Recent Posts

What is the SERVPRO® Ready Plan Tool

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

What is the SERVPRO® Ready Plan Tool

The SERVPRO® Ready Plan is a tool for property managers and owners, both residential and commercial. It allows for the creation of an Emergency READY Profile. By developing a SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile for your home or business, you minimize business interruption by having an immediate plan of action. Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your home or business.

SERVPRO® of West Austin/Lakeway has restoration experts available 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying. We are also your business’s best resource for mold mitigation and removal. Our Large Loss Division has the expertise to manage the cost and operations of large commercial disaster recovery projects.

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Getting Rid of Cigarette Smoke Odor

It's obvious to a non-smoker when a home smells like cigarettes.  The smell of tobacco and/or cigarette smoke and tar is stubborn because it "sticks" to all surfaces 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, knick-knacks, 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 have done it many times and are more than willing to help you.  Give us a call today and start breathing fresh smelling air!

Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13, 2018

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Prevention Week is October 7-13, 2018

During Fire Prevention Week, children, adults, and teachers learn how to stay safe in case of a fire. Firefighters provide lifesaving public education in an effort to drastically decrease casualties caused by fires. See what programs your local fire station offers.

Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware – fire can happen anywhere!” That’s the theme for Fire Prevention Week.

LOOK
Look for places fires could start. Take a good look around your home. Identify potential fire hazards and take care of them.

LISTEN
Listen for the sound of the smoke alarm. You could have only minutes to escape safely once the smoke alarm sounds. Go to your outside meeting place, which should be a safe distance from the home and where everyone should know to meet.

LEARN
Learn two ways out of every room and make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily and are free of clutter.

Source: https://www.nfpa.org

What are molds?

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

What are molds?

One of the most common questions we receive at SERVPRO® of West Austin/Lakeway is: what exactly is mold.  What kind of mold do I have?  How do I keep it from spreading?

Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors. No one knows how many species of fungi exist but estimates range from tens of thousands to perhaps three hundred thousand or more. Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. In addition, mold spores can survive harsh environmental conditions, such as dry conditions, that do not support normal mold growth.

What are some of the common indoor molds?

  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus

SERVPRO® of West Austin and Lakeway can help to remediate the mold in your home.  In addition, SERVPRO® will bring in air scrubbers that will help to remove the mold spores in the air in order to prevent any additional mold from forming.  In most cases, the contaminated area will be sealed off in order to contain the mold spores in the air while the air is being "scrubbed" by the air scrubbers.

In many cases, the mold can simply be remediated.  Please give us a call to schedule an appointment.

How to Decrease Your Mold Exposure

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

How can people decrease mold exposure?

Molds grow best in warm, damp, and humid conditions, and spread and reproduce by making spores. Sensitive individuals should avoid areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas. Inside homes, mold growth can be slowed by controlling humidity levels and ventilating showers and cooking areas.

Specific Recommendations:

  • Keep humidity levels as low as you can—no higher than 50%–all day long. An air conditioner or dehumidifier will help you keep the level low. Bear in mind that humidity levels change over the course of a day with changes in the moisture in the air and the air temperature, so you will need to check the humidity levels more than once a day.
  • Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months.
  • Be sure the home has adequate ventilation, including exhaust fans.
  • Add mold inhibitors to paints before application.
  • Clean bathrooms with mold killing products.
  • Do not carpet bathrooms and basements.
  • Remove or replace previously soaked carpets and upholstery.

What areas have high mold exposures?

  • Antique shops
  • Greenhouses
  • Saunas
  • Farms
  • Mills
  • Construction areas
  • Flower shops
  • Summer cottages
  • Lake Houses

Source: cdc.gov

Causes of Refrigerator Leaks

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Causes of Refrigerator Leaks

Maybe your water alarm alerted you, maybe you see a puddle or some dripping, or maybe you see some signs of water damage (corrosion, water stains, etc.). Once you’ve discovered a leak, consider the possible causes.

Blocked defroster. A blocked defroster can stop defrost-cycle water from draining properly. Try clearing out the small drain by pouring hot water into it. Remove any debris with a pipe cleaner.

Drain pan. Sometimes the drain pan itself can leak. Check for cracks.

Filter. Refrigerators with filters can leak if the filter is the wrong size or not installed properly.

Water line. This is potentially the most problematic. Refrigerators with ice makers or water dispensers have water lines running between the main water supply and the back of the fridge. Feel to see if the water line is wet or dripping. Cracked hoses and loose connections are often the culprit.

Refrigerator leaks can damage the flooring and cabinets in your kitchen.  If you experience a refrigerator leak, please contact SERVPRO of West Austin and Lakeway right away to treat and help to prevent any further damage.

Source: https://www.erplumbing.com

What Secondary Damage can occur after Storm Damage?

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

What Secondary Damage can occur after Storm Damage?

After roof leaks or flood damage, if not properly dried and treated, a home or business can develop mold from the moisture left on: wood, tile, carpeting, windows, concrete, and/or other materials/items that were affected.  SERVPRO of West Austin strives to prevent secondary damage every time we remediate water damage. Building material and flooring are dried and treated to prevent mold and other allergens/contaminates using specialized equipment and cleaning products.

If water damage is not properly treated, the perfect environment is created for mold spores to grow in your home and to contaminate the air that is breathed.

Should you ever suffer water damage due to: excessive rain, storm damage, leaky roof, flood damage, a water heater leak, sink overflow, fire, refrigerator leak, or any other reason water has invaded your home or business, please know that SERVPRO of West Austin is here to help.  Faster to Any Disaster

Contaminated Water after a Storm

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Contaminated Water after a Storm

Should you experience a flood in your home after a storm, our team of technicians will inspect your home or business to determine the appropriate plan of action for the type of water encountered.

Category 3: "Black Water"

Category 3 water is grossly contaminated and could cause severe illness or death if ingested and any contact should be avoided. Examples include flooding from rivers or streams, water from beyond the toilet trap, water from the toilet bowl with feces, or standing water that has begun to support microbial growth.

  • May contain untreated sewage, harsh chemicals, and microbes
  • Water from flooding rivers or sewer backup

24 Hour Emergency Service

Water contaminated with sewage backup should be considered an emergency situation and dealt with as quickly as possible. Our technicians at SERVPRO® of West Austin and Lakeway are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for any emergency situations that arise. We have been a trusted name in safety and properly restoring homes and businesses for almost 15 years! We are here to help!

Lightning During Storms and House Fires Resulting

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

Lightning During Storms and House Fires Resulting

Unlike other types of house fires, which occur more frequently in the winter months, fires in the home caused by lightning are more likely to happen in June, July and August in the late afternoon or early evening. From 2007-2011, NFPA says there were an average of 22,600 fires per year caused by lightning strikes.  Lightning is responsible for a number of wildfires as well.

Lightning during storms poses the greatest risk outdoors and frequently strikes the highest point on a structure.

Safety tips During Lightning Storms: 

  • When possible, stay away from doors and windows during an electrical storm.
  • Do not use corded phones, computers, TVs or other electrical equipment during storms.
  • Unplug major electronics – TVs, stereo equipment, computers and microwaves to minimize damage if there is a lightning strike close by.
  • Avoid plumbing such as sinks, baths and faucets during a thunderstorm as metal plumbing is an excellent conductor of electricity.

Source: http://www.propertycasualty360.com and National Fire Protection Association

One Year After Hurricane Harvey

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

One Year After Hurricane Harvey

August 25th marks the one year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, the category 4 hurricane that deeply affected the great state of Texas one year ago.  Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain in parts of the Houston area, flooding thousands of homes and killing more than 80 people. The devastation was swift, and the recovery is far from over.  SERVPRO® was proud to come to the aid of the people whose homes and businesses were damaged by the hurricane.  The water damage was catastrophic. The professionals at SERVPRO® worked especially hard during that hurricane and will always be here for you during any Texas storm...faster to any disaster to help you through any type home flood or storm damage.