Recent Posts

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.


Before
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.


After
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.

Hygienist Testing Versus DIY Mold Kits

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

Aspergillus (mold) for Microbiology in Lab. Professional hygienists have the training and qualifications to provide accurate and complete results

Comparing Hygienist Testing and DIY Mold Kits

It's easy to recognize a mold problem when there's visible evidence. Unfortunately, mold is often hiding where you can't see it. How can you deal with a problem that you can't see? If you suspect mold growth, you need to contact an industrial hygienist for testing and to set up mold cleaning. It isn't enough to buy a kit at your local home improvement store. Those kits are notorious for providing false results. The only real option is to hire an Austin, TX, professional.

What You Need To Know About Air Sampling

You can't get rid of mold without knowing that it's there. When hygienists arrive at your home to collect air and surface samples, they'll determine if mold carries

  • Allergens
  • Pathogens
  • Toxins

Sometimes, mold harbors a combination of two or all three of these. After hygienists determine the presence of mold and provide an understanding of the composition of the mold, mold remediation and cleanup professionals determine the type of mold you're dealing with and how widespread the mold growth has become.


Why You Can't Handle It Yourself

Many homeowners are comfortable handling repairs and minor home disasters on their own. However, attempting to tackle mold cleaning on your own can become an expensive mistake. The handy kits that you can pick up at a store near you don't have the sensitivity to give accurate answers about mold concentrations. If a DIY kit were to give a false negative, you may believe there isn't a mold problem when mold damage is actually widespread. On the other hand, a false positive could lead to mold remediation costs that weren't necessary.

Industrial Hygienists and Mold Cleanup and Remediation Professionals

Professional hygienists have the training and qualifications to provide accurate and complete results. If those professional results show that you do have a problem, in Austin, TX, mold cleaning and remediation experts can clean the air and surfaces of your home.

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