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Understanding the Residential Fire Cleanup Process

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Burnt room SERVPRO of Temple and Belton is available to help you restore your home to its pre-fire condition.

Fire Cleanup Process

If you’ve experienced a residential fire in Marlin, TX hiring a clean-up and restoration specialist will be one of the first steps on the road back to normalcy. The services required can vary based on the severity of the destruction and amount of smoke damage, but the process will generally involve the following steps:

1) Assessment and inspection: Your chosen restoration company will arrive on-site to determine the extent of the fire. This process is critical not only for visible damage to the home but also for things you may not see such as soot damage.

2) Limiting exposure to the elements: If walls, roofs or windows have been destroyed, your home could be subjected to further damage. Therefore, covering up any exposed areas with boards or tarps will be a very important early step in the procedure.

3) Water mitigation: If water damage has occurred as a result of the extinguishing process, those areas will need to be dried as soon as possible to help reduce the risk of additional harm. Restoration specialists utilize air movers, vacuums and dehumidifiers to expedite this process.

4) Smoke and soot removal: Restoration companies utilize specialized equipment that can remove traces of soot from surfaces and eliminate signs of smoke damage.

5) Cleanup: The final step before rebuilding, the cleaning process is crucial for any belongings or structural elements damaged by the fire. Smoke cleaning ensures that odors are removed from the home.

6) Repair structural damage: The final step is the actual construction phase. The extent of the rebuild will depend on the severity of the fire and can include things like new carpet, replacing drywall, installing windows, patching/repairing roofs, etc. If entire rooms or areas of the home have been destroyed, they will be rebuilt.

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire and resulting smoke damage is bound to be a stressful time for anyone, including residents of Marlin, TX . Thankfully, there are trained professionals available to help you restore your home to its pre-fire condition.

Tips for a Mold-free Restaurant

7/15/2021 (Permalink)

Food in containers inside a refrigerator Use plastic wrap or containers to cover any food that is out for prep or serving.

Mold Risk In a Restaurant

Mold spores are abundant in our environment, but problems develop when they get inside your building and find damp places to grow and reproduce. Sometimes you smell mold before you see it, as the release of mycotoxins from the digestive process is what makes that familiar musty smell. The constant cooking and washing in a restaurant increases the opportunity for mold growth, but you can take steps to reduce your risk through inspection, maintenance and cleanliness. Really, there are two main categories to manage for mold risk in your restaurant: food and building.

Protect Food

Since mold spores are all around the environment, it's important to take additional precautions to protect food from mold growth. Here are a few things you can do to keep the food safe in your restaurant in Temple, TX.

1. Buy quality food and check it for signs of mold
2. Use plastic wrap to cover any food that is out for prep or serving
3. Refrigerate unused foods quickly into clean containers and cover tightly
4. Mold can grow in the refrigerator so use leftovers in 3-4 days before mold has a chance to grow

Maintain the Building

A restaurant presents additional moisture problems because of the kitchen environment. The kitchen space is packed tight with equipment and ventilation is often challenging resulting in high humidity. It's important to check frequently for problems and maintain equipment. Here are some places to pay attention to and to keep clean.

1. Use ventilation systems as well as heating and air conditioning systems to keep humidity levels under 40%
2. Maintain ventilation hoods and ductwork for cleanliness and proper function
3. Keep all rags and sponges clean and dry, if anything smells musty throw it out
4. Regularly clean the refrigerator, including rubber casings, with a baking soda solution (1 tablespoon per quart of water)
5. Check for leaks and water damage around plumbing

When you do have mold growth, you can count on professional remediation specialists who clean up mold using special equipment and methods that contain the area and preventing further spread of spores in your restaurant.

Is Your Fire Extinguisher the Right One for Your Home?

7/5/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers isolated on white background. Various types of extinguishers. 3d illustration. Types of fire extinguishers.

What Kind Of Fire Extinguisher Should I Have In My Home?

While most folks would agree to have a fire extinguisher is important, would you know how many to have or what kind to own based on your house and who lives inside? When buying yours, keep the following in mind:

  1. Who will use it
  2. Where it could be used
  3. How to use it effectively


Who Will Be Using Your Extinguisher?


Since household extinguishers can weigh anywhere between 1 and 20 pounds, your first consideration is how much weight the primary user can lift and carry quickly toward a home fire. Rechargeable extinguishers with metal valves will cost more upfront but will cost less to refill than a disposable one. However, if a refillable one is too heavy for a family member to aim quickly, then a smaller disposable canister with a plastic valve should be used.


Where Should Canisters Be Located?


Household extinguishers come in three types: Category A - combats combustibles; Category B - combats flammables, and Category C - combats electrical fires. An A:B: C-classified extinguisher will fight all three kinds of fires. The minimum number of extinguishers recommended for a typical family home is one per floor, but also consider having a fire extinguisher in your garage, laundry room, car and kitchen. Just remember not to use them over a deep fryer as the chemicals could cause the grease to run and make the blaze larger.


How To Operate Your Extinguisher


No fire preparedness plan would be complete without knowing how to use your extinguisher. The first step is to pull the safety pin. Next, stand at least 6 feet from the fire while directing the chemicals at the source of the flames. Then release the chemicals by squeezing the trigger continuously. Finally, move the stream from side to side until there is nothing left inside of the canister. In case of smoke damage, contact a Temple, TX, fire restoration specialist.

Take some time to learn about extinguishers for your home. Then you can sleep easy knowing you have the right fire extinguisher and the right skills to protect your loved ones when it counts.

Your Guide to Water Damage on Building Materials

6/23/2021 (Permalink)

warped flooring Water damage cleanup in a Holland, TX home.

Water Damage On Building Materials

When your home has been affected by flooding from a clean water source, such as burst pipes or a broken supply line, you'll quickly notice damage to building materials. For example, you may see swelling wood, transfer stains, discoloration on furnishings, and warped or swollen paper goods. Within just a few hours, you may see

  • Lamination peeling from furniture
  • Drywall becoming soggy
  • Musty odors emanating from areas of standing water
  • Tarnishing on metal surfaces
  • Clean water becoming contaminated

Repairs Transition to Replacements

If you don't take quick action after flooding, you'll probably notice severe issues within a couple of days, such as

  • Growing mold
  • Swelling wood on pianos and other wood home furnishings
  • Disintegrating drywall
  • Rusting on metal surfaces
  • Swelling door and window casings
  • Malfunctioning electronic components

As soon as you discover leaks or flooding, it's crucial to stop the flow of water and arrange the necessary water pipe repair. With this completed, discuss the differences between clean water, gray water, and black water with a flooding restoration professional. The actions you take to recover will be determined, in part, by the potential for contamination and other risks.

Hidden Damages

Unfortunately, you'll probably only see a small part of the actual damage your home has experienced. A lot of moisture damage happens within the walls. As you begin to replace swollen wood from cabinets and subflooring, you may find deeper damage. Drywall and other wood components can often be saved if you respond quickly enough, but make sure the structural integrity of the home hasn't been compromised.

Working closely with your restoration professional, be sure to thoroughly investigate the extent of all damages. This may require the use of specialized tools, such as moisture meters, and may involve inspections into unseen areas of the home. For example, discovering whether you have insulation behind walls will help determine the best method for drying and remediation.

Full Recovery

Water damage is a scary situation, but with help from professionals in Holland, TX, you can recover. The wet building materials, swelling wood, and saturated carpets can be repaired or replaced, and you can get your home life back on track.

What Is Black Water?

6/23/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment placed inside a commercial building Commercial water damage in Academy, TX.

Flood water and sewage overflow are two types of black water, also known as Category 3 water. This type of water poses the highest sanitation risks. If flooding has occurred in Academy, TX, or a storm has caused sewers to back up, property owners may experience Category 3 flooding or water damage. This water may contain a variety of contents that call for immediate cleanup with protective gear, such as

  • Bacteria
  • Chemicals
  • Pesticides
  • Sewage

Category 3 Water Risks

The Category 3 classification covers water from both flooding and sewage. This water is not potable and may pose serious risks upon skin exposure or if inhaled or ingested. Restoration professionals wear personal protective equipment when taking the steps necessary to rid buildings of the presence of contaminated water and limit the extent of the water damage resulting from a backup or flooding situation. These steps include

  • Assessing damage
  • Removing water and solid waste
  • Eliminating or especially cleaning contaminated porous contents
  • Cleaning and disinfecting contaminated nonporous contents and surfaces
  • Drying the affected area

These methods help to reduce the risk of infection and restrict the amount of secondary damage, such as mold, that can result from the prolonged presence of black water in the wake of flooding or a sewer backup. Porous contents may need to be cleaned with specialized methods or removed and disposed of to eliminate all traces of contamination. Nonporous contents and surfaces can be cleaned by being sprayed or wiped down and disinfected before being thoroughly dried and restored.

How To Get Rid of Category 3 Water

If you are dealing with water damage in a commercial property located in Academy, TX, damage restoration experts can help you quickly and safely clean the affected area and resume business as usual. Reaching out sooner rather than later can keep the worst effects of this type of flooding from undermining your business.

How To Contain Mold During Remediation

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine Mold remediation in Chilton, TX.

If your home in Chilton, TX, has sustained water damage due to a weather event or other catastrophe, you must begin the remediation process right away. Mold grows quickly on surfaces inside your home. Once the spores become airborne, mold contamination can swiftly move from room to room.
Mold spores are present pretty much everywhere, both in your house and outside. Most spores don’t pose a problem unless they start to grow. Since a wet, warm location is an especially appealing environment for mold, a water leak or other event can cause big problems.

How To Remove Mold From Your Home

If you are dealing with water inside your home, call a water damage professional who is trained in mold contamination and remediation. The expert will follow certain protocols to contain the mold, including:

  • Using negative air chambers to keep the mold in one area
  • Applying negative air pressure to prevent the mold from becoming airborne and spreading further
  • Utilizing air filtration systems to remove mold spores from the air
  • Applying antimicrobial treatments to prevent new mold colonies from growing

How To Spot Hidden Mold Inside Your Walls and Ceiling
Some mold is difficult to spot. When it grows inside the walls, in the ceiling or under the flooring it can be missed for a while. An expert in mold cleanup will know where to look, but you can also be proactive before they arrive.
The best way to spot hidden mold is by the smell. If you detect an unpleasant odor in your home, you most likely have mold growing somewhere. Perhaps a damaged roof or a plumbing leak caused water to drip down and get trapped between the walls. If left unchecked, it can cause severe damage to your home.
If you suspect mold contamination in your home, avoid costly repairs by calling for professional help right away.

How to Create a Fire Escape Plan Like a Pro

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Map of the house and escape routes Creating a fire escape plan is the ultimate fire safety precaution you can take.

Here Are The Basic Steps To Creating a Fire Escape Plan

In the unfortunate event of a house fire, you have approximately 3 – 4 minutes to leave the house. That means there is no time to waste or save a prized possession. You can only afford to implement an emergency escape plan before calling the firefighters.
Here are the basic steps to creating a fire escape plan in Academy, TX:

  1. Install fire alarms
  2. Create the plan
  3. Practice it

Install Fire Alarms

The most important part of any fire safety plan is installing smoke detectors in and outside the bedrooms. That should give you a head start when a fire breaks out and provide a rough idea of where the blaze might be. Also, you might want to let the kids know how a fire alarm sounds like, so they can never confuse it for something else.

Create the Plan

Once you have the detectors in place, it’s time to make the actual plan. Draw a map of the house and label every entry point before formulating the escape routes. Make sure every bedroom has two exits (window and door), and ensure they are in good working condition. Finally, agree on a meeting spot that is on the street side of the house.

Practice the Plan

Having a great fire escape plan is one thing, and knowing how to use it is another. To avoid confusion, make sure you practice the program at least twice a year. It should be as realistic as possible; and, don’t forget to assign someone to help people with physical limitations such as kids and the elderly. You might also want to acquire a foldable ladder to help people escape through the first-floor windows.
Creating a fire escape plan is the ultimate fire safety precaution you can take as a homeowner in Academy, TX. It is a proven way of saving lives and property in the event of a house fire.

Flood Insurance and Businesses: A Quick Guide

5/12/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Purchase flood insurance for your building.

Flood insurance is recommended for any building that exists within a high-risk flood zone. This is especially true for commercial properties that may need to hire a professional flood restoration service after rising waters cause devastation in Rosebud, TX. Here is a brief look at this specific form of business coverage.

Reasons for Purchasing Insurance Against Flooding

There are multiple rationales for considering this class of financial protection. A few are:

  • Commercial insurance and renter's insurance typically do not cover flood damage
  • Your claim may be paid even if no official disaster declaration is made
  • Damage from floods can be incredibly expensive, with average tolls hovering around $40,000

For these reasons, buying flood insurance makes sense for businesses within at-risk zones.

Basics of Purchasing Insurance Against Flooding
If you do not know whether your building lies in an area at risk for flooding, you can find out by using a specifically designed online search tool. The FEMA website is the ultimate source of flood maps, so check their website first.
Policies can be purchased through private insurers as well as the National Flood Insurance Program. It typically takes a month for coverage to go into effect. Therefore, secure your policy well in advance of the rainy season.
Expect mold and mildew to be covered under your agreement. Any fungus that exists independent of a flooding catastrophe, however, is exempt. Additionally, you are expected to take reasonable steps toward mitigating fungal spread. Actions include removing damp items, stopping further inundation of water, and isolating contaminated areas. Failure to take these measures might result in your claim being denied.
Standard agreements cover buildings for up to half a million dollars. Another half a million is usually allocated for property inside. Larger businesses can purchase additional coverage.
There is little doubt that floods cause havoc on businesses. Having flood insurance can ease the fallout. Purchase the policy you need prior to a soggy weather disaster.

How Choosing the Right Company Speeds up Fire Recovery

4/29/2021 (Permalink)

Collapsed ceiling from fire destruction Fire damage in Marlin, TX.

How To Choose The Right Company For Fire Recovery

When it comes to catastrophic events, a business fire is among the top threats to a company. Each year, more than $2 billion in fire damage occurs to U.S. businesses. Most companies in Marlin, TX, do not have a lot of experience dealing with a damaging fire, so it is crucial to get qualified help. A SERVPRO restoration damage franchise is Faster to Any Size Disaster and they provide valuable assistance to companies at an important moment. Because they can handle nearly all aspects of fire restoration, they offer many benefits.

A Quicker Process
The fire damage cleanup process often involves many different aspects of restoration. Relying on the services of one trusted company will eliminate the delays and complicated coordination of working with multiple contractors. A one-stop-shop can address the following concerns:

  • Soot damage
  • Smoke odors
  • Water issues
  • Content cleaning
  • Rebuilds
  • Cleaning and sanitizing

Profesional fire mitigation is a complex process. Few companies can handle all aspects of the process. Trained and certified technicians understand the best methods to clean up the aftermath of a fire. A trusted franchise also has the necessary equipment to remove smoke odors and clean soot from surfaces.

A More Complete Process
One other aspect of the restoration process is dealing with insurance claims and the insurance adjuster. With a franchise that is experienced in working with many insurance companies, the claims process is likely to be much smoother. It will also be easier if only one contractor is involved. This can result in faster and more accurate settlements.
Fire damage is always a complicated process for any company. Finding the right professional help makes the restoration process simpler in many respects. It can also save a company a lot of money by making the business interruption as short as possible. It will also likely result in a job that is well done from start to finish.

Storm Damage vs. Flooding: What You Should Know

4/8/2021 (Permalink)

mop, buckets, two air movers in a building, floor is wet. Concept of water damage in a commercial building Commercial restoration services.

Storm Damage vs. Flooding

If you're contemplating what insurance coverage you want to purchase for your business, it's helpful to understand the technical differences between flood damage and storm damage. Though the resulting damage to your property and its contents may be caused by water in both instances, your coverage will be determined by the source of the water damage and whether you have the right policy for the event.

Flood Damage
Flooding happens for a variety of reasons, from the overflow of lakes, rivers and streams, water main breaks, storm surges, or melting snow and ice. The rule of thumb to remember what constitutes a flood is that the water and resulting water damage must originate from ground level. The floodwaters seep into your building from the surrounding landscape or hardscape on the outside. Water damage caused by floods is only covered if you have a separate flood insurance policy, which is mandated by the government if your business sits in a flood zone.

Storm Damage
Storm damage, on the other hand, encompasses damage caused by wind, hail, rain, or lightning. It includes water damage that happens as a direct result of rain, which often happens in conjunction with wind damage. For instance, if wind rips the shingles off your roof or causes trees to break through windows or the building, it can allow rain to get inside and damage the property, your furniture or equipment. Storm damage is covered under your commercial property insurance policy without any special rider.

Damage Repair and Cleanup
Knowing whether your water damage is caused by a flood or storm is necessary to determine your eligibility for coverage. Cleanup, repairs and remediation efforts can be quite expensive, so making sure you have the proper coverage ahead of time is vital to fully protect your business and commercial property.
Though water damage can disrupt your business and cause you a great deal of stress, understanding the difference between flood damage and storm damage will help you make the right decision when it comes to choosing a policy. Being confident about your coverage ahead of time will take at least some of the worry out of the equation.