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5 Steps To Take When Your Tenant Finds Mold in Their Apartment

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Flood cuts, wet carpet Mold remediation in Round Rock, TX

Mold Cleanup

Mold begins as a minuscule spore, so it is difficult to believe something so small can wreak so much destruction and havoc in a large apartment building. But mold is a clever opponent that loves to hide until the problem is so big it appears to be out of control. That is why it is important to take the following steps in mold cleanup as soon as your tenant notifies you that he or she found mold contamination in the apartment.

1. Telephone your insurance company. Find out what your insurance policy covers regarding mold issues. Sometimes the fungus is a minor problem, but other times it can require extensive cleanup efforts and a big expenditure of money. Also, request an adjuster’s visit.

2. Take photos of the mold and surrounding area. Establish a record of the situation in pictures. The photographs can also help you if you need to file an insurance claim.

3. Contact a mold cleanup and restoration team. Ask the team to locate and address the water problem feeding the mold growth. This process can include removing wet walls, floors, and cabinets; therefore, cleanup can take several days.

4. Request the restoration team’s assistance in removing the mold and restoring the area. After removing the mold spores and colonies, the restoration team can sanitize the area to prevent the mold from returning.

5. Move the tenant to a hotel if cleanup and restoration turn out to be extensive. When your tenant’s belongings must be displaced during the repair process, offer to relocate him or her to a hotel for the duration of the restoration.

If mold is a reoccurring problem in your Round Rock, TX, apartment building, there is probably a hidden water leak. The sooner you can remove the water, the less possibility there is that mold can cause damage to the building’s structure or spread to another tenant’s apartment. Additionally, by removing the underlying moisture allowing mold to grow, you can save yourself a great deal of money by preventing mold from returning and requiring further mold cleanup.

How To Clean Up Sewer Damage

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Repairing a sump pump in a basement with a red LED light illuminating the pit and pipe work for draining ground water Use a sump pump to remove as much water as you can.

The Sewer Cleanup Process

You walk into your home in Round Rock, TX, and immediately you smell it. The telltale odor of sewer backup permeates the air. You find the problem and call restoration experts who specialize in sewer cleanup. After doing so, you should shut off the water and power to the area and then leave the space to keep you and your family safe from the contaminated water. When the professionals arrive, this is the process they are likely to follow.

Containing the Sewage

The first step of the cleanup process is stopping the spread of the contamination. There are several parts to this step:

  • Technicians don protective gear to keep themselves safe.
  • Remove and bag any affected items.
  • Identify the perimeter of the area the contaminants have reached.
  • Seal off the area so that microbes and bacteria do not go any further.

Removing the Water

After the damage from the flooded toilet has been identified and contained, the next step of sewer cleanup is water extraction. Using industrial pumps, technicians remove as much of the water as they can from the area. The faster water is removed, the faster the actual cleaning process can begin.

Assessing Items and Materials

Certified experts are trained to recognize which items can be cleaned and which items need to be discarded. After the water is removed, they discard unsalvageable items and put others aside to be restored.

Drying the Area

At this point, nothing remains that can't be dried and saved, so the intense drying process begins. Technicians increase airflow and use dehumidifiers to completely dry the area and prevent mold growth.

Disinfecting Items and Materials

Even though the area is dry, it is still not clean. Bacteria may still be on the remaining floors and walls, so they need to be professionally disinfected. Salvageable materials and items are restored and returned to the area.

At this point, everything is dry and clean. The sewer cleanup process concludes with walls, floors and other essential items that had to be discarded being replaced.

4 Tips for Preparing Pets for a Fire Emergency

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Pomeranian dressed as fire fighter Pet safety is critical during emergencies.

How To Prepare For A Pet Emergency

You should have a fire emergency plan set up for your family. This plan should contain many components, including pet preparation. Things will get hectic if a fire ever breaks out, and you do not want your furry friend to be left behind. Pet safety is critical during emergencies, and here are some points to keep in mind.

1. Have Pet Supplies in Your Disaster Kit

Your disaster kit should contain supplies to help you and your family while you wait for your house to be habitable once again. It should contain food, medications and water. It also needs to contain supplies for your pet. Have enough pet food to last for five days, medications if your pet is on anything and records of ownership and vaccinations.

2. Get Your Pet Microchipped

During a fire emergency, your pet may panic and flee. This can be extremely disheartening. In addition to dealing with fire remediation, you now have to locate your animal, too. However, if you get your pet microchipped well in advance, then finding it will become much easier.

3. Find Pet-Friendly Accommodations

While your house is being repaired, you may need to stay at a hotel in Round Rock, TX. Look at hotels in your city to see which ones allow pets. It will save you a lot of hassle if the time ever comes. You can also ask friends or neighbors if you can stay with them during this time and if they would be all right with having a dog or cat around for a week.

4. Keep a Pet-Alert Sign in Your Window

You want firefighters to be able to locate your pet in the event of a fire emergency. If you need to evacuate, then you may not be readily accessible to tell the firefighters this information. Keep a sign in your window to inform firefighters there is a pet in this house.

Why Every Business Should Consider Buying a Flood Insurance Policy

6/29/2021 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book. Purchasing flood insurance can provide peace of mind, so why delay?

No place is immune from storms that can potentially cause severe damage to your business. When a destructive storm hits, insurance policies act like financial safety nets, allowing businesses to recuperate damaged or destroyed property. However, insurance companies see flood damage and storm damage as entirely different entities that require separate policies.

Examples of Storm Damage

Wind and hail are examples of natural phenomenon that can cause significant damage to your building’s exterior infrastructure. Examples of potential damage include the following:

  • Loosened or detached shingles and siding
  • Cracked roof surfaces
  • Broken windows
  • Damaged or destroyed outdoor equipment

Heavy Rainfall and Flooding
Some severe storms bring heavy rainfall which, if not drained properly, can saturate an area and cause flood damage. To be officially classified as a flooded area, the general rule is the land must be at least two acres in size and a normally dry region. An area where two or more properties are inundated with water can also be classified as a flooded zone.
Flooding can also occur inside your building, especially if the roof or windows were compromised in a storm. In this case, the distinction between flood and storm damage comes down to when the destruction occurred. While this may sound like a minute detail, it is a crucial determination for insurance purposes.

Property Insurance vs. Flood Insurance
Not all insurance policies are created equal, and there is a distinct difference between flood insurance and business property insurance. Most property insurance policies will cover damage resulting from storms, such as damaged windows, roofs and siding. However, if the storm causes flooding and the primary culprit of the damage was flood waters, your property insurance policy will likely not be applicable. Instead, you will have to file a claim on an existing flood insurance policy. Unfortunately, not every business chooses to purchase flood insurance, creating the potential for substantial financial loss.

Purchase a Policy for Peace of Mind
When flood damage occurs, navigating the restoration and cleanup process can be challenging and timely, particularly if your business lacks adequate insurance. It’s hard to predict when the next severe storm will hit Round Rock, TX. Purchasing flood insurance can provide peace of mind, so why delay?

Flood Protection: Your Guide to Sandbag Alternatives

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

Entrance of a building flooded Flooded entrance of a building in Round Rock, TX.

Flood Protection

When the weather reports indicate that a major storm is headed for Round Rock, TX, you likely take whatever precautions you can to protect your building from the impending storm and potential flooding. By far, the most common precautionary measure is to construct a sand bag dam or levee around properties or areas that are vulnerable to the threat of rising water. However, sandbagging is not the only way to protect your property in the event of a flood.

Water-Filled Flood Dams
Some alternative flood protection solutions utilize water, rather than sand, to create heavy, sturdy, and stackable barriers against rising floodwater. One example, the HydraBarrier, consists of a 72-inch-long tube. You use a hose to fill the tube with water, which takes around two minutes. Each tube is an effective barricade against up to six inches of floodwater. A larger example of a water-filled barrier is the AquaDam, which offers protection against up to three feet of floodwater. Filling these types of flood barriers with water is considerably faster than filling bags with sand; also, these barriers can be emptied and reused when the flooding recedes.

Levee-Style Flood Barriers
Another category of sand bag alternatives is floodwall-type flood protection. The options in this category vary widely in cost and design features.

AquaFence: For large commercial properties, the AquaFence Floodwall features panels of stainless steel, marine-grade laminate, and aluminum-laced PVC canvas that can be installed by a team of 8-10 workers to create a 4-foot-tall floodwall around your entire building.
Instee Levee Builder: This option uses a large tube and special sand-pouring machine that quickly creates an 18-inch-tall, sand-filled flood levee.
QuickDam: The QuickDam is a strip of highly absorbent fabric that absorbs and expands when exposed to water, forming up to a 3.5-inch-tall, 5-foot-long barrier that can be stacked as needed.

Flood damage remediation can be difficult and costly. With so many fast, eco-friendly alternatives to traditional sand bag barriers available, you’re sure to find the right flood prevention solution to protect your building against rising water.

Understanding the Cost of Mold Damage

5/28/2021 (Permalink)

flood cuts performed on drywall, mold removal in a home Mold remediation in Round Rock, TX.

The price of removing mold from your home in Round Rock, TX, can vary greatly. On average, the cost of residential mold removal can run into the thousands. Here's a quick guide to how much you can expect to pay for its elimination.

Location and Removal Costs

The area of your home where mold exists impacts its cost of eradication. Below are a few common price ranges:

Attics - $1,000 to $4,000
Basements - $500 to $3,000
Crawl spaces - $1,000 to $20,000
Bathrooms - $500 to $1,000

Once you've determined where mold resides in your home, it will be easier to pinpoint a likely total cost.
Overall Removal Costs
On average, the cost of removing mold falls between $1,000 and more than $3,000. Calculated by area, you'll probably pay somewhere between $10 and $25 per square foot for comprehensive mold removal.
Many factors impact the final bill. If you require black mold removal, for instance, expect to pay more than you would to eliminate other types of mold. The cost of destroying these toxic spores can hit $6,000. Associated jobs, such as resealing the foundation, repairing a roof leak, or replacing flooring, will add to your total.
The region where you live further impacts the dollar figures you'll be quoted. Areas with lower costs of living have similarly lower fees. Customers in major metropolises will inevitably face higher bills.
Contemplating the expense of hiring a professional mold remediator may make you want to handle the task yourself. This is often a poor decision, as you are prone to committing mistakes that may wind up running more in the long run. Play it safe by hiring a team of residential mold renovation experts.
Getting rid of mold can be costly. Its ability to spread means that waiting to eradicate it will make the job's cost even greater. Contact a mold removal specialist the instant spores appear.

How Can I Prepare My Business for a Potential Fire Disaster?

4/24/2021 (Permalink)

External drive connected to a computer Back up your important data and documents.

How Can I Prepare My Business for a Potential Fire Disaster?

Although it's only a slight chance, you never know when your Round Rock, TX, commercial building could set ablaze. Whether it's a result of a faulty electrical system, a toaster fire in the breakroom, or a wildfire intrusion, it's essential to think about fire preparation before the worst occurs. Being proactive can potentially save lives, your building and your business.

1. Back Up Your Important Data and Documents
The survival of your business could depend on having backups of your essential data and files. As an extra precaution, you can store this data in a separate physical location, such as on a hard drive kept in your own home. However, your best option is to keep backups of everything in the cloud. You can also scan essential paper files and upload them to your cloud storage.

2. Prepare Your Employees
Familiarize all of your employees with the building evacuation plan, the location of fire extinguishers and first aid kits, as well as other critical information. Part of your fire preparation should include routinely practicing fire drills and presenting fire safety rules with all personnel.

3. Review Your Commercial Insurance
A critical part of your plan is reviewing your commercial insurance policy to ensure you have the correct type and amount of coverage. Having the proper insurance could mean the difference between saving your business or losing everything.

4. Create a List of Emergency Contacts
Another vital component of disaster preparation is creating a list of emergency contacts. The list should include local emergency services, your insurance company, fire damage restoration professionals, employees and their emergency contacts, and suppliers. Keep a copy of this list off-site in case the original gets destroyed in the fire.
Any type of disaster at your business can be traumatic for everyone involved. However, having a fire preparation strategy in place can provide you with some much-needed peace of mind.

How To Handle a House Fire

4/10/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a home burned, window boarded up. 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.

3. Check-In
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

4/10/2021 (Permalink)

hail falls on the roof of slate 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.

Protect Employees
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

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Drainage system under sink leaking 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.