Recent Water Damage Posts
4 Steps for Drying a Flooded Basement
Flooded basement in Austin, TX
Ways To Remove Water From Your Basement
No one thinks about how to handle water in their basement until they have to. By following these four steps, you can drain your way out a basement flood.
1. Call Your Agent To Check Coverage
Insurance coverage can be a little murky when it comes to a flooded basement. Your ability to file a claim is dependent on how your basement became flooded. If pipes burst, that is considered an immediate accident and will most likely be covered. However, if you ignore a leaky pipe and sustain gradual water damage, you might be paying that repair bill on your own.
2. Find the Source but Stay Out of the Water
Try to find where the water is coming from. Decide if there is a safe way for you to stop flooding via a shutoff valve or other means. Above all, never wade into any water in your basement. You do not know what else is in it. It is also possible that any electronics or wiring have been compromised and you could be electrocuted.
3. Get All of the Water Out
For a substantial amount of water, rent a water pump or call a professional to have it taken out. Once you have the majority of the water removed, you can finish up any remaining spots with a wet/dry vacuum.
4. Have a Professional Inspect for Damage
The general rule for a basement flood is to remove or replace any material that has soaked up water. Wood and drywall are absorbent, so if they get wet and stay moist, they will promote mold growth. It is best to call in a water damage specialist to make an assessment of the resulting damage to see what needs to be done.
Dealing with a basement flood is a real headache, but by knowing you’re covered and who to call in Austin,TX, you won’t have to wade through the problem alone.
What Is Category 3 Water Damage?
This type of flooding often results from a toilet overflow
Flooding in general can bring massive damage to your personal property. However, not all floods were created equally and each different type must be remediated in its own specific way. Read on to learn how you can protect your home in Rosedale, TX, from Category 3 flood water.
Types of Flooding
There are three primary types of flooding. They are categorized by the type of contaminants present in the floodwater itself.
Category 1: This type of flooding is the least dangerous. It is categorized by a complete lack of contaminants or biohazards. In theory, humans and animals can safely consume it. That being said, you should still never attempt to drink this water. It can evolve into a more dangerous type of water if it comes into contact with outside contaminants.
Category 2: This type of flooding is typically a result of an overflowing household appliance, such as a dishwasher or laundry machine. While the water isn't necessarily completely clean, it's also not nearly as lethal as Category 3 water.
Category 3: Category 3 water, also known as blackwater, is the most dangerous type of flooding. It contains numerous biohazards and other lethal contaminants, such as raw sewage and human feces. This type of flooding often results from a toilet overflow or sewage backup. It is extremely dangerous, so you should never attempt to remediate the issue yourself. Instead, call remediation experts.
Preventing Category 3 Flooding
Category 3 flooding is extremely dangerous and you should never attempt to resolve the issue yourself. Because of this, your best course of action is to prevent the flood from happening in the first place. Regularly have sewer lines inspected. Keep your toilets clean and free of clogs. Never attempt to flush anything larger than your pipes can handle.
Category 3 flood water is a big problem for homeowners. It's scarier than other types of flooding because the typical homeowner is so powerless to resolve the situation on their own. Luckily, you always have the option to consult flood remediation experts for help.
Why Toilets Overflow During a Shower
Toilet overflow in an Austin, TX home
A shower should be a time for relaxation. Unfortunately, the simple act of turning on a shower can have negative consequences if a residence is suffering from clogged pipes: Some people in this situation end up with nasty toilet overflow.
These backups are odorous and may damage a home's floors and walls. Routine overflows are not a sustainable situation and repairs are necessary to get a bathroom in working order.
Clean Pipes With Care
Water that travels down a shower drain enters the waste lines. If there is a blockage, then pressure backs up and releases through the first place it can, which is a toilet. SERVPRO crews are Faster to Any Size Disaster. They can locate the source of a pipe clog and restore any damage. They typically use a variety of specialized tools and products for sewage cleaning:
Snake: This accessory is also known as an auger. It is made to navigate the inside of a pipe to remove obstructions. It’s typically made from metal and about 25 feet long.
Enzyme Waste Removal Cleaner: A version of this product is available at home improvement stores. The professional formula is generally better at breaking down organic material.
Chemical Drain Cleaner: This cleaner may be corrosive to pipes and toxic to people or pets. Care should be used when considering it as an alternative to enzyme waste removal products.
Rely on Professionals
Restoration experts prepare the bathroom floor in case there's a surprise overflow — sewage cleaning can be a messy process. Most homeowners also lack the expertise and tools to complete a repair job, in addition to the obvious downside of working with sewage and other wastewater.
Austin, TX, has professionals standing by who can help. They are skilled in residential water repair and can tackle even the most stubborn pipe clogs.
Everyone should be able to take a shower in peace. The experts know how to approach sewage cleaning in order to get a bathroom back to top condition fast.
Austin Area Water Damage Company Resolves Water Damage Issues
Here to Help
Summary: SERVPRO of Lakeway/West Lake serves the greater Austin, TX area with highly trained, well-equipped water damage specialists.
For most people, the largest lifetime purchase is a home. All disasters cannot be prevented, but attention to detail may serve to minimize the damage, as the following scenario illustrates.
The homeowner, Chris, performed his due diligence when it came to chores around the house and home maintenance. From the manicured lawn to the sculpted shrubs to the neatly outlined flower beds, the yard was immaculate. Chris made sure to clean out the gutters, pressure wash the driveway, and repaint the fencing and latticework in the flower gardens.
Inside the home, Chris was just as diligent. He inspected the supply lines to the washing machine, tightened the vent connection to the clothes dryer, and repaired any leaking faucets. Several years earlier, his dishwasher had overflowed, causing extensive water damage, so he was wary of potential water leaks.
Chris gave particular attention to the HVAC system since he knew that the Texas heat can cause a well-maintained system to produce up to twenty gallons of water a day. Like clockwork, he changed the filters monthly so that they would not clog and waste energy.
The annual accumulation of mold, algae, and mildew on the coils and in the drip pan concerned Chris. Every year, he would clean the coils with coil cleaner and pour bleach into the drip pan and down the drainpipe. When he finished, the system looked clean and worked well.
Telltale Signs of a Leak
In late August, Chris and his family noticed a musty smell in the house, especially after they had been away for a week’s vacation. Also, there was streaking and sagging in the kitchen and on the hallway ceiling leading to the back door. The sheetrock in the hallway felt damp and soft in places, and the baseboards and flooring were moist and warping. Water was leaking from somewhere. The source had to be found and stopped quickly before any more damage could occur.
Since the visible water damage involved several rooms, Chris called a local water damage specialist for assistance. An emergency call brought a highly-trained, well-equipped professional to the scene. Relying on advanced technology and years of experience, the technician traced the leak to the HVAC system. However, a visual inspection of the coils, drip pan, and drainpipe turned up nothing at the unit other than a small amount of moisture around the unit’s base. The water damage specialist urged Chris to consult an HVAC technician.
The Problem Solved
The HVAC technician asked a few questions and arrived at the answer. Chris had been using bleach and other chemicals to clean the drip pan, drain pipe, and coils. While he meant well, the chemicals had damaged the drain pan in areas that the average homeowner would not be able to see without dismantling part of the HVAC system. The bleach had degraded the ABS pipe and PVC drainpipe, which resulted in a cascade of leaks. It had been several years since a trained and experienced HVAC specialist had inspected the unit, even though Chris had been performing regular maintenance.
Solutions that Work
The HVAC specialist was able to install a makeshift solution to handle the moisture from the unit so the water damage specialists could begin the restoration process. The series of small leaks had added up to a large problem. The condensate drain system needed repairs, and continuous moisture created an environment that fostered mold growth. Insulation needed to be replaced. Sheetrock, baseboards, and flooring needed repair, restoration, or replacement. The project required many hands, much equipment, and great expense.
The SERVPRO Water Damage Solution
The core of the SERVPRO service palate is water damage restoration. Every water damage situation is different and requires a unique solution, but the general process stays the same. The steps listed below illustrate the process for the typical water damage emergency.
Step 1: Emergency Contact
Step 2: Inspection and Damage Assessment
Step 3: Water Removal/Water Extraction
Step 4: Drying and Dehumidification
Step 5: Cleaning and Repair
Step 6: Restoration
The SERVPRO professionals can handle the entire water damage restoration process.
The SERVPRO team of Lakeway/West Lake is proud to serve local communities, including Austin, Lakeway, West Lake Hills, and Rollingwood. Emergency 24-hour service means the team is “faster to any size disaster.” Using advanced technology and the latest equipment, the highly-trained and certified professionals can handle any size job. Providing water, fire, storm, mold, commercial, biohazard, and special cleaning, the SERVPRO team of Lakeway/West Lake is ready to serve like pros.
For more information about water damage restoration and other services, visit the SERVPRO of Lakeway/West Lake website at https://www.SERVPROlakewaywestlake.com. To speak with a local SERVPRO representative, call (512) 261-4790.
Irrigation Maintenance Tips for Your Property
You should perform some routine irrigation maintenance
Winter is finally over, and warmer weather is just around the corner. As you prepare to turn on the underground sprinkling system at your commercial property in North Loop, TX, there are some important irrigation maintenance steps you need to follow before you flip the switch.
What To Check Before Turning On Your Sprinkler System
Slowly open the water valves. If they are opened too quickly, you can damage the valves by pushing too much pressure into each hose. The valves should be opened to the parallel position.
Check the sprinklers at each station. Look for low water pressure or water that is spraying wildly. Get those issues resolved before you begin to use the water system. The problem may be as easy as a damaged sprinkler head or as serious as a cracked pipeline. If you can’t solve the problem easily, call a professional to inspect the system.
After you are confident the sprinklers are running smoothly, reset the timers. It’s a good idea to reset them for a time when you will be onsite to ensure they don’t malfunction.
Clean dirt and debris off the weather sensors to ensure they work as expected.
How To Perform Routine Maintenance
Even after you have inspected your system at the start of the season, you should perform some routine irrigation maintenance. Sprinkler heads can be damaged by lawn mowers or foot traffic. Inspect them for cracks or other damage that can cause them to malfunction, and replace as necessary. Clean out the sprinkler nozzles to make sure they don’t become plugged with dirt or grass clippings. Water can get backed up in the system if the flow is blocked, which can cause serious sprinkler flooding.
After a long winter, you look forward to plush, green grass covering your commercial property once again. Following these smart irrigation maintenance tips will help to make that happen.
Restoring Your Home After Flood Damage
A flooded home in Bastrop, TX
The number of extreme storms has been trending upward in the last decade, which means homes are at increased risk of damage from flooding. If your Bastrop, TX, home has sustained flood-related damage, you are undoubtedly concerned about what cleanup and restoration will look like. Consulting a water remediation specialist is the first step in the restoration process.
Why Expert Assistance?
Floodwater is highly toxic and should not be contacted without protective gear. Water contamination is categorized using three levels. Floodwater is termed black water, or Category 3, the highest level of contamination. Floodwater, like sewage cleanup, requires fast action by restoration specialists. Here’s why:
- Floodwater may be contaminated with toxic chemicals, sewage or other hazardous materials.
- Serious contamination can easily be missed by an inexperienced eye.
- Flood cleanup requires specialized safety and ventilation procedures, which are part of professional restoration protocols.
- Water remediation professionals move quickly, minimizing the chances of secondary damage that may develop as time progresses.
If you are going to be turning over your home to restoration crews, it may help to have an idea of what to expect from the cleanup process for black water damage.
What Happens During Cleanup?
Once the floodwater has been removed, teams will begin setting up elaborate ventilation systems and removing wet items. Wet structural elements, such as drywall, may need to be replaced. Depending on the damage, you may need to be out of your home until safety and toxicity are addressed.
Restoration teams will professionally clean carpets, upholstery and other porous items, if possible. Electronics, such as computers and televisions, will be dried and restored using specialized dehumidifying processes.
Photos, documents and other paper-based products will be handled immediately as they deteriorate quickly when damaged by black water. The items will pass through a series of drying methods and then will be sanitized and pressed. Professional restoration services usually include HIPAA-certified staff to protect the confidentiality of your documents.
Dealing with Category 3 water damage can feel daunting for a homeowner. A professional water restoration service can provide timely, safe cleanup procedures with the goal of returning your home to normal as soon as possible.
How To Lower Your Business Interruption Claim
Commercial mold growth due to water damage in Austin, TX
Here Are Some Tips on Lowering Your Claim
Good insurance coverage for your commercial property in Austin, TX, is an essential business expense. If flooding or some other disaster destroys your building, you may need to lean on your business interruption policy to stay afloat. You can probably keep your premiums lower, however, if you don't make large claims. Here are some tips on lowering your claim.
The first thing you need to do when you discover that a broken pipe has flooded a large portion of your work space is call water restoration experts. Technicians can often arrive within a few hours to start the steps of the remediation process:
You may not be able to avoid an interruption to your business. Your quick response, however, can lower costs by getting the cleanup started sooner. A faster restoration can also help you avoid secondary damage such as mold that often happens when large water damage is left too long.
Having a plan for what you will do if your building is damaged by flooding can help you minimize costs. Have a contingency plan in place and streamline the transition to it. For example, if you can figure out a feasible way to let employees temporarily work from home, that can help you avoid the cost of relocation while your building is being restored. Keeping the basics of your business operational can help you continue to bring in money, thus lowering the portion of the insurance claim that covers lost revenue. It can also help you remain competitive in your field if you don't have to shut your business down completely during remediation.
Preparation and action are the keys to lowering your business interruption claim. Even if your building is compromised by flooding, you may still be able to continue the work you do if you have a flexible plan. Quick and thorough remediation help you return to business as usual as soon as possible.
Will Insurance Cover Home Water Damage?
Your homeowner’s policy will generally cover your damage as long as it isn’t due to floodwaters entering your home at ground level
Will Insurance Cover Home Water Damage?
When you experience a home flood, your life changes for a while as you focus on the cleanup. At some point, you will want to confirm whether or not your insurance will cover your damage. This discussion may give you an idea of what to expect. Home water damage is divided into two types of insurance coverage, depending on the origin of the water. You will file an insurance claim with your homeowner’s insurance for certain types of water-related damage but not floodwater damage. If rising floodwaters caused your damage, you would need a different type of policy.
Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage
Your homeowner’s policy will generally cover your damage as long as it isn’t due to floodwaters entering your home at ground level. These are circumstances that would qualify for basic homeowner's coverage:
- Leaking appliances, such as refrigerators or washing machines
- Stormwater leaking through the roof or siding
- Water from heavy rain or snow entering a broken window or skylight
- Overflowing toilet or bathtub
- Broken pipe
It’s important to ask your agent about policy deductibles and limits, as they can vary significantly. Your agent will be able to help you with the process of filing a homeowner’s insurance claim.
Flood Insurance Coverage
If water entered your home due to rising floodwater or cracks in your foundation, you might be covered if you had previously purchased a separate flood insurance policy. These policies are generally based on your level of flood risk and are issued by the government. You may be required to have flood insurance if you purchase a property with flood risk. Your insurance agent or local city planning office can help you determine your risk level.
If water entered your Tarrytown, TX, home and caused damage, you will undoubtedly be considering filing an insurance claim. This discussion of the two coverage types for water damage may help you initiate the appropriate claim. What’s important is that you can return your focus to restoring your home and your life to normal.
How To Fix a Leaking Faucet
A dripping faucet can cause severe water damage to your Cedar Creek, TX home
How To Determine What Type of Faucet You Have
On the surface, a leaking faucet may not seem like a big deal. Yet if the problem persists, it can cause severe water damage to your Cedar Creek,TX, home. Luckily, there are steps you can take to repair the leak before it causes a major issue.
First, however, you must determine what type of faucet you have. There are four main kinds:
No matter what type of faucet you have, you should start the repair process by turning off the water supply underneath the sink. You also need to plug the drain closed before you get started.
As its name implies, a ball faucet includes a ball bearing. You can find everything you need to fix this type of leaking faucet in your local home repair shop. You then just need to replace the valve seats, cam washers and springs and then put the faucet back together.
If your faucet has a ceramic cylinder, it is even easier to fix. Just remove the cylinder and take out the exposed seals. Clean the cylinder with white vinegar, and replace the seals with new ones if necessary.
To fix a faucet with a cartridge, start by removing the handle and any clip holding the cartridge in place. Remove the cartridge spout and use a knife to take out the old O-rings. Replacing these should fix the leak.
While the above faucets all have one handle that can be used to adjust the temperature of the water, a compression faucet has separate handles for hot and cold water. If the handles of this faucet are leaking, simply replace the O-rings. If the faucet itself is leaking, replace the seat washer.
A dripping faucet can lead to higher water bills, and, in more severe cases, major flooding in your home. If you are unable to stop the leaking faucet in time, or if a fixed leak returns and causes even more harm, water damage repair specialists can restore your home.
Effects of Water Damage on Building Materials
Swelling wood floor in North Loop, TX
When it comes to building materials in North Loop,TX, homes, water damage can be devastating. From swelling wood and corroding metal, here are some of the effects of water damage to your property that might leave you on the hook for a water pipe repair.
Water damage can affect everything from the walls and doors to the windows and floors. Sometimes the outward appearance of damage can last a lot longer than the weather that caused the flooding in the first place. Here are some cosmetic issues you might face:
- Damaged wood floors can be a big issue with recently flooded homes, as the hardwood warps and becomes uneven.
- Blistering paint and peeling wallpaper can become very obvious in places sorely affected by leaky pipes or natural flooding.
- Baseboards and vinyl flooring can start to peel away from walls, especially in bathroom areas.
Structural issues can also occur through long exposure to water damage from pipes or flooding. Whether it’s an internal supply line or damage hidden beneath the floorboards in your home, water can saturate and weaken the structure of your home. Metal pipes can tarnish and become frail, even corroding after a long period of time under the stress of water. Swelling wood panels and drywall can rot and crack irreparably. Seeking advice from an emergency restoration company is a good way to pinpoint these potential problems even if they aren’t currently visible. An expert opinion is essential to overcome the negative impact that water damage will have on the structure of your home and to prevent potential issues with mold and mildew. Depending on where you live, water damage can differ in impact to your home’s structure, so it also helps that qualified professionals know what to expect in the geographical area of your home.
“Like it Never Even Happened”
From swelling wood and drywall to mold and mildew, the aftereffects of flooding can be destructive to your property. Fortunately, emergency restoration experts can help lead the way in recovering from natural disasters and in water pipe repair, helping you have peace of mind.
The Importance of Cleaning Your Water Heater
Flushing a water heater needs to be done every one to three years
As part of your maintaining your home’s water heater, you need to regularly clean and flush it. Your heater uses both hot water that exits from the tank and cold water that runs down to the very bottom of the tank. Over time, sediment and mineral deposits will accumulate and can cause a variety of problems. Not sure if the heater in your home in Leander,TX, is due for a flush? Here are some useful tips on keeping your heater clean and avoiding some common issues that can occur.
Performing a water heater flush can help homeowners avoid some costly repairs. A few common issues people run into include:
- Water heater tank leaks and bursts
- Low hot water supply
- Loud noises due to overheating
- Component failure
- Clogged pipes
If the tank does leak or burst, you will likely need to replace the heater and extensive water damage can occur. In this situation, you will need the help of a water damage cleanup company to rid your home of the water and repair any damage that occurred.
Performing a Flush
Fortunately, flushing your water heater is easy to do and only needs to be done every one to three years. You can hire a plumber to flush the tank or tackle the task on your own. Start by turning off the gas or cutting off the electricity to the heater and switching off the cold water valve. Next, turn on the hot water in one of your sinks and open the pressure relief valve. Connect a garden hose and have it run to a spot outside or a bucket. Turn on the cold water and allow the tank to flush until the water is mostly clear.
Being proactive in maintaining and regularly flushing your water heater can help you avoid unnecessary hassles and expenses in the long run. If it’s been a while since you’ve checked on your heater, quickly hire a plumber or flush the tank yourself.
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.
4 Signs You Have a Leaky Shower
A shower leak can cause big problems in your Austin, TX home
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.
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.
5 Steps of the Water Remediation Process
Drying process in an Austin, TX home
Water Remediation Process
When your home suffers water damage, you must clean it up quickly to avoid further problems. The best way to ensure that the cleanup process is done correctly is to hire water remediation specialists to guide the procedure. Professional technicians in Austin,TX, have the training and equipment to handle each step of the process from start to finish. Here is what you can expect them to do when they arrive at your home.
1. Turn Off Water at the Source
Broken pipes can expel a lot of water in a short amount of time. The first thing technicians will ask you to do when you call, if you haven't done so already, is to stop the flow by turning off the water at the main line.
2. Turn Off Power in the Flooded Area
Electricity and water are not a safe combination. Shut off breakers to the area that has the water damage so that if you or technicians need to enter the water, you aren't putting yourselves in danger.
3. Extract Standing Water
Standing water causes more damage in your home every minute it remains where it's not supposed to be. It sinks into the floor and seeps into the walls. Professionals can use industrial equipment to remove water quickly and safely.
4. Remove Wet or Damaged Items
After the water clears, items can be removed from the area to be dried and cleaned. If they cannot be salvaged, technicians will dispose of them properly.
5. Dry the Area
The last step of the water cleanup process is drying the area. This prevents secondary damage, such as mold growth, from happening. Once the whole space is dry, it can be restored so that it is usable again.
Unless the water damage in your home is minor, you need to enlist professional help to clean it up. They can remove the water and restore your property to prevent further damage.
Flush Your Water Tank and Keep Your Hot Water Flowing
If your water heater fails call water damage remediation specialists in Austin,TX
Performing this one-hour task once or twice yearly will save you money on repairs, reduce your energy consumption and keep your water heater running at peak efficiency.
It can be done in six simple steps
1. Assemble Your Tools
The tools needed for a water heater flush include:
- A garden hose.
- A flathead screwdriver.
- A pump or 5 -gallon bucket if no drain is available.
2. Shut off the Energy Supply
For gas heaters, shut off the flow of gas to the unit.
For electric heaters, turn off the appropriate circuit breaker.
3. Prepare the Tank for Draining
Attach the hose to the drain valve of the water heater. Ideally, the other end should go to a floor or shower drain that is at or below the level of the valve. If you don’t have such a drain, you will have to determine a draining method that works for you. Keep in mind that the water is hot and could cause burns or damage lawns and shrubbery.
4. Drain the Tank
The goal here is to drain the tank and flush it with clean water. This is a three-step process.
- Open the drain valve which allows tank water to flow out and fresh water to flow in.
- After a few minutes, open a hot water faucet in the kitchen.
- Finally, shut off the water. When empty, give the tank one last quick flush.
5. Refill the Tank
Close the drain valve and open the water supply. Once the open water faucet shows a steady flow of water, shut it off.
6. Turn on the Energy Supply
Just reverse what you did earlier to shut off the power supply. For gas, confirm that the pilot light is lit.
Failure of Your Water Tank Is Inevitable
When your water heater fails with a flood, you can call water damage remediation specialists in Austin,TX. They have the skills and the equipment to perform your cleanup and quickly return things to normal.
3 Ways Water Might Make Its Way Into Your Basement
Flooding can affect your Austin, TX, home for a wide range of reasons. Whether it's a busted pipe or an act of nature, you need to turn to a residential water cleanup professional to ensure the deluge is properly taken care of. When it comes to your basement, high waters can end up in this space in a variety of ways, including the following:
1. Heavy Rains: Rain usually flows into the ground and leaves your home unaffected by a basement flood. However, when the rain is heavy, it may affect the level of the water table. A higher water table can leave the liquid with little places to go besides into your home. Sometimes the fluctuation in the table can even affect the sewage system and cause a sewer backup in your house.
2. Frozen Pipes: The plumbing in your home could be another culprit for this type of flooding. If your basement is not properly heated during the winter, this space could be at a higher risk for frozen pipes. When the interior temperature drops too low, the liquid flowing in the plumbing starts to freeze and expand. This expansion can cause cracks to form. Once the water thaws, it may start to leak into your living space.
3. Leaking Pipes: Cold weather is not the only cause of a broken pipe. Leaks and other breaks can still cause a deluge of water without the sub-zero temperatures. If you ignore the need for a pipe repair, you may end up having to deal with a flood in your basement. Even if the leaking pipe is located on the top floor of your house, the water can travel through the walls and floors to find its way to the lowest point of your living space.
Understanding the reason behind flooding can make it easier for you to create a cleanup plan. It's important to remember that your water problems could be caused by a unique situation.
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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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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
Restoring Safety: The Process of Sewer Cleanup
Water Loss in Texas Hospital
When your business in Cedar Creek, TX, experiences damage from a flooded toilet or sewer backup, the sewer cleanup process is a little more intricate than just wiping everything down with disinfectant towelettes. You need to make sure everyone is safe and then call in the professionals. Restoration specialists can dry the area, clean it, and test it to ensure that all harmful microbes and bacteria are gone. Here is what you can expect from this process.
1. Identifying and Repairing Source of Problem
The first thing technicians will probably do is stop any ongoing issues so that the mess does not get larger. Once the flooded toilet has been unclogged or the lines cleared, sewer cleanup can begin.
2. Removing Water and Sewage
The bulk of the water must be removed before anything can be cleaned. Professionals use the proper equipment to remove the water and dispose of it properly.
3. Identifying Salvageable vs. Contaminated Items
After most of the contaminated water is gone, individual items are evaluated. Some may be able to be cleaned and saved, but others will have to be bagged and thrown away. Before discarding any items, make sure you take photos to prove the loss to the insurance adjuster who decides how much your policy covers.
4. Drying and Cleaning
Next, the technicians will finish drying the building with water extraction equipment. They may have to remove parts of the wall or any insulation that was affected by the contaminated water and replace it with clean drywall. Anything that remains must be disinfected with chemicals that have been specially formulated to combat the contaminants in the sewage.
The final step is vital for making sure that the effort from previous steps was effective. Technicians test for contaminants and hopefully declare your building safe.
Once everything has been cleaned and tested, items can be moved back into place. The completion of the sewer cleanup process means you are back in business.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROhydeparkcentralaustin.com for more information.
Water Heater Leaks and Flooding: What To Know About the Cleanup Process
Hospital Flood after Water Heater break
A leaking water heater can wreak havoc in your Hyde Park, TX, home and often do so unexpectedly. Sudden, high-pressure leaks or a burst tank can flood the area and cause damage to the floors and any items you might have stored nearby. Calling in a professional flood cleanup and restoration company can help you resolve the problem, and there are a few important points about this process that you may want to know about so you can feel more confident about the condition of your home once it is complete.
Quick Response Can Be Vital
If your broken water heater is flooding your garage or utility room, the water can damage not only the floor and walls of the space but also any electrical systems that might be housed there. For example, if your fuse box is located nearby, high-pressure water leaks can cause it to short out or even damage it beyond repair. Flood technicians can address the source of the leak quickly and shut off the water before any major systems are affected.
Drying Systems May Be Put Into Place
A failed water heater can cause the humidity to increase in your utility room and ruin items that were not initially touched by water. These can include a variety of vital structures and appliances:
" Your washer and dryer
Lowering the humidity in the area with large fans and other professional-grade drying systems can prevent these structures and items from being damaged by the humidity a leaking water heater can cause.
Flood Damage Appraisal
Once the water is removed from the area around your water heater, cleanup and restoration techs may discuss the damage with you and offer you several repair solutions, including replacing affected walls, insulation and flooring. They can also offer you advice about how to dry out wet items or whether some might need replacing.
Dealing with a broken water heater in your Hyde Park, TX, can be a frustrating task. However, being able to work with flood cleanup professionals who come to deal with the flood can help you understand the cleanup process and feel confident that the damage can be repaired.
Visit us at http://www.SERVPROhydeparkcentralaustin.com for more information.
Cleaning Up After a Broken Water Heater
Broken water heaters lead to money spent on resolving the issue, but neglecting to resolve all issues stemming from a leaking water heater can quickly become costly. Left unsolved, water issues can evolve into appliance repairs, wall and flooring replacement and more. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars extra for your failed water heater.
1. Drying as Top Priority
If you are facing a broken water heater in Rosedale, TX your priority should be to clear out the water, then dry the affected areas. Clearing a mess from a damaged water heater can be made easier by using drain pipes and renting vacuum cleaners specially designed for water removal. You may also wish to consider renting an industrial fan to speed air flow through the affected space.
2. Cleaning Is Crucial
Water coming from a leaking water heater is usually classified by insurance specialists as Category 2 water; this kind of water is not terribly dangerous, but it can still cause health issues if the area is not cleaned. Be sure to sanitize the affected areas thoroughly to ensure that mold and other undesirables are not allowed to infect your home.
3. Calling a Professional
Finally, calling a reputable water removal professional can ease your mind and mitigate any lingering concerns. These professionals have the expertise to examine everywhere the leaked water could have affected – including underneath flooring and inside walls. So much potential damage from water issues occurs in invisible places, so it’s important to have a water removal specialist on-site.
If you’re dealing with a leaking water heater, just remember three simple steps: Dry it, clean it, and call a professional. By taking quick action to remediate water issues, you can resolve the problem without breaking the bank.
For more hot water tips visit our website at http://www.SERVPROhydeparkcentralaustin.com.
Common Causes of Flooding
Common Causes of Flooding
Water damage is one of the worst possible situations that can happen to a property. While other forms of damage, such as those cause by fire or winds, are always obvious and self-contained, prompting the property owner to take immediate action to remove any ongoing source of damage and begin repairing what's been destroyed, flood damage is far more insidious. A flooded home or business may not appear to be in dire circumstances. This is especially true if the source of the flooding leads to a relatively minor amount of water damage, such as that caused by a supply line break or a pipe break. This can easily fool a property owner into thinking that they can handle the restoration of the property themselves or even that they don't need to take any action at all. Both of these decisions are almost always a serious mistake.
The truth is that even small amounts of water damage can quickly spread, compromising the structural integrity of the property and causing mold and mildew formation. Flood damage can also lead to foul odors that may become virtually impossible to get rid of unless prompt action is taken to minimize the impact of the water damage.
Luckily, nearly every town in America has a professional restoration company that is able to help people through difficult flooding events. Below, we'll discuss some of the things that one might expect from a professional restoration company once they've been called to the scene of a water damage event.
The most important thing is to call in a professional restoration company
It is vital to remember that the single most important thing that the owner of a flooded home or business can do upon recognizing flood water in their home or water in their business is to call in a professional restoration company.
Water cleanup professionals will have thousands of hours of experience dealing with restoration and mitigation efforts on flooded homes and businesses. They also have the training and knowledge necessary to get the restoration and mitigation efforts right the first time. A professional water cleanup team will have heavy-duty equipment at their disposal, able to quickly tackle even the toughest restoration and mitigation requirements.
Many home and business owners are of the do-it-yourself school of property maintenance. While that is often fine for things like landscaping and painting, dealing with the mitigation of damage in a flooded home or business is not the time to start trying to save money by doing things yourself. In fact, property owners attempting to cut corners by not calling in professional water cleanup specialists is one of the chief causes of property loss due to flooding in the United States today. It is absolutely crucial that anytime a property owner detects flood water in their business or water in their home that they promptly call in the professionals.
The call is made and the cleanup team arrives
Once the call is made to the water cleanup and flood damage specialists, they will arrive at the scene within minutes. They will immediately go to the source of the supply line break or pipe break and stop the flow of any active leaks. They will also carefully inspect the area around the pipe break or supply line break, taking account of any water that may have seeped into structural components.
The team will remove standing water
Next, the team will remove any standing water in the home or water in the business. This will be done through the use of heavy-duty vacuum equipment, which can removed thousands of gallons of water in the business or water in the home per hour.
The drying process is begun
The team will then use industrial drying equipment to begin drying the premises. The area around the original pipe break or supply line break will be surrounded with specialized drying equipment. This will ensure that even hidden moisture is completely removed. At this point, all flood damage will be fully remediated.
Visit http://www.SERVPROhydeparkcentralaustin.com for more information on water damage.
The #1 Natural Disaster in The U.S.
The #1 Natural Disaster in The U.S.
The U.S. is a beautiful place to live, but few would argue that it doesn't have its fair share of natural disasters for homeowners to battle. Not too surprisingly, flooding is usually the number one natural disaster in the United States annually. This leaves many homeowners confronted with the possibility of flood damage in the home. Water in a home can be a shocking sight. It stands as it is and has no respect for the precious memories and possessions inside a home. Water in a business doesn't respect office furniture, either. Of all the reasons for water in a home - from a supply line break to a pipe break - flood damage remains the number one reason to call a water restoration expert.
Water damage occurs when the water from a flood spills over into a home. In very severe floods, the water in the home can reach upper levels. A flooded home quickly begins to deteriorate. Of all the water that can get in a home, flood water is the most toxic to physical objects. It contains bacteria, mud, and miscellaneous toxic chemicals picked up on its journey into the home. If you've got flood water in your home, there's no time to waste in calling a restoration company. A restoration company can assess the damage and begin mitigation immediately, making it more likely that you'll be able to salvage the precious memories and objects within the home.
How professionals address a flooded home
A flooded home will quickly fall prey to the elements. What a professional does is to carry out mitigation and assessment of the water levels in the home. They use specialized equipment such as moisture sensors to assess water damage and create a water cleanup plan. Water cleanup in a flooded home is a massive project and not something that should be taken lightly by homeowners. Flood damage is always a reason to call a professional at restoration.
Certified equipment for flood damage will be brought on the scene and used for drying, mitigation, and restoration. Industrial drying, moving, and blowing of the water damage at the scene enables professionals to provide a level of restoration that is not possible with everyday household tools. Drying can be an especially lengthy and tedious process if you attempt to go it on your own. A restoration company has the industrial grade, certified equipment to make drying go much more quickly. This reduces water damage in the home and makes water cleanup much easier.
Mitigation continues after the water cleanup is completed. Restoration is possible with industrial grade dryers and equipment that make the cleanup a success. Any leftover moisture is going to make water cleanup a failure and leave objects in the home, including flooring, susceptible to damage. Due to the weight of flood water, it's also possible to suffer other kinds of damage. You might have a pipe break or supply line break due to the weight of flood water, leaving still more damage to the home at risk. Water in a business is no different because water doesn't respect anything. It just follows its natural laws. A supply line break or pipe break is just as likely to happen when water is in business.
Call a professional water restoration company
Whether you have a supply line break or pipe break in a business, or flooding in a business or home, a restoration company is going to be your best friend in this situation. Only they have the necessary tools and knowledge to successfully handle flood water in a business or in a home. Your home is a sanctuary for you and your family. Any invasion by water should be treated seriously, especially if the culprit is dirty flood water. The moment you know that flood water has entered the home, it's time to call a restoration company.
Visit http://www.SERVPROhydeparkcentralaustin.com for more information on water damage.
Steps to Achieving Superb Water Damage Restoration
Steps to Achieving Superb Water Damage Restoration
Water damage restoration is a multi-step that requires the help of trained water damage experts. Here are some few steps to effective water damage restoration:
Initiate a visual inspection
It's important that you have a certified restoration company to conduct an initial assessment. This is important in evaluating the right action required to reverse the effects of water damage that might have resulted from the supply line break. Once it's determined that there are no safety hazards, the contents need to be secured and the mitigation process initiated.
The water extraction
Ensuring effective containment of water resulting from pipe break and the resulting flooding water in business or at home should be a top priority in water damage mitigation. Water cleanup should be the next step, and this involves removal of wet materials such as toys, clothing, pillow, and throw rugs from the affected areas. Once the water is extracted from your flooded home, technicians should remove any wet surfaces on the floors, ceiling, and walls – this will expedite the drying process.
Stabilizing and drying
Once the extraction and water cleanup is done, the drying process can now begin. It's important for commercial grade equipment to be used in such a process and this can include wet floor drying systems, dehumidifiers, and air movers. Also, the environment needs to be monitored every day and the progressive results documented. The restoration company also needs to know that moisture control is essential in preventing growth and that drying should take at least 2 to 4 days depending on the materials impacted and the scene of the flooded home.
Reassessment of the damage
Once the structural damage resulting from water in a home is complete, the restoration company should conduct another inspection to get rid of any hidden pockets of moisture that can result in mold growth or water related damage. Once the mitigation of flood damage that resulted from water in a home is done, then the structural materials need replacement reconstruction. This is critical in ensuring that your once-flooded home is healthy, safe, and restored back to its original state before the flood damage.
Recovering from flood damage
There is nothing as frustrating as coming home after work or from a vacation to find a wading pool in your house that's resulted from the supply line break. It's therefore important to start the water cleanup process of the water in a home as soon as possible. These steps will help homeowners as well as the restoration company to keep the flood damage at a minimum:
If your flooded home resulted from supply line break that caused soaking of the drywall, then it's important that you remove the foot above the watermark and discard. If this happened to your business, then the resulting water in business need to be drained out of the walls by drilling holes close to the floors and removing the baseboards.
Pipe break is one of the root causes of flooded homes, and it's important that water cleanup starts by getting rid of any contaminated materials such as wood by-products and drywall that results from the flooded water in business or at home.
Whether the water in business or your home led to supply line break or pipe break, it's important that you move items such as furniture and get rid of the wet or moldy carpet.
If your central heating came in contact with flooded water as a result of pipe break, they should be checked by an expert.
If you have food products that came in contact with water in a home, then they should be thrown, unless they were stored in water tight containers.
The overall aim in any mitigation effort is to restore your home or business to its original state after the restoration. That's why it's a good idea to contact a reputable restoration professional for a perfect finish.
Visit http://www.SERVPROhydeparkcentralaustin.com for more information on water damage.
Simple Tips for Preventing Water Damage
Simple Tips for Preventing Water Damage
Water damage is among the most dangerous and devastating things that can happen to anyone’s home or office. Water cleanup is not a simple process, and restoration by a professional is what’s required when anyone finds water in the home or water in the business. Water damage causes serious consequences for home and business owners, and mitigation is not an option. The best way to deal with water cleanup and water in the home, water in the business, and mitigation is to prevent water damage before it occurs. It’s not always possible to prevent water damage from occurring, specifically when it applies to flood damage and other storm damage. It is easy to prevent damage from requiring water cleanup, restoration, mitigation, and drying by preventing it from occurring when it’s unrelated to storm damage.
Flood Damage and Drying
Flood damage is not easy to control. Water in the home or water in the business that occurs as the result of a storm and subsequent flood damage is all but impossible to prevent. Home and business owners can try to keep water from getting into their home or business by laying sandbags at the doors and utilizing other techniques to prevent water from entering a dwelling during a tropical storm, hurricane, or when storm surge is a problem, but it’s almost impossible to control what happens.
Anyone who finds water in the home or water in the business following a storm despite their best efforts to prevent water entry must tackle water cleanup right away. Restoration and mitigation must occur as soon as it’s safe to enter the building. The drying process should occur no more than 24 to 48 hours after the water enters the building, though drying should really begin sooner for the best results. It takes virtually no time for damage to occur as a result of water damage, which is why restoration must occur immediately.
Preventing Leaks and Floods at Home
There’s not much anyone can do about mother nature, but there are a few things home and business owners can do to prevent water from damaging their buildings due to leaks and other issues. The easiest way to prevent water from damaging the home is to immediately stop any leaks. Home or business owners who notice a leaking pipe should immediately tackle the project. It might seem unimportant to handle a leaking faucet right away, but it’s often the thing that prevents worse damage from occurring. It might look like a leaking faucet, but it could be the result of a much bigger leak elsewhere.
Anyone who travels for long periods of time should take it upon themselves to shut off the main water valve in their home or business when they’re away and no one is present. This can prevent the catastrophe of a major leak or water damage when a dwelling is empty for an extended period of time.
It’s also helpful to maintain a regular schedule with the plumber and the septic company. When it’s time to have the septic tank drained, home and business owners should act quickly and efficiently. Delaying this kind of project could cause sewage to back up in the home or office, and this kind of water cleanup is far worse than any other.
Preventing leaks, damage, and other water or liquid from causing issues in the home or office is the best way to handle damage. Mitigation and restoration are required if any water gets into a home or office, though. Inadequate handling of this kind of damage, and inadequate drying or cleanup can result in far more damage, more expensive repairs, and even full replacement of walls and floors. It’s not worth the price home or business owners pay to tackle this project without the help of a professional.
Visit http://www.SERVPROhydeparkcentralaustin.com for more information on water damage.
The Steps to Take After Water Damage Occurs
The Steps to Take After Water Damage Occurs
Flood damage, a burst pipe, or any other form of water in the home or water in the business calls for immediate action. Many home and business owners mistakenly assume they can handle whatever water damage occurs in small doses on their own, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Water in the home or water in the business is dangerous no matter the source. Many assume flood damage is all that requires immediate water cleanup and restoration. It’s all damage from water that requires immediate mitigation. The smallest ongoing leak is enough to cause more water damage than most people realize, and it requires the assistance of professional water cleanup, restoration, and mitigation services. If any homeowner or business owner finds water in the home or business, there are proper steps to take to ensure water cleanup and the drying process are handled accordingly.
Call for Help
No amount of water damage is safe. Water in the home and water in the business in any amount is dangerous, and it can lead to much larger problems. To sum it up rather quickly, any amount of water damage can cause mold to form almost immediately. Mold only needs a few hours to spread rapidly, and leaving the water cleanup too long can result in the immediate need to replace walls, floors, and it can cause thousands of additional dollars in damage. Once a homeowner finds water in the home or a business owner finds water in the business, it’s time to call for professional drying services and remediation.
Turn Off Electricity
One of the biggest mistakes anyone makes when they find water in the home or water in the business is walking in without proper permission. The restoration and mitigation process must wait until there is no power in the building. Standing water and electricity are not a good mixture, and it’s imperative the power is turned off prior to anyone entering a building with any water.
Immediately after calling for professional mitigation, it’s necessary home and business owners begin the cleanup process. Water cleanup cannot wait, and the drying process must begin immediately. When it’s safe to enter a home or business with water damage, home and business owners must begin removing their personal belongings. The best place to put them is in a garage or on a driveway where they have a chance to begin the drying process.
One tip for all home and business owners to remember is they should not remove their own flooring or walls until professionals arrive. This is a job left to the professionals, and it might turn out it’s not even necessary. This is why it’s imperative to call for help to find out what must be done and in what order.
Homeowners and business owners must call their insurance company as soon as flood damage or other water damages their home or office. An adjuster must come out to assess the damage to file a claim to get financial help your way sooner rather than later. It’s important to call for mitigation first, but it’s also important everyone remembers to call their insurance agent next. If there is storm damage, it might mean waiting a little longer than usual to get an adjuster on site as many other homes and businesses might also require extensive water cleanup.
There is no time to wait to seek water restoration and cleanup following a storm, a burst pipe, or even sewage backup. It takes very little time for a simple leak to cause so may expensive problems it leaves home and business owners in shock. Call immediately, and do nothing until professionals give the green light to enter a building when any flood damage or other damage has occurred in a home or in an office. It's imperative homeowners and business owners follow these strict instructions.
Visit http://www.SERVPROhydeparkcentralaustin.com for more information on water damage.
Life After Water Damage
Life After Water Damage
It's a great day in Hyde Park, great except you have just come home to discover that your home sweet Texas home has been damaged.
Damaged by what? One of a homeowner's worst nightmares, water. Not only do you have to deal with water in your home, but also with the water damage to your belongings. And if that wasn't bad enough you get to top it off dealing with the insurance company. Many insurance policies do not cover flood damage or water cleanup. You'll need to look over your policy well to ensure that you are covered, hopefully before disaster strikes. Once you have called your insurance company you can get moving to what matters the most to you, mitigation. Everyone hopes that the flood damage won't take everything, and with proper clean up you can get on with your life with many of your possessions as well as your home still in good condition, though you may still have some things that are too damaged to be saved. Remember to take pictures of everything, this will help you with your insurance claim. Keep in mind when taking pictures that you want to show water damage to the home structure, furnishings, as well as your belongings. All the details that matter to you matter to your claim.
Now that you have all the insurance aspects are handled you're going to be eager to start water cleanup. Just keep in mind Austin, TX, safety first! Be sure you look around the structure carefully to be sure that it is safe to enter. Turn off all electric to your home, and then check out the structure to ensure that it is safe enough to go in. Once inside take care to avoid slips and other injuries while cleaning. You will also need to take steps to make sure that further damage doesn't occur, board up windows, and secure tarps or plastic over any holes you may have. Now that there is water in the home it has to come out. You can use pumps to remove that water, then just mop and blot up the remainder.
Any items that are soaked will have to be removed. This can be anything: carpeting, bedding, clothing, furniture. you'll have to decide that can be saved through drying and what you're going to throw away. Many items can be saved and cleaned and then some won't be worth the expense. This is likely to be far more time consuming than water in a business would be since you are going to have to go through every item you own. Remember to be safe and wear gloves and other protective gear as this water can be contaminated with bacteria as well as household chemicals.
Using a restoration company can really help with the mitigation process as they can clean and safe more of your belongings than you could on your own. Do keep in mind that the hot Austin, TX sun isn't going to do the drying itself, air movement is going to be super important to your efforts, so make sure that your home is well ventilated to ensure things dry as quickly as possible. Somethings you may want to take outside to dry. Be sure to prop things such as cushions up so they can get the maximum airflow and will be less likely to mold. Be sure that you don not try to use any electronics that have gotten wet. This will cause irreparable damage and the item will then have to be replaced rather than restored.
Yes, that house in Hyde Park looks a mess right now, but it won't take long before it starts to look like a home again. The hardest part for most people is looking through all the keepsakes that they can't replace such as pictures and thinking that there is no hope of repair. Don't worry Texas, there are options out there. A quick search online will give you hope that more can be saved than you think, not just your photos but documents as well. Just be sure that you get in touch with them quickly as mold can begin to grow in as little to 24 to 48 hours. Be sure that you document any thing that you do throw out for your insurance company, this will help get your belongings replaced.
Sometimes you will even have to get water out of your walls. Just be sure that you take pictures of your wall before you remove any wet baseboards or wall covering. You can put small holes at floor level in your wall to allow water to escape. In summer you can turn on your air conditioner to help with air movement and drying times, if of course it is safe to do so.
Your home may be able to be lived in while being cleaned up, if so be sure that you ensure safety while doing so. Use flash lights and candles if need be to see in dark rooms. Do not eat or drink anything that has been contaminated by the flood water. If your home can't be lived in while being restored you can contact your insurance company and find out what they can do, they may cover living expenses while you can't be in your home, this is another difference between water in a home and water in a business.
While there are many things that are important to do there are also so things that it is important not to do. Just keep these things in mind and you'll have your home back in shape in no time. Visit http://www.SERVPROhydeparkcentralaustin.com for more information on the water restoration process.
Water Restoration- The Dehumidifier
Water Restoration Dehumidifier
In the South part of the U.S. the low grain dehumidifier is the work horse of most water restoration projects. With common exterior humidity not conducive to drying, most structures affected by water damage would not dry in places like Florida, Texas, or Louisiana without the aid of additional evaporation. We achieve this through the use of low grain dehumidifiers. As "wet" air travels through the machine the moisture is pulled out through condensation. This reduces the moisture content of the air and produces warm, dry air ready to take on ambient moisture and once again go through the drying cycle. Occasionally the condensate builds up to a point the reservoir must be emptied which happens via a pump and expulsion tube commonly inserted to bath tubs, sinks, or other plumbing lines. It is surprising to most people that in the early stages of a water restoration project 20 gallons of water can easily be pulled straight out of the air in a single day. With only a few amp draw (similar to a common refrigerator) these efficient units make the advanced drying of today possible. If you ever have any questions give us a call SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin
Did the Water Restoration Company really dry everything out?
Tools we use when training our techs
I have watched this industry change quite a bit over the past 20 plus years. There have been a number of factors influencing this change: Technology, research, changes in billing practices, litigation and (most influential) the media. The change brought by the media is that more and more mitigation (our main function) has become a term not unfamiliar to the common person any longer. Couple that with the news coverage of mold and we have more homeowners asking better questions! By far the most common question: "How do we KNOW it's dry??" Unfortunately more often than not water restoration "experts" have more faith in their science than they should and do not fully confirm every material is fully dry on every project. This is because a special practice is required to 100% confirm all substrates are dry. Here at SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin we do things a little more innovative. Pictured above is what is commonly referred to as a "screw set". Now, this is our in house training tool, so, this is a cut-away illustrating proper application of this technique. As one can see in the photo a stainless steel screw is set through the baseboard, drywall and sill plate allowing us to read all three substrates at once. There should be a screw set at the point of water penetration at the very minimum by the end of the project. It is also common to have multiple other sets in various other areas of concern such as window sills, door headers, cabinets, etc. If your water restoration company isn't setting screws, they aren't getting all the data!
Water Damage 101
Call SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin. Mitigate the loss as quickly as possible. First by stopping the water source. If it's a plumbing break or leak turn the water of at the main if you have to. Put towels down to dam up pooled water from spreading. Now focus on saving your content and start moving your content to a dry area. If the dry area is carpeted put tin foil under any wooden feet to avoid furniture staining.
If the water sources was from above start clearing out your contents that are below in case the water starts to migrate down. Be careful sagging or collapsed ceilings that may fall or continue to fall.
Just remember, if you have already called SERVPRO, don't worry about the mess. Save your content from any further damage and stop the water source.
Water Damage 101
Call the SERVPRO Hero Team
Did you know by waiting too long before you react to a water loss can cost you big. You can mistakenly cause a minor water damage to go from a simple job and covered loss, to large non salvage-demo job. By your delays, you can also compromise your coverage. Most policies read it is the insured's responsibility to mitigate.
If you have a minor fresh water leak chances are we can come in and dry everything in-place. By waiting, after 48 hrs we are going have to remove baseboards at a minimum and many floor coverings may not be salvageable at the point.
After several days chances are we are going to need to remove all wet porous materials like drywall. This could impact cabinets and counter tops or tiled walls and most floor coverings at this point are non salvageable.
If your insurance company denies coverage that is a lot of expense to risk by not calling SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin as soon as you learn you have a water loss.
Spring Rains, Rising Water, Road Closures = Lake Travis is Full Again
Dixie Enjoying Lake Travis
Spring rains caused server flooding throughout Austin Texas. SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin completed dozens of jobs for flood victims. Many areas were impacted by inches of rain fall in very short period of time creating rising water in areas that don't usually flood. The Austin area experienced dozens of road closures due to high waters. SERVPRO had a two automobiles delivered to their shop to dry out and clean. They were flooded due to the rising waters.
But you know the best part about all this flooding? Lake Travis is full again!!! This dog works so hard during the week, as you can see here, without some quality down time she would not make the next week.
Work Hard and Play Hard my friends, but stay safe.
Water Damage - Temporary Power
Temporary Power - Fire or Water Damge
SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin is ready for your disaster. Did you know that a plumbing leak could affect enough of your house that it might not be possible to dry everything with the electrical power your house has available.
Seems crazy doesn't it. Not all homes have the same amount of amperage available to run all the equipment needed. Sometimes older homes may have the amperage available but the age of the circuits just won't hold without popping breakers.
For Safety reasons we try to only use 75-80% of the breakers amperage rating. Today's equipment is getting more and more efficient but we still often need more power.
So what is the solution you ask? A trailer mounted generator. That's right, just like the ones you may remember seeing at the country rodeo or fair.
The trailer mounted generator is also a great piece of equipment to have during storm events when all the power is out.
As you can imagine this is not a piece of equipment we use every week or month but we feel it was a wise investment. We are always striving to be prepared to better serve our customers. Faster to Any Disaster.
Do You Know if Your House has Lead Based Paint
Lead Check from a Water Job
In 2010 federal law started requiring all contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects to test for lest based a paint for construction prior to 1978. You will need an EPA RRP Certified firm who will be using EPA Certified Renovators.
SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin is an EPA RRP Certified Firm and has a team of certified renovators who can handling all our Lead Testing and Renovation needs in Austin, TX and the surrounding areas. Water Damage, Fire Demo, Mold Remediation are just some of the areas we often find it necessary to test for Lead prior to starting the work. The EPA Website has lots of info for you to research. The EPA also has a brochure called The Lead Safe Certified Guide to Renovate Right that will most likely answer all our renovation question.
Local Restoration Company's Office Floods
The corner of my office has Water Damage
Even SERVPRO of Hyde Park / Central Austin is not exempt from water damage. Heavy rains compounded with a landscaping issue caused water to back up into my office.
This is a pretty common occurrence among office buildings. Usually someone sets a fan on the carpet and it will be dry by quitting time, right. That's how the mold issues can get started. I didn't say that would cause mold from this single event.
If all you do is dry the carpet it is highly probable that you are leaving wet materials unattended too. The drywall is most likely wet behind the cove base and maybe some materials like wall studs and base plate, depending on the construction type.
Leaving the cove base on makes for slower drying due to the cove base covering up the wet materials.
Try to imagine how many times these same materials might have gotten wet from prior rains. Not the carpet too, just enough rain for the water to seep into the walls but not getting the carpet wet.
A continuation of the wetting and rewetting of a wall over a duration of years from an exterior leak can lead to a mold inside the walls.
Don't let a common Water Damage turn into a Mold Remediation project.
To see some of our job before and after photos Click Here