The Basics of Flood Mitigation vs. Flood Restoration
Commercial flooding in Pflugerville, TX.
If your Pflugerville, TX, business is damaged by a storm or other disaster, it’s important to hire a good flood cleanup company right away. These professional crews can thoroughly clean and restore your business to get you up and running again as soon as possible.
When trying to choose the right cleanup team, you may notice that many companies offer mitigation services, restoration services, or both. Understanding the difference between mitigation and restoration will help give you a better idea of what to expect during these phases of the flood cleanup process and may help you select the right restoration company for your job.
What Is Flood Mitigation?
After a storm or flood, the first step in the cleanup process is water damage mitigation. This phase should ideally begin as soon as possible after the damage occurs and is usually a quick process. The primary purpose of the mitigation phase is to prevent any further water damage to your business. Preventing mold growth and other secondary damage is especially important during this phase. Some examples of what a flood cleanup company does during mitigation include:
- Boarding up windows and tarping over the roof to prevent further damage from rain, wind, wildlife, or looters
- Removing wet and damaged contents and materials, such as furniture and flooring, from the building
- Extracting as much water as possible from the building
- Using commercial-grade tools and equipment to thoroughly dry, clean, and disinfect the building
What Is Flood Restoration?
The mitigation process is extremely time-sensitive, with a focus on preventing new damage rather than repairing existing damage. The focus of the restoration process, by contrast, is repairing the damage to your property caused by the flood or storm. Restoration involves such tasks as repairing structural or roof damage, replacing flooring and drywall, and eradicating mold growth. Depending on the extent of the damage, the restoration phase may be lengthy.
Mitigation and restoration are two separate cleanup processes that can be done independently. However, choosing a flood cleanup company that will handle both can save you time and money.
Why Does Bread Get Moldy?
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 Austin, 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:
- Carpeting and rugs
- 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.
What Should I Include in My Commercial Fire Damage Claim?
Fire damage in Manda, TX.
What To Include In A Commercial Fire Damage Claim
If your Manda, TX, business has been damaged by fire, you’re probably aware of the importance of filing your commercial property insurance claim as soon as possible. After all, the sooner you can file a claim, the sooner funds can be released and fire damage repairs can begin. However, acting too quickly can result in accidentally omitting some damage from your insurance claim, leaving you with inadequate resources to complete necessary restoration work. Before submitting a claim to your insurance adjuster, make sure you haven’t overlooked any of these common types of damage.
1. Structural Repairs
Damage to your building’s structure may be obvious, especially for parts of the property that have been burned or destroyed by flames. However, the intense heat from a fire can also damage window and door frames, warp glass, and weaken structural components like steel and iron.
2. Mitigation Expenses
Many insurance policies require that you take steps after the fire to prevent further property damage. The cost of any fire mitigation measures, such as boarding up windows and doors or installing a tarp to cover roof damage, should be included in your claim.
3. Water Damage Remediation
Water damage is frequently a corollary of fire damage, usually due to the large volume of water used to put out a fire. Water can seep into porous surfaces and can damage electronics, equipment, and inventory. Wet surfaces and high humidity quickly become an ideal breeding ground for mold, which can spread rapidly through your building. Remember to include the costs of professional water remediation and mold testing in your insurance claim.
4. Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and soot often affect the entire building, including areas far from the fire. Smoke can cause staining and discoloration and is highly damaging to electronic devices. Lingering smoke odors often require professional odor removal.
Taking the time to complete a thorough property insurance claim can ensure that all your fire damage repair and restoration expenses are covered.
3 Things To Include in Your Business Continuity Plan
Update your business's continuity plan.
3 Things To Include in Your Business Continuity Plan
Most businesses in New Sweden, 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.
How To Treat Mold Damage After a Flood
Commercial mold damage in Austin, TX.
How To Treat Mold Damage After a Flood
If your business in Austin, 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.
This Is the Smoke Alarm You Need
Dual sensor smoke detector.
How To Choose The Right Smoke Detector
You probably think that simply installing any smoke alarm in your home is enough. However, there are several options to choose from. Read on to find out how to choose the right smoke detector for your particular residence.
1. Consider the Size of Your Home
A bigger home will need more units. When purchasing, consider:
- Number of rooms
- Square feet
- Sleeping location
- Special needs
You need to put a smoke alarm in each room, as well as the hallways leading to bedrooms. Also factor in attics, basements, and both ends of staircases. Essentially, make sure you'll be able to hear the alarm at any time of the day.
2. Choose a Type
If you have a larger residence, you should look into devices that can be wired along with the same network.
- CO2 combo
There may be regulations in Pflugerville, TX, so make sure to check before installing. Often, these regulations can require hard-wired devices. If this is the case, you have to have them installed by local fire prevention and remediation specialists.
3. Make Sure It Works
This may seem obvious, but you need to test your smoke detectors. Think about fire safety. You may only have 2 minutes to evacuate. Does your alarm do its job in time? Check if batteries need to be replaced. If your system is hard-wired, it may also have backup batteries. Make sure these are in working condition. Keep in mind that placement should also be conducive to monthly testing. If you can't reach the alarm or don't have a ladder, reconsider placement. You should also keep units free of dust and grime that may inhibit usefulness.
Further, look for the circle logo on your units or their packaging. There should be a "UL" denoting that they have been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories. This is the most common certification, but there are others. Always do a quick internet search to verify your alarm's standard testing.
If you pick the right smoke alarm and test it monthly, you are doing the best that you can for fire prevention. Practice how to turn off the alarm without dismantling it from the wall or ceiling. Stay safe.
What NOT To Do After Water Damage Occurs
If your home has experienced flooding in Manda, TX, it's important to act right away.
Did You Know There Are Some Things NOT To Do For The Safety Of You And Your Family?
If your home has experienced flooding in Manda, TX, it's important to act right away. You know that you need to call your insurance company and that they will recommend a water damage restoration service that can help with your home repairs.
1. Do NOT Use a Vacuum
You know it's important to remove standing water quickly in order to prevent damage. However, a regular vacuum cleaner is NOT the right appliance for the job. A shop vacuum that is intended for water may be used, but a vacuum that is meant for picking up dirt, even if it's a steam cleaner, is not safe to use to remove standing water in your home.
2. Do NOT Operate Appliances
A broken pipe that has led to flooding can compromise the electrical system in your home. Do NOT use the television, washer and dryer, or plug in other small appliances like heaters or hair dryers until a professional has determined that it is safe to do so.
3. Do NOT Leave Things on the Floor
Once you can safely enter the space that is flooded, do NOT leave items on the floor. Books and magazines can bleed color onto carpets and flooring. Rugs retain moisture and should be removed quickly. If possible, remove, or at least elevate, furniture to allow air to flow freely beneath the pieces.
4. Do NOT Take Risks
Cleanup from a broken pipe is important to prevent long-term damage, but doing so is not worth risking your health and safety. Do NOT enter rooms where the ceiling is sagging or where standing water is touching electrical appliances. Do not turn on lights, especially if water is leaking from the ceiling.
Flooding in your home is overwhelming, whether caused by a broken pipe or a natural disaster. Call for help and always take reasonable precautions to protect yourself from harm.
Here to Help After The Winter Storm
At SERVPRO Team Jones, we are no strangers of disaster.
The chain of events that began the week before Valentine’s Day has been a never-before-seen national disaster. The ice and snow that quickly piled up, the subzero temperatures that marched in with it, as well as the 50-60 mph winds across many states paralyzed daily life. All in all, 150 million people in 25 states, in a 2000 mile stretch from southern Texas to northern Maine were affected. Over 5 million people were without power, along with hundreds of thousands without water, sewer and natural gas including many of our own teammates.
At SERVPRO Team Jones, we are no strangers of disaster and over the last 15 years our Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team has traveled coast to coast helping those in need. This time around, it was OUR backyard and OUR neighbors who needed the help. With over 30,000 calls in the last two weeks for disaster cleanup, SERVPRO has hundreds of crews from across the country that are leaving their home states to help. Many of these men and women spent months away from their families and friends recently helping our friends on the Gulf Coast.
While the heavy snow and ice did delay many of these crews from being able to hit the road, as well as most trucking services ceasing operations, reinforcements are still coming in daily to help. As neighbors, we’d like to ask for your patience and understanding as our disaster recovery crews are working 7 days a week to put our community back together one building and one family at a time. Many of these crews are working 14-16 hours a day but their relentless servant hearts won’t let them give up on you.
We’re human- we’re going to make mistakes, we’re going to drop the ball sometimes and in a disaster this widespread we won’t be able to make it to every single loss as quickly as we want to. We will keep trying, we will keep working, we will keep drying, disinfecting, cleaning and restoring. It is what we do – it’s how we’re made – it’s what makes us tick.
If you happen to see one of those bright green SERVPRO trucks from here or from out of town– give them a wave. These real-life heroes are trying their best for you. A little smile or a wave is great encouragement to all those that left their friends and families behind to answer your calls for help. Thank you for understanding, thank you for trusting in us and thank you for believing in us.
How SERVPRO Can Make Your Business's Mold Remediation Process More Efficient
If you discover black mold in your building, don't panic.
Mold Remediation Process
Black mold isn't a pleasant thing to discover in your New Sweden, TX, business building. Fortunately, its presence doesn't need to be permanent. One of the most important steps to take going forward is calling a mold remediation company. This will allow you to have your building properly handled by experts. A particularly effective company in this regard is SERVPRO. If you want to know why, here's how SERVPRO can make your business's mold remediation process more efficient.
1. Quick Arrival
When it comes to remediating mold, swift work is vital. After all, you may be unable to use your building until it's done. SERVPRO is dedicated to responding quickly to reports of black mold, so you can start to get back to work soon enough. The company also asks a series of questions before sending people over, which ensures that the trip won't be delayed by a lack of necessary materials.
2. Various Containment Techniques
Containing fungus is an essential part of the remediation process. It ensures that the mold can't spread any further. These are a few techniques the experts use, particularly for more advanced issues:
- Turning off HVAC systems and fans
- Creating negative air pressure
- Creating negative air chambers
Containing the mold quickly can greatly minimize the damage, so this is especially helpful.
3. Trained Specialists
Since SERVPRO specializes in mold and water restoration, you'll have help from experts in these fields. These professionals conduct assessments soon after arrival to determine what needs to be done. For instance, the workers may find that the mold is secondary damage from a more pressing problem.
4. Advanced Filtration Equipment
This may sound gross, but mold can live as microscopic spores in the air, especially in an area with high humidity. In order to get rid of it, SERVPRO professionals use a specialized method of filtration that involves HEPA vacuums and "air scrubbers". Doing so gets rid of the spores and stops the entities from spreading further.
If you discover black mold in your building, don't panic. SERVPRO experts can complete the remediation process with efficiency while you run your company.
5 Ways for a Business To Use Less Water
Annual plumbing inspections can identify issues.
Five Ways To Maximize The Efficiency Of Water Use And Save Money
Overuse and waste are the most significant water issues at commercial properties located in Cele, TX. Inefficient bathroom fixtures, irrigation and cooling systems can drive up water bills at any building.
1. Switch To Low-Flow Fixtures
Old commercial toilets use anywhere from three to seven gallons of water per flush. Consider a water upgrade to low-flow toilets that use anywhere from 1.28 to 1.6 gallons per flush or urinals that use just 0.05 gpf or are waterless.
2. Adjust the Irrigation System
From installing sensors that detect rain or measure soil moisture to scheduling sprinklers to water less often for longer periods of time, there are several ways to reduce outdoor water waste. Irrigation accounts for a significant percentage of water usage at commercial properties with landscaping.
3. Avoid Pipe Breaks and Leaks
Annual plumbing inspections can identify issues such as old or worn pipes or corrosion build-up that can lead to water issues and leaks. A hidden leak can cause water bills to spike, and usage will not decline until the problem is fixed.
4. Maximize Cooling Tower Efficiency
Evaporation is a primary source of water use in buildings with cooling towers. Building owners may want to mix gray and potable water or otherwise recycle water to lower usage.
5. Reduce Water Booster Pressure
Buildings with more than a few floors may rely on water boosters to pump water up to higher stories. Try turning down the settings to conserve energy and water while lowering pipe pressure that could lead to breaks and water damage.
These measures may prevent common water issues at a commercial building in Cele, TX. A property owner or manager may be able to make these upgrades with small initial investments that pay off over time and reduce risks of damage.