Recent Storm Damage Posts

How SERVPRO of East Central Austin can help with a Tornado

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Storm Damage in a building 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.

  1. 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.
  2. Know your community's warning system and understand the difference between a tornado watch and warning through the national weather service.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Avoid Dangerous Situations During a Flood

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Road with houses on each side. Water covering the road. "Flood damage" with green background across bottom of picture SERVPRO of East Central Austin is always here to help. Call our office at (512) 420-9986

SERVPRO Extracts Flood Waters to Mitigate Damage

Flood damage is exceedingly dangerous, for both homes and lives. Floods have the power to swamp and drown residents, as well as cause them serious injury or infection. To homes, they can seep and flow into not only furniture but also the structure itself, causing immense water damage. Furthermore, floodwaters are usually unsanitary and can cause dangerous airborne and water carried illnesses and mold, which may cause health effects. Avoidance is the best way to skirt issues and hazards caused by flooding. So watch out for heavy rains or floodwaters in the street, and keep upstairs if possible.
 
Infection and Illness
One of the most common injuries sustained after flood damage in Austin, TX is an infection. Floodwaters breed and transport dangerous microbes, and because they often mix with sewage and overflow materials, diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and others can occur. Any water ingested or entering wounds has serious potential to lead to illness or infection, hence why you should exercise extreme caution and avoid entering floodwaters when possible. Also, some microbes, pathogens, and viruses may spread through the air or emit toxic gasses, and so the air surrounding flooded areas may also be hazardous to breathe.
 
Cuts and Wounds
Floodwaters often carry shards of wood, glass, and ceramic that may cut or stab into exposed flesh. These can cause blood loss and pain, in addition to opening up a wound for infection. Should you be cut anywhere in a flood-soaked area, immediately seek to disinfect and bandage the wound to prevent acute infection.
 
Further Damage to the Home
SERVPRO lists on our website some ways that you can help clean up before our technicians arrive following a flood. Be careful to stick to these recommendations and avoid danger, as there is a chance that you may cause further damage to your home. Allow our trained IICRC technicians in water restoration to be the first to begin serious work, for the sake of both you and your insurance.
 
SERVPRO of East Central Austin is a locally owned and operated company with trained technicians and high-quality equipment prepared to deal with any flooding disaster, large or small. Call us today at (512) 420-9886 for our help or services.

How to prepare for Storms in your area.

4/23/2021 (Permalink)

Storm Damage SERVPRO of East Central Austin is here for you.

Floods can be surprising, and they can catch you off guard. Water is incredibly damaging, and most people would be surprised at what water can do once it sneaks its way into your home. SERVPRO of East Central Austin is here for you for suggestions and life saving tips.

Our crews are highly trained and licensed to work in these situations. It is important to us to get out there and protect your property as quickly and professionally as possible, as we ensure the water will not migrate and cause additional damage to the surrounding areas.

Flooding can be dangerous and scary. Be sure to have emergency kits with you at all times in case of a storm.

If for any reason, you and your family are unable to make it out of your home or town when a storm is coming, there are ways to be Storm Ready.

Follow the steps below to feel better prepared when a storm hits:

1.) Have a home emergency plan. Know all your safe exit points of the home, what to do with pets, keep on hand at least 2 Emergency Kits, and let your neighbors know you are still at the home.

2.) Stock up on the easy essential foods, water, toiletries, candles, lighters, and flashlights. Have plenty of blankets and pillows handy.

3.) Keep some games and toys for the children handy--Waiting for the storm to pass over might get boring in some cases.

4.) Secure loose things around and on your property.

5.) Make sure there are no branches hanging over your home or garage.

6.) Stay indoors when the storm is upon you.

7.) Ensure your home, contents and car insurance is adequate and current.

8.) Learn how to safely turn off your power, water, and gas.

9.) Keep a battery powered radio nearby so you can keep up with warnings and updates on the storm.

10.) Keep water containers, a camping stove and fuel safely on-hand.

Stay safe and prepared for storms. 

Texas Winter Storm, Here to Help.

4/7/2021 (Permalink)

Texas Winter Storm SERVPRO Trucks out in Texas Winter Storm

Last month’s winter storm was a real awakening for a lot of us out here in Texas. We are not new to natural disasters or having to rebuild our community, but the mass power outages and subfreezing temperatures was a crisis situation we weren’t prepared for.

Texas homeowners may be surprised to know that every state in the US is vulnerable to flooding--even the more arid ones. Changes in sea level, as well as weather patterns, are enough to create sudden floods that cause damage to homes and infrastructure in one fell swoop. Homeowners with flood coverage may be relieved to have it, but without professional cleanup, water damage can make their structures a host for mold, microbes, and further issues. Follow our guide for initial emergency water damage tips.

If you need flood damage cleanup, our storm team is ready and willing to rebuild your home to it’s original condition. As professionals, we receive the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) training to maintain high standards in addressing fire, water, and mold damage as well as restoration of structures. SERVPRO works with you and your insurance adjuster so that cleanup complies with your policy as well as local regulations.

Your insurance adjuster can assist you in the process of completing a proof of loss for your flood claim. Make sure your proof of loss complies with the needs of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy and file promptly--within 60 days of the flood--to make sure you get compensated in a timely fashion.

SERVPRO technicians can also assist with this process by taking photos of the damage, taking inventory of possessions, and coordinating with both you and your insurance adjuster during the cleanup process. If you have crucial documents that are damaged by flooding, SERVPRO can create electronic copies of the papers so that you always have access to them.

A successful cleanup begins with thorough monitoring of the situation. This is why SERVPRO technicians use a variety of moisture measurement technologies to evaluate the extent of damage before extracting moisture, disinfecting surfaces, and drying your home. Throughout the drying process, professionals can use penetrating and non-penetrating moisture sensors and meters to determine the progress made by the cleanup process. Infrared imaging allows technicians to see behind structures to determine if subfloors, studs, or fiberglass insulation require further drying.

Every surface in your home has an ideal humidity level to maintain its integrity, from hardwood flooring to drywall to your furniture. SERVPRO strives to ensure that items that can be safely restored are handled with the utmost care, and possessions that require replacement are not removed without documentation and the informed consent of homeowners and insurance adjusters. If your disaster requires general contracting services for restoration, your local SERVPRO is licensed to handle this type of work.

Check out The Weather Channel as they discuss why storms are so hard to forecast.

SERVPRO of East Central Austin provides a mitigation service that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. If disaster strikes in your home, you can call (512) 420-9886.

Restoring Your Austin, TX Home or Business After A Flood

9/10/2020 (Permalink)

Small water puddle on concrete walkway with blurred out fence in background, "flood damage?" written in green SERVPRO of East Central Austin Professionals are available 24 hours/7 days a week and will respond quickly to a restoration emergency.

Texas homeowners may be surprised to know that every state in the US is vulnerable to flooding--even the more arid ones. Changes in sea level, as well as weather patterns, are enough to create sudden floods that cause damage to homes and infrastructure in one fell swoop. Homeowners with flood coverage may be relieved to have it, but without professional cleanup, the water damage can make their structures host to mold, microbes, and further issues.

If your Austin, TX residence needs rapid flood damage cleanup, SERVPRO technicians are ready to restore your home to a preloss condition. These professionals receive the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) training to maintain high standards in addressing fire, water, and mold damage as well as restoration of structures. SERVPRO works with you and your insurance adjuster so that cleanup complies with your policy as well as local regulations.

Completing a Proof of Loss for Your Flood Claim
Your insurance adjuster can assist you in the process of completing this portion of your claim. Make sure your proof of loss complies with the needs of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy and file promptly--within 60 days of the flood--to make sure you get compensated in a timely fashion.

SERVPRO technicians can also assist with this process by taking photos of the damage, taking inventory of possessions, and coordinating with both you and your insurance adjuster during the cleanup process. If you have crucial documents that are damaged by flooding, SERVPRO can create electronic copies of the papers so that you always have access to them.

A successful cleanup begins with thorough monitoring of the situation. That is why SERVPRO technicians use a variety of moisture measurement technologies to evaluate the extent of damage before extracting moisture, disinfecting surfaces, and drying your home. Throughout the drying process, professionals can use penetrating and non-penetrating moisture sensors and meters to determine the progress made by the cleanup process. Infrared imaging allows technicians to see behind structures to determine if subfloors, studs, or fiberglass insulation require further drying.

Every surface in your home has an ideal humidity level to maintain its integrity, from hardwood flooring to drywall to your furniture. SERVPRO strives to ensure that items that can be safely restored are handled with the utmost care, and possessions that require replacement are not removed without documentation and the informed consent of homeowners and insurance adjusters. If your disaster requires general contracting services for restoration, your local SERVPRO is licensed to handle this type of work.

SERVPRO of East Central Austin provides a mitigation service that is Faster to Any Size Disaster. If disaster strikes in your home, you can call (512) 420-9886.

Flood Damage to Your Home After You Just Got New Flooring Is Devastating, Let Us Help!

6/19/2020 (Permalink)

entry way to home with water puddled up on top of wood flooring SERVPRO of East Central Austin Professionals are available 24 hours/7 days a week and will respond quickly to a restoration emergency.

Restoring New Hardwood Floors After A Flood

You probably spent many hours deciding upon just the perfect hardwood and spent a pretty penny on its purchase and installation when remodeling your home. Now, flooding from a severe storm has saturated the newly laid flooring!! You are probably panicking, wondering what is going to happen next. Well, SERVPRO of East Central Austin can assess the damage and do our best to dry out the flooring. Once the floor and its support are dried properly, under the watchful eyes of our highly qualified technicians we will assess any damage to the integrity of the wood and take steps to restore it to its preloss condition, including refinishing if necessary, or we might have to replace it.

Hardwood can be restored if moisture is found, as long as standing water is removed quickly. We pride ourselves on a fast reply time and a quick damage assessment depending on the extent of the damage once on site. Industrial strength water extractors will make removing the obvious moisture a fairly quick process. Then our technicians will set up a proper balance of air movers and dehumidifiers to dry the wood, based upon training received upon employment and renewed at regular intervals.

Careful attention must be paid to any vapor barriers, including those on subfloors and the actual finish of the hardwood. SERVPRO technicians are trained to identify these as barriers to proper drying. Air movers may be placed so that the flow is at least partially under the planks to perform efficient drying. In some cases, we may strategically pierce the finish to dry from the top. Only after the moisture content of the hardwood, properly measured by our staff, is down to 12 percent and the subflooring is 10 percent it is safe to assume the floor is dry enough to refinish. As the wood continues to dry, we will look for cupping, a result of too much water on the top, or crowning, a more serious problem when the subflooring was too wet for too long. Cupping can be sanded out in many cases, but crowning may require the replacement of affected pieces of wood. Once repairs are completed, we will refinish the wood to match the surrounding areas.

Contact SERVPRO of East Central Austin at (512) 420-9886 to arrange for a flooring water damage specialist to visit and design an effective restoration plan.

Are You Prepared for Hurricane Season?

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Dark cloudy sky, yellow road sign that reads "are you ready?" SERVPRO of East Central Austin Professionals are available 24 hours/7 days a week and will respond quickly to a restoration emergency.

Today is the day, the first day of Hurricane Season, June 1st - November 30th. With that being said, you and your family should be ready for when disaster strikes. In order to prepare for a hurricane, here are a few things to consider:

  • Have a home emergency plan.
  • Know all of your safe exit points of the home.

  • Plan what to do with your pets.

  • Keep on hand at least 2 Emergency Kits.

  • Let your neighbors know you are still at the home or if you need assistance.

  • Stock up on the easy essential foods, water, toiletries, candles, lighters, and flashlights.

  • Have plenty of blankets and pillows handy.

  • Keep some games and toys for the children handy--Waiting for the storm to pass over might actually get boring in some cases.

  • Secure loose things around and on your property.

  • Make sure there are no branches hanging over your home or garage.

  • Stay indoors when the storm is upon you.

  • Ensure your home, contents, and car insurance is adequate and current.

  • Learn how to safely turn off your power, water, and gas.

  • Keep a battery-powered radio nearby so you can keep up with warnings and updates on the storm.

  • Keep water containers, a camping stove and fuel safely on-hand

If you are affected by a hurricane or tropical storm, call SERVPRO of East Central Austin at (512) 420-9886. We are always here to help! 

For more information regarding hurricane season, visit the Nation Hurricane Center

Are You Prepared for A Storm?

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

Storm Clouds SERVPRO of East Central Austin Professionals are available 24 hours/7 days a week and will respond quickly to a restoration emergency.

Results after a severe storm can be devastating if you are not prepared for the situation. That is why SERVPRO of East Central Austin is encouraging you and your family to follow some tips in case of an event that a severe storm is approaching. 

Prepare an Emergency Kit:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Any medicine currently being taken
  • Emergency food and water
  • Extra change of clothes and shoes
  • Important documents and cash
  • Pet supplies if you are taking care of an animal

These are a list of basic supplies just in case a disaster may strike. It is encouraged that everyone has an emergency kit readily available. Aside from having an emergency kit ready, a plan should also be in place. If there is a designated storm area inside your Austin, TX home or office, occupants should head there with their prepared emergency kits. Severe storms cannot be avoided, but with the right tools and resources, they can be easier to deal with. Our team at SERVPRO of East Central Austin is dedicated to helping you when disaster strikes!

Call us at (512) 420-9886 If you have been impacted by a storm. 

What To Do in Case of A Power Outage in Austin, TX

4/14/2020 (Permalink)

tree that has fell down in the middle of the road, street lights in background, "Ready to help after the storm" SERVPRO of East Central Austin Professionals are available 24 hours/7 days a week and will respond quickly to a restoration emergency.

A power outage is when the electrical power goes out unexpectedly and it's not a comfortable situation to be in, especially because of the comfort level we have grown to be in. Extended power outages may impact the whole Austin, TX community and even the economy. 

A POWER OUTAGE MAY:

  • Disrupt many aspects that we are used to using on a regular basis including communications, cooking, water, and transportation.

  • Close retail businesses, grocery stores, gas stations, ATMs, banks, and other services.

  • Cause food spoilage and water contamination.

  • Prevent the use of medical devices.

PROTECT YOURSELF DURING A POWER OUTAGE:

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed to keep cool air trapped. This will help keep your food from spoiling at a fast rate.

  • Only use generators outdoors and away from windows, and only if you absolutely need it because you might have issues getting more fuel.

  • Do not use a gas stove to heat your home, this could lead to fire damage.

  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.

  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.

  • If safe, go to an alternate location for heat or cooling.

  • Check on neighbors, especially the sick or elder that may use medical equipment that requires electricity.

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A POWER OUTAGE THREATENS: 

Prepare NOW

  • Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity.
  • Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.
  • Plan for batteries and other alternatives to meet your needs when the power goes out.
  • Sign up for local alerts and warning systems. Monitor weather reports.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home.
  • Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.
  • Review the supplies that are available in case of a power outage. Have flashlights with extra batteries for every household member. Have enough nonperishable food and water.
  • Use a thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer so that you can know the temperature when the power is restored. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.
  • Keep mobile phones and other electric equipment charged and gas tanks full.

For more information on making sure how to handle a power outage, make sure to visit Ready.gov

If you experience storm damage, call SERVPRO of East Central Austin at 512-420-9886. We are always here to help you!

Wind Damage and Its Impact on Your Property

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Roof damage SERVPRO of East Central Austin Professionals are available 24 hours/7 days a week and will respond quickly to a restoration emergency.

Wind Damage and Its Impact on Your Property | SERVPRO® of East Central Austin 

Severe storms bring many concerns, but damaging winds are always a threat. These winds, which can come with little to no notice, can damage personal property as much as a tornado or hurricane.

What You Need to Know About Damaging Winds

When thinking of damaging winds, the first thought may be winds from a tornado or hurricane. However, those are not the only times when they may happen.

Damaging winds are considered those with wind speeds exceeding 50–60 mph and can occur with strong thunderstorms. Damaging winds are often referred to as “straight-line” winds, which differentiate the damage from a tornado.

The damage from these winds can be surprisingly destructive, as they can cause other objects to become projectiles. These projectiles can go through windows.

Windows and roofs can take the brunt of this damage, and the winds are intense enough, they can cause water damage to the home as the outside elements come indoors through shattered windows and damaged roofs.

Anyone who lives in a thunderstorm-prone area is at risk from damaging winds, but some structures are especially at risk. Mobile homes, for example, even those that are anchored, can be seriously damaged in winds gusting over 80 mph.

How to Protect Your Home

Some suggestions of ways to protect your property from damaging winds are listed below, but keep the “Two R’s” in mind: reinforce and remove.

  • Use a professional to reinforce your garage door.

  • Remove and/or secure loose objects on your property such as trash cans outdoor furniture and grills that could be moved or tossed by the wind.

  • Have a professional remove large or dying trees and branches that could fall on your home.

As we all know, not all high winds come with advanced warning, but some of these suggestions could leave you better prepared should damaging winds occur.

Also, if you are building a new home or renovating an older home, be sure the windows, walls and doors are up to code for weather situations for your area. 

If your home has been a victim of damaging winds and resulting water damage, the highly trained specialists at SERVPRO of East Central Austin are available 247 to help with the cleanup and restoration of your home.

Making Sure Your Family Is Ready for Severe Weather

2/22/2019 (Permalink)

Making Sure Your Family Is Ready for Severe Weather | SERVPRO® of East Central Austin - SERVPRO of East Central Austin Blog

Making Sure Your Family Is Ready for Severe Weather | SERVPRO® of East Central AustinWhile we receive advanced severe weather warnings as a general rule, there will be those occasions when we will not. Fortunately, there are things you can do and safety tips to follow that will ensure the safety of your family and help you be prepared for various severe weather occurrences.

How to Create the Family Severe Weather Plan

An important way to stay ahead of the weather is to have an established family emergency plan put together and ready.

If you have already established an emergency plan with your family, make sure that it is reviewed and discussed regularly, especially at the beginning of the various weather seasons so that everyone knows exactly what to do.

If there is not a family emergency plan in place for your family, here are some things to take into consideration when creating it:

1. How will emergency alerts and warnings be received?

We live in a day where we rely on smartphones to gather information and keep in touch with family, and it is easy to receive emergency alerts and warnings on smartphones equipped with a weather app or Google. This way you quickly receive emergency alerts, providing you with valuable time in severe weather situations. However, keep in mind warnings and alerts are also still broadcast over radio and TV.

2. What are the storm shelter options?

When living in a tornado-prone area, the best place to take shelter is in a basement or the lowest part of your home in an interior room away from windows, doors and outside walls or corners. Be aware, however, that tornadoes aren’t the only weather circumstance that requires a form of storm shelter, and you can get more information about more of the situations that call for them by visiting ready.gov.

3. What is the evacuation route?

Have you looked over multiple evacuation routes in the event of evacuation due to hurricanes, flooding and fires that can force you from your home in a hurry? It’s wise to have multiple routes just in case one is impassable, and don’t forget your furry family members. You will need to find a place that will let you bring and stay with your pets along the way.

4. What are your methods of communication?

As mentioned earlier, it is easy to rely on cell phones to keep in touch with your family, but in some circumstances, that won’t be possible. Cell phone towers can be damaged by weather, phones may be lost or left behind, and there’s a huge possibility that there will be no power to recharge your cellphone batteries.

Your family will also need an emergency communication plan in place and a designated safe meeting place to meet at in case you are separated from each other.

If a storm does cause damage to your home or business, don’t hesitate to call your friends at SERVPRO® of East Central Austin to get the cleanup and restoration process started.

Flooding in Austin: How to Protect Your Austin Home or Business from Flood Damage

9/1/2017 (Permalink)

Flood SERVPRO of East Central Austin Professionals are available 24 hours/7 days a week and will respond quickly to a restoration emergency.

A Guide to Preventing Your Austin TX Property from Flooding

Flooding is something that no one should ever have to deal with, but it does happen. Austin is no stranger to flooding; the downtown area has experienced numerous floods throughout the years, with some being very severe and costing hundreds of lives and millions of dollars in flood damage restoration and repairs.

Aside from its somewhat hilly terrain, Austin remains a very flood prone area, as it has the potential for run off, which can cause flash flooding as well. In fact, flash floods are probably the biggest disaster threat to the Austin TX area.

When flooding occurs in your Austin home or business, you can end up with an extensive amount of water damage, and you'll likely need water extraction done, along with water damage restoration Austin.

The quicker the flooding problem is addressed, the better off you'll be, as the longer you wait to contact a flood restoration company, the better chance there is that mold and bacteria will begin forming.

If you've experienced flooding in your Austin property, it would be a good idea to have a mold inspection done; if it turns out mold has begun to grow, you could need mold remediation done. This is one of the reasons why it's very important to address any type of flood damage quickly. This guide on the common types of mold in Austin and their various levels of danger may help you in figuring out if mold has begun growing on your property.

When your Austin property has already been the victim of flooding, a company that specializes in water restoration and mold removal/remediation in Austin, like our SERVPRO team, can guide you on the necessary steps and provide the various services needed. 

But how do you prevent flooding before it even happens in your property? Well, here are some tips on doing just that, as well as helping you understand why Austin TX can often be very prone to flooding and flood damage in general.

Why Is Austin Prone to Floods?

Austin’s topography is what makes the city a prime candidate for flooding. For example, the Balcones Fault is a cliff formation that runs from Del Rio in Val Verde County up towards Dallas. Part of it is situated in the Texas Hill Country and it serves as a gateway of sorts for passing weather systems that travel through the Gulf of Mexico. When an air mass changes its altitude (called an Orographic Lift), clouds and precipitation can develop which eventually leads to heavy rain and resulting storm damage in areas, like Austin TX, that lie west of the fault.

On average, Austin gets up to 34.25 inches of rain per year. However, with less rain, the soil in the surrounding areas becomes dry and it becomes more difficult for the soil to accept so much water. And that's when the flooding begins.

Some Notorious Austin Floods

Throughout the years, Austin has experienced many serious floods that have caused extensive damage and loss of life. Here are just a few examples of severe storms that greatly affected the Austin TX area and led to extensive flooding:

  • In July 1869, Austin experienced 64 hours of continuous rain, which caused the Colorado River to rise up to 51 feet.
  • In 1900, the Austin Dam, which was built in 1893, burst due to excessive rain. The Dam’s powerhouse was flooded by a 40-foot wave after which downtown Austin was immersed with water with creeks reaching levels of 20 feet.
  • Heavy rains caused numerous floods in 1935, 1936 and 1938; each flood caused the Colorado River to overflow, which resulted in extensive flood damage in Central Austin.
  • One of the worst storms to hit Austin was during Memorial Day, 1981. Ten inches of rain fell in a four hour timeframe, causing Downtown Austin to flood severely. Thirteen people died during the storm, which also left more than $35 million in damages.
  • The Memorial Day flood of 2015 greatly affected Central Texas. Heavy rain caused many flooded streets, falling trees and extensive loss of power for many in the Austin area. Flash flood warnings were issued and residents were instructed to stay indoors and off the roads. Water levels in Barton Creek and Lady Bird Lake quickly rose due to the extensive water. Interstate 35 was flooded, as was downtown Austin later that day. Fourteen people died during the course of the flood.

What You Can Do to Lessen Your Chances of Flood Damage in Austin

Flooding is not restricted to any one particular area. It can happen anywhere, and when it’s least expected, which is why certain types of flooding are called ‘flash floods.’

While you may not know when a flood is coming, it’s important to be prepared. If you get weather alerts on your cell phone, then you may have ample time to protect your personal items and prevent major damage from a flood.

If you know you're in a flood zone, one way you can safeguard against water damage caused by flooding is to elevate your personal items above the floor. Even one inch of water inside your home or business can create a major headache, and cause significant damage to your property.

If you’re not sure how high the water can reach in your area, you can check flood levels and maps for your area through the Federal Emergency Management System's (FEMA) Flood Map portal on their website, or check with your insurance agent if you're in a flood zone. Certain parts of Austin are more prone to flooding than others.

Even if your Austin home or business is located at a high elevation, it doesn't always mean you're in the clear, so here are some protective measures to minimize flood damage in your Austin home or business.

1. Protect Your Electrical Systems

Any electrical switches, circuit breakers, sockets, and wires should be raised at least one foot above the anticipated flood level. Should any water get into these systems, it can cause major problems.

You should also raise, if you can, your water heater and furnace so that they are also situated above the flood levels to avoid being saturated by floodwater. Please note: You should never,  ever try to do any of this yourself. Reach out to a contractor or an electrician to adjust the levels of these systems.

2. Elevate Any Outdoor Equipment

Any type of external fuel tanks, AC units, and generators, should not remain at ground level. These should be raised up to one foot above your base flood elevation and anchored to prevent any kind of flooding. If these aren’t properly secured, they can become loose, and cause contamination to your yard, as well as the surrounding area. If they become immersed with water, they will more or less be useless and unable to be repaired.

3. Check Your Water Valves

If your sewer becomes flooded during a storm, it can cause sewage to back up into your house, with disastrous consequences. Installing an interior or exterior backflow valve will help prevent a build up of unwanted waste from coming into your Austin home or business.

Backflow valves are designed to help protect potable water from contamination from backflow. A flap valve is designed to operate under low heads of water and basically provide the same function as a backflow valve. Check valves are formatted to allow liquid, such as water to pass in only one direction; there are many different varieties of check valves, which are also known as clack valves, non-return valves, reflux valves and gravity brakes.

If you don’t have any of these types of valves currently installed in your Austin property, then you should consult with a specialist on what type you should install to allow water to escape and prevent backflow from coming in.

4. Check Water Distribution and Your Austin Property's Structure

One way to affect the flow of water around your home or business in the event of a flood is to check and possibly alter the grading or sloping of your property. By angling the ground, you can actually shift how water comes in contact with your property. Of course this can be problematic if your house wasn’t originally built with this in mind. Still, if this does pose a problem, you can reach out to your county planning office to determine the grading of your property and find alternative methods for preventing flood water from making contact and managing water flow.

Creating a slight moat around your home or business in certain areas can also help, as can creating better irrigation for your property in general.

5. Some Effective, but Costly Measures to Protect Your Austin Home or Business from Flooding

If you have frequent flooding in your home, but you don't want to move to another home, there are a few more involved alternatives to prevent flooding, but they are quite costly.

  • Elevate your entire home: Many homes in coastal areas are elevated on columns that clear the flood level. If you have consistent flooding, this might be one option, but it can be very costly.
  • Believe it or not, you can actually wet proof your house. How? You can install foundation vents, which allow water to travel through your home, instead of accumulating inside and destroying your property. This would help prevent against possible flood damage. For example: if you had a house of 1,000 square feet, you’d need around 7 square feet of flood venting to protect your property.
  • One preventive method is to dry proof your Austin home or business. Plastic sheeting or any kind of waterproof film can be applied to exterior walls fairly easily to prevent flooding, but should be removed once any flooding or water damage is remediated. Any openings or cracks in walls should be remedied with a waterproof sealant to prevent any seepage from floodwater. Plastic sheeting can be used to seal up windows and create a barrier for any minor cracks that can cause drafts. Check and reinforce your walls to make sure that they can take on heavy amounts of water and miscellaneous debris. These measures, while a bit time-consuming can help keep water out of your house during a flood.

6. Additional Measures that Can Be Taken to Help Prevent Flood Damage to Your Property

Here are some additional ways to help protect your property in the event of an impending flood.

  • Clean out your gutters, drains and downspouts. Leaves and foreign objects cannot only prevent water flow, they can also cause run off down the side of your home and help initiate water damage.
  • If you have a second floor, move all of your furniture, rugs, electronics and anything else of value and importance upstairs as a safety precaution.
  • Turn off your electricity via your breaker panel.
  • Major appliances such as washers, dryers, stoves, etc., should all be lifted on to cinderblocks, if possible. This will help prevent them from being saturated with water.

We can’t emphasize enough how extremely dangerous floods can be. And while these preventive measures can help, it’s best not to tackle them on your own. If heavy equipment or electrical manipulation is involved, please contact a professional instead of tackling this on your own.

While these ideas can certainly help to prevent damage to your home or business during a flood, it should also be noted that any type of water ranging from heavy rain to a minor leak, could lead to extensive damage.

If your home or business experiences a flood and you have water damage and mold as a result, there is a chance that you can make minor repairs on your own. But if severe water damage has occurred, it makes sense to contact an outside source to help in the clean up and remediation.

Our SERVPRO Team Can Help With Austin Flood Damage Restoration & Repairs

If you need assistance with the flood damage you've experienced, then a flood damage restoration company like SERVPRO of East Central Austin can help. We're a team of trained & certified professionals, who are available around the clock to help with your flood, storm and water damage Austin needs.

Our goal is to properly restore your property (and make it "Like it never even happened."). Damage from Austin storms and floods can be a stressful experience. We'll help you review the scope of your flood repairs, and utilizing state of the art equipment and scientific principles, we'll make the flood restoration process as painless as possible.

If you’ve experienced a flood in your Austin property and require flood damage repairs and restoration, remember, our SERVPRO team is available 24/7 to help.

When Storms or Floods hit the Austin area, SERVPRO is ready!

7/6/2016 (Permalink)

Storm SERVPRO of East Central Austin Professionals are available 24 hours/7 days a week and will respond quickly to a restoration emergency.

SERVPRO of East Central Austin specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition. 

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit the Austin area, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

What you can do until help arrives

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today (512) 420-9886