Recent Posts

Storms or Floods on the way to Austin? SERVPRO is ready!

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Storms or Floods on the way to 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

Be prepared for a disaster!

8/13/2018 (Permalink)

General Be prepared for a disaster! 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.

Disaster is never easy but the SERVPRO Mobile app is!

8/10/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Disaster is never easy but the SERVPRO Mobile app is! The SERVPRO Ready Plan mobile app provides home and business owners with a quick and convenient way to call on SERVPRO for help when disaster strikes.

For a property owner, a disaster scenario involving fire or water damage can seem unthinkable, and then, suddenly, become a reality. In the aftermath of a disaster, quick response time can help minimalize property damage as well as inventory or contents loss.

The SERVPRO Ready Plan mobile application provides home and business owners with a quick and convenient way to call in your SERVPRO Professionals when disaster strikes.

The Ready Plan app is a free emergency preparedness tool offered by SERVPRO and can be downloaded on your Adroid, iPhone, or Blackberry.

The application allows both residential and commercial property owners and managers to create an Emergency READY Profile containing critical facility information that can help speed up response time after fire or water damage occurs. In addition to property details, the application tracks prior loss history, utility shut off location, and key contacts; stores photos of the damage; and integrates local weather forecasts and more, including the address and contact information for the user's local SERVPRO Professionals.

Through the application, the user can quickly call SERVPRO of North Central Austin, or submit an electronic "First Notice of Loss" to the SERVPRO National Call Center, setting the wheels of recovery in motion. Rapid response from a disaster cleanup and restoration specialist can help the property owner evaluate options, start the insurance process, and take the right steps from the beginning to bring their property back to normal, "Like it never even happened."

The SERVPRO Ready Plan mobile app places a convenient preparedness tool right at your fingertips. Disasters are unpredictable and frequently strike without warning. That is why SERVPRO's Ready Plan mobile app is so valuable. In the confusion and panic that often surround a disaster, a property owner or manager can reach out for expert help right from the scene, using their cell phones. For more information on the SERVPRO Ready Plan mobile app and how it can help you be more prepared, contact SERVPRO of North Central Austin at 512-579-0189

Have a Fire Escape Plan!

8/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Have a Fire Escape Plan! Make an emergency evacuation plan for your home.

Every second counts during a fire. Fire experts agree, people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.*

In a matter of moments, a small flame can become a major fire, making it critical to be prepared with an escape plan in place. A survey conducted by the American Red Cross shows only 26 percent of families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan. Once a plan is developed, it is critical that everyone in the home understands the plan; the best way to do this is by practicing the escape plan at least twice a year. Increase your chance of surviving a fire by ensuring you have working smoke detectors in place, building an escape plan, and then practicing the escape plan. The following are a few steps to help you develop an emergency escape plan:

Draw a map of each level of your home and show all doors and windows. Find two ways to get out of each room. Make sure all doors and windows that lead outside open easily.

Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas on the second and third floors. Only purchase collapsible escape ladders evaluated by a recognized testing laboratory. Store them near the window where they will be used.

Choose an outside meeting place a safe distance from your home where everyone can meet after they’ve escaped. Make sure to mark the meeting location on your escape plan. Teach children how to escape on their own in case you cannot help them. Plan for everyone in your home with special considerations for elderly or disabled individuals. Practice your fire escape plan at night and during the daytime. SERVPRO of North Central Austin wants you to stay safe and prepare now to ensure you are ready for any disaster. *Tips provided by American Red Cross and National Fire Protection Association

Do you have a mold problem?

8/8/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Do you 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

Smoke and Soot

8/7/2018 (Permalink)

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

Vandalism Clean-Up

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Vandalism Clean-Up We are able to handle various types of restoration situations: fire, mold, water damage, spray paint, and more!

Jackie Vega of KXAN Austin wrote an article in June of 2015 about a commercial client we helped clean up from a vandalism situation. Read the original article here, or read below:

"AUSTIN (KXAN) — The search is on for the vandals who broke into a newly renovated early childhood development center geared toward helping low-income families in Southeast Austin. The vandals also brazenly took the time during their mischief to munch on a few bowls of cereal before taking off.

“Instead of arriving Monday morning to a newly renovated Child Inc. Palomita Early Childhood Development, Center Director Rachael Salazar was greeted by complete chaos,” said spokeswoman Edith Gray. “Vandals had broken in overnight with the intent of destruction.”

Gray says they found furniture overturned, paint sprayed on walls, rugs, toys, books and computers. They say two laptops were stolen.

“Food from the kitchen used to prepare healthy meals for our most vulnerable children [was] thrown everywhere,” said Gray. “It also appears the vandals helped themselves to a few bowls of cereal. Gang signs were sprayed on the walls. Then again last night, another window broken and another break-in.”

Gray says they need the community to help put a stop to this pattern — a type of crime she says impacts low-income families in the area.

The center says they hope to have everything clean by next Monday."

These sorts of incidents are always challenging, and come with a lot of decisions and clean up to get things back to normal. SERVPRO of North Central Austin was ready and equipped to help, and able to work with this business to get things "Like it never even happened."

Is your business emergency ready?

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Is your business emergency ready? Help Your Business Be Ready in Case of Emergency

How quickly your company can get back to business after a tornado, fire, or flood often depends on the emergency planning done today. The regular occurrence of natural disasters demonstrates the importance of being prepared for any emergency. While each situation is unique, your organization can be better prepared if you plan carefully, put emergency procedures in place, and practice for all kinds of emergencies. The following are basic measures business owners and managers can take to begin preparing. A commitment to begin planning today will help support your employees, customers, the community, local economy, and even the country. It also protects your business investment and gives your company a better chance for survival.

Develop a Business Continuity Plan Your organization's risk needs will vary depending on the specific industry, size, scope, and location. Begin by reviewing your business process flow chart, if one exists, to identify operations critical to survival and recovery. Carefully assess your internal and external functions to determine which staff, materials, procedures, and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating. You should also establish procedures for succession of management.

Review Insurance Coverage Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed, or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary; check with your agent or provider about things such as physical losses, flood coverage, and business interruption. Understand what your policy does and does not cover.

Prepare Your Emergency Plan Your employees and co-workers are your businesses' most valuable asset. Communication is central before, during, and after a disaster. Include emergency information in newsletters, on your company intranet, in periodic employee e-mails and/or other communication tools.

Practice the Emergency Plan Some disasters will require employees to leave the workplace quickly. The ability to evacuate workers, consumers, and visitors effectively can save lives. If your business operates out of more than one location, establish evacuation procedures for each individual building. If your company is in a high-rise building, an industrial park, or even a strip mall, it is important to coordinate and practice with other tenants or businesses to avoid confusion and potential gridlock.

Secure Your Facility and Equipment Install fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, and detectors in appropriate places. Secure all entry and exit points and plan for mail safety. Plan what you will do if your building, plant, or store is not usable. Secure valuable equipment.

Improve Cyber Security Protecting your data and information systems may require specialized expertise, but even the smallest business can be better prepared. Use anti-virus software and keep it up-to-date. Don't open emails from unknown sources. Use hard-to-guess passwords. Protect your computer from intruders by using firewalls. Back up your computer data and download security protection updates known as patches regularly.

Let us be the "Light" after the storm.

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Let us be the "Light" after the storm. Uprooted tree

KXAN's Chris Sadeghi published an article back in May of 2015 about one of our clients who was a victim of the Memorial Day Floods. See the original post here, or read below.

"WIMBERLEY, Texas (KXAN) — A Hawaiian vacation was just hours away for Joan Jenkins when she received a phone call that her Wimberley home was flooded. So she turned away from paradise and returned to a very harsh reality.

“When we rounded the corner, I just burst into tears because our house has never flooded and we have owned it for 40 years,” she said Friday as she sorted through her water-soaked belongings. Though her home was damaged and many possessions destroyed, it was what sat in the backyard which may have painted the most clear picture of what the community lost.

“It was a tree we called ‘Strong,’” she said. “We figured it was 400-500 years old and it is gone. It makes you think that nothing is permanent.”

That inevitability is one Texans have faced many times in the aftermath of May flooding which has ended lives, taken homes, and devastated neighborhoods.

Nothing is permanent. Not even sadness.

“You cry some more and then you get back to work,” said Jenkins.

As the sunshine shone bright on Friday, Jenkins, her friend Marilyn, and her daughter Jessica managed to find the bright side in a lot of things. While looking over what was lost, Jenkins found something.

“I found a love letter from my old boyfriend,” she said with a laugh as she stared at the piece of paper with the words “I love you” written repeatedly to take up the entire page. “I might call him and tell him he made my day!”

The three women even found it in them to crack a few jokes about how the upcoming Christmas might be the best in years.

“People tell me they never know what to get me because I have everything. Well, problem solved,” said Jenkins.

But the biggest silver-lining, according to Jenkins, has been the goodwill pouring into Hays County and Texas from volunteers and donations all over.

“It has been inspiring.”

It could be years before the area fully recovers from the damage, but for Jenkins it starts with a simple purchase. Herself, Jessica, and Marilyn wear all wearing the same burnt orange Texas Longhorns t-shirts on Friday.

“We are wearing identical shirts. Our $4 Academy t-shirts as we clean up,” she said. “As a team.”"

Stories like this give us hope that we can continue to help those who need it piece their lives back together after storm damage. If you have experienced water damage due to the recent rains, please call us 24/7 at 512-579-0189. We're here to help.

Take steps to prepare for Emergencies.

8/1/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Take steps to prepare for Emergencies. Emergencies are unplanned, but not unexpected; here are some tips to be prepared when caught off guard

In recent years, many forms of disasters have affected the United States. Flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and blizzards are natural disasters that can threaten your home, business, and community.

If you've seen the news, you know that emergencies can happen unexpectedly in communities just like yours, to people like you. We've seen tornado outbreaks, river floods, flash floods, historic earthquakes, tsunamis, and even water main breaks and power outages in U.S. cities affecting millions of people for days at a time.

Here are three steps to help you prepare and plan in the event that you must go for three days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket, or local services:

  1. Get a Kit: Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and those in your care - water, non-perishable food, first aid, prescriptions, flashlight, battery-powered radio - for a checklist of supplies, visit www.ready.gov
  2. Make a Plan: Discuss, agree on, and document an emergency plan with those in your care. For sample plans, see www.ready.gov- Work together with neighbors, colleagues, and others to help build community resilience.
  3. Be Informed: Free information is available to assist you from federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial resources. You can find preparedness information by:

- Accessing www.ready.gov to learn what to do before, during, and after an emergency.

- Contacting your local emergency management agency to get essential information on specific hazards to your area, local plans for shelter and evacuation, ways to get information before and during an emergency, and how to sign up for emergency alerts if they are available.

- Contacting your local firehouse and asking for a tour and information about preparedness.

Police, fire, and rescue may not always be able to reach you quickly, such as if trees and power lines are down, or if they're overwhelmed by demand from an emergency. The most important step you can take in helping your local responders is being able to take care of yourself and those in your care; the more people who are prepared, the quicker the community will recover.

As FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate reminded us, "Individuals and families are the most important members of the nation's emergency management team. Being prepared can save precious time if there is a need to respond to an emergency." For more information on NPM, and for help getting prepared, visit www.ready.gov, or call 1-800-BE-READY, 1-888-SE-LISTO, and TTY 1-800-462-7585 for free information.

Next month (September) is National Preparedness Month, and SERVPRO of North Central Austin wants you to be aware of the steps to take to help prepare for a natural disaster. For more information on disaster preparedness, visit www.ready.gov, or call SERVPRO of North Central Austin; our professionals can help your business prepare for the unexpected by offering an Emergency Ready Profile (ERP). The profile is designed to be a quick and easy snapshot of your business, providing critical facility information needed for detailed emergency preparation. For a customized Emergency READY Plan, contact us at SERVPRO of North Central Austin today, at 512-579-0189.

Emergencies are unplanned, but not unexpected; here are some tips to be prepared when caught off guard