How to Prepare for Winter Storms & Frozen Pipes
SERVPRO of East Central 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 East Central Austin for additional information on how to protect your home, we're always here to help!
How to Limit Water Damage in Your Home
SERVPRO of East Central Austin
Water emergencies happen everyday and there are ways to prevent additional damage if this should occur in your home or business.
Always remember it’s important to stop the water as soon as possible. Turn off the water shut off when you notice a pipe has broken, even if you do not know where the water is coming from. Once the main water switch is off, the pipes will need to be drained. This is where you call a professional.
Once a plumber has located the broken pipe and inspected the damage, they will repair the pipe by either fixing a rupture or crack depending on the mending material that is chosen.
This is where you call us in to repair any water damage that has occurred during the unfortunate pipe burst. A lot of people ask when to call a plumber and when to call us. Once the pipe situation is secured, we can mitigate the water damage as soon as possible.
Here’s some additional ways you can prevent or avoid additional water damage in your home:
- Disconnect your water hose during a freeze. Standing water in a hose may freeze back into the pipe and create an ice block that may bust your pipes and create damage to walls and floors.
- Check and maintain your appliances regularly for leaks.
- Check your water pressure. If the pressure is too high, pipes and hoses may fail.
- Make sure your gutters and downspouts are cleaned out.
- Investigate leaks right away and fix immediately.
- Know the location of your water main. If you leave your house for an extended amount of time, shut it off to avoid leaks while you are gone.
- Monitor your water bill. Sometimes, the only way to realize you have a leak is by taking a good look at your water bill. If your usage jumps significantly from one month to the next without explanation, then you may have a leak somewhere.
SERVPRO of East Central Austin is always here to help. Call us with any additional questions or concerns.
Types of Water Damage & Damage it Causes
SERVPRO of East Central 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 East Central Austin is always here to help. Feel free to reach out with any additional questions or concerns for future reference.
How to prepare for a storm or flood type event close to your home.
SERVPRO of East Central Austin
- Prepare a few emergency kits
- Prepare a household flood plan
- Keep a list of emergency telephone numbers
- Check your insurance policy to see if you are covered for flood damage
If flooding is predicted, make your safety a priority and if you have time try to prepare your property:
- Secure hazardous items
- Roll up rugs, move furniture, electrical items and valuables to a higher level
- Place important personal documents, valuables and vital medical supplies into a waterproof case in an accessible location
- If you are relocating, take your pets with you if it is safe to do so. If not provide adequate food and water and move them to a safer place
If rising waters threaten your home and you decide to move to a safer location, tell the police, your nearest State Emergency Service (SES) unit or your neighbors of your plans to move.
Relocating to safer ground:
- Monitor your local radio for warnings and advice
- Pack warm clothing, essential medication, valuables and personal papers in waterproof bags along with your emergency kits.
- Raise furniture, clothing and valuables onto beds, tables and into roof space place
- Empty freezers and refrigerators, leaving doors open to avoid damage or loss if they float.
- Turn off power, water and gas and take your mobile phone
- Whether you leave or stay, put sandbags in the toilet bowl and over all laundry/bathroom drain holes to prevent sewage backflow
- Lock your home and take recommended relocation routes for your area
- Do not drive into water of unknown depth and current
Too late to leave?
- Monitor your local radio for warnings
- Get to higher ground
- Switch off electricity and gas supplies to your home
- Prepare to move vehicles, outdoor equipment, garbage, chemical and poisons to higher locations
- Prepare for the wellbeing of pets
- Raise furniture above likely flood levels
- Check your emergency kits
- Do not allow children to play in or near floodwaters
- Avoid entering floodwaters,. if you must do so, wear solid shoes and check depth and current with a stick
- Stay away from drains, culverts and water over knee deep.
- Do not use gas or electrical appliances that have been in floodwater until checked for safety
- Do not eat food that has been in floodwaters
If you need help putting any of this together or still have questions about how to prepare for a storm or flood, call us at SERVPRO of East Central Austin for additional help.
Why SERVPRO as your water mitigation company?
SERVPRO of East Central Austin
The mission of SERVPRO of East Central Austin is to be the best of all water restoration companies near to you. Through responsive, reliable, and courteous professional care we:
· Provide clients with the unique opportunity to save costs through restoration versus replacement while providing a turnkey solution.
· Give homeowners the chance to save precious memories and ensure commercial clients ability to minimize revenue business interruptions
· Enable clients to enjoy living in a clean and healthy environment, whether in the workspace or in the comfort of their own home.
Our team specializes in cleanup and restoration. These projects tend to include fire damage, roof damage, smoke damage, storm damage, wind damage, or water damage.
Our staff is highly trained as a fire damage restoration service and water remediation company for property damage restoration. Our team is mindful of legal and environmental concerns as we repair and restore your property after a catastrophic event.
We understand there are budgetary constraints, insurance standards, and loss of revenue for commercial business that aren’t able to open.
Whether it is a fire, water, storm or mold emergency, it’s unlikely that you can wait for regular business hours. SERVPRO of East Central Austin provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all holidays.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Water damage is very invasive. It can spread quickly throughout your entire home absorbing into all your building materials, such as drywall and wood baseboards.
Our team will arrive promptly and start extracting the water. Then we will begin the process of deciding what materials will need to be removed and replaced within the location. This can include replacing water damaged floors, removing the drywall, or having to replace hardwood floors.
Multiple issues can occur within a catastrophic event. Roof, storm damage can occur from strong winds or high winds from tornado or hurricane landfalls. HVAC systems can be affected if there were prior mold growth or mold damage to the property.
A lot of people ask how to test for mold after water damage and where to find mold remediation help, these are all issues that we can provide a team for.
Our immediate response helps to minimize damage that can potentially occur and limit the chances of secondary damage onsite.
SERVPRO of East Central Austin is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.
IICRC Certified Firms must:
• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
• Maintain a written complaint policy. Agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.
You may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable at this time. Let us be your expert and guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of East Central Austin has the training and experience to help you through this tough time.
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 questions you will 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 electricity available (on-site)?
SERVPRO of East Central Austin is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with damage to your home or business, immediate action is crucial.
Any delay can greatly increase the severity of the water damage and increase the cost of the repairs needed. When an emergency situation arises, you will know who to call to ensure time is never wasted. Call us for help on all your restoration needs.
Fire Damage Restoration in Austin
SERVPRO of East Central Austin
Safety & Holiday Best Practices
According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), three of every five home fire deaths results from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (38%) or no working smoke alarms (21%).
Most fatal fires happen when families are asleep because occupants are unaware of the fire until there is not adequate time to escape. A smoke alarm stands guard around the clock, and when it first senses smoke, it sounds a shrill alarm.
All in all, smoke alarms are crucial elements in the early detection of fires. If you have not checked your smoke alarm in years or several months check out these statistics from the NFPA. (The Smoke Alarm Effect)
Having properly functioning smoke alarms in your Austin, TX home is an essential aspect of basic fire safety. These devices give you the first warning that your home is in danger in the event of a real fire.
After you’ve had your fire alarm system for a while, though, it may stop working as effectively as it once did. If you notice any of the following signs, it may be time to replace the smoke alarms in your home.
- The Alarms Are Over 10 Years Old
Like all other devices, your smoke detectors will eventually reach the point where they’re too old to work properly. To see if this is the case, simply check the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm. If at least 10 years have passed since the printed date, you’re due for a new alarm system.
- The Alarms Fail the Monthly Test
To ensure that your fire alarm system is in top condition, you should test it at least once a month. Find the test button on the front or side of each device and hold it down for a few seconds. If the alarm doesn’t emit any sound, this is a likely indicator that the system needs to be replaced.
- The Alarms Go Off Randomly
Your smoke detectors must do their job of alerting you of a real fire emergency before any fire or smoke damage from fire ensues. However, if your alarms frequently go off for no apparent reason, they could be defective.
To save yourself the constant noise and properly safeguard your home from danger, be sure to have new detectors installed as soon as possible.
Home Fire Accidents
When faced with home fire casualties, heating equipment is the leading cause. Half of home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February around the holidays.
Sometimes it’s hard discussing potential accidents or things that can go wrong in your home, but it’s important to be aware. Unfortunately, these accidents tend to happen around the holidays when we're with our friends and family.
Here are some simple steps that can help prevent most heating-related fires and kitchen accidents from happening:
· Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
· Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
· Never use your oven to heat your home.
· Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
· Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.
· Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room. Ashes should be cool before putting them in a metal container. Keep the container a safe distance away from your home.
· Keep spills cleaned up on and around your stove top.
· Keep and eye on your pans in the oven. Always set a timer.
· Keep a fire extinguisher close by.
· Be sure your smoke detector has good batteries in place.
· DO NOT throw water on a grease fire.
· Always keep your body safe guarded by wearing proper safety gloves or mitts.
· Keep children and pets away from ovens and stove-tops in use.
Stay safe over the holidays as you keep these tips in mind! Cleaning after fire smoke damage is a serious task and you can cause further damage without professional help. Having us help with your fire damage restoration services will ensure full fire and smoke damage restoration.
SERVPRO of East Central Austin is here to help for fire restoration, biohazard cleanup, water damage, and mold inspection with 24/7 emergency services. We will work diligently as your fire damage restoration company for Austin, TX to restore your home and memories back to their original condition.
Restoring Your Property after Water Damage with SERVPRO of East Central Austin
SERVPRO of East Central Austin
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 East Central 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 East Central 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 East Central Austin as we continue to provide support for all your restoration needs.
Handling your Commercial Property with SERVPRO of Austin, Texas
SERVPRO of East Central 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.
SERVPRO of East Central Austin has 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. (For more information on our training and qualifications and how we can help restore your property, please contact us directly.)
When your Austin 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.
Your SERVPRO of Austin, Tx 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 in Austin, call SERVPRO of East Central 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."
How SERVPRO of East Central Austin can help with a Tornado
Here to Help.
Tornadoes can strike without warning and destroy a community in seconds causing property damage. A tornado is a rotating column of air that occurs during a thunderstorm and can have wind speeds that reach up to 300mph. Because wind is invisible, it is hard to see a tornado unless it forms a condensation funnel made up of water droplets, dust, and debris.
Know The Signs and Be Prepared
Before a tornado warning is issued for your area, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Know the signs of a tornado, a rotating funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar similar to a freight train. Many people have reported that when a tornado is approaching, the sound they hear is like a train barreling down the tracks.
- Know your community's warning system and understand the difference between a tornado watch and warning through the national weather service.
- A warning means a tornado is already occurring or will occur soon and to go to a safe place immediately. A watch means conditions are favorable, and a tornado is possible.
- Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or your local news channel for current emergency information and instructions. With advanced technology in weather forecasting, meteorologists can pinpoint circling winds and inform the public like never before.
Assemble An Emergency Kit
Assemble an emergency kit for you and your family. Put these items in zip lock bags and store them all in a plastic tub. Many different times can make up a kit, but here are a few of the basics to keep in mind.
It's recommended to have one gallon of water per person for at least three days, drinking and sanitation. At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food per person. Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert. A flashlight, first aid kit, and extra batteries are all essential to keep in your kit.
Where To Go
Preparation is essential, and something we should all take time to do. It's a great idea to plan ahead of a disaster and chose a place where family members can gather if a tornado is headed your way.
It could be your basement or storm cellar, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest level. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.
Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck. Always remember to stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.
Understanding The Risk
Know your area's tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a higher risk for tornadoes. If you lived on the west coast, you probably would read about mudslides and wildfires preparedness rather than thunderstorms and tornadoes.
The infamous Tornado Alley, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska, still leads in the number of tornadoes. While Indiana is not one of the states that make up the region known as Tornado Alley, tornadoes aren't unusual in Indiana. Indiana averages 22 tornadoes each year, and that's why it's crucial to plan ahead to help keep your family safe.
If You Have Storm or Tornado Damage
SERVPRO of East Central Austin is here to help as your water damage company for Austin, TX. We offer emergency services as a restoration company for homes or businesses after a storm has passed. Some of these restoration services include roof tarping, basement flooding, water removal, covering broken windows, water damage repair, sump pump, structure dry out, and any flood damage repair in Austin, TX.
Dealing with the aftermath of a house fire in Austin, TX.
SERVPRO of East Central Austin
In the event of a fire in your home, be sure to call your local Austin fire department initially. Your focus should always be safety first. Once you and your family are safe and secure reach out to your insurance agent to see if a claim is necessary.
This is when you call us at SERVPRO of East Central Austin. Your family is safe, your insurance companies have been notified, and now you need a water damage and fire damage restoration company.
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 is almost invisible but can discolor paints and varnishes in your home. This residue also has an extremely pungent odor.
Each type of smoke damage restoration is different and requires specific expertise to clean. When you need fire damage restoration in Austin, TX, our team here at SERVPRO of East Central Austin is here to help. We are highly trained in smoke, fire and water cleanup and restoration and can assist in all aspects. We consider everything we need to clean and what our plan is moving forward.
Structural Cleaning - After a smoke or fire damage, ceilings, walls, woodwork, carpeting and floors will often need a thorough cleaning. Our team here at SERVPRO of East Central Austin will walk your property to determine the extent of damage. We will use specific equipment and cleaning products for the different types of surfaces and products found within your structure.
Depending on the amount of soot, we can lower the cost of cleaning if lighter soot deposits are found. We can also see if the expense can be lower with repainting or refinishing. If this is not the case, we will clean to prepare for painting. This process deodorizes and ensures the new paint will adhere properly to the surface.
Contents Cleaning - All the restorable contents in affected areas will be professionally cleaned and deodorized. This includes area rugs, furniture, draperies and upholstery. Our team will begin by carefully inspecting and testing all fabrics to determine which cleaning methods are most appropriate.
Both wet and dry-cleaning services can be provided as we deodorize and restore contents to preloss condition. This process would include electronics, art, wood furniture, kitchen items, clothing, bedding and much more. Finally, we can provide an inventory list of all "to be claimed" items if so requested.
Deodorization - SERVPRO of East Central Austin provides specialized services that rid your home or place of business of offensive odors left by fire or smoke damage. We do not cover up lingering odors with a fragrance. As we seek out the sources of the odor and remove them. Ask us to explain the various methods available and which will work best for you.
No matter how difficult or hard you find your situation to be, we can help. Find your fire restoration near me with SERVPRO of East Central Austin to help restore your home and business back to pre-damage conditions.