Recent Posts

How Can You Mitigate Mold Growth After a Flood?

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. Shut-off valve before a flood occurs.

How Can You Mitigate Mold Growth After a Flood?

When a home in Pflugerville, TX, sustains any type of water damage, mold often appears soon after. Mold growth tends to spread quickly in homes, and it's often important to act quickly when it comes to mitigating the effects of mold in your home.

1. Stop the Flow of Water

Whether a major pipe burst or a minor leak is causing water damage to your home, it's often important to quickly stop the flow of water. Even small amounts of water can contribute to the spread of mold spores in your home. Since you may have to act quickly if water is pouring into your home, it can be useful to know the location of your home's water shut-off valve before a flood occurs.

2. Limit Airflow in Your Home

After your home has flooded, you likely will want to dry out your home as quickly as possible. Though it can be useful to keep your home dry after a flood, the way you do this is often important. Turning on the heat or air conditioning increases the airflow in your home, which makes it easier for mold spores to spread. Instead, consider opening windows rather than using air conditioning to help minimize the spread of mold growth in your home.

3. Contact a Mitigation and Restoration Company in a Timely Manner

Standing water in your home can act as a breeding ground for bacteria and creates the perfect environment for mold to spread. Though you may want to use DIY methods of mitigation or restoration, it's generally best to contact a mold damage mitigation and restoration company. Professionals with experience in mitigation and restoration can safely and quickly help to limit the effects of mold can help to prevent additional damage to your belongings and to the structure of your home, and can also assist in restoration efforts.

Mold growth is a major concern for homeowners, and preventing further mold damage is often important. You can help to mitigate the damage by stopping the flow of water, reducing the airflow in your home and quickly contacting a mitigation and restoration company.

Baby, It’s Cold outside: Monitoring Your Building for Frozen Pipes

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO truck and van parked. If frozen pipes are left unchecked, they can lead to burst pipes in your building which can cause extensive water damage.

The winter months in Austin, TX, are hard on business owners, but more importantly, they are hard on your building. Your pipes are the most vulnerable to colder weather. If not adequately insulated, the water inside your pipes can freeze, leading to broken pipes and water damage. Since a costly water cleanup is most likely not on the list of any business owner, it is essential to know what to look out for in case of freezing.

1. No Water

If there is no water coming out your faucets, or the water is a slow trickle, your pipes may be frozen. When water freezes, it creates blockages of ice, which do not allow the free flow of water and which can cause excess pressure on the pipe, leading to a potential burst.

2. Odors

While it may seem strange, if strange smells or odors are permeating from your faucets or drains, it can mean that there is an ice blockage. When water freezes in waste pipes, it does not allow odors to escape or ventilate the way that they are expected to, and this leads to the strange smells coming from areas that they are supposed to.

3. Frost

You should check your mechanical closets and look for the presence of frost because this can be a reliable indicator that there is ice build up in your pipes, and if this is left unchecked your pipes can burst which will require a timely cleanup to prevent further water damage.

4. Temperature

The most reliable indicator of frozen pipes is any one of the above in combination with temperatures below 32°F, as water does not freeze above this.

If frozen pipes are left unchecked, they can lead to burst pipes in your building which can cause extensive water damage. It is better to keep an eye out for the signs and to act quickly in the event of a freeze.

Four Fundamentals of Home Mold Infestations

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. The fundamentals of mold offer understanding usable to stop spreading mold.

Mold is unsightly when in your home in Austin, TX. Not only is it terrible to look at, it could be eating away at materials in your building’s structure. Being knowledgeable about this menace allows you to act to stop it from spreading. Here are four essential fundamentals about spreading mold.

1. Mold Is Resilient and Will Try to Thrive

Mold species, such as black mold, have a lifecycle of consumption and reproduction with a preference for damp and dark areas. There are multiple dark places in every residence, and water damage or flooding can make these locaitons ideal for a fungus.

Even if wet areas eventually dry, mold can go dormant if unremoved. Once it finds the necessary components that sustain it, it begins its spreading rampage around your home once again.

2. Mold Can Hide Well and Continually Spread

One patch can be treated, but the spores may all originate from an unseen location. Hidden mold can centralize the spread and deploy airborne spores to resettle where mold was once treated. This spreading mold may seem undefeatable as you repeatedly clean it up, but the actual problem is somewhere else in your house and requires mold remediation.

3. DIY Treatments Often Don’t Help Major Mold Problems

Do-it-yourself treatments for mold often are not effective unless done early in the mold’s life. Bleach, a typically cited treatment, adds water to the mold and can make the problem worse. Household cleaners cannot penetrate deep enough into porous materials to fully treat the mold. Worst of all, the source may be accompanied by previously unnoticed water damage.

4. Professional Mold Treatments Attack the Source of the Problem

With the tools to locate every mold growth in your home, a mold damage cleanup service can remove the mold and anything that keeps it thriving and reproducing. Any building structure or piece of furniture damaged by mold is cleaned or replaced to ultimately stop the mold from finding a foothold again.

The fundamentals of mold offer understanding usable to stop spreading mold. Your residence can be protected from mold’s threat of devaluation and damage.

In Praise of Action: Why Timely Mitigation Is Important

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in front of Disaster Recovery Team truck! Just because you call the insurance company first doesn't mean you have to wait for them.

Storms can cause a great amount of damage to your home, not only on the outside but on the inside as well. When floodwaters seep in, you may end up with a lot of flood damage. If you have flood insurance, one of your first calls should be to your insurance company, but that doesn't mean you have to wait for your adjuster to arrive to start the cleanup process. On the contrary, doing so may cause more damage and hurt your chances of having your claim accepted.

Secondary Damage

Your home in Austin, TX, wasn't built to hold water. The longer you delay in cleaning up after a storm, the more damage it will continue to do. Unresolved flooding can lead to more problems:

• Further permeation of walls, floors and ceilings
• Damage to electronics
• Breakdown of varnish on furniture
• Contamination of textiles

One of the biggest problems that may not be covered by your flood insurance is mold damage. A mold problem is often preventable when you enlist mitigation services in a timely manner. It doesn't take long for mold to grow, and if you let the dampness lead to fungal infestation, your insurance adjuster is likely to see it as neglect and thus won't count it as a damage your policy covers.

Claim Preparation

The adjuster may be too busy to arrive within a few days of flooding. It is important, therefore, to document damage. Take pictures and video of the areas that need restoration. Make a list of everything that needs to be repaired or replaced and put the approximate cost of doing so beside each item. The adjuster will still walk through your home to assess the damage, but if you have pictures of what it looked like in the beginning, you don't have to wait to start cleaning up.

Just because you call the insurance company first doesn't mean you have to wait for them. Limit secondary damage and get your home restored more quickly by starting the mitigation process as soon as possible.

3 Types of Damage Covered by Commercial Insurance

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Broken and burnt windows. Businesses should anticipate all types of dangers that can significantly disrupt their operations.

3 Types of Damage Covered by Commercial Insurance

Commercial buildings in New Sweden, TX, are potentially exposed to a variety of risks and dangers that threaten them and the property inside them. This is why business owners often obtain a commercial insurance plan that covers these hazards. Each business has different risks than others, so insurance providers offer several coverage additions for potential incidents.

1. Theft and Vandalism
Business owners are always at risk of theft that can target their physical property or stored funds. Additionally, the building and the equipment or property inside can also be vandalized by malicious parties. Crimes like these can be difficult to predict and recover from, so insurance coverage is recommended to make up for the losses. Note that in some cases, similar crimes like burglary and robbery are not included under a specific plan, so owners and insurance agents need to establish distinctions.

2. Fires and Related Damage
Another potential incident that can severely impact any business is fire. When a fire strikes the building or the equipment, the owner can file a commercial insurance claim to cover the profit loss. When dealing with the aftermath, the insurance provider and the client work together with fire damage remediation specialists to assess the loss and repair or replace the damaged property. There are exceptions, such as damage to nearby buildings and injury to third parties.

3. Natural Disasters
An existing insurance policy can also cover several natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, as long the corresponding additions are made. These natural events can devastate any business. While they can be unpredictable, owners who live in risk areas for these disasters can take preventative measures in addition to obtaining insurance coverage. As with fire incidents, insurance agents and business operators collaborate with repair professionals to fix any damage.

Businesses should anticipate all types of dangers that can significantly disrupt their operations. Commercial insurance and additional policies can help these establishments get repairs and recover financially.

How Fire Sprinkler Systems Work

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Charred wood. A fire sprinkler system can prevent a small fire from becoming a large fire; however, the water from the sprinkler system can damage your property.

Fire sprinkler systems are an effective means of suppressing fires in commercial buildings and many states and localities have laws requiring their use. To get the most out of your sprinklers, it is important to have an understanding of how they work.

Sprinkler Heads Detect Heat
Many people mistakenly believe that their fire suppression system is activated when it detects smoke. However, sprinklers are triggered by an increase in temperature. When a fire occurs, the air above the fire is rapidly heated. This hot air rises and travels across the ceiling. Most sprinklers contain a glass bulb filled with a glycerin-based liquid that expands when heated. Air that has been heated between 135 and 165 degrees will cause the liquid to expand to the point where the bulb shatters and activates the sprinkler.

The Sprinklers Douse the Fire
Once activated, the sprinkler or sprinklers will spray pressurized water in an arc around the sprinkler head. The water is pressurized because this allows the water to reach a wider area and better douse the flames. Contrary to popular belief, only the individual fire sprinkler or sprinklers that have been activated will spray water. This makes it possible for a small fire to be doused without spraying water in the entire building, which can reduce the amount of fire sprinkler cleanup needed.


However, a special type of sprinkler, called a deluge sprinkler, is available for situations, such as buildings that contain extremely flammable materials. With a deluge system, every sprinkler in the building is set off when a fire alarm sounds. This allows for fires to be quickly extinguished in circumstances where taking a more cautious approach may be too dangerous.


fire sprinkler system can prevent a small fire from becoming a large fire; however, the water from the sprinkler system can damage your property. If you need water damage remediation services, a professional in Pflugerville, TX, is ready to assist you.

How To Protect Your Home From Lightning

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall burned, ceiling burned, fire damage to the interior of a home Fire damage to a home in Austin, TX.

What happens when lightning strikes a home in Austin, TX? About 6,300 homes are struck each year without a resulting house fire. However, an additional 4,300 strikes each cause a residential lightning fire. Learn how to keep yourself and your home safe during this unpredictable, menacing weather event.

How Do I Protect Myself During a Storm?

When the weather turns bad outside, it is tempting to go about your normal business inside of the house. When you hear thunder, however, there are steps you should take to protect yourself and reduce the risk of lightning fire:

  • Stay inside of your home, away from windows and doors. A good rule of thumb is to wait 30 minutes after you hear the last of the thunder to resume normal activities.
  • If lightning strikes your home, it could cause a power surge. As a precaution, keep your distance from televisions, computers and other electrical devices. Do not take baths or showers, wash dishes or do laundry. Cellular phones are safe to use.


What Actions Do I Take If My House Is Hit?

If your house is struck, you will hear and feel a powerful boom. If you suspect the bolt has made contact with your home, take the following steps:

  • Quickly check the health and safety of all family members and pets.
  • Leave your home immediately if there is fire or smoke.
  • Call 911 and report it, regardless of whether you see a fire. The fire department can determine if your home is safe.
  • Contact your homeowner’s insurance agent, as damage is likely covered under your policy.
  • Call a fire restoration specialist to assess your home. Even if a large house fire did not occur, there may be hidden damage in your roof or attic that could lead to further troubles down the road if not repaired promptly.

A lightning fire in Austin, TX, is a rare, but possible occurrence. By taking proper precautions during a storm and following correct procedures after a strike, you can keep your family safe and minimize the damage to your home.

Mold’s 6 Most Common Hidden Locations in Commercial Buildings

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall removal, mold growth found behind drywall. Mold cleanup and removal in Pflugerville, TX.

Mold's Most Common Hidden Locations

Mold requires water and food to thrive. Food can be as easy as dust particles or skin cells which are found almost everywhere in most commercial buildings. That means the unpredictable element in mold growth is obtaining a water source. Although high humidity can allow for colony reproduction, most often the source of mold’s life-beginning liquid is a result of water damage. Here are six of mold’s most common hidden locations in commercial buildings in Pflugerville, TX.

1. Ductwork often contains moisture during summer’s cooling season. When the duct lining materials collect moisture, mold can quickly form.

2. Carpet has a smorgasbord of food sources for hungry molds. Food crumbs, skin cells, and dirt can easily combine with moisture inside the carpet fibers. When the liquid reaches the pad, the carpet can stay wet for a long time, and that often means a long life for mold.

3. Electrical equipment in basements or closets provides warm air for mold to thrive in. If water from a leaky pipe or humid air appears near electrical equipment, mold growth can appear in as little as 48 hours.

4. Ceiling tiles love to absorb water and feed mold. Since mechanical piping and sprinkler systems are typically suspended above ceiling tiles, when the tubes develop even a very small leak, mold can appear.

5. Paper is a favorite mold meal. Whether documents are stored in a basement or inside a dark closet, if the paper gets wet, mold often follows.

6. Appliance drain pans can hide mold. When appliances collect condensation or defrosting water in the drain pans, mold can quickly develop. If the drip is constant, the colonies can thrive and send out spores to other parts of the building.

Mold can often be hidden in these six secluded spots, but building managers understand when conditions are right the spores can spring up anywhere. For that reason, a good preventative program begins with trained personnel looking for signs of water damage. By identifying the conditions supporting mold growth, the need to call a professional remediation team is often eliminated.

How To Unclog a Drain in 4 Steps

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

plumber repairing drain with plumbers snake (steel spiral that twists through pipes to collect dirt) in residential sink If you have a clogged drain in your home you may have to use a drain snake to release it.

Four Steps To Use A Snake Effectively

Just about everyone has been there. You turn on the faucet to brush your teeth, and the water doesn't drain properly. You step out of the shower to dry off, and there is still water standing. When you have a clogged drain in your home in Cele, TX, you may have to use a drain snake to release it. 

1. Insert the tip of the snake into the drain and thread it slowly. The snake, otherwise known as an auger, works by breaking up a clog or attaching it to it so that you can pull it out of the drain. To avoid a pipe break, you want to thread the snake into the drain slowly at first. Hitting a clog with too much force might put undue pressure on the pipe.

2. When you feel resistance, increase pressure. You will know you need to increase the pressure you're applying to the auger when you feel it touch something that impedes its progress. It could be the bend in the pipe, in which case more pressure will help it ease its way through. It could also be a clogged area.

3. Once the tip of the snake touches the clog, rotate the snake. The rotating motion may break up the debris that has stopped up the pipe, causing it to drain. It also may help the snake grab onto the clog, allowing you to pull it out. Either way, the motion helps you move the clog that is obstructing your pipe.

4. After the clog is removed, run water on high. This is the test that lets you know the clog is gone. If you notice a leak when you run the water, call water restoration specialists to fix the problem.

A clogged pipe is an inconvenience that is easily resolved. All you need are the right tools and the knowledge of how to use them.

3 Tips for Maintaining Your Home’s Furnace

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Home furnace air filter replacement Home furnace air filter replacement.

Maintenance Tips For Your Home's Furnace

The last thing you want is for your home’s heating system to go out right in the middle of winter. Worse than that, a fire could break out if you are not careful. It is always preferable to avoid fire cleaning services when possible, so follow these few maintenance tips to keep your furnace in great condition all year long.

1. Replace Filters Often

Every heating system has a filter that allows you to breathe clean air free of contaminants. Over time, the filter becomes dirty, making it less effective at filtering out dust and other pieces of debris. You should replace your furnace’s filter once every few months. You may need to do it once a month if you use your HVAC system regularly.

2. Clean Vents and Furnace Ducts

For this kind of maintenance, you may need to hire professionals. Experts qualified in fire cleaning can usually handle this work. Too much dust accumulation in the vents can damage components and make the system not run as efficiently as it should. During this inspection, the professional can also provide a more thorough examination to see if there are any damaged parts. Even a loose belt can lead to a dampening in performance. It is better to do this kind of housework than have to eventually deal with smoke cleaning.

3. Have an Annual Inspection

In the event your furnace seems to be working all right, you should still have someone come out at least once a year to check everything out. This inspection should take place right before the winter season. Most furnace maintenance professionals are busy during the winter because that is when everyone wants the work done. Additionally, if you wait until winter, then you may have to go a day or two without your furnace. When the temperatures drop, it is not fun to be without a heater.

Avoid needing fire cleaning in New Sweden, TX, by taking care of your furnace. Ultimately, it is much more affordable to pay for maintenance than to pay for repairs.