Recent Posts

Reducing Moisture in Your Home and Mold Growth

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

Reducing Moisture in Your Home and Mold Growth

It's impossible to get rid of all mold and mold spores in your home, but because mold spores can't grow without moisture, reducing moisture in your home is the best way to prevent or eliminate mold growth. If there is already mold growing in your home, it's important to clean up the mold and fix the problem causing dampness. If you clean up the mold but don't fix the problem, the mold will most likely return.

Following is some advice for reducing moisture throughout the home with specific tips for the areas most prone to dampness and mold growth:

  • Use dehumidifiers and air conditioners, especially in hot, humid climates, to reduce moisture in the air.
  • Keep indoor humidity below 60% if possible. You can measure relative humidity with a hygrometer, an inexpensive instrument available at many hardware stores.
  • Keep air conditioning drip pans clean. Make sure drain lines are free of obstructions and flow properly.
  • Keep the house warm in cool weather. As the temperature goes down, the air is less able to hold moisture and it condenses on cold surfaces, which can encourage mold growth.
  • Add insulation to cold surfaces, such as exterior walls, floors, and windows to reduce condensation.
  • Dry wet areas within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth.
  • Fix leaks and seepage. The ground should slope away from your house. If water is entering the house from the outside, your options range from simple landscaping to extensive excavation and waterproofing.
  • Have a heating and cooling contractor check your heating and cooling system to make sure it's sized and operating properly to remove humidity.
  • Open doors between rooms to increase circulation, which carries heat to cold surfaces. Increase air circulation by using fans and by moving furniture from wall corners.

Source: WebMD Online.  Jan 2019

Promoting Fireworks Safety

6/20/2019 (Permalink)

Promoting Fireworks Safety

As families and friends gather for the Fourth of July holiday at backyard barbecues, cookouts and pool parties, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is reminding consumers to celebrate safely when using fireworks. 

“CPSC works year round to help prevent deaths and injuries from fireworks,” said Ann Marie Buerkle, CPSC acting chairman. “Beyond CPSC’s efforts, we want to make sure everyone takes simple safety steps to celebrate safely with their family and friends. We work with the fireworks industry, monitor incoming fireworks shipments at the ports and enforce federal fireworks safety regulations, so that all Americans have a safe Fourth of July.” 

Remember, fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious burn and eye injuries. You can help us prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths. How? By working with a national, state or local organization where you live to promote fireworks safety in your community.

To learn more about fire damage restoration by SERVPRO of West Austin / Lakeway, please click here

Source: CPSC

Fire Prevention Tasks for Your Business

6/19/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Tasks for Your Business

A fire can cause severe damage to business equipment, materials, and structures. As a business owner, focusing on fire risk assessment, fire prevention, and staff education can help reduce your chance of fire and smoke damage. Here are three tips to help:

Assess the risk of fire hazards : The National Fire Protection Association offers handbooks and other publications on the fire safety code in place for businesses. If your local government offers it, a visit from a fire marshal is a great step for your fire prevention plan. If a marshal visit isn't available, ask for workplace fire risk assessment guidance from your building's property manager.

Have fire protection equipment : If you have an automatic sprinkler system in place, this will provide primary fire protection for your business.

Standard fire safety practices call for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every floor. Your best bet is multipurpose extinguishers, which will douse most small fires with ease, without shorting out your electronics.

Protect your people : Your employees are your most important business asset. These tips can help prevent them from being injured in a fire.

  • Fire Plan : Make sure your employees know what to do if there's a fire, including calling 911 immediately. Conduct a fire drill at least once a year to keep employees aware of your workplace fire safety protocol. 
  • Evacuation Plan : In larger buildings, post a fire evacuation plan in several spots around the workplace. Never include elevators in an evacuation plan; always use the stairs. 
  • First Aid : In case of fire injuries, your employees should be familiar with the location of the first-aid kit, which should be kept where possible hazards can occur most-such as in the kitchen.

Source: State Farm

Water Damage and Wood Floors

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage and Wood Floors

Something as simple as a gallon of water spilled on hardwood floors can ruin the flooring, start mold growth, and cause the wood to buckle.   Whether it be a slow leak from a sink, an overflowed toilet from above, or a broken refrigerator line, water causes warping and can trigger mold and mildew growth that can ruin wood. Major flooding can cause wall and foundation problems that must be addressed, but the first step in mitigating the damage done by water to a building -- including its wood floors -- is to gently but quickly ventilate and dry materials.

SERVPRO® of West Austin / Lakeway uses commercial-grade machines that extract the water from the wood flooring with a powerful force.  If we are called immediately following a water damage event, there is a good possibility we can save your wood floors from buckling using the high-powered water extractors.  More about Water Damage Restoration

Source: Homeguides

2 Outside Projects to do in Order to Avoid Water Damage

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

2 Outside Projects to do in Order to Avoid Water Damage

  1. Be careful where you plant

Some plants and trees, like weeping willows, have pretty invasive roots. If you’re not careful, they’ll grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage field, pipes, and septic tanks. Plan before you plant to keep roots away from any water lines.

  1. Clean out roof gutters

You know it’s on your to-do list anyway, so if you can, take a safe climb up to your roof next Sunday and check out your gutters. If you’re seeing lots of leaves, birds’ nests, sticks, and whatnot up there, your gutters may not be doing the job you hired them for. And 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! So next time you’re doing some seasonal cleaning, make sure those gutters are clean. And if your gutters are too high, be safe and get a professional to check them.

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

The smell of cigars, cigarettes, and other smoke odors can get trapped in a home and be very strong and stubborn.  The smell of tobacco and/or cigarette smoke and tar is stubborn because it "sticks" to all surfaces in your home as it spreads through the air. So, how do you get rid of the cigarette odor?  The short answer is that it's very difficult.  ALL surfaces in the home need to be scrubbed and deodorized, including the: flooring, walls, furniture, appliances, small items, and clothing. Even the air in the home needs to be deodorized during the process.  It's not an easy task, but the experts at SERVPRO® of West Austin / Lakeway have done it many times and are Here to Help.  To learn more about smoke damage removal, give us a call today. 

Tips to Prevent Water Damage to your Commercial Space

6/17/2019 (Permalink)

Tips to Prevent Water Damage to your Commercial Space

  1. Train all employees on the location of the water shut off valves and make sure they are easily accessible.
  2. Find out if your business is located on a flood plain and if your area offers programs for business owners.
  3. Conduct regular inspections of your HVAC units, roof, water heaters, refrigerators, sinks, toilets, and any other area you have that may have a water leak.
  4. Make sure your insurance policy is up to date and you are insured.
  5. Keep any documents, inventory, or anything critical to your business' survival at least a few feet off the ground.
  6. Be prepared for a water damage event. The faster the water is removed and dried out, the better off you are going to be. Time is an important factor. Please save our number to your phone so you know who to call. SERVPRO® of West Austin / Lakeway

Mold Growth in the Kitchen

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

 Reducing Mold Growth in the Kitchen

  • Use exhaust fans to move moisture outside (not into the attic) whenever you are cooking, washing dishes, or cleaning.
  • Turn off certain appliances if you notice moisture on windows and other surfaces.
  • Check for leaks around the kitchen sink, refrigerator ice makers, and other sources of water. Repair if necessary. Many of the homes we visit that have suffered mold damage stems from an undetected link under the kitchen sink that has set the conditions just right for an outbreak of mold growth.  Mold under and behind the kitchen sink often goes undetected until there is a kitchen remodel and by then it has spread dramatically. 
  • Empty and clean refrigerator drip pans if necessary. Mold growth can go long undetected behind a kitchen refrigerator. 
  • Put a plastic cover over dirt in crawl spaces to prevent moisture from coming in from the ground. If there is standing water or the soil is wet, dry it out with fans before covering the floor.

If you smell or can visibly see mold growth in your home, call the professionals at SERVPRO of West Austin / Lakeway today.

Source: WebMD Online

Grease and Your Kitchen Sink

6/13/2019 (Permalink)

Grease and Your Kitchen Sink

Never pour grease down your sink. You’ve probably heard this before, but you should definitely avoid pouring grease down your kitchen sink. It doesn’t matter if you flush it with hot or cold water. It can still congeal and cling to your pipes, and could still cause some serious damage and blockage.

Some people use detergent to break up grease before pouring it down the drain…and that may help sometimes. But there’s no guarantee that it’ll keep the grease from sticking to your pipes, so why take the risk?

The safest thing to do is just to pour your grease in an empty can, and either let it sit or put it in the refrigerator. Once it hardens you can toss it in the trash and get rid of it. Done and done.

Pipe leaks from clogged pipes can cause water damage to your home as well as mold damage if the water damage is not soon addressed.

Learn more about water damage by clicking here.

Source: Farmers Online

SERVPRO® of West Austin / Lakeway will Deep Clean your Restaurant

6/12/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® of West Austin / Lakeway will Deep Clean your Restaurant

SERVPRO of West Austin / Lakeway uses industrial grade cleaning equipment, solutions, and cleaning agents to ensure all areas including walls, floors, and counter tops are both cleaned and sanitized. This cleaning process should be done at least every 6 months to ensure a clean environment.

In addition to the restaurant's cleanliness, it will also great help the restaurant's appearance to its customers. A restaurant's: atmosphere, attention to detail, and well-kept facilities are important for a customer's good first impression. 

Deep cleaning is also very important for safety. Daily mopping sustains a clean floor, but will not scrub deeply enough to remove certain bacteria. Sticky floors and unwanted objects can cause personnel or guests to slip. For a truly clean floor, it is important to remove: grease, oil, gum and even mold.

For a deep cleaning of your restaurant, please call SERVPRO® of West Austin / Lakeway today!

Source: Yahoo Finance Online Jan 2019