How to Prepare for Winter Storms & Frozen Pipes
SERVPRO of South Austin
The winter season is here and snow and ice can create major issues for you and your home. As we prepare to support you, it’s best for every business and homeowner to review potentially problematic issues.
Whether it’s snow, ice, heating, thawing frozen pipes or unforeseen accidents, the combination of certain elements can destroy your property. Most people will know to be aware of frozen pipes in the house, but other issues may arise. Ice on your roof can prevent proper drainage, if heat isn’t evenly distributed, some areas may freeze, and water in frozen pipes will freeze causing secondary damage to other appliances or household systems.
Here are three preemptive ways to check in on your property.
- Insulate Your Roof
The best ice dam prevention solution is to properly insulate your roof. Heat escapes through ceilings and rises to the roof where it warms the wood and shingles above. To prevent this, check the depth of your insulation.
Anything less than 8 inches is usually not enough to prevent heat from escaping, and it's important to use foam or caulk to stop air leaks. This will not only stop roof issues, but it will also save you money on your energy bill.
- Remove the Buildup
If you notice a large amount of snow gathering on your roof, you might want to consider eliminating it. Houses that have poor ventilation can also have poor distribution of heat. By removing the snow with a push broom or shovel, you can clear any potential problem areas.
- Create Channels in the Ice
Ice dams can force water into your home through the attic. You can stop this by creating channels in the ice and draining the water into the gutters. Use a hose with warm water and melt the lower edge of the ridge. This solution is a temporary fix but could prevent a large amount of winter storm damage.
Winter storms will always be unpredictable and damaging in one way or another. Our only working defense is to focus on potentially preventable tactics.
You do not need to figure out how to prevent pipes from freezing or fix frozen pipes on your own. Feel free to reach out to us at SERVPRO of South Austin for additional information on how to protect your home, we're always here to help!
Handling your Commercial Property with SERVPRO
SERVPRO of South Austin
There are over 21 million commercial establishments in the United States, occupying 4.9 million buildings. These buildings cover over 72 billion square feet or 1.6 million acres. The U.S. adds about 1.6 billion square feet per year—nearly 110,000 buildings annually, or roughly half-a-million buildings every five years. The sheer magnitude of annual growth in commercial real estate is astounding.
How are you planning on protecting your property?
Most companies attempt to treat a commercial project like a “really big house”, which is a big mistake. Calling and hiring a restoration company without the right education or credentials can cause further damage and business interruption.
With residential homes, the primary purpose is to house a family, whereas commercial structures have a variety of uses and functions. All these factors can affect the restoration process.
Commercial facilities, if they are greatly impacted by damage, require more time for scoping, planning, and estimating. Additional square footage affected raises the requirements of the commercial project, meaning additional management staff, labor, equipment, and supplies will be needed.
At SERVPRO of South Austin , we have a highly trained, experienced, and certified team, able to handle all your property damage needs. Our staff receives ongoing training from our corporate training facility to meet and exceed IICRC industry certifications. This ensures we provide the proper assessment and repairs.
When your property is the victim of a disaster or damage, such as water and fire damage, fire and smoke damage, or storm damage, every minute counts to minimize the effect on your building.
Every time we enter a commercial large loss project, we focus on the differences that occur in a commercial building over a residential home. We consider how our communication, planning, and even our conversations might have to be altered to provide the highest level of customer service on a commercial restoration project when speaking with either an owner or property management team.
Our cleaning and restoration team can provide support from water damage cleanup and water damage restoration to fire damage repairs and mold remediation services. As a locally owned and operated facility, we provide commercial cleaning services, residential cleaning services, biohazard cleanup, carpet cleaning, air duct cleaning, mold removal, and more.
When you have a disaster or water emergency call us at SERVPRO of South Austin, your trusted leader for restoration services, 24 hours, 7 days a week to restore your home or business. We are centrally located, and you will receive an immediate response. Faster to any size disaster. Make it "Like it never even happened."
Fire Damage Losses and How to Protect Yourself
SERVPRO of South Austin
Experiencing a fire loss at your home or business can be very difficult. Anything that endangers your home, business, or family life is something most people can’t imagine or find hard to understand.
Fortunately, some of the most common causes of fires within your home can be avoided by taking simple measures to avoid having to go through an experience like this that can be so devastating.
Here are some of the main issues you need to watch out for and how you can prevent them:
Cooking in the kitchen causes about half of the fires within a home. Once a grease fire begins, it’s very hard to stop the spread without hurting yourself or others. Don’t walk away from food especially when using grease or oil. It’s important to turn off the source of heat and know where your fire extinguisher is. Any portable appliances like toasters will need to be cooled before returning them to their cabinets.
Issues with heating in the home mostly come from portable methods, such as space heaters. Make sure you read all the instructions included and you know how to use the controls. It will be important to move any curtains or other flammable fabrics away from these types of items and never leave the house with them running.
Electrical problems can occur for numerous reasons. Have a professional electrician come over to check wiring in your home and make sure that it isn’t outdated or damaged in any way. This can also occur during a new appliance installation, storm, or power outages. Only plug in the recommended number of wires into a single socket and keep loose wires organized. Any electrical problems need to be dealt with promptly by a licensed professional.
Smoking is not something you want to do within your home. Cigarettes can cause damage in more ways than one, but the most common theme is the residual slow burn of the end of the cigarette that isn’t fully put out. Always make sure that your fire alarms are up to date, fully functional, and the batteries are tested. Any flammable materials or textiles can go up in flames in a matter of minutes.
Candles left unattended can be a huge risk for your home and family. Remember to always put candles out before you leave. Make sure to keep candles high out of the reach of children or pets who may knock them over and far away from any flammable materials in your home.
In any of these situations, you need to call a professional who can walk you through their experience. This is not something that you need to handle on your own. Our team here at SERVPRO of South Austin is here to help with any questions or concerns you might have.
How to Prepare for Emergencies with a Plan
SERVPRO of South Austin
Most commercial buildings are required to provide an emergency exit strategy for their people incase an unfortunate accident were to occur. Some buildings are also required to have a contingency plan to protect the building itself, but not all properties will have this in place.
Our team here at SERVPRO of South Austin will provide this service to business owners in need of a water and fire preparedness plan. As restoration professionals, we have the experience and trained crew members required to show you necessary steps to limit potential damage that can occur from a water, fire, or storm like scenario.
Being a step ahead and knowing how to shut off a utility, fix a sprinkler issue, or set containment, can make the difference between shutting your doors and being able to open your business again. Every moment counts as disasters rarely happen during business hours.
During this process, a team member will document all necessary details as we walk your building with you. Important items to address will be the preferred initial point of contact, pinpointing your main utility shutoffs, locating any and all hazardous materials, documenting preferred parking and access for our team once we arrive, and priority or essential equipment that needs to be protected.
Our goal here is to provide you with a simple and easy to access plan for your team so they can react appropriately in these situations with little effort and a nominal amount of time. Knowing what to do and who to call can save you a considerable amount of money, prevent secondary damage and limit the amount of business time lost due to repairing and replacing damaged items within your facility.
Whether you have a team in place, or we are the ones to arrive onsite first, our technicians will be fully aware of the shut-off locations and can address this ourselves. Preparing this plan ahead of time will always provide quicker and more efficient results.
Feel free to reach out to our office for further information, do not feel this is something you need to explore on your own, our team is always here to help.
Water Damage in your Home
SERVPRO of South Austin
As a leader in the cleaning and restoration industry, we strive to meet or exceed the expectations of every customer, client, and business that is involved with water damaged property. Every property, every project, every customer deserves excellence.
Water intrusion in a home or business is always a traumatic event. Effectively restoring a water-damaged property is such a valuable service to any homeowner or business owner. This type of disruption creates stress and uncertainty for many individuals and can be very costly.
This is when you call us at SERVPRO of South Austin to provide guidance and assistance to ensure the best decisions are made through these difficult times.
Excessive water and moisture in any indoor environment can pose health risks for occupants and if it is not resolved properly. Water intrusion can cause severe damages to both your structure and contents.
Properly mitigating, drying, and restoring a water-damaged structure requires training, expertise, and specialized equipment. With hands-on experience and coaching in the field, we are the best in the industry.
The goal of emergency actions is to protect your structure and contents from further damage, establish a safe environment, extract water, demo unrestorable materials, and create the conditions for drying the structure and contents effectively. This typically involves calculating and positioning air movers and dehumidifiers within the affected area.
Once the equipment is placed, we monitor the drying process and make sure it is working properly. Monitoring services continue until the structure and contents are dry as we evaluate, update monitoring logs, and adjust as needed.
Feel free to reach out to us at SERVPRO of South Austin for any additional questions or concerns. Always here to help. “Like it never even happened.”
Types of Water Damage & Damage it Causes
SERVPRO of South Austin
Knowing the difference between clean, gray, and black water can help a lot during the process and being able to understand what types of damage are covered under your insurance policy.
With any loss, there are ways to identify the level and severity of the damage that has occurred to your home.
What is Clean Water?
Clean water is water that comes from your faucet or showerhead that you can drink safely. It is also considered rainwater or snowmelt. Water damage from within your home can come from a broken water line, a busted toilet tank, a leaky washer or refrigerator, or rain or snowmelt entering your home. While clean water flooding your floors may not cause an immediate health risk, it can quickly evolve into the gray water after prolonged contact with building surfaces, material, and items. This can happen within 48 hours which is why it is important to call our team as soon as possible after a flood or water damage.
What is Gray Water?
Gray water is water that may contain chemicals or contaminants that may be harmful to your health. Gray water can come from the shower and sink drains, the washer drain, the dishwasher drain, and aquariums. Gray water can cause even more damage than clean water and can evolve into black water within 48 hours causing even further damage and health risks.
What is Black Water?
Blackwater is contaminated water from floodwaters and sewage waters. It can come from a flooded river, a backed-up toilet or sewage line in your home. It can cause health effects and should be avoided.
Blackwater should be professionally removed, dried out and cleaned by professionals with the right tools and processes to ensure a thorough cleanup.
SERVPRO of South Austin is always here to help. Feel free to reach out with any additional questions or concerns for future reference.
Water Extraction in Austin, TX and What You Need to Know.
SERVPRO of South Austin
When your home has suffered from water damage, it can be a stressful and tense experience. If the damage is severe, you will need to hire professionals to repair and restore your home or business.
That’s where we come in as your highly recommended SERVPRO of Austin, TX, SERVPRO of South Austin with years of experience to help support you. Understanding what to expect from a water damage restoration company can help make the process less overwhelming.
There is no such thing as a small disaster, especially with intrusion of water you can’t see. It can contain bacteria, mold, rot, mold growing, or other unseen damage. Every water damage restoration project is different. The building (or structure) provides variables that may change with every project, such as the electrical system, type of building materials, or hazardous materials in the building.
The water loss itself provides variables, such as the sanitation of the water, hazardous substances in the water, length of time the water has been in the structure, presence of mold contamination, and mold growth. Take time to identify and resolve safety hazards before proceeding with the project.
Water damage can also affect the value of your property. Before you get out the mop bucket and clean the affected areas yourself, consider how the damage can potentially affect the long-term structure of your home or business.
SERVPRO of South Austin professionals know how disruptive water damage can be for your business and are trained to manage the drying process from start to finish at a pre loss condition. With rapid response time and a full line of water cleanup and restoration services, we can help you regain control quickly, by helping to ensure your facility and its contents are properly dried, deodorized and protected.
When we respond to a call for water damage repair, we have one primary goal: To dry wet building materials and contents items. As restoration professionals, we remove water and moisture from a wet building and return the building to what it was before the loss—before the water intrusion occurred.
Goals of Restorative Drying:
1. Return excessively wet materials to their normal (equilibrium) moisture levels.
2. Reduce the time that materials are excessively wet.
3. Determine the most cost-efficient procedures for drying.
To accomplish these goals, our team controls the airflow, humidity, and temperature to promote drying.
Moisture moves by four mechanical processes.
Liquid flow, air movement, capillary suction, and vapor diffusion.
1. Liquid flow. We most often observe moisture movement as water flows in liquid form. Liquid flow occurs as rainwater leaks through a roof, ground water soaks through a foundation, or water pours from a broken water pipe.
2. Air movement. Moisture in the air is carried by moving air. Air moves from high air pressure areas to low air pressure areas and brings moisture with it.
Moisture moves by airflow through cracks and small openings in a building’s envelope or as air pressure moves moist air through a chimney. Moisture and air moving from outside a building to the inside is called infiltration; moisture and air moving from inside to the outside is called exfiltration.
3. Capillary suction. Liquid moisture can move through a narrow pathway due to contact between the moisture and the surface of the path. Capillary suction allows liquid moisture to move through the pores of porous materials.
4. Vapor diffusion. Water vapor moves as a gas through materials. Water vapor moves from areas of high vapor pressure to areas of low vapor pressure.
Whether moisture moves through a material by vapor diffusion depends on whether differences in vapor pressure exist across the material. How fast moisture moves by vapor diffusion depends on how permeable the material is.
Before you risk any further damage and potentially effect the long term value of your property, call us as your local water damage, flood damage, fire damage, smoke damage, and cleaning services professional at SERVPRO of South Austin.
House Fires and the After Effects
Reach out to us at SERVPRO of South Austin for more information on fire damage restoration 512-796-7721
Dealing with the aftermath of fire damage can be extremely stressful especially when soot has made its way through your house and completely covered all of your belongings. SERVPRO of South Austin is trained and licensed to take the utmost care of your property and explain the potential issues you may experience. It should be known that soot restoration is one of the most difficult aspects of a house fire as it can be very damaging.
Soot can develop through three different methods:
- Wet soot residue—results from smoldering, low-heat fires. This residue is sticky, smeary, and has a very pungent odor.
- Dry soot residue—results from fast-burning fires with high temperatures. This residue is typically dry, powdery, and non-smeary.
- Protein residue—almost invisible but can discolor paints and varnishes in your home. This residue also has an extremely pungent odor.
Each type of soot is different and requires specific expertise to clean, call us at SERVPRO of South Austin for such needs or concerns. It is our duty to serve our customers and help make it “Like it never even happened.”
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), three of every five home fire deaths could have been prevented as they were the result of a lack of smoke alarms (38%) or broken smoke alarms (21%). Most fatal fires happen when families are asleep giving them less than adequate time to escape. A smoke alarm stands guard around the clock, and when it first senses smoke, it sounds a shrill alarm. Smoke alarms are crucial elements in the early detection of fires.
Make sure to revisit your smoke alarms and review documented statistics from the NFPA through their The Smoke Alarm Effect article.
Reach out to us at SERVPRO of South Austin for more information on fire damage restoration.
We Answer the Phone, Ready to Help.
Call us at SERVPRO of South Austin 512-796-7721
Here at SERVPRO of South Austin, we are available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.
We Answer the Phone, Ready to Help
We understand when you call, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through. SERVPRO of South Austin has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration as the cornerstone of our business.
What to Expect
When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.
Here are some of the questions you may be asked:
Your name and contact information
Your insurance information (if applicable)
The street address of the water-damaged home or business
When did the flooding or water damage occur?
What caused the water damage (if known)?
Is there electricity available (on-site)?
We specialize in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.
Call us today at SERVPRO of South Austin for more information.
Our Methods for Restoring your Property
Always Here to Help. 512-796-7721
Restoring Your Property after Water Damage
Have you recently had water damage in your home or business, and are not sure how to handle it? You are not alone, many people are unsure of the steps they should take after having a water damage event, and how they should go about having their home or business properly restored after the damage occurs.
There are a variety of issues that can cause your home or business to suffer from water damage. These can include a flood, burst pipe, sewage backup and more. These issues can occur without any type of warning and gravely affect your Austin home or business.
It is stressful and often it is not clear what to do or who to call. When your home or business suffers from water damage, even an extra hour can significantly worsen the damage. It is important to call water damage professionals immediately to handle your issue. SERVPRO of Austin can help immediately to stop the damage from worsening and restore your property and belongings to make it "Like it never even happened." Our SERVPRO professionals are highly trained and certified water damage restoration technicians, and we can handle all your water damage restoration water extraction needs.
The first step to restoring your home or business after a water damage event is to act quickly. Acting quickly can help immensely in salvaging and restoring your belongings and property, including the drywall and flooring that is in your home. It is important to note how quickly water can permanently damage organic material. Unfortunately, it is only a matter of hours before your property can be left with irreversible water damage. If our certified SERVPRO technicians are called immediately, we can respond quickly and often save and restore water damage and lessen the chance of secondary issues such as mold growth.
If mold does begin to grow in your home or business, you may need to have mold remediation as well.
Your first step to restoring your home or business is to call us at SERVPRO of Austin so that we can respond to your emergency as quickly as possible. After arriving, our technicians will do a thorough inspection with our moisture readers to determine the extent of and where there is potential for water damage and how far the moisture has traveled. Once assessed, our production team will use heavy duty water extractors (powerful pumps and vacuum units) capable of removing hundreds or thousands of gallons of water to pump out standing water and areas of property saturated with water.
Next, our technicians use room measurements, temperatures from various locations and relative humidity to determine the appropriate number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry your home or business. Our air movers are strategically placed to evaporate excess moisture from belongings and property while dehumidifiers reduce the moisture content of the air, hastening the drying process. Once dry, we use cleaning techniques to provide sanitizing, deodorization, and disposal to decrease the possibility of microbial growth.
We are trained to identify and deodorize offensive odors when necessary. Our technical expertise and industrial grade air scrubbers and fogging equipment go well beyond simply masking odors and other shortcuts that do not work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.
Depending on the scenario, we may additionally use antimicrobial, antibacterial, or disinfectant treatments to clean your property. We will remove and dispose of damaged materials with guidance from you and your insurance adjuster.
Call us today at SERVPRO of Austin as we continue to provide support for all your restoration needs.