Recent Posts

3 Steps To Take After a Pipe Break

5/18/2022 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. It is important that you first shut off your home's water.

3 Steps After a Pipe Break

Handling the aftermath of bursting pipes in your Cele, TX, home can feel like a daunting job. Standing water, wet building materials and damaged personal items can make you feel overwhelmed; however, there are a few steps you can take to minimize these problems as you wait for help to arrive.

1. Turn Off the Water
Before you can examine or fix broken pipe parts, it is important that you first shut off your home's water. This helps reduce the amount of standing water in affected areas. The valve is likely located inside your house in a location that faces your street. If the valve is in an area affected by an indoor flood, exercise caution when entering the area, especially if a burst toilet pipe is the cause.

2. Contain the Water Damage
In many cases, bursting pipes cause widespread problems when the flow of water enters other rooms. You can protect your furniture and other items by trying to contain the water as best you can. For example, if your bathroom sink's main pipe is the culprit, close the bathroom door after you shut off the water and seal the bottom with towels. Keep kids and pets away from flooded rooms so they do not undo any seals you create.

3. Keep Humidity Low
While you wait for a water cleanup and restoration company to arrive, you can reduce the risk of mold growth in flooded rooms by opening windows and using fans to keep air circulated. Mold can develop as soon as 24 hours after a flood, so doing all you can to keep the humidity low may stunt its growth.
When bursting pipes affect your Cele, TX, home, the resulting flood can leave you worried about many different types of damage. Knowing which steps to take when the problem occurs may reduce the risk of serious foundation or mold issues later on.

Crunching the Numbers on the Cost of Fire Restoration

5/11/2022 (Permalink)

Board up windows and door of a building Board-up services in Austin, TX.

Fire Restoration Process

A large fire at your business in Austin, TX, could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, perhaps even more. If you have prepared well, your insurance policy will pay much of this, as well as many of the costs for cleanup and restoration. The estimate of damages and expenses will depend upon a complex mix of factors:

  • The size of your facility
  • The scope of the fire
  • The presence of expensive infrastructure
  • The extent of soot, smoke and water damage
  • The level of structural damage to the building

The amount of fire damage is different for every fire. A basic understanding of the process for professional fire restoration services will provide a few clues on cleanup expenses.

Information on a Detailed Estimate
It is important to note that a general idea of costs is a vague document that has little benefit. You want specific details. Working with a full-service contractor is often the best way to get concrete figures.
The bid for work should include information on board up and tarp services (if needed), security surveillance (if needed), smoke and odor mitigation, debris removal and moving and storage services. There could also be information on the cleaning of objects such as furniture and clothing as well as the reconstruction of structural components.
If you have any questions, a project manager should be able to provide clear answers. Though each job is unique, you still deserve to know where you stand as soon as possible.

Expectations of a Commercial Fire Cleanup
A rapid response by a professional team is one of the best ways to save money after a fire. Restoration by experts makes sure the work is done correctly and that problems do not reoccur in a week or month. Also, it could limit the costs of a business interruption.
An accurate estimate can help you deal with the challenges of a fire. It is an important step on the way to recovery.

4 Sources of Leaks During a Rainstorm

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof If there are missing shingles on flat roof water can easily drip into the building envelope.

What Is The Source Of The Leak In Your Building's Roof?

You may have assumed your commercial building in Pflugerville, TX, was in good condition, only to come to work the day after a storm to find extensive rain damage: soggy paperwork, short-circuited computers, and a developing patch of black mold on one wall. Along with calling in professional water damage mitigation, you are obviously concerned with stopping this problem from happening again. What is the source of the leak in your building's roof?

1. Damaged Roofing
The problem may be an obvious one. If there are missing shingles or a visible break in a flat roof, water can easily drip into the building envelope. High winds or blowing debris can do significant damage in a major storm, making a hole leading to a big leak. However, if there is no clear damage, look elsewhere for the problem.

2. Gaps in the Flashing
Flashing refers to thin strips placed around structures on a roof to prevent leaks. Usually made of aluminum or galvanized steel, the flashing around chimneys, vents and skylights stop water on the roof from getting through. If the flashing is installed incorrectly or is damaged in a storm, rain damage can occur from water seeping through gaps or cracks.

3. Wind-Driven Rain
Even if the roof and its flashing are entirely intact, rain can still get through some kinds of roofing. High winds can drive rain sideways, causing it to collect under shingles or in improperly arranged vents and cause rot and leaks.

4. Other Water Sources
If you have had your roof inspected and there are no problems with the roofing or flashing but you are still finding puddles inside your building, it can be a good idea to look for another source besides a rainstorm outside. A cracked or leaking pipe in a wall or ceiling or an overflowing toilet can cause significant water damage regardless of how dry the weather is.

After experiencing rain damage, be sure to inspect your commercial building carefully and make the repairs necessary to prevent issues in the next storm.

What You Need To Know About Mold and That Musty Smell

4/14/2022 (Permalink)

Mold discovered behind a drywall Mold damage in Manda, TX.

If you’ve noticed a damp, musty smell in your commercial property, you may be concerned about mold and the presence of mycotoxins. The good news is that not all molds are toxic. In the majority of cases, the mold you find only poses a threat to secondary water damage on your property, which is a good reason to address it right away.

Understanding Mold

To get a handle on what you’re dealing with, here are a few basics you should know about mold:

It’s a type of fungi whose purpose is to decompose dead organic matter.

It needs water, oxygen, a nutrient source and temperatures between 40-100 degrees Fahrenheit to grow.

The musty odor you smell comes from MVOCs — microbial volatile organic compounds — that are naturally occurring, and in some cases, due to mycotoxins.

The color of mold is influenced by its nutrient source and how long the colony has been there.

Taking Action

Mold can continue to spread unless these three things are addressed:

All existing mold is completely removed and disposed of properly.

All nutrient sources (wet, damaged materials) are removed and disposed of properly.

Moisture levels in the space are returned to a healthy level.

Mold remediation specialists address all these issues by utilizing years of knowledge and experience coupled with state-of-the-art tools. During cleanup, they will use HEPA air filtration systems to scrub the air clean and high-powered dehumidifiers to remove all excess moisture. They can also get rid of the moldy smell and show you exactly what you can do to keep it from coming back.

Musty smells and the presence of mold in your property in Manda, TX, aren't ideal. Swift removal of the offending material is your first priority, then all you need to do is take care of whatever is causing the dampness and moisture.

5 Ways To Protect Your Business from Flood Damage

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Buy flood insurance.

Five Ways to Prevent Flood Damage in Your Business

When you own a business, it's important to be prepared for emergencies of all types. If you know that you live in a flood-prone area such as in New Sweden, TX, then there are some proactive steps you can take to prevent flood damage to your building.

1. Buy Flood Insurance

When you purchased your building, you were informed of the flood risk to your property. If any significant portion of your building is below the base flood elevation, it's a good idea to have flood insurance. Even if flooding isn't common in your area, it can still happen during a stronger than normal storm.

2. Be Careful with Storage

If you do have a basement below your base flood elevation, be very careful about what you store there. If there's any chance of storm damage ruining important documentation or products, find a different place to store those items.

3. Raise Electrical

From your actual electrical panels, sockets, and wiring to your HVAC system, ensure that these aren't installed in areas susceptible to flood damage. Not only does this prevent damage to those electrical components, but it's also safer for you and your staff. After a flood, work with a water damage restoration company to assess the safety of your building before returning to collect your belongings.

4. Landscape Wisely

Does your landscaper know how to prevent flooding by using native plants? Plants that are native to your area can help drain the soil more effectively and prevent soil erosion.

5. Stock Prevention Items

The greater the risk of frequent flooding, the more prepared you should be. Stock water barriers such as sandbags and other types of absorbent flood barriers to keep water outside. Flood gates might be beneficial for large office complexes. Backup generators keep everyone comfortable if the power goes out.
Preparing for flood damage in advance will make the process of restoring your business smoother so that you can get back to work more quickly.

Creating a Fire Escape Plan for Your Office

3/25/2022 (Permalink)

Evacuation plan - first floor A good fire escape plan can give you additional peace of mind.

Developing a Fire Exit Strategy for Your Office

Imagine it’s a typical afternoon at your company in Cele, TX. It’s business as usual, with your employees hard at work. Suddenly, the smoke alarm jolts everyone out of their normal routine, but when they see there’s a fire erupting in the hallway, they realize this is no ordinary fire drill. They have to leave immediately. A good fire escape plan, previously disclosed to and rehearsed with the staff, can ensure everyone exits the building safely during an emergency, and you can account for all employees.

What Is It and Why Is It Necessary?

A fire evasion plan, also known as an emergency escape plan because it is helpful for any emergency evacuation, is a strategy for exiting the building in the event of a fire. When creating such a plan, the best routes for evacuation are identified, so that everyone can leave the building safely and in a timely manner.

What Is Considered a Good Plan?

A good fire escape plan often includes the following:

• Designated managers who step into action in the event of an evacuation and make sure everyone exits the building safely and meets at the pre-planned meeting area
• Designated exits, depending on one's location in the building at the time of evacuation
• A meeting place for employees once they have exited the building
• A communication plan to use in the event of separation
• Time to practice the exit strategy once or twice a year so that employees are familiar with what to do in the event they have to evacuate

After the Fire Has Been Extinguished, What’s Next?

A fire is a most unwelcome tragedy, but it does not have to mean the end of business as you have known it. Companies specializing in emergency restoration services are Here to Help and can make the fire damage look “Like it Never Even Happened.”

Hopefully, your business will never experience the misfortune of a fire. However, a good fire escape plan can ensure your employee's exit safely and give you additional peace of mind.

How Secondary Damage Can Make Commercial Flooding Worse

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

Black mold growth in a white wall. Water can lead to mold growth if not treated immediately

How Secondary Damage Occurs?

If your business floods, your first concern may be the rising water itself. While this is certainly a problem, it’s also important to avoid secondary damage. The increased levels of humidity in the room can cause black mold to spread. Here are a few ways you can avoid this problem after a flood in Austin, TX:

  • Call a restoration company immediately
  • Thoroughly clean all damaged items
  • Keep an eye out for signs of mold for a few weeks after restoration

It’s essential for business owners to follow each of these steps to stop the damage. Furthermore, understanding how secondary damage occurs can help you avoid it.

Plenty of Humidity

Even a few inches of water can significantly increase the humidity levels in a room. This high humidity means that there is a lot of water in the air. That moisture in the air then sticks to the walls, surfaces, and furniture in the area.

Moisture Leads to Mold

When the water in the air lands on particular surfaces, it can begin to grow black mold. Unfortunately, that means that the mold grows in places where you may not expect it.

How does moisture make mold? Mold spores are all around us. However, without the necessary water levels, they don’t grow into anything dangerous. Once humidity rises in your business, those previously harmless mold spores become a problem.

The Clock is Ticking

The very second water spills into your business, you’re on a timer to prevent mold and other problems. In most cases, you have only 24 to 48 hours until the mold is visible. This is one of the reasons it is important to call a restoration company immediately.

Black mold and other secondary damage can make flooding in your business worse than it already would have been. Be sure to contact a restoration company in Austin, TX as soon as you see signs of flooding and avoid this problem altogether.

What Is an Electronic Claims Service?

3/5/2022 (Permalink)

Tablet and cel phone. Electronic claims service.

What Is an Electronic Claims Service?

A service for storing and accessing claims electronically makes it easier to access data related to an insurance claim in progress. The following features of the SERVPRO Claims Information Center facilitate communication between mitigation and restoration professionals and insurers.

A Portal to Claim Information

An insurance agent can log onto a claim service to view an estimate for damage cleanup and restoration. This information will be based on an on-site visit to a residence and should account for several factors:

  • Type of damage
  • Extent of damage
  • Cleaning and restoration methods

All of this information is important for an agent processing an insurance claim. Other types of useful information are also available through this service.

A Resource for Comparing Claims

Agents may also find it useful to be able to compare the amount of a claim to other claims in a region or nationwide. The Claims Information Center also makes it easy for insurers to access other collected data:

  • Causes of loss
  • Claim types
  • Job costs
  • Response times

It may also be possible to compare these types of data and other metrics for franchises and companies. All of this information can help an agent or adjuster determine whether an estimate is accurate and reasonable.

A Communication Tool

One of the best features of an electronic claims service is that it can reduce communication-related delays. Rather than having to schedule calls, mitigation and restoration franchises can simply upload estimate information and more data on the progress of a job for an agent or adjuster to review on his or her own schedule.

These features make the Claims Information Center and other electronic claims services a useful resource for insurers and restoration vendors. Shortly after SERVPRO experts assess the extent of damage at residence in Pflugerville, TX, an estimate will be posted on this service to expedite the processing of an insurance claim.

How To Remove Smoke Odor From Your Home After a Fire

2/21/2022 (Permalink)

Thermal fogger, smoke odor removal A thermal fogger can help to remove smoke odor from your home.

Smoke Odor Removal

If you have had a fire in your Manda, TX home, then it is likely you will have some smoke damage along with the fire damage. Because the smell of smoke can linger in your home long after a fire, you should hire a fire remediation company to help remove any odors. Here are some things that can help get rid of the smell.

1. Cleaning Your Belongings

An important step in smoke cleaning is to wash any smaller items that might be holding odor. This can include clothing or soft objects such as stuffed animals. You can have these items professionally cleaned and restored to their pre-fire condition.

2. Using Air Filtration Systems

While smoke particles can enter your belongings and make them smell, they can also linger in the air. Using an air filtration system for smoke cleaning can remove these particles and make the air in your home fresh again. These systems pull air through filters that catch impurities, including smoke particles, removing the odor from the air.

3. Using Thermal Foggers

Because smoke particles are small and can embed themselves into your home, a filtration system likely won’t be enough to completely remove the smoke odor. In this case, a thermal fogger can help. It uses a deodorizing treatment to counteract the scent of the smoke. Small particles of the treatment are created using heat and pressure which allows it to enter the same spaces as the smoke particles to effectively remove the odor.

4. Using Ozone Machines

Another piece of equipment used in smoke cleaning is the ozone machine. As its name suggests, this machine produces ozone to remove smoke odor. Ozone has three oxygen molecules, one of which can detach and alter the composition of other substances, allowing it to neutralize the smoke particles in your home.
While smoke damage can be a frustrating problem, a professional fire damage repair specialist will have the necessary equipment to remove the odor from your home.

Why You Need an Immediate Response to Water Damage

2/18/2022 (Permalink)

Wet wooden floor, dehumidifier placed on floor Water-damaged flooring in New Sweden, TX.

Why Do You Need to Respond to Water Damage Right Away?

When flooding and other water disasters affect your New Sweden, TX, home and family, you don't want to wait several hours for regular business hours. You need solutions immediately. SERVPRO water damage mitigation professionals offer 24-hour emergency response services. This means that if a pipe bursts on a holiday, technicians are available to respond. If heavy storm damages leave your home exposed to flooding, a fast response could prevent further harm.

You Can't Wait a Single Day

The first hours after your home is affected by water damage, many things begin to happen.

  • Furniture swells and breaks down.
  • Metal items tarnish and rust.
  • Fabric and paper items become stained.
  • Mold or mildew takes hold.
  • Drywall weakens and swells.

An immediate response puts the progression of damage on hold while a corrective course of action is put into place.

It's Expensive To Delay

Many situations requiring cleaning and restoration must be addressed immediately. This is because water damage takes place within minutes. Within a short 60-second period, walls, floors, and upholstery absorb water. Finishes on tables and chairs begin to bleed. Cherished photographs start to warp and discolor. If you have to wait more than a 24-hour period for professionals to arrive, the damage becomes much harder to address.

If you have to wait just two days for services, mold may begin to spread. Important framing may warp. Metal fixtures begin to corrode. Paint blisters and wood flooring swells. As damage increases, the efforts and cost of restoring your home increase rapidly. In some cases, the structural safety of your home could be affected.

What a Quick Response Looks Like

SERVPRO franchises in New Sweden, TX, are always open, so technicians are ready to respond within a single hour. Before four hours pass, professionals will be at your home. Within eight hours, a plan of action will be in place, and you will be well on your way to getting back on track. A fast response to flooding is crucial; take advantage of 24-hour availability for the protection of your home.