Archived Blog Posts
How Professional Certifications Make for Better Disaster Relief
The IICRC plays an important role in certifying workers.
What Can Professional Certifications Do for Disaster Relief?
Though not a household name, the Insurance Institute for Cleaning and Restoration Certification (the IICRC), plays a vital role in disaster relief throughout the country. This organization has helped set the standards for cleaning and restoration practices since 1972. Not only does it partner with contractors and restoration professionals to constantly improve standards for effective restoration methods, equipment and products, but it also plays a key role in many professional certifications and training programs.
A successful brand takes advantage of this professional organization and is closely involved in its success. This is one of the reasons many insurance companies and commercial clients rely on a reputable damage remediation franchise when disaster strikes.
IICRC Certified Firms
A certified firm must gain its designation through hard work and training. This is especially valuable in the cleaning and restoration industry, where firms can claim knowledge and expertise that they do not possess. As a certified firm, SERVPRO franchise in Round Rock, TX, has the expertise to complete complex jobs that restore damage caused by storms, flooding, fire, and mold. The benefits to commercial companies are numerous:
- Peace of mind that the job will be done right
- Access to trained technicians in restoration services
- Confidence in the credibility of the franchise
- Access to insurance expertise
Specific Worker Certifications
A certified restoration company must have at least one certified technician on staff. This mitigation certificate could be in any of several fields that are needed during complex cleanups and recoveries. To receive this certification, a rigorous course must be passed to show sufficient knowledge in the discipline. Certifications include a microbial remediation technician, applied structural drying technician, building moisture inspection, carpet cleaning technician and commercial drying specialist.
The IICRC plays an important role in certifying workers and firms and upholding the standards in the cleaning and restoration industry. A restoration company that partners with this organization can be trusted for high-quality work.
Understanding the Three Types of Water Damage
Cleaning up after water damage in a home in Round Rock, TX.
Understanding the Differences In Water Damage Categories
Any home can experience water damage, but it's important to understand the three categories by which it is classified. Being able to identify which type of damage you are dealing with can help you address any water issue in your Round Rock, TX, home.
1. Category 1 - Clean Water
Contamination levels determine water damage categories, the first of which is referred to as clean water. As the name suggests, this type contains no dangerous contaminants and is relatively easy to manage. Clean water damage may include an overflowing sink or shower or appliances that leak water from their supply line.
2. Category 2 - Grey Water
Chemical or biological contaminants are the basis of the second category type, known as greywater. Cleaning detergents or urine can lead to greywater in your home's washing machine or toilet. Exposure to this type of water damage poses slight risks and if left untreated, can become even more unsanitary and evolve into the final category type.
3. Category 3 - Black Water
The third category, and the most alarming, features the highest level of contaminants, including bacteria and fungi. Sewage backup (think an overflown toilet) and groundwater flooding due to storms, rising seas, or rivers are the main causes of black water.
Because of the biohazards this category carries, it's vital to let a water damage restoration company handle the job. Flooding and sewage cleanup is best left to the experts as they are fully equipped to remove the infected water, dry the area and sanitize the property to the highest standard.
Understanding the differences in water damage categories can help keep your home and family safe. You'll be in the clear with clean water, while greywater offers more concern and black water means it's time to bring in professionals.
Requirements for Installing and Maintaining Fire Sprinklers
Any business that has a fire sprinkler system on its property, should be aware of the requirements, both legal and practical.
Requirements for Installing and Maintaining Fire Sprinklers
Any business that has a fire sprinkler system on its property, or is considering one, should be aware of the requirements, both legal and practical, for installing, maintaining and testing the system. These requirements will according to several factors: state and local jurisdictions, the type of commercial enterprise and the size of the building.
For example, facilities that are 55 feet tall or higher must have a sprinkler system on the property. General guidelines do not always have the force of law, but these best practices apply in most circumstances:
- Water supply valves should be easily accessible
- Valves should include information on what areas they service
- Sprinkler heads should be unobstructed for at least 18 inches
- Water pressure should be calibrated for optimal performance
Fire Suppression System Maintenance
Local fire safety codes in Round Rock, TX, and system requirements will drive inspection and testing schedules. Business owners and managers should make sure contractors follow these codes as non-compliance could lead to fines. Testing of the fire sprinkler system goes by component, with mechanical devices such as sprinkler heads calling for attention on a quarterly basis in most cases. Fixed equipment such as valves will have different time frames for maintenance, ranging from annually to every three to five years.
National Fire Protection Association Guidelines
The NFPA prints the Life Safety Code which contains pertinent information on the installation of water-based suppression systems. Once the system is installed, care must be taken to keep it up to date to make sure it works when needed. Business owners should also know that if the sprinklers do stop a fire, a fire sprinkler cleanup should be initiated. A professional fire mitigation company will send trained workers to clean up any water damage caused by the activation of the system.
A fire sprinkler system is a smart investment and it is a requirement for some commercial buildings. Proactive maintenance will ensure the system works when needed to stop a fire.
How To Handle a Broken Pipe in Your House
Avoid secondary damage.
How To Respond When a Pipe Burst
Flooding in your Round Rock, TX, house can cause excessive damage. You can avoid these issues by maintaining your plumbing and fixing problems as soon as you identify them. However, you may not be able to avoid incidents such as bursting pipes. When a plumbing emergency occurs suddenly and unexpectedly, you need to know how to respond appropriately and decisively.
1. Turn Off the Water
When a pipe bursts, it can send a continuous flow of water throughout the house. This can cause water damage and ruin carpet, hardwood, drywall, and furniture. To reduce this damage and stop the water, you need to shut it off immediately. Turn off the main water supply as soon as you notice any water. You should also shut off the electricity in the flooded spaces.
2. Call a Plumber To Address the Bursting Pipes
As soon as you turn off the water, contact a plumber. A licensed professional can assess the extent of the damage, discuss resolutions with you, and repair fractures in the pipes and other serious issues. Many plumbers can respond to emergencies quickly. However, it may take more than 24 hours for one to be able to come to your Round Rock, TX, home.
3. Remove the Water
If it's safe to do so, start to remove the water in your home. You can do this with a wet vacuum. You do not have to wait until a plumber comes to fix broken pipe and water damage problems. Start as soon as you contact the plumbing service and as you are waiting for them to arrive.
4. Hire a Flood Cleanup and Restoration Team
To thoroughly remove all water in your house, you'll need the expertise of a disaster cleanup company. The technicians can also mitigate any mold issues. Plus, they will replace and repair areas of the home that suffered damage.
Bursting pipes can cause significant damage. Following these steps to respond effectively to protect and restore your home.
Recovering From a Flood Using Mitigation and Restoration
Placing sandbags strategically could keep water out of your business.
Using Mitigation and Restoration to Recover from a Flood
Experiencing a flood in your Round Rock, TX, business can feel devastating. Fortunately, there are times when you can prepare in advance to prevent damage. With the right flood cleanup company you can also recover more rapidly. But time is of the essence when mending after a flood. Begin by understanding how a professional service can help you rebuild, including the difference between mitigation and restoration.
When To Begin Mitigation
If you hear a rainstorm warning, you may be able to begin mitigation efforts before the storm ever hits. If the flooding is expected to be minimal, steps as simple as repairing cracks and holes, sealing gaps and placing sandbags strategically could keep water out of your business. Shallow water levels, for example an inch or two, may be possible to defend against in this way.
When a storm catches you off-guard, however, or the flooding is deeper, stormwater may make it into your building. Once the storm has passed and reentry is safe, a flood cleanup company can be hired to begin clearing out anything which may continue to cause damage and locate salvageable items. Beginning mitigation as soon as possible provides your business with its best chance of limiting losses.
Why Restoration Is Important
Although it’s a longer process, restoration is often required. While mitigation is meant to stop further damage from being done, restoration is necessary for repairing what damage has already occurred.
A restoration company can step in and begin replacing drywall, cleaning nonporous surfaces, and putting your business back together. During restoration, any additional areas of concern have a better chance of being located and corrected as well, improving the overall outcome and leaving you with a safe facility once again.
A storm can cause extensive damage, even when you try to prepare beforehand and mitigate the extent of the effects afterward. The damage to your business may demand a professional flood cleanup company in order to get you going again.
How To Contain Mold Spores During Cleanup
Mold containment in Round Rock, TX.
Ways That Mold Can Be Contained
Despite your efforts to keep it at bay, you've discovered mold growing at your business in Round Rock, TX. In the best interest of your staff, building, and clients, you've hired a professional mold remediation specialist to handle the mold cleanup. You're wondering: is it safe to continue running my business as usual while cleaning happens, or do I need to come up with a different plan? During cleanup, professionals will use containment strategies to prevent the spread of mold. However, the impact to your business practices will depend on the size of the containment area. Here are the ways that mold can be contained.
For smaller areas of mold contamination, a single layer of plastic sheeting will be hung to contain the mold spores that will be released into the air during cleanup. The sheeting is attached to the floor and ceiling with duct tape, or a metal frame may be used for larger spaces. The area is kept under negative pressure, which prevents the spread of spores to non-contaminated areas of the building. If the mold is not in your main work area, it is possible that you can continue to run your business. Always follow the direction of the remediation specialist when determining your business plan.
In a larger area, in situations where there is massive mold growth, or in spaces that are harder to contain, a double layer of plastic sheeting will be erected, and airlock chambers will be utilized for entrance to and exit from the mold cleanup area. In both limited and full containment projects, all air vents, fans, doors, and stairs will be sealed off to further protect the building's occupants.
Your mold remediation team will wear personal protective equipment that they will keep in a contained area in order further prevent the spread of mold spores to the rest of the building.
Proper mold cleanup can be an involved process, so deciding how to run your business while cleaning occurs is a decision that you should make under the advisement of a remediation professional.
3 Ways To Prepare Your Commercial Building To Handle Intense Winds
Before the storm arrives, have experts examine the rooftop, looking for any openings or loose shingles.
Three Ways To Secure the Premises
Hurricanes are classified by wind speed, with each level increasing in devastating intensity. In fact, using specialized technology, the National Hurricane Center measures the wind, using the data to place the system within one of five levels. To minimize hurricane damage, commercial owners in Round Rock, TX, should implement essential safety protocols. Getting ahead of the storm has the potential to save headache major costs. The following are three ways to secure the premises.
1. Inspect the Roof
High winds can range from 74 mph to over 200 mph, exerting immense force on the property's roofing. While this structure is designed to handle external elements, issues can arise if it's not in the best shape. Before the storm arrives, have experts examine the rooftop, looking for any openings or loose shingles. Repair them to avoid leaks and saturation.
Discuss upgrading the materials. Wind can pick up the roofing. Add straps to hold the roof framing and wall framing together. Also, speak with professionals about changing to impact-resistant shingles.
2. Clear the Land
Safeguard from hurricane damage by eliminating potential obstacles. Walk around the property, checking for anything loose. Move furniture and bulkier items inside. Pick up sticks and branches. While they may seem innocuous, even minor things can become a significant issue if hurled into the build. Breaks to the exterior permit interior flooding. A water restoration company should assess the moisture and clean up the trouble.
3. Reinforce Windows
Windows and glass doors are incredibly vulnerable. Prepare for this danger. Extreme wind speeds can shatter the glass. Shutters and plywood establish barriers, working to fight against such intrusions. Another option is to purchase windows with a higher wind rating. Look for something with a high design pressure rating. While issues could still arise, the more substantial the build, the lower the risk.
Proactive efforts reduce hurricane damage risk. Before a maelstrom barrels into town, check out the grounds and secure the vulnerable spots. Reinforce weaker zones and pick up possible fliers. Simple steps could make life easier down the road.
3 Things to Consider When Estimating Fire Damage
Commercial fire damage in Round Rock, TX.
How to Estimate Fire Damage In Your Commercial Building
After a fire causes destruction in your commercial building, it can be overwhelming to keep track of all the costs and repairs that need to be done. However, monitoring the damage caused by the incident can help you feel in control during a stressful situation. If you are concerned about how to estimate the fire damage in your Round Rock, TX, building, the following tips can give you an idea of where to begin.
1. Roof Repair
In the aftermath of a fire, there is usually considerable damage done to the roof. Depending on the severity of your situation, you may have to either repair or replace your roof. In many cases, roofs require emergency tarping in order to recover from the damage and be fully protected from any further harm. Be sure to pay attention to the state of your roof when assessing the damage from your commercial fire.
2. Water Damage
It is likely that flames and smoke aren't the only causes of damage to your commercial building. If firefighters showed up on your property, their efforts to extinguish the fire may have caused excess water to seep into your building. This can lead to water damage costs in addition to the fire damage that you are already dealing with. As you estimate your fire loss, don’t overlook the effects of water damage.
3. Elimination of Debris
If you notice a smoke odor in your building, it is likely caused by the presence of debris. A vital part of the fire restoration process involves removing all traces of debris and eliminating the odor of smoke and fire on your property. When this step is properly taken care of, your commercial building can be one step closer towards a full recovery.
It’s crucial to have your building restored as soon as possible after a fire. Schedule a fire damage assessment immediately to get an estimate of the damage that has targeted your business.
5 Things To Check When Preparing Your Business for Winter
Protect your pipes with insulation.
Preparing Your Business for Winter
Owning a business anywhere can be difficult, but having a commercial property somewhere that endures harsh winters comes with unique challenges. Extreme cold weather in Round Rock, TX, can often lead to problems like frozen pipes, ice dams and other kinds of building damages. To avoid having to call a disaster restoration professional after the next winter storm, make sure your company is ready for the elements. Here are five things to assess when going through your winterization checklist.
Frozen pipes can quickly lead to bigger problems, so making sure your plumbing is in good condition should be a top priority. Nobody wants springtime flooding. You can prepare your pipes for colder weather by insulating and sealing any cracks or openings.
Speaking of insulating, how is the insulation of your building structure? You can keep your business warmer for customers by protecting it with a variety of insulation types. From blanket-style to rigid to foam, there are many options for keeping your commercial space comfortable in wintertime.
When it comes to storm damage, the roof is a popular place to find it. If you can safely look on top of your building, check for ice dams or block gutters, and clear them out. If you do not have safe access, call a professional.
Before the next winter storm, another place you will want to check are the windows. Remember to inspect them both inside and outside. Doing so can save you money on energy bills throughout the season.
To ensure your building has proper air ventilation throughout the colder months, take a look at your HVAC system. Replace air filters and make sure everything is working properly.
In order to prepare your business for the next winter storm, create a checklist of tasks you need to complete before the snow starts to fall. Be sure to include the items here.
Serving Adjusters and Their Clients
Water damage in a commercial property in Round Rock, TX.
Providing Assistance to Adjusters and Their Clients
SERVPRO has become a preferred mitigation and restoration company for insurance adjusters and their clients throughout its years of outstanding service. There are several reasons why everyone, from insurance adjuster to client, trusts SERVPRO's assistance in the worst of disasters. The company is renowned for:
1. Responding Quickly
The longer it takes to begin the remediation process, the more damage will result. A timely response from the mitigation and restoration company will begin the assessment so that the work can start as soon as possible. One hour for call response, on-site visit in a four-hour window and verbal briefing has an eight-hour window.
2. Serving as a One-Stop-Shop
SERVPRO is preferred by insurance adjusters and their clients because they're an all-in-one service advancing through the entire process from initial damage assessment until your Round Rock, TX, structure is fully restored. Fewer people will have to be involved in the process, allowing for a smoother process and going through fewer hands, ensuring that no information goes missing. From the client to the insurance adjuster to the restoration company, you don't have to worry about data being lost in translation.
3. Providing Accurate Estimates
Adjusters and their clients appreciate the expertise of SERVPRO's certified restoration professionals. From the professionals' training and knowledge to the nationwide data network of the Claims Information Center that provides extensive loss information, accurate estimates are assured.
4. Utilizing an Electronic Claims Service
SERVPRO's Claims Information Center is an excellent resource for adjusters, providing everything they need to navigate the insurance claim process, including access to all the information shared by the restoration professionals. Insurance agents and adjusters have access to the entire electronic job file, including the first notice of loss, detailed photos of the damage, cost estimates, actual cost and scanned paperwork. Additionally, they have access to nationwide reports and industry standards comparison data.
If a commercial property sustains damage from a disaster, it’s likely that the insurance adjuster will recommend SERVPRO. You can be confident that the insurance claim will be settled quickly so your rebuilding can begin.
The Importance of Having Your Electronics Cleaned After a Fire
Fire damage in a home in Round Rock, TX.
If you’ve recently experienced a fire in your home in Round Rock, TX, you’re likely wondering what can be done to help restore your valuable items that have been damaged by smoke or fire. One type of personal item you will need to handle with extreme care is all electronics. It is best to wait on interacting with your devices until the fire restoration company arrives and evaluates all your belongings during the fire cleanup process. A complete understanding of how smoke affects electronics will help you avoid accidentally destroying your items or hurting yourself.
How Smoke Affects Electronics
Smoke damage is especially harmful to electronics, even if you don’t notice any physical damage. Here’s why:
- Acids contained in smoke residue corrodes metal
- Smoke insulates components and causes over-heating
- Extremely hot plastic or metal releases toxic fumes
- Smoke on circuit boards cause erratic behavior
How a Fire Cleanup Company Can Help
Fire restoration specialists are aware of how smoke and fire affect your electronics and can help identify which items have been damaged. As long as you don’t turn on your electronics after they’ve been exposed to smoke, there’s a chance the company can get your device working again. Time is of the essence when it comes to restoring smoke-damaged electronics, so make sure you get help as soon as possible. While you might not have the equipment and expertise necessary to restore your device without potentially hurting yourself or destroying your device for good, they will know exactly what steps to take!
Although fire and smoke can have a devastating effect on your electronics, a fire cleanup company can be extremely helpful in preserving items that have been exposed to smoke. It’s important to remember that you might not be able to tell by looking that your electronics have been damaged. Play it safe by keeping your device off and waiting for the cleanup team to inspect it!
The Challenges and Advantages of Owning a SERVPRO Enterprise
Operating a SERVPRO franchise can be a fulfilling opportunity.
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Owning a SERVPRO Franchise
Buying a franchise is a unique way to start your own business in Round Rock, TX. Whether you've owned businesses in the past or this is your first entrepreneurial venture, operating a SERVPRO franchise can be a fulfilling opportunity. With corporate support, you have access to guidance, an established system that works, and assistance along the way. Overcoming challenges and building a business to be proud of is an incomparable experience.
Challenges in the Franchise Business
There's no guarantee of success in any type of business venture but facing challenges head-on with assistance from corporate teams improves the odds.
• There may be restrictions on where you can establish the business and who you can choose as business partners.
• You'll share part of your profits with corporate partners.
• Corporate franchisors aren't obligated to renew the franchise agreement at the end of the term.
• Trouble with other franchises could reflect on your own business.
• You may be bound by restrictions you didn't expect.
Hopeful business owners often consider franchises to provide an easy route of getting started, but training and good management principles are still necessary for success.
Benefits of Buying a Franchise
Once you understand the obstacles you'll face, the decision to own and operate a certified SERVPRO franchise opens up many benefits. Of course, one of the primary advantages is the wealth of experience and training that comes from partners.
• You and your employees get regular training from professionals in the same industry as you.
• Historically, franchises experience a higher rate of success than other fledgling companies.
• It's often easier to get loans and other financing for a franchise venture. These business opportunities are often less expensive than other start-ups.
• Established SERVPRO businesses have already built a solid reputation and boosted brand familiarity for you.
Prepare to Succeed
After spending some time researching market principles, time management, customer service, and other basic skills for entrepreneurship, consider purchasing and operating a locally owned SERVPRO franchise in Round Rock, TX. A healthy investment in this established company could provide you with the returns and income you expect.
Cleaning Personal Belonging After a Broken Pipe
Water cleanup in a Round Rock, TX home.
Cleaning Personal Belonging After a Broken Pipe
If you have the misfortune of dealing with a broken pipe in Round Rock, TX, your first instinct may be to get rid of any item the water came in contact with. Water in your home can cause incredible damage to your floor and sheetrock, and having to discard personal belongings may devastate you. Fortunately, with the help of dry cleaning and ultrasonic cleaning, many of the contents of your home can be saved after broken pipes flood your home.
Depending on how much flooding was caused by broken pipes in your home, you may have many items to clean. Anything that came in contact with the water should be scrubbed thoroughly, including non-porous items like the ones listed below:
- Kitchen utensils
- Storage containers
Scrubbing these items thoroughly may reduce the number of bacteria on them, but ultrasonic cleaning may be required to completely remove all germs. This type of cleaning involves spraying water infused with microscopic bubbles onto the item. As the bubbles pop, they effectively clean each item and remove all traces of bacteria quickly and easily.
When you begin to clean up after you have standing water in your home, you may have the urge to discard any item that could have absorbed water. Even porous items like the ones listed below can be saved with the right care.
- Upholstered furniture
- Stuffed animals
The key is to have any kind of fabric that may have absorbed floodwater dry cleaned. The special process and solution that dry cleaners use can usually remove every trace of floodwater from fabric, allowing them to be fully restored.
No one wants to throw away personal belongings just because they came in contact with water from a broken pipe. Abundant moisture in your home can cause enough damage, so resist the urge to discard your sentimental belongings. With the proper care and dry cleaning, nearly anything in your home can be saved.
Handling a Flooded Basement: 3 Actions You Can Take Right Away
A flooded basement in Round Rock, TX.
Ways To Handle a Basement Flood
When unexpected flooding affects your Round Rock, TX, home’s basement, it can be difficult to know how to proceed with finding the source of the water and how to drain it away. Unexpected floods can occur for an array of reasons, from sudden thaws to a plumbing mishap. Knowing which steps to take can help you handle a basement flood calmly, even if it was the last thing you expected.
1. Find the Flood Source
Thawing snow and ice and the resulting runoff may be a cause of basement flooding, especially if your roof has poor drainage or if your gutters and downspouts are clogged. Check your home’s drainage system and clear any clogs, then check to make sure runoff is being channeled away from your home, not toward it. If you find a broken water pipe in your basement, turn off the water to prevent further flooding.
2. Determine Safety Levels
If your basement is flooded with water because of burst pipe, the water should be relatively safe to enter if you want to retrieve stored items right away or attempt pipe repair. However, you may want to cut the power to the room first to avoid any risk of electric shock. If the flood water is coming in from poor drainage or spring flooding, it may contain microbes and pathogens that cause illness, and you should avoid touching this water. Seal off the room until help arrives.
3. Call In Flood Cleanup Professionals
A flood cleanup and restoration company can be your first line of defense against dangerous or standing water after a basement flood. Restoration techs can remove contaminated water safely and advise you about what kind of water damage it left behind. If you are concerned about mold, they can inspect and treat affected areas to ensure no growth occurs.
When your Round Rock, TX, home’s basement is affected by flooding, the resulting mess can be hard to handle. However, when you know how to react, you can minimize the damage and get the cleanup process started right away.
Mold Prevention: 3 Common Sources of Excessive Dampness
Round Rock, TX mold remediation.
Common Sources of Mold
Dealing with mold in Round Rock, TX, after it has already started to grow in your home is an extremely frustrating process. Your best line of action is to prioritize mold prevention and avoid the mess altogether! Since mold depends on water or moisture to survive, they key to preventing mold growth is moisture management. Here a few common sources of excess moisture to look out for.
Common Household Items
While people often think mold is caused by some severe issue within their home, sometimes the root of the problem is common household items they use regularly. Here are a few common culprits:
- Wet clothes
- Trash cans
- Household plants
Mold prevention starts with proper moisture control within your home. By keeping your humidifier at low levels, only using clothes lines outdoors, quickly taking out the trash, and not overwatering plants, you can help maintain optimal humidity levels in your home.
Leaking Pipes and Roofs
When left undetected, leaking pipes and roofs can cause serious water damage to your home that will quickly allow mold to grow. Regular maintenance and inspections of pipes in your home and your roof is essential for detecting leaks before they become a major problem. As soon as you notice any issues, it is a good idea to immediately get in contact with a water damage specialist.
A poorly ventilated home traps moisture indoors and increases the humidity levels in your home. This is especially problematic in bathrooms and kitchens where large amounts of steam are released into the air on a daily basis. Using a bathroom fan or opening windows in is an effective way to let evaporated water escape from your home before mold can grow.
As you can see, mold prevention is a much simpler process than trying to combat mold that has already started to grow. While there are several causes of mold growth to look out for, checking out these common sources of mold are a great place to start!
How To Get Rid of Smoke Odor After a Fire
Fire damage in Round Rock, TX.
Smoke Damage Restoration
If you’ve recently had a commercial fire in Round Rock, TX, you may be wondering what steps you should take. You’re likely feeling overwhelmed, not knowing what to do or who to call first (after the fire department, that is). Then there’s that awful smoke odor that can linger even after all the burned and destroyed items have been removed. Thankfully, there are highly trained restoration professionals out there who are sufficiently equipped to handle all your smoke cleaning needs. These companies will likely have access to state-of-the-art equipment and techniques that will not only clean up the often overwhelming mess the fire left behind, but also restore your building to its pre-fire condition. Here are a few things you should expect from a smoke damage restoration professional.
Thorough Inspection for Identification of Odor Sources
It may be easy to look at the affected area and simply assume the smell is coming from everywhere. While there is an element of truth to that, these companies have access to equipment that will help them easily trace the strongest odor sources so that they will be able to focus their efforts most heavily on those affected areas. Sometimes, the odor can come from unlikely places on the interior or exterior of the building.
Water and Fire Treatments First
In order to ensure the odor problem is properly treated, any water or soot must be removed from the premises first as part of the smoke cleaning process. Since these are strong sources of odor in themselves, this process will eliminate a large portion of the necessary odor remediation.
Cleanup, Sanitization, and Odor Remediation
At this point in the restoration process, affected, salvageable items will be properly cleaned, sanitized and restored to their pre-fire condition. The smoke odor will often still linger in the affected areas. Using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment, the restoration professionals will now aggressively attack any remaining odors, since the preliminary work has been completed. Once the odor is removed, the final stage of the smoke cleaning process will be any necessary structural repairs.
The Key to Mold Remediation: Small Steps
Mold damage in Round Rock, TX.
Mold Remediation Process
Black mold is a term that incites chaotic images in the mind. The way people talk about it, you may easily get caught up in the fear, believing that mold is the end of your business in Round Rock, TX. Questions swim around your mind. How can you recover? How can you be sure the treatment is effective? Will you always have a mold problem? The answer to all of these is that you can recover and your mold problem can be a thing of the past.
Break it Down
Just like any other problem you encounter in business, break this mold problem into smaller steps and you will find it is quite manageable. The core steps to mold remediation, no matter what kind of mold, are as follows:
1. Inspection. Professionals will identify areas of growth and use special equipment to detect hidden moisture.
2. Containment. A variety of tools may be used during mold cleanup, including physical barriers or negative air pressure.
3. Protection. Protective gear is worn to protect professionals.
4. Removal If porous materials are infected, they may be removed.
5. Disinfecting. Black mold can be killed by disinfectant, just like any other mold.
6. Drying. Removal of moisture is key to prevention of additional mold colonies.
While waiting for a professional, be sure to turn off your HVAC system so you don’t further spread the problem in your building. A mold recovery specialist will execute each of these steps thoroughly so you can be assured no hidden black mold remains. When cleanup is complete, you can actually replace or rebuild anything that is needed.
Focus On Business
The right organization can ease your burden by handling all aspects of the recovery, preventing you from the time-consuming task of finding individual contractors for each step. A mold remediation specialist can even help you with move out and move in services, as well as rebuilding. With one company taking care of all aspects of your mold problem, you can focus on managing a productive business during this time.
3 Steps To Take After a Fire Damages Your Business
Fire damaged a business in Round Rock, TX.
What To Do After a Fire Damages Your Business
After your business in Round Rock, TX, has been damaged by fire, you may feel overwhelmed about what to do next. However, you can take several steps to make the fire restoration process easier.
1. Review Your Insurance Policy
Check your insurance policy to get an idea about what costs will be covered by fire insurance. While many insurance policies for businesses include fire damage, some policies offer more coverage than others. Once you are aware of what your insurance will cover, you can have a better idea of what projects to tackle first and how to make appropriate claims.
2. Be Mindful When Cleaning
As you start to clean up your business, it’s helpful to know what you should and should not try to clean. Fire restoration usually involves clearing a building of soot, and touching damaged items could result in deterioration. Additionally, it is generally wise to wear protective clothing to keep yourself safe as you enter your building. If you’re uncertain whether you should remove an item or if you should try to clean it, it’s often best to wait for professional help.
3. Start the Restoration Process Quickly
Although you want to make certain you aren’t putting yourself at risk as you start cleaning, you may not have to put the restoration process on hold. After checking with your insurance agent, you may receive permission to repair some issues before your insurance company sends out an adjuster to document the damage. Save receipts and take photos to provide proof of the costs of restoration to your insurance company.
Once you know the steps to take after your business is affected by a fire, you can start the process of fire restoration. Consider working with fire damage restoration experts who can help with smoke cleaning, sanitization and more.
How Long Does It Take To Clean Up Water Damage?
Water damage clean up in Round Rock, TX
Water Damage Clean Up
When your home is affected by a flooding event, it can disrupt your whole life. Bursting pipes, for example, can take you by surprise and expel an incredible amount of water into your house before you turn off the main water valve. Whatever the source of the water, your first question after you call a water damage mitigation specialist in Round Rock, TX, is probably how long it’s going to take to return your home to normal. The answer depends on the type of water, the amount of water and the extent of the damage.
Water damage mitigation experts have specialized equipment to help them remove water from your home. If your bursting pipes gushed water for a long time before the main valve was shut off and the water is deep, submersible pumps are used to empty out the affected rooms. Once the water becomes too shallow for pumps, industrial wet vacs suck up the remaining water. The equipment used is so powerful that even a relatively large house can usually be emptied out in around 24 hours. Once the bulk of the water is out, the affected area needs to be completely dried to prevent mold from growing.
The amount of time it takes to dry out your home is highly variable. Multiple factors all play a part:
- The type of flooring
- The size of your home
- The time of year
- The humidity levels of the region
Industrial-strength air movers are used along with dehumidifiers to pull moisture from the air to speed the drying process. To completely dry out the flooded area can take anywhere from two to three days. However, if you have wood floors or water was left standing for a long time, it can take up to five to seven days.
When your life is disrupted by bursting pipes, the faster you can get back to normal, the better. Letting a water damage mitigation specialist in Round Rock, TX, handle the cleanup ensures it happens as quickly as possible. With an expert in charge, you can be back to normal within the week.
5 Things You Need To Do To Remove Cigarette Smoke From Your Home
An ozone machine can remove smoke odor from your home.
Removing Smoke Cigarette From Your Home
Cigarette smoke can leave your Round Rock, TX, home with a rather unpleasant aroma. No matter how the smoke made its way into your house, you have to go through a major home deodorization to completely remove the smell.
1. Call in a professional. Your first step should be to call in a home smoke and odor removal team. These professionals can help you clean and deodorize your entire space.
2. Wash everything. If you truly want to say goodbye to the smell of cigarettes, you need to wash almost every surface in your house. Clothing, curtains, rugs, carpets, walls, furniture and ceilings all have to be cleaned. The washing process will vary greatly. Some items can be thrown in your washing machine while others have to be wiped down with a deodorizing solvent.
3. Use filters. Removing the smoke odor from the surface of your home may not be enough for a complete home deodorization. The smell can actual cling to particles in the air. You can use a commercial-grade air filter to improve the air quality and smell in your house.
4. Try ozone machines. An ozone machine sends out special molecules that act like smoke particles. The molecules cover all of the surfaces in your home, just like the cigarette smoke did. The difference is the new molecules remove the odor rather than cause it.
5. Replace items. The smelly smoke from a cigarette cannot be removed from every item. If you have a piece of furniture that will not let go of the foul odor, you may need to replace it to ensure your home does not start to smell again.
When it comes to smoke from cigarettes, the odor can be hard to get rid of. Because it can cling to almost every surface in your house, the home deodorization can take a while, but it is often well worth your time.
How to Handle a Roof Leak
Roof leaking in Round Rock, TX
How to Deal with a Roof Leak
Slight discoloration or a slow drip of water from the ceiling can quickly put a stop to everything else you had on your schedule. This is because the most likely cause of those unwelcome signs is a roof leak, and you know that leaks could lead to extensive and expensive repairs. What should you do when you see water stains running down the walls or a spot on the ceiling that doesn't seem quite right?
Perhaps one of the most important things to do at this point is to understand the risks. Even tiny leaks could eventually lead to really big problems, including
- Soggy insulation
- Rotted framing
- Ruined drywall
- Damaged ceilings
- Pooled water inside walls
- Mold and mildew growth
How do you clean up a leaking roof once you've found it? Gather up all of the tools and supplies you'll need. These may include a cordless drill, a pry bar, hammer, caulk gun, putty knife, and tin snips, if you have them handy. Next, separate tasks into those you can handle on your own and those that require professional attention. Replacing missing shingles or damaged flashing could be dangerous because of slick conditions.
The roof leak work on the inside of your building will go a bit differently. You may need to release water from a bowed ceiling. To do this, poke several small holes in the area with buckets below for catching the released water. You'll probably need to pull out sections of wet materials before you begin the drying process. Ask water removal specialists for advice regarding disinfecting water-affected materials.
Turn to Professionals
When you've done as much of the work as you can complete on your own, it will be time to turn the restoration of the roof and ceilings over to a professional in Round Rock, TX. Remember to contact your insurance provider before you get started to be sure that your claim will be covered.
What To Do If You Have a Leaky or Broken Pipe
If you have a broken or leaking pipe give SERVPRO of East Round Rock a call!
What Should You Do If You Have a Leaking or Broken Pipe?
Gone are the days when homeowners had to trek to a well to draw water. Nowadays, with just the turn of a bathroom or kitchen faucet, water flows freely. Hidden in the walls and floors of your home are a series of pipes that supply water to your entire home. Unfortunately, broken or leaky pipes can cause your house to flood. If your Round Rock, TX, home has sustained damage, you must have a strategy for dealing with it.
Find the Leak
When a pipe bursts, the source of the flood is often obvious. For leaky pipes, however, finding the root of water damage can be tricky. Still, before you can fix a broken pipe, you must locate it. If you don’t have plumbing skills, you may not be able to go it alone. Instead, you must rely on a licensed plumber to find the leak. When you do, expect the plumber to take the following actions:
- Ensure no legitimate water is flowing inside or outside the home
- Check the water meter’s leak indicator
- Compare water meter readings
- Look for signs of water damage
- Examine pipes
Contact the Insurance Company
Many homeowners are surprised to learn that their insurance policy covers damage caused by leaky or broken pipes. Whether you have a flood or just a bit of moisture, you should contact your insurance company. An adjuster can advise you on which restoration and repair costs are included in your insurance coverage.
As you probably know, a flood can destroy your home. Not only do floods often cause short-term damage, they usually leave behind long-term remnants. To preserve the comfort, value and appearance of your dwelling, you can’t leave your house’s recovery to chance. Instead, consider working with a reputable restoration service in Round Rock, TX. Simply put, you can’t overestimate the importance of having the right expertise, equipment and skill in restoring the condition of your home.
3 Facts Every Company Owner Should Know About Business Insurance
Finding the correct commercial insurance for your company can be difficult.
Three Things Every Business Owner Should Know About Business Insurance
Protecting your Round Rock, TX, business from fire, flooding and other disasters with commercial insurance is probably a high priority for you and one of the most effective ways to guard your investment. However, if you only recently stepped into the world of entrepreneurship, you may not be familiar with business insurance or how to purchase a policy that suits your company’s needs. Before you sign on with an agent, you may want to first understand some important facts about coverage so you can make the best policy choices possible.
1. Location Matters
When you first start to browse insurance for your business, it is important to consider the building’s location. Crime rate, the availability of fire crews and possible flood risk may all be factors in what you pay for your policy. For example, if your building is in an area at or near sea level or near a large body of water that is capable of flooding, your policy may be costlier than one for a building with a lower risk.
2. Consider Your Building’s Construction
The overall construction of your building can affect the details of any commercial insurance policy you are offered. If you have only recently purchased a building and want to make some improvements and additions, it is important to discuss them with your insurance agent first. Using flame-retardant material and having your building’s fire risk gauged by a fire damage and restoration company can lower the cost of your premiums.
3. Employment Risks May Affect Premiums
The type of business you run may affect the type of coverage available to you. For example, if your employees perform high-risk work with machinery, such as a deli, you may need to buy additional insurance to cover them as well as the building. You may want to let your agent know about any possible dangers so you can purchase coverage that suits you.
Finding the right commercial insurance for your Round Rock, TX, business can be a challenge. However, when you understand a few basic facts about how to find the right policy, you can have peace of mind that your building and property are covered.
Stopping Bathroom Mold Before It Starts
Bathroom mold growth in Round Rock, TX.
Unless you live in a highly humid environment, you’re likely to find mold in your bathroom before anywhere else. Even if you don’t have any leaks or flooding leading to water damage, you’re still dealing with splashing water, standing water, and humidity – all of which encourage mold to grow. So how can you prevent mold from springing up in your Round Rock, TX, home?
Steps to Prevent Bathroom Mold Growth
To keep your bathroom mold-free, just follow these simple steps for mold prevention:
1. Use your fan. The humidity after you bathe or shower can activate mold spores in the air and turn them into an active infestation. Run your fan during and after your bath or shower to remove humidity from the air.
2. Wipe down sinks, toilets, and shower walls. Condensation and splashes can accumulate on all these surfaces, and invite mold to breed.
3. Wipe down the bathroom walls and floors. These surfaces, too, are likely to sprout mold if water is left condensed or puddled too long on their surfaces, not to mention water damage weakening the drywall and tile to make it easier for mold to take root.
4. Frequently check your pipes and the seal around your toilet. Leaks also lead to water damage, and the more water damage you suffer, the more mold you’ll find.
5. Check and seal your grout. Grout is meant to act as a seal to prevent water from leaking past tile and into close, dark spaces full of things mold loves to feed on. Grout can age, though, and can crack. You should periodically check your grout and re-seal it as needed to ensure it’s watertight.
You can also speak to a mold remediation specialist. Even if you don’t actively have mold, a specialist can assess your bathroom and determine what areas could be problem areas – and provide invaluable pointers on managing them.
Are Candles the Right Choice for Your Home?
Try using electric warmers for candles.
A candle can make your home in Round Rock, TX, feel extra home sweet home. There is something about the flame and fragrance; nostalgia, maybe? Despite its beauty, a candle flame is a fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a candle fire accounted for 2 percent of reported residential fires (averaged over five years). Placement of candles also makes a difference; just over a third of candle fires began in bedrooms. Rather than worrying if you extinguished your candle, your family can rest easy by looking into candle alternatives.
Thanks to innovative thinkers, candle lovers have many safe options that look and even smell like real candles, without the candle fire hazard. It is also important to ensure your family has flameless options available for power outages.
For Beauty and Scent
• There is a variety of flameless candles, such as LED Flameless wax pillar candles. There are myriad scents, shapes and sizes available. Some even have timers.
• Try using electric warmers for candles, oil or wax.
• Himalayan salt lamps do not produce any scent, but they can give any room a beautiful ambiance. Then you can use air fresheners or plug-ins for smell.
• Treat yourself to a little aromatherapy by using an essential oil diffuser.
When the Lights Go Out
• There is nothing wrong with using good old-fashioned flashlights or buy some with LED bulbs that last longer than regular ones.
• Camping lanterns are battery operated, and many can hang and use LED bulbs.
• Book lights are small, but many can clip to objects and are flexible.
If you use candles, ensure your family has smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher and an escape plan. A candle fire (or any fire) can cause significant smoke damage. Also, know that due to the nature of soot, it can sometimes be impossible to remove from surfaces. If your family has the unfortunate experience of a fire, call a professional who knows how to handle the smoke cleanup. If you decide to use the flameless route, then happy hunting for the best safe options for your family.
Can You Keep Black Mold From Entering Your Home?
Mold damage in a Round Rock, TX home.
When you find black mold in your residence, it may seem as if it’s attempting to take control of your life by stealthily taking control of your home. When you find out that this pesky organism is present and is capable of spreading itself everywhere, you may feel as though the situation is daunting. How is the fungus able to make its way inside, especially when you maintain a pristine abode? However, even if you keep a squeaky-clean house, if other conditions are present, it is almost unavoidable that mold will settle indoors.
Favorable Mold-Growing Conditions
Mold spores are present practically everywhere. In the right environment, they can thrive.
• Air: Spores travel by air, which allows them to settle on any surface, including the insides of heating and air conditioning systems (HVAC). Consequently, if black mold spores are present, when the system is turned on, they could be released indoors.
• Food: Like every creature, the fungus also needs food to survive and thrive. This can be any type of organic matter; all homes offer plenty of material to feed on.
• Water: Surfaces that are in continuous contact with some form of water, whether it’s a bit of moisture, condensation or dampness, can enable mold to thrive and grow.
• Temperature: Fungi are not particular about temperature. They can live and flourish in temperatures between 32 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Measures To Halt Spores
One way you can prevent a mold issue from continuing unchecked is to get the help of a mold remediation company in Round Rock, TX. Experts in the field should be able to handle mold cleanup, take care of the moisture problem and perhaps make repairs if needed. They can also give you recommendations for minimizing the possibility of a new breakout.
Although these tiny spores live in the environment and cannot be completely eliminated, now that you understand how they slip inside your house, it may be easier to reduce the likelihood of a problem developing. Relying on skillful and experienced professionals can give you an added edge to control unwanted black mold.
The 5 Best Storm Preparation Tips
Prepare for adverse weather in Round Rock, TX.
Storm Preparation Tips
Preparing for a storm in advance can help you be ready when high winds, rain, or flood water arrive. These five storm preparation tips can help you stay safe and limit wind and water damage to your home in Round Rock, TX.
1. Trim Trees To Clear Your Yard
Pruning trees and shrubs can keep heavy branches from falling and damaging your roof or becoming dangerous wind-blown debris. Bring in items kept outside to prevent them from sustaining or causing damage.
2. Cover Windows With Secure Shutters
Cover the windows if high winds and flying debris are expected. Board up openings right before a major storm or have storm windows or shutters installed if you live in an area with frequent tempests.
3. Assemble an Emergency Preparedness Kit
Make a plan that accounts for every member of your household. Gather non-perishable items of food, a first aid kit, flashlights, hand cranked or battery-powered radio, and extra batteries. You will need at least one gallon of water per person and enough food for at least three days; in addition, throw in some garbage bags and moist towelettes for sanitation.
4. Anticipate Power Line Outages
Have flashlights and batteries on hand and make sure you know how to shut off the power to your home. Turn off the electricity if you see rising flood water, downed power lines, or need to evacuate.
5. Prepare a Go-Bag for Evacuation
Fill your vehicle up with gas and prepare a go-bag car kit with more non-perishable food, jumper cables, flares, maps, tools, a first aid kit, sleeping bags, flashlights, and batteries. Collect important papers in a secure box that you can grab if you need to flee a flooded building.
Prepare for adverse weather in Round Rock, TX, by following these five steps. If your home sustains damage from wind or water damage from flood water, contact a residential damage restoration company.
Burst Water Main: How to Protect Your Business After a City Main Break
Shut off the main water valve.
How to Protect Your Company Following a City Main Break
City water main breaks can be catastrophic for your business, especially if they go unnoticed, because of the potential plumbing problems in your building. If you notice the signs of a city main break, then you may want to take the following proactive steps.
1. Check Your Commercial Insurance Policy
While you may think that your insurance policy covers a burst main or that the city will pay for the damage, that is not always the case. Most commercial policies will not cover clean water damage unless it is from a fire suppression system or you have an additional policy endorsement, and the city is not responsible for damage that occurs on your property.
2. Shut Off Water Main
If you notice that there is flooding in the street outside of your business, or you see sediment coming through your faucets, you may want to shut off the main water valve to your building because these are signs that the city main may be compromised. Shutting off this valve protects your building from further damage and gives you time to notify the city.
3. Flush the System
Once you have shut down the access point for any more incoming water, you may want to flush your system to prevent any further plumbing problems. You can do this by turning on the faucets nearest the buildings main. By using the faucet near the location, you may be able to prevent any debris or blockages from further working their way into the system.
4. Call a Professional and Install Preventative Measures
After the city has fixed the main issues and repaired the broken pipe, you may want to call in a plumbing specialist in the Round Rock, TX, area to inspect your system and possibly install a water main filtration system. This system will help to prevent any debris or sediment from future issues from entering your buildings plumbing and causing problems.
Plumbing problems can be frustrating for business owners, but especially when they are not the fault of the business. While busted city mains can be devastating, the above steps may help you protect your company.
How To Mitigate Mold After a Flood
Standing water in Round Rock, TX.
After a Flood, Here's How to Get Rid of Mold
Recovering from a flood at your home in Round Rock, TX, can be an overwhelming and time-consuming process. If you do not act quickly after the storm, standing water can breed bacteria and encourage mold growth. Questions you may ask after a flood can include:
- How do you know if mold is growing?
- How quickly do you need to act?
- What steps do you take to mitigate the problem?
Mold spores are everywhere in the environment. Typically, the spores do not endanger you or your home at normal levels. However, these microscopic organisms can flourish under the right conditions. Mold needs moisture to grow and spread. After a flood, the standing water in your home is the perfect environment for mold to multiply. Dampness remaining in floors, walls and basements after the floodwater subsides can cause mold growth in as little as 48 hours. So, be on the lookout for an earthy, musty smell indicative of mold. The color of mold varies, including black, brown, white, green or orange.
How Is Mold Remediated?
Mold cannot be completely eradicated, as it exists in nature and is everywhere. It can be remediated in your home by taking the following steps:
• Act fast to prevent the mold from developing and spreading. Immediately contact a team of water restoration and mold remediation specialists to remove the excess standing water. The company inspects for visible and hidden mold and moisture, contains the affected area, and filters spores from the air. Porous materials are removed, such as carpeting, and remaining surfaces are treated for bacteria, cleaned and sanitized.
• Your role as the homeowner is to immediately turn off the HVAC system if you suspect mold growth. This will prevent the further spread of spores. Do not touch the mold or attempt to clean it yourself.
Unmitigated mold growth after a storm in Round Rock, TX, can wreak havoc on your home and your health. Recognize the signs and act quickly by having a mold remediation specialist out to your home as soon as possible after your home floods.
How Fire Damage and Water Damage Can Go Hand in Hand
A fire is one of the most destructive home tragedies.
How Fire And Water Damage Can Affect Each Other
As a homeowner, you should do everything possible to prevent disaster and to protect your loved ones and your possessions. Of course, even your best efforts can’t always avoid accidents or incidents. One of the most devastating disasters at home is a fire. Not only can fire damage destroy the structure and your belongings, but the water firefighters used to put out the fire can ruin parts of your Round Rock, TX home as well.
Putting Out the Fire
If your home is on fire, your primary concern is everyone’s safety. Then, you want fire crews working hard to put it out so they can minimize damage and save your house, if possible. Firefighters are well-trained to combat fires of all sizes and types. They use heavy-duty equipment, including high-pressure hoses. When crews are working to extinguish the fire, the fire hose puts out a significant amount of water, which can cause widespread damage to various parts of your home.
Determining the Damage
Flames can engulf your home and burn down just about anything, but water damage usually accompanies a fire. The following are often affected by water from firefighters:
- Carpet and other flooring, such as hardwood and tile
Completing the Cleanup Effort
Fire damage may render your personal items unusable and parts of your home unlivable. Water damage can do the same, but this doesn’t mean the professionals can’t help. In many cases, an experienced restoration specialist can repair damage caused by water. These crews can remove water and dry the affected areas. They can also sanitize the wet areas to help ensure bacteria and mold won’t grow.
Any homeowner should worry about the effects of fire damage. Don’t forget about the consequences of water either. Make sure you call the professionals to help clean up after the firefighters have done their job to take care of the flames.
5 Steps To Take When Your Tenant Finds Mold in Their Apartment
Mold remediation in Round Rock, TX
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
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.
Why Every Business Should Consider Buying a Flood Insurance Policy
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
Flooded entrance of a building in Round Rock, TX.
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
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?
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
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.
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.