Trash or Keep? Assessing Your Possessions After a Fire
If your Temple, TX home has smoke, fire, or soot damage, call SERVPRO of Temple and Belton today! We are always ready to help you!
Should You Throw Something Out Or Save It? After A Fire, Evaluate Your Belongings
Your instinct after a fire may be to preserve as many of your possessions as possible, but be careful: dangers may remain even after the flames have been extinguished and the structure has been deemed habitable. Although many of your possessions may be salvageable, there are a few that it’s best to throw away and replace.
Because most residential fires start in the kitchen, food is often exposed to flames, smoke, high heat and water damage – all of which can make food unsafe to eat. If the food is visibly charred, discard it. Any food items that were stored in the open - for example, in a fruit basket – must be thrown away. Also throw away food that was stored in unsealed boxes or bags, as it may have been exposed to smoke or fire-retardant chemicals.
If your refrigerator and freezer remained closed during the fire, the food inside may be salvageable. Check to see if it is still cold, and make sure that the power was not cut off for more than four hours.
Clothing and Textiles
any clothes and textiles can be cleaned and restored after a fire, but discard any items with visible fire damage. Also be sure to clean clothes thoroughly before wearing them. Residual chemicals in smoke-exposed clothing can be harmful to the lungs.
Medicines and Cosmetics
Be extremely cautious about taking medications that may have been exposed to smoke and chemicals. Don’t take chances. If your medications were in unsealed containers, if they smell of smoke or if they appear sooty, replace them. Cosmetics, too, can become harmful if exposed to smoke. Inspect them carefully before use, and throw away anything that wasn’t sealed during the fire.
Recovering from a fire in Temple, TX can difficult in many respects, but guarding your own health and well-being is paramount. As hard as it may be to throw away food, clothing and other household goods, do not put your health in jeopardy.
Why Is My Roof Damaged After a Fire?
After a fire, Our SERVPRO team will guide you through the restoration process and make sure your business is properly cared for and restored.
What Caused The Damage To My Roof After a Fire?
During the fire cleanup process of your commercial building in Belton, TX, you may have a few questions about the damage sustained to your building. It's crazy how a fire can cause soot to cling to every surface or how water damage can be such a big part of a fire. You may be surprised at the damage done to your roof, but there are a lot of reasons this structure is so affected by a fire.
• The Heat: Fires cause a lot of heat. Heat tends to rise. When the heat wave reaches your roof line, it holds it in for a while. The shingles and other roofing materials may be degraded by the extreme heat they come in contact with during a fire. If you notice melted plastics or warped shingles, you may need to consider a roof repair as part of the restoration process.
• The Smoke: The smoke created by a fire can be full of soot. Depending on what the fire is fueled by, this soot can actually contain chemicals. When the smoke reaches the roof structure, it may stain and discolor your system. This damage typically isn't as serious as others, but you may still want to restore the discoloration caused by the flames during the fire cleanup.
• The Extinguishing: Putting out a fire sometimes does as much damage as the fire itself. Firefighters use lots of water to dampen the flames, but sometimes they have to increase the ventilation to quench the fire. Cutting holes in the roof and walls can help with this process. If you have a hole in your roof, you may want to look into tarp services to ensure rain and wind do not do more damage to your building.
Your commercial fire damage repair team can help you better understand how certain parts of your building were damaged. They may also be able to help you become more comfortable with the fire cleanup process.
Are Home Mold Testing Kits Accurate?
If you have mold in your home, contact SERVPRO of Temple & Belton immediately. They will get someone on-site to start evaluating what needs to be done
Are Mold Testing Kits At Home Reliable?
When you suspect you have mold in your home, you may try an off-the-shelf home mold testing kit. The problem is that no matter where you go in your home, the kit returns a positive and doesn’t help you find where the mold is — if you even have a mold problem. So are home kits really accurate, or are you better off finding a Marlin, TX, mold remediation specialist?
Why Home Testing Kits Don’t Work
The truth is that off-the-shelf home mold testing kits don’t have what it takes to accurately test for mold. They just aren’t made to the same standard or with the same capabilities as professional mold kits. DIY mold remediation often doesn’t work because:
- Mold is everywhere in your home, even if the spores haven’t propagated into an active infestation. They’re still present in the air at all times, and a home mold kit will detect this.
- Home mold testing kits aren’t sensitive enough to differentiate between concentrations of mold spores that would indicate a heavier infestation in one particular area.
- Home kits often can’t sense mold in isolated, secluded areas.
- Home kits may tell you that you have a mold problem when you don’t, or they may tell you that mold spore saturation in the environment is so uniform that you don’t have a problem. In actuality, you could have hidden mold waiting to spread throughout your home.
So How Can I Test for Mold?
Your best option to test for mold is to find a qualified environmental hygienist. Environmental hygienists possess professional training and sensitive equipment capable of detecting mold in ways a home mold kit cannot. The techniques they use for mold detection can uncover hidden infestations in surprising places a home kit would never pick up on. Environmental hygienists can also provide accurate information on safety and mold remediation, as well as mold prevention.
Ways To Minimize Water in Your Crawl Space
Any time it rains, watch where the runoff flows. If it seems to flood near your home’s foundation, it is likely to seep into your crawl space.
Ways To Reduce Water In Your Crawl
You may not think about water in your home’s crawl space being a big deal. If left unchecked, however, the humidity created by having a wet crawl space can lead to the formation of mold, which can cause serious damage to your home in Temple, TX. The good news is that most flooding in your crawl space can be avoided with regular maintenance or remedied by water restoration specialists. Here are some ways water can get into your home’s crawl space and what to do about it.
1. Indoor Plumbing Issues
If you have a busted pipe or a bathtub leak in your home, the water that escapes has to go somewhere. While it might seem like most of it ends up on your floor, it can also get trapped in walls, cabinets and the crawl space. It is crucial to have experienced professionals not only repair the leak but also inspect your home to assess the extent of the water damage. They can dry out a wet crawl space to prevent further complications.
2. Excessive Moisture by Foundation
Any time it rains, watch where the runoff flows. If it seems to flood near your home’s foundation because of the slope of your landscaping or the angle of your downspouts, it is likely to seep into your crawl space. In addition to correcting the flow of water away from your home in Temple, TX, it is a good idea to have your crawl space inspected by a specialist.
3. Extraneous Groundwater
When you discover that you have a wet crawl space, even the ground on which your foundation rests could be the culprit. Water main breaks, a significant rise in the water table or an overloaded drainage system after a heavy storm can cause water to back up into the unfinished space beneath your ground floor. Water restoration technicians can pump out the excess water and dry the space.
Water in your crawl space can cause further damage if left unchecked. Regular maintenance and frequent assessments, particularly after a flood, can help prevent or resolve problems.
3 Ways You Can Keep Safety a Priority at Work During a Thunderstorm
For any storm damage in your business, SERVPRO can help you!
3 Ways You May Prioritize Safety During A Storm
Thunderstorms in Belton, TX, can be loud and distracting. While a rain storm can often be harmless, it can come with dangerous lightning and high winds. Knowing how to keep everyone in your building safe during a thunderstorm can help employees continue to get work done in a safe manner.
1. Preparing for a Storm
If your building is ready to handle a storm, it helps make it more likely that you and your employees can safely continue to get work done during a rainstorm. There are several steps you can take to prepare your building to be a safe shelter. Preparational steps can include:
- Trimming Trees
- Maintaining Lightning Rods
- Securely Fastening Windows and Doors
It can be important to pay attention to the local weather forecast so that you know when a storm is likely to hit. Trees can be a hazard for lightning strikes, but by trimming them back you should reduce the risk of a fire.
2. Knowing What To Do During a Storm
It can be a good idea to make sure that all of your employees are informed about the dangers that can occur during a rain storm. No outside work should be done during a storm. Everyone should stay away from any windows or skylights in the building.
Occasionally storms can be accompanied by power outages. You should make sure that there are plenty of flashlights available if the lights go out.
3. Leaving the Building
During extreme storms it can be impossible to continue working. For safety reasons it can sometimes be best for employees to remain home from work altogether. If the storm worsens while work is going on, it can be a good idea to watch the weather and have everyone leave during a break in the weather.
A rain storm can be scary and inconvenient, but by keeping these three procedures in mind you can be better prepared to handle them. Look up further information on thunderstorm safety to help you stay informed about the dangers of lightning, rain and wind.
3 Black Mold Facts You Should Know as a Homeowner
How do I remove mold in my home? The first step is to contact SERVPRO, we have a trained team to help you.
3 Black Mold Facts Every Homeowner Should Know
Defending your Marlin, TX, home from black mold can be a daunting task. This type of mold can spread quickly and take over your crawlspace or basement before you know it. Knowing your enemy before you attempt to fight it can help you vanquish this invader, and there are a few important facts to keep in mind before you begin.
1. Black Mold Looks Different From Other Species
Black mold gets its name from the color, which is typically much darker than other strains of fungi. For example, bread or fridge mold may be white or light green, while this darker mold can be harder to see, especially in rooms with low lighting, such as basements. You may need to look carefully when trying to identify it and use additional lighting to ensure you are correct.
2. It Grows in Humid Areas
This type of dark mold can grow and spread quickly in humid conditions. For example, you may spot it after a flood or a burst pipe under your sink, where mold cleanup might be hard to perform. If your basement is damp and humid during the summer, it might take hold on walls near your sump pump or washing machine. Remember to search behind appliances and along the bases of walls.
3. It Requires Professional Removal
If you find black fungal growth in your home, it is wise to contact a professional mold remediation and removal company to handle it. Not only do its technicians have the machinery and knowledge to do so, they can also advise you on future mold prevention and perform restoration services for building materials that have been affected by mold. Investing in a service like this can make you feel confident that this substance has been removed from your home.
Fighting black mold in your Marlin, TX, home can be challenging. However, knowing as much as you can about it, such as where it hides and where it grows, can help you target and destroy it.
The Cause Behind Your Leaking Toilet and How To Fix It
Any water damage, with SERVPRO, is "Like it never even happened."
What's Causing Your Toilet to Leak and How to Repair It
A leaking toilet is never fun to deal with, especially if the leak seems to occur right around the time you flush. If you’re tired of mopping up toilet water every time you use the restroom, it may be time to fix the issue. In order to do that, you need to know what the issue is. If you have a bathroom leak, it may be due to one of the following:
- The wax seal has failed
- The closet bolts are loose
- The pipes are cracked
In the best-case scenario, all you need to do is tighten a few closet bolts. In the worst case, you may have to remove your toilet entirely and replace the wax gasket. Here is how you can tell the extent of damage with which you are dealing.
Causes of a Leaking Toilet
When water pools around the base of your toilet, it is likely because of a failed wax ring. Unfortunately, replacing a wax ring requires you to remove your toilet. Fortunately, a failed wax ring is not the only cause of a toilet leak.
To determine whether or not the wax ring is the cause, soak up the sitting puddle and watch as a new one forms. Look for where the water comes. If it comes from the base, it’s likely the wax ring. If it comes from above, it’s likely a leaky pipe, in which case you would need to contact your Temple, TX, plumber.
In some instances, pooling water is merely an indication that your closet bolts are loose. Before you remove your toilet, try tightening the bolds with a wrench. If that stops the leak, then your problem is fixed. If it doesn’t, either contact a plumber to replace your wax ring for you or take the DIY approach.
Whatever the case, you want to fix a leaking toilet before it becomes a hazard. If the toilet has been leaking for more than 48 hours, there is a good possibility that your floorboards have mold and other damage. Reach out to your Temple, TX, water remediation team to test for and repair hidden damage.
The Basics of Black Mold
In need of mold remediation services? SERVPRO is here to help.
Black Mold: The Fundamentals
You may know that black mold is unsightly, smells bad and that it poses a serious threat to your home’s overall integrity, but do you understand what mold is or how it thrives? Many people do not. However, understanding mold is key to mold cleanup and prevention. If you want to preserve the structural integrity of your home and keep your home and family safe, you need to understand mold. This post outlines the basics of the bacteria and how you can use the information to your advantage.
Here's what you need to know about mold:
- Mold is a type of fungi
- Like all fungi, mold needs moisture to thrive
- Mold does not thrive in well-lit places
- Mold releases spores and can therefore multiply quickly
If your home has a moisture problem, chances are that it also has mold. Black mold, like most other fungi, thrives in moist, dark areas. Mold is involved in biodegradation, which means that it plays a key role in the breakdown of materials and objects. If allowed to spread, the mold in your home could begin to eat at your home’s structure and contents and result in costly damages.
Mold comes in a variety of colors, but it is not always visible. Because of this, mold cleanup should be conducted by a professional and only after a mold test has been administered. If you suspect mold growth in your home but cannot find any visible signs of growth, look out for the following:
- A musty, moldy smell
- Health effects
- Drooping ceilings or crumbling drywall
- Moisture problems
If you notice any of the above, you may have a mold problem. Contact your Belton, TX, mold cleanup team right away to begin remediation and restoration efforts. If you fail to act quickly, the problem could become much more invasive and much more expensive. Mold spores spread easily and, once they land, can take root in a matter of hours.
As with most things in life, knowledge is power. By understanding how black mold works, you can prevent mold growth and keep your home safe and healthy.
4 Ways To Prepare for Flood Damage
Keep your gutters clean.
4 Flood Preparedness Strategies
Flooding in Marlin, TX, can lead to a lot of flood damage. Sewage buildup, leakage, and storm damage can ruin buildings and destroy businesses. It’s important to be ready in the event of a flood so that your business can minimize the cost of restoration and repair. If you are preparing for a storm, here are four things you can do.
1. Move Furniture and Electronics
You can reduce the risk of damage to your building by moving any furniture and utilities to a higher level. Items such as computers, important documents, and machinery should be moved up to a floor that is less likely to receive damage. If you are concerned about your electronics, try to back up all important data needed for the business so that you don’t lose anything that is vital to your company’s success.
2. Manage Your Insurance Policy
It’s nearly impossible to completely protect your commercial building from a severe storm, so it’s important to have insurance that covers the damage. Flood insurance can provide the financial means to handle the cost of repairs. Standard insurance policies don’t normally cover flooding, so consider this type of insurance if the risk of water damage is high.
3. Evacuate Before the Rain Starts
When flooding occurs, your employees and customers come first. Evacuate the building before there is any sign of floodwater. Train your workers beforehand so that they know how to escape the building and where to find higher ground. Keeping people safe is a top priority in the event of a flood, and by having an evacuation plan, you can prevent chaos and confusion from erupting.
4. Keep Your Gutters and Storm Drains Clear
You can keep the storm damage to a minimum by cleaning your gutters and drains. These structures are made to direct water away from the weakest parts of your building. If gutters get clogged, the water can overflow and lead to more destruction.
There are many things you can do to prevent flooding and minimize water damage. By taking these precautions, you can ensure the safety of your employees as well as the preservation of your property and data.
How To Address a Broken Pipe
A broken pipe in Temple, TX.
How to Repair a Broken Pipe
The issue of bursting pipes can cause significant water damage inside any Temple, TX, business. Knowing how to efficiently address the situation is key to preventing additional destruction.
1. Turn Off the Water
Your first step is to shut off the water supply to the affected pipe. To accomplish this, you may need to access the building’s water main and turn off water to the entire building. You may also need to shut down the water heater as well as electrical flow to the affected area to prevent electrical shock.
2. Drain Water From the Pipe
Before you fix the broken pipe, you may need to drain any remaining water. To help empty pipes, flush nearby toilets and allow faucets to run until dry.
3. Assess and Repair the Damaged Pipe
Once the pipe is drained, maintenance personnel or a licensed plumber can properly assess the damaged pipe, commence repairs, and restore water flow.
4. Clean and Dry the Saturated Area
Bursting pipes can release significant amounts of water. If you do not quickly dry the saturated area, your business may suffer mold damage. For this reason, you should work diligently to dry the water-damaged space while the maintenance team is working to fix the broken pipe.
The cleanup process involves several important steps:
- Drain standing water with a sump pump
- Remove all wet items including furniture, office equipment and carpets
- Make a flood cut to discard saturated drywall and insulation
- Use fans and dehumidifiers to expedite the drying process
5. Replace and Restore
Before you can return to normal business operations, you must complete repairs and determine the salvageability of computers and other office equipment. It’s important to ensure that the affected area is completely dry before you replace drywall and flooring. Completing repairs while the space is still damp makes you susceptible to mold contamination.
Cleaning up your office space after bursting pipes can be a daunting project. A professional cleanup and restoration team can assist you throughout the process and ensure that your building is successfully restored as soon as possible.