Recent Water Damage Posts
What to Do After a Flood | SERVPRO® of Lake Travis/NW Austin
Flooding can happen in an instant. When disaster strikes, call SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin to get your home and business back in order.
If you haven’t witnessed or experienced flooding at your home or business, chances are that you know someone who has. That’s because flash flooding situations are one of the biggest threats to the Austin area.
In fact, Austin is located in the heart of “Flash Flood Alley,” which is one of the most flood-prone areas in the entire country.
If you experience flooding on your property this year, taking action quickly is vital to reducing the extent of your damages. We offer some tips on how to react more effectively in the aftermath of a flood below.
Protect Yourself and Your Family
If a flash flood warning is issued for our area, take it seriously. It may just look like flowing water, but it can be dangerous.
Even just six inches of water is enough to knock someone off of their feet. Stay away from flooded roads and areas, and don’t go near any creeks or drainage areas.
Start preparing your home before the water even starts flowing in. Turn off your electricity if possible and move anything of value or importance off of the lowest level. Secure outdoor furniture, and tie down propane tanks if you can. If the water enters your home, seek higher ground and stay there until the water levels start to decrease.
What to Do First Afterward
Once the water levels stop rising and the warning has expired, use extreme caution if you have to walk through any of the floodwater. The water could have carried hazardous chemicals or materials into your home as well as sharp or heavy debris. Wear thick rubber boots or waders and gloves if you have to walk through it.
The first thing you should do before any sort of restoration is to take pictures and videos of the damage. Try to do this as soon as possible so you get the most accurate representation of the damage.
If you try to remove the water or save some of your possessions, you could actually end up making your insurance claim process harder and less accurate.
How SERVPRO Can Help
After you have taken photos and surveyed the damage, it can seem overwhelming to think about all of the water removal, repairs and mold cleanup that you have waiting for you. The good news is that SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin can handle your entire restoration!
We can remove the water, dry out your space and address the repairs needed to help you completely recover. Our team can even sanitize your space to help prevent mold growth. If your home floods, give SERVPRO a call right away.
If your home suffers from flood damage, we are here to help. Contact us day or night at SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin.
When To Replace Your Toilet Supply Line
A toilet supply line is an important part of your toilet
When to Replace the Supply Line for the Toilet
It's not glamorous, but the toilet supply line is an essential piece of plumbing. It delivers all the water you need to flush your toilet and do your business. So, if you notice any of these signs, it's time to replace your toilet supply line.
When you hear a constant hissing or dripping sound
If you hear a constant hissing or dripping sound, it's probably time to replace the supply line. The hissing sound is caused by a faulty flapper that may be allowing water to always enter the bowl. This will eventually lead to the toilet tank being filled with water and overflowing into your bathroom.
The dripping sound can mean there is a leak somewhere in your supply line. If this happens regularly, it could be due to worn out O-rings and seals on your toilet valve or other internal parts of your plumbing system that need replacing as well as new pipes.
When the line is over 5 years old
Generally of thumb, plastic and rubber supply lines should be replaced when they have reached five years of age. This is because older supply lines are more likely to start leaking due to fractures in the material or simply wear-and-tear. If you are not sure how old your toilet supply line is or want a second opinion, consider contacting an HVAC professional for an inspection.
When it is damaged by freezing temperatures (or other factors). While steel braided supply lines offer lifetime warranties if properly installed, some homeowners are still concerned with replacing their existing plumbing systems before they experience any leaks or problems that could lead them down this path anyway. If this sounds like you, consider having our team perform routine inspections throughout winter months so that we can ensure that all systems remain functional without causing damage during freezing temperatures!
When you notice a leak in the tank supply line
If you see water being wasted, check the supply line for a leak. The supply line is the part that connects to the water tank and then extends out of your toilet's base (usually under the toilet). It can be made of plastic or steel braided material. If it's defective, you'll need to replace it with a new one if it's not too expensive and isn't damaged beyond repair.
If your tank is leaking despite not being full
There could be several causes, the first thing to check is whether the seal around the toilet bowl has become cracked or damaged and is letting water leak out of the base. If this is the case, replacing it will solve your problem.
Next, check for leaks from between the tank and bowl (the connection point where both connect). If you find that this part isn't secure enough, tighten it by turning on your faucet so that some water flows into both sides of your toilet at once—this should cause any loose parts to tighten up again. If tightening doesn't help, try replacing those parts with new ones; they're usually only available online or at hardware stores.
The supply line is cracked or damaged
If you notice that your toilet supply line is cracked or damaged, it should be replaced. The supply line is the part of your toilet that connects to the water shut-off valve and the tank. It’s important to keep an eye on this section of your bathroom because it can be damaged by many things, including:
- Tree roots growing through underground pipes
- Cracked or broken floor tiles
- Collapsing sinks due to plumbing problems
Know when to replace your toilet supply line to prevent problems and expensive repairs.
Know the signs of a damaged supply line: Look for cracks and leaks around the valves where they connect to the toilet.
Test for leaks in your toilet system: You can test for leaks using an inexpensive dye tablet that will turn blue if there is water flowing through it. The tablet should be placed in any part of your system that connects directly to fresh water—so if you're uncertain whether something is leaking, this is an easy way to find out!
Replace damaged components before they cause damage: It's easier than ever before with good quality materials available at hardware stores. Just remember not to remove anything unless necessary because there may be hidden parts behind what looks like one component (such as inside the tank itself)!
A toilet supply line is an important part of your toilet but it’s also one that can often be overlooked. The good news is that if you know what signs to look out for, you can catch problems before they become expensive repairs.
Using a Commercial Drying Specialist After Water Damage
Water damage restoration in Lago Vista, TX.
After flooding, water clean up in a commercial building in Lago Vista, TX, can be complex. A lot depends on the category of water that caused the damage and how much of your building was affected. A certified water damage expert can lead the mitigation process and ensure your property is professionally handled.
Water damage falls into three categories:
Category 1: Clean water. Examples are water from a broken pipe or an overflowing sink
Category 2: Gray water. Broken toilets and sump pumps are examples.
Category 3: Black water. Standing water and sewage are in this category.
First Steps of Water Clean Up
If you call a professional restoration service to respond, technicians come to your business any time of night or day. They survey the damage, stop the water source if necessary, explain the severity and create an action plan.
Technicians normally begin by removing and extracting excess water. They use industrial pumps and equipment to take out the hundreds or thousands of gallons of water that may be present.
The company determines what materials and belongings can be restored and what needs to be replaced. They help with the mitigation and remodeling procedure as required.
The Drying Process
It's good to work with a restoration company that has IICRC-certified technicians. The IICRC is a nonprofit organization that shapes industry standards and provides training. Commercial drying specialists have expertise in technical drying methods for industrial facilities and equipment. They also have training in inspection, evaluation and workflow surveillance.
During the commercial drying process, technicians remove unseen water. They use special equipment to complete this process and monitor progress, usually during daily visits.
A professional restoration service has the expertise and equipment to handle your Lago Vista, TX, water clean up after a flood or water damage event. Calling one is a good way to start the cleanup and drying process.
Top 3 Tips To Prevent Accidental Fire Sprinkler Discharge
Sprinkler maintenance prevents unwanted discharges or leaks.
Fire Sprinkler Maintenance
Sprinkler maintenance can benefit your Jester Estates, TX, business in various ways, including the prevention of accidental activation. While sprinklers can extinguish or control fires, they can also destroy any furniture and equipment. Although a water remediation company can handle the situation, you can avoid the problem entirely with the following maintenance tips.
1. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
A common cause of the accidental discharge is the presence of heat near the sprinklers. Exposure to skylights, active appliances, and cooking equipment can unintentionally trigger the system. Possible solutions include increasing the distance between the two and upgrading the sprinklers to activate at higher temperatures. Cold temperatures can expand the water inside the pipes, increase the pressure and ultimately break them. You can prevent these leaks by installing insulation, using a heat trace system, and draining the pipes yearly.
2. Prevent Damage to Fire Sprinklers
Another part of sprinkler maintenance that can prevent an unwanted release is the protection from physical damage. Although sprinkler heads are designed to be tough and resistant to most elements, they can still be vulnerable to physical damage. They can be struck by tools, equipment or other objects. Teach your employees about the consequences of water damage so they can avoid impacting these devices. Talk to your provider about installing cages or guards that can protect the sprinklers.
3. Get Professional Installation or Repair
Due to the complexities of the sprinkler system and its components, it should be handled by experienced technicians. Whether the pieces were damaged during transportation or after a flawed installation process, the errors can cause the water to release involuntarily. Repair attempts by anyone with no experience can also result in damage. Ensure that only the fire department or trained professionals handle the system.
Sprinkler maintenance not only keeps the heads and pipes working as intended but also prevents unwanted discharges or leaks. These devices can suppress or put out fires properly instead of damaging your commercial property further.
How to Handle an Accidental Discharge of Fire Sprinklers
If your sprinklers go off accidentally, they could cause flooding.
What to Do If Fire Sprinklers Are Accidentally Discharged
Sprinkler systems can save your Twin Creeks, TX, business in the event that a fire breaks out. However, if your sprinklers go off accidentally, they could cause flooding. Here are some ways you can mitigate the impact.
1. Turn Off the Water to Your Fire Sprinklers
This first step is important as it will decrease unnecessary water damage to your business. The longer your sprinklers are running, the more the cleanup will cost.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company
Be sure to call your insurance agent so they can start a claim, send out an adjuster to assess the damage, and investigate the possible cause of the discharge. If you have any parts of the sprinklers that might have broken off, be sure to save those and show them to the claims agent. This might assist in determining why the accidental discharge happened.
3. Contact a Professional for Cleanup
A restoration company can remove the water, ensure that the building is dry, and take care of any odor or mold that might result from the excess moisture caused by the flooding. This step will get your business back up and running as quickly as possible and ensure that you have a safe environment for your employees and customers.
4. Inspect Your System Periodically
Once your sprinkler system is back up and running, be sure to perform regular maintenance checks. Keeping your system in working order will decrease the chances of another accidental discharge of your sprinklers and increase the likelihood that they will engage in the event of an actual fire. Either way, your Twin Creeks, TX, business will be protected.
No one wants their company to suffer a loss, but taking the appropriate steps when an incident, such as flooding from an accidental fire sprinkler discharge, occurs can help alleviate the cost and inconvenience.
4 Worst Effects of Water Damage to You and Your Home
Blog Summary: The professionals at SERVPRO review the most dangerous effects of water damage and discuss how to minimize the risk of further damage.
Most property owners are aware that water exposure in a structure can cause extensive damage, but many don’t realize just how much. The experts at SERVPRO, a leading water damage restoration company serving Leander, TX, and the surrounding areas, are here to explain four of the worst effects of water damage after flooding, plumbing incidents, and storms.
SERVPRO specializes in emergency water restoration along with repairs for commercial and residential properties. Their crews work around the clock to help home and business owners minimize the effects of water damage and the risk of secondary damage.
Review the Worst Effects of Water Damage
#1: Mold Infestations
Water damage can allow excess moisture into homes and businesses. Water restoration companies will take steps to remove water quickly, but they also need to focus on drying out and dehumidifying all areas exposed to water.
Any remaining moisture can encourage the growth of mold in:
- Furniture, like couches
- Wallpaper and drywall
Mold can spread quickly after it begins growing, often necessitating help from mold remediation companies. Mold spores can cause health effects when inhaled. SERVPRO can help with both water and mold removal.
#2: Damage to Furniture and Appliances
Water can damage more than the structure of a home or business. Rising water from a flood or pipe burst may come into contact with furniture, such as the legs of couches or chairs. Wooden furniture may warp or split when exposed to water.
Electronic devices can also suffer damage. Water can short out televisions and ruin computers or speakers. A residential and commercial cleaning service can take steps to remove water quickly, preventing it from ruining furniture and electronics.
#3: Increased Issues with Bugs
Many insect species thrive best in humid and warm environments. Water damage—even from a leaking pipe—can increase humidity levels inside homes and businesses in Texas. Higher humidity encourages fleas and mosquitoes to breed inside properties. Removing this excess moisture is the first step in stopping the infestation.
#4: Exposure to Dangerous Contaminants
Finally, some water damage events include blackwater (water that contains contaminants from human waste). This kind of water may carry bacteria and viruses, which can easily cause serious diseases.
Blackwater becomes a major concern in properties that experience a sewage backup or toilet overflow. However, black water can also enter properties during floods, as the water may get contaminated by sewage before entering the home or business.
Sometimes, properties also face exposure to dirty water after a fire when sprinkler systems kick on. That’s why it’s best to look to fire restoration companies that also have the experience to handle water damage.
Get Help Mitigating the Effects of Water Damage
Water damage events can have many severe effects on homes and businesses around Texas. Property owners can take steps to return their property to pristine condition by contacting SERVPRO for water damage restoration services.
SERVPRO technicians are on call 24/7, allowing them to move quickly in the event of a water damage emergency. As a locally owned and operated company, SERVPRO always put their clients first, focusing on removing water, eradicating moisture, and inspecting for any signs of mold growth. Set up an appointment for water damage cleanup by calling (512) 318-2202.
Recognize the signs of hidden water damage
Blog summary: The SERVPRO blog shares the common signs of hidden water damage to help homeowners recognize them and take timely action.
Recognize the signs of hidden water damage
Visible water damage enables immediate action and restoration. But a hidden water leak in a basement, slow leaks in roofs, and a dripping faucet slowly damage a property. This hidden water damage is a huge concern as homeowners fail to realize there is a problem until the damage is extensive. SERVPRO shares how homeowners and business owners can identify the signs of hidden water damage. This knowledge can help prevent massive damages and restoration costs.
- Mold Growth
Mold grows swiftly when there is water damage in a building for over 48 hours. Mold spores often grow in the seams of ceilings and floors, hidden from view. Before taking on any DIY mold remediation project, it is strongly advised to consult a Texas-licensed Mold Remediation Contractor. Reviewing the Texas Mold Assessment and Remediation Rules (TMARR) is highly useful when looking for a mold remediation company, and understanding what the process entails.
Any green, black, white, or brown spots must be taken seriously. These are signs of mold growth that should be addressed by a professional mold remediation company like SERVPRO before it leads to any health effects. Not only will a professional team have the equipment to detect and remove mold hidden in crooks and crevices, but it will also ensure that there are no recurrences of mold growth by addressing the root cause.
- Musty Odors
If property owners can detect a musty odor, it is a certain sign of hidden water damage. Musty smells are a result of moisture, lack of air circulation, and darkness. This odor can exist even in the absence of visible mold growth. Masking an unpleasant odor in a home is not the solution. It is important to identify the source of the smell and ensure that the hidden moisture is removed at the earliest to prevent any further water damage.
- Peeling Paint and Wallpaper
Peeling paint and wallpaper should be a red flag for homeowners. It is a sign of moisture that is hiding within walls and causing the paint and wallpaper to lose their adhesion to drywall and sheetrock. This flaking on walls and bubbling up of wallpaper is not just aesthetically unappealing, it is a warning of impending water damage that can worsen if not addressed.
- Stains and Discoloration
Water-stained ceilings and drywall are a sign of water damage that should not be neglected. Stains and discoloration may be caused by a leaky roof or leaking pipes behind drywall. Painting over these stains is a recipe for bigger water disasters later. The source of this moisture should be addressed at the earliest.
- Warped Floors, Walls, and Ceilings
Water permeates easily in wood, drywall, and other hard yet porous surfaces. Once saturated with moisture, these materials begin to buckle and warp, severely compromising their structural integrity. This is extremely dangerous and homeowners must keep an eye out for any warping or creaking in their walls or floors. This is another hidden sign of water damage that can cost not only money but lives.
- Sudden Jump in Utility Bills
As the weather turns cold, a few jumps in utility bills is normal. Any other unusual increases in water bills suggest possible hidden leaks. Homeowners are advised to monitor their monthly water bills closely to find trends in usage so they can identify any anomalies in the bills. These anomalies are indicative of a potential water damage problem.
- Water Damage Under the Sink
Homeowners don’t always inspect their plumbing fixtures for any issues. This may become a reason why some water damage remains hidden. Although a little moisture under a kitchen or bathroom sink isn’t necessarily a cause of concern, a continuous drip or leak is a sign that immediate action is needed.
- SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in Lake Travis / NW Austin, or anywhere else can quickly access the services.
- With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
- The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire the regular IICRC-industry certification.
For water damage restoration services in Leander and surrounding areas, call SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin today at (512) 318-2202.
SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin: Understanding the Categories And Classes of Water Damage
Blog summary: The SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin Article is a Discussion about the 3 Categories and 4 Classes of Water Damage that Homeowners May Experience.
The categories and classes of water damage explained
Water damage can disrupt life and lead to massive losses if not addressed properly and on time. Some kinds of water damage are less severe than others and need a different treatment. SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin talks about the various categories and classes of water damage that homeowners must be aware of. This categorization and classification help in determining the severity of water damage and the extent of restoration required.
3 categories of water damage
The safest of all water damages, clean water is category one. This type of damage usually comes from a sanitary source - an overflowing sink or a broken water line. It is the easiest to fix but can easily escalate into a category 2 or 3 situation if left unaddressed for too long or comes in contact with contaminated sources.
Clean water that has been left stagnant or dormant for over 24 hours becomes category 2 - gray water. This water damage, more serious than clean water, could occur due to a toilet, dishwasher, or washing machine overflowing. This water usually contains unsafe levels of microorganisms and/or a hospitable environment for the growth of microorganisms. If left unchecked, this category can quickly escalate into Category 3.
The most serious category of water damage, black water, often occurs due to sewage water or natural disasters such as hurricanes and heavy flooding. Occupants must stay away from black water as it can contain anything from chemicals and pesticides to bacterial diseases that can cause serious harm to health if ingested. Some symptoms that can occur from being exposed to black water are nausea, memory loss, vomiting, and liver failure.
This contamination spreads quickly due to the cellulose in walls and flooring that serve as a food source for pathogens and fungus. The high humidity, warm temperature, and stagnant air offer an ideal environment for bacteria and mold growth.
It is imperative that homeowners do not attempt to remove black water themselves as it could prove dangerous. Professional water damage restoration teams, such as SERVPRO have the know-how and the equipment to deal with such situations.
4 Classes of Water Damage
Water damage is categorized into four classes as per the severity. The volume of the affected area, along with the type of material affected, helps determine the class. The class determines the drying out time and the type of equipment that is needed for drying and restoration.
This is the least severe, and easiest to deal with. Here are the factors that help identify class 1 damage:
- It has a slow absorption rate.
- A small portion of the room or area is affected.
- There is little to no wet carpet to restore.
- Moisture has only affected materials with low permeability like plywood or concrete.
This class is slightly more damaging than class 1. It is characterized by the following:
- It has a high absorption rate.
- The entire room or area is affected.
- The carpeting and/ or cushioning is moisture-laden.
- Wetness has wicked at least 12 inches up the walls.
- There is moisture in structural materials that can pose a big threat to the safety of the building structure.
This water damage entails the following results:
- Fastest absorption rate.
- Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, and sub-floors become saturated with moisture.
- The liquid may have come from overhead, and/or it has wicked up the walls over 24 inches.
This water damage means:
- It is a specialty drying situation.
- Water has permeated into hardwood, plaster, and concrete that have deep pockets of saturation.
- Drying these wet materials is very tricky and time-consuming.
- The restoration may require more specialized methods.
Most of these classes and categories of water damage require professional water damage restoration services and cannot be and must not be addressed by a DIY approach. Homeowners can contact SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin for these water damage situations.
- SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in Lago Vista and surrounding areas can quickly access the services.
- With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
- The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire IICRC-industry certification.
For water damage restoration, call SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin today at (512) 318-2200.
5 Things to Do While Waiting for a Water Damage Restoration Company
Blog Summary: The experts at SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin offer five tips to help minimize damage and speed up the restoration process while waiting for a water damage restoration company.
Indoor flooding due to weather events or plumbing issues can lead to extensive property damage. It’s crucial to call a water damage restoration company as quickly as possible. That way, the process of evacuating the floodwater and taking necessary measures to eliminate moisture can begin.
While waiting for the restoration team to arrive, the experts at SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin recommend taking a few steps to minimize damage and aid in the water restoration process. SERVPRO has served the Austin area for over 23 years and is a local leader in water, fire, and storm restoration services.
5 Things to Do While Waiting for a Water Damage Restoration Company
1. Take Steps to Eliminate the Water Source
If the flood is due to a burst water pipe or faulty faucet, turn off the main water valve. If the water is a result of weather-related flooding, ensure all drainage systems are free of debris and any devices, such as a sump pump, are active. Then set up temporary flood barriers, such as sandbags, inflatable floodwalls, flood skirts, or portable flood gates. Likewise, cover any exterior damage (broken windows, roof holes, etc.) with a tarp, shower curtain, or plastic trash bags.
2. Turn Off the Power
If the flooding is close to power outlets, cut power to the building at the main. Leaving the power on can lead to injuries and increase the risk of an electrical fire.
3. Open the Windows
Floodwater in an enclosed space leads to airborne moisture. Airborne moisture can settle in unseen places and create a breeding ground for mold and other pathogens. Opening windows can help reduce humidity levels. However, skip this step if doing so may allow more water into the space (such as during heavy rainstorms).
4. Start an Insurance Claim
Many homeowners insurance policies will cover temporary housing during the restoration process if necessary. Beginning the claims process early ensures these options are available as soon as possible. It also offers the chance to verify the type of flooding occurring is covered.
Insurance generally covers sudden, unpreventable flood damage, but preventable events, such as those due to lack of maintenance, typically aren't. Natural flooding requires an insurance rider.
5. Document the Damage
Because the cause of the flood damage is crucial to insurance coverage, early documentation of the damage that clearly shows the cause of the damage is key to a successful claim. A good water damage restoration company will assist with this process, but taking photos, videos, and writing down what happened while waiting for their arrival can also be helpful.
Get Help from a Professional Water Damage Restoration Company in Austin, Texas
Evacuating floodwater is not enough to repair residential or commercial water damage. Water restoration companies have specialized tools for removing every bit of moisture from a flooded property. These companies also have cleanup equipment for quickly restoring flooded spaces to their pre-damaged condition.
Quick water damage restoration is essential for preventing mold and further damage to flooded property. That’s why SERVPRO provides emergency water cleanup services to homes and businesses all over Leander and Austin, TX.
Besides evacuating floodwater, SERVPRO also offers mold remediation services. Whether your flooding is due to broken plumbing or storm damage, contact SERVPRO for emergency services today at (512) 318-2202 or request help online. You can also follow them on Facebook for more helpful water restoration tips.
SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin
6500 River Place Boulevard
Building 7 – Suite 250
Austin, TX 78730
The Importance of Emergency Extraction in Water Damage Restoration
Blog Summary: After a flood or other water exposure in a home or business, eliminating standing water from the premises is vital. The experts at SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin explain why and how water extraction factors into the water restoration process.
Water can do a devastating amount of damage to a home, and it can do it fast. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average water damage claim runs upwards of $10,000. However, property loss could quickly exceed that if the water damage restoration process is delayed.
The water restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin stress the importance of fast-action water extraction and encourage homeowners not to delay beginning the restoration process for any reason.
What Is Fast-Action Water Extraction?
Fast-action or emergency water extraction is the process of eliminating standing water from a building. Extraction is the first step to bringing a water-damaged property back to its original condition. By expeditiously removing water from the home or business’s flooring, damage and the chance of mold growth are minimized.
It takes a lot of work and specialized equipment to rid a property of water completely. Given this, it’s best to leave the water extraction process to a professional.
Water Extraction vs. Water Mitigation
Extraction and mitigation are both parts of the water damage restoration process, but they aren't the same. Emergency extraction uses industrial vacuums and pumps to remove standing water. Mitigation is the process of preventing further damages by:
- Removing irreparable flooring, drywall, furniture, etc.
- Sanitizing and disinfecting affected surfaces
- Using dehumidifiers and industrial blowers to dry the property
- Deodorizing the property
Why Extraction Is Critical for Water Damage Restoration
Reduce the Risk of Mold
The biggest risk of allowing excess moisture to remain in a structure is mold. Mold thrives in moist conditions, including many common building materials. It can settle in walls, wood, and other porous surfaces and quickly spread in 24 to 48 hours.
Inhaling mold spores can cause health effects. To prevent health effects, quick water extraction and efforts to dry the property out completely are a must.
However, some water damage restoration companies do offer mold removal services in the event mold begins to grow before the emergency extraction is complete.
Prevent Unnecessary Damage to Wood Surfaces
Wood is a porous surface. Hardwood flooring, framing materials, and wood furniture will continue to absorb moisture over time and are at risk for more than just mold or mildew damage. Water saturation can lead to discoloration, swelling, and even rot if left unaddressed long enough.
By beginning the water extraction process quickly, dehumidifiers and other technology can be used to lower humidity levels in the space, helping to prevent unnecessary damage to wood surfaces.
Protect Wiring and Electronics
The high humidity levels in a space with standing water can affect wiring and electronics rather quickly. At humidity levels at or above 80%, wiring damage is possible within 15 minutes. For reference, the average building without standing water has a humidity level between 40-50%, with over 65% considered unsafe.
Having houseplants alone can raise indoor humidity by 5% on average, while a fish tank can increase humidity by anywhere from 8 to 45% depending on the size of the space and tank. While there are no statistics on the effects of standing water in a room, the more moisture in a space, the higher the humidity and the chance of damage to wiring and electronics.
As a leading water and fire restoration company in Austin, Texas, SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin offers superior water damage restoration services. Their highly trained team provides 24-hour emergency water restoration, including fast-action water extraction.
No matter the size of the water-related disaster, home and business owners can be confident that SERVPRO will have the right extraction and drying equipment for the job.
Learn more about SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin’s services by calling (512) 318-2202 or following them on Facebook today.
SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin
6500 River Place Boulevard
Building 7 - Suite 250
Austin, Tx, 78730
5 Tips on Handling Commercial Water Damage
Blog Summary: Commercial water damage can lead to a myriad of problems for business owners. The experts at SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin offer helpful tips on what to do when dealing with commercial water damage.
Tips for Handling Commercial Water Damage
If your business’s plumbing springs a leak or experiences flooding from extreme weather, dealing with the water damage can be a stressful ordeal. From ruined merchandise, to structural damage and filing claims with your insurance company, handling commercial water damage requires prompt action. Hiring the right water restoration company helps to reduce your losses and get your business back up and running.
The experts at SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin have some suggestions and tips for managing your commercial property’s water damage.
Assess the Damage
Before you can deal with commercial water damage, you need to know the scope of the problem. Unfortunately, it isn’t enough to just look for water damage because water can quickly soak into building materials like drywall and flooring.
The presence of moisture may not be noticeable in these materials immediately, but it can do untold damage if left to sit.
Emergency water restoration companies use tools like moisture meters to measure water during their assessments. With their equipment and experience, they can provide you with a thorough evaluation of your commercial water damage.
Hire a Professional Restoration Company
Like most business owners, you likely don’t have the experience or tools to handle extensive commercial water damage. That's why you need water restoration experts’ assistance. These experts can handle everything from the initial assessment to restoration. The most vital service they offer is the dry-out.
Mold can begin growing as soon as 24 hours after a flood because it thrives in moist conditions. Water restoration companies use various tools to effectively dry out flooded commercial spaces, including wet vacuums and dehumidifiers. They also keep track of the room's moisture levels with tools like a thermo-hygrometer.
If the affected area retains any moisture, you may need to hire a mold remediation company. Some water restoration companies offer mold removal, but most strive to prevent growth from occurring. SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin has professional technicians certified in both water damage restoration and mold removal and remediation.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Don’t wait too long to contact your insurance provider. They may deny the claim if too much time passes. A commercial water damage restoration company can guide you through the steps for filing an insurance claim and offer vital tips to prevent the damage from spreading.
Depending on the insurer, your policy, and your business’s location, you may have a separate policy to cover floods. Either way, the insurance agent can walk you through the claims process.
Document the Damage and Restoration Process
Your insurance company will need documentation relevant to the commercial water damage to file a claim. In addition to photographs of the damage, you should document:
- What items you had to throw out
- Readings from the moisture meter that include the date and time
- The estimates for restoring the property and treating the flood
Water restoration companies frequently work with insurance companies, so they can help you collect the necessary documentation.
As one of the top water restoration companies serving Austin, Texas, SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin offers timely commercial water damage restoration services. They will respond to disasters of all sizes, 24-hours a day. Whether you own a small boutique or a big box store, their team can mitigate the damage and handle the restoration process from beginning to end.
Follow SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin on Facebook for up-to-date company news or call (512) 318-2202 to learn more about their services.
SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin
P: (512) 318-2202
6500 River Place Boulevard
Building 7 – Suite 250
Austin, TX 78730
5 Common Causes of Refrigerator Leaks
Have you seen a puddle or some dripping around the refrigerator? Possibly some water stains, water damage ,or corrosion? If you are having to clean up water around your refrigerator, here are some tips that may help to determine the cause. Refrigerators are heavy, so you may need an additional person to assist.
When it involves a refrigerator the 5 most common causes of leaks are:
Improperly Leveled: When water is noticed around the fridge check to see if the fridge is leveled properly. If the fridge is tipped forward even a small amount, it can prevent water from properly flowing to the drain. Proper leveling of a fridge will depend on the model, so check the owner’s manual to determine if your fridge should be completely level or slightly tipped back. Most refrigerators are supposed to be tipped back slightly. This is accomplished by using a level and adjusting the front legs to be a little higher than the back and level left to right. Additionally, proper leveling will allow the door to gently swing closed if opened 90 degrees or less.
A blocked defrost drain: This can stop the defrost-cycle water from draining properly. Over time,, ice and other debris, such as food particles may build-up and clog the drain. Flush the drain from inside using warm or hot water and remove remaining debris with a pipe cleaner.
The drain pan. Check for cracks in the drain pan to determine if it is faulty.
Filter. If your refrigerator has a filter make sure it is the correct size and installed properly. You can find the correct size in the owner's manual or by checking the model online with the manufacturer. Filters should be replaced every 6 months.
Water line. If your refrigerator has an ice maker, water dispenser, or both, there will be water lines running from the main water supply to the back of the fridge. Check the water line. If it is wet you may have a loose connection or a cracked hose. If this is the case, remember to turn off the water supply to the fridge before replacing a hose.
Whatever the cause, there may also be water or mold damage to the flooring and cabinets in your kitchen. If you experience a refrigerator leak, please contact SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin right away to treat and help to prevent any further damage.
What Happens when Grease is Poured Down the Sink?
When should you pour grease down your kitchen sink or any sink for that matter? Answer: Never
Even if you flush it with hot or cold water, it can still congeal and cling to your pipes. This can lead to serious blockages and backups resulting in significant damage to your home or business.
While many people use detergent to break up grease before pouring it down the drain and that might help.... Why take the risk when there is no guarantee that it will keep the grease from sticking to your pipes?
The safest and best thing to do is pour the grease in an empty can or bucket. You then let it sit or put it in the refrigerator. When it hardens, toss it in the trash and get rid of it. Done and done. No clogged pipes or water damage to worry about from grease.
Pipe leaks and backups from clogged pipes can cause water damage to your home as well as mold issues if the water damage is not soon addressed.
That being said, when water leaks, blockages or backups cause water damage call SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin. We will respond quickly. Our trained professionals use state-of-the-art water removal equipment and advanced drying techniques, documenting the drying process to make sure your property is dry and the job is done right.
Source: Farmers Online
Avoid Water Damage by Cleaning Gutters
On a rainy day, a clogged gutter can send water spilling into your home’s foundation, through the roof, or down to your basement. That could cause some serious water damage!
When you are preparing the autumn to-do list every year, make sure cleaning those gutters are on it. If your gutters are too high, be safe and get a professional to check and clean them.
If you can, take a safe climb up to your roof next Saturday or Sunday and do a visual inspection of your gutters. If you see lots of leaves, birds’ nests, sticks, dirt, moss and whatnot up there, the gutters probably aren’t doing the job you hired them for.
If you didn’t get to it in time and your gutters have caused a water damage incident, call SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin. Our trained professionals will respond quickly using state of the art equipment and techniques, while documenting the drying process to make sure your property is dry and the job is done right. “Like it never even happened.”
Wood Floors and Water Damage
If you have wood floors be careful of the following:
- A gallon of water spilled on hardwood floors
- A slow leak from a sink
- A faucet left turned on
- An overflowed toilet on ground level or above
- A broken refrigerator line
- Major flooding
Water, in both small and large quantities, can cause significant and costly damage to your wood floors and home. Even small amounts of water, if left alone can cause warping, buckling, and trigger mold and mildew growth that can ruin wood. Larger amounts can cause wall and foundation problems that must be addressed. The first step in mitigating damage done by water to a structure, including its wood floors, is to ventilate and dry the area and materials quickly, but also gently.
If SERVPRO of Lake Travis / NW Austin is called immediately following a water damage event, there is a good possibility we can save your wood floors from buckling using high-powered water extractors and advanced drying techniques.
SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin offers water damage tips to people who live near water
Here to Help
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin provides water damage advice for homeowners who live in areas prone to flooding.
SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin understands the stress and worry that accompanies fire or water damage and the disruption it causes. The goal is to help minimize the interruption to the client’s life and quickly make it “Like it never even happened.”
Lake Travis is no stranger to flooding. Swiftly rising floodwaters crested over twenty feet above capacity in a massive 2018 flood that is etched in the mind of the community. Some homes were completely submerged; other homes were untouched by the floodwaters. Years after the flooding, some victims are still recovering emotionally and financially. The outpouring of assistance from the community is a testimony of the compassion and grit of neighbors, friends, and strangers who truly care about people.
Here are seven water damage tips for homeowners who live in or near a flood plain where their homes or businesses are susceptible to flood damage.
- Know the flood history of the neighborhood and surrounding area.
Understanding the flood history of the area can help homeowners know how to prepare and when conditions are such that precautions should be taken. In the case of the 2018 flood on Lake Travis, one account reported that the floodwaters rose over twenty feet in a twenty-four-hour period due to very heavy rains upstream. Residents familiar with the area were able to take pre-emptive measures to protect their property. One homeowner was able to remove all his belongings in the nick of time with the help of friends and neighbors. Later, he visited his home in a boat only to find the entire house underwater, including the chimney.
- Have a flood action plan for the home.
Having a flood ready plan in place before the emergency is crucial. Many residents in the flood plain of Lake Travis during the 2018 flood had only a few hours or less to prepare for the rising waters. Some important considerations in a flood survival plan include:
- First aid kit with ample supplies
- LED flashlights and a good supply of batteries
- Battery or solar-powered radio
- Non-perishable food supply
- Important documents in sealed waterproof bags or containers
- A central meeting location should the family become separated
- Important devices such as cell phones, tablets, laptops
- Important valuables that should not be left behind in the case of a flood
More extensive information about flood preparation is available online.
- Keep an eye on the weather.
If the local area has a history of being affected by flash flooding, know when weather conditions are threatening and take the necessary precautions to protect life, property, pets, and livestock. While the Austin area has never been hit by a hurricane, the remnants of hurricanes have affected the weather.
- Take immediate action when water damage is imminent.
Action steps include:
- Move furniture and other items upstairs. If household belongings do get wet, elevate the legs off the floor with blocks or other materials if possible. The goal is to place a barrier between the furniture and the water.
- Take as many important belongings as possible and evacuate the structure while there is still time to safely travel roads.
- When fleeing floodwaters, remember that a vehicle can be washed off the road by only a few inches of swiftly flowing water.
Remember, belongings can be dried, sanitized, and restored in many cases. What cannot be restored usually can be replaced.
- Return only when it is safe.
Wait until the authorities give official permission before returning home. More floodwaters could be on the way from upstream thunderstorms. Residents could become trapped if the rising waters cut off roads. When returning, be very careful driving on roads. Watch out for potholes and washouts.
- Be careful when entering the home or other structures.
Caution should be observed when re-entering a home after severe flooding. The house may be structurally unsound. Water-logged flooring may give way underfoot, and ceilings may collapse when probed by the homeowner. If more than a day or two has elapsed since the flooding, there may be mold and mildew growth, causing health effects. Snakes, rodents, raccoons, and other wildlife may have sought refuge in the vacant home during and after the flood.
Be aware of the possibility of electrocution if power is available in the home. Standing water poses both a slip-and-fall hazard and an electrical hazard. Electrocution can occur in a flooded basement, even if the power is off. If a neighbor is using a generator in an unsafe manner, the electricity can flow back into the power grid and shock other people in other homes. Central Texas, including the Austin area, boasts relatively few basements. However, the number of basements in the area is sufficient to justify cautioning homeowners who have basements not to enter a flooded basement until the power is completely and safely off.
- Call in a water damage restoration specialist as soon as possible.
Promptly beginning the water damage restoration process helps prevent advanced secondary damage, which may include structural damage and mold infestation. When facing water and flood damage in Lake Travis and the greater Austin area, the best and safest course of action is to call in the water and flood damage specialists from SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin. Knowledgeable and experienced technicians will thoroughly inspect and assess the damage and provide a free estimate of the restoration and repair project. The staff will walk clients through the insurance claims process from the very start of the project. Flood damage mitigation requires training, experience, advanced technology, and commercial-grade equipment, along with the required protective gear to assure the safety of the technicians.
SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after fire, smoke, or water damage. Mold and mildew mitigation is also on the menu of services. No damage is too large or too small for SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin.
For more information about water and flood damage restoration, contact the office by phone at (512) 318-2202.
How Clogged Gutters Can Be a Cause of Serious Water Damage
Here to Help
Summary: SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin urges homeowners to keep their gutters clean to prevent water damage.
Gutters and downspouts are designed to capture roof water and direct it away from the home. When the gutters and downspouts fail to perform as designed, the resulting water damage spells trouble for the homeowner, as the following scenario illustrates.
Water Damage Scenario: Clogged Gutters Flood a Basement
The water stain on the ceiling in the bedroom unsettled the elderly couple. Thunderstorms and high winds awakened them several times during the night, so they were not surprised to discover signs of water damage. However, the water damage was not limited to the bedroom. Water had flowed into the basement through the window wells, and an inch or more of water covered the basement floor. Because an inch of water in a 1500 square foot basement is over 900 gallons of water, the situation required much more than a DIY solution. The older couple understood the severity of the problem, so they called in the local SERVPRO water damage restoration specialist.
The team of professional technicians was on the scene in about an hour. The inspection and assessment revealed that the gutters were clogged along the side of the home where the water damage occurred. Water from the clogged gutters seeped into the eaves, damaging the bedroom ceiling, walls, and carpet. Water cascading out of the gutters had seeped into the foundation or poured through the basement window wells, flooding the basement. Both downspout extensions were disconnected. Hundreds of gallons of water had been deposited next to the foundation.
Stopping the water from entering the structure was a relatively easy task. The team would clean the gutters of all debris, re-attach the extensions to the downspouts, and clean out and cover the basement window wells. They would also make sure the ground sloped away from the home at an angle that could divert excessive amounts of water.
Once the inspection and assessment were completed and the homeowner approved the estimate, the damage restoration began. Being able to immediately start the cleanup process limited any further water damage, and removing the water and eliminating the moisture reduced the likelihood of mold issues arising.
The above scenario highlights the importance of regularly cleaning the gutters and checking the downspouts. Gutter downspouts direct water away from the home and its foundation. Usually made of black corrugated pipe, downspout extensions should extend about six feet out from the foundation and drain away from the house, generally towards the street or backyard. If the downspouts are broken or missing or if the extensions become detached from the downspouts, water will collect next to the house and can gradually seep into the basement, pour in through cracks in the foundation, or drain into the basement through window wells or foundation vents.
Downspouts can become damaged and extension pipes can become disconnected due to a variety of causes.
- A riding lawn mower can snag a downspout extension, damaging the pipe or disconnecting it from the downspout. If the pipe is secured to the downspout with screws or a bracket, the entire downspout can be ripped from the side of the home. The disconnected extension may not be discovered until the signs of water damage appear.
- Water pressure from a heavy flow from the gutters and downspout can sometimes disconnect a downspout extension.
- When shrubs and bushes are being pruned or shaped, the extension can be accidentally disconnected.
- Dogs have been known to damage or disconnect the black corrugated extension pipe.
Gutters, also known as eavestroughs, are essential to diverting water away from the home to keep the basement dry. Gutters on a house with nearby trees may become clogged with fallen leaves, twigs, seedpods, and other debris during the fall season or after a heavy thunderstorm or windstorm. This debris can impede water flow through the gutters and downspouts. Regular gutter cleaning should be a part of routine home maintenance to prevent any problems with water collecting on the roof, overflowing the gutters, and potentially flooding the crawl space, basement, or the interior walls and ceilings.
Water overflowing from gutters can cascade down the sides of the home where it can pool and seep into the basement. About fifteen minutes after a storm, the homeowner can go out and check to see if the gutters are directing water away from the home and not overflowing.
Ladder Safety When Cleaning Gutters
Some homes may require the assistance of an expert to safely remove all debris from the roof and gutters. According to Industrial Safety and Health News, there are 500,000 falls from ladders annually; 97 percent occur at home or on farms. SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin urges homeowners to observe extreme caution when cleaning gutters.
Electrocution is also a potential hazard when climbing a ladder to clean the gutters. Touching a power line with any part of the body, the ladder, or a metal tool can cause serious injury or death. Watch out for wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets when working near the edge of the home with a ladder. Bees often build nests under the eaves of the house, on gutters, in the shrubs, or in the ground in the case of yellow jackets. A sudden swarm of bees may result in a fall off a ladder. Also, some people are highly allergic to bee stings, and they may need immediate medical attention if they are stung.
The homeowner must keep a vigilant eye on the gutters, downspouts, and downspout extensions to ensure that water is being diverted away from the foundation and not causing damage. Cleaning out the gutters and checking the condition of the downspouts and the extensions should be a part of every homeowner’s regular home maintenance schedule. If water damage does occur, turn to the professionals at SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin for help.
For more information about water damage restoration and repair, visit the SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin at https://www.SERVPROlaketravisnwaustin.com. Contact the office by phone at (512) 318-2202.
Austin-Area Water Damage Specialists Handle HVAC Leaks
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Summary: SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin provides emergency water damage restoration when the HVAC system leaks.
At 63.75 miles long and having over 271 miles of shoreline, Lake Travis is the most commercially active reservoir in Texas. Its status as a non-Corps of Engineers lake allows for private lakeside property. Crystal clear blue waters and proximity to Austin make Lake Travis one of the most desirable places in Texas to work, live, or visit. Lake-related businesses and recreational activities abound.
Of the many activities available at Lake Travis, the retired couple enjoyed watching the sunset at their favorite restaurant, which overlooked the lake. Today was very special because their grandkids were with them. Boating, skiing, kayaking, and swimming at the waterpark were topped off with a delicious meal and an awe-inspiring sunset. Bob and Linda were so glad they had retired to the Austin area. The children and grandchildren only lived a few hours away, and when they came to visit, there was always something to do at the lake.
All week long, the HVAC system had been working overtime to keep the lakehouse cool for the guests. Bob noticed that the system never seemed to take a rest.
That week, there were unusual occurrences around the house. The grandchild with allergies had mentioned a musty smell in the guest bedroom. The carpet outside the bathroom door was constantly wet, but everyone thought it was because of the traffic to and from the bathroom for showers and baths. While gathered around the kitchen table for a hearty breakfast before the grandkids headed home, one of the grandchildren mentioned that her sleeping bag was wet when she awoke that morning. It looked like water had been dripping from the light fixture in the bedroom.
Bob immediately went upstairs to investigate. When he saw the evidence, he knew it had to be the HVAC unit in the attic. An HVAC technician confirmed Bob’s suspicions. The drain pan was clogged with mold and algae, the coils needed cleaning, and the filter urgently needed to be changed. The excessive summer heat and the extra houseguests had overwhelmed the system's compromised ability to remove the water in the drain pan. Water had been leaking out of the pan for almost a week. According to the HVAC technician, twenty or more gallons per day may have leaked from the system.
The cleanup job was too big for Bob and Linda to handle alone. They needed water damage specialists who would respond on a weekend and stay until the situation was stabilized. What they needed was emergency 24/7 service and a disaster response team with the training and equipment to take care of the problem as soon as possible. Fortunately for Bob and Linda, it took only one phone call.
The Water Damage Restoration Process
When a home or commercial property has water damage from flooding or leaks, SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin has the expertise and equipment to properly restore the property. Experienced technicians and a scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup enable proper drying and restoration of a property with water damage. Every water damage event is different and requires a unique solution, but the general process remains the same.
Step 1 - Emergency Contact
The restoration process begins when a call is placed to SERVPRO of Travis Lake/NW Austin. The representative guides the home or commercial property owner through the crisis and may ask several questions to help the SERVPRO team better understand the equipment and resources needed for the job.
Step 2 - Inspection and Water Damage Assessment
The scope of the water damage is determined at this stage. To ensure complete restoration, the water damage specialist inspects and tests to understand the extent of the damage and how far the moisture has traveled.
Step 3 - Water Removal and Water Extraction
The water removal process begins almost immediately and removes most of the water. Powerful pumps and vacuum units are used to quickly remove hundreds or thousands of gallons of water from the home or commercial building, which helps prevent secondary water damage and mold growth.
Step 4 - Drying and Dehumidification
Specialized equipment removes the remaining water that is harder to access. The SERVPRO professionals use room measurements, temperature, and relative humidity to determine the optimal number of air movers and dehumidifiers needed to dry a home or business.
Step 5 - Cleaning and Sanitizing
All of the restorable items and structures damaged by the water are cleaned. The technicians are adept at cleaning contents using several proven techniques. The SERVPRO team is trained to provide sanitizing treatments, remove odors, and deodorize the property.
Step 6 - Restoration
Restoration is the process of restoring the home or business to its pre-water damage condition. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall and installing new carpet, or major repairs, such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. SERVPRO can handle the rebuild process and coordinate the entire project with the insurance company, eliminating confusion and stress while bringing peace of mind.
SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin understands the stress and worry that comes with a fire or water damage incident and the disruption it causes to the home or business. The goal is to minimize the interruption and quickly make the damaged area look "Like it never even happened." The team specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after water, fire, or smoke damage but can also mitigate mold and mildew from a home or business. No damage is too large or too small. SERVPRO of Lake Travis/NW Austin can handle the reconstruction from the loss, making them the local one-stop-shop.
For more information about water damage restoration, visit the SERVPRO of Travis Lake/NW Austin website at https://www.SERVPROlaketravisnwaustin.com. To speak with a SERVPRO representative, call (512) 318-2202.