Recent Posts

Avoid Delays When Dealing With Fire Damage in Brownsville, TX

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

When SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island helps local homeowners with fire damage in their homes, it goes further than cleaning up the charred sheetrock and smoke damage on the interior. One of the many goals of the techs is always to save homeowners the cost of replacement whenever possible through their cleaning methods. 

Working on fire damage in a kitchen and dining room, the techs found the kitchen table and chairs, and the dining room set had extensive smoke damage but no charring. Made from solid hardwood rather than composite materials, they had excellent prospects for restoration by cleaning. As the two rooms needed repairs, the techs moved out of the room contents for cleaning at the facility.

In-House Smoke Damage Removal Process

For the furniture, the techs have cleaning agents to release the hold of the smoke residues on surfaces. The techs test items before cleaning to ensure the correct agents get used, and articles do not get harmed from incorrect cleaning methods. Wood soaps work on well on finished wood surfaces as they clean gently without using harsh detergents or strong alkalis. The techs also have equipment such as the Esporta power washing machines for heavy residues. Glass and ceramic keepsakes get restored through the use of ultrasonic baths. Afterward, the items get held in secure storage until the home is ready for the pieces to get brought back into the house and set up.

Organization During Move-Out

When SERVPRO techs move out items during mitigation, they utilize a highly organized system known as the Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS) inventory protocol to manage the pathway of actions taken during the fire and smoke damage restoration process. It logs items packed out, including their location in the home and items that required disposal along with detailed descriptions and photos. This report also helps expedite the filing of insurance claims.

Ways to Avoid Issues With Fire Damage Remediation

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning Techniques for Fire Damaged Surfaces in Brownsville Homes

Cleaning is a vital element to the recovery of your Brownsville home after a fire. As challenging as existing in the residence can feel after even mild structure fires have occurred, effective cleaning and restoration practices can make you homeowners more comfortable. Our SERVPRO professionals have practical techniques and potent products to return damaged surfaces in your home to their preloss condition.

Depending on the severity of threats like smoke and soot residues, various cleaning practices are necessary to restore fire damage in Brownsville. Abrasive techniques like media blasting can remove set-in soot from surfaces like countertops, and also help to reduce present odors, but agitative cleaning techniques are better suited to the needs of other surfaces and contents throughout the damaged residence.

The choice made in the type of cleaning practice our SERVPRO team uses depends on the thickness of soot residue on the surface. Because this film is acidic, sensitive materials can quickly become marred and stained under direct exposure to soot particles. Addressing these concerns begins with loosening the layer of soot and smoke sediment using agitative cleaning practices.

Preconditioning or pre-cleaning are the terms used for loosening and removing the majority of residues and oils from a designated surface or material. Dry cleaning processes like vacuuming, brushing, and the use of compressed air can have an effective result in removing most of the damaging layer of acidic soot. Abrasive cleaning techniques, including soda blasting, can have a more direct approach on lingering grit, carbon, and smoke particles. Given the specific surface in question and how severe the layer of soot particles is, various techniques might get employed to regain control of a fire-damaged property.

Cleaning is a necessary component to making fire losses “Like it never even happened.” Despite how devastating these disasters can be, our SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island team has the training and the cleaning agents to help. Between our agitative cleaning techniques to break residues loose from surfaces to foam, wiping, and abrasive methods, we can restore the look and feel of many damaged materials after a fire. Give us a call anytime at (956) 747-3020.

Slow Ceiling Leak Causes Water Damage in Brownsville.

11/17/2020 (Permalink)

A slow leak in your Brownsville home can cause more damage than you realize.

It is never a good sign when water spots appear on the ceiling. It is a safe bet there is some level of water damage that has occurred.

In the case of a home in Brownsville, water damage caused by a slow leak in the ceiling accumulated over time until it ruined the sheetrock panels and the taped seams. This resulted in the need for controlled demolition in the form of a partial tear-out of the ceiling down to the raw joists and sheathing so the necessary plumbing repairs could occur.

Purpose of Controlled Demolition

When building materials require removal from the home, SERVPRO technicians cut them cleanly away to make the repairs as fast and easy as possible for both the plumbing and the cosmetic renovations necessary to restore the ceiling to its preloss condition.

Drying the Water Loss Area

To be sure all areas of excessive moisture get attention, SERVPRO technicians use their advanced moisture detection equipment to scope the room and make sure there are no other areas that show elevated water vapor levels. After removal of the damaged sheetrock panels, the technicians use air movers aimed upwards to dry the ceiling and also drying mats above to force warm, dry air downward to ensure the affected area dried completely. 

Mold Treatment

SERVPRO technicians found no signs of mold growth, but when a surface has exposure to water over a lengthy period, proactive treatments to avoid mold are a smart course of action. The techs used an antimicrobial sealant on the joists and open area as soon as it was dry to inhibit any mold growth. 

Assisting Homeowners After Completion

A standard part of service is ensuring homeowners are happy with the work done. Once the mitigation completes, a technician walks the homeowner through the process and shows them the necessary actions. They also note any necessary repairs needed to restore the home entirely. 

When water damage happens to your property, call SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island at (956) 747-3020. The certified technicians can clean up and restore the home to its preloss condition, "Like it never even happened."

The Basics of Helping Homeowners Recover From Water Damage

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Flooding and water-related disasters are widespread. Also, they have caused many property owners quite a headache. And while water damage isn't something that can't be fixed, time and quick response are crucial during a water disaster.

While it’s common for property owners to want to rush the repairs so they can get their house back to its pre-damaged state ASAP, it’s the responsibility of the water damage restoration team to ensure that the entire process is carried out correctly and safely.

Here are some of the most critical points to keep in mind when handling a water damage situation.

Safety should be a priority.

In the event of a crisis, your primary concern should be the safety of everybody involved.

You’re already well aware that water and electricity are a lethal combination. So, it follows that in any flooding situation, the first thing you should do is switch off the electrical power in the flooded area. Afterward, close the main water valve to prevent any contaminants from entering the water system.

Lastly, should you feel the immediate need to wade through the water to check the flooded premises, don't forget to wear waterproof boots and safety gear.

Accurate assessment of the damage is essential.

There’s often more to flooding and water damage than meets the eye, which is why it’s crucial to identify the level of water damage in the area before going further with the mitigation and repair process.

Water damage is categorized into three levels.

Category 1 - water is generally clean, sanitary, and safe for consumption.

Category 2 - microorganism level in the water is too high and has the potential to cause sickness if someone were to ingest or get in contact with it.

Category 3 – water is severely contaminated and contains toxins and pathogens, which could be fatal.

Aside from identifying the level of water damage, a thorough assessment of the affected premises will give you a clearer picture of the extent of damage, and how much the repairs could cost.

Dry out the area properly.

When it's finally safe to enter the area, the next thing to do is get rid of water and moisture before they cause any more damage. However, if it's massive flooding you're dealing with, you'll have to wait for the flood to dissipate before starting the drying process.

For small leaks, you can use a fan to circulate the air and dry out the affected area. For heavier flooding situations, however, you may have to use a hand or electric pump to drain the water and then a large-capacity dehumidifier to ensure that there's very-little-to-no moisture left. When most of the house or the building is dry, open up the windows and let the air circulate. If the heating system still works, turn it up to drive what's left of the moisture and prevent mold growth.

Don’t forget to test for moisture.

With the area almost completely dry, it's time to remove waterlogged items from the affected area and sort them into piles. You can keep the ones that look salvageable and throw those that are beyond saving.

Before commencing work on the structure, though, make sure to run tests on the moisture level of the walls and floors. A moisture meter can help you check if the moisture on the walls and framings have dropped to a suitable level, while a flooring hygrometer is the most reliable tool for testing the dryness of concrete floors.

Carry out remediation and repairs as soon as possible.

Standing water is an ideal breeding place for pathogens and bacteria, while moisture can pave the way for molds to develop. When water damage is concerned, immediate action is necessary.

You see, if the remediation phase is not completed promptly, a category 1 and 2 damage can potentially turn into a category 3; a simple cleanup may turn into an extensive, complicated, and costly job.  Time is of the essence when dealing with a water damage situation.

In Case of a Water loss Emergency, Call the Water Damage Professionals at SERVPRO to get the job done right. (956)747-3020

Are There Ways to Protect My Home After a Flood?

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

With a fast response and experienced technicians, our SERVPRO team can help your home return to preloss condition quickly. 

After a flood loss in yourhome, you can wonder if things will ever look and feel the same again. Standing water alone can cause devastation throughout affected areas of your home, providing an overwhelming sight for the DIY restorer. Our SERVPRO team can help with a fast response to these emergencies when you call and the equipment and expertise to manage the current conditions and return your home to its original state. 

While there are multiple degrees of flood damage in homes after a loss incident, several of the approaches necessary to restore the current effects are the same. We have pre-stocked trailers loaded with water restoration equipment like extractors, air movers, dehumidifiers, and potent cleaning products to help. Arriving quickly with these tools and technologies already in hand ensures that vital mitigation begins as soon as possible and that there are no further opportunities for irreparable structural damage. 

What Are the Main Threats of a Flood Scenario?

Every flood situation comes with threats and risks to your home and its occupants. In many ways, this disaster is one of the most devastating that can befall a home, and that is why our professionals stay ready to respond to these water restoration needs as soon as you need it. Understanding some of the main threats to your property can help you know why you need to secure professional restoration to protect your house. Some of these pressing concerns include:

  • Material Deterioration – Direct exposure to standing or migrating water after a flood can weaken construction materials. 
  • Microbial Threats – Moist and damp conditions created by the presence of floodwater and saturation of many materials can present the appropriate conditions for mold growth in as little as 48 hours. 
  • Contaminants – Natural flooding gets considered to be a blackwater incident, meaning that the likelihood of contamination and health threats are elevated. 
  • Structural Damage – The longer that materials stay exposed to water, the more likely that they become weakened and deteriorate.

Is There a Way to Help Before SERVPRO Arrives? 

Often, homeowners want to do more to help their situation as soon as possible once disasters like flooding strike. While We’re Faster To Any Size Disaster and can often reach your property within hours of the first notice of loss, there are still ways to prepare for these possibilities and act when disasters strike in the small window before our competent professionals get there. Here is what you should do:

  • Emergency Plan – Emergency plans are an excellent way to prepare for any loss situation that could impact your property. It assigns all of the occupants of your house with a path and destination so that they can safely get out of the house during a disaster. 
  • Keepsakes and Heirlooms – There is no doubt that you have some irreplaceable valuables in your home that can become ruined by rising or spreading floodwater. If possible, in the earliest stages of this emergency, you can relocate some of your home contents to other areas of the property or take heirlooms and treasures with you when you vacate the house.
  • Turn Off Utilities If Possible – If it is possible for you to get to them safely, you can cut the electrical service throughout your home by severing the primary breaker in the box, shut off water service with a valve where the water comes from the meter into your home, and other similar steps. These steps prevent damage to these elements that can amplify the hazards or work to get done.

What Can I Expect from Professional Restoration? 

While there is an allure to cleaning and restoring your home yourself, this is rarely feasible with flood losses, as so many areas of your property can become damaged without you even realizing it. We have sophisticated equipment to track water migration and the success of drying and restoration solutions that we implement. We have multiple strategies that set our professional restoration apart, and people have come to trust our SERVPRO team thanks to our immediate actions after a flood, including:

  • Content Management
  • Extraction
  • Muck Out 
  • Drying 
  • Cleaning 

No matter how detrimental a flood loss situation can be, the right preparations and fast responses can make a substantial difference. Our SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island team can help with experience and capable equipment to make flood losses “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call today at (956) 747-3020.

How Can My Home's Flood Damage Be Remediated?

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Flood Damage Remediation Companies Employ Various Methods to Return Your Home to Its Pre-Flood Condition.

Residents of Portsmouth are no strangers to powerful coastal storms and the flooding they often cause.  Whenever this flooding affects you, it’s crucial that you quickly have it professionally cleaned up.

Flood damage cleanup companies, like SERVPRO, have a time-tested process for safely dealing with the hazardous results of flooding. This is important because if your home isn’t properly cleaned after such an event, it could lead to long-term health effects, substantial ongoing damage to your residence, and persistent foul odors.  In order to avert these adverse effects, our technicians do the following things:

Quickly remove standing flood water from your home with powerful extractors.

Use ultra-low volume foggers to inject antimicrobials into affected surfaces.

Neutralize airborne microbes with thermal foggers.

Make interior temperatures less favorable for microbial growth with heated extractors and refrigerant dehumidifiers.

Use dehumidifiers to lower interior humidity to less than 60%, slowing the proliferation of bacteria and fungi.

Employ injectidry systems to dry difficult-to-access areas behind structural elements.

After SERVPRO workers complete these steps, residents are better protected from potentially harmful health effects and their home is less susceptible to developing mold/mildew damage, dry rot, and unpleasant smells.

Why Should I Not Attempt to Clean Up Flood Damage Myself?

Floodwaters are generally dangerous waters that have flowed over various surfaces, picking up a multitude of hazardous substances.  These waters often contain one or more of the following:  animal or human corpses, human and animal excrement, and toxic chemicals.  It, therefore, takes the expertise and equipment of a company like SERVPRO to safely handle floodwater remediation.  If you attempt to perform one yourself, you risk getting sick and likely cannot effectively eliminate the harmful microorganisms that cause long-term home damage.  

SERVPRO of East Brownsville Can Restore Fire- Damaged Materials

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Home Fires can cause soot damage or leave odors of smoke and ash even in Materials that flames didn’t reach.

Water from firefighting as well as the fires themselves can damage structures and other belongings. If SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island is called to the site of a fire-damaged building soon enough, we may be able to restore much of the property to its pre-damage condition.

Call us at 956-747-3020. We have 24-hour emergency service every day. We are also available to restore structures and to clean/disinfect items that have existing damage, so don’t despair.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island removes odors, replaces damaged drywall, and repairs most kinds of flooring. Our highly trained technicians are restoration experts you can count on.

Electrical Fire Warning Signs

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Did you know that electrical distribution systems are the third leading cause of home fires in the United States? According to the Electrical Safety Foundation, (ESFI), electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires annually and are responsible for over one billion dollars in property damage each year. SERVPRO is committed to providing the highest level of support and service to Brownsville residents and businesses and we are ready to assist you with any fire damage emergency you may experience.

Here are some electrical safety warning signs from the National Fire Protection Association:

  • Frequent problems with blowing fuses or tripping circuit breakers
  • A tingling feeling when you touch an electrical appliance
  • Discolored or warm wall electrical outlets
  • A burning or rubbery smell coming from an appliance
  • Flickering or dimming lights
  • Sparks from an outlet

Fire Damage Specialists

Our team is highly trained and certified in fire and smoke restoration, odor control, upholstery and fabric cleaning, and water damage restoration. Our technicians are required to undergo continuous education training to stay up to speed on industry standards and new technological advancements in our field.

Call Us Today

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island is Here to Help ® commercial businesses and homeowners with any size fire damage emergency. We can also help you with the insurance paperwork and process. Call us today at 956-747-3020. We’ll restore your fire damage “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island is Independently Owned and Operated.

Contact SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island to Help Businesses Avoid COVID-19

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO OF East Brownsville & South Padre Island is an essential business in the RGV. We remain Faster to any Size Disaster, and crucially, can help prevent a disaster.

Call us for proactive cleaning. We follow the guidelines from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and from FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) for cleaning frequently-touched surfaces, electronics, porous surfaces (such as upholstery and carpet), and non-porous surfaces (such as stainless steel, tile, and laminate).

SERVPRO works with businesses to help their employees and their communities avoid COVID-19. Our highly-trained technicians use hospital-quality cleaners and disinfectants.

RGV can count on us to follow the current guidelines for the cleaning and disinfection of the wide range of businesses in the area, including:

  • Senior-living communities
  • Restaurants and other food-service businesses
  • Grocery stores and other retail spaces
  • Dental office
  • Other medical facilities
  • Automobile service and rental companies
  • Community centers
  • Correctional & detention facilities

If your business is not listed above, don’t worry. We most likely have the equipment and supplies to clean it.

Call us at 956-747-3020 any time of day or night, any day of the week.

We are Here to Help®

Deep Cleaning Has Never Been More Important for Businesses in Brownsville

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO®  wants commercial businesses in Brownsville, TX to know that we have the specialty training to deal with biological contaminants similar to COVID-19, and can provide deep cleaning and disinfecting services for your facility.

We use EPA-Approved Cleaning Products

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends cleaning high-touch surfaces with a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus and follow CDC and local authority recommendations and guidelines.  According to the CDC, high-touch, porous and nonporous surfaces such as doors and doorknobs, light switches, phones, tables, tablets, bathroom fixtures, keyboards, handles and common areas should undergo routine cleaning and disinfecting using specific protocols.

Call Us Today For a Proactive Cleaning

When your business needs specialty cleaning and disinfection services, SERVPRO® of East Brownsville & South Padre Island wants to help. We are on call 24 hours a day and have the specialized equipment necessary to provide the deep cleaning services you need. Call us today at 956-747-3020.