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4 Signs You Have a Leaky Shower

3/17/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 4 Signs You Have a Leaky Shower A shower leak can cause big problems in your Austin, TX home

Leaky Shower

Because you use it so frequently, a shower or bathtub leak can cause big problems in your Austin, TX home. Sometimes, the leak can cause quite a bit of damage before you’ve noticed it. Here are a few signs to look out for that might indicate a leak in your bathroom.

1. Damaged Wall or Floor Structure

Over time, an undiscovered bathtub leak can cause severe damage to the structure of your house. If the walls or floors in your bathroom, or even the rooms around it, start to weaken, it might mean that there is a leak you cannot see.

2. A Musty Odor

Where there is water damage, there is often mold as well. If the leak is coming from the plumbing inside of the walls, you may be able to smell the growth before you can see it. If your bathroom is giving off a strong, musty odor that persists after cleaning, it is probably caused by a hidden mold growth.

3. Water Stains on the Ceiling Underneath

If you see water stains on the ceiling beneath your bathroom, this might be caused by a shower pan leak. Older shower pans that have worn out or new ones that have been installed incorrectly can cause damage to the surrounding area.

4. An Unexpectedly High Water Bill

Sometimes, the first sign of a problem is not visual damage. If there is a continuous leak in your home, you might end up paying a lot more for water than you were expecting. If your bill looks too high for the amount of water you use, then a leak might be to blame.

If you see any of these signs of a shower or bathtub leak, you should have it examined quickly. Because water can cause a lot of damage to the structure of your home if it’s not dealt with, it is a good idea to contact a water damage remediation company as soon as you notice the problem.

Frustrated With Recurring Mold? Read This

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Frustrated With Recurring Mold? Read This Mold spores thrive on moisture

Black mold in Austin, TX homes is troublesome. The fungus looks bad and smells even worse. When it appears in your home you may try to remove it, but it is likely to return. To avoid a recurrence, it helps to learn more about mold.

A Closer Look at Mold

Mold spores exist indoors and outdoors. Moisture transforms microscopic mold spores into a full-fledged mold problem. The spores float around and can enter your home in many ways. A few of these entry points include:

  • AC/heating systems
  • Doorways
  • Windows
  • Pets
  • Clothing

The fungus thrives in conditions where there is excessive moisture. This is why basements, crawl spaces and attics are prime spots for fungus growth. Additionally, it's easy to identify. It has a musty odor along with green or gray coloration.

Why Black Mold Appears in Your Home

Mold is difficult to remove and even more difficult to keep it away. No matter how much effort you invest in keeping your home clean, you are fighting an uphill battle with this fungus. It is not enough to clean mold from the surface of walls, floors, showers or other areas. The reason is that you must track down the water source that is "feeding" the mold.

How do you remedy this situation? You must locate the water source. When this is done, the mold won't return. Keep in mind, it is not recommended that you take this on as a DIY project. This is a job that requires extensive repair, cleaning and expertise. The best step to take is to work with an emergency restoration service.

It is always good to take preventive steps to reduce mold from appearing. But no matter how clean you keep your home, black mold spores exist. Because of that, any contact with extensive moisture often leads to a fungus infestation. Mold cleanup is not something you do on your own. It is best to seek assistance from mold remediation specialists.

Got Mold?

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Got Mold? Mold Damage in a Residential Home.

SERVPRO of Hyde Park/Central Austin has been completing mold remediation projects for over 15 years.  We hold a state certified Mold Remediation Company licensed under our business entity Twenty Four Seven Resources LLC, Lic # RCO1114.  Two of the four owners here are state licensed Mold Remediation Contractors.

We also require all of our water technicians to be a state registered Mold Remediation Worker.  We feel the more training our staff has the better we are prepared to service our customers when they run into unforeseen or hidden mold on a job where no mold was expected to be found.

We get a lot of the same questions and statements we about mold when speaking with customers.  

Here are a few things to be aware of if you think you might have mold or if you do in fact have a mold remediation project.

  1. Is this the bad black mold?  OR What type of mold is it?  We don’t know and the only way to know is by testing.  Reality is for remediation purposes it really doesn’t matter much. All the mold and affected materials need to be removed for us to pass the air quality testing, using the same methods / processes regardless of the species of mold.  Once we have clearance you will receive your Certificate of Mold Damage Remediation
  2. I sprayed it with “xyz” so it’s all dead now can’t we just paint over it?   Mold remediation is a process of removing all the mold-affected materials, plus 2 foot beyond. Encapsulation is the terminology used when we talk about covering mold that is not removed. We typically only encapsulate when the moldy materials are structural and not practical to remove. We then use product specifically made for encapsulation and not just paint.
  3. Can you just spray something and kill it? Dead mold will usually have the same affect on you as living mold.  It’s the Micotoxins that you are affecting you. We could spend an hour talking about Micotoxins.  Bottom line, it is best to remove the mold.  

Although mold has been a hot topic among homeowners and water losses for the last 15 years, there still seems to be a lot of mystery and misconceptions.   This often leads to some companies using scare tactics to sell jobs or increase the size of the job. Challenge is most home owners are not educated with the state regulations and procedure for mold remediation and they take the advice from these unethical remediation companies.   We have seen $2,000 mold jobs turned into $20,000 mold job because of this.

It is our recommendation to follow the Texas Mold Assessment and Remediation Rules (TMARR).  Per TMARR any job with over 25 sf of mold you need to have a Mold Assessment Consultant (MAC) come in to evaluate.  It is the MAC’s job to write the protocol. A remediation contractor is not allowed to put the scope or work together when over 25sf of mold is present and can be fined by the state for doing so.

Our suggestion is to do one of the following:  Call us out and we will help guide you through the process with the understanding we may not be able to do anything until a MAC has been on site.

To see some of our job before and after photos Click Here

Step By Step: Combining Mitigation and Restoration

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Step By Step: Combining Mitigation and Restoration Just one call connects you to a company in Austin, TX that can handle the process from the first step to the last.

Combining Mitigation And Restoration

A house fire can cause extensive problems. Not only is there the damage from the fire itself but also there is likely water damage from the efforts to put the fire out. It's a good idea to choose certified remediation specialists that handle both damage mitigation and fire restoration. Just one call connects you to a company in Austin, TX that can handle the process from the first step to the last.

1. Company Contact

When you call, a dispatcher in the corporate call center contacts a local franchise to initiate your fire rebuild. House fires don't keep to a convenient schedule. With 24-hour service, you don't have to wait until traditional business hours to start the process.

2. Inspection and Protection

When the technicians arrive at your home, they walk through to assess the damage. This gives them the information they need to plan the time, tasks and cost it will take to complete the fire restoration process. They can also board up the vulnerable areas of your home so that no further damage or theft occurs.

3. Water Extraction

Removing excess water is the first priority. To prevent secondary damage, such as mold growth or further deterioration of walls and floors, the affected area must be dried as soon as possible.

4. Cleaning

Soot and smoke residue must be removed from all surfaces. Rebuilding services also include disinfecting items that can be salvaged before they are returned to your home.

5. Restoration

Once the damage is removed, repairs begin. Floors can be fixed with new tile or carpet. Ceiling tiles are matched and replaced. New drywall is added, and the walls are painted to match the remaining structure. The larger the fire, the more extensive the restoration process will need to be.

Fire restoration isn't complete until your home looks "Like it never even happened." By hiring skilled technicians who handle both mitigation and restoration, you can there more quickly.

Deductibles and Storm Damage: Can You Claim Losses as Deductions?

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Deductibles and Storm Damage: Can You Claim Losses as Deductions? Ask your insurance agent if you are covered

Can You Claim Losses As Deductions?

Storm damage can cause significant losses for a business. However, the answer to whether those losses are tax deductible or not depends on several factors, the biggest of which is whether items or potential claims are insured. There is a term, casualty loss, which refers to the sudden or unexpected loss of something due to an unusual or sudden event. These losses can be deducted; however, there are several stipulations which may prevent you from using this deduction.

1. Reimbursable Items

You likely cannot claim a casualty loss deduction for items that are considered reimbursable, meaning items that are already insured and protected from loss. Therefore, anything covered under your commercial policy cannot be used as a deduction.

2. Routine Use or Neglect

Also, claiming storm damage loss for items that were already beyond their expected life or not adequately maintained will likely not be accepted as a deduction. For example, claiming an HVAC unit, which has been on the fritz with no routine maintenance checks, has unexpectedly failed due to a storm is not likely to pass muster.

3. Business Interruption

A casualty loss deduction also cannot be applied to projected future profits, meaning that if a storm causes business interruption, you cannot claim a loss on those profits you expected during the shutdown. The reason is due to actual loss and predicted loss. Deductions work by proving actual losses, meaning proven losses. Projections of future income are not proof of that income.

4. Restoration Work

Additionally, a casualty loss deduction will likely not encompass the costs of restoration work unless the work is not covered by your business policy. You can contact your insurer or a disaster restoration specialist in the Cedar Creek,TX , area to find out more information on coverage and payment options.

Storm damage is an unfortunate occurrence, but one that your business is hopefully protected against through adequate insurance coverage. If not, you may be able to claim a casualty loss deduction, but you will want to review the list above to ensure your deduction claim can make it through scrutiny.

3 Ways to Know How Many Fire Alarms You Need

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Ways to Know How Many Fire Alarms You Need Smoke detectors are very common and effective

Most homeowners know that a smoke detector and a fire alarm are mainstays of keeping your home safe from disaster, but knowing how many you should have to be safe is another issue entirely. Is one per room enough? Read on to get pointers on how to protect your Bastrop,TX , home from fire damage with the proper number of alarms.

Types of Fire Detectors and Alarms

It may come as a surprise, but every sensor is not the same. The main options for protecting your home from fire include:

  • Heat detectors, which include an element activated when a fixed temperature is reached
  •  Smoke alarms, which work by using special technology that reacts to the ions in high levels of smoke

Smoke detectors are among the most common and effective residential fire protection devices, but they’re only useful if they’re applied properly.

How Many Rooms Do You Have?

According to the National Fire Protection Association, you should have smoke alarms in every room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. For a two-story, three-bedroom house, that means you’ll need at least five to be safe.

How Big Is Your Home?

On average, a smoke detector will cover about 900 square feet. Additionally, experts advise installing a fire alarm every 30 feet in straight runs, meaning a hallway or large, unobstructed room. Some states have specific requirements, so it’s worth it to do your research in addition to using this rule of thumb.

Don’t Forget the Basement

While it’s often an afterthought, especially if it’s unfinished, the basement of your home is just as susceptible to fire and smoke damage as any other room. Make sure your fire protection plan includes installing devices here.

Fortunately, a simple fire alarm is affordable and readily available, but you must know how to use one for it to work. Follow the above rules of thumb from fire damage experts to keep your home safe and secure.

Mold Growth Habits: Preventing Mold by Controlling Your Environment

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Growth Habits: Preventing Mold by Controlling Your Environment Mold remediation in a Bastrop, TX home

Mold Growth Habits

Mold damage can be costly, and it can lead to extensive restoration work on your home. Additionally, if the mold is caused by persistent leaks in your home’s plumbing that have gone untouched, it is possible your insurer may not take responsibility. Therefore, to protect your interest, it is necessary to understand the common preventative practices that can protect your home and your finances.

1. Ensure Proper Ventilation

Without proper ventilation, mildew growth can become a significant problem. Use exhaust fans in your kitchen, bathroom and laundry room to ensure adequate ventilation. Also, don’t forget about your dryer. Dryer vents should be unobstructed and vent to the outside.

2. Repair Leaks

Mold damage is likely caused by excessive water buildup which in turn is likely caused by leaks. You may not notice small pinhole leaks in your plumbing because they may not reduce water pressure or even increase your bill. However, even small leaks in your walls, ceiling or crawlspace can lead to the development of mold. Have inspections regularly to prevent these issues.

3. Use Dehumidifiers

Mold growth requires dampness to survive. Therefore, to prevent growth, use several dehumidifiers in your property. You can install each unit in an area prone to moisture buildups, like basements or attics. Moisture levels should be kept at or below 50 percent.

4. Maintain Clean Spaces

Additionally, it is important to maintain clean spaces. Mold can colonize in dirty areas easily, especially if these spaces are prone to minor flooding or even puddling. You can call a mold remediation specialist in the Bastrop, TX, area to assess your property for potential high-risk areas and to help you take preventative measures.

Mold damage, while expensive, can be prevented. By ensuring proper ventilation, repairing leaks, using dehumidifiers and maintaining a clean environment, you can protect your property and family from the threat of a mold infestation.

How To Know When Water Damage Requires You To Replace Your Carpet

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Know When Water Damage Requires You To Replace Your Carpet Call your expert to clean up and make your space safe.

When water infiltrates your home, many areas can suffer. Your floor most commonly bears the brunt of a pipe break or other flooding problems. In many cases, a professional flood cleanup company will have to replace the flooring. However, if you’re fortunate, you may be able to salvage this part of your house. It’s helpful to know when your flooring needs to go and when you can save it.

When To Say Goodbye

You may hate to part with your carpet, but even moderate water issues can damage it beyond repair. Here are some cases in which you’ll need to tear it out and put down something new:

  •  You detect mold on or under the carpets.
  •  The carpet was wet for three days or more.
  •  The flooding included black water.

Can’t Deal With Mold

The amount of water and time it sits on your floor has a big effect on whether mold will develop. You can’t keep the flooring if mold is present. Have a specialist look for mold growth.

Time Is Not on Your Side

In the event of a pipe break, severe weather, toilet backup or any other incident that brings water into your house, you hope to detect it early. However, if you’re out of town at the time, or if the leak is in a place you can’t easily find, water can sit on the carpets for several days or longer. In these cases, it may be difficult, if not impossible, to sufficiently clean the area.

Black Water Is the Enemy

If the flooding in your Austin,TX , home came from sewage, you’ve got a black water problem, and restoration of the affected area is essential. Black water can be harmful and even deadly to you and your family members.

If these three issues are present following a pipe break or other cause of flooding, you shouldn’t try to keep your carpet. Instead, call an expert to help you clean up and make your space safe again.

How To Clean Up Puff Back Soot

1/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial How To Clean Up Puff Back Soot Oil- burning furnace puff back in Austin, TX

A furnace puff back occurs after an explosion in the combustion chamber of an oil furnace. Smoke and soot are released and spread throughout a structure. In addition to damaging the furnace, a puff back also calls for professional cleaning and restoration. Find out why you should rely on cleanup professionals to take care of puff back damage.

What Causes a Furnace To Puff Back?

Oil-burning furnaces run a risk of puff back. These incidents tend to occur when

  • The furnace fails to ignite
  • Oil vapors build up in the ignition chamber
  • An explosion occurs upon ignition

Soot from a furnace puff back spreads throughout heating and exhaust systems. The incident may also introduce debris to every room in a structure. Building owners and managers should monitor oil-burning furnaces for indications of problems, such as the presence of soot in or around the furnace or noises in the combustion chamber at the start of a burn cycle or while the furnace is not running.

What Damage Can A Puff Back Cause?

A puff back can damage the furnace and result in extensive puff back damage throughout the structure. Oily soot may coat every surface, including ductwork, and spread throughout every room with an open vent. This damage may call for the use of specialized cleaning equipment and solutions.

Why To Rely on Cleanup Professionals

Amateur cleaning efforts can actually worsen damage caused by a puff back incident. A cleanup company that specializes in fire and smoke damage will have all of the equipment necessary to handle this type of damage. Professionals can work quickly to restore a commercial structure.

If an oil furnace experiences a puff back, the owner or manager of the building should contact a furnace repair service and a damage restoration company in Austin,TX. Puff back damage mitigation calls for fire and smoke damage restoration methods.

How To Avert 3 Common Sewage Issues

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Many commercial buildings in Cedar Creek,TX, may be susceptible to sewage issues. Because a blocked sewer or overflowing toilet can cause significant damage, it’s helpful to recognize specific factors that may contribute to the problem and learn how to address them. Abiding by the following guidelines can help minimize the risk of unsanitary flooding inside your facility.

1. Broken Pipes

Like most infrastructure, sewage lines can deteriorate and fail over time. While you may not be able to completely prevent pipe breaks, making conscientious landscaping decisions can help minimize the risk.

Roots seek moisture and can easily infiltrate and damage sewer and water pipes. Because of this, it’s important to identify the location of critical infrastructure lines and plant foliage away from these areas.

2. Blocked Lines

In addition to damaging supply lines, excessive root presence can result in a blocked sewer. Inappropriate waste disposal can also have a detrimental impact on the system.

Paper towels, diapers and feminine hygiene products should never be flushed down the toilet. To help alleviate this concern, you should have trash bins accessible in every restroom and post signage reminding staff and visitors of appropriate waste disposal techniques.

Grease is another potentially problematic product that can build up inside plumbing lines and cause a blockage. To help minimize obstructions, commercial kitchen staff should avoid dumping cooking oils down sinks.

3. Overflowing Toilets

A toilet overflow is another common sewage issue. Performing routine inspections is a beneficial strategy that may allow you to identify defective toilet components before substantial leaks and water damage occur. You can also help prevent unsanitary commode seepage by encouraging proper trash disposal, promptly completing necessary repairs and using a plunger instead of drain cleaners to remedy slow drains.

No Cedar Creek,TX, business is immune from a blocked sewer or flooding toilet. However, making informed decisions and performing proactive measures can help minimize the risk and may spare you from a messy and potentially costly sewage cleanup.