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EPA Registered Chemicals in Flood Losses

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation EPA Registered Chemicals in Flood Losses Pump Sprayer

EPA Registered Chemicals in Flood Losses

Flooding and water damage can be a devastating event. Taking immediate action can help save your property from mold, mildew and moisture damage. Mold & mildew can start growing within 24 hours after a flood, as the excess moisture and dampness are perfect conditions for mold to grow. In addition, flood waters contain bacteria and other micro-organisms which can be hazardous to human health. Cleaning items exposed to floodwaters removes visible contamination yet invisible microorganisms are left behind. All flood-dampened surfaces should be cleaned, dried, disinfected and sprayed with a mold inhibitor as soon as possible. There are many products available that claim to control mold after flooding but how do you know which are really effective? An EPA registration listed on the product label helps you answer this question.  SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island only uses EPA registered chemicals in their product line.

With mold or the potential for mold growth, the EPA requires that all products that claim to kill mold or inhibit mold must be first registered with the EPA before these claims can be made. Registering with the EPA means that a product has passed their required tests for pesticide claims with an independent laboratory. The EPA classifies mold claims such as ‘kills or inhibits’ as pesticidal claims. Mold Stain removal or products that claim to remove the stains caused by mold are not considered pesticidal and do not require an EPA registration. After flooding you need a product that kills and inhibits mold, so you should use an EPA registered product to ensure the product actually kills and inhibits molds. The EPA registration outlines the proper uses and approved claims manufacturers can make about the product. It outlines proper usage, application areas, contact times, safety and general instructions. An EPA registration provides a sense of security, knowing that the claims on the label are backed by EPA testing and protocols.

In addition to mold, flood waters may carry bacteria and viruses. Products that claim to kill bacteria and viruses must also be EPA registered. The common terms found on the labels are disinfect and sanitize. The two terms are often used interchangeably but there is a difference. Disinfectants are products that destroy all organisms in 10 minutes during the AOAC Use Dilution Test, a test regulated by the EPA. Sanitizers destroy 99.999 percent of bacteria in 30 seconds during the Official Detergent Sanitizer Test (a public health test).  Sanitizers are typically used around food or in kitchens due to the speed needed to destroy bacteria on dishes and glasses as it makes the surfaces safe for contact quickly. Disinfectants are used around all other places to destroy microorganisms because they are stronger.

How do you know what products kill or inhibit mold and other microorganisms? Check the label for the words fungicide, mildewstat, disinfectant and deodorizer. These terms identify the claims and the performance of the product. Here is what those terms mean: (1) fungicide (cide = kills) so this means kills mold & mildew (2) Mildewstat (stat = inhibit) so this means inhibits mold growth. (3) Bactericide (cide = kills) which means kills bacteria.  (4) Virucide (cide = kills) so this means kills viruses. The back label will list the various organisms the product kills or inhibits. Be sure to find these terms listed on the label of the product you purchase if you want to kill mold, mildew, bacteria and viruses, all which are found in flood waters. By using an EPA registered product, you know it met the EPA protocol to kill and inhibit mold and mildew.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island recommends that once you’ve found an EPA registered product, take these key steps to flood and water clean-up:

  • Be sure to wear protective clothing including goggles and rubber gloves.
  • Open windows and dry areas thoroughly. Place moisture absorbers in small enclosed spaces like closets and bathrooms to help eliminate excess moisture and dry out the area. Moisture absorbers are a natural way to attract and trap excess moisture to eliminate and prevent musty odors and moisture damage. They do not require electricity and work well in small spaces.
  • Discard any water damaged materials that are porous and can trap mold. This includes books, paper, ceiling tiles, cellulose insulation, fiberglass insulation and soft surface items. Be sure to photocopy any valuable important papers and documents. Place the items in sealed bags before placing in trash containers.
  • Carpet and backing may be wet vacuumed and dried with fans or dehumidifiers. Clean carpet and window drapes. Apply a fungicide and disinfectant product to kill mold, mildew, bacteria and viruses. Be sure to use a bactericide and virucide to kill bacteria and viruses.
  • All hardened non-porous surfaces or objects that have come in contact with flood waters must be cleaned, disinfected and treated with a mold killer and inhibitor. Dry and clean the surface and apply a fungicide and disinfectant product to kill mold, mildew, bacteria and viruses. Be sure to use a bactericide and virucide to kill bacteria and viruses.
  • Protect against future mold growth. Use a product that contains a mildewstat to inhibit the growth of mold and mildew.
  • Check for odors. It could mean you have mold and mildew behind walls. Find the mold sources and treat them as described above.

Using mold products that are registered with the EPA as a fungicide and a mildewstat ensures that the products meet the EPA requirements to kill and inhibit mold. A product that is a fungicide, mildewstat and a disinfectant saves you time because it kills and inhibits mold and disinfects in one step.  This is by far the more popular chemical used by SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island in their efforts to remediate mold affected materials.

Prevention and Risks of Moisture in Schools During Summer

12/8/2017 (Permalink)

Prevention and Risks of Moisture in Schools During Summer

Whether a school is under construction or unoccupied during the summer break, it likely is without an HVAC system to help control moisture. Without humidity control, school buildings can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. 

The moisture content in a school’s building envelope can provide the medium that mold needs for incubation and growth. Whether a school is under construction or unoccupied during the summer break, it likely is without an HVAC system to help control moisture. Without humidity control, school buildings can become a breeding ground for mold and mildew. 

Risks exist whenever moisture is present at sufficient levels to allow mold to take hold. That level of moisture can result from excessive humidity, condensation or water damage. Humidity often is an unseen and undetected culprit in mold germination. Most HVAC systems are designed to bring in outside air as a requirement to enhance indoor air quality. In so doing, it is natural that, in most climates, moist air will be drawn into the building. 

Relative humidity levels above 70 percent pose a threat to any structure because moisture conditions will sustain mold formation. Such high levels of humidity are common when mechanical systems are shut down. 

The situation is exacerbated when custodial and maintenance departments tackle summertime cleaning and repair projects that they couldn’t conduct with classes in session. Typically, this work includes deep cleaning carpets and stripping and waxing floors, which creates moisture and introduces Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) to the indoor air. 

With the internal HVAC system off or running intermittently to save on energy costs, custodians must seek alternative ways to cool and ventilate the building. This is often accomplished by opening the facility’s windows and doors to increase air flow. However, in hot and humid conditions, this process introduces additional moisture into the building. Consequently, when the building is closed after work each evening, all of the VOC’s and humidity are consequently trapped in the building.

Finding a Solution

Controlling humidity requires some form of dehumidification. The most effective way to control a high-humidity environment is to employ a dehumidification system that delivers low humidity air and removes moisture without the need to run costly chiller systems designed to run a fully occupied building. 

A humidity control company will deliver the portable rental units to the site on trailers and work with the school district to set up the equipment near the school’s mechanical room. Temporary overhead ductwork or layflat is utilized to distribute dehumidified and cooled air throughout the structure, precluding any reliance upon the HVAC distribution system. The amount of dehumidification and cooling will be determined by a variety of factors, but mostly is affected by the overall cubic feet of air space being controlled. 

When a room is filled with dry air, which has low vapor pressure, trapped water migrates outward and is evaporated from the surface by the dry air. This technique establishes and maintains proper humidity levels that stabilize the interior environment. 

In addition to comfortable indoor conditions, utilization of an energy-efficient cooling and desiccant dehumidification unit leads to cost savings if the school can provide house power. That’s because electricity consumption costs for these units will be less than running the school’s in-house equipment. 

Preparing for Summer Storms, Flooding

The second major threat to a structure is excess moisture that results from any source ranging from pipe or equipment leaks to flooding due to extreme weather. 

In such cases, quick action is required to dry affected materials and areas of the building to preserve good indoor air quality. The longer the water flows or wet conditions are allowed to exist, the greater the recovery problem becomes. A water damage consultant must come in immediately to survey the situation. 

If a school has been severely water damaged, portable high volume desiccant dehumidifiers are required. Some larger units can pull 800 gallons of water out of a building in one day, compared to the typical small refrigeration units that remove about five gallons a day. 

Mold and mildew grow rapidly in damp, humid environments, leaving behind an unpleasant smell that permeates floors, walls and ceilings, even after the water has been removed. It also can create health problems for occupants. To minimize damage and costs, school maintenance managers should think ahead about what to do in a water damage event and contact a water damage expert such as SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island to create a Disaster Recovery Plan. 

Creating a moisture management plan that deals with a building from construction through unoccupied times will prevent costly mold problems, and save energy by avoiding operating mechanical systems. Monitoring humidity conditions and responding to water events quickly as part of a moisture management plan will further reduce any risk of mold. 

Moisture control during summer, even if the building is not occupied, is essential to prevent mold growth and other IAQ issues. Use of rental desiccant dehumidification systems can lead to energy savings, improved indoor air quality, and a more productive work environment. School officials would be wise to rethink their HVAC strategy during summer break to prevent expensive remediation and clean-up.  SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island has in its array of equipment to tackle these issues Commercial Desiccant Dehumidifiers in case of excessive humidity of water issues arise in any size structure. 

IR Cameras- How to use them Properly, Ethically, and with Profitability

12/4/2017 (Permalink)

Infrared Cameras:

How to use them properly, ethically and profitably when performing water damage restoration.

Everyone has heard the old adage, “When you only have a hammer, all your problems start to look like nails.” With an infrared camera, everything can look like water damage.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island realizes that IR camera technology can be a powerful tool for discovering the source of a leak, determining if there is latent moisture behind a wall after a dry-out and even to combat the potential for mold growth throughout a property.

On the other hand, if improperly used, an IR camera can be the cause of needless additional restoration work that won’t be covered by insurance providers.

And while an ethically-motivated restoration professional isn’t intentionally aiming to create a fear-based decisions in the mind of a property owner, it may not be viewed that way from their side, resulting in — minimally — a loss of trust and — at worst — a costly lawsuit.

What do they actually do?

There is a lot of confusion surrounding what infrared cameras actually do. To avoid issues resulting from this confusion, IR camera technology needs to be fully understood.

First and foremost, it must be made clear that thermal technology does not detect moisture at all. IR cameras detect temperature, display it visually, and that’s it.

An IR camera is no more capable of determining if something is wet than a mercury thermometer is when dropped in a cup of water. They do not “know” if things are wet, but they can easily measure temperature differentials, and water is extremely sensitive to these fluctuations.

Further, a home with water damage can reach a temperature equilibrium even after a water extraction has been performed. When this happens, if soaked drywall or carpet is the same temperature as the air around it, the IR camera won’t be able to “see” a temperature difference between the materials and the air.

This situation can easily be fixed by turning on the air conditioner, or even opening up a door to let in a draft. Actions like this will instantly affect the temperature of the air. These differences are then visible where evaporation is affecting the wet versus the dry sections of the home.

IR camera best practices

Beyond the technical limitations of the IR camera, there are also ethical implications for its use that should be addressed.

Due to the fact that an IR camera uses temperature and not actual moisture levels to determine if something is wet or not, less reputable restoration specialists might be tempted to take advantage of customers by using the visuals the camera provides.

Readouts near walls with cold water lines and air conditioning ductwork can create the impression that an area is water damaged when, in fact, it is only thermally cooler than its surroundings.

If used improperly or even unethically, this visual feedback from the camera can coax homeowners into further work than is actually required. Use of the camera in this manner is not only disreputable, but it’s also a lawsuit in the making.

That being said, when it comes down to selling yourself as an expert in the restoration industry, an IR camera and the visuals it provides can demonstrate to a homeowner, business owner or anyone you are working with on a loss that the added level of technology is an indication of true professionalism.

A heightened skill set, even if it’s only the perception of one technologically, can make a huge difference when trying to lock down a restoration project with clients.

Savvy homeowners won’t want to risk losing the services of an expert when they know they have a problem, and the IR camera may just make all the difference in illuminating this for them.

If used properly and ethically, the thermal photography that an IR camera produces can be an incredible tool for all aspects of a water damage loss.

But remember that it is still a tool, and should always be used in concert with other tools, such as moisture meters and testing, to ensure that not everything looks wet with water damage.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island incorporates the use of IR Cameras on its water losses but backs up the findings with moisture meters.  Our technicians are trained in the correct use of the IR Camera and know its limitations.  Because of this, we verify our findings with meters and make sure we have all our equipment calibrated and functional at all times.

PPE in the Restoration Industry

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

PPE in the Restoration Industry

The term PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment, refers to protective clothing, respirators, goggles, hard hats, gloves, and other garments or equipment worn to protect an individual from injury and harm.

The history of PPE dates back to ancient times when soldiers would suit up for battle. One of the first large-scale PPE uses was in World War I, when PPE was used to protect soldiers from the chemical gases such as mustard gas. In the forensic restoration industry, PPE has evolved and will continue to change to be able to protect the operators in the field against microbial warfare.

Disposables have become an integral part of many industries today. They are everywhere from the local deli to the high-tech electronic clean rooms, and while industries use some of the same materials, there are many differences.

Identifying & Choosing Materials

There are four major types of nonwoven materials most common to the today’s industries: Tyvek, microporous film, SMS (Spun-bonded-Melt blown-Synthetic), and polypropylene.

Tyvek

Dupont founded Tyvek under the research efforts of William Hale Charch in 1944. Dupont scientists found a way to shred and process nylon fibers to create a form of synthetic paper. Still, it wasn’t until 1961 that Tyvek actually emerged on the market.

Polypropylene

Polypropylene, a major nonwoven polymer in today’s market, was developed in 1954 by Guilio Natta. It was put into production in 1957 and there have been many improvements on polypropylene materials since its inception. Three of the modifications are with film coatings, PE coated polypropylene, microporous film, and SMS.

Microporous Film

Microporous film is a polypropylene membrane that is thermally laminated to a polypropylene nonwoven material. This was developed in 1987 through improved processing of polypropylene and came into the commercial market in 1993.

SMS

SMS is another derivative of polypropylene that is made up of three layers: two layers of polypropylene thermally bonded together with a thin poly membrane that is perforated.

Choosing and identifying the right materials can be difficult. These materials are used in several other industries and one of the largest users is the industrial safety sector. Their application is to protect the user from biological matter, blood, mold, asbestos, chemicals, and foreign substances getting on themselves or their clothing.

Best Options for Restoration Companies

For Non-Hazardous Jobs

Like many other companies, SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island, has several challenges when choosing the correct PPE for a restoration project. Most will use an SMS or polypropylene fabric in a lab coat, coverall, bouffant cap, shoe covers, sleeves, and masks. SMS gives good protection for fluid resistance and hold out while still achieving a breathable comfort level. Polypropylene is used in areas where protection is not critical, such as dusty or dirty areas free of hazardous materials. This is the most breathable and comfortable option.

SMS and polypropylene have varying filtration rates since the thickness of the material instead of the composition of the material determines the amount of protection. The average thickness of SMS ranges from 45 gsm (grams per square meter) to 55 gsm or 1.4 oz (ounce per square yard) to 1.8 oz. The filtration rate is 10 microns for a 55 gsm garment versus 30 microns for a 45 gsm garment. SMS will shed liquids for a period of time depending on the thickness of the material, but it is not a complete barrier. This makes SMS a very desirable material because it is breathable and will give adequate protection over a period of time. Polypropylene is the least protective of the materials and has a hold out range of 50 to 70 microns based on material weights of 45gsm to 30gsm or 1.4 oz to 1.0 oz. Many operators use polypropylene or SMS where there is minimal exposure within the work area for brief periods of time.

For Hazardous Jobs

When operator safety is especially critical, microporous film and Tyvek fabrics are the best route. Tyvek and microporous film materials will yield the highest particulate filtration efficiency. Tyvek will filter out dry particles up to 0.03 microns. The microporous film material has a barrier coating to allow for a low filtration rate at .01 microns, but lacks in comfort because it is not breathable. It works well in areas that are constantly wet and optimum protection is needed. Both of these materials will be hot to wear in most situations. When optimum protection is needed though, these materials work extremely well. With more precautions set forth for biological use, the sewn seams on these materials present a break in the barrier. There are versions of micropourus film that have sealed taped seams. Using Tychem SL and QC garments that have sealed taped seams allows for optimum protection.  SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island technicians have been extensively trained in the use of these suits before they are allowed to work on a hazardous project.

The Investment

Tyvek, since one company makes the material, is consistent in gsm weight, but microporous film, SMS, and polypropylene, vary in price by weight and size and there are many different manufactures/converters of these materials. These materials are non-wovens that are sold by weight as rolled goods and then converted to an isolation gown, lab coat, coverall, or shoe cover. This means the price of a 1.4 oz lab coat versus a 1.8 oz lab coat can vary in price by 20% and can vary even more depending on the size cut the garment has. The industrial sector usually wants the cheapest form of protection since it goes to their bottom dollar cost. The difference is a compromise in quality, weight of material, and durability can cost an operator their health or life. There are several ways to make sure you are getting what you need.

Microporous film is a complete barrier with the coating. It is meant as an alternative to Tyvek. Sizing and gsm weight is what affects the cost of this material. SMS and polypropylene weights can be looked at in several ways. First is comparing the thickness to another garment as well as weighing the garment itself. You can ask your supplier for the manufactures SDS sheets on the materials, which should always specify the weight of the material. The cut size and durability of the garment also reflect the quality. How does the garment hold up and does it fit right for the marked size of the garment? When ever you look at these materials in any form, lab coat, coverall, look at the stitching and the cut of the overall garment. You will be able to see many differences from one garment to another.

The decision to use one disposable or another option will ultimately come down to price, quality, application, and the end user. Choosing the right one can be difficult sometimes, but application and risk assessment is the best way to start. Once you know your options are compatible with the type of work you’ll be doing, you can compare the garment specifications from one product to the next and pricing to make a final purchase decision.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island understands the importance and value PPE brings to our industry.  We spare no expense in making sure our technicians have the right protection, tools and knowledge before they tackle any type of hazardous project.

Which Provides the Best Results—Sprayers, Foggers or Misters

12/1/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Which Provides the Best Results—Sprayers, Foggers or Misters Fogger

Which Provides the Best Results—Sprayers, Foggers or Misters

A clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of each type of device will help the restorer decide which unit will provide the best results in a particular job site.  SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island is equipped with all of this equipment and knows the job will dictate which unit could yield the best results.

Equipment evaluation and usage

Four distinct methods of dispersing deodorizing treatments are utilized. These methods are defined chiefly by the size of water droplets produced:

  • Pressure/compression sprayers
  • Wet foggers/misters
  • ULV (ultra-low volume) sprayers
  • Thermal-fogging devices

Pressure/ compression sprayers

These comprise the largest class of odor control application equipment. There are three main types:

  • Pump type
  • Electric
  • Airless paint sprayer

Pressure/ compression sprayers produce droplets that are often hundreds of microns in size. A micron is a unit of measure equal to one thousandth of a millimeter or 1/25,000th of an inch. These give the professional the greatest amount of control over where the spray is applied. They allow the professional to put a physical deposit of the proper deodorant where there was a physical deposit of odor thereby preventing further release of any odorous gases from the surface. Large droplets are an advantage when the desired outcome is to coat a surface.

Wet foggers/ misters

These constitute a large class of deodorant application tools. Misters work by mechanical action, using air pressure and specialized nozzles to break liquid into droplets.

Advantages

  • Lower in cost than other types of fogging equipment.
  • Droplets dispersed by these machines range in size from 25-100 microns.

Disadvantages

  • Often lack precision metering.
  • When machine operator is inexperienced, wetting, fallout and staining can occur to moisture sensitive surfaces.
  • The droplet size is typically much larger than the size of odor molecules and, therefore, does not penetrate the same as other types of fogging equipment.

ULV foggers

These are wet foggers that produce smaller droplets than wet foggers/ misters.

Advantages

  • ULVs are used to treat airspace with either water- or alcohol-based formulations. Alcohol-based formulations produce smaller sized droplets. ULVs can be adjusted to generate particles in the 8-15 micron size range.
  • Droplets can stay suspended in air for five or six hours instead of a few minutes with a wet fogger/ mister, allowing for better penetration.
  • Chance of over-wetting materials is greatly reduced when compared with wet (tri-jet) foggers.
  • Good for application inside of forced-air ventilation systems and in crawl spaces.

Disadvantages

  • Larger droplets generated by compression sprayers have a greater ability to coat surfaces than ULV generated droplets.
  • Does not get small enough in droplet size to get the best penetration and permeation into cracks and crevices and, therefore, does not reproduce the penetration of the deodorant vapors.

Thermal fogging devices

Thermal foggers are machines that utilize heat to change liquids into small droplets. These droplets condense when introduced into a cooler atmosphere. Thermal foggers can produce droplets as small as 0.5 microns up to 2 microns in size. Petroleum-based formulations are normally used with thermal fogging devices.

Differences between thermal and ULV fogging

The principle difference between ULV and thermal fogging is the thermal generation process produces a smaller and more consistent droplet size. Thermal fogging produces a dry or damp fog as opposed to the wet ULV aerosol.

Although many thermal fogging devices are limited to applying only oil-based formulations, some thermal foggers are available that may also be utilized to apply water-based formulations.

  • The concentration of active material in thermal fogging is usually lower than in ULV applications.
  • Thermal fog droplets have better penetration and permeation properties than ULV droplets.
  • Thermal fog lends itself to treatment of both large and small dwellings and buildings.
  • Gas-powered thermal foggers require no electrical source; no need to delay treatment if power is not available.
  • The small droplet size makes it possible to envelop contaminated atmospheres with odor counteractant, resulting in faster and more complete applications.

Gasoline-powered thermal fogger

Gasoline-powered thermal foggers do not require electricity and are capable of producing substantially smaller droplets than electrical powered units. They also produce larger volumes of fog.

Electric thermal fogger

Electric thermal foggers produce smaller volumes of fog with larger droplets. For simple, smaller jobs they are very useful. Be sure to use with a heavy-gauge extension cord and follow manufacturer’s directions for use.

All are effective tools in our Industry.  But it is clear that training and knowledge of these units is vital for the success of the project.  Deodorizing or disinfecting, SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island has highly trained technicians skilled in the use of these pieces of equipment as well as the chemicals involved in their use.

Soot and Smoke require Special Cleaning

11/1/2017 (Permalink)

Special Cleanup when it comes to Smoke and Soot

After a fire, soot damage is very typical. Soot can be a black flaky or oily or powdery substance which forms from incomplete combustion. Fine carbonized compounds cling to surfaces in your home like ceilings and walls, plus your possessions. Soot can be difficult to remove, and sometimes it is not possible to restore the surface to its pre-fire condition. 

There are two types of sediment you can find after soot damage home – oily and dry. A quick check you can do to discover the type of residue you have is just to run your finger over a soot-covered surface. It is oily residue if it smears. Try not to make a mess. Better yet, leave it to us to inspect and clean. 

You need an experienced fire damage restoration team working with you to clean the soot from your home thoroughly. SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island is standing by to help you as soon as the fire is out and everyone is safe. The longer you leave the smoky substance sitting in your home, the more damage it does.  

Heat from the fire pushes the soot and can cover everything in its way. Smoke looks for a kind of equilibrium and travels until its energy is used and it goes to cooler temperatures. When tested, soot can always be found on the acidic side of the pH scale. Acidic materials are destructive to a majority of elements found in nature. Over time, they keep degrading materials by oxidation which leads to discoloration, etching, corrosion or pitting. Stains over metals can yellow and soften. These reactions are ongoing from soot residues until they are removed.  

We can clean up oily residue with special degreasing agents, while we clean dry soot with cleaning sponges. Sometimes, soot will be oily in one room and dry in another. It all depends on the kinds of materials that were burned, so we check ahead of time before we begin remediation.  

Many varying types of damage occur after a fire, including water damage from firefighting efforts, but soot damage continues to eat away at the surfaces it is covering if left untouched.

Contents Restoration

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island specializes in restoring contents damaged by water, fire, or mold. Their expertise and “restore” versus “replace” mentality can help you save money while preserving precious keepsakes that can’t be replaced. They pretest your belongings to determine what items they can restore to pre-fire condition. They use several methods of cleaning your contents, including:

  • Dry Cleaning - Used for cleaning light residues or to pre-clean prior to wet cleaning.
  • Wet Cleaning - An effective cleaning method for removing moderate to heavy residues.
  • Spray and Wipe -Effective for items that can’t withstand wet cleaning.
  • Foam Cleaning - Used for upholstery fabrics that might shrink or bleed if wet cleaned.
  • Abrasive Cleaning - Involves agitation of the surface being cleaned.
  • Immersion Cleaning - Contents are dipped into a bath of the cleaning product.

Move-Outs/Pack-Outs

If your home requires extensive restoration or cleaning due to fire damage, SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island can conduct an organized, efficient move-out of the affected area. A move-out has several benefits, including:

  • A quicker remodeling process
  • Protecting items from potential damage
  • Protecting contents from further on-site damage

When restoration is completed, they will work with you to coordinate the move-in according to your needs. The services offered upon move-in may depend on your insurance coverage. 

Electronic Cleanup

Fire-damaged electronics can present a serious hazard. Do not attempt to turn on or operate any electrical device that you suspect has been damaged by fire. Smoke residues can contain acids that corrode metal surfaces. If the residues are not removed, corrosion causes electronic failure in the device. SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island will coordinate the restoration of your electronics, including:

  • Television sets
  • DVD players
  • Computers
  • And more

The key to restoring electronics is taking prompt action to prevent further damage. Electronics will be cleaned and inspected by a qualified electronics technician.

Contents Claim Inventory Service

When a fire emergency strikes, the damage can often feel overwhelming. SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island can help ease the worry and confusion during the recovery process by offering our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS), which provides a detailed and accurate list of your belongings. They take a room-by-room inventory of your contents, including digital photos, and in some instances, bar coding.

Our Contents Claim Inventory Service:

  • Pre-loss list and value of contents
  • Detailed and accurate report
  • Better information to settle claims quicker
  • Assistance with burden of proof for claims
  • Peace of mind when you need it most!

When it comes to going through a fire event, know that the experts at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island can help make it "Like it never even happened.”

Preventing Mold with Quick Water Mitigation

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Preventing Mold with Quick Water Mitigation Mold Growth on cabinets

Water Management and Mold

Each homeowner should take the necessary precautions and steps to minimize the amount of moisture while redirecting water in order to reduce the risks of mold developing.                            Mold tends to become an issue due to water intrusion, and this has developed into a major thorn in the construction industry’s side. U.S. housing’s top indoor air quality problem is mold, which is why proper water damage mitigation ought to be taken before it runs into bigger and more serious issues such as compromised structural integrity, cosmetic problems and long-term durability issues

Mold Growth in Homes

Poor water management of a home will encourage mold growth. As mold spores are invisible to the naked eye, they tend to make their way through the home, and are always present in indoor and outdoor air. While modern homes are built in such a manner where the concentration levels are insufficient to cause issues for the home’s inhabitants, it tends to make a nuisance when it starts to grow. Mold colonies require a food source, the right temperature (above 32 degrees Fahrenheit), and plenty of moisture. These conditions are all part of a home’s make up, where plenty of organic materials abound within a temperature range that does encourage mold growth. The key to stop the spread of mold is to keep moisture levels under control, and this is where water management of a building is very important. By doing your bit to prevent water intrusion, you will be able to minimize or eliminate the possibility of mold and mildew making their presence known.

 Wood-based Products

If you love all things wood, then it is all the more important to have proper water management for your home to prevent the growth of mold.  Wood-based products, while adding a sense of warmth into the home’s aesthetics, require plenty of attention as wood is one material that can absorb plenty of water, resulting in a higher overall moisture content in the surrounding area. It also requires far more effort and energy to dry wood than for it to get wet. With many wood-based furniture having concealed frames that has extremely limited, if any, exposure to air, it is all the more difficult to dry out.

What is Water Management?

It is imperative that you get a reputable water restoration Company like SERVPRO, take a look just in case there is a need for water damage mitigation works to be done. The whole idea of water management is to ensure all water will be directed away from the home. This is achieved through having a positive drainage system. It is always better that water is drained out and away from the home as fast as possible.Nothing should be left to chance, which means there should not be any part of the home that is sloped in the direction of the home’s interior.

Shingling

The roof is the primary form of protection against rain, and as rainwater subjects itself to the laws of physics and gravity, it will take the path of least resistance down the exterior finish and the drainage plane.  Along the way, it will come into contact with the likes of the finish roofing and wall cladding, window flanges, as well as flashing. These materials will then need to be layered in a strategic manner so that water on the outermost layers will remain a distance away from the sheathing and framing. This kind of layering method is known as shingling. Hence, all drainage planes ought to have the shingle strategy applied.

Contact SERVPRO of East Brownsville & SPI  Today

If you would like to make sure that your home is a place where happy memories are made and living in it is a joy ; We have the necessary expertise and wealth of experience to be able to let you know what needs to be fixed.  Our comprehensive range of services include mold remediation, water damage mitigation, and Water Damage Restoration

Restore your Carpet with These Spring Carpet Cleaning Tips

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Restore your Carpet with These Spring Carpet Cleaning Tips Carpet Cleaning process

During the winter, people close their homes to keep out the cold weather and heat their homes more efficiently.  However, with your home closed up, dirt, dust mites, and other airborne debris will circulate through the home and settle into the carpet.  By the time the spring arrives, your carpet is full of dirt and debris from the winter that needs to be removed.  This is why carpet cleaning should be part of your spring cleaning effort.  Effective carpet cleaning will remove the debris that has been accumulating in your carpet all winter and help restore its look.  Removing this debris from your carpet will also contribute to a healthier environment in your home.

As you begin spring cleaning in your home, make sure you work in the following carpet cleaning tips to clean and restore your carpeting.  If you would like additional help cleaning your carpet, you can always call a professional for carpet cleaning services.

spring-carpet-cleaning Start by Vacuuming

Hopefully, you have been vacuuming your carpet regularly throughout the winter.  Regular vacuuming is the most effective way to maintain your carpet and remove much of the embedded debris from the fibers.  By removing the embedded dirt and debris, you can prevent your carpet from deteriorating or looking discolored.  You must continue to vacuum your carpet regularly in the spring and throughout the year to keep it in good shape.  Vacuuming does not remove everything though which is why you should consider annual professional carpet cleaning.

Use Welcome Mats

One way to protect your carpet from dirt and debris is to prevent the dirt from being tracked into your home in the first place.  Placing welcome mats by every entrance will encourage people to wipe their feet when they enter your home, reducing the dirt and debris being dragged in.  People will be walking in and out of your home more frequently in the spring and summer so make sure you have your welcome mats in place.

Remove Stains

Carpet stains are tough to remove and using an over-the-counter carpet stain remover can be damaging to your carpet if you don’t use it properly.  There are a couple of ways you can try removing carpet stains yourself without risking damage to the carpet.  Try treating the stains with a solution consisting of one cup of cold water and 1/4 teaspoon of liquid detergent with no bleach.  You can also try removing the stain using vinegar and an iron.  Make a solution that is one part vinegar to three parts water.  Dampen a towel with this solution and lay it over the stain.  Iron the towel over the stain until the stain transfers to the towel.  If these methods do not remove the stain, you can call a carpet cleaning professional to treat the stain with their specialized products.

 

Protect your Carpet from Stains

Applying a stain protector will help you prevent stains in the carpet, but these protectors wear out over time.  The spring season is the ideal time to re-apply a stain protector to your carpet.

Restore your Carpet with These Spring Carpet Cleaning Tips Clean Up Spills Quickly If something spills on your carpet, you must clean it up immediately.  The longer you leave a spill to soak up in the carpet fibers, the higher the risk for a stain.  Make sure you blot dry a spill as soon as it happens to prevent staining.

Remove Odors

Like other types of fabric, carpeting can absorb foul odors that can make the room smell bad.  Fortunately, you can remove odors from your carpet safely using a mixture of essential oils and baking soda.  Add 10-20 drops of essential oil to 16 ounces of baking soda and mix the solution so that the oils become absorbed completely into the baking soda.  Sprinkle the baking soda mixture onto the area of your carpet with the odor and let it sit for 5 minutes before removing it with the vacuum.  If the odors are persistent, you may need help from a carpet cleaning professional.

Fluff the Carpet

Heavy foot traffic and furniture can flatten or indent the carpet fibers which will make the carpet look worn out.  You can fluff the carpet fibers using only an ice cube, towel, and iron.  Start by letting the ice cube melt into the flattened or indented area.  Once the ice cube melts, use a towel to softly blot up the excess water and leave the moist towel laid over the area.  Turn the iron on a low setting and iron the moist towel until the fibers are mostly dry.  Let the carpet continue to air dry and then fluff up the fibers with your hands.

Call  SERVPRO of East Brownsville & SPI

By working these carpet cleaning tips into your spring cleaning routine, you can help you improve the look and condition of your carpet.  However, it is important to remember that while these tips do help, it takes professional carpet cleaning services to completely remove embedded debris and tough stains.  Carpet cleaning professionals use advanced cleaning equipment and methods that are designed to lift stubborn stains and debris safely out of all carpet types.  As you get your spring cleaning started, follow these tips to clean your carpet and call a professional if you need extra help.

Tips before heat arrives in Brownsville Texas

4/18/2017 (Permalink)

Safety Tips Before Extreme Heat Arrives

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Know those in your neighborhood who are older, young, sick or overweight. They are more likely to become victims of excessive heat and may need help.
  • Be aware that people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than are people living in rural areas.
  • Get trained in first aid to learn how to treat heat-related emergencies.

 

Tips To Prepare Your Home

  • Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
  • Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
  • Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
  • Keep storm windows up all year.

 

  • #HeatSafety
  • #BeatTheHeat
  • #SummerSafety
  • #GetReady 

Water Damage in your Brownsville and South Padre Island Area

4/11/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage in your Brownsville and South Padre Island Area Water damage in the garage.

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


Faster To Any Size Disaster


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


Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 956-747-3020


Water Damage Timeline


Within Minutes



  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.

  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.

  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.

  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.


Hours 1 - 24:



  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.

  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.

  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.

  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.

  • A musty odor appears.


48 Hours to 1 Week:



  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.

  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.

  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.

  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.

  • Paint begins to blister.

  • Wood flooring swells and warps.

  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.


More Than 1 Week:



  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.

  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.


About SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island


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