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3 Landscaping Features That Help Prevent Flooding

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

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

Three Landscaping Features

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 in 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 Manda, TX, will help you prevent outside flooding and enjoy your lawn, even after heavy rain.

Why Is There Mold in My Home?

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall Mold damage in a Cele, TX home

A musty smell in your house is not just an annoyance. It could also be a sign of black mold damage to your Cele, TX, home. This mold grows quickly in moist areas and can destroy your belongings. To deal with the odor, you first must figure out where it is coming.

Locating the Source of the Mold

Mold can grow in many different areas of your home. Some of the most common locations are:

  • Crawlspaces
  • Basements
  • HVAC units
  • Drain lines
  • Windows
  • Pipes
  • Appliances

Mold needs water in order to thrive. If you see mold after it rains, the rainwater is likely leaking into your house. You should thus check the basement, crawlspace, roof, and attic for possible seepage. Rainwater may also enter your home through the windows if they are not properly installed.
Mold could also be a sign of a moisture problem in your appliances or pipes. Even your freezer and refrigerator could be sources of black mold. Check the gaskets and drip pans regularly. Make sure the drain lines in your washing machine are installed correctly, as well.

Removing the Mold
If the nasty smell in your home persists, you should check your house for mold. Testing kits are available online. You can also hire a professional to determine the extent and source of the problem.
You should not try to handle mold by yourself. You could end up just making the issue worse. Instead, contact mold cleanup specialists who can safely remove the fungus from your house.
Once the black mold is gone, you can take additional steps to make sure it does not come back. Since moist air encourages mold growth, you should make sure the laundry room, basement, bathrooms, and kitchen are properly ventilated.
Do not ignore the musty smell in your home. Locate the source of the odor, and, if necessary, bring in mold remediation specialists to address the fungus.

How to Repair a Burst Pipe

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Bursting pipes can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time, making them a scary issue for many homeowners. If your home in New Sweden, TX, is experiencing a pipe burst, chances are you will need to call a plumber to help resolve the issue. In the meantime, you can secure the leak using the following technique.

Fix Broken Pipe Using a Clamp and Sleeve

A clamp and sleeve kit can provide a temporary patch to stop the leak while you wait for remediation experts to arrive. Patch your bursting pipes using the following technique:

  1. Shut off the main water line. Use a metallic file or steel wool to smoothen any rough areas around the damaged section of pipe.
  2. Position the rubber sleeve so that it is centered over the burst. The clamp's seam should be facing the opposite direction of the break.
  3. Position the metal clamps around the rubber sleeve. Use a screwdriver to tighten the clamps.
  4. Reopen the water supply to the pipe. Watch carefully for any leaks.

The above technique should temporarily solve the issue while you wait for the plumber to arrive. If it doesn't fix the leak, simply repeat the process and reposition the clamp until it solves the issue.

Dry the Water
As soon as you stop the leak, you need to start drying the water. Standing water can quickly cause a lot of secondary damage, such as mold growth, so it's important that you act quickly. If the leak was small, you can resolve the issue by mopping up the water with a towel. Larger leaks that create a lot of water damage likely require professional assistance.
It's important that you take immediate action to fix bursting pipes as soon as you discover it. The subsequent water damage can wreak havoc on your home and cause several subsequent issues. Contact water remediation experts for help assisting with damage cleanup.

3 Tips for a Flood-Proof Flower Bed

10/6/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo. Creating curb appeal that can withstand heavy rains can help your home weather any storm.

Homeowners with flower beds always welcome a good rainstorm — that is, unless it results in outside flooding. However, you can create landscaping that can handle all of that extra water. Construct a flower bed that stands up to heavy rain drainage with these three tips.

1. Choose Flood-Tough Plants
Certain plants are built for handling heavy rain and runoff. They are native to areas that get a lot of precipitation, so they can exist in standing water and not develop root rot or other issues. Here are some plant families that are made for outside flooding:

Shrubs and small trees
Varieties of wildflowers
Pine trees such as Colorado or white spruce
Perennials like daylily and hosta

These are just a few examples of plants that are good for soaking up water.

2. Go Heavy on the Mulch
Along with keeping weeds down, mulch is good for water control. Do not skimp on thickness or weight. Lay a thick layer of heavy hardwood mulch in your beds to help soak up water and keep the mulch from floating away. If it does and you see signs of water damage to your foundation, you should call a storm damage professional for an inspection.

3. Divert Your Downspouts to a Rain Barrel
Even if you clean your gutter system regularly to prevent backflow, a lot of water rolls out of downspouts into the flower beds edging your house. Installing a diverter and rain barrel lets you choose where water flows, avoiding oversaturation. The diverter goes inside your downspout and can be switched to let water flow out the end of the spout or into the barrel. As a bonus, you have extra water for gardening during dry spells.


Outside flooding is a serious concern during the rainy season in Austin, TX. Creating curb appeal that can withstand heavy rains can help your home weather any storm.

How to Avoid Home Fires Caused by Candles

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

Lid candle Candles should always be placed in plain sight and spaced reasonably apart

What sets the mood better than a romantic glow? That said, a wayward candle fire could just as easily ruin a special evening. If such an incident takes hold in your house, you will inevitably need a fire damage cleanup specialist to set things right.

Candle Incident Statistics

You may be shocked to learn some data concerning how often candle fires occur:

  • They account for 2% of all reported home blazes.
  • Every day, there are 21 unique reports of such accidents.
  • 60% of all candle-related incidents occur when unsecured combustible material comes into contact with flames.

In consideration of the above, decreasing the number of mishaps caused by candles remains a worthy objective. Luckily, commonsense measures can curb your odds of requiring smoke cleanup and other restoration procedures.

Candle Fire Prevention
Before setting anything alight, consider a flameless alternative. On top of their inherent safety, electric candles sometimes come with flashy features like remote controls and flicker settings. Should you opt for the real deal, forego the use of matches. Instead, use a long, flexible lighter that gives control over the flame’s size and cools nearly instantaneously.
Always keep wax clean and remove flammable remnants such as dust or hair. Never use a plastic container and toss cracked glass. Using a wick trimmer, bring the string to 1/8th of an inch. Note, too, that when wax gets low it becomes unsafe. Stop burning once your jarred candle reaches a half-inch. Non-jarred candles should be retired after arriving at the two-inch mark.
Candles should always be placed in plain sight and spaced reasonably apart. Only extinguish flames with a snuffer, never water, and use them exclusively in properly ventilated rooms.
Nobody wants their home burned by a candle fire, but observation of best practices can help prevent disaster. Simple due diligence can stop your residence from suffering the fate of so many others.

Preventing Further Damage After a Flood

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded street in front of a house. An experienced restoration service can get homes to preloss condition quickly and safely.

Flooding at your Austin, TX, home can cause major problems. Fortunately, flood insurance can help financially. If the flooding was widespread, you may not see an adjuster for a while. However, it is important to start the restoration process as soon as possible. The following steps outline the cleanup process:


1. Ensure safety. Floodwaters are dangerous, especially when electricity is involved. Turn off the power to your property so that you can work safely. If you cannot do this yourself, call an electrician for assistance.

2. Assess and document the damage. After local flooding, flood insurance companies will likely be very busy. This means they may not be able to send an adjuster to your property immediately. You will have to document the flood damage yourself so that you can begin the cleanup process and avoid further damage. Take photo or video evidence, being sure to capture as much detail as possible.

3. Dry the property. Making sure the property is completely dry is key to preventing further damage. Mold growth can begin within 24 hours, and water can cause permanent structural damage in certain items if left too long. Use pumps, specialized vacuums, or even buckets to remove the standing water. Then run fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the remaining water.

4. Clean and sanitize. Mold damage is not the only concern when it comes to flooding. The water itself is likely to contain bacteria and other contaminants, so it is important to properly sanitize all affected items. Fortunately, there are a variety of cleaners available, so you can choose the ones most appropriate for the items you are cleaning.

5. Repair and replace damaged items. All items that cannot be fully cleaned and dried should be thrown away to prevent further contamination. Other items may be restorable. In some cases, homeowners can do their own repairs, but delicate items often require professional restoration.


Flood insurance can financially help homeowners, but many will need assistance with the cleanup process. Fortunately, an experienced restoration service can get homes to preloss condition quickly and safely.

How to Clean Your Electronics After a Fire

9/17/2020 (Permalink)

Flames around a computer. It is deeply frustrating when possessions get destroyed, but computerized equipment can sometimes be saved.

Between tossing everything that has become damaged and hiring a fire restoration service to handle the most difficult aspects of the task, any fire cleanup job is deeply stressful. Often getting lost during the process is the recovery of precious electronics. Never trash them until you have confirmed they are impossible to repair.

Smoke Damage and Electronics
When smoke infects our digital gadgets, it impacts them in three ways:
1. Magnetization, leading to short-circuiting.
2. Corrosion, dramatically shortening their lifespans.
3. Overheating, caused by a thick layer of soot.
Any items displaying evidence of the above conditions should be disposed of, but those that do not may be rehabilitated. Should a fire strike your home in Pflugerville, TX, remember that inspecting your beloved digital toys should automatically be included as part of the fire cleanup.

Cleansing Electronics of Smoke Damage
First, disconnect the device you wish to salvage and remove the batteries or any other existing power source. With a soft, dry towel, wipe your gizmo’s exterior of any residue, then use an air compressor or blow dryer to clear out any outlets or vents. Once this has been done, you can test your device by switching it on. Never do this, however, until the cleaning stage has been completed.


Sadly, your beloved item will likely never operate the way it once did, as ash is virtually guaranteed to compromise proper functioning. Should you detect unusual behavior from your device, have it inspected by a product specialist. You may have taken out warranties on your most prized pieces, but also note that many home insurance policies cover electronics-related losses, so check your provisions.


It is deeply frustrating when possessions get destroyed, but computerized equipment can sometimes be saved. Never let the hectic nature of a fire cleanup undertaking prevent you from granting your favorite gadgets one last shot at life.

What Is Black Water?

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Drainage fountain of sewage Category 3 water, also known as black water, is the most dangerous type of flooding

Preparation is key when it comes to protecting your commercial business from flooding, water damage and other kinds of disasters. There are several different types of floods. While all are capable of causing lethal damage, each must be handled in a specific way. Read on to learn how to protect your building in New Sweden, TX  from flooding.

Types of Flood Water

There are three primary types of floods, each categorized by the types of contaminants present in the water.

Category 1: This type of flooding is categorized by a complete absence of contaminants, and are also known as clean water floods. They are often a result of a supply line pipe burst. The water in these floods is safe for human consumption, but you should still never attempt to drink it.
Category 2: Category 2 water damage is one step up from Category 1. The water present contains mild contaminants, such as runoff from a malfunctioning dishwasher or washing machine.
Category 3: Category 3 water, also known as black water, is the most dangerous type of flooding. It's categorized by the presence of biohazards, such as human fecal matter and raw sewage. Toilet backflows and sewage runoff are just a few common sources for Category 3 flooding.

Preventing a Black Water Flood
Category 3 floods are extremely dangerous and remediation should always be left to the professionals. However, you can still take the necessary precautions to prevent these types of accidents from happening in the first place. Have your main sewer line and septic tanks inspected regularly to check for damage or potential hazards. Taking proper care of the bathrooms in your building can help prevent toilet overflow as well. Hang clear notices instructing customers not to flush feminine products or other objects that could block your toilets' pipes.
While taking the necessary precautions can certainly reduce your risk of encountering Category 3 water damage, your building's safety is never a complete guarantee. If you do fall victim to black water flooding, it's vital that you contact flood remediation experts as soon as you can.

Typical Places To Find Mold Growth in the Office

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

black mold growth on bathroom wall Mold growth on bathroom wall in Austin, TX

Common Places Where Mold Grows

In the workplace, you need an environment that allows you to safely and effectively accomplish your daily tasks. You also want to work somewhere that is clean and tidy. Finding mold growth in the office can be unsightly and concerning. No place is immune to this type of problem. It takes vigilance to keep mold at bay. If you suspect there may be mold at work, or if you're worried about the prospects of finding some, there are some common places where it grows.

Around Appliances
Mold requires certain conditions to grow and thrive. There must be high humidity and moisture present. You may not even realize that you have a water problem at your Austin, TX, workplace. An issue such as a leak or broken pipe could exist for weeks, months or even years until you detect it. Mold often shows up close to appliances where water slowly trickles out. The appliance might even rupture or burst. Such appliances include:

  • Water heaters
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators
  • Washers

Look in the Bathroom
The bathroom is a common place to discover mold growth. There are a few reasons this occurs. First, there is a vast network of plumbing here, especially in larger commercial buildings. Any type of backups, blockages, or leaks could lead to fungal problems. Humidity levels can also be high here, so it's crucial to check the ventilation system often. Good airflow will reduce the risk of mold spreading.

Be Aware of Underground Levels
Any area of your building below ground might be more prone to mold issues than other places. Basements, cellars, and parking garages can be prime spots for water damage, increased humidity, and stagnant air. Inspect these spots regularly for the existence of mold.
You can avoid mold growth as you are aware of these areas where it appears. Frequently examine these places and call a professional mold remediation team if you need cleanup help.

6 Ways To Prevent Water Damage on Your Construction Site

8/21/2020 (Permalink)

Empty room of a building with standing water. Concept commercial water damage Commercial water damage in Cele, TX

Consider The Following Six Tips To Avoid Water Damage In Your Construction Site 

Commercial property development is not without its headaches. From a basic water pipe repair to thorough flooding of the property, there are plenty of reasons you may have to call a water mitigation company in Cele, TX before you even open for business. To avoid water damage at your construction site, consider the following six tips.

1. Have On-Site Manager Sign Off on Plumbing
The last thing most business owners and project managers want to deal with is a broken pipe. To avoid such a disaster, you may want to make sure the on-site manager signs off on the plumbing before activating systems. While the extra sign-off may not be needed to pass inspection, it is a way of double-checking work.

2. Waterproof Susceptible Areas
Can you imagine walking into a new structure and seeing the stairwells or elevator shafts flooded? During construction, these open areas are among the most susceptible to external flooding. To prevent such catastrophes, make sure you have waterproofing measures in place, like tarps.

3. Only Allow Authorized Contractors to Place Sytems Into Service
It is essential to install piping and safety systems, such as fire suppression sprinklers, correctly. Do not trust these systems to just any contractor. If you want to avoid a water pipe repair, then only trust authorized contractors to place such systems into service.

4. Charge Zone-by-Zone
Many companies make the mistake of charging the entire plumbing system at once. If you pressurize the whole system, you risk multiple leaks and significant water damage. Instead, charge the plumbing zone-by-zone, inspecting as you go.

5. Verify Piping Installation
While it may seem unlikely, mistakes happen. When piping is installed, double-check that it matches the building plans and needs.

6. Grade the Soil
The soil around the building should be graded away from the project. If the grade is not adequate, you risk water flowing towards the building and flooding it.
The best way to avoid a water pipe repair or significant water damage during construction is to take your time and prepare. The above steps can help, but if your planning fails, you can always call a mediation company.