Recent Posts

Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Killer

11/7/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Killer Change the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once a year!

You can't see or smell carbon monoxide, but, at high levels, it can kill a person in minutes. Often called the silent killer, carbon monoxide, or CO, is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (like gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, and propane) burn incompletely.

According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning. It is estimated another 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. All people and animals are at risk for CO poisoning, with some groups— including unborn babies, infants, and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems— being more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide.

An excess of CO, leading to CO poisoning, can result from faulty furnaces or other heating appliances, portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, or idling cars left running in garages.

Taking some basic, precautionary steps can help eliminate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Protect yourself by reviewing the following tips, provided by the United States Fire Administration:

  • Have fuel burning appliances, like oil and gas furnaces, gas or kerosene heaters, fireplaces, and wood stoves inspected by a trained professional every year.
  • Open the damper for proper ventilation before using a fireplace. Never use your oven or stovetop to heat your home.
  • Make sure all fuel-burning vented equipment is vented to the outside to avoid CO poisoning. Keep the venting for exhaust clear and unblocked.
  • If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Never run a vehicle or other fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not blocked with snow, ice, or other materials.
  • Make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow and other debris.
  • Only use barbecue grills outside, away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings. Some grills can produce CO gas. Never use grills inside the home or the garage, even if the doors are open.
  • Use portable generators outdoors in well-ventilated areas away from all doors, windows, vents, and other building openings to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the home.

We Really Care

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage We Really Care When tragedy strikes, we're Here to Help®

The flood in Austin on Halloween 2013 was devastating for hundreds of families and for many businesses. This was also a time when we were able to live out our mission: "We are a team committed to helping people physically, emotionally, and spiritually in their time of need."

While the physical part of what we do is evident, helping people emotionally and spiritually is expressed in our values. We ask and listen to what people are most concerned about. Is it a precious heirloom, financial fears, or the uncertainty of what to do next?  

We take the time to guide and explain. For many, we have found that this helps people cope with what is in front of them. "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."

Chris VonSchweinitz
owner

What to DO Until Help Arrives: Fire & Smoke Damage

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What to DO Until Help Arrives: Fire & Smoke Damage When faced with fire and smoke damage, we're Here to Help®.

If you experience fire or smoke damage in your home, here are some things that you can do until your remediation team arrives.

Do:

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from being embedded into upholstery and carpet.
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil upholstery, walls, and woodwork.
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas.
  • If electricity is off, empty freezer and refrigerator completely and prop doors open to help prevent odor.
  • Wipe soot from chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances, then protect these surfaces with a light coating of lubricant.
  • If heat is off during winter, pour RV antifreeze in sinks, toilet bowls, holding tanks, and tubs to avoid freezing pipes and fixtures.
  • Wash both sides of leaves on house plants.
  • Change HVAC filter, but leave system off until a trained professional can check the system.
  • Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air registers to stop particles of soot from getting in or out of the HVAC system.

What NOT TO DO Until Help Arrives: Fire & Smoke Damage

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What NOT TO DO Until Help Arrives: Fire & Smoke Damage When faced with fire and smoke damage, we're Here to Help®.

If you experience fire or smoke damage in your home, here are some things that you should NOT do while waiting for your remediation team to arrive.

Don't:

  • Attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting SERVPRO of North Central Austin.
  • Attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture without first consulting SERVPRO of North Central Austin.
  • Attempt to clean any electrical appliances (TV sets, radios, etc.) that may have been close to fire, heat, or water without first consulting an authorized repair service.
  • Consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water (they may be contaminated).
  • Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock, and air movement may create a secondary damage.
  • Send garments to dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Be Disaster Aware: Take Action to Prepare

10/24/2017 (Permalink)

General Be Disaster Aware: Take Action to Prepare Put an emergency readiness plan in place for your family's safety!

The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency or disaster. While each situation is unique, your family can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. The following are measures you and your family can take to start getting ready. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your family, home, and the community. Review the following questions to learn if your family and home is prepared.

Be Informed
Do you know what kind of emergencies might affect your home or daily life? Do you know what you and your family will do in an emergency situation?

Prepare Your Emergency Plan
Do you have an evacuation and shelter-in-place plan? Do you have a plan to communicate with your family before, during, and after an incident? Do you have an emergency supply kit?

Practice the Emergency Plan
Have you practiced your plan recently? Does your family know where to go in the event of a natural disaster? Have you reviewed your plans in the last 12 months?

Review Insurance Coverage
Have you reviewed your insurance coverage recently to see if you’re covered in a disaster?

Secure Your Home
Have you conducted a room-by-room walk-through to determine what safety measures can be taken?

Improve Cyber Security
Have you installed a firewall on your computer? Do you regularly update your antivirus software? If you answered “No” to any of these questions, visit ready.gov and learn how to better prepare your family and home for an emergency or natural disaster.

Austin Smoke and Soot Clean Up

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Austin Smoke and Soot Clean Up Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Austin Home

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of North Central Austin will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – 512-579-0189

When Storms or Floods hit Austin, SERVPRO is ready!

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When Storms or Floods hit Austin, SERVPRO is ready! Our highly trained crews are ready to respond 24/7 to storm or flood damage in Austin

SERVPRO of North Central Austin specializes in storm and flood damage restoration.  Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.

Faster Response

Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.

Resources to Handle Floods and Storms

When storms hit Austin, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams that are strategically located throughout the United States.

Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 512-579-0189

Does Your Austin Home Have a Mold Problem?

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Does Your Austin Home Have a Mold Problem? In Austin, mold can spread through a home in as little as 48 hours.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – 512-579-0189

Austin 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Austin 24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service SERVPRO of North Central Austin provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration service in Austin

SERVPRO of North Central Austin is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We answer the phone ready to help!
Call Today - 512-579-0189

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of North Central Austin has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of North Central Austin

SERVPRO of North Central Austin specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Meet Our Crew

The Cleanup Team That's Faster to Any Size Disaster

10/23/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Cleanup Team That's Faster to Any Size Disaster Splish Splash, Oops!

A pipe bursts. A water heater leaks. A bathtub overflows. Flood waters rush in. A sprinkler system malfunctions. Water damage can happen in any number of ways. But, if your business or home is under a few inches of water, everything else takes a backseat. Only one thing matters when your business can’t operate, an there is just one thing on the mind of the water-logged resident: A solution.

Your local SERVPRO Professionals are that solution. Equipped with the knowledge, the experience, and the training to help make your water damage “Like it never even happened.” SERVPRO Professionals will start helping the moment you call. Backed by more than 40 years of experience, your SERVPRO Professionals will help put your worries at ease, because they understand the sciences of drying.

When water damage strikes, give SERVPRO of North Central Austin a call; they will help to make things right, make things dry, and make it “Like it never even happened.”