Recent Water Damage Posts
Protecting Your Home From Water Damage
Protecting Your Home From Water Damage | SERVPRO® of East Central Austin - SERVPRO of East Central Austin Blog
Protecting Your Home From Water Damage | SERVPRO® of East Central Austin
Severe weather is usually one of the first things that comes to mind for many when thinking about water damage. While storms and flooding are a major cause of catastrophic water damage, they are often not the main culprits.
Instead, various items in and around your home could be responsible for many water damage situations.
101 on Water Damage
Unfortunately, many homeowners will face water damage. Water damage was the third most common reason for a homeowner to file a claim on homeowners insurance between 2011 and 2015, with an average payout of $8,861 per claim.
First, you must understand the difference between water damage and gradual damage because it can have an impact insurance on claims. Gradual damage is an occurrence that has been happening over time, such as plumbing issues in the walls causing damage to the walls, ceilings or floors, or water damage caused by cracks in the foundation. Many aspects of gradual water damage are not covered by homeowners insurance, while storm-related water damage usually is.
Items That May Cause Water Damage
According to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), water damage can be caused by the following:
PLUMBING SUPPLY SYSTEM FAILURES: This involves frozen pipes that burst due to the buildup in water pressure caused by freezing water or when the supply system components fail and results in a leaking or burst pipe. Plumbing supply system failures are the leading source of residential water losses and cost an average of $5,092 per incident after the deductible, according to IBHS. It was also noted that homes 16 to 40 years of age made up a larger group of these types of water damage.
PLUMBING DRAIN SYSTEM FAILURES: This may occur when a sewer drain backs up and overflows into the home or from material breakdown issues. IBHS found that 52% of drain system failures were caused by sewer backups and 37% were related to material performance issues in their study. IBHS also noted that the average drain system failure was more expensive in southern region states than in northern region states.
TOILET FAILURES: Toilets are the second most common source of residential water damage loss after plumbing supply system failures, which are usually caused by faulty fill valves or clogged drain lines. According to IBHS, toilet failures on the first floor of a home resulted in more damage and higher claims than those in basements or upper floors.
WATER HEATER FAILURES: A water heater has a life expectancy, and when your water heater reaches its life expectancy, the tank will begin to rust and corrode, resulting in leakage or bursting issues. According to IBHS, 69% of all water heater failures resulted from a slow leak or a sudden burst and, on average, cost $4,444 per incident following the deductible.
WASHING MACHINE FAILURES: This type of failure is typically caused by supply hose failures, machines overflowing and drain line failures. Washing machines are one of the top 10 source of residential water losses, and per IBHS, supply hose failures accounted for over half of all washing machine-related losses.
If your home has experienced any water damage, our team of professionals at SERVPRO® of East Central Austin is available to help with cleanup and restoration and make it “Like it never even happened.”
This Is How Floodwaters Are Classified
This Is How Floodwaters Are Classified | SERVPRO® of East Central Austin - SERVPRO of East Central Austin BlogThis Is How Floodwaters Are Classified | SERVPRO® of East Central Austin
If you think all water that causes water damage is the same, think again as there are three classifications for it: clean, gray and black. By gaining a better understanding of the differences in these types of water, it will help you understand how to better handle a water damage situation.
No matter what type of water is involved in a water damage situation, there is always going to be a cleanup and restoration process that must follow. First, and most important, is to remove all of the moisture and damp items quickly to hinder any mold growth because this is an ideal environment for mold to flourish.Clean Water
Much like the name states, this water is considered “clean” and not any kind of water that would pose an immediate health threat. It is free of contaminants and will be water from:
- Broken water lines
- Malfunctioning appliances
- Toilet holding tanks
- Snow melt and rainwater
The damage from clean water is the easiest type of water damage to work with since there will be fewer microbes living in the water. However, after 48 hours and following contact with the surfaces of a building, clean water can move up to category two, gray water.Gray Water
With gray water, water damage cleanup and restoration can become a bit more serious. This is water that could create a health risk, because it may contain chemical or biological contamination. Because of the slight contamination in gray water, it would need to be thoroughly treated before being safe for consumption.
Gray water is water that comes from dishwashers, aquariums, showers, etc., and the 48-hour exposure time applies here as well, with gray water turning into black water if not treated.Black Water
Black water is the most dangerous of the three classifications, and it is considered to be highly contaminated with harmful chemicals and biological matter. This would include floodwaters containing soil and all sewage waters.
Sewage is contaminated with microbes, including bacteria, protozoans, molds, fungi and more—many of which are harmful to humans and create a health hazard.
Some of the diseases that can be transmitted by black water are:
- Gastroenteritis-type illnesses
A good rule is to remember that, when it comes to floods, all water involved should be assumed to be black water since it will have picked up contaminants along its path.
These three floodwater classifications are recognized by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Remediation Certification (IICRC), an organization that certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industry. Our technicians have all studied and familiarized themselves with the IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration and are available to help determine the steps to take to get your home back to normal.
It doesn’t matter what type of water has caused damage to your home or business, SERVPRO® of East Central Austin is here to help get the situation under control and make it "Like it never even happened." Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need emergency cleanup and restoration services!
Ideas to Help Protect Your Home From Water Damage
Ideas to Help Protect Your Home From Water Damage | SERVPRO® of East Central Austin - SERVPRO of East Central Austin BlogIdeas to Help Protect Your Home From Water Damage | SERVPRO® of East Central Austin
One of the most common and costliest disasters your home may experience is water damage. From anything such as a pipe bursting to a malfunctioning dishwasher or storm damage, there are many ways water damage could affect your home.
While water damage is not a new concept for homeowners to deal with, there are ways you can safeguard your home from some trying scenarios.How to Protect Your Home
Water damage can bring with it many issues to deal with as well as having a possible long-term impact on your home. Mold is one of the headaches resulting from water damage, as mold can begin to grow and flourish within 48 hours of exposure to water.
When considering ways to safeguard your home, it may be helpful to break it down by areas of impact, such as by basements, kitchens, bathrooms, flooring and ceilings.
An important way to prevent water damage in the basement is by preventing water seepage. This can be accomplished by resealing vulnerable areas of the basement, making sure water drains away from your home and installing a backwater valve.
Kitchens and bathrooms may experience water damage as a result of plumbing issues and/or appliance failures.
Take some time and follow these recommendations:
- Inspect all appliances regularly, especially paying attention to hoses and faucets
- Check all seals and caulking around showers and tubs to ensure there is no leakage
- Know where your home’s main shut-off valve is located
- Be sure that you don’t leave the house while the washing machine or dishwasher are running
The possessions inside your home may not be salvageable, but there are things you can do to decrease the amount of damage and loss. Use waterproof bins to store items to protect against water damage, and keep items stored on shelving off of the floor, especially when using a basement or garage for storage.What to Do if Water Damage Occurs
If your home experiences a water damage event, there is a good chance you will be able to salvage items that can be dried out within 48 hours.
Make sure that you contact your insurance company immediately and evaluate just how much water damage your home has suffered as well as the type of water that is involved.
The three types of water are:
“Clean” water, which can be from rain, condensation, leaky pipes, etc.
“Gray” water, which can be slightly dirty water from dishwashers, washing machines, clean toilets, etc.
“Black” water, which is water from sewage or serious flooding from nearby rivers, etc. Be aware that this water can cause serious health problems.
You will need to get your home dried out, dehumidify the area, remove wet objects and disinfect anything remaining following a water damage disaster.
Here’s a tip from the pros: Freeze any wet books, photos and papers in a frost-free freezer, which will allow you time to deal with other matters at hand. This will prevent mold and mildew from developing and causing more deterioration. Once you are able, remove them from the freezer to air-dry or fan-dry the pages.
It may seem like recovering from water damage is an overwhelming and slightly impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. You can call on the highly trained experts at SERVPRO® of East Central Austin, who are here to make it like it never even happened!
Water Damage Restoration: Some Tips and Ideas
Water damage Austin can be a major problem. If the restoration process becomes complicated, then you should call a professional.
Water damage can be a major problem to deal with. But, what really is the root cause of it? There’s always an excessive amount of water that rises or appears into an area where it simply cannot pass through easily. Much of this is brought upon by heavy rains and flooding, as well as erosion, like a small hill becoming drenched and giving way as it cannot absorb an overflow of water. With no place to go, the water will just stop and congeal, sometimes quite rapidly. Many homes, businesses, schools and roads can be destroyed, or simply washed away by floods, leaving excessive damage in it’s wake.
Your home can de destroyed by water damage Austin, especially your walls, floors and personal items. Pipes can rust from water submersion, wood can rot and mold can rear its ugly head if the mess isn't cleaned up right away.
Removing the water and restoring your home can be a time consuming process. You can’t just go in and start removing the water; there are many steps and things to take into consideration, including the extent of the damage, potential health risks and how to actually remove the water and repair your property.
Of course, there are many elements involved in the restoration process such as cleaning, drying, mold remediation Austin and more… so let’s break it all down, as many of them are intertwined.
Cleaning up the Water From Your Austin Home
The first question you’ll probably ask after a flood or a leak, is ‘how do I get rid of all this water?’ To be honest, it’s a bit complicated. You may want to go in and start scooping out the water or using a vacuum cleaner, which are things you should never, ever do. Depending on how much water you have to deal with, it may be very easy to get rid of the water, or it can be very time consuming. Think about the different types of water: some water is clean and some is dirty. If it’s something that can be easy to fix on your own,, such as a small leak, then you can use detergents or soap to clean up the residue. If you’re dealing with a major flood, a leaky roof, or sewage back up, you may face harmful contaminants which you don't want to attempt cleaning on your own. That's when you need to call a professional water removal Austin specialist.
The Restoration Process
Once the floodwaters have been cleared, then you can initiate the restoration process. Its not as easy as that, as you should never attempt to remove the water on your own. In cases like these, you should always reach out to a water restoration professional and follow certain procedures to protect you and your home.
You should always have your home inspected after there has been water damage. This will give the professionals a greater idea of how much water is being dealt with and what types of equipment they’ll need. While the professionals will bring in water pumps and other industrial equipment, you may be able to help by venting out certain areas and by using fans and dehumidifiers to help dry out the area.
The drying process is also lengthy, and it can vary greatly depending on how much water you have in your Austin home. Once the water removal Austin has taken place, the cleaning can then begin. It won't be a pretty sight, especially if there is excessive dirt, mud, and foreign objects, but over time you can start getting your property back to how it was before the damage occurred.
You’ll have to look at floors, walls, even the insulation to make sure that it’s all properly dried out and that no water remains. Some construction work might be needed, depending on how sever it all is, yet these specific things should never go unchecked.
This is just one element of many on how the restoration process works with water damage.
What is Mitigation?
Mitigation is used as a preventive measure to help reduce and prevent the amount of water from flooding, leaks and any other number of causes. In other words, stopping the water before it spreads more than it already has. A professional can go over all the various steps that are involved and how to stop water damage Austin in its tracks. The sources are many. It may not be a flood from a heavy rainstorm, but a leak from a faulty pipe, a broken appliance, or even from a blocked up sewer system. Mitigation can help you understand the source of your water damage, and by acting quickly, it can help prevent further damage to your Austin home.
Additional Elements of Water Restoration
While the water is a huge part of the Restoration process, there are also other issues to consider. Mold, of course is a messy side effect of water damage Austin if the clean up isn't thorough enough. Mold is everywhere, but it can start spreading if the water isn’t fully removed and your home isn't fully dried out. If the problem persists, then a mold inspection Austin may be needed to ensure that it isn't spreading. Odors emanating from mold and mildew can not only create unpleasant smells, but can also cause health issues if not properly cleaned. depending on the overall scope of the damage, you may need reconstruction if the damage is extreme. If any of these issues should arise, contact a professional service to help you with the restoration process.
How SERVPRO of East Central Austin Can Help With Water Damage Restoration
If your water damage Austin is extensive, don't even attempt to handle this on your own. SERVPRO of East Central Austin is here to help.
We will take every effort to restore your Austin TX home after you’ve experienced water damage. We’re trained & certified professionals who specialize in water damage restoration, mold removal and mold remediation Austin, and more. We’ll work hard to properly restore your home in the aftermath of water damage from Austin storms, floods, and leaks. We use state of the art extraction equipment and scientific drying principles to ensure a smooth water restoration process.
We’re a locally owned Austin company, and we understand how overwhelming it is if you’ve experienced water damage. We’re highly trained water restoration experts, and are available 24/7.
Call our local SERVPRO Company today at (512) 420-9886.
Water Damage: Things to do Before the Professionals Arrive
If you experience water damage Austin, there are a few things you can do before SERVPRO arrives.
You have a broken pipe or a leak in your Austin home. What do you do? Aside from panicking, you need to address the situation from the start. You need to call a plumber, but one isn’t available… you’re on your own.
Believe it or not, the smallest leak can cause major water damage Austin to your home. So, don’t panic, but be aware there are a few things that you can take care of on your own, before you reach out to water damage specialists.
Many of these quick solutions are fairly easy to tackle on your own. However, you shouldn’t don’t see them as fully solving the problem. Contact a specialist before things get out of control.
Cut Off the Water Flow to Your Austin Home
It’s often hard to determine where the source of your leak is coming from. If you have difficulty in locating the source, then shut off your water. A burst pipe may have many origins as to where the trouble stems from, so shutting off the water will help give you the ability to start with water removal Austin.
While it’s recommended that you shut off your water, you should also consider shutting down your electricity, until the source of the leak can be determined. This will help prevent any kind of electrical fire…another problem you don’t want to deal with.
Ways to Start Drying Out Your Austin Home
So, you have water damage, but have yet to reach out to a professional water removal service. All hope is not lost as there are a few things you can do to help eliminate some of the water in your Austin home.
Your best ally in this endeavor is air. Open up all of your windows to allow fresh air in and use fans to help circulate it. If the moisture has nowhere to go, then you’ll eventually have to face musty odors, followed by the spread of mold. It’ll be a slow process to dry out your home, but the sooner you can get air in to start drying up some of the moisture, the better. Mold is nasty to deal with and you may actually miss it while cleaning. In this circumstance, you should contact a professional to help you with a mold inspection Austin, to help stop it before it spreads.
Using a Dehumidifier to Help Remove Water
A dehumidifier is a valuable tool to help remove water from your home. It basically sucks out the moisture from the air, and will help make the drying process go a bit faster. You may want to get several, depending on the amount of water you have. They’re very efficient machines and can help save you time during the cleaning process.
You’ll also have to do some additional work in removing items that may be tainted with water. Some of these may be salvageable, while others may not. Items like carpeting and furniture may be soaked, but they should be removed and brought outdoors so that they can air dry in the sun. Any other items, like small furniture and miscellaneous personal things, can usually be cleaned with mild detergent and water. These should also be taken outdoors to dry…but clean them thoroughly so that they don’t become susceptible to mold.
Vacuuming Options After Water Damage Austin
If you happen to own a wet vacuum, then you can at least get started on removing some of the water. This will help you temporarily if your carpeting, floors and furniture are soaked. Only use a wet vac under these circumstances: Never use a regular vacuum cleaner!
While it won’t be an immediate resolution, it will definitely help preventing the water from seeping into porous surfaces. Once water gets into porous materials it can begin to warp and buckle items such as wood floors, which you would most likely need to replace. Most wood floors are covered with polyurethane, but even excessive amounts of water can cause this coating to deteriorate.
While a wet vac allows you to tackle the surface, water can sink deep into these porous materials, which can then lead to mold. Even though mold may make an appearance, all hope is not lost. The good this is that there are restoration companies that can work with you to help manage your humidity and control whatever mold remediation Austin that you may need
Important Things Before The Professionals Arrive
While your first reaction is to start cleaning up the mess right away after water damage Austin, there are a few things that you shouldn’t do which can greatly affect your safety.
-Don't leave any wet fabric, such as clothes, small area rugs, etc., in your Austin home. Pick them up and allow them to air dry outside.
-The same goes for paper products such as wet newspapers, magazines and books; don't leave them on the floor. There’s a chance you may not be able to salvage them, but they should still be take outside to air dry as well.
-Do not use any electronic devices! Unplug and avoid using all electric appliances, such as radios, TVs and computers.
-Stay out of rooms that have wet floors and ceilings. If you manage to remove most of the water on your own, then let these rooms air dry allow professionals to begin full water removal Austin.
SERVPRO: How We Can Help
This is where SERVPROof East Central Austin can help. Our SERVPRO team consists of dedicated, trained & certified professionals who are available 24/7 to help with your water damage Austin needs.
We specialize in water damage removal and restoration, as well as mold remediation and removal. We will take every effort to properly restore your home or business in the aftermath of a storm, floods, leaks or whatever your particular situation.
We'll review the overall scope of your water damage repairs with an advanced water damage inspection and state of the art extraction equipment to make the restoration process go smoothly.
Our SERVPRO Team is ready and willing to help with your water restoration repairs. If you’re in need of water damage repairs and restoration, please contact our local SERVPRO company today.
Why You Should Use A Professional Water Damage Specialist in Austin
Austin water damage can be a nightmare. A professional water damage specialist can help, should these circumstances arise.
Water damage can be a nightmare. Whether from a flood, a leaky or burst pipe, a faulty appliance or a backed up sewage system, your first inclination is to clean up the mess. But wait! First of all, do you know what you’re dealing with? This isn’t something that can be done with a few paper towels and some soap. This is much more complicated than that.
There are several issues involved here, ranging from safety, bacteria, and the potential for mold to spread if the water damage is not properly remediated. Basically you shouldn’t tackle this on your own. Instead, you should reach out to an Austin based professional, who can help you figure out the best course of action for water removal Austin.
Of course, you never want to have to deal with a burst pipe, but it does happen and it can create abundant damage to your home. Initially you’ll want to clean up the mess…but you shouldn’t do this on your own. It’s a very time consuming process, and most likely, you won’t have the proper equipment to remove the water and dry your property and items right away. If ignored for a long period of time, the water can actually get into your walls and floors as well as other items, which can lead to mold. It’s a very complicated and time-consuming procedure to get rid of water damage Austin and mold on your own, and you should always use a professional service should this type of experience occur.
How Water Can Actually Damage your Austin Home
Whether a flood, heavy rain, or a burst pipe is the cause, once water enters your home and seeps into cracks and other hard to reach areas, the damage can be extreme. Water immersion can eventually degrade the condition of your building materials: metal will eventually rust, wood will begin to rot and mold will eventually spread. If water damage isn’t addressed immediately, your home or business may suffer some irreparable damage.
First Steps in Restoring Water Damage
Identifying the problem is the first action you need to take in confronting water damage. If a leak is the source, then shut off your water and then assess the damage. If there’s a limited amount of water, then you may not have excessive damage…just enough to isolate it and not vacate the house while it’s repaired and remediated. If the damage is extreme, there may be potential health risks involved and you may have to evacuate until the issue is resolved. It is recommended that you as the Austin homeowner not attempt to clean up the damage yourself. A licensed water damage professional will understand every element of your water damage and will be able to assess the damage, properly dehumidify your property monitor the areas in question and help with water removal Austin.
If you haven’t consulted with a restoration professional, you probably should. They can go over all the details of your water damage to determine the extent of the damage and what can be salvaged. They can also give you insight as to the status of mold in the aftermath of your water damage and provide a mold inspection Austin. If left unattended, mold spores can spread and cause major issues not just for your health, but also for the safety of your home. Mold needs to be meticulously monitored and removed before you can even return to your home.
Using a Professional Instead of Cleaning up Austin Water Damage Yourself
Think of it this way: you want to clean up your home after a storm or leak has caused water damage. It is your home and you want to protect it…but do you have the time, the energy…can you handle this on your own? In most cases, we aren’t able to tackle such an immense project on our own. A minor leak may be easy to manage and clean up on your own, but a more extreme case of water damage will require the services of a professional, who can handle the restoration of your property in less time than it would take if you did it single-handed.
Stopping Austin Mold Before it Starts
It important to address the water damage right away, for standing water and any extra moisture can be a breeding ground for mold spores to take root and then take over your house. This is where you should consider a mold inspection Austin, so that professionals can assess that status and potential spread of mold in your home once water damage has occurred. It’s best to stop mold before it can spread, so utilizing the services of a professional who handles mold remediation Austin will be a good step in keeping a headache from becoming a migraine.
How SERVPRO Of East Central Austin Can Help
If you’ve experienced water damage then SERVPRO of East Central Austin is here to help. We're trained & certified professionals who are available 24/7 in order to assist you with your water damage Austin needs.
We specialize in water damage removal and restoration, and mold remediation, and we use top-quality drying equipment for our water damage cleanup & restoration jobs.
Our SERVPRO team will evaluate the status of your water damage repairs, along with advanced water damage inspection, featuring state of the art extraction equipment for a smooth restoration process. We’re highly trained water restoration experts, and our trained and certified professionals can help 24/7 with your water restoration and repairs.
If you've experienced water damage and the onset of mold, contact SERVPRO of East Central Austin today.
How Cleaning Your Gutters Can Help Prevent Water Damage to Your Austin Home
A clogged gutter, which, if not addressed, can lead to water damage austin.
As fall passes through and eventually leads into winter, it’s time for leaves to start falling off of the trees. Many of these leaves will land on the ground, while others will wind up in the gutters of your home, which, over time can cause problems such as clogging and water damage if they’re not removed.
Sometimes we forget about our gutters, but once the water from a rainstorm starts to fall onto the side of your house rather than passing through the gutters, then there is obviously an issue that needs to be addressed.
Gutters keep a steady flow of water away from your home in order to help prevent water damage. If you ignore and don’t properly maintain your gutters on a regular basis, there can be disastrous consequences for the outside and inside of your home, which may require the attention of water damage specialists Austin.
Gutters, Flooding and Freezing
Gutters are designed to move water away from the roof of your house and your foundation. If your gutters are blocked, water will not flow properly, instead pouring over the sides and onto your walls and down into your foundation. As the water runs down the side of your house, it can greatly affect any wood siding you might have, which, if neglected, can eventually lead to mold, and eventually wood rot. The foundation, which is usually made of concrete, can slowly crumble over time from the excessive moisture.
Excessive water can also spill over into your yard, causing flooding. This can affect any nearby landscaping, such as trees and plants positioned near your house. While there’s rarely a deep freeze in Austin, you should keep your gutters clean in the event that ice does form. If your gutters are clean, they may still be clogged, which can allow excess water to freeze and create ice dams. Leaking for ice dams can seep in through your roof and create water damage, as the water has no place to go.
How to Clean Your Gutters
While the idea of cleaning your gutters may at first appear a daunting challenge, it’s actually not all that complicated. However, there are a few precautions you should take if you plan on doing this yourself:
- Get Yourself a Safe Ladder. If you have an old, rickety wooden ladder, get rid of it and get yourself a sturdy new one, if possible. You’d be amazed at how many people fall while using old ladders to clean their gutters. Never lean your ladder against the gutters as they can be bent or broken. Always have someone spot you while holding the ladder while you’re cleaning the gutters. This helps stabilize the ladder and allows for an extra set of hands to pass you tools you may need for cleaning.
- Wear Protective Clothing. While you may think that your gutters are full of leaves, keep in mind that there may also be twigs, dirt and a variety of bugs up there. Always wear long sleeves and thick rubber gloves as a protective measure. It’s a very messy job, so protect yourself.
- Use tools. While you may feel like using your hands, based on how messy this can get, you may want to use tools, such as a small garden trowel to scoop out the mess.
- How to collect the leaves and dirt. Before you even begin, get yourself a plastic drop cloth or a tarp and lay it down to collect the leaves and other debris. This is a better option instead of just dumping them in your yard.
- Easy Clean Up. Once you’ve cleaned out the gutters, you should also check the drain for any foreign objects. Leaves and twigs can easily get stuck in here, so make sure that you get everything. Once you cleaned out the whole gutter, rinse the out with a hose to make sure that they’re clean and that the water flows properly.
How SERVPRO of East Central Austin Can Help if You Experience Water Damage
If your Austin home has experienced water damage and flooding from clogged gutters, SERVPRO of East Central Austin can help
We’re a locally owned Austin company, and we understand how overwhelming it can be if your property has experienced water damage. We can help with all aspects of water damage Austin, including water extraction Austin, water damage cleanup and water damage restoration. We’re water restoration experts, and our highly trained and certified professionals can help 24/7 with your water restoration and repairs to make it "Like it never even happened."
Need help with your water damage issues? Call our local SERVPRO Company today at (512) 420- 9886.
Why You Should Never Air Dry Your Austin Home After Water Damage
Why You Should Never Air Dry Your Austin Home After Water Damage
If your Austin home or business should experience a flood, or any type of water damage, your first instinct may be to let everything dry out before you start to clean up. While water evaporation is a natural process, you may think that this is the route to go. While we may air dry our clothes on a clothesline, this isn’t advisable for your home, once water damage occurs. In fact, air-drying out your home can cause a multitude of damaging issues, such as warping and mold.
Here are two main reasons why air drying your Austin home is not the best route to go after water damage has occurred:
Water Damage to Your Austin Property
While air drying usually takes longer than proper cleaning, you run the risk of having many items in your house becoming water damaged. Carpets, wallpaper, upholstery are considered absorbent, so once they become waterlogged, it will take longer to dry than usual. Warping can then occur, once these porous materials absorb the water. Think of walls and floors submerged under water…they almost always are never the same afterwards.
If your property is exposed to moisture for an extended period of time, oxidation and rotting can also take place. A thorough drying procedure should be taken into account to prevent any type of warping, which is why it’s best to remove all of the water from your Austin home and then begin the cleaning process. Once your property is severely water damaged, it may be very costly to repair and even replace what’s been affected.
The Appearance of Mold after Water Damage
The longer that water remains in your Austin home or business after water damage, the greater the opportunity for mold to appear. This is why it’s important to remove all water and not air-dry your home. If you move quickly to remove the water from your home, then there will be a reduced opportunity for mold to spread into your floors and walls. Tiny crevices can allow mold spores to fester and take root, and you most likely don’t want to have to replace your floors and walls. Mold removal and remediation should take place as quickly as possible, to stop mold before it starts.
How Our SERVPRO Team Can Help
If you’ve experienced water damage in your Austin home, it’s best to not air dry your property. If you cannot handle water damage removal and restoration and mold remediation by yourself, then SERVPRO of East Central Austin is here to help. We're trained & certified professionals who are available 24/7 in order to assist you with your water damage Austin needs.
We specialize in water damage removal and restoration, and mold remediation. Our SERVPRO team will evaluate the status of your water damage repairs in addition to an advance water damage inspection, featuring state of the art extraction equipment for a smooth restoration process.
If you've experienced water damage Austin and the onset of mold, contact our local SERVPRO Company today.
Preventing Water Damage from Your HVAC Unit
If not properly maintained, your HVAC unit can lead to extensive water damage.
Water Damage and Your HVAC Unit
As anyone who's suffered from water damage knows, it can cause multiple problems that can be difficult to remedy. If you’ve been the victim of water damage from a flood or excessive rain in Austin, then it’s something that you should take care of immediately. However, other types of water damage may go unnoticed, causing more insidious damage and leading to unforeseen problems down the road. Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit (HVAC) is one such culprit; if your HVAC unit is not properly cared for, and routinely maintained and inspected, you can find yourself with some very extreme water damage and mold issues down the line.
Normally, your HVAC unit shouldn’t leak, but it can happen. Basic maintenance of your unit can keep it running without any problems, but sometimes this just isn’t the case. Even minor issues can cause a major headache for you, if your HVAC unit isn’t checked on a regular basis.
Typical Causes of HVAC Leaking and Water Damage Resulting from Your HVAC Unit
Like any major household appliance, your HVAC needs to be maintained regularly to prevent any future problems. It’s like your car, if you don’t change the oil every few thousand miles, you’ll experience problems; the same goes for your HVAC unit. Water damage, mold and even structural damage are major risks you can face if your HVAC unit is not properly maintained.
Below are some tips to prevent water damage from your HVAC:
Preventing Water Damage as a Result of Condensate Drain Issues
If your HVAC is in good working shape, then the water that’s collected in your condensate drain should be carried through your plumbing system and expelled outside of your Austin home. While you might see very small amounts of water from your unit, this is often normal as the unit is removing moisture from the air.
However, a clogged condensate drain can cause water to leak. As your condensate drain gets clogged, it needs to be flushed out. Dust from your filter and other related debris can get stuck in the drain, so it should be cleaned out often, depending on how much you use your HVAC.
Once you turn off your unit, the drain can be flushed with water mixed with some bleach, or it can be vacuumed out. If you’re not sure how to do this, then contact a specialist, who can also check if there are any issues with the drain itself. However, if you see larger than normal amounts of water appearing on your floor, on your walls and even your celling, then you have water damage Austin and need to get it taken care of right away.
Another thing to keep in mind: if you find a leak in your air conditioner’s drainage pipe, this should be replaced right away. You should contact a professional for this, because it’s a bit of a tricky process, but if a leak is evident, then take care of it immediately to prevent any further water damage from occurring.
And if you are the victim of water damage in Austin TX or the surrounding areas, rest assured our SERVPRO team can help.
Centrally located in Austin, our SERVPRO company consists of highly trained and certified water damage restoration professionals; not only can we take care of any water removal & extraction you may need, but we specialize in water damage restoration Austin, and can also handle any necessary mold inspection or mold remediation Austin.
Frozen Coils & How They Can Cause Water Damage
We all know how hot it gets here in Austin TX, and many people often have their ACs cranked very high in order to stay cool. If your HVAC is doing overtime in this department, you may actually find ice starting to appear in your evaporator coil. Once the ice begins to melt, the melted water will start to leak. If you think that your coil is frozen, then you should shut down your AC for a few hours, so that the ice melts and clean up any water that you find. If this occurs more than once, then you need to bring in a specialist to figure out the problem. Otherwise you could end up with more water damage on your hands.
Even a Simple Thing Like Your Condensate Pan Shifting Can Attribute to Water Damage
Another thing to look out for is your condensate pan, a galvanized metal pan that collects any condensation from your HVAC unit. If it shifts in any way, which they can do, you’ll find some type of water damage appearing over time. It’s not that difficult to repair as all you need is to check the pan’s placement and move it back in place if it’s moved.
Leaky Window Air Conditioners: A Large Culprit for Potential Water Damage & Mold
While most homes in Austin have central HVAC units, there are some homeowners that use window air conditioners to beat the heat. Although less expensive than a central system, these types of air conditioners are known to leak frequently, which can cause extreme water damage and mold. As they have no condensate drain, many times the water will leak out onto the window sill, causing permanent damage and allowing for mold to set in, causing even more problems.
These units are heavy, cumbersome and often tend to leak, as they usually aren’t mounted properly. If this is the situation, then you’ll find excess water coming into your house. Usually these just rest in your window, but it’s much safer if they are mounted on a window bracket, so that they’re positioned properly. If you don’t have a window bracket, be sure that it’s secure enough so that extra water drains on the outside of your Austin home, instead of the inside.
How to Repair Water Damage Resulting from Your HVAC Unit
If you find that your HVAC system is experiencing minor leaks, you may be able to tackle the problem on your own, but if it appears to be a long-term problem, then you’ll probably need some outside help. Slight damage to walls and small puddles may be easily repaired, but if your walls show increasing moisture, they you may have to resort to cutting them open to find the root of the damage. Your floorboards, sub floors and ceilings can also be affected, and if they start to sag from excessive water damage, they also will have to be dried and possibly removed and replaced.
Once water damage occurs, you’ll most likely have to deal with mold. Minor patches of mold may be easy to remove to stop it in its tracks…but depending on how extreme the water damage is, you may find mold growing on your walls, under your floors and in the bones of your Austin home’s structure.
Here’s where heavy cleaning and sanitizing of your home may be needed, so please don’t try to tackle this type of mold remediation on your own: contact an Austin mold remediation company, like our SERVPRO team instead.
What You Can Do To Prevent Leaks in Your HVAC Unit
While you may have a trusted HVAC system, it’s always best to do routine checks to prevent any possible water damage. Here are a few ideas.
1. Check and Clean the Condensation Line Frequently
You should always check your condensation line for moisture and possible clogs. The line should be cleaned every 3 to 6 months, to ensure that there’s no extra moisture of clogs.
2. Replace Your HVAC filter
Your filter can draw in tons of dust and dirt, which can greatly affect the performance of your unit. Your filter should be replaced every 3 months, to keep airflow consistent and to prevent clogs.
3. Air Duct Cleaning and Inspections, Cleaning & Maintenance of Your Overall HVAC System
It's always a good idea to have a regular inspection of your HVAC system to ensure that it's running properly. Our SERVPRO team can help by routinely inspecting and maintaining your HVAC system to help prevent the possibility of leaks and water damage from occurring. You won't always need an air duct cleaning Austin done, but should it be necessary, we can help with that as well.
4. Check Your HVAC Refrigerant Levels
The refrigerant is the ingredient used to keep the air in your air conditioner cool. If it’s low, then it can affect the performance of your HVAC, which may cause water to leak and cause subsequent water damage. Check the refrigerant levels regularly.
Call Our SERVPRO Office 24/7 Should You Have a Water Damage Emergency
If your water damage is extensive from your HVAC unit, don't try and tackle water damage removal and restoration and mold remediation by yourself. Our SERVPRO company is here for you. We're trained & certified professionals who are available 24/7 in order to assist you with your water damage Austin needs.
We specialize in water damage restoration, mold remediation, HVAC and air duct cleaning and more. We’ll work to properly restore your property in the aftermath of water damage from Austin storms, floods, leaks and/or issues with your HVAC unit. We use state of the art extraction equipment and scientific drying principles so that the water restoration process goes smoothly and is as stress free as possible.
We’re a locally owned Austin SERVPRO company that is proud to serve our community. We’re here for you should your Austin TX property experience any type of water damage.
Small Leaks Can Mean Major Water Damage in Your Austin Home
Leaks can lead to major water damage in your Austin property.
How a Small Leak in Your Austin Home Can Quickly Turn into a Major Water Damage Problem
A leak in your Austin TX home should never be ignored. Even the most miniscule leak can cause extreme water damage, and it’s often these types of leaks that people fail to notice. Minor leaks can affect carpeting, walls, and damage to your subfloors, as well as creating a major problem for your internal plumbing and pipes.
The best way to notice and stop any potential leaks is to do inspections every month. By using basic leak detection, you can uncover if you have any issues with moisture and humidity, as unexpected moisture that could be caused by leaks that can lead to potential structural damage. But how do you actually identify these potential problems?
Performing Leak Detection in Your Austin Home or Business
First, you should go through your Austin property, checking the inside and the outside at least once a month.
Inspect your property for traces of water or any kind of moisture that appears to be resulting from water damage Austin. Pipes often tend to be the culprit, but you should also look into crawl spaces in your basement, if you have one. In many cases moisture isn’t all that easy to identify, so you may be surprised if you overlook something and then find mold starting to grow.
If mold sets in, it can lead to a variety of other issues, including affecting your health (see 4 major health issues caused by mold). If you do see mold, make sure you act quickly by getting a mold inspection done. It's likely you might also need mold remediation Austin.
If you’re unable to find the leaks on your own, you may want to consult with a plumber. If you don’t have a regular plumber whose services you use, consult with a few plumbers regarding estimates and length of time to fix your leak. And if you need water damage restoration, our SERVPRO team can help.
Detecting if Mold Growth Has Begun
Active mold growth can often be detected by smell alone. If you smell anything musty or just flat out funky, then you might have mold growing somewhere. Even if you can’t see it, try to pinpoint where it may be coming from.
Areas where you’re likely to find moisture, such as bathrooms and showers can breed mold if not cleaned regularly. If excessive moisture exists in your Austin TX home, then you may need to bring in a dehumidifier and exhaust fans and get a mold inspection done.
An increase in mold can be caused by poor ventilation. Make sure all of your potentially damp spaces (basements, attics, crawl spaces, etc.) are well ventilated so that moisture can escape.
Always check on your air conditioner and HVAC system. Change your filters monthly and check all pipes for clogs, which can cause all kinds of problems. A properly working system can help drastically reduce humidity.
The Damage that Leaks Really Cause
It’s estimated that a small leak can cause a home to lose anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 gallons of water per year. If this derived from a leaky kitchen faucet, it can usually be repaired pretty quickly, either by yourself or with the assistance of a plumber. Other leaks may be more difficult to find and may go undetected for longer periods of time, which can cause you massive water damage problems in the end.
Structural Damage Resulting from Leaks and Water Damage
Structural damage is another common issue resulting from leaks. Structural damage can be just as much of a headache as water damage to your Austin TX home, and just as costly. You’ll find that in addition to cosmetic issues, like water stains in the walls and ceilings, you’ll actually need to investigate if the water damage is more extreme. As a leak can develop over time, at the first sight of staining on your floors, walls, ceiling, etc., you should call in plumbers.
Bending and warping drywall can be a major issue once these materials begin to absorb water from a leak. The same can happen with wood floors, which will also hamper your home’s structural integrity. Support beams can also be affected, if the affected area isn’t tended to right away. Warped walls should be removed to access the leak in question and to prevent further water damage and mold; the growth of such problems can lead to your home becoming uninhabitable.
Lost Property Values as a Result of Water Damage in Austin
One thing to take into account is that if your home has recurring leaks and water damage, it can greatly affect the value of your home, especially if you ‘re trying to sell it. Once water damage is repaired, there may be traces of it that are left behind. That's one of the reasons why you'll want to contact a water damage restoration company, like our SERVPRO office. We specialize in "making it like it never happened."
If your water damage is excessive, and should traces of water damage remain, you’ll find that you may have to reduce your selling price.
Why Leak Prevention is Important
Conquering a water leak, regardless of its size, is something that should be handled by a plumber. A good plumber will be meticulous in researching, analyzing and restoring the numerous causes of water leaks and water damage. Plumbers are extremely knowledgeable and can help in stopping a water leak that will cause damage to your Austin home.
How SERVPRO of East Central Austin Can Help in the Event of Water Damage
If your Austin-based home or business has experienced water damage from a pesky leak that you can’t control, be sure to reach out to a plumber… But if water damage cleanup Austin is needed, you should contact a professional water damage and restoration company.
SERVPRO of East Central Austin will take every effort to restore your Austin TX home after you experience water damage. We can help you evaluate the overall scope of your water damage repairs, and we use only top of the line water extraction equipment to provide a seamless restoration process.
We’re a locally owned Austin company, and we understand how overwhelming it can be if your Austin property has experienced water damage. We’re highly trained water restoration experts, and our trained and certified professionals can help 24/7 with your water restoration and repairs.
Water Extraction and Water Damage Restoration in Austin: Tips and Tricks
Water damage from a flood.
Major Problems Connected with Water Damage
Believe it or not, there are many problems you can face while attempting water damage cleanup yourself; therefore, we must stress that you need to be cautious before even embarking on these procedures. When attempting water damage restoration & water extraction on your own, here are some issues that you may have to confront, with some tips on how to resolve them:
Water Damage in Austin Resulting in Electrical Problems
You can never be too careful when it comes to electricity once a flood or serious water damage has occurred in your Austin property. You need to check that all of your gas and electricity has been turned off prior to engaging in any type water extraction or any type of cleaning procedure revolving around water damage Austin.
Make sure that all of your circuits and switches are disconnected. The covers to your electrical outlets should also be removed to let the wiring dry out; also do this with your fuses and breakers to prevent any issues such as fires and smoldering. Once everything has dried, bring in an electrician to fully inspect all of the circuits for proper voltage, grounding and to be sure that they’re safe before you reconnect everything,
Our Austin SERVPRO company uses top-quality drying equipment for our water damage cleanup jobs. Keep in mind that if you're not entirely sure of the extent of your damage (remember, some effects of water damage may not be noticeable right away) then you should be safe and contact a professional water extraction and water damage restoration company, like our local SERVPRO team.
Mud: A Messy Contributor
Sadly, flooding can be a common occurrence in Austin, particularly in certain parts of Austin; you may find after a flood has invaded your home or business, that you're the victim of not just excessive amounts of water, but also mud. Heavy periods of rain can soak the ground causing dirt to loosen and be carried away, leaving mud as a result. Once mud begins to loosen it can grab everything within its reach and has a tendency to be very destructive. And yes, that means as a result of a flood here in Austin, you can be the victim of mudflow.
Should you have an encounter with mud in your Austin home or business, be very careful as it may be contaminated (mud can host a variety of animals and larva, which along with random debris that it gathers during its journey, can be very unsanitary).
All mud should be properly extracted before you even begin to embark on the cleaning process. Mud is extremely destructive, as it can damage homes as well as roads and it can also clog sewers.
Can you Save Your Furniture After Water Damage?
Here is where you’ll have to consider whether your furniture is a loss after water damage, especially if it appears pretty dire in terms of saving. If you have upholstered furniture or any mattresses that have been affected by water damage, you should get rid of them right away to prevent contamination from spreading.
Sometimes we all feel tied to things. If you have pieces of furniture that have a sentimental value or antiques and you just can’t bear to part with them, here are some tips on dealing with those.
If they are upholstered pieces, removing all of the upholstery and stuffing may be your best bet. This will allow you to clean the frame of your furniture, so that it can be reupholstered. You should be able to save most plastic, wood and metal furniture, but make sure that it is properly cleaned.
Carpets can be another major issue, and if they’ve had sufficient water damage then unfortunately they may have to go as well. Contaminants from the water can get deeply soaked into your carpet’s fibers, and they can be harmful. If you feel a carpet is worth saving, then give cleaning it a try. If your home or business has wall-to-wall carpeting, you should remove not just the carpet but the carpet pads as well, so that the floors can properly dry. If you use a carpet pad, that will also need to be discarded.
You may be able to save items such as blankets, throw rugs and miscellaneous bedding, if they’re easy to clean. The best way to do this is to bring them outside and clean them with soapy water, or another cleaning solution that you think might work, and use the power of the hot Austin sun to air-dry them.
Flooding and Water Damage can Greatly Impact Your Austin Food and Water Quality
Water: Once your property has had a flood or any other kind of water damage, you should be aware that you may have issues with your home water system. Never go in thinking that your water is safe and ready to use. As a precaution, you should contact your water company and the public health department, and let them investigate whether or not your water is safe. Contaminated water is not safe to drink and should not be used for washing and cooking under any circumstances.
Bacterial infections tend to be a high occurrence in the aftermath of a water damage disaster, so you may have to boil water before use it initially, until you remedy all problems. If you don't take these precautions, the water from your system can be heavily contaminated, which in turn can be extremely dangerous, so check with the public health department regarding any contaminants.
Food: In the aftermath of serious water damage, you have to assess how safe your food is. It’s not advisable to keep anything perishable. However, if you have canned goods and they haven’t come into contact with any contaminated water, then you might still be able to use them.
One way to save your canned goods, if they’ve not been affected, is to peel off the labels, and then wash the cans in a mix of bleach and potable water (you can use 1TB of bleach per gallon of water), which will basically kill any potential contaminants and help to disinfect items.
Once dry, re-label each can with a permanent marker, and add the expiration date as some canned goods can last for a few years. If you have food in plastic or foil pouches (known as retort pouches, similar to the Army’s ready to eat meals), you may find that these are safe, as long as the pouches aren’t broken or compromised in any way.
If your cooking utensils have been contaminated, then you should definitely throw them out. Any utensils and items made out of wood or plastic should be trashed. This includes bottles, cutting boards, spatulas, cups, spoons, etc., But not all is lost: the good thing is that kitchen utensils made out of metal, and items made out of glass or porcelain, can also be saved in soaked if the aforementioned bleach and water solution.
Water Damage in Austin and Repairing Your Floors
If you've coated the floors of your Austin home or business with polyurethane (or any other similar coating), be aware that they can still experience water damage. Some varnishes do protect wood to some degree, but they shouldn't be considered as an impenetrable wall that will protect your wood floors forever. Even an outside deck that has been continuously treated and been through years of rain may deteriorate over time, allowing for rot to set in.
Every drying procedure is different, and drying procedures can vary in length after water damage, with much of it based on how much damage has taken place. Floors need extra special care and attention when this happens. Don’t rush the restoration process, because then you'll have to deal with wooden planks that may buckle, bend and even crack if they’re not properly dried. If you’re thinking of attempting to renovate your wood floors, make sure that they’re completely dry before beginning any repairs.
Vinyl floors can also fall victim to excessive water damage. Vinyl floors come as either large sheets, that you’d find in a kitchen, or they are interlocking planks that resemble wood. Once vinyl gets wet, it can buckle and crack and needs to be replaced…which will also help your subfloor to completely dry out. Don’t reuse the vinyl; just replace it; after water damage, vinyl won’t be salvageable.
Preventing the Spread of Water Damage in the Walls of Your Austin Home or Business
Should floodwater severe water damage affect your Austin property, there’s a chance that your walls may also experience water damage. In the event that this happens, you’ll probably have to cut your walls open in order to dry them out. Wet walls can accumulate mold or rot if not properly ventilated and dried.
While cutting your walls open will be time consuming, it’s the best way to properly ventilate them. Even the smallest amount of water damage can spread and cause problems, and the last thing you want is a room full of mold, so this will help to prevent it from spreading. And be sure to remove any and all insulation, as it can also be contaminated.
If you have walls without insulation and you don’t want to cut them open, try drilling holes in the walls to help air get through. You should also remove baseboards if they become waterlogged, and be sure to remove any wet drywall, which can replaced once everything is dry.
Your walls will not dry overnight. In many cases, it may take up to a month for them to be fully dried out. Using humidifiers and fans will definitely help move the process along and may help cut the time in half. You should also open all of your windows, if possible, to allow for cross-ventilation. After everything dries out, you should use more durable materials such as wood paneling, foam insulation, and tiles, all of which can withstand excessive water.
Other Problems That Can Result from Water Damage Austin
As we've focused on floors, furniture and walls in this section, you should also be aware of how water damage can cause problems for your air conditioning and heating system, your air ducts, your sewage system, your water well (if you have one on your property), your foundation and your roof. Excessive water saturation and water damage can impact the overall condition of these elements of your home or office, if you've experienced a flood or a storm.
Be very careful not to use your heat or air conditioning until it's dry and safe to use. Make sure that the electricity is turned off and your system is disconnected, prior to having it inspected for any water damage. If you find water has gotten into your air ducts, you’ll need to have those cleaned and aired out as well.
Remember that any type of water, including floods, heavy rain, or even a minor leak if unchecked, can cause a major headache and extensive water damage. In many cases, if the damage is minor, you may be able to remedy the situation on your own. This is not always the case, however, and sometimes the situation is far more extreme and requires professional assistance. Attempting to remedy a potentially hazardous situation on your own, especially if you’re not prepared, can be disastrous for you, your business or your family.
Are You in Need of Help with Your Water Extraction and Water Damage Restoration?
Give Our Austin SERVPRO Team a Call
If you’re not sure that you can tackle the water extraction & water damage restoration by yourself, then a water extraction & water damage restoration company like our local SERVPRO team is there for you. Our employees are a group of dedicated, trained & certified professionals available 24/7 in order to assist you with your water damage Austin needs.
We specialize in water damage removal and restoration, and we will take every effort to properly restore your property in the aftermath of water damage from Austin storms, floods, leaks or whatever your particular situation.
We'll help you review the magnitude of your water damage repairs along with an advance water damage inspection and state of the art extraction equipment that will make the restoration process a stress free experience.
As a locally owned Austin company, our focus is on the community that we serve. We understand how stressful this experience can be when your Austin property has experienced water damage.
Our SERVPRO Austin Team consists of highly trained water restoration technicians who are able to provide guidance and much needed resources, and there is no job too big or small for our Austin team.
We are trained and certified professionals ready and willing to help with your water restoration repairs. If you require water damage repairs and restoration, contact our local SERVPRO company today.
Water Extraction and Water Damage Cleanup: Should You Attempt This on Your Own?
Extensive water damage from flooding in a TX neighborhood.
Water Extraction and Water Damage Cleanup in Austin
If your Austin home or business has experienced a flood or extensive water damage, you’ll need sufficient time to review the damage and determine what you’ve lost. Whether or not the restoration is something you can handle on your own will likely weigh on whether the water damage is minimal or excessive, and if you require water extraction.
If you do require water extraction, then you may not want to tackle this on your own, especially if your Austin home or business is severely flooded. In that case it's best to reach out to a water extraction and water damage restoration company like our local SERVPRO office.
If you have minor water damage it may not be difficult to handle the cleanup on your own, but you should be cautious, especially if you come across mold or other issues typically related to water damage.
While you’re determining if this is something that you can handle on your own, you need to be aware of the impact and long-term effects that extensive water damage can have on your health, safety and your home or business. If you’re up for the challenge and are sure that you can take this on by yourself, please be aware of the following risks and be prepared:
Assessing and Preparing for Water Damage Cleanup & Water Extraction
Before getting started with any type of water damage cleanup or extraction, it’s important to follow some basic safety procedures:
- First, you have to be sure that your home or business is safe to enter. Electrical problems can be tricky, so if there is damage that might have caused electrical problems, like downed or exposed wires, or if there is so much water and you need water extraction and you’re not sure that you should go in, then don’t risk it. Best thing to do is to get in touch with an electrician, who will check if your power lines and circuits are secured before you begin. If it looks as if too much damage has occurred, they you may clearly have electrical problems.
- Be sure that that there are no potential gas leaks or additional fire hazards. Be sure to have a battery-powered flashlight with you at all times. Never use a lighter or matches if there’s even the slightest chance of a leak. A spark from a match or a lighter can ignite a fire, so be very careful.
- As there are a variety of cleaning solutions out there, you should be cautious when selecting the right one. Pure chlorine bleach works, but so does ammonia and vinegar…however, you should never mix any of these together, as they can create an extremely toxic and harmful chlorine gas. Do some investigative work to see which one is the best for this type of project and use only that one.
- It’s important, before you begin, that you have plenty of protective clothing, such as goggles, boots, rubber gloves and especially a respirator, because some the air may be toxic. You should be fully protected as any floodwater water damaged material may be riddled with contaminants.
- Keep a look out for animals. All kinds of insects and other creatures can be attracted by Austin floodwater. Snakes, fire ants and mosquitoes are just of the few that can be drawn to water…so be careful.
It’s no secret that cleaning is a very crucial part of the water damage cleanup process; it’s not something that can be done overnight. Many of the items in your Austin home or business may in fact be salvageable, but you may find that some things just have to go. In this case it’s best to reach out to a water damage specialist, otherwise you may find yourself doing all of the cleaning, water extraction and repairs on your own.
Of course, you may feel that you need to get right in and start cleaning right away, but before you embark on any type of cleaning or cleanup, you’ll need to make sure that all the water is removed and that all the relative elements of your Austin property are properly dried out.
Let’s look at wood floors: if you have wood floors, and it turns out that they’re fully soaked, they’ll have to properly dry out before you can do any type of water damage restoration. You may actually have to remove and replace all of the floors if it’s that bad. Venturing into new construction, before the structure is completely dry, will also be problematic as you may encounter mold, which over time will cause your property to deteriorate. It’s very important to make sure that everything is dried out before you even begin moving forward.
Our local SERVPRO company uses top-quality drying equipment for our water damage cleanup & restoration jobs. Keep in mind that if you're not entirely sure of the extent of your damage, or whether you're really capable of cleaning it up properly on your own (remember, some effects of water damage may not be all that noticeable at first) then you should be safe and contact a professional water extraction and water damage restoration company, like our Austin-based SERVPRO company.
Other issues, such as mud, food and water safety, home furnishing restoration, and how to deal with wet floors and walls, among others will be covered in Part 2 of this article, Tips on Dealing with Major Water Damage Issues.
10 Great Tips for Preventing Water Damage in Austin
A pipe that's leaking or a broken hose can cause an extensive amount of water damage to your Austin property.
Stop Water Damage Before It Starts in Your Austin Home or Business
The thought of water damage to your Austin home or business got you down? Water damage occurs frequently in Austin, but the good news is there are some preventative tips you can take to help prevent or stop water damage before it progresses.
Leaky pipes and faulty hoses are often guilty culprits that should not be ignored. While easily replaceable, if you don't regularly check for leaks in these items, you might find yourself getting into a situation with extensive and costly water damage to your Austin home or business that could be difficult to repair.
However, there are some steps you can take to prevent any kind of water damage to your Austin home or business. It’s as easy as checking all of your leaky pipes, hoses and appliances.
Internal Household Water Damage Problems and Solutions
1. Your Appliances Can Be Your Enemy
We hate to put it that way, but it's true. And while we all have a need for household appliances, they also need to be taken care of over time. If these appliances should have leaky pipes and hoses, then take note, severe water damage is not that far away.
When you take into account all the water that’s being used by your washing machine and dishwasher, it's understandable how little leaks can quickly turn into messy situations, and if this goes on unattended, you may find that professional water extraction may be necessary. A small tear in a hose or pipe can expand if left alone and leak up to 200 gallons of water daily.
Your refrigerator can also be a guilty party, especially if it has an ice maker, which, let's face it, most modern refrigerators do. Many refrigerators with ice makers have copper pipes that funnel water to help produce the ice.
Should these pipes bend or crack, or if they aren’t fastened properly, then you’ll likely be dealing with a water leak. Copper pipes have a tendency to bend, so give your refrigerator a space of a few inches, so that the pipes don't get crushed, and you should alleviate your chances of water damage issues.
Think of how much water goes through your dishwasher. Gallons of water actually pass through its supply and discharge pipes…now imagine a leak in those pipes and the amount of water damage if the pipes aren't checked regularly? It’s not a pretty picture, your entire kitchen can be filled with soapy water.
While cracks in the pipes can often be the cause of this, you should also keep the pipes clear of food, which can break off during the wash cycle and clog your pipes. Be sure to always wash and rinse your dishes, cups and silverware before running your dishwasher, and make sure your dishwasher is full before you start it. Making sure it's full will use the water more effectively and help to prevent any possible flooding.
2. Give Your Water Main an Inspection
Locating where your water main is can also help prevent water damage. While Austin is usually warm, we do occasionally experience freezing temps in the winter. If the weather goes below freezing and stays there for a while, this can affect the integrity of your plumbing. Freezing temperatures and frost in Austin can cause damage to your plumbing and water main, especially if your outdoor spigots start to leak.
If you suspect leaks, the first test is to find your water main and turn it off, so you can check for any leaking pipes inside and outside. If you see any unexpected water leakage, such as a puddle on the floor or water stained walls, you may have a problem and if it's a real problem, you could require water extraction by a professional company like SERVPRO of East Central Austin. If it hasn't gone on too long, you may be able to remedy this with changing some pipes and hoses, but if it persists, then you should call a professional for more investigative work.
3. Upgrade Your Washing Machine Hoses to Prevent Increased Chances of Water Damage
If your washing machine has a leaky hose or a broken supply line, you could face major flooding. Washing machines hoses are actually a leading cause of water damage, because they’re used so frequently that they have a greater tendency to leak and break over multiple uses. This is why it’s important to inspect your washing machine hoses several times throughout the year for any kind of leaks as well as wear and tear. Another way to help determine if your washer has a leak is to install an automatic shut off valve, which will shut off the machine if pools of water should appear.
Shut-off valves vary in price, depending on what type you get, but can actually save you a bundle if you use them as a preventive measure against flooding and water damage.
4. Keep an Eye on Water Pressure in Your Austin home or Business
Another issue that can cause water damage Austin is if your water pressure is set too high. Checking the water pressure can help reduce the overall flow of water in your home or business. Using a water pressure gauge will help determine the correct flow through your hoses and pipes; they can be purchased at most hardware stores and are easy to operate. Simply attach the gauge to an outdoor faucet, turn on the water at full force and you’ll see the reading.
Standard water pressure should usually be between 40 to 70 psi. If you find that the pressure is, in fact, at too high a level, it can greatly affect your pipes and hoses. If your pressure exceeds 100 psi, then you’ll probably need a pressure regulator, which can help bring the pressure down.
5. Water Detectors: A Worthy Investment
Water detectors can be extremely helpful if you’re unable to check your hoses and pipes on a frequent basis. They are definitely helpful in identifying water leaks and preventing water damage Austin in addition to mold.
They are fairly affordable electronic devices that detect low moisture levels and alert you when water or moisture makes an unwanted appearance. They’re important in that they help find leaks and water spots that are often missed. It's recommended to get several of these to place near appliances, such as toilets, dishwashers, washing machines, water heaters, and sump pumps.
6. Check Your Water Bill
Another useful way to determine if you have leaks or pressure issues is to check your water bill. If your bill is pretty consistent, but then suddenly you notice a massive rise in cost, you may have a problem that needs further investigation to discover if you have leaks in your Austin business or home. Don’t ignore a rise in your water bill. You should thoroughly investigate places such as crawlspaces (some exist in Austin as well), under cabinets, walls, hoses and all of your indoor and outdoor plumbing for water damage. It may be inconvenient to check everything, but it’s better to be thorough, than to face the results of extensive water damage.
7. If You Live in Austin and Have a Leak, Get It Fixed
Any leak, even the smallest and most insignificant one, should be immediately addressed. While many leaks can be remedied with a simple repair, such as replacing a hose, others may require more extensive work and can become more serious if neglected. A burst pipe can cause major water damage, leading to the need for water extraction and water damage cleanup.
If the area is not properly cleaned, you’ll begin to see the spread of mold, mildew and dry rot.
Preventing External Water Damage Problems in Austin
8. Keep Track of Your Garden/Lawn Hoses
Whether you like to garden or you occasionally water the plants in the backyard, we often leave our garden hoses attached to the outdoor spigot. While it’s common to do this in Austin, where it’s usually warm, it’s not advisable in colder weather. Granted, Austin doesn't have a typical winter like the northeast and midwest, but it does get cold here, and if you leave your hoses connected when there’s a freeze, then there can be problems. There is actually a very substantial risk for water damage if you leave your hoses connected during a freeze.
Standing water in a hose can be a big problem as the water, once it freezes, can create a chunk of ice that gets lodged and prevents the flow of water. There is a high risk your pipes will burst if this type of blockage occurs, which can be expensive to remedy. Burst pipes can wreak havoc on your floors, walls and even your foundation. So always be sure to disconnect your hoses in the winter in Austin.
9. Clogged Gutters and Downspouts: Another Potential Water Damage Problem in Austin
If you ignore your gutters, and don't clean them often, you can face potential water damage. With leaves and branches flying all over the place, it’s inevitable that they will find their way into your gutters and get stuck. Once they get stuck, then the proper flow of water is restricted, and water can splatter all over your walls, causing not just problems with your gutters, but also with your foundation over time.
Gutters should be cleaned roughly twice a year to ensure that there’s a proper flow with no blockages. You should also check your roof if possible for any standing water; not only can these breed mosquitoes, but if the water just sits there, it can damage your roof, and those repairs are expensive.
In addition to your gutters, check your downspouts, which can also become blocked if neglected. Always point them away from your structure, so that water doesn't come in contact with your foundation. This will help prevent water damage Austin as the water is relocated away from your walls and flows into your yard.
10. Trees and Vegetation Can Affect your Pipes
If you have underground plumbing, utility pipes or a sprinkler system in your backyard, then there will be potential for your trees and shrubs to come into contact with your pipes. If not monitored, the roots of the trees and shrubs can become problematic. Their roots can actually grow deep into the ground and wrap themselves around your pipes. If you find you have problems with your utility pipes in Austin, then the roots may in fact be strangling them. If this is the case, then you may have to dig up and move trees, shrubs or other types of vegetation to get to the root of the problem (no pun intended).
How SERVPRO of East Central Austin Can Help
If you experience water damage and your damage is beyond something you can remedy on your own, SERVPRO of East Central Austin provides 24-hour emergency service for water damage needs. Our highly trained technicians will respond immediately to your residential or commercial emergency.
We can help with all aspects of water damage Austin, including water extraction, water damage cleanup and water damage restoration. We use only top of the line equipment for our cleanup services, and we make it "Like it never even happened."
Need help with your water damage issues? Call our local SERVPRO company today at (512) 420- 9886.
How to Prevent Water Damage in Austin
Water damage is a common problem in Austin, due to flooding issues.
Some of the biggest causes of water damage in Austin are excessive rain, floods, and storms. However, water damage can occur in a variety of other ways as well –from leaky pipes, broken hoses, faulty vents and clogged toilets in your home or commercial property. All of these can create a multitude of problems.
Consider this: If you have a small pipe in your Austin home or office, and there’s even a hairline crack in it, you could be leaking up to 200 gallons of water a day. Annual routine inspections of your pipes and appliances that use water, such as dishwashers, sinks, bathroom plumbing, washing machines, refrigerators, as well as replacing any hoses that are problematic will help prevent leaks before they happen or get out of hand.
While minor leak repair can save you a lot in the end, nothing can really prepare you for excessive flooding, especially in cities like Austin, Texas that are prone to heavy periods of rain and flooding. If you experience heavy water damage, flood and water damage to your home or business, then water damage restoration by a commercial cleaning service will be a necessity.
Harmful Types of Water Damage
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), states that there are three different types of water that can be harmful, because of their potential contaminants. These classifications often have no relation to storms or floods.
1) Clean Water: Clean water is often the result of an appliance that leaks or eventually breaks down. Overall, it’s not as dangerous as #s 2 & 3, but it shouldn't be ignored, as this type of water can cause problems down the road.
2) Grey Water: Grey water is wastewater without the fecal contamination, but that doesn't mean it’s not contaminated. Grey water derives from plumbing problems, including leaks, seepage, clogged dishwashers, washing machines and toilets that overflow. If not addressed, grey water can contain a large amount of biological contaminants that will make you sick, especially if you have asthma, allergies or respiratory problems.
3) Black Water: This type of water damage is considered extremely dangerous as it can host harmful bacteria derived from sewage backup, floodwater and backed up toilets. The abundance of contaminated waste in black water should not be taken lightly, as the waste and pathogens can produce harmful bacteria that can be detrimental to your health if not remediated immediately.
The Four Classes of Water Damage in Austin
While water can greatly damage a home or business, in most cases it’s the time frame of how the water evaporates that’s responsible for different levels of damage. The longer the evaporation, the more harmful the damage will likely be.
According to the IICRC, there are four different classes of water damage, all of which are based on their levels of toxicity. Porosity also plays a large role in the extent of the damage. If an Austin home or business uses materials with low porosity, then it’s likely that the materials will absorb a minimum of the overall moisture. Minor floods can cause damage to carpets, but if ignored, then the water will eventually seep into the walls and can weaken the stability of the structure. Temperature and the time frame in which the damage is cleaned can greatly impact the spread of toxins, including mold. This is why it’s crucial to immediately address and remediate any type of water damage, so that it doesn't gestate and cause further problems.
Class 1 is characterized by a slow rate of evaporation that usually affects building materials with low porosity. This means that the materials can actually absorb the water, which is usually a limited amount impacting a small part of a room, or even larger rooms with materials that can take in limited moisture.
Larger amounts of water can be ranked as Class 2. Here, the amount of water can impact an entire room, leaving carpeting and furniture at risk. Signs include water creeping up walls and staining them, causing damage to most structural materials.
Class 3 involves the greatest amount of water damage, with water soaked ceilings, walls, insulation and carpeting. In most cases, an entire room or house has fallen victim to the water damage.
Class 4 mainly revolves around the extent of drying time and if any building materials are salvageable. Of course this all depends on the overall extent of the damage. If your Austin home or business is made of materials with low or no porosity (brick, concrete, plaster, stone and wood), then there’s a greater chance that it will be harder to properly remediate the water damage. The materials may have experienced such saturation that it will take low specific humidity to prevent further issues.
Additional Water Damage Problems
While materials such as sheet rock, plaster and insulation can be affected by water damage, wood is also susceptible. If you have an older structure, largely constructed out of wood, water damage can affect the ceiling beams and floorboards. Excess water if not properly remediated, can waterlog beams and cause extensive damage and sagging from the excess weight. If the damage is extreme, them beams and floorboards, including the subfloor, may have to be replaced. In addition to the possibility of wood sagging for the water, beams and floorboards can also become warped and bring on mold and mildew. If caught early and properly dehumidified, the wood can be properly dried out and not have to be replaced.
Some Ideas on Preventing Water Damage
As Austin is particularly susceptible to flooding, you should prepare yourself and your property from any potential water damage that flooding can cause.
- Gutters: Most people don’t regularly clean their gutters. Leaves, twigs and other objects land in your gutters and just sit there. When a storm occurs, all of those objects will most likely stay there and clog the downspouts. With nowhere to go, all that water can run down the side of your house and business and seep into the foundation, walls and floors, leading to water damage and mold. Keep your gutters clean and if you have downspouts, position them at least ten feet from your structure, so that the water doesn't have contact with your structure.
- Sump Pumps: If your Austin home has a basement, you should always check your sump pump to make sure that it’s working, especially when inclement weather is on the rise.
- Fixing Leaks: It’s important to maintain the quality of hoses and pipes, by repairing any leaks that you may find. Pipes can leak through sealant and caulk if it’s old. Check for dark spots around pipes, as well as on the ceiling. Replace any damaged or loose shingles on your roof; this can help stop leaks and also prevent your roof from rotting in the future.
Also, be sure to check out our article: 10 Great Tips for Preventing Water Damage in Austin.
By taking some routine steps to prevent water damage, your home or business should be able to withstand a flood or rainstorm. However if you should experience water damage, and are not able to remedy it on your own, you will need to call a professional cleaning service, like SERVPRO of East Central Austin, to take care of it for you.
Austin Water Restoration Process
Armando is strategically placing an air mover at one of our downtown Austin commercial jobs. There's science involved in water damage restoration.
Restoring Your Austin Property after Water Damage
Have you recently had water damage in your Austin home or business, and are not sure how to handle it? You're 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 Austin TX 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's stressful and many times you don't know 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, so it's 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 happened. Our SERVPRO professionals are highly trained and certified Austin water damage restoration technicians, and we can handle all your water damage restoration water extraction needs.
The first step to restoring your Austin TX 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's in your Austin home. It's important to note how quickly water can permanently damage organic material. Unfortunately, it's 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 lesson the chance of secondary issues such as mold growth.
If mold does begin to grow in your Austin home or business, you may need to have mold remediation as well.
Your first step to restoring your home or business is to call 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 SERVPRO of East Central Austin uses cleaning techniques to provide sanitizing, deodorization and disposal to decrease the possibility of microbial growth.
Odor Removal and DeodorizationWe 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 don’t work when your odor problem is serious or persistent.
Sanitizing TreatmentsDepending on the scenario, we may use antimicrobial, antibacterial, or disinfectant treatments to clean your property.
DisposalWe will remove and dispose of damaged materials with guidance from you and your insurance adjuster.
Faster to your Austin area Water Damage Event
Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of East Central Austin provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.
Faster To Any Size Disaster
Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of East Central Austin arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.
Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – 512-420-9886
Water Damage Timeline
- Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
- Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
- Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
- Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.
Hours 1 - 24:
- Drywall begins to swell and break down.
- Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
- Furniture begins to swell and crack.
- Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
- A musty odor appears.
48 Hours to 1 Week:
- Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
- Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
- Metal begins to rust and corrode.
- Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
- Paint begins to blister.
- Wood flooring swells and warps.
- Serious biohazard contamination is possible.
More Than 1 Week:
- Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
- Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.
About SERVPRO of East Central Austin
SERVPRO of East Central Austin specializes 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.
Austin, 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service
SERVPRO of East Central Austin is 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
Call Today - (512) 420-9886
We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of East Central Austin has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's 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.
Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:
- 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)?
About SERVPRO of East Central Austin
SERVPRO of East Central Austin specializes 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.