3 Ways To Protect Yourself From Flooding After a Wildfire
Buying FEMA NFIP insurance can help you protect your home against water damage.
Three Ways to Prevent Flooding After a Wildfire
Although wildfires can be nature’s way of clearing the land to bring forth new growth, the area that is cleansed of plant life by the blaze may cause several problems for you as a homeowner. You may believe your home is safe now the fire has been extinguished, but there are other problems that can occur as a result of the wildfire. That is why there are three ways you can protect yourself from further harm, including the FEMA NFIP program.
After wildfire damage near your home, the shrub, tree, and grass roots are no longer able to support the runoff and erosion rates of water surrounding your home. The possibility of soil detachment becomes much greater. There are probably also areas close to your home where the earth was baked to a point that water cannot seep into the soil and must find another area for penetration. What this means for your home is an increased possibility of flooding. Consider tilling areas at least 8 to 10 feet from your home to allow the water easier access to ground penetration. You may also want to plant vegetation to help retain the rain waters.
2. Flood Insurance
Flood insurance is not covered by most standard homeowner’s insurance policies. That is why the government developed the FEMA NFIP program. This national flood insurance can help protect your home and property should floodwaters invade the building and cause extensive flooding damage.
If your home in Barton Creek, TX, is especially susceptible to the possibility of flood damage, consider purchasing barriers or creating sand bags to prevent water from invading your home during heavy rainfalls. Stone or brick walls can also help keep water away from your yard as it flows along, though gates may allow some water to get through onto your property. Contact a water mitigation specialist for questions on how to protect your property.
One of the best preventative measures you can take to guard your home against flooding is to plan ahead. Buying FEMA NFIP insurance, building barriers, and planting shrubs can help you protect your home against water damage.
Does Your Toilet Overflow When You Shower?
Does your toilet overflow when you shower?
The worst type of surprise occurs when you step out of a shower and place your newly cleaned foot into a pool of water from a toilet that overflowed. How could that happen? Not only must the water be cleaned from the floor, but you probably want to dry off and get dressed before dealing with the overflowing liquid or the professional service you may want to call for help dealing with the sewage cleaning problem.
Why Did the Toilet Overflow?
The sewage system that links your home to the Rob Roy, TX, main removal lines runs underground for many feet, and all your home’s plumbing pipes converge into a central location to flow into that main pipe and out to the street. So why would your shower water back up into the toilet? Here are a few of the many reasons a toilet overflow may occur.
- Household obstruction between the street and the main house sewer line
- Broken sewage line between the house and street
- Tree roots or debris in the main house line
Any of these problems can cause the water to flow out the toilet instead of out to the city’s main sewage lines. Additionally, each probably requires a professional sewage cleaning solution.
How Can a Professional Help?
Your service professional will likely deal with the standing water first because the longer the liquid sits on the floor, the more damage it can do. Once the water is gone, he or she can figure out where the blockage is and begin to remove the obstruction in the clogged pipe. Water remediation specialists can then sanitize the area and check for any extensive water damage in your home.
When dealing with a serious sewer pipe clog between the house and main line, care should be taken. Calling in a service professional is always a good idea rather than attempting sewage cleaning on your own. Removing the clog in the line may be a quick fix, and the professional can save you time and money.
3 Water Problems You Might Find In Your Commercial Building
Don't wait to fix a leaking pipe.
Three Potential Water Issues in Commercial Buildings
If you own a commercial building in Barton Creek, TX, it is likely that you have experienced at least a few water problems. Sometimes these are easy to fix, but some problems, like leaking pipes, can cause lasting damage. If you have any of the following issues, it is best to have them repaired as soon as possible.
1. Leaking Water
This problem is not exclusive to leaking pipes. Any equipment in your building that uses water, such as sinks, toilets, drinking fountains and washing machines, can contribute to this issue. Over time, if the leak is not repaired, it can cause damage to the building and cost you money by adding to your water bill.
2. Clogged Drains
If you are having trouble with sink or toilet backup, then you may have clogging in your drains. Certain items, when they are flushed down the toilet or rinsed down the sink, can contribute to a blockage in the pipes leading away from your building. When this happens, the water will not drain as quickly as it should which can cause backups in the plumbing. In order to prevent this, you should be clear about what items can be disposed of in this way.
3. Broken Pipes
Along with leaks, a pipe break is a common source of water damage. In some cases, such as frozen pipes, this can be caused by severe weather. Other times, it is simply the result of normal wear and tear. Be sure to do regular maintenance on building materials and equipment to reduce the likelihood of broken items.
While leaking pipes and other problems can cause quite a bit of damage to your property, a water damage restoration company can help get everything back in working order. It is best to catch these issues early to keep them from worsening, but even large amounts of damage can be repaired by experienced professionals.
3 Reasons Why SERVPRO Has Become the Preferred Vendor of Insurance Companies
SERVPRO's technicians are highly qualified and certified
Three Reasons Why SERVPRO Has Become the Preferred Vendor of Insurance Companies
For an insurance agent, nothing matters more than helping their client. And when clients need restoration services in Westlake Hills, TX, they want only the most qualified cleanup professionals on the job. Restoration companies compete for business through television commercials, social media marketing and referrals. However, these efforts don't necessarily translate into quality work. Here are three reasons why SERVPRO has become the preferred vendor of insurance companies.
1. SERVPRO National Standard
A business is only as good as its employees, so SERVPRO franchises require that employees meet twenty-one standards to be eligible for referrals from corporate headquarters. Among these standards are background checks for both temporary and permanent employees. SERVPRO also understands the importance of communication. Therefore, its restoration experts maintain contact with the insurance agent every step of the way to report on the progress of the restoration and ensure that there are no surprises.
2. Company-Wide Extensive Training
SERVPRO sustains its status as a preferred vendor program for insurance companies through ongoing employee training. Since 1992, SERVPRO has used its National Training Center to transform its workers into highly qualified certified technicians specializing in upholstery and carpet cleaning and water and fire restoration.
In addition, SERVPRO provides 15-day training programs for both the owners and employees at new franchisees to get them started. Finally, SERVPRO offers continuing education courses in-person to prepare restoration professionals for disasters and online courses to bolster the lessons learned.
3. Corporate Accountability
SERVPRO understands the importance of integrity and the business value of its reputation. As a result, SERVPRO conducts regular internal assessments to remain true to its own values and meet clients' expectations. Furthermore, SERVPRO keeps meticulous records so that insurance companies and their clients are in accord with the work done.
SERVPRO is the preferred disaster mitigation vendor for an informed insurance agent. The company's high standards and thorough training set it apart.
How Can Lightning Start a House Fire?
Purchase high quality surge protectors for your house.
Summer is the season of barbecues, swimming pools, and thunderstorms in Westlake Hills, TX. Every year, these storms are responsible for lighting fire to countless acres of land and residential structures.
Annually, thousands of people are injured in a house fire caused by a severe storm; property damage runs into hundreds of millions.
How Lightning Can Damage Your Home
During a severe weather event, your home is vulnerable to electricity:
- Surging through wiring
- Striking trees nearby
- Downing electrical wires
- Lighting fire to your roof or attic
How To Protect Your Property
Much of the costly damage is due to “transients.” These are high-voltage impulses that travel through your home’s wiring.
Transients are not usually capable of lighting fire to your appliances, but the voltage from transients can destroy computers, televisions, large appliances and even smoke detectors.
The best protection against transient damage is to purchase high quality surge protectors for your whole house. Be sure to select products that are UL certified.
Check your homeowner’s policy to confirm that you have coverage for damage from electrical storms; not all policies will cover your electrical appliances for surge damage.
How To Protect Yourself During a Storm
Have a plan for your family to evacuate your home in this type of emergency.
A direct electrical strike most often results in lighting fire to your roof or attic. If you see flame or smell smoke, evacuate the building and dial 9-1-1.
Downed trees can also damage your home or car. Give large trees a wide berth during severe storms. Avoid any contact with electrical wires. Always treat them as though they are live; they often are.
Your local fire restoration experts can help in the event that your home sustains damage during a storm, but prevention and awareness can make your home and family much less susceptible to harm.
What To Expect From the Disaster Recovery Process
If your business has beed damaged by major disaster SERVPRO certified experts can help.
The Disaster Recovery Process: What to Expect
When businesses are hit by a major disaster and require extensive cleaning and repairs, only certified experts can help. Here is what you can expect the disaster recovery process to look like if your commercial property is impacted by a catastrophic event in Zilker, TX.
1. Storm Damage Response Teams Will Band Together
When a severe storm or hurricane rips through one area, the level of commercial damage will often require an increase in manpower. Your local damage cleanup and restoration company can lead the efforts within the community, though that may not be enough on its own. In large-scale events, these experts can rely on their corporate network of support. If needed, a surplus of certified technicians and industry-standard equipment will be available at their beck and call.
2. Extensive Cleanup Will Ensue
Whether your business has been flooded by a hurricane or damaged by a raging wildfire, the disaster recovery process will require extensive cleanup. This could involve the extraction of water and drying of the building, or removing soot and smoke buildup from the structure. Additionally, deep disinfecting and sanitizing will need to occur to get the building sterile before any repairs can begin. Trust only experts to intervene here as improper cleaning methods can cause more damage to the structure.
3. A Lengthy Repair Process Is Possible
While local storm response teams can receive additional help, the effort to repair buildings after a catastrophic event is immense. Even with extra crews working, the extent of damage in these large-scale events often means the repair process will take longer than a minor instance. The full restoration project will vary for every case, but could include full reconstruction of portions of the building.
If your business is hit by a major storm, expect the disaster recovery process to feature a large network of response teams, extensive cleanup and a longer timeline for repairs.
3 Types of Storm Shutters To Consider
Roll-down storm shutters are the strongest option available.
Protect Your Home With the Following Types of Shutter
If you face frequent high winds at your Bee Cave, TX, home, you want to find ways to protect your home from destruction. In a strong enough storm, even a tiny tree branch can become a powerful projectile and easily shatter a window, letting the weather into your home. Here are three types of shutters you can choose from to protect your windows during a storm.
1. Accordion Coverings
Accordion coverings are among the most popular and cost-effective choices when looking at your options. On average, they will cost you about $15-$25 a square foot, depending on what material you decide to use and whether or not you have a storm mitigation specialist install them.
Accordion coverings are well-liked because you install them once, and then they fold up alongside the windows, out of the way until you need to use them again. The one downside is that they might not look good on all styles of homes. For example, the window coverings might be too bulky and look out of place on a Cape Cod or Colonial-style home.
2. Roll-Down Storm Shutters
Roll-down coverings are the strongest option available, but they are also the most expensive - costing between $20 and $30 per square foot. The coverings are secured permanently to the framing of your home, so you never have to worry about finding a storage spot for them. When high winds hit your area, you simply need to push a button for them to automatically roll down and lock into place, protecting your windows from damage.
3. Colonial Coverings
Colonial coverings are attractive coverings that won't detract from the design of your home. The coverings are attached to either side of your window and can be closed and locked together during a storm with high winds. They can be made from fiberglass, wood, or metal and typically range from $200 to $500 per window.
Dealing with powerful weather systems can be challenging, but installing the right equipment can protect your home and keep the weather out.
How To Prepare a Commercial Building for the Spring Thaw
The spring thaw doesn’t have to bring flooding to your commercial building.
How to Get Ready for the Spring Thaw in a Commercial Building
As spring comes to Zilker, TX, it’s not unusual to experience flooding from the storms that sweep through the area. Snow and frozen ground can exacerbate the problem too, especially for commercial buildings built before recent flood zone elevation requirements. Fortunately, you can take a few steps to reduce the threat to both the building and your commercial operations.
Be Proactive Against Flooding
Most businesses discover there’s a problem with the drainage just before their call to the insurance company for a claim — where many discover they aren’t covered anyway. The time to think about drainage is now. If you own the building, it’s essential to protect your investment. If you’re renting, you should at least consider the impact on your inventory and operations.
There are four essential methods to protect a building from flood damage:
- Landscape often
- Install and maintain your gutters
- Clear the drains
- Have regular roof inspections
If you have a basement, you may also need a sump pump. Plus, after a snowstorm, you should clear enough snow to ensure the meltwater runs away from the building. Snow during a cold snap followed by heavy rain has caused more than one spring flood locally.
Don’t Ignore Late Freezes
As the spring weather gets nice in Zilker, TX, it’s easy to forget how quickly it can turn cold. If you’re not prepared, you might have a frozen pipe, which can cause tremendous damage before you discover it. Always check the condition of your plumbing after a heavy cold snap.
Address Water Damage Immediately
Many construction materials are highly effective sponges, so once a flood happens, you need to get excess water out immediately. A commercial building usually requires professional water damage mitigation experts who can bring in specialized equipment to remove standing water quickly, suck moisture out from behind walls and identify any hidden problem areas.
The spring thaw doesn’t have to bring flooding to your commercial building. A little advance work and a quick inspection after a late freeze can save you a fortune in repairs later.
4 Tips for Preventing Fires in Your Kitchen
Fire in an oven in a home in Bee Cave, TX.
Four Tips for Preventing Kitchen Fires
Cooking equipment is the most common source of house fires. In fact, according to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly half of home fires result from cooking. One of these kitchen fires can quickly spread to the rest of your Bee Cave, TX, house. While fire damage restoration specialists can repair your home after a blaze, you should also take steps to avoid cooking fires entirely.
1. Pay Attention to the Stove
Keep your eyes on the cooking food at all times. If you have to walk away to answer the phone or go to the bathroom, turn off the stove before you leave the room.
2. Remove Combustible Items
Oven mitts or towels can easily catch on fire if they are placed too close to an open flame. Keep these items away from your stovetop.
3. Do Not Wear Loose Clothing
Loose sleeves are quite combustible, as well. Roll up your sleeves or switch to tight-fitting outfits before you start cooking.
4. Turn Pot Handles Toward the Back of the Stove
This should prevent you from accidentally bumping into the handle and spilling the pot’s contents onto the stove. It will also limit the chances of your kids or pets knocking over the pot.
What To Do If a Kitchen Fire Occurs
Even if you follow the above tips, you still could end up with a fire in your kitchen. After all, the hot flames of a stove or oven could get out of control.
As soon as you see a small fire develop, call 911 right away. You may think you can handle the blaze yourself, but it could spread more quickly than you anticipate.
If the fire is in your oven or microwave, turn off the appliance and keep the door closed. This should smother the flames. You should also smother a grease fire by covering the flaming pan or pot with a lid.
The listed tips will keep your family safe as you prepare food. You can then enjoy the cooking process instead of worrying about a potential fire.
SERVPRO's Claims Inventory Systems Help You These 3 Ways
SERVPRO has a claim inventory system that can make your work as an insurance agent easier.
SERVPRO's Claims Inventory Systems
When your client in Barton Hills, TX, files an insurance claim for help with damage due to flood or fire, keeping track of all the details in terms of damage assessment and repair as well as restoration services can be difficult and time-consuming. Fortunately, professionals at SERVPRO have a claim inventory system that can make your work as an insurance agent easier.
Helping Process an Insurance Claim
Claims inventory services can help with all of the following:
- Organize claims according to loss and type of damage
- Provide comparisons on an individual and national level
- Track response times in an insurance claim
- List updates instantly
- Share data effectively
These services provide greater accuracy in reporting claims and also give you vital insights as to the right benefits your clients are entitled to while saving your insurance company money.
Information Instantly at Your Fingertips
As restoration specialists take pictures and collect vital details of the damage, they enter them into the inventory system. You can access this information easily through the management dashboard provided to you.
You have all the information available to make an accurate claim without having to visit the site or talk to the client. It saves you time because you don't need to make phone calls or sift through piles of paperwork looking for that document with the information you need. You can easily do cost comparisons of repairs of similar damages either in your area or in the other parts of the company.
When your client suffers damage through fire or flood, you need the right information so you can prepare an accurate claim that helps your client and stills saves your insurance company money. Thanks to the claims inventory system and the work of restoration professionals, your client will get needed help and a restored property that looks "Like it never even happened."