Is a SERVPRO Franchise Right For You?
SERVPRO is Faster to any size disaster
Being a Cele,TX, business-owner may seem daunting at first. As a SERVPRO Franchisee, you would oversee many jobs related to disaster recovery. These jobs are often complex and may feel overwhelming. Fortunately, SERVPRO provides Franchisees with a range of support and training.
What Types of Services Do Franchises Offer?
Every Franchise is unique and will vary in their offerings. The major factors determining the services rendered are the strengths of the Franchisee and the needs of the local community. However, SERVPRO primarily focuses on restoration projects relating to the following:
- Storm damage
- Mold growth
SERVPRO's corporate offices offer document drying services, which can be offered through local Franchises. In addition to these disaster recovery services, some Franchises have expanded to include ancillary services, such as bio-hazard cleanup and ductwork cleaning.
What Types of Support Does SERVPRO Provide Franchise Owners?
SERVPRO prides itself on making the startup process as smooth as possible for its Franchisees. Some of the services provided during the initial phases include a 17-day training program at SERVPRO's training school and assistance from a Business Development Program Specialist. During the first six months of operation, Franchisees continue to receive post-graduation support and monthly visits from a Business Development Program Specialist. After those six months, owners and employees continue to receive SERVPRO-created continuing education and training.
In addition to training and other behind-the-scenes help, SERVPRO also has a system in place to assist its smaller Franchises after large storms. The Large Loss Division provides supplementary equipment and personnel to help with storm response in instances where an individual Franchise cannot meet its customers' needs.
Owning a disaster recovery service can be challenging. That's why SERVPRO works so hard to support its Franchisees, with everything from startup training to supplementary personnel in order to help every Franchise succeed. You can visit SERVPRO.com for more information about opening a franchise in your area.
Steps You Should Take if Your Basement Floods
Water can make its water into lower levels of a house through cracks in the foundation.
If you walk down to the basement in your Austin, TX, home, water is one of the last things you want to see. Unfortunately, flooding is not uncommon in this area of a house. Water can get into basements in many ways. Luckily, there are effective measures you can take to clean it up and get your home back to normal.
Causes of Basement Flooding
Water can make its water into lower levels of a house through cracks in the foundation. Because the basement is located partially or entirely beneath the surface, groundwater could be right outside. Foundation problems can allow water to seep inside. Other typical ways a basement flood starts include:
Broken water heater
Leaky or broken pipe
Poor drainage or insufficient rain gutters
If you spot water in your basement, stop the water source if possible. Then, shut off the electricity and get out of the house. If it's safe to do so, move materials out of the water and to higher ground. However, if black water has gotten into the home, never get near it.
Make the Calls
When flooding occurs at home, you should immediately call city utility crews if the main water line or sewer backup caused the issue. Next, get in touch with a professional flood cleanup team to remove the water. You should next contact your homeowner's insurance to discuss filing a claim.
Let the Pros Take Over
If there is no black water in the basement, and if the flooding is small, grab a wet vacuum and extract the water. You can also set wet items out to dry. For more widespread or dangerous flooding, let the professionals handle it. Specialists will remove the water, thoroughly dry the area and sanitize all affected parts of the basement. Crew members can also tear out ruined materials and take care of pipe repair.
The effects of flooding can be devastating. You can minimize the damage by following these steps and getting help from a professional company.
How To Clean Items After a Fire
Call in the professionals to get your building back to working order.
If you suffer a fire in the workplace, your first concern is whether everyone is safe. Your thoughts will then likely turn to the damage in your Austin, TX, building. If the flames don't destroy or harm materials, the smoke will likely cause some problems. Luckily, there are effective ways to clean many of the items in the workplace. With prompt attention and the right techniques, such as dry-cleaning, you can salvage important belongings and work equipment.
Calling the Pros
A fire in the workplace could leave behind significant damage to building materials, computers and other electronic equipment, documents, furniture and more. A job this size could overwhelm you, but professional fire restoration teams have what it takes to clean and save these items. Cleanup specialists have the following traits:
Years of content cleaning experience
The right equipment
The best techniques and restoration methods
Cleaning Carpets, Furniture, and Clothing
The smell of smoke can remain in an area for months or even years after a fire. Only high-powered tools and dry-cleaning processes will work effectively. Technicians can use these machines on many materials, including clothing items such as uniforms in your office.
If you don't have fire-resistant content storage, paper items such as books, files, maps and photographs can suffer. Using freeze-drying methods, technicians can preserve these belongings and retain their quality.
What if non-porous items in your building have smoke or fire damage? Things such as wood floors or fixtures may appear lost, but professional crews can save them. Using ultrasonic tools, the team can rid these areas of the smell of smoke and remove soot and ash. Your office can look like it did in its pre-fire state.
Dry-cleaning, freeze-drying and ultrasonic cleaning are all effective approaches after a fire in your office. Call in the professionals to get your building back to working order.
Can You Trust DIY Mold Testing?
How accurate are home mold testing kits?
If you have any reason to believe there's mold in your Austin, TX, home, you probably want to get a clear answer as soon as possible. For many homeowners, it's tempting to pick up a DIY mold test because they are generally affordable and convenient to purchase. However, these handy forms of mold testing are nearly always positive because mold exists naturally inside and outside. This means, even if there isn't a mold problem in the home, these homeowners go through the trouble and expense of treating for black mold.
Why Hire Professionals?
Hiring professional mold testing and cleanup experts has many benefits. It's possible to do some mold cleanup on your home, but when you work with a professional, you'll get better results and considerable peace of mind.
An expert has training and a professional mold kit for accurate results.
Professionals provide information about levels of mold and specific types of mold in your home.
Expert technicians may identify the source of mold, so the problem can be thoroughly addressed.
Professionals use rigorous testing processes for accurate results.
Your insurance policy may cover the costs of professional testing.
Sometimes, hardware store mold kits provide false negatives, leading homeowners to believe their home is free of mold when the truth is that black mold cleanup should be completed. This can lead to widespread contamination.
The Worth of Your Comfort and Safety
Your home is one of the places where you should feel most comfortable. There are plenty of things you can do to keep it comfortable and in great shape. Testing for mold isn't one of those things.
Get Accurate Results From Professionals
How accurate are home mold testing kits? Unfortunately, they aren't very reliable, often giving false positives and negatives. The results of incorrect responses are almost always expensive. If you believe there may be mold in your home, contact an Austin, TX, professional with experience in mold damage identification.
4 Causes of Crawl Space Flooding in Your Home
If a pipe cracks or bursts in your home, the water will ultimately flow into the lowest space in your house.
A wet crawl space may seem like a minor issue. However, if left untreated, it could lead to mold growth in your Austin, TX, home. A persistent flow of water in the crawl space could also spread to the main part of your house.
That is why you should regularly check this part of your home for signs of excess water. You should also take steps to prevent these common causes of crawl space flooding.
A downspout aimed too close to your home can cause water buildup in your crawl space. Point your downspout away from the foundation of your home and add a splash block to guide the water away from your property.
Over-Watered Flower Beds
You may not think of your flower bed as a potential cause of a wet crawl space. But overwatering of your plants does not only cause them to die. It can also lead to a flood in your home. To prevent this problem, put base layers into your flowerbeds to catch excess water.
Poor Slope Grading
If the landscape outside your home is not sloped properly, water will flow back into the crawl space. The slope should be six to eight inches away from the walls of the foundation. Winter snow and ice can change the sloping, so be sure to check the grading each spring.
Broken Water Lines
If a pipe cracks or bursts in your home, the water will ultimately flow into the lowest space in your house. Keep your eye out for any obvious puddles or wet areas on your property, as these may point you to the location of the ruptured pipe.
If you can't find the leaky pipe or the cause of your wet crawl space, emergency restoration professionals can help. They will not only locate and stop the source of the water, but they can also clean and dry any damaged items or structures.
Austin, TX Document Restoration from Fire and Flood
This is the custom built freeze drying chamber for SERVPRO, housed at our corporate office and in operation year round to take care of your documents!
It is an unfortunate fact that most homeowners and business owners experience fires and floods throughout their lifetime. To give you an idea, in 2017 there were 1,319,500 reported fire losses in the United States alone. As a business owner in Austin, Texas, you have a 1 in 13 chance of having a fire or water loss every year. This is a staggering number, considering 75% of business owners are under-insured and 40% of small business owners have no insurance at all. One very important and very costly item to salvage is photos and documents. In many cases, documents must be maintained by law, and after a fire or flood it can be extremely difficult to take care of. One of the many services that SERVPRO of Pflugerville offers is complete document restoration services. These include:
Some of the many types of documents we work with include:
books and magazines
manuscripts and files
photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
blueprints and maps
Our vacuum freeze-drying process is the only method approved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the General Services Administration (GSA).
If you have any questions about how we might be able to help your business recover from a disaster in Austin, please give us a call at 512-990-4776.
What To Do With Mold Damaged Belongings
When conducting a mold cleaning, there are a few steps you should remember.
After mold damage affects your Austin, TX, home, it may be necessary to perform a mold cleaning for various belongings. There are a few steps that can go into the cleaning process. Here are a few things you should remember to do.
One of the first steps to dealing with items that have been harmed by mold is to sort these items by damage type and extent. Some items may need to be gotten rid of altogether, while others can be salvaged by cleaning. Be careful not to take these items to other areas throughout the home, as doing so may lead to the spreading of further mold.
It’s also important to contact a mold remediation professional for any mold cleaning that may need to be done. A professional will also know the appropriate method for cleaning each type of item, and be able to tell you which items can be saved and which you may need to replace instead. They should also be able to remove any mold from the home itself.
One the items have been sorted and a professional contacted, mold remediation, can begin. The exact method of cleaning used for each item will depend on the materials it’s comprised of, and how much mold damage it has sustained. Non-organic or solid items may be fine with a thorough scrubbing, while others may require soaking in special cleaning solutions. Extensively damaged items may need to be removed from the home entirely
When conducting a mold cleaning, there are a few steps you should remember. Sort your items by material type and the extent of the damage. Don't be afraid to get rid of anything that may have too much mold damage. It's also important to call a remediation professional to handle your cleaning needs as they have the tools and materials necessary to do a thorough job. Once a professional has been contacted the cleaning can begin.
How To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Facility
Mold also appears near roof leaks
How To Prevent Mold Growth in Your Facility
Mold prevention in a large commercial facility can be difficult. That’s because facilities contain some of the key ingredients that mold needs to thrive: darkness, moisture and organic nutrients found in dust and dirt.
Mold is also hard to contain because the spores often grow in places you cannot see. By the time the mold is visible, it may have already caused severe damage to your Pflugerville, TX, property. Common hiding spots for mold include:
- Ceiling tiles
- HVAC systems
- Electrical equipment
- Masonry surfaces
Black mold cleanup can be a complicated process and may force you to temporarily close down your facility. That is why you should take the below steps to stop mold growth in your building.
Install Ultraviolet Lighting System
This mold prevention strategy should reduce the spread of mold within HVAC units. Place the ultraviolet light on the duct side of the coils. The light should then kill most of the microorganisms in the ducts before they are transported into the rest of the building.
Properly Train Maintenance Personnel
Mold often appears near leaks or standing water. You should thus make sure that your maintenance workers check for water damage regularly and clean up the liquid as soon as possible. This will reduce the chances of you needing major mold cleanup in the facility. Employees should also immediately address any cracks or holes that could lead to flooding.
Store and Clean Paper Properly
Paper records should be kept in places where you can properly maintain the temperature. Storing paper in humid areas can lead to a buildup of mold.
Meanwhile, any paper damaged by water should be dried, photocopied and discarded immediately. Paper that has been wet for more than 48 hours may require specialized cleaning.
By following the above mold prevention tips, you can limit the spread of this fungus in your facility. Still, because of the extensive darkness and moisture within the building, some mold damage may be inevitable. If this occurs, mold remediation and cleanup specialists can help limit the destruction.
4 Tips for Creating a Fire Escape Plan for Your Business
Know where all of the exits are
4 Tips for Creating a Fire Escape Plan for Your Business
While the thought of a fire in your Manda, TX, building is certainly not a pleasant one, it is a possibility that you will need to consider. It is important to create a fire escape plan to keep both yourself and your employees safe during an emergency. The following are some steps you should take.
1. Locate All Possible Exits
In order to create the best emergency escape plan for your business, you should know where all of the exits are. For lower levels, this will include windows as well as doors. It may be helpful to keep a map of the building in each room and in the hallways so you can easily locate the nearest exit.
2. Create Multiple Escape Routes
During a fire, you may not be able to safely make it through your preferred escape route. For this reason, you should have multiple paths that you can take. Create at least two for each area in the building.
3. Decide On a Meetup Area
It is unlikely that everyone in the building will be in the same place when a fire occurs. You will need to take different paths outside, and it can be easy to lose track of where everyone is. To make it easier to determine if everyone has made it out safely, you should have a designated meeting spot outside the building.
4. Practice Regularly
Of course, creating the perfect fire escape plan will do no good if you don’t practice it. You should have fire drills at least twice a year to make sure everyone knows how to make it outside from different areas. It will also help everyone remember where to go once they have exited the building.
If there is an emergency where you need to use your fire escape plan and it results in damage to the building, you should contact a fire damage remediation service. These professionals will be able to make repairs and restore the building along with many affected belongings.
What You Should Know About Your Commercial Storm Coverage
Commercial storm damage in Sweden, TX
Standard commercial property insurance policies cover damage from fire, explosion, burst pipes, storms, theft and vandalism, however, many commercial property policies specifically exclude some types of storm damage. Coverages vary by location and policy. A good place to begin the process of ensuring your business has all of the storm insurance coverage you need is to review your policy with an insurance professional in New Sweden,TX. Some topics you may wish to discuss include:
Types of Property Covered
Expensive or specialized business equipment may need to be scheduled separately to be covered by your policy. Typical commercial property policies cover the following types of property:
- Furniture and equipment
- Exterior signs
- Fences and landscaping
- Important documents
- Property belonging to other people that is damaged while in your possession
Hurricanes and Windstorms
Damage from a tornado, straight-line winds or thunderstorm is covered by most standard commercial property insurance policies, however many policies exclude storm damage and storm cleanup costs caused by hurricanes and tropical storms. If your business is in a coastal area, you may want to consider adding a storm insurance policy or rider that specifically covers hurricane and windstorm damage. Some coastal areas have residual markets, called Beach Plans, that exist specifically to provide coverage for property in areas at high risk for hurricane damage that the standard market may decline to cover.
Business Interruption Insurance
Business interruption insurance coverage helps cover the cost of expenses that are ongoing while your business can not operate due to damage from a covered peril. Much like with your property coverage, you may need a separate rider to cover you for business interruptions that result from hurricane damage.
Reviewing your storm insurance policy can help you avoid any surprises in the event your business suffers a loss. It can also help you identify any unique risks you may have and work with your insurance professional to ensure your coverage best meets the needs of your business.