Recent Fire Damage Posts

Interesting Facts About Fire

7/13/2021 (Permalink)

fire-restoration-clean-up-team Our technicians helper, in this picture, is working on demolition. YES, we get to all the tight spots! CALL 956-747-3020 for more info!

We talk about the do’s and don’ts, safety tips and necessary steps to follow in the event of a fire. Let’s switch up a bit!

In this blog: Let’s look into 10 interesting facts, about fire, you won’t want to miss out on reading!

Interesting Fact 1: Fire is a chemical rection that releases light and heat!

Interesting Fact 2: A candle flame typically burns at around 1000 degrees Celsius (1800 Fahrenheit) That’s 10xs the temperature of boiling water!

Interesting Fact 3: Scientist believe that humans began using fire to cook food in a controlled way about 1,000,000 years ago.

Interesting Fact 4: Earth is the only known fire where fire can burn. Everywhere else, you wont find enough oxygen for fire to ignite.

Interesting Fact 5: oxygen supply plays a big factor in the color of the flame. Low oxygen fire gives of a yellowish type of glow. High oxygen will create a blue flame.

Interesting Fact 6: You can crate water from fire! Experient time! (With supervision of an adult if minor) place a cold spoon over a candle and watch water vapor condense on the metal.

Interesting Fact 7: it takes less than 30 seconds after a fire loses control, becomes very difficult to control.

Interesting Fact 8: More people tend to die from smoke inhalation than flames.

Interesting Fact 9: Trees can explode during wildfires: if the trees have retained water, the heat will turn that water to steam causing the tree to explode.

Interesting Fact 10: Walt Disney is the largest consumer of fireworks in the United States!

Although these are all pretty interesting facts, staying safe is still our number one goal and priority. Know that in the event of a fire, you can always count on the professionals to provide you the best experience. helping you gain your home back for an experience, “Like it never even happened.”

Fire safety as Your Top Priority

7/12/2021 (Permalink)

fire-home-restoration-devastating-brownsville-spi No matter how big the damage rest assure SERVPRO can handle the clean-up, disinfection, neutralize odors and restoration process TOP to BOTTOM!

At SERVPRO Brownsville-SPI, we understand a fire can be quite devastating. That’s why we are here to provide you a bit of information in fire safety for you and your family.

Don’t be a hero

We understand, you may feel urge to dive back into danger for a loved one or personal belonging. But you have to remember that the risk of you doing so will only increase the odds of injury or death to yourself.

  • you are not trained nor have the proper gear to enter a home in flames. Wait for firefighters to arrive at the scene and inform them of anyone who may still be in the fire.

Minimize risks at home

Make sure those in your home know how to cook and little ones stay away from the stove. Keep all candles and portable heaters at a safe distance from walls clothes and other items. Get a professional to inspect your wiring and never smoke indoors.

Fire alarms 6 month check up

If your fire alarms aren’t working, you’re not going to be notified in the event of a fire. Many fires station to provide free alarm inspections. Call your local fire station to see if they offer this service.

Escape plan

Creating an emergency fire escape plan is the most important think you can craft up, especially if you have children. Review where to go, how to exit the house, and how to stay under the smoke, and identify a meetup location.

Fire extinguishers in the home as a precaution

Although having an extinguisher is important when being prepared for a house fire, they should only be used sparingly. Extinguishers are used to put out small fires and depending on the type of fire as well. DON’T rely on an extinguisher, grab it if you can, but definitely educate yourself on the dos and don’ts of a fir extinguisher if you’re considering one for your home.

Fires are scary, let’s be honest. When undergoing through this proves, your homeowners’ insurance should be handled by capable adjusters and insurance agents. If by any chance you feel the insurance company isn’t treating you fairly or not providing the full coverage you believe you should be receiving or they deny your claim. Give SERVPRO Brownsville-SPI a call. We have helped many residents who have been affected in the past and continue to provide these restoration services. You’ll come home “Like it never even happened.”

All you need to know about fire alarm inspections

7/9/2021 (Permalink)

fire clean up fire alarm safety with SERVPRO inspection Count on SERVPRO Brownsville-SPI in the evet of a fire, for a smooth clean up and restoration process!

Fire alarm inspections follow the national fire protection agency (NFPA) 72 National Fire Alarm Code, which covers the inspection, application, location, testing and maintenance of fire alarm systems. While this code establishes the minimum level of performance required by your system, it doesn’t clarify on how to meet these levels. That’s when we have a fire alarm inspector come in. During this inspection, a professional will evaluate your whole system.

This detailed inspection includes the following

  • Thermal detector testing
  • Bell testing
  • Tamper switch testing
  • Door holder testing
  • Audible/visual device testing
  • Verifying the monitor connection
  • Duct detector testing
  • Smoke detector sensitivity testing
  • Elevator recall testing
  • Pull station testing
  • Flow Switch testing
  • Load test of standby batteries
  • Ground fault detection circuitry testing
  • Inspecting the enunciator
  • Inspecting the control panel
  • Grounded field wiring testing

Your inspector will be documenting these findings. Note: your inspector should log the date of your last inspection so you know when to schedule your next fire alarm inspection.

You should, minimum, have an alarm inspection to be performed once a year. If you are the building manager, you may want to consider weekly routines. The only component that is tested once every 2 years is going to be your smoke detector sensitivity.

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.

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.

How to Remove the Smoke Odors From your HVAC System

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Air Duct Did you know that SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island can clean air ducts?

Removing Fire Odors in HVAC Systems of Brownsville Homes 

Many Brownsville homeowners run their air conditioning systems through most of the year, and there are only a few instances in which these units get turned off. When disasters like fire loss incidents occur, these HVAC networks do not shut down until you tell them to or until the conditions of the fire itself compromise the ability for the unit to continue functioning correctly. The result of these situations is often air ducts that get severely affected by soot, smoke residues, and harsh odors. Combatting all of these effects are out of the wheelhouse of the average homeowner, requiring you to trust in the expertise of certified professionals like our restorers. 

Fire odor removal can often be a considerable challenge for your Brownsville home, even with the experienced and trained professionals our SERVPRO team dispatches. Odors can spread quickly and embed into surfaces and materials throughout the house. In many cases, excessive heat causes pores in materials like drywall to expand, allowing these odors to penetrate the sheetrock. When the house cools down after extinguishment, these molecules get trapped within the pores of the material and continue to affect the occupants of the house without the appropriate deodorization methods. 

When areas like the HVAC system and air ducts become affected by spreading odors, it can be even more of a challenge to address these concerns. Our SERVPRO professionals arrive with an array of equipment designed to neutralize foul and noxious smoke and fire odors on contact, but other symptoms from the fire must also get addressed and removed within the air ducts to eliminate the scent. 

Our professionals arrive with sophisticated equipment to clean out this network of ducts, including whips, brushes, and HEPA vacuums. The sooner this system can get thoroughly cleaned after a fire, the less chance it has of perpetually circulating damaging effects. 

There are multiple concerns that every homeowner should have after a fire occurs in their residence, but with the fast response of our SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island professionals, we can make these damaging effects “Like it never even happened.” Give us a call anytime you need us at (956) 747-3020.

Some Warning Signs of Fire Damage Issues in the RGV.

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

Plug Catching Fire. Whether the fire damage stems from an electrical issue or started in a different way, team SERVPRO has you covered. Call today.

Something that no homeowner expects to happen is a fire, but this is often an unfortunate and tragic event. Few emergencies are as catastrophic and costly as a house fire, but it can help to hire trained professionals to assist with the restoration process. 

To address fire damage in Brownsville, you can trust our team at SERVPRO. We have trained restoration professionals that work hard to clean the soot and smoke left behind after a fire. Rather than immediately removing your walls and other materials, we formulate a plan to do our best to clean everything using a range of tools, agents, and trusted methods. 

Surface Cleaning

Spraying and wiping most surfaces is often the first order of business when our SERVPRO technicians start the cleanup process. Water or cleaning agents can be used to help break down any fire damage residues that are left behind. Another option is foam cleaning on materials where the color could run, including drapes, curtains, and upholstery. 

Absorption Cleaning

In the event that there are items in the home that are too fragile to be cleaned with water or cleaners that are solvent-based, absorption techniques can be used. SERVPRO technicians put down a layer of fine powder that helps to absorb and pull up residue so that it can be vacuumed away without causing surface damage. The same cleaning powder is also beneficial for use on porous surfaces, including marble, concrete, and brick.

Immersion Cleaning

Whenever fragility or color fastness is not an issue, our technicians can immerse items in an ultrasonic cleaning tank that helps to break down residues for easier removal. This tool uses sound waves to create agitation that forces bubbles over surfaces and throughout woven fabrics. Due to the nature of the immersion cleaning process, it is usually used after all other cleaning methods are exhausted. 

These and other methods are waiting whenever you need help with fire damage restoration. To set a team into action, give us a call at (956) 747-3020. We can send our technicians out to your location as soon as possible to get started.

3 Ways To Keep Your Dryer Clean and Prevent Lint Fires

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Detector Take precautions to keep your home safe.

It's not always possible to prevent a disaster from affecting your home in Brownsville, TX but there are some types of fires that you can often prevent, such as a lint fire. It's often wise for homeowners to know how to keep their dryers clean and to prevent built-up lint from causing a fire in their homes.

1. Clean Your Lint Screen After Using Your Dryer
A dryer fire can cause devastation to a home, and homeowners whose homes have been affected by fires often choose to employ fire damage restoration experts. Fortunately, cleaning your lint screen is often a simple way to prevent a fire. The location of a dryer's lint screen may vary, but after using your dryer, it's often helpful to remove the screen and wipe away the lint with a cloth or with your hands. Once the screen is clean, you can place it back in its slot.

2. Remove Lint From the Interior Vents
A lint fire is more likely to occur if your dryer's interior vents are filled with lint. Though it may sound complex, removing lint from your dryer's interior vents isn't difficult. First, turn off and unplug your dryer, then move your dryer so you can reach the back panel. Open the panel and vacuum lint from the vents and wipe away any lint that your vacuum can't quite reach.

3. Clean the Exhaust Hose
It's often useful to clean out your dryer's exhaust hose in order to prevent a home fire. After turning off and unplugging your dryer and moving your dryer so you can see the back of it, you should be able to easily locate the exhaust hose. Depending on your dryer, you can either loosen the exhaust hose manually or by using a screwdriver. Finally, you can use a vacuum or a cloth to remove lint from the hose.

Your dryer is likely one of your most-used appliances in your home, and it's often wise to know how to prevent a lint fire. Cleaning the lint screen after each use, removing lint from your dryer's interior vents and cleaning the exhaust hose can help to prevent a fire.

Fire Prevention Tips for Common Causes of Home Fire Damageprevent further property damage from exposure to contaminated areas. Smoke and soot particle

12/16/2019 (Permalink)

Home affected by Smoke and Soot Even a minor fire can bring significant smoke and soot damage throughout your home. We can provide property damage restoration services near you!

What to Expect from our SERVPRO Professional Fire Damage Restoration Process

Every year, there are between 350,000 and 400,000 home fires in the U.S. (according to the National Fire Protection Association). Any building is at risk of catching fire for a variety of reasons, knowing the most common reasons for residential fire damage can be important to fire prevention. SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island ha been providing property disaster cleanup and restoration service to fire damage victims for years! Our IICRC certified fire damage restoration specialists arrive ready to rescue and recover your home and property following a fire "Like t never even happened".

Our SERVPRO team responded quickly to this home fire, in Brownsville, TX. Our restoration specialists contained the damage areas to stop the spread of hazardous soot, smoke, and toxins. SERVPRO is a trusted leader in the restoration industry; our team is ready to respond to your emergency fire property damage, quickly and effectively with unparalleled training and equipment. Giving you peace of mind that your property is being cleaned and restored by caring and competent restoration professionals.

Often during a fire restoration, Many recovery operations need to happen simultaneously, some of our crew will work on water extraction and demolition, while others will inventory and pack up items to move to another location to help prevent further property damage from exposure to contaminated areas. Smoke and soot particles are small and can get deep inside building materials, furniture and other porous items. HEPA filters help our industrial strength air scrubbers and vacuums capture soot, purify the air and neutralize odors. Our SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island's location is fortunate to offer restoration and rebuilding services following a property disaster from fire, water or mold. Using our highly qualified construction team will help keep your recovery process moving steady and hassle free, often times it can also minimize costs and completion time.


Isolate Fire Damaged Areas

SERVPRO professionals will start with containment to help restrict odors and debris from contaminating the air throughout the house and keep the damage contained at the source of the fire and affected areas of the home.

Water Damage Remediation

Fire suppression and rescue uses a lot of water and it can be just as destructive to structural components and contents as the fire. Our SERVPRO professionals will take the steps needed to minimize the damage by prioritizing water extraction.

Pack-Out for Contents

Fire damage mitigation and restoration is more effective when furnishings and personal possessions are relocated to avoid continued exposure to contaminated air and debris. Our Contents Claim Inventory Service (CCIS) creates a digital listing of the affected property, very helpful when corresponding with your insurance company. Specialized contents technicians evaluate the pack-out items’ conditions and recommend and implement efficient strategies to clean, dry, deodorize, and disinfect them.

Customized Soot Removal

Smoke and soot damages are especially invasive attacking every space of your residential property, including areas far from the actual fire. The residue from the fire travels with the air coating surfaces SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Quick action is crucial to minimize damages; soot must be removed before it begins etching, distorting, discoloring, and disintegrating wood, carpeting, fabric, drywall, plastic, metal, and glass.

Common causes of residential fire property damage disasters:

  1. Cooking: The majority of house fires are caused by cooking-related incidents, specifically, a person leaving a hot oven or stove unattended.

Prevention tips: Always keep an eye on cooking equipment while it’s in use. Use a timer to remind you cooking is in progress. Make sure to remove flammable objects and materials around cooking areas and surfaces.

  1. Heating: Portable and stationary space heaters accounted for 32% of these fires, but most resulted from the homeowner’s failure to clean heating equipment or chimneys. 

Prevention tips: Have heating equipment cleaned and inspected every year to ensure it’s working properly. When using space heaters, situate them away from combustible objects such as clothing, furniture and bedding and turn them off when you leave home.

  1. Electrical systems: Lighting sources are responsible for most electrical fires. Fires started through electrical systems represent more than $1 billion in property losses each year. 

Prevention tips: Use qualified electricians to handle your electrical projects, many fires are the result of improper installation by homeowners. When using electrical appliances, replace frayed or damaged cords, refrain from overloading outlets with plugs and use bulbs of the proper wattage for lamps.

  1. Candles: Candles are responsible for 5 percent of home fire deaths, and on average, 35 home fires caused by candles are reported each day in the United States. 

Prevention tips: Don’t leave burning candles unattended and put them out before going to bed.

Fires cause massive amounts of damage to a residential property; the flames, soot and smoke can destroy structural materials, interior and exterior items and personal processions. The aftermath of a fire can bringing massive amounts of water damage, toxic chemicals, harmful soot pollution and unhealthy smoke levels. First Responders often extinguish the flames quickly, but soot and smoke move even more rapidly, spreading damage throughout the entire property. Even a minor fire can bring significant smoke and soot damage throughout your home. We can provide property damage restoration service near you, SERVPRO is here to help with highly-trained IICRC certified fire damage restoration experts and advanced technology and equipment to restore your home and possessions, and provide knowledge and experience when you need it most.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island responds quickly to your fire damage emergency with skilled technicians to your home, our team’s primary goal is to mitigate additional damages with preventative procedures and neutralize and recover sustained damages using expert skill, experience, and equipment.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island's top-Quality Fire Restoration

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

This apartment complex suffered severe Fire Damage, and our technicians made sure to Restore the property back to preloss conditions.

Every fire is different. Even a small fire can be devastating to your home, and belongings.  It may seem like a total loss, but that is not always the case. A call to a professional Fire Restoration company can make all the difference. They can restore your home, clean, and possibly save many of your belongings. Your home can be repaired, and safe to live in faster than you might think.

Fire restoration is essential. A Fire Restoration  team like our SERVPRO crew can be at your home as soon as the fire department clears it. They will begin assessing the damage to determine what is salvageable, and not salvageable, and what needs to be replaced. They will be very thorough to make sure that your home will be completely safe for you and your family to live in once everything is cleaned up, and restored. Odor removal makes furniture, and belongings such as clothes, and contents look and smell good as new.

After the fire’s out, that’s were our team at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island comes in. We hope you never need our disaster restoration services, but if you ever do, we hope you remember our name.

A Small Fire Can Cause Odors in Your Home For Years To Come.

5/27/2019 (Permalink)

We will have trained technicians on-site of a fire damage within four hours or less to begin emergency services.

Fire, Smoke, and Soot damages in your home can create unpleasant, and permanent problems if not properly addressed As various materials burn, the smoke produced travels through out the home leaving odorous residues and deposits on surfaces and in those hard to reach places. Unless fast, professional action is taken, these residues and deposits can cause permanent damage to contents and may result in periodically resurfacing odors. Unfortunately, such damages are often made more sever when unprepared homeowners attempt to perform the cleanup themselves. All of your restorable items in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized to preloss conditions. This includes furniture, draperies, and upholstery, electronics, art, floorings, walls, ceilings, HVAC air ducts and so much more. We are trained and equipped to find sources of smoke odor and to effectively eliminate them from your home. proper deodorization is vital as smoke odors may appear to be gone, only to reappear months later. Before you risk doing more damage by attempting to clean it up yourself, call your local fire, smoke, and soot cleanup and restoration experts at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island.

3 Types Of Fires & Effective Cleaning Techniques

1/7/2019 (Permalink)

Before and After pictures of a home that had been affected by fire damage.

Many people aren't aware that there is more than just one type of fire and that there are different cleaning techniques depending on what type of fire occurred. The most prevalent types of fires are: high-oxygen fires, which produce dry soot; low oxygen fires, which produce greasy, wet soot, and lastly, kitchen fires. Here's a closer look at how to clean each type of fire:

  • High oxygen fire: Dry sponges are a MUST when it comes to this type of fire. Follow this by applying a low-alkali detergent and then rinse thoroughly.
  • Low oxygen fire: Use high-alkali detergents along with warm water to wash the walls and structures. Rinse, then paint over.
  • Kitchen fire: These are often the most challenging fires to clean, as soot residue is difficult to detect. For this reason, cabinets, drawers, and other appliances often need to be removed to adequately clean area.

General Cleaning Techniques

Smoke and soot can often penetrate paint, carpet, upholstery, and textiles (clothing). While carpet can be deep cleaned and textiles can be taken to the dry cleaner's, properly restoring walls, structures, and objects is a different story. So here's a look at some helpful general cleaning techniques:

  • Personal protective equipment: Most important thing to do first is always wear protective equipment. Gloves, a protective mask, long-sleeved shirts and pants should be worn on site to minimize contact with ash.
  • Remove contents: Remove contents from the house. While some contents may have to be discarded, others can be effectively hand cleaned. Cleaning contents in an ultrasonic machine is also an option with some items.
  • Ventilate: Open all windows and doors to remove odor.
  • Beware of other contaminants: Lead and asbestos can turn a fire restoration job into an environmental restoration job if they've become disturbed.
  • Hand scrubbing: Fire damage work is one of the most tedious types of repair work. It involves a lot of handwork, such as scrubbing walls and structures with sponges, and using chemicals, and  specialized restoration equipment, such as media blasting tools, in the event of heavy residue.
  • Duct cleaning: Following restoration, a duct cleaning is required. That's because smoke and soot have a tendency to become trapped within a home of business's duct system. This can spread contaminants and odors to other areas of the home when in operation. Hence, a professional duct cleaning is necessary.

  Techniques for various materials

  • Clothes and fabrics: A specialized dry cleaner is capable of restoring these items to the condition they were before any loss occurred. Cleaning soot contaminated clothing is somewhat of a science, and while a homeowner may be able to adequately restore clothing on his own, it's always best to leave this to the professionals.
  • Carpet: A professional carpet cleaning is a MUST in order to effectively remove contaminants and odor from the carpet.
  • Building Materials: Dry chemical sponges are your best bet for wallboard, plaster, wood, and wallpaper. These will remove much of the soot and also prevent it from being lodged deeper into the material.
  • Other materials: Sponges, towels, and mops are ideal for cleaning tile, glass, metal, and certain appliances. Since these aforementioned objects are less porous than drywall, for example, its OK to use a wet or dampened sponge or cleaning tool. Plus, there's no risk of lodging contaminants deeper into the material.
  • Specialty cleaning tools: Ultrasonic cleaning machines can come in handy as they can adequately clean non-porous items quickly and efficiently, compared to hand cleaning.

Fire damage situations can be very overwhelming, but remember that there is always a solution to every problem. Leave it to the professionals! SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island are highly experienced and are here to make things go "Like it never even happened."

12 Protection tips for Fire Damage Restoration

1/3/2019 (Permalink)


12 Tips to Protect Yourself during Fire Damage Restoration | 2018-11-27 | Restoration & Remediation Magazine

During a wildfire, innumerable toxic chemicals, poisonous gases, heavy metals, and other toxins are generated by the materials, household products, and vegetation that burns. These contaminants fill the air, become part of the ash, and are extremely dangerous to your health if inhaled or come in contact with your skin. As restoration contractors, we often forget about the dangers involved in the various environments we enter, but safety should always be a top priority.

If you're home or business has been affected by fire or smoke,Here are some helpful safety tips:


12 Tips to Protect Yourself during Fire Damage Restoration | 2018-11-27 | Restoration & Remediation Magazine

  1. Avoid breathing air contaminated by smoke odor and minimize your exposure to contaminated areas.
  2. If you need to enter a smoke damaged structure, wear proper personal protective equipment, including a proper fitting respirator with a P-100 HEPA filter designed to filter vapor or gasses (not a dust mask).
  3. Persons with heart or lung disease should consult their physician before using a mask during post-fire cleanup.
  4. Avoid handling or coming in direct skin contact with items or materials affected by smoke, soot, or ash. If you need to retrieve items damaged by smoke, wear proper personal protection equipment, such as coveralls, eye protection, gloves, proper foot wear, hardhat, etc.
  5. Avoid getting ash into the air as much as possible. Do not use leaf blowers or take other actions that will put ash into the air.
  6. Avoid using shop vacuums and other common vacuum cleaners. These do not filter out small particles, but blow them out the exhaust into the air where they can be inhaled.
  7. Do not allow children or pets to enter areas that have smoke odor, ash or soot. If children or pets get soot or ash on their skin or hair, wash immediately with mild soap and warm water.
  8. If you anticipate that you will need to be inside a building or area affected by smoke, attempt to ventilate the area by opening windows or doors unless doing so will allow outdoor smoke odor or ash to get in. Minimize your exposure as much as possible.
  9. Have an environmental testing laboratory test for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and particulates to determine what types and concentrations of toxins may be present. Rarefied Air Environmental can also provide you with a comprehensive smoke odor remediation protocol.
  10. When sorting through contents, don't take chances. People should not eat or drink anything that has signs of heat or smoke damage. When in doubt, throw it out!
  11. If you experience any adverse health symptoms from exposure to smoke or soot, seek medical attention immediately.
  12. If you need to be in an enclosed space that has smoke odor, such as an office, home, or building, try to set up air scrubbers with HEPA filters or other type of filter designed to remove ultra-fine particulate matter as quickly as possible. In addition, using a hydroxyl generator can help to break down odor causing molecules

if your home or business has been damaged by fire,Call SERVPRO ASAP To repair damage!

Important Safety Tips Post Fire Loss

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

During a fire, innumerable toxic chemicals, poisonous gases, heavy metals, and other toxins are generated by the materials, household products, and vegetation that burns. These contaminants fill the air, become part of the ash, and are extremely dangerous to your health if inhaled or come in contact with your skin. Restoration Contractors like SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island, often forget about the dangers involved in the various environments we enter, but safety should always be a top priority.

If you are entering an area affected by fire or smoke, consider the following safety tips:

  1. Avoid breathing air contaminated by smoke odor and minimize your exposure to contaminated areas.
  2. If you need to enter a smoke damaged structure, wear proper personal protective equipment, including a properly fitting respirator with a P-100 HEPA filter designed to filter vapor or gasses (not a dust mask).
  3. Persons with heart or lung disease should consult their physician before using a mask during post-fire cleanup.
  4. Avoid handling or coming in direct skin contact with items or materials affected by smoke, soot, or ash. If you need to retrieve items damaged by smoke, wear proper personal protection equipment, such as coveralls, eye protection, gloves, proper footwear, hardhat, etc.
  5. Avoid getting ash into the air as much as possible. Do not use leaf blowers or take other actions that will put ash into the air.
  6. Avoid using shop vacuums and other common vacuum cleaners. These do not filter out small particles but blow them out the exhaust into the air where they can be inhaled.
  7. Do not allow children or pets to enter areas that have a smoke odor, ash or soot. If children or pets get soot or ash on their skin or hair, wash immediately with mild soap and warm water.
  8. If you anticipate that you will need to be inside a building or area affected by smoke, attempt to ventilate the area by opening windows or doors unless doing so will allow outdoor smoke odor or ash to get in. Minimize your exposure as much as possible.
  9. Have an environmental testing laboratory test for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and particulates to determine what types and concentrations of toxins may be present.
  10. When sorting through contents, don't take chances. People should not eat or drink anything that has signs of heat or smoke damage. When in doubt, throw it out!
  11. If you experience any adverse health symptoms from exposure to smoke or soot, seek medical attention immediately.
  12. If you need to be in an enclosed space that has a smoke odor, such as an office, home, or building, try to set up air scrubbers with HEPA filters or another type of filter designed to remove ultra-fine particulate matter as quickly as possible. In addition, using a hydroxyl generator can help to break down odor-causing molecules.

When you are impacted by a Fire Event or Disaster, call on us here at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island.  We have highly trained Fire Restoration Technicians with the skills to tackle any size job.  Leave the cleaning and restoration to our experts so that you can focus on the other important aspects of your lives.

Fire Restoration--A Professional Standard

12/7/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island has highly trained and certified Fire Restoration Technicians.  We continually train and update our service with the latest products and technology in order to improve and excel in our field.  We far exceed the current standard in place but agree that there is a need for the industry to employ updates.

Right now, work is underway to develop Fire Standard #2, or “FS#2”, or by the more formal long title Restoration and Documentation of Buildings Impacted by Combustion Particles. It will focus on how fire and smoke damage restoration work is done, and be just one of five component standards intended for eventual unification in a fire standard compendium. While there is obvious confusion due to the number of pieces at work here, this much is certain: the standard for fire damage restoration is coming, and it is going to be impactful and important. But the process takes time and a dedicated group of volunteers.

Work in Progress Since 2014

If everything goes as planned, our industry is looking at the publication of the FS#2 fire standard around this time next year in Q1 2019. The seemingly endless work of the 55 or so subject-matter-expert volunteers started in very early 2014. The overarching committee meets every other week, with meetings of the nine subcommittees often in the off weeks.

As 2017 wound to a close, the work of the volunteers, and the support of the sponsoring organizations (the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) and the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA)), has now culminated in submittal of a wide-ranging document of approximately 100 pages with nine standards sections (think chapters) and 20 informative appendices. In December 2017, the draft fire standard was submitted to ASHRAE for review, formatting, and the next and arguably most crucial stage: peer review.

Proper Procedures

The involvement of ASHRAE is new to our industry and has been a bit puzzling for restoration industry veterans. Traditionally, the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification)  has been the channel to which the industry submits the mold, water, and recently biohazard standards for our industries to ANSI. The latter is the acronym for the American National Standards Institute, a private, non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel. In short, if an industry wants a standard to be considered legitimate in the U.S. (such as having weight in court), there aren’t a whole lot of alternatives to successfully entering and completing ANSI’s validation process. In the past decade plus, the IICRC engaged this process successfully with standards for restoration of water damage (S500), mold (S520), and biohazard (S540); and, illustrating the rigors of ANSI, at one recent point lost ANSI accreditation for the mold standard, and had to work very hard to gain it back (another story for another article, another time perhaps).  It is important to note that whether it is the IICRC or ASHRAE engaged in this process, the work at this stage does not change the technical value and validity of the informational content.

As noted, this procedural stuff gets wonky, and the acronyms get dizzying, but understanding it at a high level is critical for those who want to be leaders and cutting edge in restoration. So, with FS#2, the RIA and IAQA will turn the ANSI process over to IAQA’s parent organization: ASHRAE. Founded in 1894, and formally known as the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, ASHRAE boasts of more than 56,000 members, breadth across 132 nations (that’s out of a possible 195), and has some serious street cred when it comes to standards and the ANSI process. A quick search for ASHRAE standards on the ANSI website generated 165 hits. Even if there is only a quarter that many ASHRAE standards with ANSI blessing, that’s an impressive number of standards. When ASHRAE finishes a standard via ANSI, a lot of serious people across the larger world of construction and engineering take notice – which is no doubt a big positive in launching the new, first fire damage restoration standard.

During Q1 & Q2 2018, the ASHRAE process will take the drafted work of the fire damage volunteers, and transform it into the language and format customary to ASHRAE, and necessary for ANSI validation. At this point, it is only about the document conforming to industry norms of presentation, neutrality, and that the consensus process employed throughout the writing was consistently fair and balanced. While it may be hard for some to believe, ANSI really doesn’t care how accurate the content is in a standard. The priority is the integrity of the consensus process in development. If the process was handled correctly, then the resulting consensus among subject-matter-experts should have inherently produced valuable, timely and accurate content.

YOUR Call to Action

At some point in Q2 2018, a draft of FS#2 will come out of ASHRAE for peer review. Whether you are currently in the fire damage restoration business, affiliated with it, or considering it as an expansion of services, you should enroll to peer review the standard. The potential value is considerable. Peer review is an opportunity to get a look at the content of a guidance document that will shape an industry. A standard, especially a first version, is a document that will shape the understanding of influencers across the conceivable spectrum. Lawyers, insurers, specialized experts, clients (and their consultants), EH&S departments….all and more will read the document and use it as a yardstick measuring the progress and proficiency of the restoration pro. If a successful business is in large part about managing risk, leveraging expectations, and gaining competitive advantage – doesn’t reviewing the standard at the earliest possible opportunity make sense?

For those that haven’t participated in peer review before, let’s remove some common misconceptions. There are no massive hurdles to satisfy in order to participate. In fact, anyone can sign up to review a draft standard, make comments and recommend changes. You don’t need to be a member of ASHRAE, RIA or IAQA. Moreover, comments and recommendations made professionally (i.e., neither frivolous nor nasty) don’t get ignored. Quite the contrary: ANSI requires that the comments from everyone get read and responded to. What is strongly recommended if you participate is to bring substance to the table. A good philosophy is that if a reviewer decides to find fault with a given provision of the draft standard, then accompany that comment with a thoughtfully formulated suggestion for improvement/replacement. Doing so greatly improves your chances to effect significant change.

Also, there are some things we can expect from the upcoming peer review for the fire damage standard. As the first edition of a standard for an industry as venerable and large as fire damage, there will be a substantial amount of peer review comments requiring digestion and response. That effort will take much of Q3 into Q4 2018 – which is why the eventual publication is forecast for Q1 2019. We also know that when ASHRAE releases a standard for peer review, there is a firm 30-day window of opportunity to review and submit comments, there are no extensions.

What we don’t know is when the opportunity for peer review will happen. ASHRAE’s standards operations are formidable and busy. Not even RIA or IAQA have much visibility into their calendar for standards. At some point essentially the white smoke will rise from the ASHRAE chimney, and the peer review clock will start. To assure an opportunity to participate, find a service that will automatically notify when the process is about to begin. IAQA announced in January at their annual national meeting in Chicago that a new member benefit is the ability to enroll for notification of peer review of impending ASHRAE releases. This benefit itself for some may justify an individual membership in IAQA. If neither a current member of ASHRAE or IAQA, find a company offering a similar service. Full disclosure, my Design Services Team at ICP Construction has been enrolling interested professionals onto a fire damage peer review notification list for over a year at no charge.

As always, the takeaway here is dependent on the reader. The news is that there is inbound a fire damage standard pertaining to how the fundamentals of that work are professionally done. The existence of such a standard is no longer the province of rumor or chatter. Thanks to some truly dedicated volunteers a long overdue document has been crafted that will have a lasting effect on the quality, health, and prosperity of fire damage restoration. For the restoration business owner already investing in fire/smoke as an engine of growth, now is the time to engage. Sign-up to participate in peer review, and cross-reference what is in the draft standard with how your company does business. The result should be a win-win. Greater knowledge will help owners improve their businesses, and the feedback from experienced professionals will yield a better and more effective standard for fire damage restoration for years to come.  SERVPRO of East Brownsville is eager to participate in any way it can in order to better its services and Industry as a whole.

Fire Damaged Windows--6 Steps in the Cleaning Process

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning windows affected by fire damage can be very time consuming. If you are lucky enough to get a job where the windows actually lift out or fold in for cleaning, then you’ve got it easier than most of us.

The first thing you will need to do before any cleaning begins is thoroughly inspect the window for damage like a broken seal, warped areas or heat cracks. If any of these things exist, the window will need to be replaced not cleaned.

Necessary Tools


Microfiber towels



Cotton Swabs

2 Buckets

A mild cleaner

An aggressive cleaner

Wood cream

Odor Counteractant

Chem sponge

Window cleaning solution

Paper towels

Regardless of the type of window (wood, metal or vinyl) you are dealing with, the cleaning procedures are basically the same. Most of the time, you’ll be dealing with vinyl.

Let’s walk through this process, step by step.

 Step 1: Vacuum out the window sill, frame and runner to remove any loose, dry particles.

 Step 2: Wipe the sill, runner and frame with a microfiber cloth using a mild degreaser. Always start with the mildest cleaner you feel will get the job done, then step up to a more aggressive cleaner if a test area doesn’t come clean with the first product.

Step 3: Keep cleaning, scrub, scrub, scrub! This step might take some time if there is a lot of greasy residue and soot to remove. Cotton swabs are great during this process. Be sure to clean all the tiny crevices and hard-to-reach places. Using something as small as a cotton swab (aka Q-Tip) may sound overkill, but trust me when I say the client will see the difference.

 What if the windows are wood? If the windows are wood, you may need to use a wood cream product on heavily damaged areas. However, take care when you apply the wood cream as it can be quite difficult to get out of small areas. Again, cotton swabs will help you get rid of any oily residue left behind. You may also want to use a chem sponge for light contamination and skip the wet cleaning stage when possible on wood windows.

Step 4: Deodorize! You can do this by using a microfiber cloth dipped in an odor counteractant. The cloth needs to be good and damp, but not dripping. Your goal here is to touch every surface of the window you can to make sure everything gets damp.

Step 5: Rinse the window, sill and runner with a hot water on a microfiber cloth to wipe off any excess.

Step 6: Use a window cleaner to clean and shine the glass!

Cleaning a window takes a lot of attention to detail. In a heavy contamination situation, you want to be sure to test each window in a small area to make sure you will be successful cleaning it.

SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island has highly trained technicians that can tackle any size fire loss job.

Home » Helping Property Owners Recover from a Fire-Damage Emergency Helping Property Owners Recover from a Fire-Damage Loss

5/24/2018 (Permalink)

Dealing with a fire-damage emergency and the claims process is an emotionally trying time for a policyholder. Here at SERVPRO of East Brownsville and South Padre Island, we are always sensitive to the personal and emotional aspects of a fire-damage situation. It’s imperative to recognize that a homeowner goes through five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

The professional must be prepared to respond appropriately to each situation. Insurance professionals need to prepare the homeowner for the restoration process, work closely with the restoration professional to ensure quality and timely work, and maintain a constant flow of communication throughout the process. A restoration professional must recognize that every loss is significant to the people impacted by it, and take the proper steps to restore the home to preloss condition. 

Dealing With a Fire-Damage Emergency

A fire loss is often more severe than a water loss, and special attention to safety is imperative. The restoration professional needs to ask the property owner some simple questions to quickly evaluate the level of damage: “Is there any structural damage? Is there a lot of smoke?” 

Air quality is the most important factor to evaluate. With any fire, carcinogens enter the air, and safeguards will need to be put in place to help ensure the safety of the air that the residents and workers breathe. All necessary PPE should be available for technicians, as well as the proper equipment to replace the bad air with fresh air as soon as possible. 

If not already aware, the service professional should consider the ages and health of everyone in the home. Young children, the elderly and pregnant women might need to leave the property immediately, as they are often more susceptible to air-quality related health issues. If the client is not comfortable living in the home, the agent needs to assist in finding alternative accommodations for the residents.

Specifics to Consider When Scoping a Smoke and Soot Loss

There are several important steps to take when analyzing a fire-damage emergency:

  1. Evaluate how much heat was involved that resulted in damage to the structure, fixtures and contents. Look for a “heat line” on the wall, which often indicates possible damage to the structural integrity of the drywall materials.
  2. Where did the smoke/soot travel to? Did the smoke get into the HVAC system? Did the smoke travel into the attic areas, or force its way into the crawl space or basement?
  3. Consider pre-cleaning as an alternative process to save the metal and glass items in a home.
  4. Is there excessive smoke inside of the walls? This often requires removal of the drywall to get rid of the smoke/soot and accompanying odors.
  5. Determine which systems are available that will best deodorize the property and contents. These include professional cleaning and sanitizing; organic deodorizing systems; hydroxyls; and/or ozone.
  6. Determine the extent of the damage and the processes/procedures that will return the property, and the lives of those people involved, back to a “preloss” condition as quickly as possible.
  7. Respond as rapidly as possible to minimize the long-term effects of smoke and soot damage, and the many acids those materials contain.

Smoke and soot-related emergencies require specific mitigation strategies, depending on the materials affected: flat or glossy paint, finished and unfinished; laminates and solid wood items; particle-board materials; natural and man-made fibers in carpets and upholstered furniture. Porous, semi-porous and non-porous materials all require unique cleaning and deodorizing systems to most effectively deal with smoke/soot damage. 

Wildfires often destroy thousands of acres of property and hundreds of homes. There is not much a mitigation company can do in those situations. However, there are often thousands of homes that are downwind from the fire that suffer smoke and soot damage, both on the exterior and the interior of homes. Smoke enters around doors and windows, through the ventilation system and even through the soffit vents into the attic areas. 

Knowing how to deal with these materials quickly and professionally to neutralize and remove the compounds from the home, and to control and manage the odor damage are key aspects of a professional restoration/mitigation company. 

Overall, the most important thing to understand about a fire damage emergency is that helping a client cope with the property loss is first priority. Communication along the way and hand-holding through the process is just as important, if not more, than the property owner receiving a check for the loss. 

The restoration professional should be empathetic and emphasize that the damage will be taken care of, but never pass off the restoration process as a casual routine. The level of damage should be evaluated quickly and efficiently. It is critical to work with the insurance agent to educate the policyholder, ease their concerns, and manage their expectations. 

Understand that each client will go through five steps of grief, and anticipate that anger will turn up one way or another. If the restoration professional expects this emotion to surface, they will be prepared to help the client cope and restore their sense of calm. 

Trust inexperts at SERVPRO of East Brownsville & South Padre Island to help you along every stage of your loss.  

Which Provides the Best Results—Sprayers, Foggers or Misters

12/1/2017 (Permalink)


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.


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


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


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.”