Recent Posts

Document Drying

2/5/2020 (Permalink)

When you walk into a flooded room, your first concern may not be damp paper, but once you’ve cleared the room, you may find that to be one of the tricker problems you face. After all, a towel can dry your filing cabinet, but what do you do with all the files inside?

First Steps

The most important step to take is to freeze your documents immediately. Freezing halts the destruction of the paper—it won’t undo damage, but it prevents any further deterioration by the physical effects of water or the growth of bacteria and mold. This will work whether you have cabinets full of client files or just family photos that you’re trying to preserve.

At this stage, it is important to pack the documents as carefully as possible. If you throw them in the freezer while folded or rolled, they will remain in that shape even after drying and cleaning. Make sure that they’re flat enough to put in a file folder once you get them back.

When you call SERVPRO of North Central Austin and ask for help, we’ll transport the paper in its frozen state to our document restoration center. 

Safely Drying Documents

SERVPRO uses sublimation to dry water damaged documents. This is the physical process that happens when the water in an object goes from solid straight to gas without becoming liquid in between. This prevents paper from being re-damaged once it thaws.

This is the only method for document drying that is approved by both the National Archives and Records Administration and the General Services Administration

SERVPRO Document Restoration Services

SERVPRO of North Central Austin can provide you with document restoration services beyond just drying. We can decontaminate papers that are exposed to hazardous conditions, such as a sewage spill. We can digitize documents if your office decides that you want a backup in case anything happens again. If you decide that you don’t need the documents back, we can securely destroy them and provide you with a certificate of destruction.

Most importantly, we and all members of the document restoration team are HIPPA Master Certified, which means that patient records and private information are in a secure chain of custody while they are being restored.

At SERVPRO of North Central Austin, we want to make it “like it never even happened” after an emergency. From the floors to files, we’re here to help.

Preventing Your Small Business from Becoming a Statistic

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

Blue open sign on door How will you keep your small business open after an emergency?

Austin loves small business. We love patronizing our homegrown stores and restaurants, and as a locally-owned franchise, SERVPRO of North Central Austin can appreciate that love. We also understand the risk involved with opening the doors of your own business. It doesn’t take much to close those doors again.

According to FEMA 25% of small businesses that shut down operation due to a disaster never open them again. That’s a mind-boggling percentage! 

We may not be able to stop disasters from happening, but we can prepare ourselves so that they’re less disastrous.

Plan

Take time before a destructive event happens to think about what needs to be done if things go wrong. If the pipes burst, if a fire breaks out, or if a storm strikes, what steps need to be taken and who will take them? There are multiple tools available to guide you through these questions.

Research

Talk to your insurance agent to learn the details of what is covered and what isn’t. Find out what information you will need to have on hand if you need to file a claim.

This is also the time to find out what companies are available in your area to restore your business after something goes wrong.

When an unexpected event forces your business to close, time is of the essence. FEMA statistics tell us that if a business is closed for more than 5 days, there is a 90% chance that it will fail within a year. It’s important to know who you can trust before you know you even know you need them.

Maintain

Prepare your facilities as well through maintenance. Make a checklist of every element in your building that could compromise service—plumbing, electrical, structural—and routinely review your assets to make sure that they’re fully functioning.

Your time is valuable, but your business is worth the investment. Prepare now for a disaster later.

Winter Storm Preparation

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Frozen tree branch When icy weather hits North Austin, will you be prepared? (Photo by Rafa G. Bonilla)

A Beautiful Austin January

This winter has been beautiful in Austin. Kids are playing in Walnut Creek Park, the Domain is filled with strolling shoppers, and restaurants still have diners choosing the patios. 

It’s a refreshing change of pace considering January is traditionally a rough month for Austin weather. If you’ve forgotten what Austin is like during a winter storm, check out these articles from austin360.com and Texas Hill Country for a quick reminder of how quickly we Texans begin to lose our cool when an ice storm rolls into town.

Ice Storm Preparation

But don’t let the sunshine and clear roads give you a false sense of security. Use this as an opportunity to prepare for when a storm does come into town. There are three important steps to preparing for an event that forces you to go without electricity, water service, or a supermarket:

  1. Get a Kit: Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and those in your care until you can get back out on the roads or HEB is restocked: water, non-perishable food, first aid, prescriptions, and a flashlight.
  1. Make a Plan: Discuss, agree on, and document an emergency plan with those in your care. For homes, work together with your families and neighbors to help build community plan. For companies, contact SERVPRO of North Central Austin to develop an Emergency Ready Profile ® to get you back in business after a storm.
  1. Be Informed: Free information is available to assist you at ready.gov and redcross.org. In a situation where roads are dangerous or phone lines are down, it can take longer for emergency services to reach those in need quickly. We all need to know how to take care of a sick or injured person until help arrives.

About SERVPRO of North Central Austin

SERVPRO of North Central Austin has been specializing in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after storms since 2010. In good weather or bad, we’re Here to Help®.

Water, Water, Everywhere!

12/4/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage in a home Water from a flooded upstairs bathroom damaged this whole house. Leaking through the ceiling, dropping drywall on furniture, electronics, and clothes.

An Unwelcome Surprise

Imagine coming home from vacation, opening your front door, and seeing water on the floors and drywall scattered across your furniture and electronics as the ceiling is crumbling down. As you walk through your home, going up squishy stairs, you realize your whole home is flooded.

Your home is where you take refuge from the world. Home is where you're surrounded by memories. When your home is threatened by water damage, it can be a traumatic event. What do you do next? 

When we asked SERVPRO customers to describe our team, the one word that kept coming up was “hero.” We are here to help, with compassion, expertise and urgency.

About SERVPRO of North Central Austin

SERVPRO of North Central Austin is a full-service restoration company.  We provide emergency 24/7 mitigation services and complete reconstruction services. We make it “Like it never even happened.”  So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

SERVPRO of North Central Austin specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. No matter what size disaster, from single story and a complete high-rise, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and resources to restore your property.

Apartment Grilling—Know the Rules, Follow Them

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Apartment building with flames coming from balcony Apartment grilling—know the rules.

Safe Grilling Practices

According to the National Fire Protection Association, more than one-quarter of grill structure fires started on an exterior balcony or open porch. 

According to an Austin Fire Department captain, if you want to grill here are the rules:

  1. The apartment management must allow tenants to have their own grills in the first place
  2. If the apartment management is allows you to have a grill, it must be used and stored at least five feet away, horizontally, from the nearest part of the apartment building at all times. Essentially this means that balconies are a no go and the apartment needs to be on the ground floor. See city ordinance that covers the Fire Code, section 308.1.4.

  3. If you're grilling below any portion of your building (for instance, if there's a balcony above your grill), the grill must be used (and stored!) at least 15 feet away from the nearest point of this overhanging portion at all times.
     
  4. Someone must be near the grill at all times when it's in use.

  5. If it’s a propane grill, the propane tank can never be inside the apartment—not even for storage.

  6. The grill also can’t ever be inside the apartment unless it is taken apart and in boxes. Unfortunately, this means it can’t be easily reassembled for use.

In Texas, most apartment balconies are tinder for a fire. We have seen fires from grills and even cigarettes. 

The short advice is don’t grill your apartment balcony; however, there are solutions. Several apartment complexes provide grills around the swimming pool or park areas. Thanks to George Foreman and others you can use Contact Grills (not completely the same, but certainly safer).

If a cooking fire does go awry, give us a call. We are experts in deodorization and fire restoration. Also, SERVPRO of North Central Austin is a full-service restoration company. We provide 24/7 emergency mitigation services and complete reconstruction services, making it “Like it never even happened.” 

When an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of North Central Austin

SERVPRO of North Central Austin specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. No matter what size disaster, from single story home and a complete high-rise, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and resources to restore your property.

Deep Fried Turkey, Traditional as Football on Thanksgiving

11/25/2019 (Permalink)

Video still of a turkey fryer on fire Thanksgiving is the peak day for cooking fires.

A Dangerously Delicious Meal

It's is one of the pleasures of get-togethers during the holidays—cooking with your family—but cooking fires are more apt to happen when at just these times.  

One American tradition is fried turkey, but just because it's a common practice doesn't mean you can take its risk for granted. Because oil is involved, frying turkey requires care and caution.

Look at this compilation of frying fails.

In terms of safety, the National Fire Protection Association gives the best advice: Don’t do it. The deep-frying process is “not suitable for safe use by even a well-informed and careful consumer.”

However, deep-fried turkey is as much a part of the fabric of America’s day of thanks as canned cranberries and football, so here are some tips from FEMA.GOV:

  1. Turkey fryers can easily tip over, spilling hot oil across a large area. Use your turkey fryer only outdoors on a sturdy, level surface, well away from things that can burn. Make sure to have a “3-foot kid- and pet-free zone” around your turkey fryer to protect against burn injuries.

  2. An overfilled cooking pot will cause oil to spill over when the turkey is placed inside. Determine the correct amount of oil needed by first placing the turkey in the pot with water.

  3. A partially frozen turkey will cause hot oil to splatter. Make sure your turkey is completely thawed before you fry it.

  4. Turkey fryers can easily overheat and start a fire. Check the temperature often with a cooking thermometer so the oil won’t overheat.

  5. The pot, lid, and handles of a turkey fryer can get dangerously hot and cause burn injuries. Use long cooking gloves that protect hands and arms when you handle these items.

If a cooking fire does go awry this holiday season, give us a call. We are experts in deodorization and fire restoration. Also, SERVPRO of North Central Austin is a full-service restoration company. 

We provide 24/7 emergency mitigation services and complete reconstruction services, making it “Like it never even happened.” So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of North Central Austin

SERVPRO of North Central Austin specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. No matter what size disaster, from single story home and a complete high-rise, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and resources to restore your property.

Restoring an Austin High-Rise Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Austin City Skyline Commercial Water Damage Events Present Unique Challenges

Imagine having an Austin high-rise experience a water damage event during a uniquely Austin perfect storm. For Austinites, music festivals are sell-out events, leaving hotels and Airbnbs are 100% booked. Being a national political center as well, we often have visits from presidents, vice-presidents, and candidates.

The building and selling of Austin condos in these high-rises is competitive and getting to market quickly is key. When a high-rise experiences water damage, business resumption is paramount.

In other words, get rooms back in service, get condos back to closing, and make money.

SERVPRO of North Central Austin is a full-service restoration company.  We provide emergency 24/7 mitigation services and complete reconstruction services. We make it “Like it never even happened.” 

So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

About SERVPRO of North Central Austin

SERVPRO of North Central Austin specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. No matter what size disaster, from single story and a complete high-rise, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and resources to restore your property.



Austin Movie Theater Has Flooding Ahead of Frozen 2 Release

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Actors in a stage performance of Frozen Production of Frozen at Sam Bass Theater in Round Rock, TX

You are managing a large movie theater complex and every little girl is excited about Frozen 2. Then the unexpected happens—the supply line in the women’s bathroom breaks, flooding bathrooms, hallways, and theaters. 

Theater Culture in Austin

This theater wasn't just preparing for the release of a blockbuster family movie. As is the Austin cultural experience, this theater had also one screen dedicated to streaming an opera event.

Austin has 19 movie theaters per 100,000 people.  That is the highest in the nation and the highest in the world.

It's fun to be a movie fan in Austin, but for theater managers, it is vital that emergency damage can be fixed without an interruption of that fun.

SERVPRO of North Central Austin was able to address the water damage quickly, working through the night. Our team took into consideration the safety of patrons by taping down cords and securing affected areas. Additionally, we worked around the theater's schedules to minimize business interruption.  

About SERVPRO of North Central Austin

SERVPRO of North Central Austin is a full-service restoration company.  We provide emergency 24/7 mitigation services and complete reconstruction services. We make it “Like it never even happened.”  So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

SERVPRO of North Central Austin specializes in the cleanup and restoration of commercial and residential property after a water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. No matter what size disaster, from single story and a complete high-rise, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge and resources to restore your property.



Allow us to stress your small stuff.

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

green SERVPRO van in parking lot with water standing Give SERVPRO of North Austin a call, and leave the water restoration to us!

Damaged structures can lead to severe and complicated problems, especially if they are not treated promptly and professionally.

When your business or your home is ankle-deep in water, you don’t want to hear about problems. You want solutions.

Allow SERVPRO of North Central Austin professionals to be your solution. With over 40 years of leadership in the cleaning and restoration business, SERVPRO can help get homes and businesses back in working order, helping to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Due to the potential risk associated with water-related damage, moisture and water should be handled by properly trained, equipped and experienced professionals to ensure complete and necessary drying. Proper and professional cleanup and restoration can help prevent future harm, extensive structural damage and possible contamination. So the next time a water disaster strikes, whether it be your home or business, leave it to SERVPRO of North Central Austin to handle it promptly and professionally. We have all the experience and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

The Do’s and Don’ts with Fire and Smoke Damage.

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

multiple high rise buildings with black smoke rising from top SERVPRO of North Central Austin specializes in Fire restoration.

Fire damage can be scary , until help arrives here are some tips to help minimize damage.

Do’s:

  • 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 the 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.

Don’ts

  • 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.
  • 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 secondary damage.
  • Send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.