Recent Posts

Three Steps to Lowering the Cost of a Business Interruption Claim

5/27/2024 (Permalink)

Books on a table. Business interruption insurance may assist you with covering certain costs.

When your Austin area business is affected by flooding, the time it takes to handle the cleanup and make repairs can have a serious impact on your employees and the company's profits. While business interruption insurance may assist you with covering certain costs, such as building rental fees and employee payroll, you can take a few steps to lower the total cost of the claim. 

1. Report the Large Water Damage Right Away 
When a broken pipe or other plumbing failure causes a significant flood, reporting the issue to your insurance company as soon as possible can help keep costs low. The sooner you report the flooding, the less time you may experience waiting, so you keep secondary damage, such as mold growth, to a minimum. 

2. Act Quickly To Reduce Claim Costs 
While a professional restoration service must handle most water damage issues, you can take a few actions to reduce damage costs, and only after the building is deemed safe. One way to lower the cost of a claim is to reduce humidity in your building caused by standing water. Open windows and use fans to ensure air circulates as much as possible, which can minimize wood warping, rot, and mold growth on most surfaces. 

3. Contact a Qualified Cleanup Service 
Maintaining a business connection with a qualified flood cleanup and restoration company can help you keep the cost of an interruption claim low. Experienced flooding technicians can remove harmful standing water and perform building material tear-outs that could cause future problems for interior wiring and other vital systems. 
Your greater Austin area commercial enterprise can suffer from flood damage that may require you to file a business interruption insurance claim. While this can be stressful, knowing how to lower the overall cost of a claim can provide you with peace of mind as you move forward with building repairs. 

Weakened foundations: Unveiling the hidden structural damages beneath the surface.

5/24/2024 (Permalink)

Possible damaged roof shingles A damaged roof could allow moisture into your home, which could then lead to a host of other problems.

While storms bring immediate visible damage to Austin area homes, one of the most concerning aspects is the hidden structural damage that can occur beneath the surface. Stormwater infiltration can weaken the foundation upon which your home stands, posing a significant risk to its stability and long-term integrity.

When excess water saturates the ground surrounding your home, it can seep into the foundation, causing soil erosion and compromising its structural support. Over time, this can lead to foundation settling, shifting, or even cracking, endangering the overall stability of the entire structure.

Furthermore, water-damaged foundations create an environment ripe for further deterioration. Moisture trapped within the foundation can contribute to the growth of mold and rot, further compromising its strength. The weakened foundation can affect the alignment of walls, floors, and even the roof, leading to a range of structural issues that require immediate attention.

At SERVPRO of Hyde Park, we recognize the gravity of weakening foundations caused by water damage. Our skilled team conducts thorough inspections to assess the structural integrity of your home. We employ proven techniques to address foundation issues, such as drainage solutions, waterproofing strategies, and reinforcement methods. By addressing the hidden damage beneath the surface, we ensure that your home stands on a solid foundation, ready to weather future storms with resilience.

Is Bleach Enough to Fix My Mold Problem?

11/21/2023 (Permalink)

Is Bleach Enough SERVPRO Team Member in Hazmat Suit

The short answer is no. During the height of COVID, we were cleaning and sanitizing everything from door knobs to keyboards.  Anything that was touched by multiple people was getting hit with one kind of cleaner or another.  We should be taking that same approach to getting rid of mold.  Mold has been here much longer than COVID and it isn’t going away anytime soon (maybe an asteroid).  How do we get rid of mold in the home or office?  The CDC says that using bleach to kill mold isn’t always recommended.  Using a bleach/water mixture will most likely destroy the surface mold, but the growth goes much deeper than that.  Bleach cannot penetrate the deeper levels of porous materials, so you will most likely see it come back within a short period of time.

Here are a few things that the EPA says about the basics of mold cleanup.

  1. Moisture control.  If you can keep it dry, you can help control the growth of mold.
  2. Scrub the mold off of hard surfaces with a detergent and water, then dry completely.
  3. Any absorbent materials like carpets, rugs, and ceiling tiles will most likely need to be thrown away.

If you have tried to get rid of mold and can’t seem to keep it away, contact your Austin SERVPRO professionals today.  We have the experience, equipment, and products to help destroy the mold and to keep it from returning.

Keeping Air Ducts at Work Clean!

10/13/2023 (Permalink)

Air Ducts with Moisture Air Ducts need regular maintenance.

Air duct cleaning is an important cleaning service for homeowners. Air duct cleaning means having all your duct systems, including the supply, intake, and return vents cleaned using professional air duct cleaning equipment. In addition, air duct cleaning may also include cleaning the registers, grilles, fans, the HVAC unit, and cleaning the furnace if you have one.

If not properly installed, maintained, and operated, these components may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen, or other debris. 

Ventilation systems are often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality. Make it a priority to inspect the ductwork of your business.

If your HVAC has been operating for some time without attention, it could be circulating one or more of the following:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Odors
  • Dirt and debris

The benefits of servicing your HVAC unit include:

  • Helps to restore peak energy efficiency.
  • It May help to eliminate offensive odors.
  • Helps reduce the potential for mold growth.

For more information on HVAC and air duct cleaning, call us today!

Understanding Flooding Season in Austin | SERVPRO® of Hyde Park/Central Austin

5/19/2023 (Permalink)

Flooding can happen in a flash. Call SERVPRO of Hyde Park/Central Austin to help clear any damage your home or business gets during a flood.

As we gladly say goodbye to the colder winter months and welcome spring and summer, it is important to make sure your home and family are prepared for any sort of flooding situation that occurs in the Austin area.

Did you know that Austin is in the heart of “Flash Flood Alley”? This makes our community uniquely at risk of suffering flash flooding conditions from April to September.

Read on below to learn some tips about how to prepare for a flood in your Hyde Park home.

Understanding Alerts

Like any other severe weather situation, flooding events range in severity. When a flood watch is issued, it is time to start preparing your home. That means conditions are favorable for a flood to occur. Flood advisories are issued when heavy rain or a storm is forecasted to cause some flooding concerns in the area.

If a flood warning or flash flood warning is issued, take action immediately. Stay off the roads and seek higher ground if possible. A flash flood could develop in minutes even if it is not actively raining where you are.

How to Prepare Your Home

If your home has a sump pump, make sure it is in good working condition and consider having it professionally inspected. The worst time to find out there is something wrong is when it’s too late!

You should also take the time to anchor your utilities and tanks to the ground. Make sure your propane tanks, electrical panels, and any outdoor appliances or equipment are secure in the event that fast-moving water makes its way onto your property.

You should also get your emergency kit ready to go. Restock medicine, first-aid materials, flashlights, batteries and food for every member of your family. Don’t forget to have a supply of fresh water to drink as well. During and after a flood, drinking water from your taps may be compromised for some time.

How SERVPRO Can Help

Flash flooding and just flooding in general can be unpredictable. If your home or business suffers from water damage or storm damage following a flooding event, call SERVPRO of Hyde Park/Central Austin immediately.

Our flood damage restoration team is highly trained in water removal and the drying process, and we will work hard to dry out your home as efficiently as possible. Once the affected areas are dry, we can work on your reconstruction to help you completely recover from your flood disaster.

Was your home affected by a flood? We are here to help 24/7 and can restore your home quickly.

5 Steps to Take After A Frozen Pipe Bursts in Your Home

12/8/2022 (Permalink)

A frozen pipe bursting in your home is an unfortunate event and can cause a lot of damage.

When your pipes burst, it's not the end of the world. But it can be scary and definitely something you should not try to fix on your own. If you're experiencing a burst pipe in your home or business, here are five steps to take after the pipe has been fixed:

Step 1: Shut off the water.

The first thing you should do when your pipe bursts is shut off the water supply to the affected area. This can be done by shutting off your main water valve or turning off any faucets within range of the burst pipe to stop it from leaking. If you are unable to turn off either of these items, call a professional immediately.

Step 2: Assess the situation.

The second thing you want to do is assess the damage.

  • Find the source of your leak. In many cases, this may simply be a loose connection or cracked pipe that can be easily fixed with basic tools and supplies from your local hardware store. If it’s something more serious, though—like a broken valve or other internal system damage—you might need professional help for repair work.
  • Check for any water damage that resulted from the burst pipe. This could include rugs and carpets soaked through; wood floors warped or buckled by excess moisture; paint blistered off walls due to frost formation; cabinets drenched in cold water from leaky pipes (if so, you might have some drywall repairs on your hands); hardwood floors stained by rust deposits left over from old metal pipes.
  • Check for mold or mildew growth along walls where there were leaks near plumbing fixtures such as sinks or toilets; also look around corners where dampness tends accumulate most often after heavy rainstorms or snow melts. These areas may require additional cleaning before they can safely be occupied again. 

Step 3: Call SERVPRO of Hyde Park/Central Austin.

Call a professional restoration company like SERVPRO of Hyde Park/Central Austin. You’ll want to call someone who has the experience and resources to help you deal with the extensive damage your home has suffered. A restoration company will be able to help with:

  • Emergency Response
  • Structural Drying
  • Contents Cleaning and Decontamination

Step 4: Stop the spread.

Once the pipe has burst, stop the water from spreading. Use a wet/dry vacuum to remove excess water and towels or rags to soak up more of it. It's important to keep your pets and children away from the area while you're doing this—after all, they probably won't understand what happened and might think it's fun to play in your clean-up efforts!

Step 5: Wait for the professionals to arrive and restore.

Patience is a virtue. You will probably have to wait for your restoration company to arrive on the scene, wait for them to complete their work, and then wait yet again while they bill you. Your insurance company might take its time paying out (or maybe not) and making sure that there’s no fraud involved before they do so.

The rest of the repair process can be pretty straightforward: After your pipes are fixed, your insurance company should send an inspector out who will verify that all repairs were made correctly and up to code; if everything checks out okay, then you can relax knowing that there won't be any more issues with frozen pipes in your home!

As the temperatures begin to drop, it's important to take extra precautions to protect your pipes. Frozen pipes can burst, causing extensive water damage and a huge mess for you and your family. If you do experience a pipe bursting, SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin can help. We offer emergency services 24/7 so that we can be there when you need us most.

A frozen pipe bursting in your Hyde Park, TX home is an unfortunate event and can cause a lot of damage. The most important thing to do after the pipe bursts is to turn off the water. Then you will need to find out where all the water is going and how much damage has been done. Once that is complete you can call a company who specializes in frozen pipes burst repair to come out and fix things up!

How Do I Make a Water Damage Claim?

11/12/2022 (Permalink)

The first thing you should do if you have water damage is to contact your insurance company.

How to Make Sure Your Claim Is Processed Quickly?

Whether you’re a homeowner or renter, water damage can be a stressful experience. You may have experienced a flood as the result of a broken pipe or an overflowing sink or tub. In any case, your first priority is to minimize the damage and get things back in order as quickly as possible. And while insurance companies do offer expedited claims processes for certain types of disasters like flooding, they can still take several days or weeks to complete their investigation before issuing payment. If you need immediate help recovering from this type of emergency, here are some tips on how to make sure your claim is processed quickly.

The first thing you should do if you have water damage is to contact your insurance company. They’ll be able to tell you exactly what will be covered by your policy and how long it takes for a claim to go through.

1) Review Your Policy

Check your water damage coverage. First, check your policy to see if you have any water damage coverage. If not, consider purchasing an add-on rider for a few bucks more per month that will cover any damages caused by burst pipes or overflowing toilets (but not floods).

Next, determine whether or not you have a deductible and how much it is. A $500 deductible might seem reasonable if the cost of repairing your home's sewer line exceeds that amount; however, if you don't want to pay anything out of pocket for repairs—or are unable to do so—you may wish to purchase additional insurance from a third party at an added cost.

Lastly, take note of any time limits on filing claims under your policy before contacting them about their process (which we'll go into further detail about below).

2) Call Your Agent

If you have an insurance agent, call them immediately. They will be able to help you with the next steps and can get a claim started for you. If not, call your insurance company directly and ask if they have someone who can help with making a water damage claim.

3) Take photos

Take photos of the damaged item. If you have a camera, take some photos of your damaged item. If not, contact a professional photographer or get into contact with your insurance company and they may be able to help you out with this step. Be sure that the first few photos are of the undamaged area and then proceed onto taking more photos as needed (e.g., close-ups).

Take photos of the areas around damage location(s). In addition to taking pictures of your damaged property, it's also important that you take pictures of all surrounding areas where there isn't any visible damage so we can better assess how much coverage is needed for those areas as well!

4) Obtain a Professional Opinion

Obtain professional opinion. If you have a damaged home, it's best to get an estimate for repairs from a company like SERVPRO of Hyde Park/ Central Austin before making any claims. This will ensure that the damage is covered by your policy and that it's not something else that caused the water leak.

If you don't have coverage, purchase it. If you don't have home insurance and need to buy one after your water damage claim, be sure to do so as soon as possible so that there isn't any lapse in coverage while you wait for your new policy to begin (a period of time known as "the waiting period").

The process of making a water damage claim can be very simple, but it can also be complicated. Follow these steps and call SERVPRO to get your Austin, TX home back to normal as quickly as possible. 

How do You Estimate a Fire Loss?

10/11/2022 (Permalink)

Heavy fires cause full rebuild.

Estimating a Fire Damage Loss

When a fire has damaged your property, you need to get the repairs done as soon as possible. It's important to have a professional fire damage estimate before submitting a claim. You can use this estimate to ensure your insurance company covers all the necessary work needed to return your home or business back to normal.

How to Determine Cost of Repairs

The cost of rebuilding is based on the type, size, and location of the building. A small commercial building will cost less to rebuild than a large one. Large buildings tend to be more expensive because they often have more complex systems and infrastructure that need to be replaced.

For example, in your estimate, you may find that replacing all plumbing in a large commercial building will cost $100 per foot while doing so in a smaller office or retail space would only cost $50 per foot. Similarly, if you’re repairing an apartment building with several floors and units each containing its own kitchen and bathroom (and therefore requiring materials like pipes), it might take you twice as long to complete repairs as repairing a single-family home with fewer rooms (and therefore using fewer materials).

When estimating restoration costs related specifically to rebuilding structures damaged by fire damage, there are two major factors contributing to how much this type of work costs: property value and scope of damage (i.e., what work needs to be done). Property values tend not to matter too much when talking about residential properties since most people don't have mortgages; however, commercial properties may have varying degrees of financial support from investors depending on their location or industry base which means higher risks associated with them needing repairs after an incident like this one occurs.

Reviewing  Your Insurance Policy

Estimators review your insurance policy to determine how much coverage you have for fire damage. This is because the amount of coverage you have depends on the type of policy and location where the damage occurred, as well as whether or not a deductible applies.

For example, if you have fire-damage coverage with an $80,000 limit but experience $100,000 worth of damage to your home in a wildfire, then only $20,000 would be covered by your insurer and they would pay out that amount minus any applicable deductibles.

Reviewing the Estimate

Your insurance adjuster will review the estimate and let you know if it is accurate. If the adjuster has any questions about your estimate, he or she will contact you immediately. He or she may also ask you to add something to the estimate so that it can be finalized. The final estimate should be given to you within a few days of receiving your fire damage cleaning services quote.

The good news is that your insurance company will review your estimate before they send you the final payment. This means that if there are any mistakes in your estimate, they’ll contact you right away. If so, just make a change and resubmit it to them!

When you have fire damage in your home or business, SERVPRO of Hyde Park/Central Austin is here to help. Give us a call to repair your Austin property. 

Is Mold Cut Out of Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy?

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Mold damage in a property in Bastrop, TX.

Does Your Homeowner's Insurance Cover Mold?

 More homeowner’s policies exclude mold than cover this form of secondary damage. Fungus growth occurs when water damage is not cleaned quickly or thoroughly enough to avoid leaving time for fungal growth. Property owners can take three measures to determine whether coverage for mold is available under the property insurance policy for a residence in Bastrop,TX.

1. Confirm the Terms of Your Policy
The terms of each insurance policy differ. It is the responsibility of a policyholder to go through these terms before signing up for coverage and paying premiums. If you have not checked the status of mold under your property insurance, you should do so sooner rather than later. A rider on an existing policy or additional coverage may be needed to offset the cost of mold remediation.

2. Consult With an Insurance Agent
A representative of the insurance company that covers your home can explain the circumstances under which fungus growth could be considered a covered peril. Keep in mind that some insurers require agents to report that a customer is considering filing a claim. Seeking independent advice may be preferable if you are experiencing a mold problem and do not want the rate to rise.

3. Supplementary Residential Mold Coverage
Obtaining an endorsement can restore some amount of coverage for mold to a primary property policy. Another approach might be to obtain a separate mold insurance policy. Make sure the limit of any policy will cover a substantial amount of the expense associated with remediating mold, which can range up to thousands of dollars.
Fungus growth occurs when mold spores settle down on surfaces where access to sufficient moisture and nutrients is available. Homeowners may be able to reduce the risk of mold growth by arranging for timely mitigation and cleanup within 24 to 48 hours of water damage at a household in Bastrop, TX.

Do Office Electronics Still Work After a Fire?

8/22/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO can clean electronics after a fire

Do Office Electronics Remain Functional Following a Fire?

Electronics are some of the most expensive office equipment. Computers, appliances and other devices can drive up the cost of recovering from a fire, even if an electrical fire was not the cause of damage. If electronics have been affected by fire in a building in Austin,TX, here are some ways to safely determine the most cost-effective approach to repair or replacement.

Have Electronics Tested Off-Site
One of the best safety decisions that a commercial building or business owner can make following a fire is to have trained experts test potentially damaged electronics at an offsite location. All of the following factors increase overheating and short-circuiting risks:

  • High heat
  • Smoke
  • Soot
  • Water

Damaged electronics could spark an electrical fire. Electronics and computer cleanup specialists have access to a clean room and dedicated equipment.

Pursue Cleaning or Replacement
Based on the recommendations of fire restoration experts, business owners can have electronics cleaned or replaced. In some cases, purchasing new equipment or devices may be more reliable and cost-effective than restoring electronics. Make sure that commercial property insurance covers the full replacement value and not actual cash value.

Complete the Commercial Restoration Process
An office cannot resume operations until fire and smoke damage to the affected location have been fully restored. Even after you know which electronics can be salvaged, any appliances, computers or other devices that have been recovered, tested and cleaned should be stored off-site until cleanup and restoration are complete at the original location.
Fire cleanup costs can be considerable, whether an electrical fire or a blaze due to any other cause has affected a commercial building in Austin, TX. A commercial property insurance policyholder can take measures to plan ahead and minimize out-of-pocket expenses by making sure that replacement costs are covered, not just actual cash value. Complete coverage makes it possible to spend less replacing ruined devices.