Recent Posts

24 Hour Emergency Water Damage Service

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

When the Unexpected Happens - image of overflowing dishwasher SERVPRO of North Central Austin provides 24 hour fire and water damage restoration services to Austin and surrounding neighborhoods.

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)?
  • Size of home and portion affected.

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.

Certifications

  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • CDS - Commercial Drying Specialist
  • ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program
  • FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • IICRC Certified Firm
  • OSHA - 10-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program
  • RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician

Affiliations

  • Austin Association of Facility & Maintenance Engineers - AAFAME
  • Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification - IICRC

IICRC Certified Firm

3/29/2021 (Permalink)

Learn more bout IICRC Certified Firms at IICRC.ORG IICRC.Org

SERVPRO of North Central Austin is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

• Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.

• Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.

• Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.

• Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.

• Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

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 and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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.

IICRC.ORG

We are Cleaning Experts

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.

Specialized Training

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:

  • Kitchen/Food Areas
  • Bathrooms
  • Schools/Classrooms
  • Offices
  • Retail Spaces
  • Water Fountains
  • Shelving/Racks
  • Sales Counters
  • Carpets and Rugs
  • Stair Handrails
  • Elevator Cars
  • Playground Equipment
  • Fitness Equipment

Specialized Products

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of North Central Austin, 512-579-0189

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fguidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Water Damage Help Day or Night

12/9/2020 (Permalink)

Exterior of a house at night with a single window lit When you have a water emergency, SERVPRO of North Central Austin is here to clean it up. (Photo by Yan Berthemy)

Water emergencies happen at any time and when they do, immediate action is crucial. That’s why SERVPRO of North Central Austin is on-call 24 hours a day.

We’re here for all kinds of restoration projects, but we know that with water events, especially, a delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

Home emergencies can leave you feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. Most of us, thankfully, don’t get a lot of experience with crises like flooding. An expert restoration team like SERVPRO of North Central Austin has the water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. 

What to Expect

When you first call us, we’ll ask a lot of questions about your water damage emergency. This helps us determine what equipment and resources to bring, and how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Questions include

  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • When the flooding or water damage occurred
  • What caused the water damage (if known)
  • If there is electricity available onsite

If you’ve experienced flooding, leaking, sewer backups, or any other kind of water damage, call SERVPRO of North Central Austin. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

A Guide to Our Certifications

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Young adults sitting in a classroom For SERVPRO technicians, learning never stops (Photo by Sam Balye)

We always want to work with the best, but when you’re choosing a contractor to partner with your business, you know that the company you choose will be reflect on you. 

At SERVPRO of North Central Austin, we understand that. We know how important it is to partner with capable and reliable companies because as an independently owned and operated franchise, we’re right there with you. That’s why we make sure our technicians receive continuing education throughout their employment—not just at hiring—and we make sure we qualify for all the certification programs that are important in the restoration industry.

So that you can see at a glance that we’re serious about quality, here’s a quick guide to our certifications:

IICRC

  • ASD—Applied Structural Drying Technician: Teaches the process and techniques for drying water-damaged structures and contents.
  • CDS—Commercial Drying Specialist: Focuses on repairing water-damage in a commercial or industrial environment
  • FSRT—Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician: Teaches the technical procedures for dealing with fire and smoke damage
  • WRT—Water Damage Restoration Technician: Covers water damage, sewer backups, and mold contamination

OSHA
10-hour General and/or Construction Industry Training Program: Course teaches general safety and health practices that everyone in the construction industry needs to know.

EPA
RRRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation: Covers how to inspect the risk of lead-based paint and how to safely deal with it.

In addition to all these certifications, SERVPRO provides its employees at every level with continuing education so that we can be the most effective restoration team around.

You can trust our training. No matter what the disaster, SERVPRO of North Central Austin will make your business "Like it never even happened."

Fire Drill Tips for Management

11/27/2020 (Permalink)

White wall with exit sign over door. Are your office's fire drills as effective as they need to be? (Photo by Michael Jasmund)

Most businesses are required by OSHA and fire department codes to conduct regular fire safety drills. And most employees have grown to hate these interruptions on a personal level. A team that would never mind gathering in the parking lot to discuss the latest bingeable series will despise the opportunity as soon as it’s mandated by a ringing alarm.

Maybe it’s because we all practiced them in school or maybe it’s because of the inferred condescension, but employees really hate fire drills. They’ve developed a reputation as a sort of juvenile exercises. Regardless, these are not just a pointless requirement but are genuinely important to the safety of your office.

We spoke to Peter Butler, a General Manager for a local Austin customer contact center, to find out how he helps keep fire drills effective.

  1. Take them seriously. “Your team won’t take it seriously if you don’t,” Peter told us, “Don’t warn your employees that a drill is coming, and don’t blow it off when it happens.”

  2. Prepare your team ahead of time. While Peter advises against giving your team advance notice of the drill, he does recommend occasionally reviewing the fire safety plan with your team.

    “You can do it in a team meeting. Make a little field trip out of it and walk everyone through the process. Physically walking everyone to the meeting spot is more memorable than pointing to a map.”

  3. Create a script for customer-facing roles. Many of the employees at the contact center Peter works for spend their days on the phone with customers. He provides his teams with a couple bullet points to explain that 1) due to a local emergency the call must be disconnected and 2) the customer should call back at their convenience for continued assistance.

    “Usually the customers can hear the fire alarm going off in the background, so they generally seem to understand the situation.”

The most important part of a fire drill is remembering why you’re doing it and whom you’re doing it for. You’re not just exiting a building to check off a box, but to ensure the safety of the people you’re responsible for. Keep that in mind and make each fire drill matter.

Stay Safe This Thanksgiving and Every Day

11/23/2020 (Permalink)

Man and woman cooking Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving this week (Photo by Becca Tapert).

This week, families around the United States will celebrate Thanksgiving with a delicious feast, but we have to remember that if we don’t practice safe cooking habits, our happy holiday could quickly become hazardous in the blink of an eye.

According to the NFPA, cooking is the main cause of home fires and injuries, with the Thanksgiving holiday being the peak day for cooking-related fire emergencies. Review the following safety tips to help ensure you can enjoy a safe holiday. 

  • Never leave cooking food unattended. Stay in the kitchen while frying, grilling, or broiling food. This is a great excuse to recruit a family member to help in the kitchen. If you need to leave the room for any reason, have someone with you to take over.
  • Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while kitchen equipment is in use. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on. 
  • Keep small children away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove and oven. If you want to get your kids involved in cooking, focus their attention with meal prep at the dining table.
  • Keep anything flammable away from the stove, oven, or other appliances in the kitchen that generates heat. 
  • Don’t wear loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. 
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease build-up. 
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen year round. Contact the local fire department for training on the proper use of fire extinguishers if you are unsure. 
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all kitchen appliances like stoves, ovens, and toasters are turned off. 
  • Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside of bedrooms. Use the test button to check it is working properly every month. Replace the batteries at least once a year. 

Your local SERVPRO® franchise professionals wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving and holiday season. 

How to Help Home Fire Survivors

11/18/2020 (Permalink)

Fire department caution tape with blurry firetrucks in the background How can you help when someone in your community loses everything to a fire? (Photo by Malachi Brooks)

As restoration professionals, we at SERVPRO of North Central Austin frequently work with homeowners going through the worst disasters of their lives. We’re proud to be able to help and to fix what’s been damaged. We know the joy of making homes “Like it never even happened.” But what do you do when someone’s home is actually destroyed by fire?

How can we as a community step up when a family loses everything in a fire? If you know the family, the simplest way to help is to give your neighbors the items that survivors of house fires need the most:

  1. Immediate necessities. Imagine walking into a hotel room with no bags. What do you change into after your shower? How do you brush your teeth? Gently used clothes from your own closet are generally considered appropriate since they’re immediately available and don’t require the time and effort of wardrobe shopping. But on your way to deliver them, stop by Walmart or Target and grab some new socks and underwear.
  2. Short-term basics. Now imagine moving into a new apartment with no boxes—no towels to put in the linen closet, no dishes to put in the cabinet. As you’re preparing to help a neighbor in need, mentally walk through your day and think about all the things you use daily. 

    According to Danielle Fox of ElleDecor.com actual possessions are more useful than cash or gift cards because "if you have insurance policy you ultimately get the cash, but you need time and work and help.”

  3. Long-term help. Now if you really know the family, work with them to provide assistance as they go through the process of recovery. Are you good with organizing? Maybe you can help them work with the insurance companies? Do you know their kids? Suggest a playdate while the parents work their to-do lists? Create a meal calendar for their friends or just take them out and let them talk.

If you don’t know the family affected by fire damage (or if it’s a community-wide disaster you’ve seen on the news) the best way to help is to donate money. You can give through gofundme.com or local charities, but the Red Cross is a consistently reliable organization with years of experience helping in exactly this sort of situation.

No one can know exactly what it's like to survive a house fire, but we know enough to know that we're needed and that's where we need to start. 

If you've experienced fire damage and would like to find out what our restoration professionals can do for you, call SERVPRO of North Central Austin at 512-579-0189.

What's an ERP?

11/12/2020 (Permalink)

shallow focus picture of raindrops on window with brick buildings in the background Facility managers must always be prepared for unknown. A SERVPRO ERP can help. (Photo by Max Sandelin)

Are you familiar with the SERVPRO Emergency READY Profile (ERP)? This tool can make one very important part of your facility management responsibilities easier.

Every facility manager knows they should have a detailed disaster plan, but coming up with one from scratch can be a time-consuming task. It’s tempting to put this job to the side and deal with the many metaphorical fires you have to deal with every day than prepare for a real, but hypothetical fire in the future.

That’s what’s great about the ERP. One of SERVPRO of North Central Austin’s representatives can come to you and walk you through creating a reference document that details the important building and contact information for your property. 

The ERP can be used as a standalone document or as a supplement to any existing preparedness plan. Thinking through what to do and who to call in advance is the key to timely mitigation, which minimizes the effects of any weather-related disaster, water, or fire damage to your business.

No matter where you live, it is important to be informed and prepared for any disaster that may occur. Though Mother Nature's is often unpredictable, the ERP is one thing we can do to help you take control before disaster strikes.

Contact SERVPRO of North Central Austin to establish an Emergency READY Profile (ERP) for your property. SERVPRO's ERP serves as a quick reference document, In any emergency, make sure you have experienced professionals on the line. No matter how big or small, SERVPRO of North Central Austin will be ready to help make your property damage "Like it never even happened."

New Flood Tracking Tool from USGS

11/9/2020 (Permalink)

Screen shot of the National Water Dashboard showing a map of Austin with colored symbols scattered around The USGS released its new mobile flood-tracking tool last month.

There’s been a lot of news coming out of the federal government lately, but one little press release snuck out at the end of October without garnering a lot of attention. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released a mobile flooding dashboard.

This new tool, located at https://dashboard.waterdata.usgs.gov/, allows users to view a map of their area with flood and weather information layered on top. You can view the flood rate detected at USGS stations, the weather conditions around the United States, or a map of all the United States’ hydrological features. When combined, this tool can give you a potentially invaluable way to prepare for (or even avoid) flooding scenarios.

Some floods you can see coming. When a hurricane comes your way, you know what to prepare for. But for most Americans, the weather-related floods that damage the most are unexpected—that river that never flooded before, that watershed you didn’t realize you were living in. If it proves effective, the National Water Dashboard could give Americans (in the lower 48 at this time) a view of where flooding danger could come from.

The USGS takes great pains to let you know that the National Water Dashboard is experimental —in fact, the word “EXPERIMENTAL” is plastered on the screen in red letters—but why not put the tool to the test. Play around with it and see what you learn about the hydrology or weather in the Austin area. 

If you do experience water damage, from a natural flood or a home accident, SERVPRO of North Central Austin is here to help. Call us to find out how we can make your home “Like it never even happened.”