Recent Posts

Being Proactive

6/25/2021 (Permalink)

ERP SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile

For a business owner and homeowner, a worst-case disaster scenario involving fire or water damage can seem unthinkable until it suddenly becomes a reality. In the aftermath of a disaster, a quick response time by a disaster recovery company such as SERVPRO® of North Central Austin can help minimize property damage. 

Owners need to have a quick and convenient emergency disaster plan that connects them with vendors, necessary contacts, and pertinent information when disaster strikes. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan (ERP) is a respected industry tool during a disaster event. An ERP is so valuable, that in the midst of the confusion and panic that often surround a disaster, an owner or manager can be provided a sense of calm and clarity in reaching out for expert help.

When building an emergency plan, there are four keys to remember:

  1. Identify your facility’s greatest threats in order to assess the overall severity of the event. During this discovery mode, what are your greatest threats (i.e. fires, tornadoes, floods, etc.)? Look at your locations. Do you have any that would be in a “tornado alley,” at risk for hurricane damage, or subject to deep freezing temperatures? Try to think outside the box, without becoming a doomsday prepper!
  2. Document all vital information and establish clear communication activities. An ERP needs to contain critical property information that can help speed up response time after a disaster occurs. Consider including any documented prior loss history, identify and label utility shut off locations, and prioritize your key contacts. Prior loss history can provide first responders and restoration vendors with historical information on your facility’s condition. Proper utility identification will allow for quicker response times for emergency shut off, requests and key contact information is vital to starting the recovery process, allowing you to quickly contact key personnel and answer priority questions.
  3. Practice! Practice! Practice! There is no “textbook” event, so expect the unexpected. You should conduct practice sessions to make sure everyone is clear on the process. Always have clear evacuation routes in your ERP, and set a distribution chain for your disaster recovery plan amongst key contacts and various locations.
  4. Keep it updated, and have all necessary information communicated with your insurance company and emergency restoration vendors. The best way for the recovery to begin is remaining proactive by always keeping your ERP updated. Your SERVPRO representative can help keep your ERP up-to-date. People will come and go, updates will be made to the facility, and utilities can change. This should be a dynamic document that changes as your business does. If you don’t keep it updated, you’ll be several steps behind when disaster strikes.

The SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile is a start up approach that provides the critical information needed to begin mitigation and recovery services. It is designed to serve as a quick reference of important building and contact information. By working with SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile, your business will receive the benefit of over 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. SERVPRO® is a leader in water and fire damage response and can help you quickly get your property back in working order.

Call Us Today To Get Started!

The Right Tools

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO® Tools SERVPRO® Professionals

It’s the water you don’t see! Even small water damages have the potential to cause serious structural and indoor air quality issues over time. 

The key to avoiding costly future restoration is to handle every water problem as a real threat to your property. SERVPRO® of North Central Austin professionals have the equipment, training, and experience to find and dry unseen water before secondary damages occur. The proper equipment makes a measurable difference in reducing the damage expense during a fire or water loss.

When time matters, technology and equipment must be counted on to perform.  SERVPRO® of North Central Austin  professionals will answer your call with fast action and a full arsenal of drying equipment. Here are a few of the tools used by our SERVPRO® professionals.

Moisture Sensors-  Used to detect moisture in carpets, baseboards and walls. 

Moisture Meters- Used to determine the actual moisture content of various materials. The moisture tester provides accurate readings, allowing us to monitor the drying process.

Thermohygrometers- Measure temperature and relative humidity. When armed with this information, we here at SERVPRO® of North central Austin can calculate and create an environment most conducive to drying. When facing a contaminated water loss, it is not only important to dry the structure, but the structure must also be disinfected and often deodorized. 

Ultra Low-Volume (ULV) Foggers- Atomize liquid deodorizing agents, producing a fine mist that can easily penetrate the site where odor-causing residues may accumulate. This device can also be used to inject fungicides and disinfectants into wall cavities and other hard-to-reach areas. 

Thermal Foggers- Dispense solvent-based products by creating a dense fog. The fog consists of tiny particles of deodorant solutions that attach to and neutralize odor-causing particles to deodorize structures, garments, automobiles and other places where cleaning cannot reach. 

The bottom line? SERVPRO® of North Central Austin professionals have the training and equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Navigating COVID-19

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

Professional COVID Cleaning Service Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

The Coronavirus has changed the social landscape more than we could have imagined. The terms social distancing and the new normal have become indoctrinated in our vocabulary. The interaction with family, friends, and business associates has been directly impacted. The traditional handshake is now riddled with fear. Instead it’s better to tap feet or “elbow bump.”

As in the years following World War II, great effort was spent putting measures in place to reduce the likelihood of another global conflict. Likewise, prevention of future viral pandemics is top of mind for most of the world’s governments and security services for the immediate future. SERVPRO® of North Central Austin professionals are uniquely prepared during this unprecedented time to clean and disinfect your business according to the protocols set forth by the CDC. 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.

SERVPRO is being called on by numerous businesses and community leaders to perform the necessary bioremediation services to clean, disinfect, and sanitize their properties. SERVPRO uses EPA-approved products and follows the CDC guidelines for cleanup practices. 

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 meet this standard and carry the ERA-registered emerging pathogens claims.

As we return to normalcy SERVPRO® of North Central Austin will be there for your business, and your customers. We are in this with you and proudly stand beside our first responders in fighting this silent enemy. 


Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned

Professional COVID Cleaning Service

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program that goes beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning, it’s a higher standard of clean. This is proactive viral pathogen cleaning that helps ensure the cleanliness of the restaurants, businesses and public spaces in the communities we all call home. Our SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills - always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities.

SERVPRO® of North Central Austin offers free quotes for our Commercial Services, and Consumer Cleaning Services.

Flooding Can Happen ANYWHERE

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

Professional Water Damage Mitigation

According to the National Weather Service (NOAA), “Approximately seventy five percent of all Presidential disaster declarations are associated with flooding.” NOAA lists the most common flood hazards in the United States as:

  • Flash Flooding
  • River Flooding
  • Storm Surge and Coastal Inundation from Tropical and Non-Tropical Systems
  • Burn Scars/Debris Flows (Caused by Wildfires)
  • Ice/Debris Jams
  • Snowmelt
  • Dry Wash (Caused by heavy rainfall in dry areas)
  • Dam Breaks/Levee Failure

Just because you haven’t experienced a flood doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. In fact, 20% of all claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) were for policies in low-risk communities. On average, floods cost $3.5 billion in annual losses in the U.S., and commercial flood claims average more than $75,000 (NFIP).

Understanding Water Types

When your home or business suffers water damage, understanding what type of water you are dealing with is critical to ensuring proper cleanup. There are three types of water. Clean water is water from a broken pipe, or other water source; rainwater is also considered clean. The term gray water is used to classify slightly contaminated water. Clean water becomes gray water when it is left untreated allowing bacteria and other contaminants to begin growing, making the water hazardous. Black water is highly contaminated and filled with fungi, bacteria, chemicals and more. Black water is typically caused by sewage damage, flooding or any type of natural disaster. Black water should always be handled by trained professionals. Consider taking the following precautions to help minimize damage or prevent further damage while waiting for help to arrive.

Damage from Clean Water:

  • Shut off the water source if possible or contact a qualified professional to do so.
  • Turn off circuit breakers for wet areas of the building if access to the power distribution panel is safe from potential electrical shock. Do not enter rooms with standing water, as electrical shock hazards may exist.
  • Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions to allow more even drying.
  • Move any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other valuable items that may be sensitive to moisture to a safe place.
  • Do not leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpets or floors as they may cause staining.
  • Do not use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water as there is potential for electrical shock or causing damage to the vacuum cleaner.
  • Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet; do not enter rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water. damage from

Damage From Contaminated Water:

  • Avoid all contact with sewage and items contaminated by sewage. Wash your hands thoroughly if you come in contact with contaminated items.
  • Do not walk through contaminated areas, as you could spread damage to unaffected areas.
  • Do not turn on the HVAC system if there is a possibility of spreading contaminated air.
  • Do not use household fans to dry the structure; air flow could spread contaminants.
  • Discard any food and/or products for personal hygiene and cleanliness if exposed to the contaminated areas.

When catastrophic water damage happens to you, SERVPRO® of North Central Austin Professionals can help. We can respond to any size disaster to begin cleanup and restoration to get you back to your daily life or in business as soon as possible.

SERVPRO® of North Central Austin Professionals are ready to help make it “Like it never even happened.”

After The Storm

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

Image of SERVPRO employee in PPE Mold Remediation and Restoration

Texas is still in the recovery process from one of the most damaging natural disasters in recent history. In February 2021, the southern state and its surrounding neighbors fell prey to Winter Storm Uri – a deep freeze event that saw temperatures plummet as low as -18C. The storm toppled the Texas electric grid, leaving thousands of homes and businesses without power and triggering a record-breaking number of burst pipe and ice dam property damage to homes and businesses because people simply couldn’t heat their properties.

As we rebuild our homes and places of business Mold has become another one of nature's elements that requires our attention. SERVPRO® of North Central Austin professionals handle water damages every day and know prompt action is required to prevent mold growth. If there is an ongoing moisture problem in the building, be alert for:

  • The presence of visible mold.
  • Strong musty odors, which may indicate mold is present.
  • Any evidence of past moisture problems that might have caused undetected mold growth.
  • Excessive humidity.

These conditions may require the expertise of a qualified indoor air quality/environmental professional to inspect the building for mold growth and water damage problems.

When there’s a water intrusion, like a roof leak or leaking water line, mold can quickly become a problem in your home or business. Mold can cause health effects and can also cause significant damage to your property. Fortunately, your local SERVPRO® of North Central Austin professionals have the training, protective gear, and specialized equipment necessary to handle your mold problem. Although every mold damage scenario is different requiring a unique solution, the general mold remediation process stays the same. The following steps illustrate a “typical” mold removal process.

  Call the Team in Green- The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call your local SERVPRO® franchise professionals. A representative will ask a series of questions to help determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel needed. 

Inspection and Damage Assessment- Your property will be carefully inspected for signs of mold using technology designed to detect mold and hidden water sources. Mold feeds on cellulose and water and can be hidden from plain view. 

Mold Containment- Various containment procedures will be placed to prevent the spread of mold and isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process.

Air Filtration- Specialized filtration equipment captures microscopic mold spores out of the air. SERVPRO® technicians utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in progress.

Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials- The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments will be used to eliminate mold colonies and help prevent new colonies from forming. Removing and disposing of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and flooring, may be necessary to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Contents and Belongings- SERVPRO® of North central Austin professionals clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, and other restorable items affected by mold. They use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and sanitize your belongings. They are also trained to remove odors and deodorize using fogging equipment.

Restoration- Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may be removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business.

SERVPRO® of North Central Austin professionals understand mold and mold growth and have the training and equipment to remediate mold in your home or business.

Extreme Heat

6/3/2021 (Permalink)

Kidsandcars.org Did You Know?

As summer approaches, it is time to consider safety precautions for extreme heat in the coming months. Heat affects all people, but especially the young, elderly, sick, and overweight. Urban area residents also have a greater chance of being affected than those who live in rural areas due to the heat island effect.

According to the EPA, “the sun can heat dry, exposed urban surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to temperatures 50–90°F hotter than the air, while shaded or moist surfaces—often in more rural surroundings—remain close to air temperatures.” These surface heat islands are strongest during the day when the sun is shining, while the atmospheric heat islands are more likely after sunset “due to the slow release of heat from urban infrastructure.”

Whether you are in an urban or rural area, there are several things you can do to prepare for and prevent extreme heat from affecting you. If possible, stay indoors in air conditioning. Be sure to check on your pets who may be outdoors or bring them inside. Stay hydrated and limit alcohol and caffeine intake.

If you must go outside, wear loose fitting, light-colored clothing and be sure to apply sunscreen often. Pay attention to signs of heat exhaustion, which are heavy sweating; weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; nausea or vomiting; and fainting, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which is life threatening. Signs of heat stroke are a high body temperature (103°+), rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. If you think someone has heat stroke, call 911 immediately and move the person somewhere cool. Reduce body temperature with cool, wet cloths or a bath. Do not give a person with heat stroke fluids and treat the situation as a serious medical emergency (CDC).

If you live in a humid climate, be aware of the heat index. The heat index factors in the humidity, which can make the temperature feel 15° hotter.

Extreme heat is a serious danger. For more information on preparation and prevention, visit ready.gov or cdc.gov.

Extreme Heat Safety Tips to Prepare Your Home

  • Install window air conditioners snugly; insulate if necessary.
  • Check air-conditioning ducts for proper insulation.
  • Install temporary window reflectors (for use between windows and drapes), such as aluminum foil-covered cardboard, to reflect heat back outside.
  • Weather-strip doors and sills to keep cool air in.
  • Cover windows that receive morning or afternoon sun with drapes, shades, awnings, or louvers. (Outdoor awnings or louvers can reduce the heat that enters a home by up to 80 percent.)
  • Keep storm windows up all year.

COMMERCIAL BIOHAZARD, CRIME SCENE, AND VANDALISM CLEANUP

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

When the Unexpected Happens - image of police tape CRIME SCENE, AND VANDALISM CLEANUP MAY BE NEEDED!

Recognized as a leading fire and water cleanup and restoration provider by hundreds of insurance companies, SERVPRO® of North Central Austin professionals also offer fast, reliable biohazard and crime scene cleanup and restoration services to commercial property owners.

Exposure to biological and chemical contaminants can pose serious health consequences for building occupants, employees, customers, and owners. A failure to properly handle and safely remove such hazardous substances can contribute to unhealthy and even dangerous environments.

SERVPRO® of North Central Austin professionals are trained to safely and effectively remove biohazardous substances and prepare waste for proper disposal according to OSHA, EPA, state and local health regulations.

Equipped with the necessary safety equipment and cleaning products, we help turn unsafe environments into clean, safe places of business.

SERVPRO® of North Central Austin professionals can help with the following issues:

  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Methamphetamine Labs
  • Crime Scene Residues
  •  Arson
  • Vandalism
  • Sewage Backups
  • Black Water Intrusions
  • Mold Mitigation and Remediation  

Contact your SERVPRO® of North Central Austin today for 24-hour emergency service. 

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