How To Handle a House Fire
House fire damage in Round Rock, TX
How To Handle a House Fire
House fires are common occurrences that affect and devastate many families every year. Residential blazes are scary, unpredictable, and alarming, so ensuring you and your family have a specific fire escape plan in place is crucial to your safety. Follow these simple steps, and be prepared during and after a potential emergency.
1. Be Alert and Take Action
If you experience a house fire in Round Rock, TX, promptly perform the following measures:
- Enact your emergency escape plan
- Dial 911 and alert emergency personnel to your situation
- Secure medical care for any people or pets with severe burns or injuries
- Call worried family and friends to let them know you are safe
- Do not reenter your home until a proper fire damage assessment is complete
2. Put Safety First
Following a fire, confirm with firefighters that it is safe to reenter your home. Dress in boots, long pants, sleeves, helmets, protective eyewear, and masks as you inspect your damaged residence. Consider consulting a professional smoke and soot removal team to clean your house and restore it to a safe and livable status.
It is crucial to remove any smoke-damaged paraphernalia from your home. Specifically, dispose of any food that might have soiled due to heat or smoke. Physical damage is only a portion of the devastation fires create. Despite devising even the most detailed fire escape plan, many survivors experience feelings of guilt and angst in the months following the disaster. Make it a point to check in with your family members regularly. Ensure they appropriately deal with their stress and get professional help for anyone struggling mentally or financially. Further, watch your household pets, making sure they don't exhibit any long-term symptoms from the fire or smoke.
As ravaging as fires can be, remind yourself that your successful fire escape plan saved your family's lives. Remember that everything else is replaceable, and all that matters is the safety of your loved ones.
How To Prepare Your Business For Hail Damage
Hail storm in Round Rock, TX.
Owning a business comes with many responsibilities, not the least of which is maintaining your commercial property. Along with regular building maintenance, have a plan in place in case of natural disasters, such as hail storms. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for possible hail damage.
Know the Common Types of Hail Damage
Think through potential types of damage so you can make sure you have each one covered. Here are a few common types:
Roof Damage: This is a very common area of hail damage. Be sure to have your roof regularly inspected and repaired, especially after a hail storm. Regular maintenance can help prevent severe roof damage.
Glass Damage: If you have skylights, be sure that they are impact-resistant. Windows can be at risk too, depending on the angle of the hail coming down. Consider using impact-resistant glass here as well.
Property Damage: Hail can also cause damage to the property surrounding your building. This could include trees, HVAC units, or even commercial vehicles kept on your property.
Make Sure You are Covered
Once you have reviewed potential sources of storm damage, make sure that you have adequate commercial property insurance. This type of insurance will cover the financial impact of storm-related damage, which is an important protection for the financial health of your company. In the event of storm damage, initiate a claim with your insurance company and request authorization for a Round Rock, TX, storm damage company to come in to do repairs. You don't want to be left with roof damage or other property damage impeding your ability to get back to business.
Have an emergency plan in place to make sure employees stay safe in the event of a hail storm. Designate a gathering area safely away from windows, and communicate a procedure to follow with your employees. Consider practicing emergency drills.
No one wants to think about their business suffering storm damage, but early preparation can save a lot of hassle in the event of damaging hail. Make sure you have your bases covered to protect your property, your employees and your hard work.
3 Steps To Fix a Leaking Kitchen Sink
A leaky kitchen sink may seem like a minor issue, but an ongoing leak could have serious consequences.
Here Are Three Steps To Fix An Under- Sink Leak
A leaky kitchen sink may seem like a minor issue, but an ongoing leak could have serious consequences. Homeowners or occupants may be able to fix a malfunctioning faucet, drain or drain seal at a residence in Round Rock, TX. A leaking supply line or other plumbing problems that could cause flooding to require expert repair.
1. Find the Source of a Sink Leak
A leaky or broken water supply line may visibly drip or spray water in a home. A P-trap or sink drain leak may only be evident after water has run through the sink. If you cannot locate the source of a leak, shut off the water supply and contact a plumber.
2. Fix the Faucet, Drain or Seal
A leaky faucet is relatively easy to replace, along with one or two washers or gaskets. A P-trap leak may require clearing a blockage, tightening connections, or replacing a corroded trap. A sink drain leak may need to be unscrewed and repacked with plumbers putty. A broken supply line is more likely to cause Category One water damage or flooding and require expert repair.
3. Contact a Plumber If a Leak Continues
If the kitchen repair measures you take to stop a leaky sink are not effective, it is a good idea to call a plumber sooner rather than later. The longer an under-sink cabinet or other areas remain wet, the higher the risk of major water damage and mold.
A leaking sink often starts off as a drip, but a problem that goes unaddressed could end up flooding a home kitchen in Round Rock, TX. If you cannot resolve the underlying cause, contact a plumber to minimize primary damage. An under-sink cabinet that has been exposed to water for a long period of time or repeatedly may suffer primary and secondary damage.
Here to Help After The Winter Storm
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.
3 Ways To Fix a Leaking Commercial Toilet
A leaking toilet in Round Rock, TX.
Here Are Some Ways To Fix A Leaking Toilet
A leaking toilet can cause severe water damage to your Round Rock, TX, establishment. While you wait for SERVPRO's disaster response team to arrive and fix the damage, you will need to deal with the leak itself. Sometimes the repair is simple, while other times it requires a more complex process. Try the following procedures to get your unit functioning properly again.
1. Find and Fix Minor Problems
While some leaking water or even a puddle surrounding the toilet can feel intimidating, you might not always have to perform intensive toilet repair to fix it. After you use a piece of cloth to absorb the liquid, wait and see if the problem persists. If it does, pinpoint the origin of the leak. The water could be emanating from a defective supply valve, a damaged tank or a supply tube. If these are not the issues, then try to carefully tighten the bolts that secure the bowl to the ground.
2. Remove the Defective Flange
If these steps do not fix the leaking toilet, it is likely a case of a defective flange. You can confirm this theory by removing the toilet. Shut off the water supply and drain the tank. Disconnect the water supply tube from the shutoff valve. Move the bowl to rip off the wax gasket and gently set it aside. Scrape off the remaining wax from the flange and inspect the part. If damaged, replace it with a new flange and a new wax gasket. Place the bowl back, aligning it with the flange, followed by the remaining components.
3. Install a New Toilet
Sometimes the problem with the leakage extends beyond the flange or any single part. If you have an old toilet with outdated components you cannot easily replace or fix, you will need to install a new unit. Just follow the same removal steps and install the new one carefully.
There are many ways to resolve a leaking toilet, from simple fixes to complete toilet replacement. Conduct these steps carefully or call professionals and ensure they follow proper procedures.
Are Water-Related Losses Covered by Insurance?
Do you have water damage coverage?
What Is Covered By Your Insurance Policy
Many businesses in Round Rock, TX, face steep costs to repair water damage. Water from damaged pipes and other sources can cause a lot of damage that needs to be repaired by water restoration professionals.
Many damage claims are caused by frozen pipes. When a frozen pipe occurs, water may slow down or not flow through it at all. This causes pressure to build up and the pipe to burst. Unfortunately, this event is typically not covered by insurance companies. However, there are certain exceptions. Here are the times when frozen pipes are covered:
- There is damage to fire protective systems
- You did your best to maintain heat in the building
- You don't maintain heat, but you do drain all the pipes in the winter
Sudden Water Damage
Suddenly damaged pipes and appliances are covered under most policies. For example, you leave for the weekend without leaking pipes and return to find one has ruptured and water is pooled on your floor. This has caused extensive damage to your flooring. Because it was sudden, you can expect to have the repair costs covered. Additionally, you can expect any damage caused by a sudden rupture of your fire protection system to be covered. This type of coverage includes the costs of repairing your building. It also generally covers the cost of replacing equipment and furniture.
Fire Protective Systems
Damaged pipes to your appliances are generally not covered under your insurance. However, any damage caused by water released by a fire protection system will be covered. Additionally, the cost to repair or replace the system is covered.
Flooding and water damage comes with great costs for a business. Fortunately, many of these events are covered under standard building insurance. Therefore, business owners should know what is covered under their policies.
Infrared Cameras and Mold Detection
It is important that users of thermal imaging realize the temperature differential caused by insulation
Although you may be unable to see it, any mold smell inhabiting your office may be an indication of a fungal problem. Before tearing apart walls to find out if you have harmful growths in Round Rock, TX, use an infrared camera to determine whether hiring a professional mold removal team is actually necessary.
Mold Detection Via Smell
Any variety of fungus smell is cause for concern. Action must be taken if you detect odors that are:
- Talked about as being earthy
- Could be characterized as meaty
- Reminiscent of wet socks
- Similar to rotten wood
If you identify stenches that fit these descriptions, an investigative inquiry should be undertaken before additional mold damage has an opportunity to develop. An infrared camera can help you target the source of the disturbing mold smell you are experiencing and aid in locating it.
Mold Detection Via Infrared Camera
While infrared cameras are technically not mold detectors, they are highly useful when trying to locate nasty spores. They do so by visually representing colder areas that can be caused by water intrusion. When combined with a suspect mildew smell, the odds of fungal growth being present are significantly greater.
IR cameras are only useful in buildings with air conditioning, the reason being that temperature variations in spaces without indoor temperature controls are too insignificant to be of use. When sweeping your office, point your device toward exterior walls and roofs, as well as the foundation where moisture tends to collect.
It is important that users of thermal imaging realize the temperature differential caused by insulation. Elevations are another issue that needs to be recognized. Because heat rises, overloaded electrical boxes and transformers may display subtle unexpected temperature variations. Any misdiagnosis could trigger unnecessary construction work or failure to identify where mold exists.
A mold smell inside your office may be a warning sign of a situation that needs to be addressed. Utilize technology to be certain you have a problem ahead of turning your workspace into a construction zone.
How the Pros Clean Up After Sewer Damage
If you need help with sewer clean up at home, a team of qualified professionals can get the job done
As if a flooded home isn't enough cause for concern, there may also be sewer damage on the property. Known as black water or category 3 water, this type of flooding threatens building materials, furniture, electronics and personal belongings. You should never try to handle sewer cleanup on your own. Instead, enlist the services of a professional flood restoration company to help. The pros have what it takes to make your home livable once more.
Causes of Category 3 Flooding
If you encounter black water in your home, you typically know right away to stay far away from it. This water contains raw sewage, including human feces and other hazardous materials. It can infiltrate your home from a variety of sources:
- An overflowing toilet
- A ruptured sewage pipe in your home
- A broken city sewer line or a sewer backup
What You Can Do
Avoid contact with black water. Make sure you get family members and pets out of the home as soon as possible. If it is safe to do so, turn off the main water to your home, especially if an overflowing toilet is the cause. You should then contact your local Round Rock, TX, utility company, followed by a sewer cleanup crew to help remove the water from your home.
What the Pros Do and Why Call Them
A team of professionals has experience cleaning up after category 3 water, whether it's from a flooded toilet or a sewer line problem. The professionals have protective equipment and high-powered tools to remove the water from your home. Technicians then can dry the affected area. Thorough disinfecting also ensures that no harmful components remain in your house.
If you need help with sewer clean up at home, a team of qualified professionals can get the job done efficiently and give you the peace of mind knowing you have a clean, restored house once again.
The Importance of Business Interruption Insurance After a Fire
Both interruption insurance and restoration services are needed to recover from a business fire
A fire can harm a business in many ways. Physical damage to a property is the most obvious form of harm. A blaze can wreak havoc with a building and everything inside it, destroying walls, equipment, inventory and more. This destruction impacts a company's ability to continue on with its operations, often resulting in a significant loss of revenue. For this reason, interruption insurance is a vital product that should be a part of every company's strategic plan to survive the unexpected. This coverage is defined as commercial property insurance that covers a loss of revenue due to a disruption to its operations as the result of a covered peril.
The Consequences of Business Interruption
When a company in Round Rock, TX, can no longer sell its products or provide services to customers, it can begin to face a revenue shortage. This scenario can be the result of many situations, with fire being among the most common disasters. A company in this situation will have trouble meeting any of its obligations:
- Payment to employees
- Payment to creditors
- Purchase of products
- Payments for utilities
With interruption insurance, a company can still make its payments in the aftermath of a fire. Several options exist for this type of insurance, so it makes sense for business owners and managers to speak with an experienced insurance agent.
The Value of Fire Restoration Services
After a fire, a professional fire mitigation team can be essential to helping a company get back on its feet in a timely manner. This is another critical way for a business to reduce the impacts of a revenue loss. A team of trained technicians will come to the property and work to restore the property so operations can resume. A qualified team will work quickly to repair property damage, eliminate smoke odors and protect against secondary damage such as mold growth. Both interruption insurance and restoration services are needed to recover from a business fire.
How To Maintain a Sump Pump
A sump pump will always be at the ready to protect your home from water damage
How To Maintain a Sump Pump
Regardless of whether you live in an area that is susceptible to floods, it is beneficial to consider having a sump pump in your home in Round Rock, TX. An exceptionally heavy rainstorm, rapidly melting snow, or a broken pipe could all be the cause of a flood in your basement that can more easily be managed with the proper equipment. Once you have your pump, there are several tasks that you should undertake regularly in order to keep it properly maintained.
The discharge pipe and vent hole, pit, and intake screen are all points that are vulnerable to obstructions. Proper pump maintenance means checking for dirt and debris that could be preventing proper drainage, eliminating anything that is blocking the screen, and clearing things that prevent the float component from functioning. You can conduct periodic tests by pouring water into the basin. The pump should activate and drain the water. Regular maintenance of your sump pump ensures that it is ready for an emergency.
Maintain a Safe Connection
Pumps are usually run off of an electrical source, so make sure that yours is plugged into the correct type of outlet (ground fault circuit interrupter or GFCI). You should also check the cord once in a while, especially if you have any history of rodents in your basement that could damage the cord.
Replace Backup Power
Your pump probably has a backup power source. Test the battery at least annually and replace it every couple of years. The backup power source is your last line of defense in the face of a flood, so if it's been sitting unused for a lot of years, there's a good chance it won't work when you need it to. If that happens and your basement does flood, call an emergency mitigation company to evaluate for safety before you start to clean up.
A sump pump will always be at the ready to protect your home from water damage if it is maintained properly.