If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (512) 990-4776

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

4 Tips for Creating a Fire Escape Plan for Your Business

7/10/2023 (Permalink)

EXIT sign 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.

3 Types of Smoke Odor Removal

6/26/2023 (Permalink)

Deodorizing a space in a home that had been affected by smoke Deodorizing in Austin, TX

Smoke Odor Removal

After a fire, home deodorization can be an important step toward getting your Austin, TX, home back in order. Fortunately, a local fire damage restoration service can help with this process. Here are some tools you may see them use.

1. Special Cleaners

During the restoration process, the affected area can be washed with special cleaning solutions. These are designed to help break down and remove soot, as well as help remove odors. The methods used to apply these cleaners will depend on the type of material being cleaned. Curtains and other cloth items can be washed while furniture may need upholstery cleaning. Large solid furniture and walls may be wiped down.

2. Ozone Machine

Even after everything has been cleaned, odor may still linger in the air. The next step of home deodorization is the use of an ozone machine. An ozone machine works by charging oxygen molecules so they temporarily break apart and then recombine with new oxygen molecules to form a triple pairing instead of a double. The new third molecule can then combine with the odor molecule and disperse, leaving the air smelling fresher than before.

3. Deodorizing Paint

Another way to help get rid of fire or cigarette smoke odor is to use a deodorizing paint. After the damages are cleaned up and any necessary repairs are made, the restoration team will begin making your home look as though the fire never occurred. Part of this may include repainting the space, and a deodorizing paint can help prevent the return of any unwelcome odors.

With the help of the right cleaners, an ozone machine, and a good paint, the restoration team working on your home deodorization can restore it to pre-fire conditions. With a little time and work they can have your home looking “Like it never even happened.” Not even a lingering odor should remain. If you have any further questions these professionals can help.

How to Clean Your Electronics After a Fire

6/23/2023 (Permalink)

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 New Sweden, 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.

Preventing House Fires: Essential Tips for a Safe Home

6/22/2023 (Permalink)

Inside a burned home Preventing Your Home from Resembling This.

house fire can be a devastating event, causing immense damage and putting lives at risk. However, by taking proactive measures and implementing fire prevention strategies, you can significantly reduce the chances of a fire breaking out in your home. Here are some essential tips and guidelines to help you create a safe living environment and protect your loved ones from the threat of house fires.

  1. Install and Maintain Smoke Alarms: Smoke alarms are your first line of defense against a fire. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Regularly test the alarms to ensure they are functioning correctly and replace batteries at least once a year.
  2. Develop a Fire Escape Plan: Prepare and practice a fire escape plan with all members of your household. Identify primary and alternative escape routes from each room, and establish a designated meeting point outside. Educate everyone on how to react in case of a fire and emphasize the importance of staying low to avoid smoke inhalation.
  3. Exercise Caution in the Kitchen: Kitchen fires are a common cause of house fires. Never leave cooking unattended, and keep flammable objects, such as towels or curtains, away from the stove. Regularly clean grease buildup from cooking surfaces and ensure that all appliances are in good working condition.
  4. Practice Electrical Safety: Faulty electrical systems and appliances can trigger fires. Have a professional inspect your electrical system periodically, especially in older homes. Avoid overloading outlets and extension cords, and replace damaged cords or appliances immediately. Unplug devices when not in use and refrain from running wires under rugs or furniture.
  5. Be Mindful of Heating Sources: Heating equipment, such as space heaters and fireplaces, should be used with caution. Keep flammable materials at a safe distance from heat sources and never leave them unattended. Have chimneys and flues cleaned and inspected regularly, and ensure that space heaters are placed on a non-flammable surface.
  6. Store Flammable Materials Properly: Flammable substances, such as gasoline, paint thinners, or cleaning agents, should be stored in well-ventilated areas away from heat sources. Use approved containers and keep them tightly sealed. Avoid hoarding excessive amounts of flammable materials.
  7. Maintain Dryer Safety: Lint buildup in dryer vents can lead to a fire hazard. Clean the lint trap after every load and periodically inspect and clean the dryer vent system. Ensure proper venting to the outside and avoid using dryers when you are away from home or sleeping.
  8. Install Fire Extinguishers: Place fire extinguishers in key locations, such as the kitchen and garage, and learn how to use them effectively. Choose the appropriate type of extinguisher for different fire classes and have them inspected and maintained regularly.

Preventing a house fire in Pflugerville, Texas requires a proactive approach and adherence to fire safety practices. By implementing the essential tips outlined in this blog, you can significantly reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in your home and protect your family and property. Remember, fire prevention is an ongoing commitment, so regularly review and update your fire safety measures to ensure a safe living environment for years to come.

Cleaning Your Home After Water Damage

4/24/2023 (Permalink)

Flooded House If you suspect contaminated water is involved, such as in a sewer backup, contact a company that is Here to Help.

Many scenarios exist for homeowners where water leaks or floods into a residence. Some of these can be tackled in a DIY fashion, while others require the services of an expert storm remediation company. Recognizing the severity of a situation can save time and money and protect the health of you and your family members. The instances that lend themselves to DIY solutions are limited to a water source that is clean and potable, and to a problem that is small in scope. A sewer backup, on the other hand, involves a potentially dangerous water source and should be handled by technicians who wear PPE and are trained in techniques to take care of dirty water.

Big Jobs Demand Expertise
If your home, is affected by a water problem, it sometimes makes more sense to call in a local team. Technicians can arrive at your home in a matter of hours and begin to assess the property. The following situations are best handled by experienced personnel:

  • Sewer backup
  • Broken sewer pipe
  • Flooding
  • Complicated job
  • Toilet overflow
  • Septic system malfunction

Contaminated water is present in most plumbing issues. Flood waters that enter a home might contain harmful chemicals, sewage, and animal waste. A bathtub backup is another example of dirty water escaping where it does not belong. An experienced technician will understand the techniques and equipment necessary to treat the problem.

Small Jobs Allow DIY
A small leak of clean water can be handled without calling in reinforcements. This includes situations such as the leak of drinking water or a water spill onto carpeting. The best plan is to stop the source of the leak and then to dry out any items with fans or increased ventilation. It's important to completely dry out surfaces to prevent mold from taking hold in the near future. 

Understanding Smoke Damage

2/8/2023 (Permalink)

smoke damage home Smoke damaged home after a fire loss.

Smoke damage is not something you want to deal with. Your home can be in danger of serious smoke and water damage after a fire. It is important to do everything you can to handle the situation correctly.

Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action. We have years of experience working on all types of structures from residential homes, apartments, office buildings and more! There are many different types of smoke and each requires different techniques for cleaning up.

Smoke and Soot

Smoke damage can be hard to detect because it can penetrate into the smallest of cracks and crevices. It is important to know that the damage smoke causes is not limited to what you can see. The structure of your home may have been compromised by the fire, and this could result in structural damage as well as an increased risk for mold growth. This means that even if there is no visible evidence of soot or ash problems, it’s still possible that invisible damage has occurred within your walls or ceilings.

Smoke also tends to collect on surfaces like ceiling tiles, wall coverings and furniture fabrics which means that even if all visible signs have been removed from a room there may still be significant amounts of residue left over on these surfaces which will need cleaning before you move back in.

Experience and Expertise

If you are in need of cleaning services after a fire or smoke intrusion, turn to the experts at SERVPRO of Pflugerville. Our technicians have experience and expertise for your post-fire restoration services. They have been specially trained to assess and properly clean your property following a loss. We understand that every situation is unique, we are here to help 24/7.

We will work closely with you throughout the entire process to ensure our team understands exactly how much time and resources are needed for each step of the process. From initial inspection and evaluation through completion of all necessary repairs, we will provide exceptional customer service while balancing budgets and schedules to meet your unique needs.

We provide several services related to post-fire and water damage.

What causes Smoke Damage?

Smoke damage is often caused by a fire, but it can also be the result of a malfunctioning appliance or even a candle. It's important to understand the causes and effects of smoke in your home so that you can take the appropriate precautions to remove it from your home and prevent further damage.

Different Types of Smoke

When you see smoke, you know that something bad is going on. Smoke from fires contains a number of different chemicals and can cause serious health problems if inhaled in large quantities. Smoke from the fire can contain carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen dioxide among other chemicals that are harmful to humans.

The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process. Smoke from a fire can be classified as white, black or brown. White smoke is caused by burning gases, such as the burning of plastic or rubber. Black smoke is caused by burning carbon-based materials, such as wood or paper. Brown smoke comes from materials containing soot.

If you have questions about smoke, give the professionals at SERVPRO of Pflugerville a call today! If you believe that smoke or soot damage has affected your property, contact us to schedule an inspection and begin the process of restoration.

How To Tell If Your Roof Has Storm Damage

12/12/2022 (Permalink)

The insurance adjustment device marked hail damage on an insured roof. Hail damage to roof

Signs of Storm Damage

Storms can have devastating effects on your home, especially if you don't take precautions. When you hear about storms on the news and see the damage they've caused, it's easy to forget that you live in an area where these things are possible. However, if your roof has been damaged by a storm or flood, it's important that you know how to tell—and then fix—the problem as soon as possible. Here are some signs of storm damage:

Storms can do a lot of damage to your home, including your roof. 

The most common cause of storm-related damage is hail, which is small chunks of ice that fall from thunderstorms and can pierce cars and roofs. Hail often goes unnoticed until it melts, leaving behind dents in the roof that need repair work by an experienced contractor.

Other types of storm damage include wind, lightning and flooding - all of which can affect your home's exterior as well as its interior insulation.

Hail damage

Depending on how large the hail is, it can cause dents and cracks in your roof. This means that water can leak into your home through these holes. Hail also causes rapid deterioration of shingles, which will lead to leaks that could cost you thousands of dollars over time.

Hail damage to your roof can be detrimental to more than just the look of your house; it could also cause mold growth inside your walls or ceiling as well as rot if left untreated for too long! If not addressed promptly by a professional contractor, hail damage has been known to lead to other issues such as pooling water near chimneys or vents where rainwater is likely to collect during storms -- thus increasing the likelihood of ice dams forming on roofs during winter months when temperatures drop below freezing.

Wind damage

You can tell if a roof has been damaged by storm damage if you see the following signs:

  • Loose shingles and tiles. If you see any of these, it's time to call a roofing contractor.
  • Dents in the surface of your roof. This is also an indication that you need to hire a professional.
  • Missing or torn shingles and tiles, which may be caused by flying debris during a storm or high winds.

Lightning strikes

If your roof is hit by lightning, you may have to deal with a fire. This could happen even if the lightning strike itself doesn't burn through the roof (though this is possible). If the electricity travels through or into your house and causes an electrical fire, your entire home will be damaged significantly as well.

Lightning strikes can cause leaks in your roofing materials and damage them beyond repair. The water damage from these leaks can lead to mold growth inside of your home, which can cause significant property damage.

Storms can do a lot of damage to your home, including your roof. It's important to take notice of this and make sure you have the right repairs done. Routine maintenance is the best way to avoid roof damage. If your home or business as suffered from any damage, don’t hesitate and give our SERVPRO of Pflugerville team a call today!

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.

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.

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

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.

How Secondary Damage Can Make Commercial Flooding Worse

3/10/2022 (Permalink)

Black mold growth in a white wall. Water can lead to mold growth if not treated immediately

How Secondary Damage Occurs?

If your business floods, your first concern may be the rising water itself. While this is certainly a problem, it’s also important to avoid secondary damage. The increased levels of humidity in the room can cause black mold to spread. Here are a few ways you can avoid this problem after a flood in Austin, TX:

  • Call a restoration company immediately
  • Thoroughly clean all damaged items
  • Keep an eye out for signs of mold for a few weeks after restoration

It’s essential for business owners to follow each of these steps to stop the damage. Furthermore, understanding how secondary damage occurs can help you avoid it.

Plenty of Humidity

Even a few inches of water can significantly increase the humidity levels in a room. This high humidity means that there is a lot of water in the air. That moisture in the air then sticks to the walls, surfaces, and furniture in the area.

Moisture Leads to Mold

When the water in the air lands on particular surfaces, it can begin to grow black mold. Unfortunately, that means that the mold grows in places where you may not expect it.

How does moisture make mold? Mold spores are all around us. However, without the necessary water levels, they don’t grow into anything dangerous. Once humidity rises in your business, those previously harmless mold spores become a problem.

The Clock is Ticking

The very second water spills into your business, you’re on a timer to prevent mold and other problems. In most cases, you have only 24 to 48 hours until the mold is visible. This is one of the reasons it is important to call a restoration company immediately.

Black mold and other secondary damage can make flooding in your business worse than it already would have been. Be sure to contact a restoration company in Austin, TX as soon as you see signs of flooding and avoid this problem altogether.

What Is an Electronic Claims Service?

3/5/2022 (Permalink)

Tablet and cel phone. Electronic claims service.

What Is an Electronic Claims Service?

A service for storing and accessing claims electronically makes it easier to access data related to an insurance claim in progress. The following features of the SERVPRO Claims Information Center facilitate communication between mitigation and restoration professionals and insurers.

A Portal to Claim Information

An insurance agent can log onto a claim service to view an estimate for damage cleanup and restoration. This information will be based on an on-site visit to a residence and should account for several factors:

  • Type of damage
  • Extent of damage
  • Cleaning and restoration methods

All of this information is important for an agent processing an insurance claim. Other types of useful information are also available through this service.

A Resource for Comparing Claims

Agents may also find it useful to be able to compare the amount of a claim to other claims in a region or nationwide. The Claims Information Center also makes it easy for insurers to access other collected data:

  • Causes of loss
  • Claim types
  • Job costs
  • Response times

It may also be possible to compare these types of data and other metrics for franchises and companies. All of this information can help an agent or adjuster determine whether an estimate is accurate and reasonable.

A Communication Tool

One of the best features of an electronic claims service is that it can reduce communication-related delays. Rather than having to schedule calls, mitigation and restoration franchises can simply upload estimate information and more data on the progress of a job for an agent or adjuster to review on his or her own schedule.

These features make the Claims Information Center and other electronic claims services a useful resource for insurers and restoration vendors. Shortly after SERVPRO experts assess the extent of damage at residence in Pflugerville, TX, an estimate will be posted on this service to expedite the processing of an insurance claim.

How To Remove Smoke Odor From Your Home After a Fire

2/21/2022 (Permalink)

Thermal fogger, smoke odor removal A thermal fogger can help to remove smoke odor from your home.

Smoke Odor Removal

If you have had a fire in your Manda, TX home, then it is likely you will have some smoke damage along with the fire damage. Because the smell of smoke can linger in your home long after a fire, you should hire a fire remediation company to help remove any odors. Here are some things that can help get rid of the smell.

1. Cleaning Your Belongings

An important step in smoke cleaning is to wash any smaller items that might be holding odor. This can include clothing or soft objects such as stuffed animals. You can have these items professionally cleaned and restored to their pre-fire condition.

2. Using Air Filtration Systems

While smoke particles can enter your belongings and make them smell, they can also linger in the air. Using an air filtration system for smoke cleaning can remove these particles and make the air in your home fresh again. These systems pull air through filters that catch impurities, including smoke particles, removing the odor from the air.

3. Using Thermal Foggers

Because smoke particles are small and can embed themselves into your home, a filtration system likely won’t be enough to completely remove the smoke odor. In this case, a thermal fogger can help. It uses a deodorizing treatment to counteract the scent of the smoke. Small particles of the treatment are created using heat and pressure which allows it to enter the same spaces as the smoke particles to effectively remove the odor.

4. Using Ozone Machines

Another piece of equipment used in smoke cleaning is the ozone machine. As its name suggests, this machine produces ozone to remove smoke odor. Ozone has three oxygen molecules, one of which can detach and alter the composition of other substances, allowing it to neutralize the smoke particles in your home.
While smoke damage can be a frustrating problem, a professional fire damage repair specialist will have the necessary equipment to remove the odor from your home.

Why You Need an Immediate Response to Water Damage

2/18/2022 (Permalink)

Wet wooden floor, dehumidifier placed on floor Water-damaged flooring in New Sweden, TX.

Why Do You Need to Respond to Water Damage Right Away?

When flooding and other water disasters affect your New Sweden, TX, home and family, you don't want to wait several hours for regular business hours. You need solutions immediately. SERVPRO water damage mitigation professionals offer 24-hour emergency response services. This means that if a pipe bursts on a holiday, technicians are available to respond. If heavy storm damages leave your home exposed to flooding, a fast response could prevent further harm.

You Can't Wait a Single Day

The first hours after your home is affected by water damage, many things begin to happen.

  • Furniture swells and breaks down.
  • Metal items tarnish and rust.
  • Fabric and paper items become stained.
  • Mold or mildew takes hold.
  • Drywall weakens and swells.

An immediate response puts the progression of damage on hold while a corrective course of action is put into place.

It's Expensive To Delay

Many situations requiring cleaning and restoration must be addressed immediately. This is because water damage takes place within minutes. Within a short 60-second period, walls, floors, and upholstery absorb water. Finishes on tables and chairs begin to bleed. Cherished photographs start to warp and discolor. If you have to wait more than a 24-hour period for professionals to arrive, the damage becomes much harder to address.

If you have to wait just two days for services, mold may begin to spread. Important framing may warp. Metal fixtures begin to corrode. Paint blisters and wood flooring swells. As damage increases, the efforts and cost of restoring your home increase rapidly. In some cases, the structural safety of your home could be affected.

What a Quick Response Looks Like

SERVPRO franchises in New Sweden, TX, are always open, so technicians are ready to respond within a single hour. Before four hours pass, professionals will be at your home. Within eight hours, a plan of action will be in place, and you will be well on your way to getting back on track. A fast response to flooding is crucial; take advantage of 24-hour availability for the protection of your home.

Cleaning Up Your Home After Water Damage

2/9/2022 (Permalink)

air movers placed on bathroom and bedroom, floor has been removed. Concept of water damage Drying bedroom from water damage.

Water Restoration Process

While water is healthy to drink and useful for cleaning and bathing, it can cause devastating damage if you have to deal with broken pipes. Not only may you lose valuable and sentimental personal belongings before you begin water cleanup, but water damage can also render appliances useless, cause mold to grow and ruin sheetrock and insulation. The restoration process can be long and difficult, but following the five steps listed below can help make the process easier.

1. Remove remaining water. The longer standing water stays in your home, the more damage it can cause. It is important to remove any water as quickly as possible to allow the building to completely dry. Depending on how much water remains in your home, you can use any one of the following items to remove it:

  • Sump pump
  • Trash pump
  • Wet vac
  • Buckets
  • Towels

2. Assess the damage. Once the water has been removed, you can see the extent of the damage. You may have to tear out carpet to remove mold, rip out sheetrock and replace it, and scrub multiple surfaces and materials to get rid of bacteria.

3. Remove mold and damaged materials. If water damage has caused mold to grow, it is important to remove the fungus as soon as possible. Evaporating moisture and treating the area with antifungal spray may help rid your home of mold.

4. Clean non-porous items. After removing any traces of mold, you can begin the final, most time-consuming stages of cleanup. Any items that do not absorb water, such as furniture, counters, toys, or storage containers, that came in contact with the water need to be scrubbed thoroughly with warm water and disinfectant to remove potentially-harmful germs.

5. Clean porous items. Items that may have absorbed water should be cleaned thoroughly to keep them from mildewing. Porous items may include anything from the following list:

  • Curtains
  • Stuffed animals
  • Clothes
  • Bedding

Dealing with water damage in Cele, TX  can be overwhelming, but following these five steps can make water cleanup easier. Broken pipes may be your worst nightmare, but the damage can be repaired with the right tools.

How To Effectively Control Mold Damage Until Help Arrives

1/29/2022 (Permalink)

Drywall removal due to broken pipe causing water damage and mold growth Mold cleanup in an Austin, TX home.

Protect Your Home From Mold Damage

If you come across black mold in your Austin, TX, home, the best first step is not to panic. While it’s important that you contact experienced mold remediation specialists to inspect and restore your home properly, there are certain actions you can take to help impede any mold growth or prevent a moisture problem from spreading. Here are three ways you can help protect your home from greater mold damage even before help arrives, creating a plan of attack to keep your mind occupied and focused on the task at hand.

1. Shut off the water supply system in your home. Before anything else happens, it’s important to shut off what could be the main culprit in creating water damage, which thereby feeds the mold. Turn off your main water supply for the time being so any leaks can be stopped in their tracks, or high-moisture areas can begin to dry out on their own.

2. Turn off your home’s HVAC system. Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with black mold, it’s not only the visible growth you need to address. Mold spores can easily travel through the air without being seen directly through your HVAC system, so shutting off any airflow halts the distance that these spores can travel, helping to secure the affected areas.

3. Stay away from any moldy surfaces so you don’t disrupt them. Coming into contact with mold can be dangerous on its own, but even attempting to move any moldy materials can allow for dusty spores to spread a greater distance. For your safety and to keep the contamination from spreading, simply close off the doors and windows in the affected rooms and wait for the professionals to arrive.

Although panicking is a common reaction to the sight of black mold, gaining control of yourself by focusing on how to proceed is the best course of action for your Austin, TX, home. Mold cleanup and water damage restoration can be properly handled by highly-qualified technicians, and should therefore be left for them to manage in a safe and appropriate manner.

How to Handle Both Water and Fire Damage

1/24/2022 (Permalink)

Walls and ceilings with smoke damage, wet floor. Concept of water and fire damage Water and fire damage in Pflugerville, TX.

How to Deal with Fire and Water Damage

A commercial fire in Pflugerville, TX  presents more than a few problems for a business owner. Many can feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. After the fire has been extinguished by the fire department, for example, business owners may find that they now have to deal with water damage on top of the fire and smoke damage. Though your business insurance policy is referred to as fire insurance, it will usually cover any water damage to the premises as well. Thankfully, there are restoration professionals who are trained to handle both types of damage, even simultaneously. Here’s what to expect from these companies when treating your building for water and fire damage.


Restoration professionals will use state-of-the-art equipment to assess the severity of water and fire damage on the premises, including all surfaces, belongings and assets. This will include identifying areas that have been damaged by water and those that have been damaged by fire, smoke or soot.

Boarding and Tarping

If windows or ceilings have been destroyed, fire restoration professionals will cover them with boards and tarps. This will prevent any further damage, especially from water, to the affected area. This also creates a more secure environment for the restoration professionals to work in.

Removing Water, Soot and Smoke

A fire hose uses a lot of water in a short amount of time. This inevitably causes water damage on the surfaces on which it is used. Once the environment is secure and the property inspected, restoration professionals will remove any moisture before addressing soot and smoke damage. This is because soot can often mix with the water, and treating areas for soot that haven’t been treated for water is nearly impossible. Once the water has been dealt with, workers will get started on removing all soot and smoke damage.

The remainder of the fire restoration process will be devoted to cleaning, sanitizing, and restoring the affected areas to their pre-fire condition. Once that’s completed, a well-done restoration job will mean your building will look as good as new.

How To File a Flood Damage Claim After the Disaster

1/11/2022 (Permalink)

Flooring damaged by a storm. Floor has been removed due to storm damage Storm damaged flooring in Manda, TX.

How to Make a Flood Damage Claim Following a Natural Disaster

If your home in Manda, TX, was flooded by a natural cause or disaster, it’s time to file a flood claim. This can help you get the funding you need to recover from the damage. However, filing an insurance claim can be confusing. Here are three things you can do to successfully make a claim.

1. Start the Process

The first thing you can do is notify your insurance agency of the flood. Do this as quickly as possible so that an adjuster can contact you within the next few days. You can discuss what action to take and what you should be doing on your end while you wait. Be sure to have the name of your insurance, the policy number, and your phone number ready.

2. Document Everything

Next, photograph the damage. It’s important to document everything that was damaged during the flood so that you have evidence of what losses you suffered. Take pictures and videos of your entire home. You can also make a list of damaged or lost items and use that in your flood claim. Don’t forget to place damaged items outside to prevent mold growth within the house.

3. Back Up Your Claim With a Proof of Loss

With the help of your adjuster, you can create a Proof of Loss to prove that you are claiming the correct amount of money. This contains specific details concerning the damage from the flood and must be filed within 60 days of the disaster. Once you and your insurance company agree on the amount, the claim payment should come.

Insurance can be beneficial when dealing with the water restoration process, and filing a flood claim doesn’t have to be complicated. By carefully and concisely compiling evidence and keeping in touch with your insurance company, you can file the claim and receive payment. Keep in contact with your insurance company to find out how you can best receive the help you need.

A Water Hammer Can Cause a Pipe Break in Your Home

12/29/2021 (Permalink)

water leaking from a hose hole A water hammer is more than just noisy.

A Water Hammer Can Cause a Pipe Break in Your Home

Imagine that you open the cold-water faucet in your kitchen sink and let the water run. The water is moving quickly from the pipes in the street to the open kitchen faucet. That moving water has a lot of momentum. Next, imagine quickly shutting off that faucet. The moving water comes to a complete stop and hits the closed faucet with the force of a hammer. That is a water hammer.
A water hammer is more than just noisy. It beats away at your plumbing day after day, shaking your pipes and looking for a weak spot. In time, it will find that weak spot and cause a pipe to burst. There are several things you can do to deal with your water hammer and minimize the chances of a pipe break.

1. Call the water department. If you think that your water pressure is dangerously high, complain. Perhaps they have some way to lower the water pressure entering your home. After all, you can’t be the only one in New Sweden, TX with this problem.

2. Secure all the pipes in your home. The sound made by a water hammer is the vibration of your plumbing. That sound may not seem like much, but the motion behind it can loosen plumbing joints over a long period. The loose pipes may require tightening pipe hangers, installing new ones and placing shims.

3. Solve the water hammer problem with plumbing modifications. Water hammer arrestors can reduce the water hammer effect. Pressure reduction devices can lower the water pressure in your home. Install these, and you may never know what it is like to fix a broken pipe.

Be Prepared for the Day a Pipe Break Occurs
If a pipe breaks in your home, there is no telling when or where it will happen. All you can do is be prepared. Just know that there are qualified water damage experts ready to help. They are just a phone call away.

Water Damage During Construction

12/23/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial building, is empty but there is standing water in it Commercial water damage cleanup in Manda, TX.

Reduce The Risk of Dealing With Destruction

Is a construction project in your Manda, TX, business’s future? You may want to take action to reduce the risk of water damage. If your building sustains such loss, it can lead to expensive consequences like water pipe repair. Effects such as delayed construction or reputation damage can also negatively impact your business. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help prevent your business from becoming water damaged during construction. Here are three steps you can take to reduce the risk of dealing with destruction.

1. Evaluate Building Materials

Are the materials that your builders are using high-quality? If they are being stored inside during construction, are they properly tarped or covered in plastic? If the wrong materials are being used, there is a greater risk of a mishap occurring.

2. Conduct Regular Quality Checks

Make sure that your building’s waterproofing and plumbing systems are functional throughout the building process. If you find an issue during construction, correct it as soon as possible. For example, if you find a broken pipe, create an emergency plan for water pipe repair.

3. Be Your Own Advocate

If a builder refuses to address a waterproofing or plumbing issue, refuse to pay for the work. You need to know that you can rely on your commercial property to withstand regular water usage without a disaster occurring.

What If Water Damage Already Happened?

If a plumbing issue fell through the cracks during construction and you are now left with a broken pipe or a flooded building, it is time to call in the help of trusted professionals. A water damage restoration company can usually help clean up any damage that is present, and a trained technician can help with water pipe repair. Moisture damage is not fun to deal with, but following the steps above and having a remediation plan in place can help you protect your business and its future.

How the Experts Use Ozone To Get Rid Of Cigarette Odors

12/13/2021 (Permalink)

Air scrubber inside an empty room Home deodorization in Cele, TX.

Smoke Odor Removal

When people use cigarettes in your home in Cele, TX, the smell gets everywhere. All the surfaces take on the telltale cigarette odor. Even if the surfaces are disinfected thoroughly, you will likely still smell smoke when you walk in the room because it seeps into crevices. Fortunately, in a few steps, smoke remediation experts have home deodorization methods such as ozone machines that extract the molecules out of even the tiniest of cracks to rid your home of the stench for good.

1. Close Off the Area

Before the ozone machine can be effective, it is important to establish the area where it will be used. To isolate the room, technicians close off vents and may use plastic sheets to block airflow. This allows the ozone to be concentrated in the space that needs it most.

2. Place Machine in Area

For home deodorization to occur, the ozone machine must be placed in the area and turned on. The machine produces ozone and releases it into the room. As the ozone spreads, it attacks cigarette smoke and neutralizes the odor. Ozone can enter any area that smoke can, so this method allows technicians to completely permeate all the spaces the smoke goes into. After the ozone has done its job, it reverts back to oxygen.

3. Leave Machine On

The amount of time it takes to get rid of the odor depends on how densely concentrated the smoke damage is. It can take a couple of hours, or it can take two or three days. Once all the smell is gone, the machine can be turned off and taken out of the area. Because ozone destroys the molecules that cause the odor, it won’t return.

It may seem like you will never get the smell of cigarette smoke out of your home, but an ozone machine can fix the problem. Experts in home deodorization trust ozone treatments as a safe, effective smoke neutralization technique.

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.

How Fire Sprinkler Systems Work

9/6/2021 (Permalink)

Charred wood. A fire sprinkler system can prevent a small fire from becoming a large fire; however, the water from the sprinkler system can damage your property.

Fire sprinkler systems are an effective means of suppressing fires in commercial buildings and many states and localities have laws requiring their use. To get the most out of your sprinklers, it is important to have an understanding of how they work.

Sprinkler Heads Detect Heat
Many people mistakenly believe that their fire suppression system is activated when it detects smoke. However, sprinklers are triggered by an increase in temperature. When a fire occurs, the air above the fire is rapidly heated. This hot air rises and travels across the ceiling. Most sprinklers contain a glass bulb filled with a glycerin-based liquid that expands when heated. Air that has been heated between 135 and 165 degrees will cause the liquid to expand to the point where the bulb shatters and activates the sprinkler.

The Sprinklers Douse the Fire
Once activated, the sprinkler or sprinklers will spray pressurized water in an arc around the sprinkler head. The water is pressurized because this allows the water to reach a wider area and better douse the flames. Contrary to popular belief, only the individual fire sprinkler or sprinklers that have been activated will spray water. This makes it possible for a small fire to be doused without spraying water in the entire building, which can reduce the amount of fire sprinkler cleanup needed.

However, a special type of sprinkler, called a deluge sprinkler, is available for situations, such as buildings that contain extremely flammable materials. With a deluge system, every sprinkler in the building is set off when a fire alarm sounds. This allows for fires to be quickly extinguished in circumstances where taking a more cautious approach may be too dangerous.

fire sprinkler system can prevent a small fire from becoming a large fire; however, the water from the sprinkler system can damage your property. If you need water damage remediation services, a professional in Pflugerville, TX, is ready to assist you.

How To Protect Your Home From Lightning

8/2/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall burned, ceiling burned, fire damage to the interior of a home Fire damage to a home in Austin, TX.

What happens when lightning strikes a home in Austin, TX? About 6,300 homes are struck each year without a resulting house fire. However, an additional 4,300 strikes each cause a residential lightning fire. Learn how to keep yourself and your home safe during this unpredictable, menacing weather event.

How Do I Protect Myself During a Storm?

When the weather turns bad outside, it is tempting to go about your normal business inside of the house. When you hear thunder, however, there are steps you should take to protect yourself and reduce the risk of lightning fire:

  • Stay inside of your home, away from windows and doors. A good rule of thumb is to wait 30 minutes after you hear the last of the thunder to resume normal activities.
  • If lightning strikes your home, it could cause a power surge. As a precaution, keep your distance from televisions, computers and other electrical devices. Do not take baths or showers, wash dishes or do laundry. Cellular phones are safe to use.

What Actions Do I Take If My House Is Hit?

If your house is struck, you will hear and feel a powerful boom. If you suspect the bolt has made contact with your home, take the following steps:

  • Quickly check the health and safety of all family members and pets.
  • Leave your home immediately if there is fire or smoke.
  • Call 911 and report it, regardless of whether you see a fire. The fire department can determine if your home is safe.
  • Contact your homeowner’s insurance agent, as damage is likely covered under your policy.
  • Call a fire restoration specialist to assess your home. Even if a large house fire did not occur, there may be hidden damage in your roof or attic that could lead to further troubles down the road if not repaired promptly.

A lightning fire in Austin, TX, is a rare, but possible occurrence. By taking proper precautions during a storm and following correct procedures after a strike, you can keep your family safe and minimize the damage to your home.

Mold’s 6 Most Common Hidden Locations in Commercial Buildings

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall removal, mold growth found behind drywall. Mold cleanup and removal in Pflugerville, TX.

Mold's Most Common Hidden Locations

Mold requires water and food to thrive. Food can be as easy as dust particles or skin cells which are found almost everywhere in most commercial buildings. That means the unpredictable element in mold growth is obtaining a water source. Although high humidity can allow for colony reproduction, most often the source of mold’s life-beginning liquid is a result of water damage. Here are six of mold’s most common hidden locations in commercial buildings in Pflugerville, TX.

1. Ductwork often contains moisture during summer’s cooling season. When the duct lining materials collect moisture, mold can quickly form.

2. Carpet has a smorgasbord of food sources for hungry molds. Food crumbs, skin cells, and dirt can easily combine with moisture inside the carpet fibers. When the liquid reaches the pad, the carpet can stay wet for a long time, and that often means a long life for mold.

3. Electrical equipment in basements or closets provides warm air for mold to thrive in. If water from a leaky pipe or humid air appears near electrical equipment, mold growth can appear in as little as 48 hours.

4. Ceiling tiles love to absorb water and feed mold. Since mechanical piping and sprinkler systems are typically suspended above ceiling tiles, when the tubes develop even a very small leak, mold can appear.

5. Paper is a favorite mold meal. Whether documents are stored in a basement or inside a dark closet, if the paper gets wet, mold often follows.

6. Appliance drain pans can hide mold. When appliances collect condensation or defrosting water in the drain pans, mold can quickly develop. If the drip is constant, the colonies can thrive and send out spores to other parts of the building.

Mold can often be hidden in these six secluded spots, but building managers understand when conditions are right the spores can spring up anywhere. For that reason, a good preventative program begins with trained personnel looking for signs of water damage. By identifying the conditions supporting mold growth, the need to call a professional remediation team is often eliminated.

How To Unclog a Drain in 4 Steps

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

plumber repairing drain with plumbers snake (steel spiral that twists through pipes to collect dirt) in residential sink If you have a clogged drain in your home you may have to use a drain snake to release it.

Four Steps To Use A Snake Effectively

Just about everyone has been there. You turn on the faucet to brush your teeth, and the water doesn't drain properly. You step out of the shower to dry off, and there is still water standing. When you have a clogged drain in your home in Cele, TX, you may have to use a drain snake to release it. 

1. Insert the tip of the snake into the drain and thread it slowly. The snake, otherwise known as an auger, works by breaking up a clog or attaching it to it so that you can pull it out of the drain. To avoid a pipe break, you want to thread the snake into the drain slowly at first. Hitting a clog with too much force might put undue pressure on the pipe.

2. When you feel resistance, increase pressure. You will know you need to increase the pressure you're applying to the auger when you feel it touch something that impedes its progress. It could be the bend in the pipe, in which case more pressure will help it ease its way through. It could also be a clogged area.

3. Once the tip of the snake touches the clog, rotate the snake. The rotating motion may break up the debris that has stopped up the pipe, causing it to drain. It also may help the snake grab onto the clog, allowing you to pull it out. Either way, the motion helps you move the clog that is obstructing your pipe.

4. After the clog is removed, run water on high. This is the test that lets you know the clog is gone. If you notice a leak when you run the water, call water restoration specialists to fix the problem.

A clogged pipe is an inconvenience that is easily resolved. All you need are the right tools and the knowledge of how to use them.

3 Tips for Maintaining Your Home’s Furnace

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Home furnace air filter replacement Home furnace air filter replacement.

Maintenance Tips For Your Home's Furnace

The last thing you want is for your home’s heating system to go out right in the middle of winter. Worse than that, a fire could break out if you are not careful. It is always preferable to avoid fire cleaning services when possible, so follow these few maintenance tips to keep your furnace in great condition all year long.

1. Replace Filters Often

Every heating system has a filter that allows you to breathe clean air free of contaminants. Over time, the filter becomes dirty, making it less effective at filtering out dust and other pieces of debris. You should replace your furnace’s filter once every few months. You may need to do it once a month if you use your HVAC system regularly.

2. Clean Vents and Furnace Ducts

For this kind of maintenance, you may need to hire professionals. Experts qualified in fire cleaning can usually handle this work. Too much dust accumulation in the vents can damage components and make the system not run as efficiently as it should. During this inspection, the professional can also provide a more thorough examination to see if there are any damaged parts. Even a loose belt can lead to a dampening in performance. It is better to do this kind of housework than have to eventually deal with smoke cleaning.

3. Have an Annual Inspection

In the event your furnace seems to be working all right, you should still have someone come out at least once a year to check everything out. This inspection should take place right before the winter season. Most furnace maintenance professionals are busy during the winter because that is when everyone wants the work done. Additionally, if you wait until winter, then you may have to go a day or two without your furnace. When the temperatures drop, it is not fun to be without a heater.

Avoid needing fire cleaning in New Sweden, TX, by taking care of your furnace. Ultimately, it is much more affordable to pay for maintenance than to pay for repairs.

Reasons To Purchase Interruption Insurance for Your Business

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Exterior of a commercial building severely damaged by storm, broken windows, metal bars on floor Severe storm damage in Manda, TX.

Reasons To Purchase This Additional Policy

When a natural disaster or a plumbing problem renders your building in Manda, TX, unusable for a period of time, you will want to have a plan in place for continuing your business while you rebuild. Property insurance may cover the actual damage recovery done by restoration experts, but you need business interruption insurance to cover lost revenue or the expenses associated with temporary relocation. 

Working Capital

Property insurance helps you cover the costs of water damage restoration. Additional coverage is needed for the myriad of other ways your business is impacted by a damaged building. Interruption insurance gives you working capital to handle continuity expenses:

  • Lost revenue
  • Utility payments
  • Payroll coverage
  • Relocation costs

You shouldn't have to worry about whether or not you will still have a business to run after you rebuild. Continuity coverage can give you the working capital you need to bridge the gap.

Ongoing Solution

Most problems that occur as the result of a storm are not quick fixes. You need coverage for problems that last longer than a few days. Your business interruption service can kick in as soon as 48 hours after your business experiences a loss due to stormy weather, but the payout can hold you over for an extended period of time.

Maintaining Momentum

Interruption insurance helps you maintain momentum and keep your business afloat. Many businesses without such coverage find it hard to recover after damages make it impossible to continue regular operations, and sometimes that results in a permanently closed business. Continuity coverage helps you keep going despite the difficulties that storm damage has caused.

As you rebuild, you shouldn't have to worry about whether or not your company will stay afloat. When you add an additional policy to your business owner's insurance portfolio that handles expenses associated with the interruption of your business, you can get peace of mind knowing that your income doesn't have to take a hit just because your building did.

The Basics of Flood Mitigation vs. Flood Restoration

5/27/2021 (Permalink)

Office building flooded Commercial flooding in Pflugerville, TX.

If your Pflugerville, TX, business is damaged by a storm or other disaster, it’s important to hire a good flood cleanup company right away. These professional crews can thoroughly clean and restore your business to get you up and running again as soon as possible.
When trying to choose the right cleanup team, you may notice that many companies offer mitigation services, restoration services, or both. Understanding the difference between mitigation and restoration will help give you a better idea of what to expect during these phases of the flood cleanup process and may help you select the right restoration company for your job.

What Is Flood Mitigation?

After a storm or flood, the first step in the cleanup process is water damage mitigation. This phase should ideally begin as soon as possible after the damage occurs and is usually a quick process. The primary purpose of the mitigation phase is to prevent any further water damage to your business. Preventing mold growth and other secondary damage is especially important during this phase. Some examples of what a flood cleanup company does during mitigation include:

  • Boarding up windows and tarping over the roof to prevent further damage from rain, wind, wildlife, or looters
  • Removing wet and damaged contents and materials, such as furniture and flooring, from the building
  • Extracting as much water as possible from the building
  • Using commercial-grade tools and equipment to thoroughly dry, clean, and disinfect the building

What Is Flood Restoration?
The mitigation process is extremely time-sensitive, with a focus on preventing new damage rather than repairing existing damage. The focus of the restoration process, by contrast, is repairing the damage to your property caused by the flood or storm. Restoration involves such tasks as repairing structural or roof damage, replacing flooring and drywall, and eradicating mold growth. Depending on the extent of the damage, the restoration phase may be lengthy.
Mitigation and restoration are two separate cleanup processes that can be done independently. However, choosing a flood cleanup company that will handle both can save you time and money.

What Should I Include in My Commercial Fire Damage Claim?

4/24/2021 (Permalink)

Empty room, burned, walls, ceiling. Everything completely burned Fire damage in Manda, TX.

What To Include In A Commercial Fire Damage Claim

If your Manda, TX, business has been damaged by fire, you’re probably aware of the importance of filing your commercial property insurance claim as soon as possible. After all, the sooner you can file a claim, the sooner funds can be released and fire damage repairs can begin. However, acting too quickly can result in accidentally omitting some damage from your insurance claim, leaving you with inadequate resources to complete necessary restoration work. Before submitting a claim to your insurance adjuster, make sure you haven’t overlooked any of these common types of damage.

1. Structural Repairs
Damage to your building’s structure may be obvious, especially for parts of the property that have been burned or destroyed by flames. However, the intense heat from a fire can also damage window and door frames, warp glass, and weaken structural components like steel and iron.

2. Mitigation Expenses
Many insurance policies require that you take steps after the fire to prevent further property damage. The cost of any fire mitigation measures, such as boarding up windows and doors or installing a tarp to cover roof damage, should be included in your claim.

3. Water Damage Remediation
Water damage is frequently a corollary of fire damage, usually due to the large volume of water used to put out a fire. Water can seep into porous surfaces and can damage electronics, equipment, and inventory. Wet surfaces and high humidity quickly become an ideal breeding ground for mold, which can spread rapidly through your building. Remember to include the costs of professional water remediation and mold testing in your insurance claim.

4. Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and soot often affect the entire building, including areas far from the fire. Smoke can cause staining and discoloration and is highly damaging to electronic devices. Lingering smoke odors often require professional odor removal.
Taking the time to complete a thorough property insurance claim can ensure that all your fire damage repair and restoration expenses are covered.

This Is the Smoke Alarm You Need

3/18/2021 (Permalink)

vector fire smoke carbon monoxide detector alarm Dual sensor smoke detector.

How To Choose The Right Smoke Detector

You probably think that simply installing any smoke alarm in your home is enough. However, there are several options to choose from. Read on to find out how to choose the right smoke detector for your particular residence.

1. Consider the Size of Your Home
A bigger home will need more units. When purchasing, consider:

  • Number of rooms
  • Square feet
  • Sleeping location
  • Special needs

You need to put a smoke alarm in each room, as well as the hallways leading to bedrooms. Also factor in attics, basements, and both ends of staircases. Essentially, make sure you'll be able to hear the alarm at any time of the day.

2. Choose a Type
If you have a larger residence, you should look into devices that can be wired along with the same network.

  • Ionization
  • Photoelectric
  • Dual-sensor
  • Air-sampling
  • CO2 combo

There may be regulations in Pflugerville, TX, so make sure to check before installing. Often, these regulations can require hard-wired devices. If this is the case, you have to have them installed by local fire prevention and remediation specialists.

3. Make Sure It Works
This may seem obvious, but you need to test your smoke detectors. Think about fire safety. You may only have 2 minutes to evacuate. Does your alarm do its job in time? Check if batteries need to be replaced. If your system is hard-wired, it may also have backup batteries. Make sure these are in working condition. Keep in mind that placement should also be conducive to monthly testing. If you can't reach the alarm or don't have a ladder, reconsider placement. You should also keep units free of dust and grime that may inhibit usefulness.
Further, look for the circle logo on your units or their packaging. There should be a "UL" denoting that they have been tested and certified by Underwriters Laboratories. This is the most common certification, but there are others. Always do a quick internet search to verify your alarm's standard testing.
If you pick the right smoke alarm and test it monthly, you are doing the best that you can for fire prevention. Practice how to turn off the alarm without dismantling it from the wall or ceiling. Stay safe.

What NOT To Do After Water Damage Occurs

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

stair of a House fully flooded during the flooding of the river If your home has experienced flooding in Manda, TX, it's important to act right away.

Did You Know There Are Some Things NOT To Do For The Safety Of You And Your Family?

If your home has experienced flooding in Manda, TX, it's important to act right away. You know that you need to call your insurance company and that they will recommend a water damage restoration service that can help with your home repairs. 

1. Do NOT Use a Vacuum
You know it's important to remove standing water quickly in order to prevent damage. However, a regular vacuum cleaner is NOT the right appliance for the job. A shop vacuum that is intended for water may be used, but a vacuum that is meant for picking up dirt, even if it's a steam cleaner, is not safe to use to remove standing water in your home.

2. Do NOT Operate Appliances
A broken pipe that has led to flooding can compromise the electrical system in your home. Do NOT use the television, washer and dryer, or plug in other small appliances like heaters or hair dryers until a professional has determined that it is safe to do so.

3. Do NOT Leave Things on the Floor
Once you can safely enter the space that is flooded, do NOT leave items on the floor. Books and magazines can bleed color onto carpets and flooring. Rugs retain moisture and should be removed quickly. If possible, remove, or at least elevate, furniture to allow air to flow freely beneath the pieces.

4. Do NOT Take Risks
Cleanup from a broken pipe is important to prevent long-term damage, but doing so is not worth risking your health and safety. Do NOT enter rooms where the ceiling is sagging or where standing water is touching electrical appliances. Do not turn on lights, especially if water is leaking from the ceiling.
Flooding in your home is overwhelming, whether caused by a broken pipe or a natural disaster. Call for help and always take reasonable precautions to protect yourself from harm.

Here to Help After The Winter Storm

3/1/2021 (Permalink)

green SERVPRO semi trucks At SERVPRO Team Jones, we are no strangers of disaster.

The chain of events that began the week before Valentine’s Day has been a never-before-seen national disaster. The ice and snow that quickly piled up, the subzero temperatures that marched in with it, as well as the 50-60 mph winds across many states paralyzed daily life. All in all, 150 million people in 25 states, in a 2000 mile stretch from southern Texas to northern Maine were affected. Over 5 million people were without power, along with hundreds of thousands without water, sewer and natural gas including many of our own teammates.

At SERVPRO Team Jones, we are no strangers of disaster and over the last 15 years our Large Loss Disaster Recovery Team has traveled coast to coast helping those in need. This time around, it was OUR backyard and OUR neighbors who needed the help. With over 30,000 calls in the last two weeks for disaster cleanup, SERVPRO has hundreds of crews from across the country that are leaving their home states to help. Many of these men and women spent months away from their families and friends recently helping our friends on the Gulf Coast.

While the heavy snow and ice did delay many of these crews from being able to hit the road, as well as most trucking services ceasing operations, reinforcements are still coming in daily to help. As neighbors, we’d like to ask for your patience and understanding as our disaster recovery crews are working 7 days a week to put our community back together one building and one family at a time. Many of these crews are working 14-16 hours a day but their relentless servant hearts won’t let them give up on you.

We’re human- we’re going to make mistakes, we’re going to drop the ball sometimes and in a disaster this widespread we won’t be able to make it to every single loss as quickly as we want to. We will keep trying, we will keep working, we will keep drying, disinfecting, cleaning and restoring. It is what we do – it’s how we’re made – it’s what makes us tick.

If you happen to see one of those bright green SERVPRO trucks from here or from out of town– give them a wave. These real-life heroes are trying their best for you. A little smile or a wave is great encouragement to all those that left their friends and families behind to answer your calls for help. Thank you for understanding, thank you for trusting in us and thank you for believing in us.

How SERVPRO Can Make Your Business's Mold Remediation Process More Efficient

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Bottom of a wall covered with black mold growth If you discover black mold in your building, don't panic.

Mold Remediation Process

Black mold isn't a pleasant thing to discover in your New Sweden, TX, business building. Fortunately, its presence doesn't need to be permanent. One of the most important steps to take going forward is calling a mold remediation company. This will allow you to have your building properly handled by experts. A particularly effective company in this regard is SERVPRO. If you want to know why, here's how SERVPRO can make your business's mold remediation process more efficient.

1. Quick Arrival
When it comes to remediating mold, swift work is vital. After all, you may be unable to use your building until it's done. SERVPRO is dedicated to responding quickly to reports of black mold, so you can start to get back to work soon enough. The company also asks a series of questions before sending people over, which ensures that the trip won't be delayed by a lack of necessary materials.

2. Various Containment Techniques
Containing fungus is an essential part of the remediation process. It ensures that the mold can't spread any further. These are a few techniques the experts use, particularly for more advanced issues:

  • Turning off HVAC systems and fans
  • Creating negative air pressure
  • Creating negative air chambers

Containing the mold quickly can greatly minimize the damage, so this is especially helpful.

3. Trained Specialists
Since SERVPRO specializes in mold and water restoration, you'll have help from experts in these fields. These professionals conduct assessments soon after arrival to determine what needs to be done. For instance, the workers may find that the mold is secondary damage from a more pressing problem.

4. Advanced Filtration Equipment
This may sound gross, but mold can live as microscopic spores in the air, especially in an area with high humidity. In order to get rid of it, SERVPRO professionals use a specialized method of filtration that involves HEPA vacuums and "air scrubbers". Doing so gets rid of the spores and stops the entities from spreading further.
If you discover black mold in your building, don't panic. SERVPRO experts can complete the remediation process with efficiency while you run your company.

5 Ways for a Business To Use Less Water

2/10/2021 (Permalink)

Plumber writing on blue clipboard Annual plumbing inspections can identify issues.

Five Ways To Maximize The Efficiency Of Water Use And Save Money

Overuse and waste are the most significant water issues at commercial properties located in Cele, TX. Inefficient bathroom fixtures, irrigation and cooling systems can drive up water bills at any building.

1. Switch To Low-Flow Fixtures
Old commercial toilets use anywhere from three to seven gallons of water per flush. Consider a water upgrade to low-flow toilets that use anywhere from 1.28 to 1.6 gallons per flush or urinals that use just 0.05 gpf or are waterless.

2. Adjust the Irrigation System
From installing sensors that detect rain or measure soil moisture to scheduling sprinklers to water less often for longer periods of time, there are several ways to reduce outdoor water waste. Irrigation accounts for a significant percentage of water usage at commercial properties with landscaping.

3. Avoid Pipe Breaks and Leaks
Annual plumbing inspections can identify issues such as old or worn pipes or corrosion build-up that can lead to water issues and leaks. A hidden leak can cause water bills to spike, and usage will not decline until the problem is fixed.

4. Maximize Cooling Tower Efficiency
Evaporation is a primary source of water use in buildings with cooling towers. Building owners may want to mix gray and potable water or otherwise recycle water to lower usage.

5. Reduce Water Booster Pressure
Buildings with more than a few floors may rely on water boosters to pump water up to higher stories. Try turning down the settings to conserve energy and water while lowering pipe pressure that could lead to breaks and water damage.
These measures may prevent common water issues at a commercial building in Cele, TX. A property owner or manager may be able to make these upgrades with small initial investments that pay off over time and reduce risks of damage.

5 Places to Check for Mold Growth at Your Business

1/27/2021 (Permalink)

ceiling damaged by water and mold growth Mold growth on ceiling tile

Mold Prevention Tips

Business owners live with this nagging concern in the back of their heads: is there mold growth in the building? Because mold remediation can be costly, a diligent business owner in Austin, TX, knows the likely places—bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and storage rooms—and keeps them clean and dry. But there are a number of other sneaky places where mold can grow. For true mold prevention, here are five to keep an eye on.

1. Ceiling Tiles
If you notice discoloration on ceiling tiles, that indicates a leak which means that there is a prime environment for mold growth. Roof leaks, HVAC systems, and other mechanical systems that are prone to leaking or condensation make it more likely for your ceiling tiles to experience water damage.

2. Carpet
Spills drips, and floods can cause mold to grow on and under carpet. It's important to clean up water from carpet as quickly as possible to avoid damage. This includes proper drying and ventilation. When in doubt, contact a water damage restoration professional for help.

3. Electrical Equipment
Gaps around outlets and cables that allow moist air to flow in and out can cause mold. One mold prevention tip for these areas is to caulk around outlets and cable boxes.

4. Ductwork
During summer months when the air conditioning is running all day, moisture can build up inside and outside the ductwork of your HVAC system. If this happens, you'll ultimately be blowing mold into every room of your business. One prevention strategy is to be careful of where the temperature is set. Another is to replace ducts that have linings built in which tend to accumulate more debris and, therefore, mold.

5. Paper
Stacks of paper that are stored in even slightly damp environments can grow mold fairly quickly. If your office keeps a lot of paper on hand, be sure that it is stored in an area that is dry and well ventilated.
Mold prevention is an important aspect of running a safe business. Keep an eye on sneaky places where mold can grow in order to avoid costly remediation.

2 Ways To Stop Your Toilet From Overflowing When You Take a Shower

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Plumber unclogging a toilet with manual auger Snake the toilet

Two Methods To Prevent A Toilet Overflow When You Take a Shower

One of the last things you want to encounter when you step out of your shower is a flood caused by your toilet overflowing. This type of toilet overflow is usually caused by a clog between your sewer and your toilet. These two methods of preventing this problem can save you from having to keep performing sewage cleaning in your bathroom.

1. Snake the Toilet
An auger, or snake, is a plumbing tool used to remove debris from drains and sewer lines. The snake is a long, thick, flexible wire that can be fed through the pipes by hand or by a motor. The goal is to use the wire to force the clog out of the line or break it up into small pieces that will flow out with the wastewater. You need a snake that is at least 25 feet long for this task.
Feed the snake through the toilet or remove the toilet and feed it through the floor drain. When you think you have cleared the clog, run the shower to see if the toilet still overflows. Have some towels or old newspapers handy to absorb any water. Because of the potential for contamination, you may want to have a sewage cleaning company in Pflugerville, TX, clean and sanitize surfaces that came in contact with sewage backup.

2. Snake the Drain Cleanout
If you still have a problem after snaking the toilet, try snaking the drain cleanout. Your drain cleanout is a cap on your main drain which is usually located in the basement or crawlspace. Remove the cap with a wrench and then feed the snake through the opening. Test the toilet to see if you have resolved the problem.
If these do-it-yourself methods fail to fix your sewage cleaning problems, you may need to contact a plumber. A plumbing professional should be able to clear any clogged pipe or diagnose any other problems that may be causing your issue.

How Do Restoration Experts Clean Up Commercial Fire Damage?

1/4/2021 (Permalink)

Firemen putting out fire in old building Commercial fire damage in Manda, XT

As soon as a fire in a commercial building goes out, the property owner should contact restoration experts in Manda, TX. Restoration professionals clean up every sign of fire and smoke damage as quickly as possible. Every day that a fire limits operations can prove costly for businesses. A restoration company should arrive on site within hours and take the following measures to assess, mitigate and clean up fire damage.

Inspect the Fire Damage

The first goal of restoration professionals involves determining the effects of fire on building materials and contents. An expert inspection of damage informs all of the following measures:

  • Documenting damage for insurance purposes
  • Estimating total costs of restoration
  • Mitigating primary and secondary damage
  • Scheduling cleanup and restoration

An inspection will determine whether a loss is partial or total. Ruined building materials must be torn out and disposed of and contents should be taken off site for cleaning or reported as losses. A total loss may require rebuilding a structure and replacing all contents.

Mitigation and Cleanup Measures
Mitigating fire damage may start by covering up breaches in the roof, walls or windows of a structure to limit access and exposure of materials that can be cleaned and restored. Cleanup may start with the extraction of standing water, removing debris and treating soot damage. Even after all surfaces have been cleaned, it may still be necessary to remediate smoke damage.

Restore Affected Areas
The affected areas of a structure should be cleaned and rebuilt during restoration. Any materials remaining intact must be sanitized and may require repainting, first with a primer resistant to soot staining and then a fresh coat of paint. Specialized soot and smoke cleaning methods may be used to clean contents. Thermal fogging or ozone or hydroxyl treatments may be necessary to eliminate stubborn smoke damage at a commercial building in Manda, TX.

How To Repair Your Leaking Faucet

12/29/2020 (Permalink)

Leaking faucet You should thus fix a leaking faucet immediately

How To Repair Your Leaking Faucet

It is easy to ignore a leaking faucet in your New Sweden, TX, home. While it may not seem like a big deal, over time the dripping faucet could cause your water bill to surge. If the leak worsens while you are out of your house, the water could even spill over into your kitchen or bathroom.
You should thus fix a leaking faucet immediately. Start by turning off the water supply to your faucet. Next, plug the drain closed.
From there, the process differs slightly depending on what type of faucet you have. The four main kinds of faucets are:

  • Cartridge
  • Ceramic-Disk
  • Compression
  • Ball

Cartridge Faucet
Cartridge, ceramic-disk and ball faucets each feature one handle that you move left or right to change the water temperature. As its name implies, a cartridge faucet has a cartridge along with a decorative cap. To fix this leaking faucet, remove the cap and retaining clip and pull the cartridge so it stands straight. You should then be able to remove the spout and replace the O-rings.

Ceramic-Disk Faucet
You can identify a ceramic-disk faucet by its ceramic cylinder. To fix this type of faucet, remove the cap and cylinder. Take off the neoprene seals before soaking the cylinder openings in white vinegar. You may want to replace the seals, as well.

Ball Faucet
A ball faucet includes a ball bearing. Fixing this faucet requires a special kit that you can buy in a hardware store. Take apart the faucet and use the kit to replace the cam washers, springs and valve seats.

Compression Faucet
Unlike the above faucets, a compression faucet has separate handles for hot and cold water. To repair this leaking faucet, remove the handles and nut to get to the O-ring and seat washer. Simply replacing the seat washer should fix the problem.
If you follow the above steps, you should have a fixed leak in no time. This will save you money on your water bill and limit your need for emergency cleanup services in the future.

How To Prevent a Mold Problem at Your Facility

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

air scrubber in an empty room, flood cuts performed on drywall. Concept Mold removal Mold removal services in Austin, TX

If you own or manage a business in Austin, TX, you probably take various precautions to ensure a clean and mold-free environment. Mold exists everywhere, but routine carpet cleaning and air quality inspections can prevent the spread of mold spores in your facility.

The Importance of Clean Carpets

Carpets are susceptible to mold because they tend to absorb moisture from:

  • Wet shoes
  • Spills
  • Leaks
  • Humidity

They also accumulate dirt and debris, despite the use of entrance doormats for wiping shoes. Once mold spores form, they actively feed on organic substances comprising or trapped within the carpet's fibers. As the spores multiply, they can spread into the air, necessitating a professional mold remediation company's services. Carpet cleaning can discourage mold formation by removing dirt before it accumulates, and HEPA vacuums can extract spores before they multiply.

Mold in The Air
Most office buildings' air contains some mold, that does not necessarily lead to mold problems; however, significant amounts of mold can develop if condensation builds around plumbing pipes or within an HVAC system. Routine inspections and maintenance, including leak repairs, air filter changes, air duct cleaning and humidity control, can contain the amount of mold in the air. If you experience persistent problems relating to these systems or suspect mold, you may want to schedule a professional air quality inspection.

Invisible Signs of Mold
Although rigorous carpet cleaning and systems maintenance can go a long way toward preventing mold spores from spreading through the air, once you determine that mold exists, it is critical to take action.
Mold can be invisible, but a musty odor and employees with persistent allergy symptoms could indicate mold problems requiring aggressive measures that require your business's temporary closure.
Although many unforeseen circumstances can cause excess moisture that can lead to mold formation, routine cleaning, along with other maintenance efforts, can prevent mold problems or your facility's temporary closure in Austin, TX.

3 Steps To Take if Water Damage Has Affected Your Electronic Devices

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the word CUT THE POWER! Turn off the electricity in your building

Take The Following Steps If You Find Yourself With This Issue

Water damage in your building can come from a variety of sources. Whether there’s flooding from a storm in Cele, TX, or a broken appliance that has overflowed, excessive moisture can cause problems. One such problem is flooded electronics. Electricity and water are not a good combination.

1. Turn Off Electricity in the Building
Flooded electronics can be a safety hazard, so you should avoid handling any of these devices if the power is still on, particularly if there is still flooding in the building. The best action to take in this situation is to locate the breaker and turn off the power to the building. Once this has been done, you can begin unplugging items from their power sources.

2. Do Not Turn On the Device
Along with being unsafe, turning on devices while they are still wet can lead to electronic damage. Any objects that are still on, such as those powered by batteries, should be turned off if it is safe to do so. Avoid the temptation to test any devices before all moisture has been thoroughly removed.

3. Have Electronics Inspected and Repaired
Depending on the device that has been affected and the severity of the water damage, you may be able to simply drain some items on your own. Particularly sensitive electronics or those that have been completely submerged should be looked at by a professional. A cleanup and restoration service can often perform these tasks for you to ensure the device does not suffer permanent electronic damage.
If you have important or expensive electronics in your commercial building, these should be treated as quickly as possible after water damage has occurred. Flooded electronics can rust quickly which may make repairs difficult. The water can also cause some devices to short circuit. The easiest way to minimize this damage is to have these items taken care of by a professional.

How To Prevent Mold in the Bathroom

12/1/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold fungus growing in damp poorly ventilated bath areas. Mold tile joints with fungus due to condensation moisture Mold in bathroom

Tips To Prevent Mold In Your Bathroom

The bathroom is a high-risk area for mold as every part of a bathroom functions with water. Whether it is through regular everyday use or from a leaky pipe or faucet, water damage and mold occur easily in this often damp environment. Be proactive in preventing mold in your bathroom in Pflugerville, TX, through following these tips.

1. Keep the Tile Dry
After bathing, always wipe down tile walls if grout is present. Allowing water to sit and soak into tile and grout provides a terrific environment for mold to grow. Use a bathmat after getting out of the shower to keep the floors dry, and regularly dry out and launder the bathmat. Quickly dry any water that does reach the floor. Spills and overflows from a sink, toilet, or bathtub should always be dried and cleaned up promptly.

2. Clean the Bathroom Regularly
Make every effort to regularly clean your bathroom. In addition to keeping the sink, toilet, and shower sanitized, regular cleaning helps cut down the development of mold and mildew. Clean the counters and floors whenever they unexpectedly get wet. Check for leaky pipes under the cabinet. When you are in the habit of cleaning and inspecting all aspects of your bathroom, you will more easily notice new mold growth and prevent water damage from a leaky pipe. If you do discover damage or mold to be a problem, mold remediation specialists should be consulted for cleanup.

3. Use a Bathroom Exhaust Fan
Moisture helps mold grow. An easy step in mold prevention is to use a bathroom exhaust fan. Exhaust fans help to dispel the moisture that builds up from a hot shower or bath. Either run the fan as you bathe to prevent the moisture buildup or make a habit of turning it on for a few minutes every time you dry off.
Mold and mildew thrive in warm moist environments. By keeping your bathroom clean and dry, and routinely checking for any water damage in hidden spots, you can prevent the growth of mold in your bathroom.

Important Differences Between Storm Damage and Flood Damage

11/16/2020 (Permalink)

Building damaged by storm Storm damage in Pflugerville, TX

Storm Damage vs Flood Damage

At first glance, it would seem that flood damage and damage from a storm would be pretty similar. In reality, though, the two have critical differences. A flood usually occurs from the ground up, often the result of rising waters from streams and rivers and typically entering a building in Pflugerville, TX, by way of a the foundation. On the other hand, water from storms more often than not comes down from above through the roof system. Storm damage also includes harm to the building caused by powerful winds, large hail or heavy snows. Either type of damage can be devastating to a company, but the restoration process for each includes important differences.

Flood damage is not typically covered by a company's general insurance policy, while damage from a storm is usually covered. Therefore, a company that is located in an area at risk for flooding should carry flood insurance. The most common and affordable flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program and has the following features:

  • Covers damages caused by a flood
  • Is administered by FEMA
  • Is voluntary in most circumstances
  • Is purchased through licensed insurance agents
  • Typically has a 30-day waiting period

Damage from a storm is typically covered under a company's general policy. It usually covers damage caused by the storm and expenses for restoration.

A company faced with any type of water damage should consult with a reputable storm mitigation franchise for assistance with restoration. In the case of flood damage, though, the cleanup is complicated with the presence of contaminated water. This dirty water coming into the building could contain chemicals, pathogens, microbes and other potentially dangerous substances. This requires cleanup and restoration by an experienced team of trained technicians that wear PPE and take other safety precautions. The water from a storm coming in through the roof is seldom considered contaminated and can be addressed through a standard restoration process.

Temporary Business Closure? Business Interruption Insurance Can Help

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Hot key for business insurance BI insurance is intended for small to midsize businesses

Here's An Overview

For business owner's in Pflugerville, TX, a fire can test the resilience of the most successful commercial ventures. A business fire means temporary closure, lost income, destroyed equipment and materials, ongoing fixed expenses plus added costs like fire cleaning and restoration services. Business interruption insurance can help ease the impact of a business fire by providing a hedge against uncertain monetary losses.  

1. BI insurance underwrites common business expenses. It covers lost net income as well as mortgage, rent and lease payments, loan payments, taxes and employee payroll for a defined period of a business interruption.

2. There are exclusions. Additional insurance may be needed for non-covered outlays and circumstances. These include broken items (glass), flood and earthquake damage, utility costs, undocumented income and pandemics.

3. BI insurance is intended for small to midsize businesses. Companies with 100 or fewer employees and revenues up to $5 million are the norm. Owners can purchase a business owner's policy that combines property, liability and BI coverage, which is typically more cost-effective than buying separate policies.

4. Insurance pay out is usually limited to 30 days. Extensions of up to 360 days can further buoy up operations as a business works to recover its revenue stream. Policies usually have an initial 48-to-72-hour waiting period before reimbursement.

5. The cost of coverage varies. In general, cost depends on a business' geographic location, industry, employee count, the amount of coverage and the business' claims history.

6. Coverage is business-specific. To arrive at a ballpark estimate of adequate coverage, consider a business's gross earnings and revenue projections.
A prolonged business interruption can put pressure on a company's financial statements. BI insurance can neutralize the high cost of closure and give a business economic relief while it rebuilds. Like any insurance, BI is an investment in the future. It's worth a second look.

Expect the Unexpected When a Toilet Overflows

11/4/2020 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet A toilet overflow can cause major problems in your Austin, TX building

Expect the Unexpected When a Toilet Overflows

A toilet overflow is seldom a simple problem in a commercial building, especially when it happens in a multi-story building. The resulting sewer damage is likely to go through the flooring and contaminate the ceiling below and the contents of that room. A professional water mitigation team in Austin, TX, will take the following actions to restore the impacted rooms:

  • Inspection and assessment of the property
  • Removal of contaminated water
  • Removal of affected ceiling and flooring materials
  • Tear out of contaminated insulation
  • Dry out of area disinfection

The technicians from the sewage company will also investigate and determine what other materials have been tainted by the dirty water. They will either restore or replace as necessary.

The Impacts of Sewer Damage
The water from a flooded toilet is known as dirty water or black water or a category 3 water spill. It is a situation that requires fast remediation. The presence of dirty water in a building is a danger to human health. It can contain pathogens and other substances that should not be touched by human skin. Technicians will use protective equipment such as gloves, masks and eyewear as they clean up the spill. They will also utilize specialized equipment and techniques to restore a building to its original condition.

The Importance of Quality Remediation
A building that has experienced sewer damage should be cleaned to the highest standards. Approved disinfectants should be used to clean any surfaces that have been in contact with black water. The area should also be dried out with industrial fans and air dryers. This removes excess humidity from the building and reduces the possibility of secondary damage such as mold growth. A trained team of technicians will be able to handle water problems both large and small, including a toilet overflow that jumps floors. A commercial building with water damage should be addressed by a qualified and certified restoration company.

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)

metal clamps Fix a broken pipe by using metal clamps

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.

Protect Your Business During a Thunderstorm

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo. Severe rainstorms are no joke and many buildings have been devastated because they neglected to prepare properly.

Thunderstorms are tricky because of how drastically they can vary in terms of severity. Mild thunderstorms are nothing more than a nuisance, while severe storms can wreck havoc on your commercial building. It's important to ensure that you're prepared for any type of rain storm, just in case. Follow these tips to keep your building in Austin, TX, safe.

Before the Storm
Preparation is key, no matter which type of emergency you're dealing with. Use the following safety checklist to see whether your building is prepared to take on high winds and other dangerous weather:

You have an emergency supply kit fully stocked and easily accessible.
You and your employees have learned and practiced proper emergency protocol.
You have designated a safe place in your building to shelter during the storm.
You have consulted your local fire department regarding proper lightning rod installation.
You have ensured that the trees and shrubbery surrounding your building are properly trimmed.

During the Storm
Assuming you have abided by the preceding and your building is adequately prepared to take on a severe rain storm, staying safe and calm during the thunderstorm should be a breeze. Simply make sure that everyone in the building stays sheltered in place for the duration of the storm. Stay tuned in to local emergency broadcasts for updates. Secure all doors and windows and shelter away from any glass paneling. Avoid using any plumbing or electrical equipment for the duration of the storm. Even if you think the storm has passed, you should still wait to leave until at least 30 minutes after the last thunder clap, or until your emergency broadcast radio gives the all clear signal.

Severe rainstorms are no joke and many buildings have been devastated because they neglected to prepare properly. Follow the above tips to help avoid letting your commercial building become another statistic. If your building does fall victim to storm damage, make sure to contact storm remediation experts as soon as you can.

6 Types of Storm Shutters That Protect Your Home

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

The brick wall and windows with rolling shutters This type of shutter rolls up or down to cover the window

Six Types You Can Add To Your House

If you’re looking to protect your windows from high winds, you’ll want to pick a shutter that fits your budget, your home’s style, and the area’s weather. Here are the six types you can add to your house

1. Rolling
This type of shutter rolls up or down to cover the window. They’re usually polycarbonate or metal and operate by crank or hinge. They do more than protect windows; they can provide privacy and insulation.

2. Bahama
Also known as Bermuda shutters, this type of window protection connects to the top of the window with hinges and swing open like an awning. They add a decorative element to your home and are an excellent way to provide shade in warm climates.

3. Accordion
This kind of shutter is permanently attached to the side of the window. They’re often less expensive than rolling shutters, but you have to extend and fold them back manually. They’re a great choice for protecting large sliding glass windows.

4. Colonial
Colonial shutters are probably what you think of when you’re picturing window protection. They’re hung on either side of the window and are shut to cover the windows during high winds. They’re usually made of wood, and you can paint them to add a decorative accent to your home.

5. Fabric
Fabric storm panels are a more stylish (and less expensive) alternative to traditional storm coverings. They’re made from a durable mesh-like material and attach to the building with clips or grommets and straps. They’re not as strong as metal or wood coverings, but they let light through and come in a range of colors.

6. Storm Shutter
You only put storm shutters up during bad weather; they’re not permanently attached to the outside of your home. They’re usually made of metal and are one of the less expensive window protection options.
If your house in Pflugerville, TX, experiences damage from high winds, talk to your insurance company to find out repair options and costs. You may need to work with a storm restoration company to deal with any water or storm damage.

What To Do When You Find Mold in Your Home

7/25/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold behind drywall Mold cleanup and removal in Manda, TX

Is That Mold?

You're walking through your house one day and spot a small discolored spec near your washing machine, sump pump, refrigerator, or vents. Is that mold? You have never had black mold before, but if that is what you're dealing with, what should you do? The first phone call to make it to a remediation company in Manda, TX, but then you need to take several steps to mitigate further damage.

1. Turn off your HVAC 2. Shut off the main water supply 3. Inspect your home

Turn Off You HVAC
Mold growth begins as microscopic spores. These spores are present everywhere you go. However, in your home, especially when you suspect a mold problem, you want to control how these spores interact with the space. Restricting airflow may contain the mold to only the affected area. Shutting down your HVAC system reduces the risk of the infestation spreading to other areas in your house.

Shut Off the Main Water Supply
Mold relies on moisture or water to thrive. The most common cause of a mold problem is a moisture problem. Therefore, until you can rule out a plumbing leak, you want to eliminate the fuel to the infestation before the mold cleanup. Turning off the water, if there is a leak, can help dry out the space.

Inspect Your Home
With the HVAC unit shut down and the water no longer flowing through your system, take a walk around your home. You want to look at the vents, behind furniture, and around appliances to see if there are any other signs of black mold. You may also want to look inside of cupboards and behind drawers.
No one wants to deal with black mold or an infestation, but if you have to, it pays to know how to respond immediately. Contact a mold remediation company in your areas to assess your property, and remember to turn off the HVAC and water supply to the affected area.

Storm Readiness

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

When storms strike, SERVPRO of Pflugerville is on standby to help assist those who need it, whether they're local or not.

As we approach the two year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, we reflect on our involvement in the restoration process for folks in the path of that storm. 

SERVPRO of Pflugerville responded to a commercial water loss in Corpus Christi, Texas. An apartment complex there suffered substantial wind and water damage, resulting in damaged roofs, and even some of the brick walls collapsing. We were able to respond the next day, and began to provide emergency water mitigation services, as well as supplemental power so that the apartments could continue to operate and care for their tenants.

It is a mission we don't take lightly, to help folks impacted by storm damage regain a sense of safety and normalcy.

SERVPRO of Pflugerville is Storm Ready

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

The one thing you can always count on about Texas weather is that it's unreliable. 

This time of year, thunderstorms can develop and bring strong straight-line winds, severe lightning, large amounts of rain, and flash flooding.

Aside from watching your local weather station when inclement weather is on its way, you should also keep SERVPRO of Pflugerville's phone number handy. While we hope you don't need it, if you suffer damage to your home or business as a result of a storm, please call us to help you make it "Like it never even happened."

Along with our team of experienced and trained technicians, we are also part of a nationwide network of franchises who are ready to be mobilized and lend a helping hand, should the situation warrant it. No matter how big or small the damage is, SERVPRO of Pflugerville is equipped to restore and reconstruct it all.

Call us at 512-990-4776

When Floods Strike, Speed Means Everything

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Servpro vehicle parked in the street Responding to storm damage in Cele, TX

As time ticks away after a flood, the negative effects begin compounding. Businesses need help quickly. More specifically, they need a water damage restoration company that provides 24 hours, around-the-clock service, and can deliver prompt attention, even in the wee hours when only vampires are active in Cele, TX.

What Can Happen When a Business Gets Flooded

The first 24 hours after a flood are crucial. Here's why:

In just seconds, file cabinets containing critical records can be permeated and computers destroyed.
In a single day, a nasty smell can permeate the building, and any metal equipment or furniture can become irreparably harmed.
Between two days and a week after flooding, even more, serious damage may result, such as expensive wood floors bowing and cracking.

While that first 24 hour period is critical, once more than seven days have flown by, the expense of cleaning up the mess will have increased exponentially. In worst-case scenarios, the resale value of the space may become compromised forever.

Why It's Important To Receive a Rapid Damage Assessment

Any business can be brought to a standstill overnight when there’s a flood. That’s why it’s critical for an insurance claim to be made immediately. Without that, the cleanup can’t begin, and every additional day a company remains closed means more lost revenue.
Before that claim can be made, however, your property needs a thorough assessment — and it needs it ASAP. Fast response means less damage and decreased economic fallout. Because SERVPRO is always open, it's a preferred vendor for most insurance agencies. SERVPRO can send a team to any business within 60 minutes and provide an assessment within just eight hours. That means businesses will be able to make an insurance claim before things worsen.
Speedy, 24-hour turnaround is merely one way that SERVPRO, a nationally preferred vendor, is Here to Help. When the worst happens and a flood takes its toll, promptly starting the insurance claim process is a vital first step in mitigating unnecessary costs.

What if a Toilet Overflows in Your Home?

6/4/2020 (Permalink)

Woman checking the inside of a toilet tank Open the tank and raise the float so that the inflow valve shuts off

The world could be said to have entered the modern era around 1900 since this was when average homeowners started seeing flushing toilets become widespread for individual residences. Solutions to handling sewage before indoor toilets were inconvenient at best and frequently a public health disaster.
Unfortunately, when commodes don’t work right, it can feel like a throwback to the 19th century, potentially leaving you with widespread sewer damage in your home – and an unholy mess to face. Knowing how to handle it will make your life easier.

What Are the Types of Damage?

The sewer damage to your home will depend on the category of water damage:

  • Category 1 is clean water with no waste.
  • Category 2 is grey water with urine but no feces.
  • Category 3 is black water with fecal material.

A flooded toilet with clean water will at least present no danger of contamination, although if it soaks into carpet, wood, or drywall, you may need professional help. Category two or three will almost always require an expert to disinfect the impacted areas and inspect for hidden water damage.

What Should You Do if It Happens?
First off, stop the overflow! Open the tank and raise the float so that the inflow valve shuts off. If necessary, turn off the water to the toilet. Remove standing water as fast as possible; if it’s a small amount of clean water and you remove it immediately you may not need to do anything else. If there’s sewer damage, excessive amounts or contaminated water, you’ll almost certainly need to consult with a local restoration company experienced in dealing with serious water damage.

Who’s Responsible for the Clean-Up?
In most cases, you’re the lucky one who deals with the mess. Unless your sewage company can be shown to have negligently caused a serious plumbing issue, the homeowner is responsible in Pflugerville, TX. In a multi-family unit, your landlord may share responsibility or be expected to handle the problem if the sewer line is shown to have serious issues. At the least, the immediate mess is always your problem.

3 Types of Smoke Odor Removal

6/4/2020 (Permalink)

Deodorizing a space in a home that had been affected by smoke Deodorizing in Austin, TX

Smoke Odor Removal

After a fire, home deodorization can be an important step toward getting your Austin, TX, home back in order. Fortunately, a local fire damage restoration service can help with this process. Here are some tools you may see them use.

1. Special Cleaners

During the restoration process, the affected area can be washed with special cleaning solutions. These are designed to help break down and remove soot, as well as help remove odors. The methods used to apply these cleaners will depend on the type of material being cleaned. Curtains and other cloth items can be washed while furniture may need upholstery cleaning. Large solid furniture and walls may be wiped down.

2. Ozone Machine

Even after everything has been cleaned, odor may still linger in the air. The next step of home deodorization is the use of an ozone machine. An ozone machine works by charging oxygen molecules so they temporarily break apart and then recombine with new oxygen molecules to form a triple pairing instead of a double. The new third molecule can then combine with the odor molecule and disperse, leaving the air smelling fresher than before.

3. Deodorizing Paint

Another way to help get rid of fire or cigarette smoke odor is to use a deodorizing paint. After the damages are cleaned up and any necessary repairs are made, the restoration team will begin making your home look as though the fire never occurred. Part of this may include repainting the space, and a deodorizing paint can help prevent the return of any unwelcome odors.

With the help of the right cleaners, an ozone machine, and a good paint, the restoration team working on your home deodorization can restore it to pre-fire conditions. With a little time and work they can have your home looking “Like it never even happened.” Not even a lingering odor should remain. If you have any further questions these professionals can help.

Best Methods for Taking Care of Leaking Toilets

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo. For any significant water damage, SERVPRO of Pflugerville has the experience and the equipment to remedy the situation "Like it never even happened."

In a commercial building, a bathroom can see a lot of use on any given day. This goes for both restrooms for employees and for customers. It can be a big chore to keep these units operational, but it is certainly a priority. A leaking toilet can cause an assortment of problems, ranging from dirty water on the floor to a tarnishing of a company's image.

Water damage is a situation that must be addressed immediately. A local water remediation franchise in Austin, TX, will arrive on the scene in less than four hours and clean up the mess according to the highest industry standards. If contaminated water is present, trained technicians will remove the water and disinfect all affected surfaces.

Toilet Repair
A basic toilet can go for years without failing. However, now and then problems occur and demand attention. A leaking toilet could be the result of several malfunctions. When a water leak is discovered, the following methods can be considered for repair:

Call a local plumber
Troubleshoot the situation
Allow the custodial staff to handle the repairs

In simple cases such as a leaking pipe, the best solution may be as simple as tightening a fitting. If the water is coming out of the base, the preferred solution is to remove the toilet and replace the old wax gasket with a new one that creates a water-tight seal.

Bathroom Maintenance
Regular maintenance by a licensed plumbing contractor is a good way to reduce problems associated with public restrooms. A professional can replace an old toilet with a new model or fix a leaking toilet. These actions can prevent the spillage of toilet water onto the flooring, an unpleasant situation that could result in injuries from people slipping and falling.

For any significant water damage, SERVPRO of Pflugerville has the experience and the equipment to remedy the situation "Like it never even happened."

Common Pipe Noises and When To Worry

5/26/2020 (Permalink)

Pipe leaking. While not every noise coming from your plumbing will indicate a pipe break, being aware of those sounds that do often relate to problems is wise.

Many homeowners worry about the potential costs associated with a pipe break. However, few people concern themselves with understanding the noises that can give them a warning sign of potential problems. If water damage worries you, then take the time to understand the three sounds that may help you predict an expensive issue.

Whistling or hissing
Running water

Whistling or Hissing
Have you ever stood at a faucet in your home and heard hissing or whistling when you turn it on? Does the sound also happen when you shut it off? Either sound indicates an obstruction in the pipe. While the obstacle may not yet be enough to block the flow of water, it may get to that point rapidly. Clearing the buildup is crucial, especially since increased pressure can lead to a pipe burst.

Banging sounds often referred to as water hammering, may involve air in the line, which can come from an existing leak. You may hear the thudding or banging when turning off faucets or flushing toilets. The constant abuse of the water lines can cause a pipe break, especially the longer the problem persists.

Running Water
The sound of running water, whether a slow, steady drip or rushing, is a noise that requires immediate intervention. Contact a water mitigation company in Austin, TX, to assess the property because they likely need to fix broken pipe connections. However, before calling any company, be sure to turn off the main water supply valve for your home.

While not every noise coming from your plumbing will indicate a pipe break, being aware of those sounds that do often relate to problems is wise. Whistling, banging, and running water sounds are common signs of blockages and other water line damage. Contact a professional plumber or mitigation service in your area for an assessment of your property and to perform any necessary repairs.

What Does Water Damage Restoration Entail?

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo. A pipe burst can produce clean or dirty water depending on the type of pipe.

Some amount of water damage is unavoidable in the wake of a home flood that has resulted from a pipe burst or another issue. Immediate steps must be taken to stop the water and to begin the restoration process. So, what should you expect? First, you need to contact a team of water damage cleanup professionals. This cleanup crew will:

1. Perform a Damage Assessment
When the experts arrive on the scene they’ll begin by inspecting the damage and coming up with a plan of action. If water is still flowing into the area, they’ll stop it and also assess the safety issues such as water contamination level.

2. Extract the Standing Water
Next, the water will be extracted from the affected area with large, powerful wet/dry vacuum units. The crew can then move your belongings out of the area to guard them against further damage. Your flooring, walls, and ceilings, along with the general humidity of your home will be assessed.

3. Dry Everything
After the standing water is removed, it’s necessary to dry the affected area and its contents as much as possible. You may not realize just how much is wet; everything from flooring to drywall to furniture can suffer water damage. The professionals will use industrial-grade fans and dehumidifiers to remove all moisture. They’ll also check for signs of mold.

4. Clean and Sanitize Everything
A pipe burst can produce clean or dirty water depending on the type of pipe. Even materials that haven’t been affected by mold or dirty water can emit a foul odor and require cleaning. The professional remediation team will clean, sanitize, and remove the odor of any salvageable materials. They’ll also dispose of the unsalvageable.

5. Restore the Area and Contents
Finally, the restoration will begin on the affected area and its remaining contents. Such restoration will entail the tear-out and installation of materials such as flooring and drywall, possibly even parts of the room’s basic structure or frame.

Flooding in your Austin, TX, home can be devastating, whether from a pipe burst or water line blockage. The quicker the process begins, the less damage that will occur.

4 Reasons to Replace Polybutylene Plumbing As Soon As Possible

5/10/2020 (Permalink)

The plumber connects parts of the plastic water pipe using fittings, hands close-up. Polybutylene plumbing was once a popular choice, because it was easy to install and relatively inexpensive

4 Reasons to Replace Polybutylene Plumbing As Soon As Possible

Polybutylene plumbing was once a popular choice, because it was easy to install and relatively inexpensive. However, it was discovered that these pipes came with a myriad of problems. The following are a few reasons why you should replace them if they are used in your New Sweden, TX, building.

1. They Are Old
One reason is simply that they are aging. These types of pipes were installed between the 1970s and 1990s, which means that they are reaching the end of their life. You should install new plumbing before this becomes an issue.
2. They Can Contaminate Your Water
As polybutylene pipes break down over time, they can leach chemicals into the water, contributing to contamination. This can be especially troublesome if this water is used for drinking or in food preparation.
3. They Break Easily
Another reason to have these pipes replaced is that they can break more easily than other types of plumbing. The chemicals used to treat your water can have a negative effect on the material of these pipes. It can cause them to break and crack which can result in large amounts of water damage to your building or the surrounding area.
4. They Cannot Be Repaired
Because this type of plumbing is no longer approved under United States building codes, repairing them is not an option. They will eventually wear down to the point that they break and will likely cause many problems for your business. The best option is to install new plumbing as soon as possible to prevent this.
If you experience water damage in your building due to polybutylene piping, a cleanup and restoration company can help perform mitigation to keep secondary damage to a minimum. They can remove the water from your building and salvage a wide range of belongings. They can also perform any necessary repairs to return your building to its previous condition.

Mold: A Tough Contender

5/10/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall and ceiling. Did you know that using bleach on mold is a common misconception

Keeping your Manda, TX, business running smoothly also means ensuring the indoor conditions are optimal for employees, vendors and guests. When the unmistakable musty odor of mold rears its ugly head, it means it’s time for some fungus cleanup. While it might be tempting to hastily wipe it down with available cleaning supplies, mold is a durable and touch microorganism that isn’t so easy to get rid of.

Mold Cleanup Misconceptions

When it’s time to cleanup mold, there are three common misconceptions.

Bleach Will Kill It. This cleanser may be suitable for various tasks, but mold isn’t one of them. First, bleach can lose its effectiveness due to evaporation. Second, and most importantly, it doesn’t have the killing power needed to battle mold. Ideal for cleaning surfaces, bleach can’t penetrate porous surfaces, which is where mold loves to grow. Also, the water in the bleach has the potential to fuel growth.
There Is Only One Problem Area. Once you see mold, it has progressed to a stage in the process in which mold spores are already floating through the air to find a new, unaffected area to start a new colony. If not properly cleaned, the tools used during the process could also be spreading mold to other areas.
It’s Gone If It Can’t Be Seen. Once the mold patch is no longer visible, some might assume the problem is solved. Unfortunately, mold is tricky. It can grow behind walls and underneath flooring and carpeting. If it isn’t found, it will quickly spread.

Proper Cleanup
Any kind of fungus cleanup is best left to the professionals. A trained mold damage and remediation expert will have the tools and expertise to find hidden mold and water issues, properly contain and eradicate the mold, and restore your property back to being mold-free.
The funky smell of mold and how easy it spreads makes fungus cleanup an immediate necessity. Before tackling it on your, get some professional help to ensure the problem is solved for good.

The Basics of Cleaning Water Damage in a Home

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

Green truck box of SERVPRO parked Responding to storm damage in Cele, TX

The Basics of Cleaning Water Damage in a Home

Many scenarios exist for homeowners where water leaks or floods into a residence. Some of these can be tackled in a DIY fashion, while others require the services of an expert storm remediation company. Recognizing the severity of a situation can save time and money and protect the health of you and your family members. The instances that lend themselves to DIY solutions are limited to a water source that is clean and potable, and to a problem that is small in scope. A sewer backup, on the other hand, involves a potentially dangerous water source and should be handled by technicians who wear PPE and are trained in techniques to take care of dirty water.

Big Jobs Demand Expertise
If your home in Cele, TX, is affected by a water problem, it sometimes makes more sense to call in a local team. Technicians can arrive at your home in a matter of hours and begin to assess the property. The following situations are best handled by experienced personnel:

  • Sewer backup
  • Broken sewer pipe
  • Flooding
  • Complicated job
  • Toilet overflow
  • Septic system malfunction

Contaminated water is present in most plumbing issues. Flood waters that enter a home might contain harmful chemicals, sewage, and animal waste. A bathtub backup is another example of dirty water escaping where it does not belong. An experienced technician will understand the techniques and equipment necessary to treat the problem.

Small Jobs Allow DIY
A small leak of clean water can be handled without calling in reinforcements. This includes situations such as the leak of drinking water or a water spill onto carpeting. The best plan is to stop the source of the leak and then to dry out any items with fans or increased ventilation. It's important to completely dry out surfaces to prevent mold from taking hold in the near future. If you suspect contaminated water is involved, such as in a sewer backup, contact a company that is Here to Help.

Do Your Employees Know How To Use a Fire Extinguisher?

4/19/2020 (Permalink)

Man using fire extinguisher to stop fire in the office. Concept of protection and security Make sure all your employees know how to use a fire extinguisher

Do Your Employees Know How To Use a Fire Extinguisher?

It's your responsibility as an Austin, TX, business owner to make sure your workplace is a safe place for employees and customers. With this in mind, you may have a fire extinguisher, or several, located throughout your property. It's also required that you provide training for your employees on how to use the device. Most training include the simple-to-remember PASS method:

P for pulling the pin that breaks the tamper seal.
A for aiming low at the base of the fire.
S for squeezing the handle that releases the extinguishing agent.
S for sweeping the device side to side slowly until the fire goes out.

Repeat the PASS technique as often as needed until the fire no longer reignites. Many employees and customers may already feel comfortable with this part of your fire safety training classes, and there are other skills and facts to include throughout the year.

Cover All Areas of Extinguisher Usage
The PASS method is just one part of using a fire extinguisher appropriately. It's also important that employees alert other of the fire, especially if alarms haven't already gone off. There should be a designated member of the staff with the responsibility of contacting the fire department. Everyone in the building, including the person using the extinguisher, must have access to a safe path of evacuation. It's imperative that heat, flames, or smoke do not get between this person and the exit.

Make Sure You Have the Right Extinguisher
There are several types of extinguishers, so you must be sure to have the right device for the type of work you're doing. The best way to determine which device is right for your situation is to ask your local Austin, TX, fire department. For example, the Class K device is specifically meant for a kitchen fire, especially if grease and oil are present.
Workplace safety is an important responsibility. Fire damage cleanup and remediation professionals may also be a source of information. Be sure to provide routine training on the use of the PASS technique, evacuation routes, and your updated fire safety plan, in addition to installing the correct fire extinguisher.

Flood Readiness

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Inside of a building with standing water of storm Commercial flooding in Pflugerville, TX

Flooding to your Pflugerville, TX business can be a very stressful event. Unfortunately, many insurance policies do not cover floods. A separate flood policy must be purchased. It is important to know the difference between flood damage and other types of storm damage so that you can make sure your commercial property is adequately protected.

Flood Definition

Many property owners think of floods as any unwanted standing water, whether from a broken appliance or a storm surge. However, according to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), to be characterized as a flood, the water damage must affect at least two acres or two separate properties and be caused by one of the following:

  • Overflow of rivers, lakes and other inland bodies of water (whether due to erosion or excess rainfall)
  • Tidal overflow
  • Mudflow
  • Surface water accumulation or runoff

Water damage caused by other means, such as a roof leak during a rainstorm, is not considered flood damage. In such cases, the claim should be filed with the standard property owner's insurance rather than on the flood policy.

Flood Mitigation

Although floods can cause serious problems, it is possible to minimize the damage to your business by taking some precautions. Use sandbags or inflatable dams to form a barrier around your building. You can fortify the barrier by securing windows and doors with plastic tarps. Move furniture, electronics and other important items to a safe location. This could be the second floor of your building or an off-site location. Keep electronic copies of important documents such as insurance policies. Make sure to have emergency supplies on hand and an emergency plan in place before flooding begins. When the water stops rising and it is safe to do so, begin drying out the property to prevent mold growth.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to prevent flood damage. If your commercial building suffers flooding, you may decide to contact a certified restoration company to help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.

How Does Mold Infest a Large Space?

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Removing drywall with mold Mold removal on Manda, TX

Understand These Three Things About Mold Growth

It's only a few fuzzy spots. Isn't that what homeowners in Manda, TX, tend to think about fungus? Surely with just a few sprays of bleach solution the problem will be solved. Nope. It's not that easy. In fact, that do-it-yourself mentality could actually encourage spreading mold throughout the space. Before you tackle the infestation on your own, understand these three things about mold growth.

1. It Is a Natural Decomposer

Spores such as black mold exist in nature as a functional source of decomposition. Existing everywhere, they combine with organic matter and liquid to break items down. For example, in the woods, it tackles the broken logs, helping the environment. However, in your home, it could eat away at drywall, flooring, ceiling tiles, and personal valuables. It's problematic, particularly in locations that are hot and humid. For that reason, you'll need to keep an eye out in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms, anywhere that may be dark and have increased temperature.

2. It Moves Quickly

The tiny microbes enter your home regularly. You pick them up outside and bring them inside with you. In addition, they could find their way in as you open doors and windows. The air conditioner, then, can pick up, spreading mold to various rooms. If it lands on something wet, breeding begins with fungus feasting on whatever matter it has found. Within days, advancement can occur.

3. It Needs Removal

If you smell a musty odor or notice changes in structure contact a mold remediation company. Often the home kits can't find the source of the excess fluid, and they can't eradicate the depth of the invasion. Rather, the experts can assess the area, determining the extent of the trouble. Then, they'll put together a plan to remove anything contaminated. By taking it out, you secure the area. In addition, they can identify why it began, fixing the origin.
Don't think a few spots aren't a problem. Instead, it could be a sign of spreading mold. Specialists can minimize the hazard, clean it and restore the location.

Proper Use of an Electric Space Heater To Heat a Room

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

Space Heater Never plug a space heater into a power strip or an extension cord

Follow These Tips To Keep Your Home Warm

An electric space heater is an alternative to your home’s heating system because it warms a small area for overall greater cost-efficiency. However, improper use can not only result in a burned space heater but also a burned house. Space heaters cause thousands of avoidable house fires each year. Follow these tips to keep your home warm while dodging a disaster of your own.

Position It Three Feet Away

The heater should be positioned at least three feet from anything flammable. This includes drywall, curtains, furniture, papers, and clothing. Also, don’t let children and pets come into contact with the heater. They could tip it over, which could cause a fire. It can also be a tripping hazard.

Plug It Directly Into a Wall Outlet

Never plug a space heater into a power strip or an extension cord since overheating can occur and start a fire because of a high current. Plug the heater directly into a wall outlet by itself.

Avoid Leaving It Unattended

Avoid using the heater when you’re not in the room. Be especially mindful to turn it off when you leave the house or go to bed.

Turn It Off When Not in Use

Make sure to unplug your heater when it’s not in use. There’s a chance that it could accidentally be turned on if it’s left plugged in. Carelessness can result in a burned space heater – or more.

Purchase One With Auto-Shutoff

Make sure that you buy a heater with an automatic shutoff function. This safety function forces the unit to shut down if it tips over. It should also automatically turn off after a certain period of time.

Place It on a Proper Surface

Place the heater on a non-flammable surface. Make sure the surface is flat and level.
With portable electric heaters being the leading cause of home fires, it’s important to monitor your unit closely when it’s in use. If your Cele,TX, home has experienced damage from a burned space heater, fire damage cleanup professionals will handle all aspects of the fire and smoke cleanup.

Causes of a Leaky Toilet

2/17/2020 (Permalink)

Person working on a toilet. Sometimes a leak is quickly resolved with standard household tools.

A leaking toilet is a common problem in a home, and it does not always require the skilled hands of plumbing professionals in Austin, TX. Sometimes a leak is quickly resolved with standard household tools. However, before you can fix a leak, you must know where the leak is coming from. There are at least four likely sources for a leaky toilet.

Loose supply line or faulty shutoff valve
Cracked tank
Loose Bolts
Dry wax ring

Loose Supply Line or Faulty Shutoff Valve
One of the first things you should check when experiencing this type of bathroom leak is the supply line and the shutoff valve. It is not uncommon for these lines to loosen over time, causing a small leak. Also, the water shutoff valve can age and become less effective over time.

Cracked Tank
Next, check around the outside of the tank for any moisture or condensation. If you find any, then dry the area and wait a few minutes. If the moisture buildup reappears, then you might have a small crack in the tank that is causing your leaking toilet. If it is a crack, depending on the extent of the damage, you might need to replace the toilet.

Loose Bolts
If you notice pooling around the base of the toilet, then you might have loose bolts. The floor bolts are meant to hold the toilet tight against the wax ring underneath, preventing waste fumes and leaks. Check the bolts and try tightening those that feel loose. Then dry the area and see if water reappears.

Dry Wax Ring
If water reappears after tightening the bolts, then you likely have a dry wax ring. Unfortunately, this means that you will need to remove the toilet and replace the ring.

A leaking toilet is not always a sign of more worrisome issues. Sometimes it is just a loose element and nothing more. However, if you are concerned, then you can reach out to a plumbing specialist for an assessment.

Mitigating Water Damage After a Water Heater Fails

2/11/2020 (Permalink)

Dehumidifier on wooden floor. Drying equipment Mitigating water damage in a Cele, TX home

Mitigating Water Damage After a Water Heater Fails

A failed or leaking water heater can cause significant damage to your property, especially if it had gone unnoticed. These devices can lead to major flooding in homes and will probably require a mitigation and restoration company in Cele, TX, to clean and repair your system and property. Any company you call will typically follow the same procedure.

Shut off water supply
Remove equipment and water
Dehumidify the area
Remove damage
Restore property

Shut Off Water Supply

After experiencing a failed water heater, you will need to address the situation quickly to avoid significant damage. Before calling for help, you should find the water shutoff valve to stop the continued flow of water from the heater.

Remove Equipment and Water

Once the restoration company arrives, they might first assess the damage to your property before removing the broken water heater and extracting the excess water. To remove the flood, they will typically use shop vacs, pumps and possibly special trucks with built-in suction pumps, depending on the depth of the flooding.

Dehumidify the Area

After the leaking water heater and the flood are removed, the team will get to work drying and dehumidifying the affected space. It is necessary to make sure that the structure of the home is completely dry before getting to work on any repairs.

Remove Damage

While the space is drying, the restoration company will probably be removing damaged items as well as any structural damage like drywall or insulation. The removal of drywall is sometimes necessary, especially with significant flooding, because the wall cavities could have been exposed to excessive moisture, which may lead to mold.

Restore Property

Once the area is dry and all damage has been removed, the company you hired will begin restoring the property. Restoration companies are experts in returning your home to pre-disaster conditions, which means you will see no evidence of flood when they are done.
While a leaking water heater may not lead to a full-blown disaster, a failed tank can. If you experience such a failure, then seeking out a restoration professional might be your best option.

Keeping Your Business Safe During Thunderstorms

2/6/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning strikes and the words "Storm Damage." Thunderstorms and inclement weather may be hard to predict.

As a business owner in Austin, TX, it's important to keep your workspace and employees safe during inclement weather. Storms can develop quickly and bring damaging rain, wind, hail, and lightning. A severe rainstorm may lead to flash floods, which can create dangerous travel conditions. High winds during thunderstorms may also down trees and create power outages. Debris and hail may be blown into structures and cause damage. Here are some ways to prepare your workplace for severe weather.

1. Storm Preparation

Before severe weather hits, take steps to secure your buildings. It's a good idea to discuss thunderstorm and lightning safety with your team, make a list of items to bring inside should a storm hit, and make an emergency preparedness kit. To prepare the exterior of your building, keep trees and shrubs trimmed, secure any loose flashing, and consult with a local fire department regarding lightning rods.

2. Storm Response

During an intense rain storm, keep calm and put your preparation plans into action. Keep yourself and your employees safe by taking shelter in a secure area of the building. Choose a place that is away from windows, skylights, and glass doors, as these are more likely to be broken by strong wind or hail. Use battery-powered TVs and radios to listen to emergency updates from local or national weather services.

3. Storm Recovery

Once the storm has passed, continue to make safety a top priority. Listen to radio or TV stations for updated information or safety instructions. Some areas or roads may be inaccessible due to downed power lines or flooded roadways. Keep yourself and your employees out of storm-damaged areas. If you need assistance with flood cleanup or storm cleanup, contact professionals in emergency restoration services immediately.

Thunderstorms and inclement weather may be hard to predict. Use these tips to keep your business and your staff safe in the event of a severe storm. Taking some basic safety precautions can lessen the damaging effects of a major rain storm.

4 Steps of Fire Damage Restoration

2/3/2020 (Permalink)

Flames in a ware house. Whether the flames have affected only a small area or have ruined a large portion of the building, you should have the damage taken care of.

After a fire in your Austin, TX, building, fire damage restoration will need to be done. If you have not experienced this process before, you might not know exactly what to expect. The following are some of the things that will be done to get your building looking great again.

1. Inspection
Before anything else can be done, an inspection will need to take place so the restoration company can determine the extent of the damage. They will look over each area of the building and locate affected rooms and items.

2. Mitigation
After inspection, the next step in fire damage restoration is mitigation. This is done to keep damage from spreading and becoming worse. During this stage, missing areas will need to be covered with tarps or boards to keep out rain and debris. If water was used to put out the fire, areas may be blocked off to keep water from spreading.

3. Cleanup
Because smoke and soot travel through the air, smoke cleanup should be done in the area surrounding the primary damage, even if the flames did not reach that far. Smoke carries acidic elements that can cause damage and corrosion to surfaces as well as belongings. Electronic devices and equipment should be inspected before use to prevent damage.

4. Restoration
The final step in fire damage restoration is to make the repairs and restore the building to its previous condition. Some materials may need to be replaced, and if the fire was severe, workers may need to completely rebuild certain rooms or areas.

Repainting will likely need to be done as well.
Whether the flames have affected only a small area or have ruined a large portion of the building, you should have the commercial fire damage taken care of by a professional. A fire damage remediation company will be able to clean the area thoroughly and make repairs quickly without sacrificing quality, so you can get back to business.

3 Ways to Locate a Leak in Your Shower

1/29/2020 (Permalink)

Bathtub overflowing with water. Inspecting the floor around the shower or tub, the room beneath, and the basin itself can help you determine if a bathtub leak is a problem.

Repairing a shower or bathtub can be costly. That's why it’s important to locate a shower or bathtub leak in your Austin, TX, as quickly as possible. Not only can fixing a leak quickly, save you money, but you may be able to prevent further damage to your home. There are a few things you can look for if you believe there may be a leak in your bathroom.

1. Inspect the Surrounding Floor
One of the first things to do when suspect there may be a leak is to inspect the surrounding floor. Often water damage can be seen in loose grout, missing calk, softwood, discolored tile, and bubbling or peeling paint. If you see these signs it’s best to contact a water damage restoration professional as quickly as possible.

2. Inspect the Ceiling of the Room Beneath
Locating a shower or bathtub leak can be helped by looking at the ceiling of the room beneath. Often leaking water can soak through and cause discoloration, sagging material, or bubbling paint. Not only can these signs be taken as a sign of a leak, but can also show the path of water travel to help locate the leak’s source.

3. Inspect the Shower Compartment
Another way to determine if you have a shower pan leak is to inspect the bathing stall itself. Look for areas of loose or missing grout, missing caulking, or obvious cracks. You may also take note of any area where the stall or back-splash panel seems to be coming away from the wall. These areas along with floor or wall discoloration could indicate a leak.

Inspecting the floor around the shower or tub, the room beneath, and the basin itself can help you determine if a bathtub leak is a problem in your home. It may be helpful to look for loose or damaged materials. Remember, if you do find damage it’s important to contact a professional for any repair needs.

Keep Water Damage to a Minimum With a Fast Response

1/28/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling collapsed from water damage in an office Office water damage in New Sweden, TX

When your commercial property experiences a case of bursting pipes, you want to reduce expenses and damages as much as possible. You also want to keep a business interruption to a minimum. One key to this is finding specialists in water damage who are Faster to any size disaster. Whether it is plumbing problems or a flood from a storm, a fast response is crucial. When trained and certified technicians arrive on the scene in less than four hours they start with an initial inspection and damage assessment and then move on to water removal. Water, whether it is clean or contaminated, can ruin carpeting, flooring, and furnishings in a matter of hours.

Complete Water Restoration

Every water situation is unique. Unwanted water comes from storms, broken appliances, overflowing toilets and sinks, and sewage backups. To fix broken pipe you need workers who have experienced these occasions before. The restoration process involves the following steps:

  • Water removal and extraction
  • Drying and dehumidification
  • Cleaning and sanitizing
  • Restoration of damaged materials

It's important to have all water removed from bursting pipes and other sources. This prevents additional damage to materials and doesn't give mold a chance to gain a foothold. Trained technicians will monitor the drying process and measure the amount of humidity in the building.

Rapid Water Restoration

It's not always during business hours when water damage New Sweden, TX, strikes. In fact, it often happens in the middle of a night or on a weekend. Therefore, it's important to call a remediation team that will be there quickly no matter the time of day or night. Within minutes, water can spread throughout a building and seep into carpeting and wood. Drywall begins to crack and degrade in hours, and furniture begins to swell and crack. Water removal, if done quickly, saves materials and reduces the overall expense of the cleanup. Tackling bursting pipes is a job best left to the professionals in water restoration.

4 Ways to Prepare Your Business for a Winter Storm

1/23/2020 (Permalink)

Stormy skies and a SERVPRO logo. If your building is damaged during a winter storm, then a cleanup and repair company can help.

When you are expecting severe weather in Austin, TX, you should take steps to be prepared. A winter storm can cause a lot of damage to your building, so use the following tips to minimize its effect on your business.

1. Stay Informed
One of the most important things you can do to prevent storm damage is to keep updated with any new information. The weather can be unpredictable and may sometimes change quickly. Watch the news to identify any changes in the situation so you can alter your plans if necessary.

2. Keep the Building Warm
During a storm, the temperature may drop. If it gets too low, you could end up with frozen pipes which could cause a pipe break. Water may flood your building and cause damage to its structure as well as the items inside. In order to prevent this, make sure to keep the heat on even after you leave the building. You may want to insulate any exposed pipes and leave doors open to allow heat to circulate as well.

3. Check Doors and Windows
The areas around doors and windows often deteriorate more quickly than other places in the building. If these are not in good shape, they won’t be able to keep out moisture properly. Make sure that all windows and doors are sealing and well-insulated.

4. Inspect the Exterior
During a winter storm, damage to the exterior of the building can become worse. Cracks in the walls can let water in and can contribute to the growth of mold. Loose roof tiles can be blown off and leave areas exposed. Check everything carefully and have repairs done if necessary.

If your building is damaged during a winter storm, then a cleanup and repair company can help. They can remove any water that has entered the building, perform mitigation and make repairs. If any belongings have been damaged, they can salvage many of these as well.

Is a SERVPRO Franchise Right For You?

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO truck box parked on a side way 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
  • Fire
  • Flooding

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

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded basement area. 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:

Sewer backup
Broken water heater
Leaky or broken pipe
Poor drainage or insufficient rain gutters

Get Out
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

1/21/2020 (Permalink)

Sprinkler on ceiling. 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.

Cleaning Documents
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.

Other Approaches
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?

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. 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

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Busted pipe. 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.

Downspout Problems

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

1/14/2020 (Permalink)

Document Freeze Drying Chamber 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:

Decontamination/Gamma Irradiation/Sterilization
Certified Destruction

Some of the many types of documents we work with include:

paper documents
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

1/13/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall. 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.

1. Sort
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.

2. Call
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.

3. Clean
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

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth on the ceiling of a property 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
  • Paper
  • 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

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

EXIT sign 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

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

An office desk with water on top due to heavy rain 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:

  • Buildings
  • Computers
  • Furniture and equipment
  • Exterior signs
  • Fences and landscaping
  • Important documents
  • Inventory
  • 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.

How To Choose the Right Smoke Detectors for Your Home

11/23/2019 (Permalink)

Dual smoke detector A system of combination or dual-sensor detectors is probably your best bet

Factors You Need To Consider When Deciding For a Smoke Detector

A good smoke alarm system can alert you to a fire in your home in Austin,TX, so you can escape more quickly. Choosing the right system is crucial to your family's safety. There are several factors you need to consider when deciding which one is best.

Type of Detector

The first thing you need to decide is the type of smoke detector you want to install. There are several types to choose from:

  • Photoelectric
  • Ionization
  • Dual-sensor
  • Air sampling
  • Combination

A system of combination or dual-sensor detectors is probably your best bet. The combination detectors also include a carbon monoxide detector, which means you can get better coverage for more issues with fewer devices. The dual-sensor detectors combine ionization devices for detecting small-particle smoke and photoelectric detectors for sensing large-particle smoke. That way, no matter what kind of fire breaks out, your system can detect it.

Source of Power

Smoke alarm systems can be powered in several ways. Many detectors require a 9-volt battery that has to be periodically replaced. You can simplify your replacement schedule if you have a lithium battery or a detector with such a power source built in. Other systems wire the detectors into your home. With such a system, you can go without batteries or just use them as backups.

Location of Detectors

When deciding how many or what type of detectors to buy, you need to consider the size of your home. A large home is better served by a fire safety system in which the detectors are connected. That way, if one goes off, the rest of them go into alarm as well. You may also consider putting photoelectric detectors near the kitchen, as ionization detectors are more easily triggered by smoke from grease. No matter what kind of detectors you get, you need one on every level and both inside and outside each sleeping area.
A reliable smoke alarm system is your first notice when a fire breaks out. Early detection can help you stay safe and avoid the need for extensive fire restoration services.

3 Tests That Identify Mold

11/20/2019 (Permalink)

Closeup shot of grey mold growth. Be quick and thorough.

When mold spores make contact with water they can multiply, spreading throughout your home and potentially causing damage. That can be deleterious for homeowners. Harder still, the infestation is not always noticeable, hiding instead behind walls or on the carpet. Should you suspect water damage or detect a musty smell, you'll want to act quickly, calling in a mold remediation company in Austin, TX. Allow their environmental hygienist to perform a mold assessment. Here are three tests the specialist may use to determine the level of growth.

1. Bulk Testing
Many times trouble lurks in hard-to-see locations. Therefore, it is customary for experts to ask permission to remove small pieces of the home such as cutting small holes in walls or ceiling tiles. While that may seem extreme, it helps detect flourishing colonies. Results can determine whether black mold or other species are present as well as how much has accumulated. From there, the team can put together a plan to remove any infected areas and begin restoration.

2. Air Testing
A stale odor sometimes means that scum is in the air, so several vials of the atmosphere may be collected from various rooms, and even perhaps during different times of the day. This won't necessarily determine concentration levels, but it is a good indicator that something is hiding out-of-sight. If the mold assessment comes back positive, employees may begin examining the air handler to see if it's contaminated.

3. Surface Testing
Sometimes spots appear along walls, in showers or on the ground. In these cases, swabs can be taken, showing what is present. If it's mold, the company will begin removal and restoration efforts. It could be mildew, though, and that requires different cleaning. The business can help you scrub it away and give tips for preventing further development.

Be quick and thorough. Anytime you suspect trouble with fungus, contact an environmental hygienist to investigate the property and complete a mold assessment. The evaluation can help determine exposure levels and provide information for the sanitizing process.

How To Use a Fire Extinguisher

11/15/2019 (Permalink)

Hands holding a fire extinguisher. Take time now to prepare for the unexpected.

As a homeowner in Austin, TX, you should prioritize safety, for both your family and your property. That includes preparing ahead of time for a home fire. While you consider evaluation routes and emergency contacts, it's also beneficial to supply your home with a fire extinguisher as the first line of defense. The red canisters may seem a bit intimidating, but they are designed to help residents. Here are a few tips for wielding one with better care.

1. Pick Appropriate Locations
You want to have extinguishers near areas likely to have a fire; therefore, consider purchasing one for the kitchen and garage. These locations often have several appliances or electrical equipment capable of exposing the house to fire damage. Is your place two stories? If so, put one upstairs in a spot that is easy to access; furthermore, make other family members aware of where they are, and teach them how to use them.

2. Review Procedures
Don't expect to know how to handle these containers. Practice with them. Pick them up and examine the parts. You want to know if they will be able to physically use the device. If it's too heavy consider investing in smaller units. Next, go over the steps for using a fire extinguisher. A popular phrase is P.A.S.S.: pull the pin, aim low, squeeze the handle, and sweep from side to side. As you release the agent, you want to stay as close to the base of the flame as possible. This could help eliminate the flames.

3. Call for Help
Once you've suppressed the blaze, call in a fire restoration company to inspect the premises. The workers can test the area to determine the extent of the problem and recommend recovery services. Whether it's a kitchen fire or lightning strike, they can offer assistance in repairs as well as how to salvage ruined materials. In fact, they have special equipment to remove smoky aromas and remove soot from walls and ceilings.

Take time now to prepare for the unexpected. Purchase safety equipment, and learn how to use a fire extinguisher. It could save your property.

Lightening’s Effect on a Home

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

House with broken windows and fire damage along the exterior wall. The raw power of Mother Nature can be scary, especially if it results in a lightning fire.

Homeowners in Pflugerville, TX, know that Mother Nature is fickle. While most thunderstorms result in downed branches and potentially window or roof damage, a strong storm can also result in a lightning fire.

How Is a Home a Conduit?
Most people may feel like being inside the home means protection from a severe storm. While typically the case, on average there are more than 22,000 fires reported that are caused by lightning. These electrified bolts naturally find the easiest route from the sky to the ground. A home is actually filled with a plethora of items for these bolts to travel through. These include:

Gas and water pipes
Electric lines
Phone lines
Cable and internet lines
Metal window frames

It also can travel from one conduit to another, known as a side flash.
Three Types of Damage
If your home is struck, there are three main types of damage that can occur.

Fire – A house fire is the most common danger. Within the home are flammable materials, both structurally and your belongings, that can be ignited. Since the bolt can travel through wires, a lightning fire that starts in the attic has the potential to follow circuits throughout the house.

Power Surge – The power behind a bolt of lightning is immense. If it enters the electrical system, along with a potential fire, it can create a surge that damages any items plugged into the electrical system.

Shock Wave – That thunderous clap of thunder hopefully heard off in the distance is actually the shock waves of lightning. If it happens close to a home, its power is strong enough to crack concrete, bricks, stones and foundations; shatter windows; damage plaster walls; leave behind trenches in soil; and produce shrapnel that can become embedded in walls.

The raw power of Mother Nature can be scary, especially if it results in a lightning fire. While most people luckily won’t have to deal with it, if a bolt affects your home, contact a professional to get your home back in shape.

What To Do When a Flood Is Headed Your Way

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded street in front of a house. Storms can move quickly and bring devastating consequences.

When a storm is headed your way in Pflugerville, TX, you should do all you can to prepare. Some storms bring the threat of a water deluge, high winds, and hail damage. Floodwater can cause a lot of destruction, and in extreme cases, it can leave you stranded in your home. The harm to your property can be extensive, and you will need storm damage repair experts to get your home back to normal. However, it's important to be organized and do everything you can to get ready.

Assemble an Emergency Kit
Extensive water damage can make it difficult to leave your house, particularly when you are in a flooded building. You should have an emergency kit ready in case you can't get out of your home for a few days. The kit should include articles for basic survival, as well as items to call for help when needed. Here are some necessary things to pack in your emergency kit:

Clean water
Phone charger

You can order an emergency flood kit online if you don't want to build one yourself. Make sure you also have an up-to-date first aid kit at your residence.

Check Forecasts Frequently
Storm paths and severity can change quickly and often. When gale forces are headed your way, check the forecast updates regularly, especially as the storm gets closer. This should help determine the flood water risks.

Evacuate If Necessary
Your home is important, but your safety should be your number one priority. If authorities recommend evacuation, don't hesitate to leave the area immediately. Traffic often slows to a crawl when everybody attempts to leave at once.

Storms can move quickly and bring devastating consequences. Your best bet is to plan in advance and prepare for flood water. An emergency kit can be helpful if you are stranded, but be sure to check the forecasts regularly and evacuate if your safety is in question.

Do’s and Don’ts if You Suspect a Gas Leak

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Fire burning and an exit sign on the ceiling. If your home experiences a gas fire, fire damage cleanup professionals can restore it to its original state.

Do’s and Don’ts If You Suspect a Gas Leak
The smell of sulfur at your home in Pflugerville, TX,  can be an ominous sign of a natural gas leak. It’s important to act on it immediately. A gas leak could potentially result in a gas fire or explosion, turning into a major disaster for your home and residents.

Things to Avoid
In a potentially explosive situation, it’s what you don’t do in this incendiary environment that’s of primary importance. Be sure to avoid:

Turning on anything electrical (switches, lights, appliances, televisions, computers)
Plugging in or unplugging electronics
Using phones (landline or cell phones)
Operating garage doors
Using candles

All of the above are potential ignition sources, which will likely result in a gas explosion if you have a natural gas leak. Even a small, undetectable spark such as that from a cell phone can cause a gas fire that will immediately create an explosion. If your first impulse is to always reach for your smartphone, resist it. Static electricity is another risk; it can be generated by simply walking across the carpet.

Immediate Actions to Take
The sulfur or rotten egg smell that is associated with a natural gas leak is actually an additive to make the typically odorless gas detectable. The sooner you act, the less chance of a disaster occurring. If the odor is very weak, it might be as simple as turning off the gas valve on your gas appliances (e.g., stove, fireplace, water heater).

However, if you notice a strong odor, get everyone out of the house immediately, including all pets. You may be inclined to open windows for fresh air, but time is of the essence and distancing yourself should be your main priority. Once you’re out of close range of the house call the utility company and/or fire department to come out and check for the leak.

If your home experiences a gas fire, fire damage cleanup professionals can restore it to its original state.

Be Prepared for Storms

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Be prepared for when storms strike.

If you have lived in central Texas long, you are aware that the weather can be extraordinarily temperamental. Though spring is most commonly when severe weather is expected, thunderstorms can just as easily strike in summer.

While it may be difficult to prepare for the unpredictable, there are steps you can take now to help ensure that you are ready when disaster strikes.

Preparing an emergency supply kit, and storing it in a designated shelter area of your home (usually the innermost room or closet, furthest away from the exterior walls and windows) is a great way to be prepared; Add some spare batteries, along with your NOAA Weather Radio, and water enough for the members of your family. Ensure that everyone in the household knows the particulars of your emergency readiness plan, should severe storms strike.

If damage to your home should occur, SERVPRO of Pflugerville is ready to help you set it right again.

Before, During, & After a Storm

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Keep these things in mind when prepping for, going through, or after a storm.

As your local restoration company, SERVPRO of Pflugerville is here to help you make storm damage "Like it never even happened."

Here are some tips for before, during, and after a storm:


  • Build an emergency supply kit and develop a communication plan.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment before the storm arrives.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • If you are outdoors, get inside a building, home or hard top vehicle (not a convertible).
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.


  • Use your battery-operated NOAA Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones. Cordless and cellular phones are safe to use.
  • Unplug appliances and other electrical items, such as computers. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.


  • Never drive through a flooded roadway.
  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.

Follow this advice, and heed the warnings from your local news and weather channels to keep your property and loved ones safe through to the other side of the storms. 

Should you need restoration services, call SERVPRO of Pflugerville any time of day or night, and we will see to it that your property is restored properly and quickly.

Here to Help

7/8/2019 (Permalink)

Local, and ready when you need us.

SERVPRO of Pflugerville specializes in restoration of residential or business properties following a fire damage, water damage, mold damage, or storm damage. 

We are an independently owned and operated franchise, part of a nationwide network of over 1700 others who can unite together when required to ensure that those who need help are able to receive it.

We don't just wear green...we bleed it. SERVPRO of Pflugerville has gathered a team of people who are well-versed in the art of restoration, who have trained and continue to train to stay on the cutting edge of the industry. We want to utilize our strengths to benefit our community. 

If you suffer a loss at your home or business, please give us a call. We're committed to serving our neighbors when disaster strikes, and do life beside them as well.

Rookie of the Year 2014

7/6/2019 (Permalink)

2014 Rookie of the Year Award: SERVPRO of Pflugerville

At our national convention this past month, SERVPRO of Pflugerville was proud to applaud a fellow franchise from our very own directorship who received the very distinguished Rookie of the Year Award.

Seeing them recognized for their achievements reminded us of when we were honored to receive the very same award in 2014. After we got our start, we were privileged to work alongside local agents, adjusters, staff, friends, family, and customers to provide restoration services for people in our community impacted by fire damage, water damage, mold damage, and storm damage.

After experiencing a loss, it's our passion to help make your commercial or residential property "Like it never even happened." Since receiving the Rookie of the Year Award, we have added experience, team members, equipment, loyal customers, and friends in the community. Should you experience damage to your property, please give us a call.

SERVPRO of Pflugerville is Part of Our Community

7/2/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Pflugerville loves being a part of their community.

At SERVPRO of Pflugerville, we like to give back to our community. We achieve this by participating in and sponsoring local events.

One non-profit that we support is the Pflugerville Education Foundation, by taking part in their golf tournament. They are a great local organization that provides resources to help students reach their full potential. It was created by local businesses and community leaders to make a positive impact on public education; specifically within Pflugerville ISD.

Another way we get the word out about what we do, and how we are involved locally is by being a sponsor in community events, like the PFamily PFestival & Expo.

As often as possible, we like to get involved in community events to help homeowners and give back however we can.

In the Event of Mold...

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

If you suspect or discover mold growth in your home or business, here are some things to do and some to avoid.

If you see visible mold in your home or business, do not disturb it. By attempting to clean it or remove it yourself, you can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

In the event that you do discover mold in your property, contact SERVPRO of Pflugerville right away. While waiting for our professional technicians to arrive, stay out of the affected areas, to limit your exposure. Turning off the HVAC system and fans will prevent any mold spores from being further circulated throughout the building.

Do not touch or disturb the mold. Avoid blowing air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth. Leave the drying of the area to the professionals - we want to ensure that the area is properly cleaned. While it may be tempting to spray the area with bleach or other disinfectants, don't. Our crews are equipped with proprietary solutions that help remove mold and prevent it from reoccurring.

If you suspect or see mold growth, call SERVPRO of Pflugerville today, and we will safely and efficiently mitigate your mold damage.


7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Here is a photo of tenting being implemented on a job.

Water damage can occur from a variety of causes, with varying degrees of severity. In the event that a large structure is only minimally impacted, as opposed to an entire room or building, a method called "tenting" can be used to dry the structure.

By using this technique, we are able to isolate the affected area separately from the rest; that allows us to narrow down our focus only onto the area that needs to be dried out.

Tenting also enables us to efficiently dry materials within the building without having to remove them, which makes it easier to return the structure to preloss conditions. 

Should you encounter a water loss in your commercial building, please call SERVPRO of Pflugerville, and let us put our expertise to work for you!

Ready to Dry

7/1/2019 (Permalink)

Here's a peek at some of our drying equipment.

When customers in our area suffer a water damage, SERVPRO of Pflugerville is ready to help dry out their property, and get it back to its pre-damaged condition.

Within our franchise alone, we have over two hundred pieces of drying equipment. This inventory allows us to take on any commercial or residential loss in the greater Austin area.

Our trucks are meticulously stocked with any and all necessary equipment to restore your home or business in a timely manner, and we are at your disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 

If our equipment is not enough to restore your property, we have a network of 1700 franchises ready to mobilize and help us make it "Like it never even happened."

Call SERVPRO of Pflugerville whenever you experience a water loss, and we'd love to serve you in restoring your property.

New Sweden Residents: We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your New Sweden basement could flood, including:

A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe

Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home

Storm sewer backup

Sanitary sewer backup

Foundation drainage failure

Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure

And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding?

Call Today - (512) 990-4776

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Pflugerville and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week

We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies

We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About

Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques

We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards

Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Conditions In Cele Might Be Right For Mold

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

It’s estimated that more than 1 million types of mold exist, yet less than 10 percent have actually been named. This means mold is very common in both indoor and outdoor environments. While mold and humans can sometimes co-exist without issue, there are certain species of mold that can cause health effects for some people.

If the right conditions exist, mold will grow.  Those conditions include:

Water - Different mold types require varying amounts of liquid before growth begins.   

Temperature - Normal indoor temperatures will promote mold growth.

Time - Initial mold colonizers can take hold within one day after being exposed to an adequate water supply.

Mold growth can occur in any home, so it’s important to keep an eye out for situations that might promote mold activity. Roof/chimney leaks, wet basements, or condensation from ducts that dampen surrounding insulation are just a few examples of issues that make a house a prime target for mold growth.

If you suspect mold in your home, call SERVPRO of Pflugerville to assess the situation. We have the knowledge, tools and track record to effectively remediate mold in your home or business.

If you suspect mold, call us today at (512) 990-4776

What to Do:

Stay out of affected areas.

Turn off the HVAC system and fans.

Contact SERVPRO of Pflugerville for mold remediation services.

Manda Smoke and Soot Cleanup

1/10/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.

Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.

The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Pflugerville will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today –
(512) 990-4776

Austin Residents: Follow These Mold Safety Tips If You Suspect Mold

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

If you see visible mold, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the mold infestation throughout your home. When mold is disturbed, the mold can release microscopic mold spores which become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Pflugerville for mold remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the mold.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected mold growth.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.
  • Don’t spray bleach or other disinfectants on the mold.

About Our Mold Remediation Services

SERVPRO of Pflugerville specializes in mold cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business. Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your mold problem quickly and safely.

For Immediate Service in Georgetown, Call SERVPRO

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Pflugerville provides 24-hour emergency service and is dedicated to being faster to any-sized disaster in Georgetown. We can respond immediately to your emergency and have the expertise to handle your restoration or cleaning needs.

  • 24-Hour Emergency Service
  • Faster to Any-Sized Disaster
  • Highly Trained Restoration Technicians
  • A Trusted Leader in the Restoration Industry
  • Locally Owned and Operated
  • Advanced Restoration and Cleaning Equipment

Have Questions? Call Us 24/7 – (512) 990-4776

Residential Services

Whether your Georgetown home needs emergency flood damage or your upholstery cleaned, you can depend on us. Our technicians have extensive cleaning and restoration training and can make your property look its best. Learn more about our residential services:

  • Water Damage Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Mold Remediation
  • Storm Damage Restoration
  • Cleaning Services
  • Building/Reconstruction Services

Commercial Services

There's never a convenient time for fire or Water damage to strike your Georgetown commercial property. Every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services we have the training and expertise to respond promptly with highly trained technicians to get your property back to business. Learn more about our commercial services:

  • Commercial Water Damage Restoration
  • Commercial Fire Damage Restoration

Faster to your Round Rock Water Damage Event

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Pflugerville provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Pflugerville arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (512) 990-4776

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Pflugerville

SERVPRO of Pflugerville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Pflugerville 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Pflugerville is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help Call Today - (512) 990-4776

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Pflugerville has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Pflugerville

SERVPRO of Pflugerville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Does Your Cele Home Have A Mold Problem?

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (512) 990-4776

When Storms or Floods hit Manda, SERVPRO is ready!

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Pflugerville specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Manda, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (512) 990-4776

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your New Sweden Home

8/17/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Pflugerville is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Pflugerville

SERVPRO of Pflugerville specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.


Archived Posts