Recent Posts

What To Do If You Smell Gas in Your Home

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

Gas burners on stainless steel gas fired freestanding hob. Make sure all the burners are off.

Gas leaks can happen any time of the day, in any home that uses gas for heating or cooking. Leaks are surprisingly common across the country, even right here in Pflugerville, TX. Do you know how to avoid a gas fire in the event of a leak inside your home?

What To Do If You Suspect a Natural Gas Leak

The gas you use in your house is odorless. That notorious rotten-egg smell has been added to the gas to alert you to leaks. If you smell this distinctive odor or hear a hissing sound anywhere that gas is used in your home, you may have a gas leak.
Here's what to do in the event of a leak:

1. Avoid Potential Sparks
Leave all electrical switches, appliances and lights untouched. Flipping a light switch or even opening your garage door can cause enough spark to ignite a gas fire.

2. Turn Off the Gas
If you're near the stove, make sure all the burners are off. If you feel it's safe at the time, shut off the gas at the meter outside your house.

3. Ventilate Your Home
Allow the gas to disperse; open all doors and windows and leave them open.

4. Leave the Building
Get outside and away from the house before using your phone. Confirm that all family members and pets are also outdoors at a safe distance from the home.

5. Call for Help
Once everyone is safely out of the building, report the leak to your gas company. If you think there is still a fire risk, dial 911.
Your local fire damage restoration experts recommend that you follow these simple safety steps when you smell gas in your residence. Always treat a suspected leak seriously. Protect your family and your home by knowing the signs of a leak and what actions to take to prevent a gas explosion.

Important Things You Should Know About Fire Insurance

6/19/2022 (Permalink)

Living room fire damage An insurance policy will protect you financially against losses you experience in your home.

Fire Insurance Coverage 

To disasters and emergencies, you are grateful to have insurance coverage. An insurance policy will protect you financially against losses you experience in your home. Your plan should cover the cost to repair or replace items in a variety of incidents. When it comes to fire damage, your policy can spare you a lot of financial grief and stress. However, there are some instances when your policy may not pay for all fire-related damages. 

1. Coverage of the Dwelling
Your homeowner's insurance policy will cover damages that occur in your house due to a fire. This coverage is good up to a certain limit. Make sure you understand what this limit is so you know whether your policy will cover all fire damage restoration needs. The plan will cover any parts of the home that the fire affected, even if the fire started elsewhere and moved to other parts of the house. 

2. Detached Structures
If a fire damages or destroys structures that are not attached to your home, you should still have coverage. These may include garages separate from the home, sheds, and other buildings on the property. 

3. Fire Damage to Personal Property
A fire can be destructive, not only destroying the home and building materials themselves but other items you own. This list includes belongings such as clothing, furniture, electronics, books, keepsakes and much more. Your coverage should pay to replace or fix these items. 

When Coverage Does Not Apply
In some circumstances, you cannot expect your insurance plan to cover damage from a fire. If you deliberately start the fire, your plan will not pay to remove the effects of smoke damage or replace or repair any parts of the home. You may also need to buy supplemental fire insurance to pay for such damage if you live in an area prone to wildfires. 
Fire damage can be severe. To avoid costly losses, make sure you have adequate homeowner's insurance

7 Tips for Creating a Foolproof Fire Escape Plan

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Orange background, map and its routes. Concept of a fire escape plan Create a fire escape plan for your home.

Creating a Fire Safety Plan For Your Home

A fire can break out at any time, so it's vital to be prepared for any emergency scenario. Keep these tips in mind when creating a fire safety plan for your Manda, TX, home.

1. Install Smoke Alarms
A beeping smoke detector is your first indication of an emergency and sets off any evacuation plan, so have one outside every bedroom and on every level of your home. Test them monthly to ensure they function properly.

2. Inspect All Exits
Do a walk-through of your home and determine all exits, including windows and doors. For every room, mark at least two exit points to escape a fire. 

3. Clear Every Escape Route
If a door or window is blocked by any item, it no longer becomes an escape route. If you notice obstructions in the way of these exits, clear them away for easy emergency use. 

4. Determine Outdoor Meeting Area
Select an outdoor spot where everyone in the household will agree to meet in the event of a home fire. Set this area a safe distance away from the house and mark the spot on your fire escape plan so everyone is familiar with where to go.   

4. Consider Everybody’s Limitations
Whether your household includes young children or older adults, bring everybody's safety concerns into the fold of your escape plan. If possible, assign someone to help those with limited mobility.

5. Memorize Emergency Numbers
Knowing the right emergency numbers to call can bring help right away when you need it. 

6. Once Outside, Stay Outside
Make sure your family knows to stay outside once they have escaped. Only firefighters and fire damage mitigation professionals can determine when it is safe to re-enter a home. 

7. Practice Fire Escape Drills
Put all your fire preparation to the test with periodic practice drills. 
It's easy to keep your family safe with a thorough fire evacuation plan in place. Don't neglect these helpful tips when making yours. 

How To Prevent Mold Growth After a Flood

5/26/2022 (Permalink)

Flood cut performed on drywall and an air scrubber placed on area Mold removal in New Sweden, TX.

How To Avoid Mold Growth After a Flood

Flooding is a risk that every business should be aware of and plan for. Floods aren't always the result of natural disasters. A water main break outside of your business in New Sweden, TX, can do a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Water damage can also occur as a result of a burst pipe or a broken water heater. Cleaning up from flooding of any kind can be overwhelming, but there are some steps to take to expedite the process and prevent mold, which can begin to grow as soon as 24-48 hours after a flood.

1. Remove Standing Water
The first step is to remove standing water. Depending on the quantity, you may be able to do this with a mop and bucket or shop vacuum, or you may need to rent a pump. The longer water stands, the more damage it does to your business. Call in reinforcements (neighbors, coworkers, family) to help until a professional can get to you.

2. Toss Waterlogged Materials
From carpet to drywall, most waterlogged material should be disposed of. While there are some things that can be salvaged, such as hardwoods, most items found in standing water should be considered contaminated and tossed.

3. Dry Everything Thoroughly
One way to ensure mold prevention is to dry everything thoroughly. Water damage can go deep into subflooring and walls, so keep dehumidifiers and fans running. Prop up furniture that can't be removed so that as little surface area is touching the ground as possible.

4. Work with a Professional
Always trust a commercial remediation expert to give you the final say as to the condition of your property. They will be able to check for moisture pockets in hard-to-reach places where mold growth is likely to occur and provide remediation and prevention tips.
The quickest way to recover from water damage is fast action. Begin the cleanup process as soon as possible to prevent long-term damage to your business.

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.