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Cleaning Your Home After Water Damage

4/24/2023 (Permalink)

Flooded House If you suspect contaminated water is involved, such as in a sewer backup, contact a company that is Here to Help.

Many scenarios exist for homeowners where water leaks or floods into a residence. Some of these can be tackled in a DIY fashion, while others require the services of an expert storm remediation company. Recognizing the severity of a situation can save time and money and protect the health of you and your family members. The instances that lend themselves to DIY solutions are limited to a water source that is clean and potable, and to a problem that is small in scope. A sewer backup, on the other hand, involves a potentially dangerous water source and should be handled by technicians who wear PPE and are trained in techniques to take care of dirty water.

Big Jobs Demand Expertise
If your home, is affected by a water problem, it sometimes makes more sense to call in a local team. Technicians can arrive at your home in a matter of hours and begin to assess the property. The following situations are best handled by experienced personnel:

  • Sewer backup
  • Broken sewer pipe
  • Flooding
  • Complicated job
  • Toilet overflow
  • Septic system malfunction

Contaminated water is present in most plumbing issues. Flood waters that enter a home might contain harmful chemicals, sewage, and animal waste. A bathtub backup is another example of dirty water escaping where it does not belong. An experienced technician will understand the techniques and equipment necessary to treat the problem.

Small Jobs Allow DIY
A small leak of clean water can be handled without calling in reinforcements. This includes situations such as the leak of drinking water or a water spill onto carpeting. The best plan is to stop the source of the leak and then to dry out any items with fans or increased ventilation. It's important to completely dry out surfaces to prevent mold from taking hold in the near future. 

Understanding Smoke Damage

2/8/2023 (Permalink)

smoke damage home Smoke damaged home after a fire loss.

Smoke damage is not something you want to deal with. Your home can be in danger of serious smoke and water damage after a fire. It is important to do everything you can to handle the situation correctly.

Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action. We have years of experience working on all types of structures from residential homes, apartments, office buildings and more! There are many different types of smoke and each requires different techniques for cleaning up.

Smoke and Soot

Smoke damage can be hard to detect because it can penetrate into the smallest of cracks and crevices. It is important to know that the damage smoke causes is not limited to what you can see. The structure of your home may have been compromised by the fire, and this could result in structural damage as well as an increased risk for mold growth. This means that even if there is no visible evidence of soot or ash problems, it’s still possible that invisible damage has occurred within your walls or ceilings.

Smoke also tends to collect on surfaces like ceiling tiles, wall coverings and furniture fabrics which means that even if all visible signs have been removed from a room there may still be significant amounts of residue left over on these surfaces which will need cleaning before you move back in.

Experience and Expertise

If you are in need of cleaning services after a fire or smoke intrusion, turn to the experts at SERVPRO of Pflugerville. Our technicians have experience and expertise for your post-fire restoration services. They have been specially trained to assess and properly clean your property following a loss. We understand that every situation is unique, we are here to help 24/7.

We will work closely with you throughout the entire process to ensure our team understands exactly how much time and resources are needed for each step of the process. From initial inspection and evaluation through completion of all necessary repairs, we will provide exceptional customer service while balancing budgets and schedules to meet your unique needs.

We provide several services related to post-fire and water damage.

What causes Smoke Damage?

Smoke damage is often caused by a fire, but it can also be the result of a malfunctioning appliance or even a candle. It's important to understand the causes and effects of smoke in your home so that you can take the appropriate precautions to remove it from your home and prevent further damage.

Different Types of Smoke

When you see smoke, you know that something bad is going on. Smoke from fires contains a number of different chemicals and can cause serious health problems if inhaled in large quantities. Smoke from the fire can contain carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen dioxide among other chemicals that are harmful to humans.

The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process. Smoke from a fire can be classified as white, black or brown. White smoke is caused by burning gases, such as the burning of plastic or rubber. Black smoke is caused by burning carbon-based materials, such as wood or paper. Brown smoke comes from materials containing soot.

If you have questions about smoke, give the professionals at SERVPRO of Pflugerville a call today! If you believe that smoke or soot damage has affected your property, contact us to schedule an inspection and begin the process of restoration.

How To Tell If Your Roof Has Storm Damage

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

The insurance adjustment device marked hail damage on an insured roof. Hail damage to roof

Signs of Storm Damage

Storms can have devastating effects on your home, especially if you don't take precautions. When you hear about storms on the news and see the damage they've caused, it's easy to forget that you live in an area where these things are possible. However, if your roof has been damaged by a storm or flood, it's important that you know how to tell—and then fix—the problem as soon as possible. Here are some signs of storm damage:

Storms can do a lot of damage to your home, including your roof. 

The most common cause of storm-related damage is hail, which is small chunks of ice that fall from thunderstorms and can pierce cars and roofs. Hail often goes unnoticed until it melts, leaving behind dents in the roof that need repair work by an experienced contractor.

Other types of storm damage include wind, lightning and flooding - all of which can affect your home's exterior as well as its interior insulation.

Hail damage

Depending on how large the hail is, it can cause dents and cracks in your roof. This means that water can leak into your home through these holes. Hail also causes rapid deterioration of shingles, which will lead to leaks that could cost you thousands of dollars over time.

Hail damage to your roof can be detrimental to more than just the look of your house; it could also cause mold growth inside your walls or ceiling as well as rot if left untreated for too long! If not addressed promptly by a professional contractor, hail damage has been known to lead to other issues such as pooling water near chimneys or vents where rainwater is likely to collect during storms -- thus increasing the likelihood of ice dams forming on roofs during winter months when temperatures drop below freezing.

Wind damage

You can tell if a roof has been damaged by storm damage if you see the following signs:

  • Loose shingles and tiles. If you see any of these, it's time to call a roofing contractor.
  • Dents in the surface of your roof. This is also an indication that you need to hire a professional.
  • Missing or torn shingles and tiles, which may be caused by flying debris during a storm or high winds.

Lightning strikes

If your roof is hit by lightning, you may have to deal with a fire. This could happen even if the lightning strike itself doesn't burn through the roof (though this is possible). If the electricity travels through or into your house and causes an electrical fire, your entire home will be damaged significantly as well.

Lightning strikes can cause leaks in your roofing materials and damage them beyond repair. The water damage from these leaks can lead to mold growth inside of your home, which can cause significant property damage.

Storms can do a lot of damage to your home, including your roof. It's important to take notice of this and make sure you have the right repairs done. Routine maintenance is the best way to avoid roof damage. If your home or business as suffered from any damage, don’t hesitate and give our SERVPRO of Pflugerville team a call today!

What Should You Do If a Pipe Bursts?

11/5/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe with a sign that says Don't wait If you have a pipe burst, it is best to call cleanup professionals right away.

How Do You Respond If a Pipe Bursts?

If you've ever had a burst pipe in your Pflugerville, TX, home, you know that it can be a stressful situation. You want to make sure the damage is contained, but also that it doesn't become worse by causing mold or other problems. SERVPRO of Pflugerville can help with this! Here's what you need to know if this happens in your home:

1. Shut off the water

It's important to shut off the main water valve before beginning work on a burst pipe. If you aren't sure where your main water valve is located, call someone who can help you locate and shut it off. This will prevent further damage to your house while you repair the broken pipe.

2. Shut off the electricity

The next step is to shut off the electricity. Turn off the breaker box and don't touch any electrical equipment that you think may be wet or electrified. If you're not sure how to do this, call a professional.

3. Call your insurance company

To handle a burst pipe, you'll need to call your insurance company immediately. If you have a homeowner's policy with renter's coverage for plumbing and heating repairs, then your insurance company will pay for any damages caused by a burst pipe. This includes replacing your belongings that were damaged in the flood.

It also covers replacing items like flooring and cabinets if they got soaked by water from a broken pipe. If you live in an old house with original hardwood floors and they get ruined after flooding occurs due to busted pipes, that will fall under this category!

4. Call cleanup professionals right away

If you have a pipe burst, it is best to call cleanup professionals right away. Mold can start growing within 24 hours of a water leak, so you don’t have much time before mold begins to grow. Additionally, if the water damage is severe enough that you are unable to clean it yourself, using professional help will save you time and money in the long run. A water cleanup professional can usually take care of the entire insurance claims process for you, so that you don’t have to stress about it.

Call SERVPRO of Pflugerville 

When you need help with water damage cleanup, SERVPRO of Pflugerville should be your first call. We’re a trusted name in the industry, having helped people find solutions to their problems for many years. Our team is available 24/7 to help you get started on the path toward restoring your property back to its pre-damage condition. We offer quality services like mold removal and water damage restoration so that no matter what happens at your property, our team can make it right again. If you have any questions or need our water damage cleanup and restoration services, don’t hesitate and give our SERVPRO of Pflugerville team a call today!

Electronics Cleaning After a Fire

10/8/2022 (Permalink)

Burned computer Remove any electronics that may have been damaged by heat or smoke.

Tips On How To Clean Your Electronics After a Fire

A fire doesn’t discriminate, it will damage everything in its path, including your electronics. After a fire, what you should do is remove any electronics that may have been damaged by heat or smoke. This includes anything from computers to cell phones, laptops, and tablets. A device that has been exposed to extreme heat can become damaged internally as well as on the outside. Even if your equipment isn't showing signs of being affected by the fire (such as no visible burn marks or smoke damage), you should clean it with anti-corrosive agents before using it again. Here are a few tips on how to clean your electronics after a fire.

The first step to cleaning electronics after any fire is to dry them out.

Although there are many ways to dry out electronics, we recommend that the first step is to use a hair dryer on the lowest setting. Avoid using vacuums and heat guns as both can damage your electronics. You also don’t want to put them in an oven as this could damage sensitive components inside of them.

Using a soft brush, clean the outside of your equipment and remove soot.

Using a soft brush or non-abrasive cloth, gently clean the outside of your equipment. Do not use water or harsh chemicals. Be careful not to use electronic equipment with damaged circuitry. Remove any protective casing and covers from the damaged equipment before cleaning it so that you can get into all areas of the device more easily.

Use an anti-corrosive solution to clean the electrical parts while they are still wet.

After the fire, you should clean all the electrical parts using an anti-corrosive solution. This will prevent any corrosion from occurring in the future. The best way to clean these parts is by using a cotton swab dipped in a non-corrosive agent such as detergent or vinegar and baking soda solutions.

Clean the exposed circuit board, memory card and drive heads.

Clean the exposed circuit board, memory card and drive heads with a cotton swab dipped in a non-corrosive agent. You can use isopropyl alcohol or distilled water to wipe the surfaces, but make sure not to touch any components with your bare hands. Use a cotton swab, not a cotton ball; it will be easier to properly clean the small areas you need to reach without damaging them.

If you have experienced a fire in your home or business, we hope that this post has been helpful. Cleaning your electronics after a fire can be very difficult and, in many cases, requires professional help. If you are in need of fire damage cleanup and restoration services, including electronics cleaning, don’t hesitate and reach out to our SERVPRO team today!

Please contact us if you have any questions about what to do after a fire or how our cleaning services could help.

3 Things To Include in Your Business Continuity Plan

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Business Continuity Plan Concept Update your business's continuity plan.

A Business Continuity Plan Should Contain These Three Items

Most businesses in Manda,TX, have a continuity plan in place to help ensure that they can function in an emergency. These plans should be kept up-to-date and looked over thoroughly on a regular basis to help ensure that they contain pertinent information and that everyone knows what to do. Here are a few things you may want to consider including in your plan.

1. A Plan For Operation

After flooding, one of the first things to consider is how to keep the business in operation while repairs are being made. In some cases, only minor repairs may be needed allowing disruptions to be minimal. In other more extreme circumstances, it might be necessary to consider moving to a separate location until the property is restored. Consider including plans for a variety of scenarios.

2. Emergency Numbers

Another recommended section to include in a continuity plan is the numbers you may need in an emergency. These may include insurance agents, your IT specialist, and even the information for a local storm damage restoration service. Having these numbers in an easy-to-access location may help you save time, as well as help ensure that everyone knows who should be contacted in each planned scenario.

3. Recovery Strategies

In many cases, you may want to include recovery strategies for any problems caused to your company by storm damage. These may include approximate costs of operations, budgeting concerns, how long alternate modes of operation may be required while repairs are being made, and ways to show your customers that your company is still running strong. Having these plans made beforehand can help you be prepared if an emergency should happen.
When updating your business's continuity plan, it is important to include plans for how the company can stay open after an emergency. You may also want to include contact information for insurance and restoration companies, and outline strategies for recovering from the damage. If you have any questions about the process a professional may be able to help.

Why Does Bread Get Moldy?

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

Bread with mold growth Yikes! Bread mold!

It happens to everyone at some point. You buy a fresh, delicious loaf of bread and store it on the counter or in a cabinet. A few days later, you open the bread and — yikes! Bread mold! To understand what causes those fuzzy-looking green, blue, white, or gray patches of mold to appear on your bread or other food items, you need to know a little bit about the way mold functions.

Where Does Mold Come From?

The air in New Sweden,TX — and everywhere else — is filled with microscopic mold spores. These airborne spores are inactive, and they’ll remain dormant until they land in a place with both moisture and a food source. When that happens, the mold spores become active and begin to feed, grow, and multiply, eventually forming colonies.

What Counts as a Food Source?
For mold spores to activate and grow, they need water and food. The water requirements for fungus growth aren’t much: for example, a slice of bread contains enough moisture for a bread mold colony to thrive. Most of the surfaces in your home can serve as a potential food source for active mold, including:

  • Drywall
  • Furniture
  • Wood
  • Carpeting and rugs
  • Paper
  • Drapes and upholstery
  • Food scraps

What About Refrigerated Foods?
While mold is most prolific in warm, humid environments, many kinds of mold can grow in cooler environments, including inside your refrigerator. If you notice fridge mold frequently, that could be a sign that the air in your home has an abnormally high concentration of mold spores.

How Much Mold Is Normal?
All household air contains mold spores, but some homes have higher mold levels than others. If you notice an increase in moldy food, see mold in other places, or detect a musty smell, your home could have excessive mold counts. A certified mold remediation specialist can test your home’s mold levels.
The occasional bread mold is a normal occurrence and is no cause for concern. However, if you encounter mold more frequently, consider scheduling a mold inspection.

How To Treat Mold Damage After a Flood

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on a wall Commercial mold damage in Cele, TX.

How To Treat Mold Damage After a Flood

If your business in Cele,TX, has been caught in a flood, it's important to quickly check for mold growth. You don't want standing water to linger and cause further damage to your flooring or any other part of your structure. Mold can grow and spread in as quickly as 24 to 48 hours, so it is key to act as soon as possible before further problems occur.

Examine the Area Damaged
Look closely at the area of your floor that flooded. This might be the whole floor, a certain area, or just one level, such as a basement within your business. Once you have an idea of what areas need to be looked at, seek help from professional emergency restoration services rather than attempting to tackle the problem on your own.

Understand Different Treatments Used
There are a variety of treatments that can be used to prevent the spread of bacteria depending on the type of mold growth that has developed. These can include:

  • Abrasive cleaning
  • Foam cleaning
  • Immersion cleaning
  • Wet cleaning

If there is growth that is difficult to remove, abrasive cleaning might be the best method. Foam is typically used for treating upholstery, while wet cleaning is helpful for heavy residue left behind. Your floor might need one or more of these methods.

Get the Area Treated Quickly
Once you suspect mold damage has happened as the result of a flood, it's necessary to get it taken care of as soon as possible. The restoration company can help you understand where you need to have work performed and what the extent of your damage is. You can determine if you'll need to temporarily close your business. Even if you do, you can feel confident knowing the damage has been treated.
While mold growth can occur quickly, you can mitigate the damage by getting it cleaned up as soon as possible. With proper treatment, you can ensure it does not cause further problems.

How To Prevent Secondary Damage Before and After a Flood

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

dehumidifier placed on a room, floor is being dried up. Try investing in a dehumidifier, which takes water out of the air.

Here Is How You Can Minimize Said Damage Before And After A Flood

A flood in Austin, TX, can be a detriment to homeowners if not properly handled. This isn't just in terms of immediate or primary damage. If the water isn't properly removed, a large amount of secondary flood damage can occur, often in the form of black mold. This type of damage refers to any issues that occurred after the flood. Here is how you can minimize said damage before and after a flood.

While preventing secondary damage may not be a priority before a flood, it may be prudent to take some precautions that minimize water intake. One of the main ways to do so is by making a few changes to your home. These are some structural modifications you can perform:

  • Elevating your home
  • Sealing any cracks
  • Planting foliage to block water
  • Using water-resistant materials

Other than adapting your home, you can also prepare by planning and gathering supplies. Plastic flood wraps can help to protect sensitive areas of the residence, as well as valuable property. If you invest in pumps or large fans, the cleanup process will be far easier. You should also have a plan should a flood occur. Know what objects to elevate and what area to direct the residents towards.

Once a flood occurs, time is of the essence. Black mold is liable to occur if decisive action isn't taken, both before and after a flood restoration service arrives. Your main priority is to remove the water from your residence. Make use of any supplies you have. If a pump isn't available, use buckets. When the standing water is gone, begin drying the affected areas. Use towels and any fans you have. The immediate solutions aren't the only ones that should be taken. Unremoved water will likely result in high humidity, which can greatly service mold growth. Try investing in a dehumidifier, which takes water out of the air.
Secondary flood damage isn't a determined event. You can minimize it by acting quickly. This will help to prevent black mold and other issues. Flood damage may be harrowing, but it doesn't have to be long-lasting.

3 Landscaping Features That Help Prevent Flooding

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Fenced backyard. View of lawn and blooming flower beds Keep floodwater out by leveling your yard

Three Landscaping Features to Reduce Flooding

A rain storm can be a welcomed sight, but a flooded yard is not. To keep your lawn from becoming a swamp, here are three landscaping features to help you disperse outside flooding.

A Driveway Built for Drainage
The two most commonly used materials for driveways are concrete and asphalt. These pavements don’t allow water to seep into the ground. This creates a lot of runoff with nowhere to go. Here are some ideas for getting good rain drainage when installing a driveway:

Channels on sides of concrete/asphalt driveways to catch and redirect runoff
Covered drains in-between concrete slabs to let water slip through and absorb into the ground
Paving stones with spacing for water seepage as a pleasingly aesthetic alternative
Gravel as a classic, budget-friendly option

By making wise design choices, you can build a driveway that helps prevent outside flooding.

A Leveled Yard
Keep floodwater out by leveling your yard. Low areas in yards are where flooding happens most. Fill them in with topsoil to keep water from pooling. The high points of your yard should be around your home and then gradually slope away, keeping storm runoff from your foundation. Low points near the house can lead to water in your basement. If this happens, call your local storm damage experts and ask for future prevention advice during your assessment.

A Strategically Placed Swale
A swale is any type of “ditch” that redirects rainwater away from your home. It is often integrated into lawns as a water feature. A swale does not only move rainwater but slows it down and allows it to seep into the ground. Planting shrubs along its edges and laying stones at the bottom of a swale helps it slow and disperse water even more.
Making smart design decisions and preparing for the upcoming storm season in Pflugerville, TX, will help you prevent outside flooding and enjoy your lawn, even after heavy rain.