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How To Clean Your Dryer’s Exhaust

5/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Clean Your Dryer’s Exhaust Every time you dry a load of laundry, you must clean the lint screen

Three Areas of Your Dryer That Need to Be Cleaned Regularly

Washers and dryers are convenient to have in your home in Bastrop, TX, but your dryer can also pose a lint fire risk if you do not clean it often enough. Lint is highly combustible, and your clothing sheds a lot of lint during the drying cycle. There are three areas of your dryer that need to be cleaned regularly.

Lint Screen

Every time you dry a load of laundry, you must clean the lint screen. There are three ways you can do this:

  • With your hands
  • With a brush
  • With the hose attachment on your vacuum

Remove all the lint from the screen before putting it back in the machine. Fire damage cleanup specialists also recommend that you vacuum out the area that holds the screen and wash the screen with mild, soapy water to remove residue left by dryer sheets every few weeks.

Dryer Cavity

A lint fire can be started by debris within the dryer itself. Every six months, vacuum out the inside of your dryer. To do this, you must first unplug the dryer. Then remove the back panel with a screwdriver. Using the hose attachment, clean every bit of lint you see out of the dryer’s cavity. This can help you avoid a dryer fire and subsequent fire cleanup.

Exhaust Hose

The exterior part of your dryer’s exhaust is the hose that connects it to the wall and the area that exhausts it to the outside. It is a good idea to make sure these areas are lint-free every six months in order to avoid fire damage to your home. Detach the hose from your dryer and vacuum it out. Use a vent cleaning rod with a brush attachment to clean out your wall. Make sure the exhaust hose is clamped to the wall output and to your dryer before using it again.

Cleaning the lint screen every time you use it is only one part of avoiding a lint fire. If you are uncomfortable doing the deep cleaning yourself, you can hire a professional to perform the service.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Flooding?

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Does Renters Insurance Cover Flooding? Tenants and owners of residential buildings located in flood zones should consider obtaining flood insurance

Factors That May Impact the Availability of Flood Coverage for Renters

Tenants and residential property owners may want to know whether renter's insurance policies cover damage caused by flooding. Flood damage is excluded from most property insurance policies. The owners of structures in flood zones are often required to obtain a separate flood policy through the National Flood Insurance Program or private insurers. Find out more about the factors that may impact the availability of flood coverage for renters.

Check the Covered Perils

Property owners are responsible for restoring structural damage, which should be covered by a flood insurance policy. Tenants should check the terms of renter's policies to make sure that their belongings are protected. Damage caused by flooding is distinct from any of the following types of damage:

  • Sewer
  • Storm
  • Water

Whereas damage caused by storms or water is covered by most policies, flood damage or sewer damage usually require additional coverage, either in the form of an endorsement, rider or supplemental policy.

Look for Exclusions

If a policy is unclear on whether damage due to heavy rain or rising water is covered, a policyholder should check for stated exclusions. Many property and renter's insurance policies explicitly exclude damage caused by any type of exterior flooding or a sewer backup.

Investigate Endorsements

Even if a renter's policy excludes flood damage, it may be possible for policyholders to buy this coverage back in the form of an endorsement. If a tenant resides in a structure situated in a flood zone, the additional cost of obtaining flood coverage may offset a catastrophic loss.

Tenants and owners of residential buildings located in flood zones should consider obtaining flood insurance. A tenant should be familiar with the terms of renter's insurance to determine whether damage caused by floods is excluded or can be bought back. Insurance coverage can facilitate the process of recovering from flood damage at a residential building in Austin,TX.

Severe Storm Tips – Regional Flooding preparation

5/1/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Severe Storm Tips – Regional Flooding preparation Please Be Prepared

Regional Flooding is occurring more and more often and with greater severity according to NOAA and other organizations.  Flooding of this kind often happens with little to no warning and according to FEMA will occur with more frequency in areas previously not known to flood.

What can you do to be better prepared?

Probably the single most important thing a home owner can do is prepare a “ready kit”.  

A ready kit should include at least two essential things:

  • First, something waterproof with important documents and information such as passport, and phone numbers, insurance info and bank info.
  • Second and survival bag with first aid kit, drinking water, hand held radios, flashlight and food rations at a minimum.

Keep these in close proximity to one another and ready at all times.  Don’t wait until the storm is on the horizon to be prepared. Evacuation is always the first option, when that is not the option you choose, SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin says please choose to be prepared.

Driving Tips During a Flood

4/27/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Driving Tips During a Flood A flooded street is not meant to be a challenge. Safety should always come first.

When a bad storm hits Tarrytown,TX, floodwaters can rise in no time. Rather than barrel down your flooded street, you should take a few precautions when there is a lot of water on the road. Here are some tips on staying safe if you must drive after a heavy storm.

Steer Clear of Standing Water

Many drivers tend to ignore travel tips and get overconfident when flash floods occur. They expect that standing water is harmless. The truth is that there can be many unseen hazards beneath the surface:

  • Branches or other debris
  • Potholes or washed out pavement
  • Moving water

It is unlikely that you are able to discern how safe it is to drive through water when you can’t see to the bottom of it. Even a few inches can stall your vehicle or even move it off the road. Flood damage experts recommend that you find an alternate route or just wait until the water has a chance to drain.

Slow down

A flooded street is not a racetrack. Even if the water is shallow enough to navigate, you still need to reduce your speed so that you don’t stall your vehicle or hydroplane. If your tires cause water to fan out to the side, you are probably going too fast to be safe.

Don’t Use Others as a Gauge

Just because other drivers make it through flooded roads, that doesn’t mean you should try it. Flood conditions change rapidly. The car in front of you could have inadvertently knocked some debris into your path that will tear up your vehicle. Rely on your own good judgment rather than the whims of other people.

A flooded street is not meant to be a challenge. When in doubt, it is better to turn around and go back the way you came than try to rush through standing water. Safety should always come first.

How Does Category 1 Water Damage Differ From Other Types?

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How Does Category 1 Water Damage Differ From Other Types? A leaking pipe will become a burst pipe causing flooding and three to five days of cleanup.

Category 1 Water Damage

When it comes to the different types of plumbing problems or water issues that could affect your building, a Category 1 incident is about the easiest to deal with. This comes from a clean water source such as a supply line or a broken pipe. It will not have contaminates that would be present in a toilet overflow or flooding from major storm systems in Tarrytown, TX.

Why is Category 1 Less Harmful?

A Category 1 leak or flood means that the main concern will be the water itself and any damage it could potentially do. You will not be dealing with black water and all of its bacteria and toxic content. While this makes dealing with the water a bit less stressful, it is no less urgent to remove the water and dry things out. In a short time, standing clean water can become contaminated and will begin to grow bacteria so it is essential to extract the water as soon as possible.

Why Can a Service Do Better Than you Can?

Your building is your moneymaker so it is important to get professional help to get it back on track as soon as possible. An experienced emergency water mitigation service will have powerful extraction systems; fans, blowers and ozone machines where needed to remove water, dehumidify and remove odors and help prevent any mold spores from growing. A service will also be able to meet the demands of your insurance agent for proper restoration.

Are Harmful Chemicals Used to Clean Up After Category 1 Damage?

Since you are dealing with clean water, Category 1 water damage is a much easier clean up. There is usually no need for industrial disinfectants and often, the contents and furnishings, and structural materials of the building can be dried and cleaned rather than scrapped and replaced following the water damage.

There is no need for you to worry when you are getting such good help from qualified service personnel and with minimal interruption, you will be back to business as usual.

What To Do If Mold Is Growing in an Apartment

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial What To Do If Mold Is Growing in an Apartment Mold growth under cabinets

Mold contamination at an apartment building may pose a bigger challenge than an infestation in a single-family residence or commercial structure. Tenants and owners have distinct responsibilities and different levels of liability for reporting damage and arranging for mold cleanup. Mold growth may also affect more than one unit. Take these three steps to ensure that all parties are informed and resolve the problem as quickly as possible.

1. Notify the Property Owner

Tenants should contact a landlord as soon as water damage becomes apparent. If signs of mold appear without evident water damage, damage may have occurred elsewhere in a structure. Tenants and landlords should correspond in writing and retain copies of these records.

2. Document Damage

Tenants or property owners should take photographs or record videos the document the full extent of damage. A tenant can provide this evidence to an owner to support a damage report. Documentation is also helpful if renters or property insurance policies include coverage for any portion of mold cleanup costs.

3. Schedule Mold Testing and Remediation

A property owner should arrange for an indoor environmental professional to test for mold spores. An IEP can determine whether mold is growing, identify the species and offer insight on the best cleanup and remediation methods. Processing test results may take several days, and cleaning up a minor to moderate infestation can take up to a week.

An owner of an apartment or multi-family residence should respond promptly to reports of water damage or mold contamination from tenants. Disregarding these notifications may be grounds for legal action. Apartment owners should rely on certified professionals for testing and mold cleanup. While non-professionals may be able to clean up a minor infestation, trained remediation experts can make sure that the problem is eliminated and reduce the likelihood that mold growth will recur at a building in Tarrytown, TX.

Insurance Agents Can Benefit by Using a Claims Inventory System

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Insurance Agents Can Benefit by Using a Claims Inventory System Call SERVPRO of Hyde Park/ Central Austin

Claims Information Center by SERVPRO

As an insurance agent, you know that one of the most arduous tasks your clients had to perform after filing an insurance claim was to gather the stacks of paperwork needed for you to process it. Not only did they have to find documented proof of each step of work the damage restoration specialist did, but they had to have all the forms your office needed, and they had to be filled out correctly as well. All that has changed with the new Claims Information Center by SERVPRO. Here are three ways this new electronic system can help your claim process flow more efficiently.

1. Specifics and Reports

The CIC allows you to access a very detailed account of the damage, along with a list of specific repairs or mitigation processes employed by the technicians. Your spreadsheet will also show response time, how many technicians were on the scene, and how long it took to mitigate and repair the damage.

2. Prices and Profiles

The damage to your client’s commercial property in Leander, TX, can be assessed and an itemized list of mitigation costs, property losses, and necessary replacement materials can be entered into the CIC in only minutes. If the technicians discover new problems, the file can easily be updated to show necessary changes to the insurance claim. As the insurance agent, you will find a complete damage and repair profile when you log on.

3. Timelines and Updates

With the CIC, you can have a complete overview of the project as it progresses. When the work is finished, you can print a spreadsheet with all the necessary information for you to process the claim. With a final cost statement, including all project updates, the CIC can make your job much easier.

Processing an insurance claim for your client’s commercial property can be much simpler when you rely on the Claims Inventory Center. With a few clicks of a button, you can have all the information you need.

Home Builder Contractor Error

3/21/2019 (Permalink)

Construction contractor error happens

Building that new home or remodeling your existing home is exciting.  No one wants to think about having to deal with issues after dealing with all the construction and get moved in.  Unfortunately humans are doing the work on your home.  Mistakes will happen. Unfortunately sometimes you won't find out about some for months or years.  What is it you ask.  A drywall screw through a plumbing line. Drain line and even supply lines can hide themselves for years before leaking or leak enough for the WATER DAMAGE to occur. SERVPRO of Hyde Park/ Central Austin has technicians and professional drying equipment to handle the job of a water loss. No job is too big or too small for our crew.  We have state-of-the-art drying equipment and trucks with equipment for all types of commercial or residential job.

Types of Drying equipment

Dehumidifiers- Used to remove moisture from the air to prevent secondary water damage.

Air Movers- Used for quick and efficient drying of drywall, furniture, flooring or behind baseboards.

Infrared Camera- Used to find stubborn water hidden behind drywall and cabinets. 

Drying Mat System- Used to dry hardwoods by extracting water through a drying system.

Tenting- Use plastic sheeting to tent where water is bound and needs help with extra evaporation. 

Whenever you discover water damage call us here as SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin.  We hare here 24 hrs a day 7 days a week.  We are faster to any disaster. 

For some of our before and after photos Click Here

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.