Effective Methods for Removing Water From Basements
Flood Water Damage
During times of heavy rainfall in Austin, TX, basements may accumulate up to two feet or more of rainwater. Flood water can take days to remove from a basement without the necessary help and equipment. There are a few methods to effectively remove hundreds of gallons of water from your building.
Heavy Water Removal
Once the ground has become saturated, rainwater must find other areas to escape, whether that is to city drainage systems, ditches or basements. There are several reasons that you might not be able to prevent excess water from entering a building:
• Property is located on a floodplain
• Basement wall or foundation has poor construction
• Damage has occurred to drainage pipes
• Blockage or overflow occurs in city’s main drains
• Drainage equipment or pump is not running
If you have a heavily flooded basement every time there are storms in your area, you may need to keep a trash pump handy, which pumps out hundreds of gallons of water per minute. This would give you more time to focus on cleaning up any damage that may have occurred.
Although a couple of inches of water might not be as difficult to pump out, it can still leave the building smelling of mildew or cause mold to form over time. If this is the case, you may want to keep a sump pump at the lowest point of your basement.
A sump pump may be capable of pumping out excess water from your basement as a preventative measure and can sit idly for months without use. To make sure it stays working, you may need to check on it periodically.
If you are the owner of a property in Austin, TX, you may not have the time or equipment for dealing with this type of devastation. With the help of a professional cleanup crew, you may be able to quickly recover from a flood and get back on your feet.
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Four Common Myths About Mold
Mold Damage can be hazardous in your Austin Texas home
Mold is something that a lot of people have heard about but may not fully comprehend. It’s on old food, health inspectors look for it, and it can be costly for commercial building owners in Austin, TX. However, if someone is part of the last group, it’s important to know the truths and myths about mold growth.
1. Black Mold Is the Most Dangerous Type of Mold
This is partially false. Black mold is dangerous, but it isn’t the only type that should worry a commercial building owner. If any type of mold is found, it should be considered dangerous and immediately quarantined until a professional cleaning service can be called.
2. Water and Mold Damage Ruin Everything
This is a complete myth. While restoration of electronics should be left entirely to the professionals, it is very possible to clean items exposed to mold growth. It may take some time, but most, if not all, of the belongings can be brought back to normal.
3. Water Damage Is the Only Cause of Mold
Mold can grow in multiple ways. One involves water, but high humidity can cause mold to manifest as well. Unless the humidity inside is kept under 45 percent, spores can begin show up within two to three days. It is better to keep the interior of the building cool and dry to maintain the structure.
4. Mold Can Be Completely Eradicated
Probably one of the biggest myths is that mold can be completely removed. Unless the structure is a laboratory, spores of different varieties will be present. In fact, there is a level that is considered normal for most buildings. Mold can become hazardous when the concentration of spores goes over a certain threshold.
There are many responsibilities to maintaining any structure. That is why it’s always important to know the truths and myths about mold growth.
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Grease Fire Safety Tips
Grease fire in Austin Texas
The oil in your pan starts to smoke at your home in Austin, TX. Your smoky dinner can quickly go from disappointing to devastating if the oil turns into a grease fire. These types of fire are extremely hot and spread fast, so know how to snuff the small fire before it turns into a whole house blaze.
1. Do not put water on the flames. Water and oil do not mix. When you pour water on a grease fire, the water turns into steam and pushes the oil and fire out of the pan. This causes the fire to spread.
2. Cut the fire off at the source. First, turn off the source of heat on the stovetop. Then, cut off the source of oxygen to the fire by putting a lid on the burning pot. If you do not have a metal lid nearby, use a baking sheet or a pan. Leave the lid on for an extended period of time so the fire does not reignite.
3. Dump baking soda or salt on the blaze. If you have a significant amount of baking soda on hand, pour it on the fire. Salt also works because of the high melting point. However, do not pour sugar, flour or baking powder on the fire. Not only do these powders not work, but they can make the fire worse.
4. Douse the flames with a fire extinguisher. Extinguishers are made for different types of fires. Keep a Class B or a combination extinguisher, such as Class ABC in your kitchen for emergencies. Class B is specifically designed for flammable liquids, such as oil and grease.
5. Call for help. Once the fire spreads beyond the stovetop, do not attempt to put it out yourself. Immediately evacuate and call 911.
When using oil in the kitchen, never leave your cooking unattended. If a grease fire starts at your home in Austin, TX, take immediate, appropriate action before it spreads. Sometimes you cannot contain the blaze alone. Trust the professionals to help. Call firefighters to douse the flames and a fire restoration specialist to lead the way in fire cleanup and repair.
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3 Types of Contaminated Water You Deal With After a Flood
Austin Texas Residential Flooding
If you’ve never dealt with a flood, count yourself lucky. Those homeowners who have experienced this inconvenience and potential disaster know the dangers and the costs associated with water making its way into your home. It’s important to remember that Austin, TX, floods can introduce contaminated water. This type of water comes in three forms or levels. If you can identify these types, it will be easier for you to know how to clean up and properly and what type of help you should seek.
Category 1: Clean Water
At the very least, when you experience flooding in your basement or in any part of your home, you’ll have Category 1 water to deal with. It has some of the following characteristics and concerns.
• Leaks into your home from a broken or damaged water supply line.
• Comes from a leaky faucet in a kitchen or bathroom.
• Can become worse if you don’t address it quickly.
Category 2: Gray Water
Gray water is a more serious form of contaminated water that can come from appliances such as your washer or dishwasher. If someone ingests this water, he or she could become sick because the water could contain bacteria. However, if you don’t properly clean this up or fix the problem, the water could develop into Category 3 water.
Category 3: Black Water
This floodwater is a grave concern because it contains sewage, including feces and harmful microbes. It can cause serious illness or even death if ingested. This contaminated water will come from rivers or from your toilet bowl. It’s essential to contact a professional immediately to remedy this hazard.
When you understand the types of contaminated water you face after a flood, you’ll know how to act properly. A professional company can help you get things back to normal at home.
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Steps to Repair Water Damaged Electronics
After investing heavily in the equipment and technology that keep your business in action, flooded electronics and the ensuing water damage can feel overwhelming. Is it possible to repair the damage on your own?
One of the most serious causes of damage is the corrosion caused by hidden moisture. The combination of metal, water, and oxygen creates an iron oxide, or rust. This gradually breaks down the metals within your equipment. The damage may be apparent within a few hours, but it could also take days before you notice it. The damage to flooded electronics isn't limited to your equipment. Your outlets, circuit interrupters, light switches, timers, and other wired conveniences often experience electronic damage.
As you begin cleaning up after water damage, carefully consider the risks. It is possible and often very likely that you'll cause further damage to the equipment, and you could put yourself at risk of injury. Some solutions sold for rust removal aren't appropriate for all kinds of technology.
• Unplug the device and remove batteries. Be aware of exposed connectors that may be fragile or affected by corrosion.
• Watch out for white or green buildup on charging ports or battery, SIM card, and metal connectors. These are areas of corrosion.
• Use cotton swabs or a soft cloth and a gentle cleaning solution to wash off the corrosion. The cleaning solution may be a mix of baking soda and water, vinegar, or isopropyl alcohol. If the corrosion doesn't come off with gently wiping, you may need to let the solution sit on the area and wipe it off later.
• Allow the electronics to dry completely before plugging it in or replacing batteries. Do not use a heated hair dryer on equipment.
The best step for cleaning your electronics is to contact a professional in Austin, TX. You risk doing further damage to the equipment, suffering from injuries, and voiding insurance coverage or equipment warranties when you DIY this task. Keep these risks in mind before trying to clean corrosion from flooded electronics on your own.
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Spring Storm Strategy
Storm Damage and flooding in commercial building
When preparing for an upcoming spring storm, protecting your home is your priority and something you take seriously. As a business owner, you have to do double duty because it is crucial to ensure that your business is as secure as your home. Here are a few ways to help you avoid storm damage to your commercial property:
1. Watch, Listen, or Read
By watching the local Austin, TX, news channel, listening to the radio on your way to work, or reading a weather app on your phone, you can know what is coming your way and how to prepare for it.
Be knowledgeable about where your pipes are located. With a quick visit to the hardware store, you can gather insulation supplies for the pipes that are easy to reach. Hate the drip, drip, drip from a leaky faucet? In the event of a cold front that brings freezing weather, turning the faucet on to a drip can help you avoid a potential serious and costly pipe break. This is because the drip keeps the water moving in the pipe and doesn’t allow it to sit and freeze. When left alone, the water can freeze and expand, and this pressure is what will break a pipe.
3. Ask for Help
Utilize others’ knowledge on how to keep your business safe. Know who you can call to help prevent damage or to fix an already broken pipe. Save the phone number of a clean-up and restoration company in your phone contacts for quick reference in case of an emergency.
No one wants to deal with the headache of storm damage or a pipe break. By being prepared and creating a plan for your business, you can ease the burden of an upcoming winter storm. Your business storm strategy can also be easily applied to your home so that you won’t have to worry if a storm hits while you’re at work.
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Downtown Austin Commercial Building Flood - Drone vs Fire System Sprinkler
Extracting water after a commercial flood.
SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin received a call from a downtown Austin Commercial Property Management Company shortly after 5:00 pm one weekday evening. They had a fairly large water loss. What was really surprising is that a 10-12 inch Drone was the cause. They were flying the Drone inside and hit a sprinkler head resulting in aprox. 20,000 sf of Water Damage on 4 floors. Personnel on site said it took them approximately 45 minutes to find the water shut off which is a big factor in why on sprinkler head cause so much damage.
There are a couple of things to learn here. First, is take your Drone outside to fly it. Second, is Call SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin and ask about our Emergency Ready Program (ERP). It's a mobile application for your Smart Phone that is designed to assist in a situation just like this. We will assist with the install and add photos showing where all the shuts off are along with any important info you want your staff to know in the time of an Emergency.
Link - SERVPRO Emergency Ready Program App
This is a must have for all Commercial Proper Mangers, Maintenance Personnel and Engineers. If they would have had us set them up with our ERP, they would been able to shut the water off within minutes. A few swipes on their Smart Phone and they would have known exactly where to go for the water shutoff. Tap one more button and they would have been on the phone with us directly.
Give us a call, we will handle setting you up on our Emergency Ready Program.
Soft contents cleaning at is finest - Austin, TX - SERVPRO
Our Esporta IS4000 ready sitting there ready for your Soot damaged contents
SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin has the all new Esporta IS4000.
This new machine allows us to clean soft contents to a food grade clean.
Not only can we clean large quantities of clothing, bed spreads, towels and every typical laundry item you do at home now, we can clean items such as football helmets, knee pad, shoulder pads, stuffed animals, ball caps and shoe to name just a few.
The Esporta IS4000 had patented technology and chemical formulations. The really amazing part that's make this machine different than any other machine is has the capability to clean all these items to a food grade clean. We can now take an item that came from a mold or sewage loss and clean it to a measurable food grade clean.
It not just about can we get your soft contents clean we can get them food grade clean. Ask your local cleaners if they can do that.
To see some of our job before and after photos Click Here
Severe Storm Tips from SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin
Sand Bags deterring flood waters
When regional flooding is imminent sand bags are often used to good effect to keep water or storm surge at bay. Bags filled with sand are placed one on top of the other around low lying areas to create a dam. There are however a few downfalls. First you must find the materials needed and labor required to fill, and place the bags. Sand bags and sand is not always available when needed. While emergency services may have access to an infinite number of bags and sand, the general public usually does not. Box stores run out in short time leaving supplies low or completely unavailable. What then does one do when the bags and sand are gone? “Play sand”! It is very common that a store will be sold out of sand and bags, but have bagged “play sand”. Play sand is commonly sold for backyard play grounds and is often overlooked by potential purchasers. Play sand is a bit more expensive than bulk sand and bags, but because there is no labor to fill the bag. However it is ready to use straight out of the store! Remember this simple trick and it may save your home next time a serious weather event is on its way!
Call SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin if you need assistance.
SERVPRO Hyde Park / Central Austin Saves Sunday Mass Confusion
Crew harnessed in on the scissor lift
Recent storm activity produced heavy rains and flooding in Austin, TX. Local SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin is called out for a water damage job caused by a leaking roof at local church. Church officials requested all work be completed for Sunday Mass.
The High ceiling and Church pews made for a challenging job. The SERVPRO Team obtained a scissor lift so crews could start work right away. The crew used masonite to protect the carpet and tile flooring from the weight of the heavy scissor lift and the hard rubber tires. Crews worked carefully and diligently to get the wet drywall removed prior drying all the remaining structure materials.
The SERVPRO crews finished their job in 4 days leaving the church with plenty of time to prepare for Sunday Mass.
To see some of our job before and after photos Click Here