, there are many instances where insurance coverage won’t pay for repairs:
- Lack of maintenance on an appliance
- The cost to replace the source of the problem
- Outside sewer or drain issues
- Flooding from any source
First, homeowners must take responsibility for properly caring for their home. If there is a continuous leak from a faucet and it causes water damage, it’s not a covered peril. Second, insurance may cover the cost to tear out and replace your damaged floor, but it won’t cover the cost to replace your water heater that caused the basement flood.
Third, outside water lines are not covered under a traditional homeowner's insurance policy; however, you may be able to purchase additional coverage. Finally, any type of flooding is not covered under a regular homeowner's policy. You may be able to purchase separate flood insurance if necessary.
If you find your basement is suddenly flooded with water, find the source of the problem. Identifying what caused the water damage will determine if insurance will cover the cost of the repairs.
The Best Bleach Alternatives For Cleaning Mold
Depending on the material, you may prefer to use standard or slightly stronger cleaning vinegar to kill mold
Mold-Cleaning Bleach Substitutes
Bleach is of limited use for cleaning mold. The most common chlorine-based solution is strictly a surface disinfectant and does not sink into porous materials. As a result, the root system of mold may resume growth after fungus cleanup. Here are several substances that are more effective for eliminating mold.
Distilled white vinegar is one of the best antifungal cleaners for porous and non-porous materials. There are several ways to use a solution of acetic acid in water to cleanup mold:
- Apply standard white vinegar at 5% concentration
- Apply cleaning white vinegar at 6% concentration
- Dilute standard or cleaning white vinegar
Depending on the material, you may prefer to use standard or slightly stronger cleaning vinegar to kill mold. Vinegar may be less likely to damage, discolor or degrade many sensitive substances than bleach. Keep in mind that vinegar is acidic and may react upon coming into contact with certain substances.
Sodium borate, which is often referred to as Borax, is another effective alternative for fungus cleanup. Dissolve one cup of this white powder in one gallon of hot water. Like bleach, sodium borate is basic, whereas vinegar is acidic. If you are not sure about the best cleaning substance for delicate materials or contents, consult with mold remediation experts.
In some cases, it may be necessary to use a fungicide to kill mold. These substances are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. Make sure to follow the instructions on any mold killer you use. Many commercial building owners prefer to have these treatments applied by restoration professionals for maximum effectiveness.
If you see signs of mold growing in a commercial property in Bryan, TX, you should call in fungus cleanup specialists. It is crucial to determine the true extent of an infestation.
Stopping Roof Leaks
Remember, many roof damage and flood scenarios may require professional intervention from a qualified cleanup company.
Preventing Roof Leaks
Many homeowners are aware of the potential roof damage that can come from a hail storm. However, many residents of Bryan, TX, don’t know how to respond afterward to prevent further flooding and structural issues from affecting the home.
1. Inspection and Preparation
The first step toward a leak-free roof happens before any storms are on the horizon. Many insurers will insist on regular roof inspections, especially if you have a more expensive policy or property. This sort of preventative maintenance keeps the roof in good shape in case a severe weather event does occur. Sometimes everyday wear and tear is the first sign that a roof will undergo water or wind damage later on.
2. Points of Interest
Most roofing inspections will involve a number of steps. The layering, position, and condition of the shingles are one of the most important initial markers of potential roof damage. If any of the asphalt shingles are broken or missing, water will begin to flow toward and under the plastic barrier beneath, given enough time. Re-roofing is fairly inexpensive and can save money in the long run by preventing damage to plywood, insulation, and structural beams in your attic.
Of course, the concussive force of large hailstones can accelerate this aging process and necessitate immediate roof repairs. If you find yourself in the midst of a hailstorm, safety should be the first priority. Afterward, if you can safely get to any major roof holes or other visible damage, place a tarp or other moisture shield over it. Many insurers insist that homeowners mitigate any potential site of ongoing roof damage until an adjuster can arrive to assess the claim.
Remember, many roof damage and flood scenarios may require professional intervention from a qualified cleanup company. However, with adequate knowledge and preparation, you can face any inclement weather with confidence.
Yard Flooding and Your Home
One easy and inexpensive fix for outside flooding problems is to clean the gutters to guarantee that no water is spilling over.
Yard Flooding and Your Residence
Most homeowners in College Station, TX, see a well-kept lawn and garden as an aesthetic consideration. However, a number of landscaping practices can help to prevent outside flooding and consequent property damage. Read on to discover more about this interconnection.
The grade or slope of your yard is the degree to which the surface level of the soil falls in elevation as you move away from the foundation of the home. Most houses compliant with local codes will have a gentle slope that directs water away from the base of the house. However, minor problems can develop with slight inconsistencies in the landscaping. If you notice water beginning to pool around your home during a rain storm, especially if it begins to leak through the outer walls, there are a few preventative steps you can take.
One easy and inexpensive fix for outside flooding problems is to clean the gutters to guarantee that no water is spilling over. A high volume of water pouring directly over the edge of the gutter instead of out the downspout indicates the existence of a clog. Most hardware stores sell extensible tools or attachments that can clean gutters and downspouts without any unwanted damage to roofing materials.
3. Soil and Cover
Sometimes the rain drainage issues occur farther from the base of the house. In these cases, extra soil and strategic planting can come in handy. Use heavier mulches and gravel in areas where you notice high water retention or fast water flow that tends to cause erosion. Hedges and small trees can also help hold finer soil types together, preventing your hard landscaping work from washing down the storm drain.
Being prepared doesn’t have to cost you an excessive amount of time or money. Remember, if you get out of your depth during an outside flooding event, have the contact information of a qualified cleanup industry professional at the ready.
SERVPRO Is Uniquely Positioned to Respond to a Catastrophe
SERVPRO is on standby 24/7/365 and ready to respond. Our team is ready to restore your home or business, no matter the size of the damage.
SERVPRO Is Ideally Placed To Respond To A Disaster
When a widespread catastrophic loss hits around Burton, TX, most restoration companies are completely overwhelmed by the number of requests for service. This can quickly compound a disaster because an immediate response is needed to mitigate the damage.
It’s essential that a disaster restoration company gets in right away. They’ll take immediate steps to prevent further destruction, such as:
- Tarp and board exposed areas.
- Remove flooding.
- Squeeze out excess moisture.
- Decontaminate toxic residue left over from floodwater.
When a disaster overwhelms an area, you need a damage restoration company with the widest reach. That’s why most insurance companies like to use a large organization.
Local Company, Nationwide Resources
SERVPRO has over 1,700 franchises throughout the U.S. and Canada. Their specialized Disaster Recovery Team can call on resources from far outside the region to enter a structure as soon as rescue teams have cleared them.
If a storm severely damages a building, it may not be structurally safe to enter. A recovery team will enter and repair the structural soundness, so that a complete inspection may happen.
Storm damage is pretty random, so a building needs to be structurally appraised before entry. During a catastrophic loss, team availability will be drastically reduced, meaning help from outside the area is essential for faster service.
SERVPRO Is the Top Choice for Many Insurance Companies
Sadly, many restoration vendors have been noteworthy for shoddy service and surprise costs. SERVPRO franchisees have all been vetted by the national corporation and are required to meet many strict standards.
New franchises must go through mandatory training upon opening, and the company offers employee certification training in fire and water restoration as well as carpet and upholstery cleaning. They’re also an approved Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification trainer for the highest standards in restoration.
Not only do they offer more advanced courses to franchise employees, but they also provide both credit and noncredit education for insurance and real estate professionals. They’re committed to making the process work as smoothly and quickly as possible.
A catastrophic loss is always a disaster, but the response usually makes the biggest difference. Always choose a local company with national resources for the most effective response.
Making a Flood Claim
If you have flood insurance, you may not be in as much trouble as others, but filing a flood claim can be daunting if you've never done it before.
How To File A Flood Claim
Storms can bring floods, which can result in many problems for homeowners. If you have flood insurance, you may not be in as much trouble as others, but filing a flood claim can seem overwhelming if you have never been through it. Flood mitigation services in College Station, TX, often recommend following a four-step process for dealing with the aftermath of flooding.
1. Filing an Insurance Claim
You want to keep your insurance provider in the loop. Therefore, as soon as you realize your home is flooding or flooded, call your insurance contact. You want to report the damage so the adjuster can start the claims process, including any necessary paperwork.
2. Mitigating Further Loss
Most insurance companies find it difficult to approve a flood claim if homeowners do nothing to mitigate further loss. Your insurance is only for the initial damage. If you do nothing to protect your home and something else happens, your insurer will likely not cover it. Therefore, contact a mitigation service to help cover any holes or excavate any water.
3. Documenting Damage
The insurance adjuster will want a full inventory of the damage to the home and personal property. Before removing water, try to take as many pictures of the damage as possible. With the water removed, take closer pictures to show the adjuster when they arrive.
4. Waiting for the Adjuster
The insurance adjuster will do their own assessment of the property and any items. However, having photos and receipts ready when they arrive can make the process run a little smoother. Adjusters are busy people, so anything you can do to save them some time is appreciated.
A flood claim is a straightforward process, but it can be time-consuming. Following the above steps can help speed things along and eliminate any potential hiccups in the process.
What Damage Can Smoke Do to Your Business?
Many business owners understand the devastation caused by heat and flames, but smoke damage can also impact your property.
What Harm Can Smoke Cause To Your Business?
Fire can cause damage to your Bryan, TX, property in a number of ways. Many business owners understand the destruction that the heat and flames cause, but smoke damage can also take its toll on your property.
What Damage Can Smoke Do?
Smoke can affect your property in several ways:
- It can get into porous surfaces such as drywall, carpet, upholstered furniture and window treatments. These elements can absorb smoke odor.
- Smoke from organic materials can leave behind grease and stains.
- Smoldering plastic or rubber can create a thick, sticky substance that corrodes surfaces.
- Smoke can stain surfaces, leaving behind black residue that requires smoke cleaning.
How Can Damage Be Repaired?
Fortunately, a professional restoration service can help you with smoke cleaning. Odor can be reduced or eliminated using ozone machines, thermal foggers and air filtration devices. Dry cleaning can help remove light residue or act as a pre-treatment for wet cleaning.
Some upholstery needs special treatment, as the fabrics may shrink or pucker with wet cleaning. Foam cleaning is a good alternative for these fabrics. Another option for delicate surfaces is spray-and-wipe cleaning.
Other items may require immersion cleaning, which involves dipping the damaged content in cleaner. Abrasive cleaning helps treat damage from smoke on surfaces that can withstand a more aggressive approach.
Electronics can also sustain damage from smoke.
The residue contains corrosive acid that can harm computers, printers and other devices. These surfaces should be cleaned and inspected by a qualified technician.
When Should You Call for Help With Smoke Cleaning?
The sooner you begin the restoration process, the better. Smoke can cause further damage and corrosion by lingering on surfaces. Calling a professional restoration company can help you get back to normal as soon as possible with the goal of restoring your assets instead of replacing them.
Don't neglect damage from smoke on your Bryan, TX, property. Quickly cleaning and restoring your building, furniture and electronics can help you get back in business.
How To Create a Fire Escape Plan
It is possible that during a home fire, each person may have to use different escape routes to exit the building.
How To Make A Fire Exit Strategy
No one wants to think about the possibility that they may experience a home fire, but taking the opportunity to come up with a fire escape plan and discuss it with your family or housemates can save lives in the event of an emergency. Homeowners in Brenham, TX, should make sure they have all the safety supplies they need and a plan in place.
Have Fire Safety Supplies
An important part of fire preparation is having all of the right safety supplies on hand and making sure all residents know where to find them:
- Fire extinguishers
- Smoke detectors
- Rope ladders for upper level windows
- Fire blankets
- Phones or walkie talkies
These items can help you escape a burning building faster or keep yourself safe until the fire department can assist you.
Determine Escape Routes
When creating a fire escape plan, you and the other people in your residence should discuss how you would get out of each room in the house if you were trapped there during a fire. You should consider multiple scenarios to make sure you have a plan for every possible situation. Before exiting any room during a fire, you should touch the door handle to check for heat. If the handle is hot, then the fire may be right outside of the door. In that case, keep the door closed and find an alternative exit or wait for the fire department's help.
Decide on a Meeting Place
It is possible that during a home fire, each person may have to use different escape routes to exit the building. You should determine a meeting place outside of the home. This will allow you to stay together and know who is still trapped inside so that you can tell the first responders.
You should also have a place in mind to stay while a fire damage repair service fixes the damage. Options include a friend's or family member's house or a hotel.
Having a fire escape plan can save your live and the lives of your loved ones in the event of a home fire.
Cleaning Up the Mess After the Fire Trucks Leave
Initially, firefighting efforts can turn your home into a disaster. The SERVPRO goal is to make the house look "Like it never even happened."
Cleaning Up After The Fire Trucks Have Left
The fire fighting process is seldom pretty. The fire department has a job to: put out the fire, rescue people and animals and limit property damage. Sometimes to do this the firefighters must bring down doors with axes, break windows and open holes in roofs. Then there is the damage caused by the fire itself. For these reasons, a board up is often needed to secure your home from additional damage. In this precarious state, your home in Burton, TX, is vulnerable to storms, vandals and even wild animals.
A Job for Professionals
An emergency board up is not a simple task. Your home after a fire is a notoriously unstable place. Climbing up on the roof with boards and nails is best left to a professional fire mitigation franchise. Not only can trained workers with the appropriate equipment do the job safely, but they can also make sure all gaps are closed. Once the home is secure, the mitigation crew will take the following steps:
- Inspection and assessment of the property
- Water removal and drying
- Removal of soot and smoke damage
- Cleaning and repair services
A secure board up allows workers to perform their tasks in safety. They often must contend with water damage as a result of the fire department using fire hoses to put out the blaze.
A Solution to Fire Damage
Both fire and fire fighting efforts can make a mess of your home at first. With the help of trained professionals, though, your home can be restored to its original condition. The goal of a SERVPRO company is to make the home look "Like it never even happened." This takes advanced cleaning methods and specialized equipment.
Technicians employ a variety of cleaning techniques that eliminate smoke odors and clear away soot from all surfaces. A board up is often the beginning of an important process to get your home back in shape.
3 Signs You Need To Replace a Toilet
A leaking toilet can lead to a sky-high water bill and much more costly home damage if not addressed.
3 Signs That Your Toilet Needs To Be Replaced
Most people want to deal with their toilets as little as possible. However, as your toilet ages, it may begin to require more and more attention. Whether you have a leaking toilet or some other issue, here are three signs that this fixture is ready to be replaced.
1. Signs of Age
Like anything, an old toilet eventually begins to show signs of wear and tear. Here are a few things to look for when determining if your toilet needs replacement due to old age:
- Cracks in the porcelain
- Persistent surface stains
- Built-up mineral deposits
A leaking toilet can lead to a sky-high water bill and much more costly home damage if not addressed. There are a variety of potential causes of a leak. The water could be seeping from around the base or dripping from the tank itself, or your tank may be leaking and running water constantly into the bowl.
When you are experiencing persistent leaking, consider replacing your toilet to avoid further problems. If you have a long-term leak that has already created water or mold damage you should contact a professional in water damage repair in Bryan, TX, to mitigate any further issues.
3. Frequent Minor Repairs
Your toilet has a lot of moving parts to help it function properly, including various levers, valves, gaskets and the entire flush and float system within the tank. Any of these items can wear out after time and require replacement. The cost of these parts and the loss of your valuable time can start to add up. If you find yourself performing minor toilet repair on a regular basis, you would likely benefit from replacing the entire thing to have a properly functioning system.
You shouldn't let an old or leaking toilet suck up your time and money. Know when it is time to invest in a newer, more efficient system by taking a look at these signs.
5 Storm Preparation Items To Keep On Hand
The storm may be moving in your direction, but you have SERVPRO. We are available 24 hours a day to help protect and restore your property.
5 Things To Have On Hand In Case Of A Storm
According to FEMA, flood water is the number one concern from a natural disaster within the United States. In fact, within the past ten decades, statistics show that floods cost roughly $2.4 billion a year, making the situation extraordinarily costly and time-consuming. Commercial owners in College Station, TX, face the daunting task of combating Mother Nature's fierceness. While you cannot stop her ferocity, it is possible through preparation to mitigate harm. Here are five useful items to keep in on hand.
1. A Generator
A flooded building requires immediate attention. A water restoration company is prepared to attend to the hazard as soon as possible, often arriving within 24 hours. The sooner the property is assessed, the better. A generator on hand permits these workers to enter the facility promptly, inspecting rooms for saturation concerns.
Electricity is likely out. This device allows for the team to get a closer view.
Blackouts are entirely possible, especially if a transformer blows within the vicinity. Also, the flood water may compromise the electrical wiring. Purchase several flashlights so you and the specialists may safely tour the building.
3. Portable, Battery-Operated Radio
Employees or yourself could get stuck within the establishment. Should this occur, those inside need communication with the outside world. If electricity cuts off, a portable battery-operated radio keeps everyone in the loop.
Although bulky to store, sandbags create a barrier around the building's perimeter, keeping water from reaching within. Have some on hand for quick access. Line them around the low-lying sections of your place, stacking them like bricks.
Glass is extremely vulnerable to high winds and projectiles. In fact, sometimes it's more likely that water damage arises from trees or objects busting windows. Have several sheets of plywood cut to window size stored within the back room. When a gale comes through, use them to combat obstacles.
It's possible to get ahead of flood water. It requires getting prepared early with the right supplies. Focus on things that secure the premises and assist anyone who remains inside.
3 Methods Experts Use to Contain Mold
Mold only grows in temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if it's winter, the cold may also be a benefit in reducing mold spread.
Mold Containment: 3 Expert Techniques
Is your building in Brenham, TX, in need of mold cleanup? If it has tested positive or you have suspicions of mold, it's time to call in a mold detection and removal specialist.
1. Physical Barriers
One of the simplest and most straightforward steps a specialist takes is to construct physical barriers around the contaminated space. This helps with two things: restricting foot traffic through the area and stopping mold spores from physically spreading. Physical barriers usually consist of polyethylene sheeting. Multiple layers are used depending on the level of mold present.
2. Air Pressure
An expert uses negative air pressure to further prevent the spread of mold. The physical barriers are mainly to prevent people from tracking spores on their shoes, and the use of air pressure stops mold contamination through the air. As this is the main way that mold spreads, it is an effective technique for halting further spreading. Negative pressure is maintained with special machines and an exhaust pipe to the exterior of the building. The mold cleanup experts can tell if the pressure is negative by watching which way the polyethylene sheeting billows inside the contamination area.
3. Restricted Airflow
The pros also suggest that you shut off the HVAC system in your building. This helps to keep air stagnant and serves to also halt the spread of more mold. It's also suggested to turn off any ceiling fans, standing fans and other air circulation fixtures. Additionally, it's best to limit foot traffic through the area as people moving quickly can also stir spores into the air. An added benefit of keeping your HVAC system off is a temperature change.
Mold only grows in temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if it's winter, the cold may also be a benefit in reducing mold spread. With an experienced pro by your side, mold cleanup is a cinch.
Understanding Business Interruption Insurance
When your business operations are interrupted by storm damage, you need professional help to get your property back to business. Call SERVPRO!
Business Interruption Insurance: What You Need to Know
Interruption insurance is a good thing to have in the face of a disaster. It is a good way for business owners to stay financially stable when they need to rebuild their company. Here are some things you should know if you are considering adding this type of policy.
What It Is
This type of premium is available to help cover business expenses during disasters. It only pays out if there is a disaster that forces a business to shut down and rebuild. The amount a policyholder receives is based on the coverage they pay for and past financial records.
What It Covers
While it won't pay to rebuild your business in College Station, TX, there are a few crucial things it covers. These include:
- Fixed costs
- Temporary location
- Commission and training costs
- Extra expenses
- Civil authority ingress and egress
- Employee wages
- Loan payments
What It Doesn’t Cover
Interruption is not a substitute for flood or property insurance. Therefore it does not cover broken items, flood damage, undocumented income, utilities, or communicable disease-related shutdowns.
Payouts for Policyholders
Your insurer is only required to pay if you have actually sustained a loss from a shutdown. The amount you receive will be based on your loss and your coverage limit.
This Insurance and Pandemics
One thing that has come under scrutiny recently is how this insurance works for a closed business that shut down due to a pandemic. Unfortunately, most policyholders do not get their expenses covered since no disaster caused them to shut down and storm cleanup professionals to be hired.
Business interruption insurance is a good idea for any company. It can help you remain financially stable amid a disaster that forces your business to shutdown. However, this is not a standard policy and will not cover property damage. It is also not able to pay out if the reason you shutdown is due to a pandemic.
Is a SERVPRO Franchise Right For You?
SERVPRO is on standby 24/7/365 and ready to respond. Our team is ready to restore your home or business, no matter the size of the damage. Call us!
Do You Have What It Takes To Own A SERVPRO Franchise?
If you’re considering expanding your business portfolio or looking for an excellent franchise opportunity in Burton, TX, that offers a solid return on your investment, a SERVPRO franchise could be just what you’ve been looking for. SERVPRO consistently ranks near the top of the Entrepreneur Franchise 500 list. SERVPRO has ranked among the Top 10 on that list for seven of the last ten years.
SERVPRO began as a painting business. It was founded in Sacramento, California, in 1967 by Ted and Doris Isaacson. Within a few years, the Issacsons expanded the business to include cleaning and restoration and began offering franchise opportunities. Eventually, the company headquarters moved to Gallatin, Tennessee, so that the headquarters would be within 600 miles of half of the people in the United States. Today, SERVPRO is a national leader in disaster remediation services, with over 1,800 franchise locations so far.
The SERVPRO Business Model
A deep commitment to quality service is at the heart of every SERVPRO franchise. While each franchise is locally owned and operated, all franchisees have the support, backing, and name recognition of North America’s biggest names in the cleanup and restoration industry. Other franchise benefits include:
- A robust startup package
- An exclusive, dedicated franchise territory
- Extensive initial training to become SERVPRO certified
- All necessary technology to run a successful business
- Unparalleled corporate support
- Ongoing training opportunities to stay abreast of the latest technology
- A proven business model with excellent success rates
How To Open a Franchise
SERVPRO is committed to finding and nurturing the highest quality franchisees. Successful franchise applicants must pass background and credit checks. All franchise owners must have prior business experience and sufficient financial stability to meet the initial costs of opening a franchise, including franchise and license fees, equipment, vehicles, and staff.
If you’re an experienced professional with a passion for providing your clients with the highest quality restoration services, a SERVPRO franchise could be right for you.
5 Smoke Damage Restoration Methods
Contact a smoke and fire damage restoration company to determine which treatment is right for your home.
5 Smoke Damage Repair Techniques
A variety of smoke cleaning methods are available to homeowners. In addition to using degreasing solutions to remove residues from surfaces and contents, it is also possible to lower the concentration of smoke molecules in the air and neutralize persistent odors. Restoration professionals rely on these five treatment methods to eliminate smoke damage.
1. Run an Air Scrubber or Filter
An HVAC air scrubber or HEPA air purifier are useful for capturing larger smoke molecules. There will still be some residual odor from smaller molecules or surface residues.
2. Use an Ozone Generator
An ozone generator is a fast and highly effective smoke odor restoration method. These machines emit ozone, which follows the same paths through the air as smoke and oxidizes any residual traces in the air or on surfaces. Evacuation is necessary for the duration of an ozone treatment.
3. Arrange for Thermal Fogging
Thermal fogging is an intensive treatment involving fogging machines. After residents evacuate, smoke cleaning professionals fill a structure with petroleum distillates that neutralize odors and then ventilate the area. Evacuation is also necessary during this treatment, and workers should wear chemical respirators.
4. Operate a Hydroxyl Generator
A hydroxyl generator is a slower and gentler alternative to ozone. These machines rely on UV light to generate hydroxyl radicals that eliminate smoke odors. It will take about three to five days of continuous operation to achieve the same results as a single ozone treatment, but evacuation is not necessary.
5. Try Vapor Modification
Vapor modification is another odor elimination method that relies on aromatic compounds and a blower or fan to neutralize smoke odor. This method also does not require evacuation.
Any of these smoke cleaning methods may be the right choice for a residence in Ollege Station, TX. Contact a smoke and fire damage restoration company to determine which treatment is right for your home.
How SERVPRO Helps During a Disaster
With highly-trained professionals that are always available in many locations across the country, SERVPRO is an obvious choice.
How SERVPRO Can Assist In A Disaster
During a natural disaster in Bryan, TX, it can be expected that there will be a large amount of damage to the area. When this happens, it is important to call on a reliable service for disaster recovery. Here are just a few reasons why SERVPRO is a leading choice during emergencies.
1. They Can Handle Any Size Disaster
When a large disaster occurs, it can cause a devastating amount of storm damage. It can take a lot of work to get the rebuilding process completed, starting with mitigation and ending with restoration. Whether it’s a flood, hurricane, tornado or blizzard, they can handle any kind of disaster. Their large-loss specialists are trained and qualified to take care of an emergency of any size.
2. They Are Available Nationwide
SERVPRO has over 1,700 franchise locations across the nation, so they can arrive quickly wherever they are needed for disaster recovery. Corporate locations can provide any needed equipment to franchise locations so that they have the right tools to get the job done. When extra help is needed in a particular location, teams from other areas can be called in for help.
3. They Are Always Ready
Because they are open 24 hours a day and are available any day of the year, SERVPRO is always ready to come to your aid. Their quick storm response time means they can start working as soon as possible to mitigate any property that has been affected by the disaster. Getting mitigation done in a timely manner means that there will be less overall damage and the restoration process will take less time and money to complete.
When you are in need of a disaster recovery service, you should choose a company that can work well while completing mitigation and repairs as quickly as possible. With highly-trained professionals that are always available in many locations across the country, SERVPRO is an obvious choice.
What To Do About a Damaged Bathroom Supply Line
When you have supply line damage in your home, it's best to contact a professional for any plumbing or water damage needs.
What To Do If Your Bathroom Supply Line Is Broken
When your home experiences supply line damage in Bryan, TX, you may be wondering what to do. Fortunately, the steps involved are very similar to what you might do for another type of bathroom leak. These include the following important actions.
1. Turning Off the Water Supply
In the event of a supply line leak, the first step should be to turn off the water. This will prevent further flooding and water damage and allow any professional you contact to look at the problem. In many cases, there may be a water shut-off valve to the supply line itself. This will allow you to shut off the water for that particular area rather than to the entire house.
2. Calling a Plumbing Professional
Another step when facing supply line damage is to contact your local plumbing professional. He or she can replace or repair the supply line as needed and check to ensure that no further breaks have occurred elsewhere. Calling in a professional also helps to ensure that the job is done well, and that the correct tools and materials are used.
3. Talking to a Water Damage Professional
If you’re dealing with water damage in your home after a break, you may want to contact a water damage restoration service to check out the area. These professionals can look at the source of the problem, conduct repairs to your home, and help you take any preventive measures needed. They should also look for any related problems that could have led to the supply line breaking in the first place.
When you have supply line damage in your home, it's best to contact a professional for any plumbing or water damage needs. Turning off the water supply to the leaking area may also help. If you have any questions about what happened or how to prevent future problems, your local plumbing or restoration professional may be able to help.
When Does Mold Start Growing After a Leak?
The smallest water leak can lead to a major mold outbreak in your home.
Mold Prevention In Your Home
The length of time leading up to mold growth is a common concern after a leak or another form of residential water damage. Mold takes 24 to 48 hours to start growing if sufficient moisture and nutriment are available. Here are a few pointers regarding which measures should take place during this timeframe to prevent mold from becoming a major problem at a residence in Bryan, TX.
It is important to extract all standing water within the first 12 hours after a leak. A water damage mitigation service may recommend several methods:
- Using pumps or a wet vac
- Tearing out porous materials exposed to contaminated water
- Cutting holes in walls to promote ventilation
Getting rid of standing water is the first priority for limiting primary damage. Afterward, a homeowner should eliminate residual moisture that may support mold growth.
The first day after a leak is critical for preventing mold. It may be necessary to take several measures in this span of time:
- Cleaning or disinfecting areas exposed to contaminated water
- Promoting drying with ventilation
- Running a dehumidifier to draw moisture out of the air and porous surfaces
Maintain humidity levels between 30 percent and 50 percent to discourage fungal growth. Even a small amount of residual moisture can support the growth of hidden mold behind baseboards, in or under carpet, or within wall cavities.
Drying should be underway within two days of water damage. Keep in mind that water may affect areas near the primary location of damage. Restoration experts should perform a thorough inspection to ensure that all moisture from a leak has been removed.
The more quickly an affected area is dried, the less likely mold will be to grow. Hiring water damage mitigation professionals is the best way to prevent mold growth after water damage at a home in Bryan, TX.
How To Keep Your Pipes From Freezing This Winter
A bursting pipe damaged the carpet from this home in Burton, TX.
Imagine waking in the night to go get a glass of water and feeling soaking wet carpet squishing between your toes. If you think frozen pipes can’t happen in your house, you could be very wrong. For people living in cold climates, such as in Burton, TX, it could be just a matter of time until the cold becomes too much and your pipes freeze or even burst. Luckily, there are some pipe freeze prevention guidelines you can follow.
Tips for Pipe Freeze Prevention
•Keep home warm and open cabinet doors so that room air can circulate to pipes
•Allow a faucet to run at a slow trickle to help keep pipes open
•Wrap pipes in cold areas, especially those on outside walls or under the home with heating tape
•Disconnect any hoses from outdoor faucets and drain the exterior section
•Insulate pipes in unheated areas, but try to provide some heat as the insulation only slows, but may not prevent pipes from freezing
If you ever hear a hum in your walls when water is not (or should not) be running, investigate the source of the water immediately and get help as soon as possible. While having frozen pipes is not something anyone wants to have happened, calling an emergency water damage service in Burton, TX, to help bail you out of the mess can offer peace of mind and help you get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. They can assess the extent of the damage and help save as much as possible. They may even be able to dry out and save any affected carpeting if it got wet with clean water from a burst pipe.
It is important to follow these pipe freeze prevention pointers to ensure that you don’t have to deal with home content or structural damage. Taking care of these things is relatively quick and simple compared to the stress and grief that can come from having a pipe break in your home.
Navigating Fire Damage Estimation
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.