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What You Need To Know About Moisture and Building Materials

11/29/2021 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed on drywall, three air movers placed inside a laundry room. Concept of water damage restoration services Residential water damage in Austin, TX.

Moisture and Building Materials: What You Should Know

When homebuilders in Austin, TX, construct a private residence, they use a variety of building materials. As you likely know, these materials are mostly dry when they leave the production facility. Unfortunately, during and after construction, materials can encounter moisture. While flooding can cause swelling wood, it does not necessarily destroy all types of building materials.

Consider the Type of Building Material
To determine whether excess moisture has destroyed building materials, you must think about the type of building material involved. In virtually all houses, the following types of materials exist somewhere:

  • Wood
  • Carpeting
  • Drywall
  • Tile
  • Metal
  • Glass

As you may suspect, some of these materials resist water damage better than others. When water touches wood, it often swells. Flood remediators usually address swelling wood by removing it altogether. This is often the case with cabinetry, subfloor, and manufactured-wood materials. Still, some real-wood building materials eventually dry out. Likewise, drywall can often be dried. Carpeting tends to dry as well. Thus, if your carpet sustained damage from a leaky supply line or other clean-water sources, you probably don’t have to replace it. Tile, metal, and glass are generally impervious to floodwaters.

Stop the Flood
Before you can think about throwing away or saving building materials, you must identify the source of the leak. In many residences, damaged water pipes are the culprit. By contracting with a skilled plumber in Austin, TX, you can likely achieve a successful water pipe repair.
Simply because you notice swelling wood does not mean you need to haul all the materials in your home to the landfill. Deciding whether your building materials are salvageable may be beyond your expertise. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone. By working with a reputable restoration service, you benefit from industry expertise. You also take advantage of professional-grade equipment and skill to restore your home’s value, condition, and livability.

Flood Recovery: When Is It Safe to Return to Work

11/15/2021 (Permalink)

Office, water on desk, floor and garbage plastic bin, sweater on a chair wet. Concept of storm damage in an office building Commercial storm damage in Pflugerville, TX.

When Is It Safe to Return to Work After a Flood?

After a flood, many employees and business owners want to know when they can get back to work, but that depends on the severity of the damage and whether the flooding was caused by black water. In either case, most restoration specialists from Pflugerville, TX, follow a similar process to ensure your business returns to normal as soon as possible, but most phases are not conducive to safe operations.


1. Cleanup

During a flood cleanup, it is not wise for employees to be present because, depending on the water classification, they may become severely ill. Black or gray water is common after flooding, and it is often contaminated with chemicals and bacteria that present serious health risks to all. It is best that all personnel who are not trained or certified in disaster cleanup stay away from the facility during the initial cleanup phase.

2. Demolition

During the demolition phase, the restoration company you have hired will remove any elements that may have been contaminated by the black water. This phase will likely require the removal of carpets, drywall, insulation, other furniture, and porous items. The facility will not be conducive to regular business operations at this time, and therefore employees and personnel should stay away.

3. Sterilization

The last phase before restoration is sterilization and may be combined with the previous stages. During this phase the entire affected area is scrubbed and disinfected, ensuring a sanitary environment for the restoration efforts. As this phase encompasses the use of strong commercial and chemical cleaners, it is advisable to remain clear of the facility.

4. Restoration

During the restoration phase, the company you hired will be replacing walls, carpets and other essential elements. While it may be challenging to operate depending on the significance of the restoration, you and your employees can return to work during this phase.

As flooding can produce both gray and black water, employees and business owners should allow professionals to handle the cleanup and restoration of the property. During the initial phases of cleanup, demolition and sterilization the business should remain closed, and employees should stay clear, only returning to work when restoration begins.

How To Minimize the Risk of a Dryer Fire

11/2/2021 (Permalink)

Hand cleaning accumulated clothing lint from trap in clothes dryer. You should promptly clean the dryer vent to reduce the risk of a lint fire.

How to Reduce the Chances of a Dryer Fire

A dryer is a useful machine that many homeowners in Manda, TX, own. Although it’s typically an extremely efficient device, this appliance can be a potential fire hazard. To protect your home and minimize the risk of a dryer or lint fire, you should routinely clean your machine.

Diagnosing a Clogged Dryer Vent

A lint trap helps capture and store flammable lint until you can properly dispose of it. Despite this safeguard, the dryer vent may become clogged, increasing the risk of a dryer fire. Symptoms of this problem include the following:

  • Lint accumulation outside the vent opening
  • The presence of a burning smell while the dryer is in use
  • Clothes consistently not drying fully after the initial cycle
  • A dryer that feels hot to the touch

Cleaning the Vent

If you suspect a clog, you should promptly clean the dryer vent to reduce the risk of a lint fire. To begin the process, disconnect your dryer from the power source. Then, detach the hose and remove accumulated lint with a brush or vacuum.

Removing Internal Dryer Lint

Lint can also gather inside your dryer around the drum. This is dangerous because a spark from the motor, electrical heating elements or gas burners can easily ignite internal dryer lint.

To remedy this situation, unplug your dryer. Then, open the top or front of the dryer case, depending on your specific model. Once it’s accessible, you should carefully vacuum under and around the drum, being cautious not to disconnect any wires.

Avoiding Disaster

Fires are often traumatic, unpredictable events that can sometimes erupt suddenly and unexpectedly. Although no home is fully immune from potential fire damage, a lint fire is typically an avoidable disaster. Routinely inspecting your dryer and clearing away accumulated lint is an important, proactive fire prevention measure that can help spare every homeowner the agony of a dryer fire and a potentially lengthy cleanup and restoration project.

What's the Best Way To Get a Quote for Fire Restoration?

10/30/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in New Sweden, TX.

Fire Restoration

When a fire damages your New Sweden, TX, commercial building, you want to figure out how much the repairs are going to cost. This type of estimate relies on a variety of factors, including the following:

  • Who does the repairs
  • How long the fire burned
  • What fueled the fire
  • How long the restoration takes

Even though there are so many elements that affect price, you may be able to get a quote. In order to get a quote, you need to work with the right people.

Work With Your Insurance Provider

Chances are some of the fire damage repairs are going to be covered by your insurance policy. While you should have some idea of what your coverage is, you may not know exactly how much the policy pays for. You can call your insurance provider to find out what parts of the fire cleanup are fully or partially covered. For example, your insurance may help pay for the cleanup, structure repairs, belonging replacement or building restoration.

Working with your insurance provider can not only help you get an estimate, but it can also help you find professionals in your network. Some providers may only want you to work with licensed contractors to do the repairs. Learning about the requirements you have to follow can make filing your claim easier.

Get Professional Help

If you want to know how much you're going to have to pay after a commercial fire, you need to work with a team of fire restoration experts. These professionals will be able to give you a quote because they know how much it costs to repair common fire damages. If you work with a novice or try to make the repairs yourself, you may not follow fire codes, which can cost you more in the long run. Professionals also may be able to get better prices on building materials and get the job done faster.

After a fire, there are a lot of repairs that may need to be made. You may want to get an estimate before committing to a specific fire restoration team.

A Sparkly Clean Machine… Without the Mold

10/24/2021 (Permalink)

woman covering her nose while taking out clothes from washing machine Does your washing machine stink?

Ensure Your Washing Machine Is Mold-Free

Laundry is likely a routine item on your to-do list, and it’s something many of us do without giving it a second thought. Could this mundane task be giving your Cele, TX, home trouble? One hidden part of this chore involves mold growth. Your washing machine could have an intruder lurking — one that is causing that unpleasant odor and those unappealing colorations on your appliance. Follow the steps below to ensure your machine is clean and mold-free.

1. Scrub, Scrub, Scrub

The first step may seem apparent, but it can be easy to forget about the needs of a washing machine once it's done its job. Plus, it may not occur to most of us that a machine that involves soap and a rinse cycle needs regular cleaning. Without maintaining your machine, fungus can develop, and the mold smell has a way of lingering. Pay attention to grime buildup in sneaky spots and clean them right away. Perhaps a regular cleaning routine is all your machine needs to stay mildew-free.

2. Consider Your Detergent

That laundry detergent might have been the best deal at the grocery store, but is it best for your washer? No matter how much dirty laundry has piled up, it is essential that you use the appropriate detergent for your type of machine. For example, front-loaders generally require detergents specifically suited for high-efficiency appliances. The incorrect detergent for your machine may leave a residue that creates an environment where mold can thrive.

3. Keep Things Dry

After you’ve pinpointed what type of detergent is best for your appliance, the main focus should revolve around keeping your washer dry. Avoid letting the drum of your machine stay damp for hours or days on end; instead, remove finished laundry immediately and keep the door open after the completion of a cycle.

Making sure your washing machine stays clean and dry between uses can work wonders when it comes to keeping your clothes smelling fresh. Taking these steps will make it less likely that fungus can grow and thrive and cause a mold smell to develop.

How Can You Mitigate Mold Growth After a Flood?

10/19/2021 (Permalink)

Water gauge pressure, hand shut off main valve, close-up. Shut-off valve before a flood occurs.

How Can You Mitigate Mold Growth After a Flood?

When a home in Pflugerville, TX, sustains any type of water damage, mold often appears soon after. Mold growth tends to spread quickly in homes, and it's often important to act quickly when it comes to mitigating the effects of mold in your home.

1. Stop the Flow of Water

Whether a major pipe burst or a minor leak is causing water damage to your home, it's often important to quickly stop the flow of water. Even small amounts of water can contribute to the spread of mold spores in your home. Since you may have to act quickly if water is pouring into your home, it can be useful to know the location of your home's water shut-off valve before a flood occurs.

2. Limit Airflow in Your Home

After your home has flooded, you likely will want to dry out your home as quickly as possible. Though it can be useful to keep your home dry after a flood, the way you do this is often important. Turning on the heat or air conditioning increases the airflow in your home, which makes it easier for mold spores to spread. Instead, consider opening windows rather than using air conditioning to help minimize the spread of mold growth in your home.

3. Contact a Mitigation and Restoration Company in a Timely Manner

Standing water in your home can act as a breeding ground for bacteria and creates the perfect environment for mold to spread. Though you may want to use DIY methods of mitigation or restoration, it's generally best to contact a mold damage mitigation and restoration company. Professionals with experience in mitigation and restoration can safely and quickly help to limit the effects of mold can help to prevent additional damage to your belongings and to the structure of your home, and can also assist in restoration efforts.

Mold growth is a major concern for homeowners, and preventing further mold damage is often important. You can help to mitigate the damage by stopping the flow of water, reducing the airflow in your home and quickly contacting a mitigation and restoration company.

Baby, It’s Cold outside: Monitoring Your Building for Frozen Pipes

9/27/2021 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO truck and van parked. If frozen pipes are left unchecked, they can lead to burst pipes in your building which can cause extensive water damage.

The winter months in Austin, TX, are hard on business owners, but more importantly, they are hard on your building. Your pipes are the most vulnerable to colder weather. If not adequately insulated, the water inside your pipes can freeze, leading to broken pipes and water damage. Since a costly water cleanup is most likely not on the list of any business owner, it is essential to know what to look out for in case of freezing.

1. No Water

If there is no water coming out your faucets, or the water is a slow trickle, your pipes may be frozen. When water freezes, it creates blockages of ice, which do not allow the free flow of water and which can cause excess pressure on the pipe, leading to a potential burst.

2. Odors

While it may seem strange, if strange smells or odors are permeating from your faucets or drains, it can mean that there is an ice blockage. When water freezes in waste pipes, it does not allow odors to escape or ventilate the way that they are expected to, and this leads to the strange smells coming from areas that they are supposed to.

3. Frost

You should check your mechanical closets and look for the presence of frost because this can be a reliable indicator that there is ice build up in your pipes, and if this is left unchecked your pipes can burst which will require a timely cleanup to prevent further water damage.

4. Temperature

The most reliable indicator of frozen pipes is any one of the above in combination with temperatures below 32°F, as water does not freeze above this.

If frozen pipes are left unchecked, they can lead to burst pipes in your building which can cause extensive water damage. It is better to keep an eye out for the signs and to act quickly in the event of a freeze.

Four Fundamentals of Home Mold Infestations

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. The fundamentals of mold offer understanding usable to stop spreading mold.

Mold is unsightly when in your home in Austin, TX. Not only is it terrible to look at, it could be eating away at materials in your building’s structure. Being knowledgeable about this menace allows you to act to stop it from spreading. Here are four essential fundamentals about spreading mold.

1. Mold Is Resilient and Will Try to Thrive

Mold species, such as black mold, have a lifecycle of consumption and reproduction with a preference for damp and dark areas. There are multiple dark places in every residence, and water damage or flooding can make these locaitons ideal for a fungus.

Even if wet areas eventually dry, mold can go dormant if unremoved. Once it finds the necessary components that sustain it, it begins its spreading rampage around your home once again.

2. Mold Can Hide Well and Continually Spread

One patch can be treated, but the spores may all originate from an unseen location. Hidden mold can centralize the spread and deploy airborne spores to resettle where mold was once treated. This spreading mold may seem undefeatable as you repeatedly clean it up, but the actual problem is somewhere else in your house and requires mold remediation.

3. DIY Treatments Often Don’t Help Major Mold Problems

Do-it-yourself treatments for mold often are not effective unless done early in the mold’s life. Bleach, a typically cited treatment, adds water to the mold and can make the problem worse. Household cleaners cannot penetrate deep enough into porous materials to fully treat the mold. Worst of all, the source may be accompanied by previously unnoticed water damage.

4. Professional Mold Treatments Attack the Source of the Problem

With the tools to locate every mold growth in your home, a mold damage cleanup service can remove the mold and anything that keeps it thriving and reproducing. Any building structure or piece of furniture damaged by mold is cleaned or replaced to ultimately stop the mold from finding a foothold again.

The fundamentals of mold offer understanding usable to stop spreading mold. Your residence can be protected from mold’s threat of devaluation and damage.

In Praise of Action: Why Timely Mitigation Is Important

9/20/2021 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in front of Disaster Recovery Team truck! Just because you call the insurance company first doesn't mean you have to wait for them.

Storms can cause a great amount of damage to your home, not only on the outside but on the inside as well. When floodwaters seep in, you may end up with a lot of flood damage. If you have flood insurance, one of your first calls should be to your insurance company, but that doesn't mean you have to wait for your adjuster to arrive to start the cleanup process. On the contrary, doing so may cause more damage and hurt your chances of having your claim accepted.

Secondary Damage

Your home in Austin, TX, wasn't built to hold water. The longer you delay in cleaning up after a storm, the more damage it will continue to do. Unresolved flooding can lead to more problems:

• Further permeation of walls, floors and ceilings
• Damage to electronics
• Breakdown of varnish on furniture
• Contamination of textiles

One of the biggest problems that may not be covered by your flood insurance is mold damage. A mold problem is often preventable when you enlist mitigation services in a timely manner. It doesn't take long for mold to grow, and if you let the dampness lead to fungal infestation, your insurance adjuster is likely to see it as neglect and thus won't count it as a damage your policy covers.

Claim Preparation

The adjuster may be too busy to arrive within a few days of flooding. It is important, therefore, to document damage. Take pictures and video of the areas that need restoration. Make a list of everything that needs to be repaired or replaced and put the approximate cost of doing so beside each item. The adjuster will still walk through your home to assess the damage, but if you have pictures of what it looked like in the beginning, you don't have to wait to start cleaning up.

Just because you call the insurance company first doesn't mean you have to wait for them. Limit secondary damage and get your home restored more quickly by starting the mitigation process as soon as possible.

3 Types of Damage Covered by Commercial Insurance

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Broken and burnt windows. Businesses should anticipate all types of dangers that can significantly disrupt their operations.

3 Types of Damage Covered by Commercial Insurance

Commercial buildings in New Sweden, TX, are potentially exposed to a variety of risks and dangers that threaten them and the property inside them. This is why business owners often obtain a commercial insurance plan that covers these hazards. Each business has different risks than others, so insurance providers offer several coverage additions for potential incidents.

1. Theft and Vandalism
Business owners are always at risk of theft that can target their physical property or stored funds. Additionally, the building and the equipment or property inside can also be vandalized by malicious parties. Crimes like these can be difficult to predict and recover from, so insurance coverage is recommended to make up for the losses. Note that in some cases, similar crimes like burglary and robbery are not included under a specific plan, so owners and insurance agents need to establish distinctions.

2. Fires and Related Damage
Another potential incident that can severely impact any business is fire. When a fire strikes the building or the equipment, the owner can file a commercial insurance claim to cover the profit loss. When dealing with the aftermath, the insurance provider and the client work together with fire damage remediation specialists to assess the loss and repair or replace the damaged property. There are exceptions, such as damage to nearby buildings and injury to third parties.

3. Natural Disasters
An existing insurance policy can also cover several natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes, as long the corresponding additions are made. These natural events can devastate any business. While they can be unpredictable, owners who live in risk areas for these disasters can take preventative measures in addition to obtaining insurance coverage. As with fire incidents, insurance agents and business operators collaborate with repair professionals to fix any damage.

Businesses should anticipate all types of dangers that can significantly disrupt their operations. Commercial insurance and additional policies can help these establishments get repairs and recover financially.