Recent Posts

3 Tips for Removing Cigarette Odor from Your Home

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

smoke on walls of a kitchen after a fire Fire damage in Tarrytown, TX.

Implement The Following Tips

Has your home in Tarrytown, TX, suffered a cigarette fire? Besides the damages, getting the smell of smoke out is a nightmare. There are some tips that aid in this process.

1. Charcoal and White Vinegar
This method is by far the cheapest of many options as both charcoal and white vinegar are easy to come by from your local grocery or hardware store. By keeping open containers of either charcoal or white vinegar in your home, the cigarette smell is slowly absorbed out of the air. Keep in mind that this method only works for milder pockets of odor, so you might need something more heavy-duty if you've suffered a large ashtray fire.

2. Air Filters
If the solution above isn't as fast or as effective as you require, you might try an air filter. Since you're dealing with a very complex pollutant composed of many particles and gases of varying sizes, your best option is a HEPA filter. There are different ratings of filters based on what size particle you want to filter. Each filter is rated on a scale of 1 to 20 called a MERV rating. This tells you what size particle a filter effectively removes from the air. The higher the rating, the smaller particles it is capable of filtering. With a cigarette fire or odor, you should use a filter with a MERV rating of 18 or higher.

3. Contact a Professional
If these DIY tips aren't solving your issue, it's time to contact a fire cleanup and odor removal specialist. These experts come with equipment that's designed exactly for this job, and they know how to use it with efficiency. One piece of tech many pros use is a hydroxyl generator. This device produces a harmless charged variant of water particles to break up odor molecules. This helps deal with the smell, and more advanced filters are used to deal with the pollutants.
Don't suffer from a lingering cigarette fire odor. Implement these tips and breathe easier.

The Absolute Necessity of Good Commercial Storm Insurance

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

roof damaged by high wind storm. Roof damaged by a storm.

Storm Insurance Can Protect Your Company From Storm Damage

If there is one thing a business owner or manager knows, it is that nothing can be taken for granted. Stuff happens every day, and it is not always good. Storms have the potential to inflict serious damage to your company in Allandale, TX. With the right precautions, you can limit or eliminate some instances of storm damage, but no safeguards are infallible. This is why commercial storm insurance is mandatory to protect your company and manage risks. Powerful storms can break windows, rip off roofing systems, start fires and cause flooding.

Understanding the Aspects of Your Insurance Coverage
Your policy is structured in a fairly straightforward way. It is important that you understand the policy so you won't be surprised by large bills. Your insurance agent can explain your policy in detail. In the simplest terms, a storm insurance policy has the following features:

  • The annual premiums your pay for coverage
  • The deductibles for each storm damage event
  • The areas of coverage and the exceptions

In most cases, the damage caused by a storm will be covered by your policy. You still have a responsibility to act quickly and appropriately when scheduling cleanup and restoration services. Some situations, such as flooding from the rising waters of streams, lakes and oceans, require specific flood insurance.

Acting Quickly for Storm Restoration Services
Water coming into your business from a storm can cause damage in many different ways. It is important to act quickly. A SERVPRO franchise can arrive Faster to Any Size Disaster. Its workers are experts in storm remediation. Highly-trained technicians will use powerful vacuums to remove standing water, and they will use industrial fans to dry out areas of your building, preventing mold growth. They can also restore structural damage to your facility. All things considered, storm insurance and expert restoration are cornerstones of protecting your company from storm damage.

Water Damage May Lead to Secondary Damage

3/16/2021 (Permalink)

baseboard damaged by water and mold growth Water and mold damage in a Hyde Park, TX home.

Water and Mold Damage

Whether from a slow leak, pipe burst or flood, unwanted water in your Hyde Park, TX, home can be overwhelming. Along with worrying about cleaning up and salvaging belongings, secondary damage becomes a concern. The longer water sits, the more it leads to additional headaches, such as black mold.

Beyond Visible Damage
While standing water is a clearly visible sign of trouble, water issues often have a way of sneaking up on you. If the problem has been hidden for a while, there is a good chance that the damage has spread and taken on new forms. Even a small leak may present more problems than it may seem. When it comes to water damage, evaporation and high humidity are two components that pave the way for additional damage. If the initial damage isn’t properly addressed, those two culprits lead to:

  • Black mold growth
  • Cracked plaster or sheetrock
  • Walls, floors and ceilings warping
  • Water stains

Prevention Tips
Since moisture in the air may quickly start to condense throughout a home, materials that weren’t even near the source of the original problem can become wet. Once high humidity is factored in, getting everything dried out becomes much more difficult. Taking fast action is key to avoiding growing damage. Along with calling a water and mold damage restoration professional, who will have the expertise and commercial-grade tools to properly restore your home, it’s vital to take a few initial steps to start the drying process:

  • Extract any standing water.
  • Ventilate the area to increase airflow.
  • Open any drawers and cupboards.
  • Remove any saturated textiles, such as rugs and curtains.
  • If furniture can’t be moved, raise it from the floor to avoid water wicking up.

Water damage doesn’t have to mean dealing with black mold. Immediately addressing water issues and taking steps to dry out the home can reduce the chances of additional damage.

How to Tell When the Water From a Leak is Unsanitary

2/24/2021 (Permalink)

Background of clear water, with the phrase WATER CATEGORIES There are three categories of water that can flood commercial properties in Leander, TX.

There are three categories of water that can flood commercial properties in Leander, TX, ranging according to their severity. Blackwater is the most unsanitary and requires professional attention. Unsanitary water can make its way into a building due to:

  • Floods from inclement weather
  • Full septic tanks
  • Overflowing toilets

Here are some things to know about the water that can leak into your property.

Water Categories

Unsanitary water ranges in severity and can be identified according to its source. Water that makes its way into a building from water supply lines is considered category 1 as long as it does not have debris. If the water is drinkable, it is clean water. Category 2 water has been gently used and is unsanitary. This is the type of water that comes from sinks, laundry rooms, and showers. Category 3 water is the worst of the three and is highly toxic.

Sources of Category 3 Water
Category 3 water, or black water, is contaminated with debris, fecal matter, and other harmful toxins. It is sourced from sewers and can cause extreme damage to a building. Before cleaning contaminated water, you should take care to protect yourself by wearing appropriate gear. If the job is too much for one person to clean, contact a professional water damage restoration service to help with sewage cleanup and restoring your property.

Steps to Take in Case of a Flood
If you have encountered a flood in your building, take immediate action to prevent severe water damages. Firstly, identify the source of the leak. Knowing the source will help you identify the category of water that is entering your property. Then, shut off the main water supply line to stop the water from leaking into the building. Once the water is shut off and the leak has stopped, take the proper steps to clean your property. Call a professional cleaning service to avoid the hassle of cleaning it yourself.
SERVPRO cleanup and restoration services will help you in case of black water damage. If you have encountered a severe flood in your building, take steps immediately to prevent worse damages from developing.

How To Avoid Spending Money on Water Damage Repairs

2/17/2021 (Permalink)

warped wall and wooden floor Water damage in Cedar Creek, TX.

How To Avoid Spending Money on Water Damage Repairs

While insurance can help you pay for emergency restoration services, you probably want to avoid making a business claim entirely. Unfortunately, there are lots of disasters that could force you to contact your insurer.
Freezing and water damage is the second most common cause of small business insurance claims. This category encompasses many types of losses, including:

  • Corrosion
  • Warped floors or walls
  • Destroyed carpets or inventory
  • Structural harm
  • Mold growth

A typical water or freezing claim costs $17,000. Some disasters, including floods and mold growth, are typically excluded from commercial policies. However, you can add endorsements to provide further coverage. Here are some other ways to avoid spending your company's hard-earned money on water damage repairs.

Plan Ahead
First, you should develop a disaster plan. This should include purchasing the proper insurance. Keeping your policy up-to-date and buying endorsements can limit the out-of-pocket expenses that your Cedar Creek, TX, company incurs following an emergency. Do not wait until you have to file a business claim to check that you have sufficient coverage.
Your plan should also detail the resources you will have available along with processes for minimizing and assessing the damage following the disaster. Be sure to include a strategy for keeping your company operational following the water loss, as well.

Prevent Water and Freezing Damage
Of course, the best way to limit how much you spend on emergency repairs is to prevent water disasters entirely. There are several ways to do this. Start by sealing any gaps or cracks in the foundation. This should prevent water from leaking into the building during a rainstorm. You should also clean the downspouts and gutters regularly.
A frozen pipe break can cause significant harm, as well. You should thus insulate the pipes and keep the premises' temperature above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
A business claim should help you pay for repairs following a water loss. Since these repairs can be costly, you should maintain your policy and prevent excess water from entering your premises.

How To Prevent Mold Growth

2/4/2021 (Permalink)

Background of mold, sign that says ANYWHERE Mold can grow almost anywhere. All it needs is some moisture and the right temperature.

Prevent Mold Growth In Your Business

Black mold is one of the more notorious varieties of mold growth, but all types can be problematic for your Bastrop, TX, business. Knowing the most common locations for mold growth as well as a few preventive measures can help you keep your commercial building mold-free and ready for business.

Mold Growth Locations
Mold needs warmth, water, and a food source to grow. Anywhere with these three elements can foster mold growth. Unfortunately, most indoor locations are sufficiently warm and have a variety of food sources available. The following are some common places black mold and other varieties of fungus may grow in a commercial building:

  • Bathrooms
  • Live plants
  • Paperwork
  • Air ducts


Perform routine inspections for signs of mold growth to catch problems early. Large, uncontrolled areas of mold growth are likely to require a professional restoration service.

Preventive Measures
Keeping your commercial building dry is a sure-fire way to prevent a mold infestation. Without moisture, the spores will not be able to grow. Keep the indoor humidity below 50%, and clean up spills and leaks as quickly as possible. It may be necessary to run a dehumidifier in humid areas.
Routine maintenance of the HVAC system also decreases the likelihood of a mold infestation. Clean ducts have less dust for mold to eat and are less likely to spread mold spores throughout the building.
Installing an air purifier with a HEPA filter is another way to decrease the number of spores circulating through the air. High-quality filtration systems are able to capture many of the spores before they have a chance to colonize.
Decreasing the number of mold spores and minimizing the food and moisture available will hinder the growth of black mold and other fungal nuisances. While it may be impossible to prevent all mold growth, routine inspections can help you spot new growth before it becomes a major problem.

Keeping Your Pet Fire Safe

1/29/2021 (Permalink)

Pomeranian dressed as fire fighter Prepare your pet for a fire emergency

Keeping Your Pet Fire Safe

Your pets are a part of your family, and as such, it’s only natural that you’d want to protect them in the event a fire occurs in your home. Unfortunately, many homeowners in Austin, TX fail to include their dog, cat, or other pet in their family fire emergency plan, leading to heartbreaking outcomes. However, by preparing your pet for fire emergencies early on, you can keep your furry friend safe from harm. These extra precautions are sometimes as simple as:

  • Taking a few common fire prevention precautions
  • Training your pet to respond to your voice
  • Setting up a proper safe space for your pet while you’re away.

Reducing Fire Hazards

It’s estimated that unattended pets are responsible for almost 1,000 house fires annually. Ensure that you’re not leaving any open flames, such as candles, unattended, remove your stove’s knobs while you’re away so they can’t be turned by curious paws, and consider securing your pet in a safe place while you’re not around to supervise them.

Prepare for Disasters

If a fire does start on your lot, you and your pet both need to be prepared. First, ensure that you have fire emergency supplies such as food and medication for your pet on hand. Pet preparation can also be made just a bit easier if you take the time to teach your pet to come running when they hear you call their name.

When You’re Not Home

Fires happen when you least expect them, including when you’re not at home. That’s why you need to make it easy for rescue services to help your pet if this situation does arise. Keep your pet on a collar, keep a leash nearby and secure them somewhere near the door while you’re away. Furthermore, keep your vaccination and pet ownership records in a fire box.

Preparing your pet for a fire emergency can take a bit of time and patience, but in the end, it’s well worth it if it means keeping your companion safe.

What You Need To Know About Water Damage

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Water damaged baseboard wall and caused secondary damage Water damage in Austin, TX

Stay Prepared In Case Of An Emergency

Water damage in Austin, TX, can cause many issues for your home. Although some water damage can sometimes be avoided, things like a pipe burst or natural disaster can cause unavoidable damage. It's important to act quickly and know how to deal with water damage so that you can begin the restoration process as soon as possible. Water damage is a homeowner's worst nightmare, but referring to this quick guide about water damage can help you stay prepared in case of an emergency.


Why It Happens
In order to understand how to deal with water damage, it's important to know how it happens. Water damage can occur for a number of reasons or situations. Some common causes of water damage include:

  • A plumbing issue such as a pipe burst
  • Basement or attic water collection
  • Natural disasters, such as floods
  • Dishwasher or other appliance issues


In order to deal with water damage, you must first understand where it is coming from. Identifying the source of the issue will help you determine the next steps.


Clean-Up Process
Cleaning up after water damage caused by flooding or other issue will depend on the issue and the level of severity. You can begin by removing any damaged belongings, such as household items or furniture, and leaving it out to dry. However, things like building materials may take more restoration than this.
As you begin to clean up damage, consider calling a water restoration company to help you assess damages and start the restoration process.


Beginning Restoration
If you have significant damage, there will be a longer restoration process. A professional water restoration company will bring specialized equipment to help you dry out your home and avoid mold growth. Building materials such as drywall or carpets may need to be replaced or restored. You should also document all damages for insurance purposes during this time.
Although water damage from a water line, pipe burst, or other issues can be a hassle, having basic information about it will help you act quickly to avoid any lasting issues.

What To Consider Before Meeting a Commercial Fire Insurance Adjuster

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Bastrop, TX

A blaze in your Bastrop, TX, commercial building can be a stressful experience. The fire damage could appear overwhelming. While emergency restoration specialists can assist with the cleanup, you may need to file an insurance claim to pay for the remediation. This can lead to additional frustration. To help things go more smoothly, consider the following before meeting with your insurance adjuster.

Types of Damage

The heat and flames from a fire can harm various parts of your property. The water used to suppress the fire can cause damage, as well. The disaster could thus affect:

  • The structural integrity of the building
  • Important equipment
  • Valuable electronics


Your adjuster will likely want proof of the damage to your building. Look for photos of the property that you took prior to the fire. You can then present those images alongside pictures from after the blaze. If you do not have any “before” pictures, use blueprints and receipts to demonstrate the previous structure of the building and the assets that were inside it.


Extent of Coverage
Ideally, your insurance will pay for most or all of the fire damage restoration. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. If your policy only offers limited coverage, try to get help from a public adjuster or your agent.


Trusted Contractors
Be sure to approve the contractors used by the insurance company before the repair work begins. Do not allow the insurer to hire workers who use dangerous materials such as lead or asbestos.


Required Documents
Finally, ask the insurance adjuster if you need to provide any additional documents as part of your claim. If the provider works with a forensic auditor, you may need to produce certain financial statements.
Before you make your fire damage claim, make sure that you understand your policy and gather the evidence and documents you need. You should also check that your insurance provider uses trusted and reliable contractors for the repairs. This should make the fire mitigation process more efficient.

Understanding and Preventing Roof Hail Damage

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Insurance adjuster marked the hail damage on a insureds roof. Hail damaged roof in Cedar Creek, TX

Your home can take a beating during severe weather with hail in Cedar Creek, TX. Hail damage roof specialists can advise homeowners about how hail damage can occur and how their roofs can withstand mother nature's pummeling.

How Hail Damage Occurs

Hailstones are irregularly-shaped ice particles that form when water droplets freeze together in large clouds. They fall to the earth when they become too heavy to remain in the atmosphere. The velocity of heavy hailstones increases as they fall, leading to the subsequent damage when they land on a roof, including:

  • Holes and cracks in shingles
  • Loosening and loss of shingles
  • Granulation of protective shingle seals
  • Cracking of the shingle underlayer


If severe weather compromises your roof's integrity, a hail damage roof professional can assess the problem and suggest appropriate measures to prevent further complications. Undertaking hail damage repair immediately will ensure that water from snow, ice, and rain does not penetrate your home. Water that enters your home can promote mold, requiring professional remediation services if it contaminates the space within walls and ceilings or the air.


Measures To Protect Your Home
You can take various protective measures to ensure that your home withstands a hailstorm. Start by scheduling routine roof inspections before the winter. Repairing and replacing shingles, gutters, and possibly an entire roof can protect your roof and your whole house from the harshest hailstorms. In some regions, homeowners who choose hail-resistant roof materials may qualify for lower home insurance premiums.
You can also check the interior ceilings and walls directly below your roof routinely for stains, which are telltale signs of leaks. Your roof's age or sun exposure can cause small fissures and shingle deterioration that can worsen during a hailstorm. Addressing leaks at the earliest signs can help reduce hail damage repair.
Hail damage roof repair can protect your home from leaks and floods, but if water damage occurs, you can count on help cleaning up from a flood restoration service in Cedar Creek, TX.