Recent Posts

Why SERVPRO: Fast and Effective Emergency Property Damage Restoration

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: The experts at SERVPRO offer residential and commercial property owners in Austin and West Lake Hills, TX, areas reliable, affordable emergency restoration services with a professional edge. 

No matter how prepared a property owner is, emergencies can still happen. When disasters strike, dependable, affordable emergency restoration services are there to help. SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake is home to a team of experienced restoration experts offering 24/7 emergency property damage restoration in Austin, West Lake Hills, and surrounding areas. 

Services provided through SERVPRO include damage cleanup, fire and water damage restoration services, professional mold remediation and prevention, and more. SERVPRO offers a high standard of service for every client, no matter the damage.

Why SERVPRO: Fast and Effective Emergency Property Damage Restoration

#1: SERVPRO Technicians Have Extensive Training

SERVPRO technicians strive to achieve total restoration for clients, promoting a standard of customer service that is unmatched in the restoration industry. This level of expert service is achieved through extensive onboarding training, opt-in employee training, Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) training and certification, ongoing continuing education courses, and more. These certifications help SERVPRO technicians rise above their competitors.

#2: Response Times Matter 

When emergencies strike, response times are critical for stopping and reversing property damage caused by fire, water, or mold. The longer these issues remain unresolved, the greater risk they pose to property, safety, and health. 

SERVPRO services are quick and efficient, with technicians arriving to assess damages and discuss quotes quickly anywhere in the Greater Austin area. Restoration plans will be established that meet safety and prevention timetables regarding water damage, smoke cleanup, and more.

#3: Affordable Pricing

Emergencies are unexpected and devastating, which means price matters when it comes to property damage restoration services. SERVPRO works with clients to find restoration solutions that are both effective and affordable, with upfront explanations and no hidden costs.

#4: 24/7 Service Availability

When emergencies strike, property owners often need help fast. SERVPRO technicians are available 24/7 to provide assessments, quotes, and select restoration services when property owners need them, regardless of time. Property owners can choose to contact SERVPRO experts via their convenient web form or by calling 512-261-4790.

#5: Dependable, Trustworthy Service

SERVPRO is an established name in the Austin and West Lake Hills communities, providing dependable property damage restoration services. Due to the high standards of training, certification, and ongoing education that all SERVPRO technicians participate in, every service offered through SERVPRO is safe, effective, and predictable. Property owners can depend on SERVPRO technicians to reduce the stress and chaos of emergency damage with professional, reasonably priced restoration services.

#6: Comprehensive Services

Due to their dedication to restoration and extensive training, SERVPRO technicians can provide comprehensive restoration services for every client. Water restoration companies, fire restoration companies, and mold remediation companies each may specialize in one service, but SERVPRO technicians specialize in them all. Property damage restoration services provided through SERVPRO include: 

  •       Water cleanup
  •       Residential water damage restoration
  •       Commercial water damage removal
  •       Commercial cleaning service for damage or smoke
  •       Mold removal
  •       And more

 Emergency water restoration and smoke and mold remediation services are also available by calling SERVPRO any time, day or night.

Reach out to SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake today for more information on comprehensive professional property restoration services in Austin, TX. Services and questions can be directed to SERVPRO staff at 512-261-4790.

5 Storm Damage Situations Property Owners Frequently Experience

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: The experts at SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake explain common storm damage scenarios and the solutions residents need to recover smoothly from storm damage scenarios.

Storms are a regular part of life in Texas. For property owners, storms can spell unexpected trouble in the form of floods, physical property damage, mold, expensive repairs, and more. 

SERVPRO is an experienced team of thoroughly trained restoration technicians providing comprehensive property damage restoration services, including water damage restoration, fire and smoke remediation, and mold removal in the Westlake and Austin areas. 

Their experienced technicians shared five of the common types of storm damages that many property owners in Texas may face. For more information about storm damage or storm damage restoration services, reach out to SERVPRO today.

5 Common Storm Damage Scenarios to Look Out For

#1: Lightning and thunderstorm damage 

Thunderstorms in Texas produce their fair share of dangerous conditions, including heavy rains, lightning, and more. When lightning strikes trees, homes, businesses, powerlines, or other common structures, the damage can be anywhere from minimal to disastrous. 

Lightning strikes can cause fires, falling limbs/trees, electrical hazards, and other severe issues. Storm and fire restoration companies can help repair fire, smoke, and other damages caused by lightning strikes.

#2: Hail damage 

Big storms mean significant dangers. Hail is a type of dangerous precipitation caused by rapidly freezing water, and odds are most people have experienced it in some form. The size of hail ranges from pea-sized to grapefruit, but even smaller hail can cause considerable damage. 

Broken windows, dented rooftops, bent vents, damaged siding, and other issues are typical in areas that experience frequent hailstorms. Storm damage restoration companies like SERVPRO work to restore and remediate damages caused by hail and help property owners take preventative measures when possible. 

#3: Storm-related flood damage 

Heavy storms often produce significant rainfall that can cause flooding in rivers, lakes, and ponds. When flooding occurs, property damage can happen in many forms, including ground displacement, flooding basements, commercial properties, and homes, and more. Following flood damage, mold can set in and cause further damage, making properties unsafe for use. 

Because floods happen quickly, emergency water restoration services are available to provide fast solutions to flood damage. Water cleanup providers and water restoration companies offer various services designed to make properties safe for use again. 

These experts remove water and work with clients to establish a restoration, repair, and prevention plan. In the weeks after a flood, mold remediation companies provide mold removal and mold growth prevention to help streamline the property damage restoration process.

#4: Wind damage 

Thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other types of storms can produce damaging winds that threaten both life and property. When these storms happen, property owners often face a range of damages, including: 

  •       Damage from falling limbs or trees
  •       Broken windows
  •       Damaged rooftops or lost shingles
  •       Lost or damaged siding
  •       Damage to signage, stands, or other fixtures
  •       And more

#5: Winter storm damage 

While the Austin area rarely sees heavy snowfall, winter storms can still test the structural integrity of homes and businesses. Many property owners are unprepared for below-freezing temperatures, often leading to burst pipes. Storm restoration companies like SERVPRO help property owners recover from winter storm damage by restoring structures and remediating water damage, among other services. 

Contact SERVPRO for more information about storm damage and property damage restoration, including commercial water damage restoration and commercial cleaning service in Lakeway, TX. Call 512-261-4790 today.

List of Do's and Don'ts Before Your Fire Damage Restoration Company Arrives

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO provides Lakeway, West Lake Hills, and Austin, TX residents with the knowledge to take informed action before receiving fire damage restoration services.

Fire is truly a devastating force. Fires can start for many different reasons, including natural causes such as lightning and unnatural causes such as unattended campfires, electrical shortages, and more. No matter the cause, fires can cause irreversible damage to commercial properties and homes. 

SERVPRO helps home and business owners begin the recovery process by providing trustworthy, affordable fire damage restoration services in West Lake Hills, TX, and surrounding areas. SERVPRO is a comprehensive property damage recovery service offering water cleanup, mold removal, commercial cleaning services, and more.

List of Do's and Don'ts Before Your Fire Damage Restoration Company Arrives

DO: Turn off utilities 

A critical first step that property owners should take when facing fire damage is to immediately turn off all utilities, including electric, water, and gas. If possible, turn these utilities off at any main valves, breakers, or other primary structures until professionals check them for safety.

DO: Take precautions

Avoid sitting on furniture or inhabiting spaces where smoke, ash, or other particles may contaminate fabrics, surfaces, or air. Wear respirators or air filters and other appropriate safety gear when working in or handling any objects impacted by fire damage.

DO: Check your insurance policy

All residential and commercial property owners dealing with fire damage should consult their insurance policies as soon as possible. Many home and business insurance policies offer some limited coverage for fires in specific situations. 

Reach out to insurance companies for clarification about insurance policies and answers to any questions before calling any restoration professionals. Insurance companies typically select their restoration providers for any needed services and may not cover services from other contractors.

DO: Take notes, save original documents, stay organized

Following fire damage, an important task for home and business owners is to collect original documents such as deeds and property receipts. These documents will help in the restoration process and provide the necessary documentation for any insurance claims. Keep these documents handy and organized for ongoing fire restoration and insurance needs.

DON’T: Tamper with damage

While it may be tempting to clean or provide DIY fixes immediately after a fire, it’s best to wait for professional services. Spaces can be unsafe for many reasons, including: 

  •       Structural damage
  •       Smoke
  •       Toxic chemicals
  •       Hazardous objects
  •       And more 

Professional fire damage restoration services like those provided by SERVPRO help determine which spaces are unsafe and restore those spaces by rebuilding, removing smoke, cleaning vents, and more.

DON’T: Use electronics or appliances

After a fire, don’t attempt to operate any modern appliances like computers, microwaves, TVs, radios, or other technology. These objects may be affected by heat or smoke damage, and using them could cause harm to people or the appliances themselves.

DON’T: Consume food items or canned goods 

Food and canned goods that received damage from heat or smoke damage may be toxic. These products are not safe for consumption, and property owners should discard them when it is safe to do so. 

Sometimes, more than one type of damage occurs as a result of a fire. Fire restoration companies, mold remediation companies, and water restoration companies may all specialize in one service, but SERVPRO specializes in them all. 

For more information about proper fire restoration procedures and professional fire damage restoration services, reach out to the professionals at SERVPRO. Use their convenient web form or call 512-261-4790 today.

Four Ways a Damage Restoration and Cleanup Company Like SERVPRO Can Make Life Easier After a Disaster

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: The disaster cleanup experts at SERVPRO offer four reasons to call a competent damage restoration team to help get life back on track after flooding, fires, or storms.

SERVPRO is a nationwide fire, water, and storm damage restoration service run by independent franchisee teams. The SERVPRO professionals assist with disaster management and cleanup across the country after floods, fires, storms, and other serious events that happen unexpectedly. Their slogan sums up SERVPRO’s unique philosophy, and the team cares about making the area look “Like it never even happened,” so that everyone can move on with normal life.

Four Great Reasons to Choose SERVPRO for Damage Restoration and Cleanup

Anyone who has seen the aftermath of a severe storm, fire, or water disaster can attest to its destructive power. These events cause widespread, city-wide damage, and experienced damage restoration companies like SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake deal with these disasters daily. Below, they explore why relying on one of the best fire and water restoration companies in the region is a great way to move forward.

#1 Time Is of the Essence For All Types of Damage Restoration

The faster the water cleanup process starts, the better. When severe weather places a home or business at risk of collapse or contamination, water will leak into places it shouldn’t and wreak havoc. Both residential and commercial water damage is detrimental to the building and its occupants, especially when mold or sewage leaks make an appearance. 

SERVPRO leads the pack in emergency water restoration and mold removal services in the area with lightning-fast responses to ensure they catch the damage on time. The team's stellar service also means that home and business owners can enjoy lower damage restoration costs and quicker recovery.

#2 Effective Damage Restoration Requires Professional Equipment

The damage restoration technicians at SERVPRO are experts in the field. They use top-notch equipment to restore homes and businesses to their original condition. The setup enables efficient work and superb attention to detail.

As one of the premier mold remediation companies available, SERVPRO uncovers all hidden areas of damage and quickly attends to the infestation. No commercial cleaning service can match this meticulousness, especially without the right tools and technology.

#3 Reputable Insurance Companies Fully Support Damage Restoration

A natural disaster brings a lot of stress with it, and negotiating with an insurance company is not high on the priority list for most of SERVPRO’s damage restoration clients. Part of the reason local homeowners and businesses trust SERVPRO’s expertise is that we work directly with the insurance company after a flood, storm, or fire.

As one of the most experienced water and fire restoration companies in town, SERVPRO is happy to advise clients on the best ways to file successful insurance claims. Our clients can enjoy peace of mind as we set to work to restore their homes and businesses, regardless of their insurance provider.

#4 Damage Restoration Professionals Mitigate Health Hazards

Severe storms and other emergencies carry a surprising number of health effects beyond the immediate risk to life and limb. Short-term and long-term risks abound, including:

  • Soot and chemicals from fire damage that makes it difficult to breathe
  • Widespread mold growth after a flood or rainstorm that causes health effects.

SERVPRO removes these visible traces of fire, wind, and water, but they also focus on finding and eradicating all the invisible risks too. Even after the worst disaster, a home or business can be safe again with damage restoration services from these seasoned professionals.

Contact SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake at (512) 261-4790 today for comprehensive storm and water damage restoration in Bee Cave, TX, and the surrounding communities

Three Things To Do Before The Professional Water Damage Restoration Specialists Arrive on the Scene

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: The professional team from SERVPRO discusses three important tasks to help home and business owners prepare for the water damage restoration process.

SERVPRO is a nationwide fire and water damage restoration company with plenty to offer residential and commercial property owners in the wake of a disaster. The trusted company provides unmatched damage restoration services and water cleanup for the health and safety of the local community. SERVPRO is also certified with the IICRC and fully trained in mold removal and remediation.

Three Things To Do Before SERVPRO’s Water Damage Restoration Team Arrives

A flood or severe storm wreaks untold damage on a home or business, and both residential and commercial water damage can be severe. Emergency water restoration companies like SERVPRO handle these catastrophes daily, helping victims win back their living and working spaces and clean up the mess. The team works quickly and efficiently, especially with water damage restoration efforts. 

Homeowners and businesses can relax when SERVPRO’s water damage restoration team is on the way, but there are three essential tasks to do first:

#1 Turn Off the Water

Even if the water damage starts with a flood or storm, it is still a good idea to turn off the water source to the property at the main switch. There might be unseen damage or strain on the system, so rather be cautious and give the pipes and outlets time to settle down. If the water originates from a burst pipe, sump pump, well, or another leak, turning off the inlet to the property will also prevent further issues. 

If the flooding does not originate from within the home, turning off the water at the main water valve can still prevent further water damage in the ensuing cleanup operation.

#2 Remove Any Important Belongings

Before attempting to rescue possessions, all homeowners and businesses should carefully evaluate the water level within the building. Has it risen above any electrical outlets? If so, it is not safe for anyone to enter the water or even step into wet areas without professional training and equipment; no object is more important than a life. 

If the building has a safe, dry area and safe access is still possible, move any important or valuable belongings away from the flooded area. It gives the SERVPRO water damage restoration experts more room to work and increases the chances that we can save the item from further damage and mold growth. Fabrics, furniture, and other drenched possessions typically sustain severe damage, but fast removal is sometimes enough to mitigate the deterioration.

#3 Ventilate the Area

One of the most dangerous aftereffects of a flood is unseen mold growth. Even fire restoration companies have to deal with the threat of mold after a fire, and it is imperative that this destructive element does not find the right conditions to thrive. An adequate flow of fresh air is the enemy of mold growth, which likes dark, damp spaces.

Homeowners and businesses can decrease the likelihood of unwanted organic growth by ventilating the area well and keeping windows and doors open. Avoiding the need for mold remediation companies later also means exposing any hidden pockets of moisture in porous or fibrous materials. After flooding, it is better to proactively remove any “soggy” belongings or furnishings when it is safe to do so. 

A standard commercial cleaning service cannot match SERVPRO’s fast, efficient results. When homes and businesses in Austin, TX work with us, it is “Like it never even happened.” Contact the Lakeway / Westlake SERVPRO water damage restoration team today at (512) 261-4790 for water damage restoration and other emergency cleanup services.

How to Pick the Best Commercial Restoration Team for Fire or Water Damage

9/22/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: Picking the best commercial restoration company to handle water or fire damage can be tricky. The experts at SERVPRO have seven proven tips for business owners looking to find the right team for property restoration in Austin.

Fire and water damage—which often go hand-in-hand—can do a devastating amount of damage very quickly. Unfortunately, delayed action or improper restoration techniques can lead to even more costly repairs. Working with an experienced fire and water restoration company is crucial to minimizing both the risk of further damage and costs.

However, with hundreds of water and fire restoration companies in the Austin area, it can be challenging to find the right option. The experts at SERVPRO are here to offer proven tips to choose the best commercial damage restoration team for water or fire damage.

How to Pick the Best Commercial Restoration Team for Fire or Water Damage at Your Business

1.24/7 Availability

Fixing water or fire damage as soon as possible minimizes the risk of long-term property damage. For instance, quick water cleanup can prevent mold growth, eliminating the need to worry about the extra cost of mold removal services. That’s why it’s best to look for fire or water restoration companies that offer 24/7 services.

2.Response Time

24/7 availability is a solid place to start, but the company should also offer fast response times 24/7. Generally, that means looking for an emergency water restoration company. These providers have the training and equipment to arrive fast and get the job done fast.

3.Choose Local Contractors

Choosing a local contractor for commercial water damage or fire damage restoration has several benefits. For example, a local contractor will usually arrive faster to provide fire or water cleanup services. A local contractor will also be familiar with the local laws and permitting that govern commercial restoration projects here in Austin.

4.Licensed and Insured Company

It’s best to only work with licensed water and fire restoration companies. A license shows that a company has received proper training, proved its competence, and adheres to the industry standards and best practices.

Likewise, only hire an insured commercial restoration company. Working with an insured contractor prevents the risk of having to pay for any damage or injury that occurs during the property restoration process.

5.Certifications

Having industry certifications alongside the necessary licenses proves that a restoration company is willing to go the extra mile to provide customers with the best services. As certifications require yearly renewals, certified companies also need to keep upgrading their skills and learn the latest and best solutions.

Looking for commercial restoration companies with well-known, respected certifications, such as:

AMRT (Applied Microbial Remediation Technician)

ASD (Applied Structural Drying Technician)

IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification)

6.Equipment and Expertise

Depending on their specialty, not all restoration companies will have the equipment and expertise to handle both water and fire damage. For example, mold remediation companies may not have experience with smoke damage. As such, before hiring a company, verify that they have the equipment and expertise to provide the specific type of commercial cleaning service needed.

7.Customer Reviews

If a company has mostly positive reviews, chances are they offer quality services. However, avoid simply picking a company because they have positive reviews. Some less-than-reputable contractors generate their own fake reviews. Consider the company’s overall review profile as a whole alongside other factors, such as their certifications and licensing.

About SERVPRO of Lakeway

SERVPRO is a top provider of commercial restoration services with 1,700+ franchise locations across the US. They offer rapid response times, hold the highest certifications in the industry, and are dedicated to nothing less than exceptional customer service.

Experience their industry-leading fire, water, and mold remediation services in West Lake Hills, TX today by dialing (512) 261-4790 or emailing mpraytor@SERVPROhydepark.com. Alternatively, visit their office at 12600 Hill Country Boulevard, Suite R-275, Bee Cave, TX 78738, or follow them on Facebook to learn more about commercial damage restoration.

SERVPRO: Important fire safety tips for retail stores

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

Blog summary: SERVPRO shares how retail stores can prevent fire damage by following certain precautions.

Fire safety tips for retail stores

Retail stores are usually at high fire risk. By creating a fire protection plan, managers and store owners can minimize fire dangers, protect their clients, and continue running a flourishing business. SERVPRO, a fire damage restoration service, shares some advice.

Identifying the common fire hazards in retail stores:

  • Electrical wiring/outlets
  • Lighting
  • Gas lines
  • HVAC/furnace systems and motors
  • Kitchen/break room cooking appliances
  • Potentially flammable products like chemicals, clothing, paper
  • Vandals
  • Lightening

5 fire safety tips

  1. Utilize a daily fire safety checklist 

Making fire prevention a part of daily routine is the first step towards fire safety. This safety checklist must be followed by employees daily and every task must be ticked off at the closing time. Here’s what this daily checklist can include:

  1. The routine must include inspections, repair, and maintenance of electrical wires, gas lines, plumbing, utility connections, and all fire-protection equipment. This ensures that these items don’t pose a fire hazard and function properly when needed.
  2. Keep flammable items such as paper, clothing, and chemicals away from electrical outlets, flames, and static electricity. 
  3. Keep the kitchen or break room with a hot plate, toaster, or cooking surface, grease-free and clear of clutter. Cooking is one of the biggest causes of commercial fires in the country. 
  4. Dispose of the trash properly - away from electrical and gas appliances that can spark a fire. Trash should not block doorways and evacuation paths during emergencies. An uncluttered space allows for more safety.
  1. Monthly inspection of fire extinguishers 

Fire safety and prevention are incomplete without well-maintained, portable fire extinguishers. It is imperative to ensure they are functional in the event of a fire. 

Some basic fire extinguisher rules and recommendations:

  1. Within 75 feet: The distance to the nearest fire extinguisher in any given direction should not exceed 75 feet.
  2. The right extinguisher: For every kind of fire, there is a specific fire extinguisher. ABC-class extinguishers put out fires caused by flammable liquids, electronic equipment, and burning paper or plastic. K-class are meant to be used in kitchens and within 30 ft. of cooking equipment.
  3. The staff must be trained on how and where to use extinguishers 
  4. Monthly inspections as per OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and NFPA (The National Fire Protection Association) should be conducted by trained employees to ensure the pressure gauge is on full (needle to green), the hose intact, and the pin securely in place. Annual inspections must be performed by a certified professional and reported to the appropriate organizations.
  1. Employee training

Proper employee training that is in tandem with NFPA and OSHA standards must be conducted by the business owners. All employees must be trained on fire safety protocol, evacuation procedures, and the use of fire safety equipment. Employees must know the location of all fire extinguishers and fire exits and the procedure to escort customers to safety. A mandatory annual fire safety refresher course is a must for all staff.

Assigning employees specific tasks such as shutting off gas and electrical power and evacuation helps to be more organized during a fire incident.

  1. Fire sprinkler inspection and maintenance

Regardless of the size of the store and volume of merchandise, fire sprinklers and/or fire suppression systems are the best line of defense against fire damage and loss of life. However, a sprinkler or fire suppression system that has not been maintained and is not code-compliant is useless. Unfortunately, not all retail businesses are required by law to have these systems. Businesses that do install these systems must get their quarterly and annual inspections conducted by a state-licensed technician and as mandated by the NFPA code.

  1. Fire Alarm Monitoring 

No fire safety plan is complete without fire alarm monitoring. This system cuts down on firefighter notification time and speeds up their arrival, saving merchandise, property, and lives. It also ensures that all false alarms are ruled out before alerting for help. This is especially helpful when the store is closed and there is no one to watch the store. Statistically, arsonists were responsible for setting 10,200 non-residential fires in 2018, a 15% increase over ten years. Fire alarm monitoring helps thwart such ill intentions.

Following these tips can really help prevent a fire disaster and the accompanying losses in terms of money and lives. In case of fire damage, retail store owners must reach out to a professional fire damage restoration company such as SERVPRO to restore their property to its original glory.

Why SERVPRO?

  • SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in Lakeway, Westlake, or anywhere else can quickly access the services. 
  • With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
  • The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire the regular IICRC-industry certification.

For fire damage restoration services, call SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake today at (512) 261-4790

SERVPRO: Storm damage tips for homeowners

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

Blog summary: This SERVPRO article explains the initial steps property owners can take after the storms have ceased. 

Storm damage tips

A tornado, hailstorm, or thunderstorm can cause devastation for miles. These natural occurrences can lead to severe property damage, including flooding and wind damage. SERVPRO, a storm damage restoration service, shares the following storm damage restoration tips that homeowners can follow.

  • Insurance claims

Irrespective of DIY or professional restoration, insurance must be taken care of first. 

  1. Take photos of the damage as proof to the insurance agent at the earliest.
  2. Homeowners’ insurance generally covers sudden, accidental damage such as a tree falling and damaging the house roof during high winds and thunderstorms. 
  3. But some homeowners' policies may exclude windstorms and hail damage. Read the policy thoroughly or talk with the insurance agent.
  4. Since flooding from natural disasters is generally not covered in these policies, homeowners need to buy separate flood insurance from The National Flood Insurance Program
  • Assess home damage

If homeowners have evacuated the house, they must receive the safety clearance from the local authorities before returning to the house. Basic safety precautions must be followed after the storm such as avoiding fallen power lines and standing water.

  1. Plumbing - Water damage is highly likely after a storm due to the flash floods and sewage backup.

  • Inspect the pipes inside and outside the house (irrigation systems).

  • Switch off the water supply. If not possible, at least turn off the water valves to toilets and sinks. 
  • Sewage backup in the shower or under the toilet indicates a clogged or broken sewer line. This is an issue best managed by a professional team. 
  1. Roofing - A damaged roof is a candidate for further water damage.

  • Inspect the roof for missing shingles. However, some roof damage may not be visible from the ground and would need an expert inspection. A professional roofing team such as SERVPRO can help. 
  • Often there may be a need for a temporary solution to prevent the water from seeping in. A professional team can address this until a permanent solution is found and applied. 
  • A professional team has the expertise and the equipment to address roofing issues and prevent any further damage.
  1. Electrical

  • The electricity supply must be switched off.
  • Appliances exposed to water must be serviced by an expert before being used. 
  • Watch out for frayed wires and sparks.
  • Exposed wires are a danger and require the attention of an electrician. The power should remain off until the electrician has assessed the situation. 
  • Exterior breaker boxes, although rain-tight, may succumb to a major storm. Any water infiltration in the box must be addressed by an electrician and only then should the power be turned on.
  • Avoid metal fences as they may be an electrocution risk due to dangling utility wires.
  • Branches or trees that have fallen on power lines must be cleared or cut by a professional team.  

3. Flooding

A flooded house is best addressed by a professional restoration company such as SERVPRO with its state-of-the-art equipment, experience, and IICRC certifications.

For a DIY restoration, homeowners must use protective gear such as boots, gloves, eye protection, and a respirator.

  1. Mitigate the water damage by removing standing water as soon as possible.
  2. Use a pump or squeegee the standing water.
  3. Use a vacuum only if it’s a true wet-dry vacuum.
  4. Remove all contents that may have absorbed the contaminated floodwaters such as carpeting, carpet padding, furniture, and drapes.
  5. Use air movers and dehumidifiers to dry out the area. Homeowners may have to purchase or rent this equipment. 
  6. Dispose of all medicines, cosmetics, and foods that have been submerged in floodwaters.
  7. Inspect the walls and floors for hidden moisture, and remove the damaged portions to prevent mold growth. However, a thorough detection of moisture requires sophisticated devices that homeowners may not have access to.
  8. Clean floors and cabinets with detergent and then disinfect them.  
  9. Keep photographic documentation of the damaged items that are being disposed of, for insurance purposes. A professional team may have a more discerning eye when it comes to identifying items that are salvageable.
  1. Automobiles 
  1. Automobiles may get easily damaged by floodwaters, tree branches, or debris.
  2. An insurance agent must be notified of any automobile damage.
  3. Temporarily cover broken windows to prevent further damage.
  4. Create an inventory of valuables that are lost or damaged in the car. 
  1. Beware of scams

It is not uncommon for scams to emerge during these catastrophes. However, by following certain criteria during the hiring process, homeowners can ensure they are not taken advantage of. 

  1. Work with local and renowned contractors. Ask for reviews and recommendations.
  2. Pay when the task is completed and is at par with industry standards. Preferably pay with a check or a credit card.
  3. Beware of any “now or never” offers from contractors.
  4. Ask for a written estimate of damage and cost. 
  5. Hire companies that are licensed and certified by IICRC.

Why SERVPRO?

  • SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in Lakeway, West Lake Hills, or anywhere else can quickly access the services. 
  • With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
  • The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire the regular IICRC-industry certification.

For storm damage restoration services, in Austin, TX, and surrounding areas, call SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake today at (512) 261-4790.

SERVPRO: 6 safety tips to help homeowners sail through wildfires

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

Blog summary: This SERVPRO article explains how homeowners can prepare for the wildfires and protect themselves and their families during this natural disaster.

Wildfire safety tips to follow 

In 2021, 37,803 fires have burned more than 3 million acres across the United States so far, as per NIFC (National Interagency Fire Center). Wildfires wreak havoc on life and property every year. SERVPRO with its disaster recovery team shares some safety tips against wildfires.

  1. Be aware

Wildfire refers to a large, unplanned blaze in a rural or forested area. These fires often spread during summer and fall due to high volumes of dried vegetation. Lightning, arson, discarded cigarettes, and spontaneous combustion are some of the common causes of wildfires. Open areas with abundant vegetation and a dry climate are at a higher risk of wildfires.

The danger of wildfire is heightened during prolonged periods of hot and dry weather.

  1. Be prepared

Preparation is imperative before the wildfire season arrives. There must be clear procedures, plans, and protocols within households and the neighborhood in anticipation of wildfires.

  1. Insurance: Homeowners in wildfire-prone areas must check if their policy covers wildfire damage and if not, they must invest in one. 
  2. Plan: An evacuation plan is an indispensable safety step. Due to the unpredictable nature of wildfires, multiple evacuation routes must be prepared. as the spread of fire can be unpredictable. This plan must be detailed to ensure there is minimum loss and discomfort. It may include:
  • Contact information of relevant people such as family members, workplace, schools, doctors, and utility companies.
  • Important documents such as birth certificates, social security cards, insurance policies, and photos of the property for insurance purposes.
  • Locations of temporary shelter with friends or acquaintances, local disaster center, hotels for long-term stays, and evacuation routes.
  • Investigation of potential hazards in local neighborhoods and nearby factories and farms. This information is important while deciding the evacuation route. 
  1. Pack an evacuation kit: A wildfire can arrive in minutes unexpectedly. In an emergency where homeowners may have to evacuate their homes, an evacuation kit must be ready and easily accessible. It can include items such as:
  • N95 masks to help filter out harmful, airborne particles 
  • Three days’ supply of clean, bottled water
  • Three days’ supply of dry or long-life food supplies
  • Blankets
  • Changes of clothes
  • The evacuation/wildfire plan
  • A portable radio
  • Flashlights
  • Mobile phone
  • First aid kit
  • Medications
  • Any pet supplies and carriers
  • Stay informed
  1. Stay informed
    Preparation is possible only when sufficient information is available. Listen to local news, sign up for the community warning system, and stay up to date with the Emergency Alert System (EAS) to know about any imminent dangers and evacuation announcements.
  1. Protect the house: Some simple steps can provide some protection to a house and increase the chances of its survival during a wildfire.
  1. Inside the house
  • Use Class A roofing material such as slate, or asphalt. 
  • Install Class B pressure-treated shingles or shakes. 
  • Procure a smoke alarm for every bedroom and in each zone of the house.
  • Maintain and test smoke alarms monthly and change their batteries annually. 
  • Consider fire sprinklers. 
  1. Outside the house - Create a defensible space around the house by following the below-mentioned guidelines.

Within 30 feet of the home

  • Remove combustible materials such as dried leaves and pine needles.
  • Chop down any tree limbs that are 15 feet or closer to the ground to prevent the fire from spreading into the property’s tree line.
  • Store any unused flammable lawn furniture.
  • Install a non-flammable decor, such as gravel.

Within 100 to 30 Feet of the house

  • Create “fuel breaks” such as gravel pathways or driveways in the property to halt the spread of a fire. 
  • Cut tree branches that are 8 feet or closer to the ground.
  • Clear combustible vegetation.

Within 200 to 100 feet of the house

  • Continue to clear combustible vegetation.
  • Plant trees far apart so their branches do not touch.

Designate water resources
In preparation for the wildfire, homeowners must ensure ample garden hose as well as water sources such as swimming pools, ponds, lakes, wells, and fire hydrants. Ensure that the fire department can access these if the need be. 

  1. Beware of the dangers

Fire: In case of an alert by the EAS of a wildfire, homeowners must evacuate at the earliest. In case of delay, homeowners must follow the below tips if the fire reaches the house.

  1. Cover face with a protective layer such as a mask or a damp cloth to limit smoke inhalation. 
  2. Keep low and head away from heavy smoke and fire. 
  3. Move against the wind as this is likely to be the opposite direction of the fire.
  4. If too close to the fire, avoid walking on embers and dampen clothes to prevent flames from catching.

Smoke: Smoke from a wildfire can spread over large distances. Therefore, homeowners may be at mercy of harmful smoke even before the fire reaches the area. Carbon Monoxide and toxic particles found in smoke may lead to nausea, light-headedness, chest pain, and, in extreme cases, suffocation. It can also cause damage to the lungs. 

  • Keep checking the EAS and local news for updates on the status of the smoke.
  • Endeavor to limit smoke inhalation by staying inside with doors and windows closed.
  • Wear N95 masks to filter out harmful smoke.

5. After the fire

Returning to a fire-damaged property is safe only if certified by an emergency service.  When returning home, it is advised to:

  • Wear proper protective attire. 
  • Stay vigilant for broken floorboards, shattered glass, and other hazards. 
  • Watch out for ash pits and hot spots. Even after a fire is extinguished, small fires can flare up without warning. 
  • Turn off utilities to avoid any risk of electric shock or gas leak. 
  • Assess the damage to the property and its contents
  • Contact insurance providers. 
  • Refrain from cleaning up until an insurance representative has arrived on site. 
  • Share with the adjuster an inventory of damaged items and/or photos of the property before the damage. This documentation is really helpful while estimating and settling the claim.

6. DIY salvage

Protective clothing when salvaging possessions after a fire is imperative. In case of limited damage, homeowners may be able to salvage the house and its content themselves, to some extent. Moving the damaged items out of the house and into the open air helps. However, fire, smoke, and water damage affect different materials in different ways. In case of structural damage, DIY is no longer an option. Therefore, before diving into a DIY restoration, homeowners must contact their insurance adjusters and ideally speak to a fire damage restoration service such as SERVPRO. 

A wildfire’s path cannot be changed but homeowners can follow the above safety tips to prevail through the wildfires. 

Why SERVPRO?

  • SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in Lakeway, West Lake Hills, or anywhere else can quickly access the services. 
  • With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
  • The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire the regular IICRC-industry certification.

For fire damage restoration services, call SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake today at (512) 261-4790.

SERVPRO Shares How it Eases and Expedites Insurance Claims

7/19/2021 (Permalink)

Blog summary: SERVPRO shares how hiring SERVPRO makes insurance claims easy for property owners.

How does SERVPRO make insurance claims process a cakewalk?

When properties are damaged due to storm, fire, water, or mold, the first two steps that a property owner takes are to call the insurer and the restorer. What if one call could take care of all insurance and restoration concerns? 

SERVPRO shares below why it is a preferred vendor for many local and national insurance companies and therefore one of the best restoration companies for property owners: 

1. Keep claims down: SERVPRO aspires to provide the best service to property owners and their insurers. The team works hard and smart to keep the claims cost down while still providing the best services possible for customers.

2. Emergency response to claims: Restoration is an industry where a slow pace is unacceptable and unsuccessful. With its swift and skillful Disaster Response team, SERVPRO makes the customer a priority. Insurance companies work with reliable restoration companies like SERVPRO to ensure that the damage is checked at the earliest, restoration is commenced swiftly, and therefore claims remain low and realistic. This is in the best interest of the insurer and the property owner. SERVPRO’s immediate response ensures everything is being done to limit the damage.

3. Pretesting reduces claims expense: Restoring property is less expensive than replacing property. With its experienced team, latest technology, and upgraded methods, SERVPRO conducts extensive pretesting on every loss to determine the extent of possible restoration. This ensures that the claims expenses remain low and the property owner is not overwhelmed by expenses that are not covered by its insurer.

4. Claims inventory service: An itemized loss inventory is created by the SERVPRO professionals to organize and expedite the claims process. An Excel formatted report and pictures of important items help the insurer understand the situation swiftly and hasten the claims process, which means the property can be restored sooner and life can return to normal.

  1. Electronic claims information: SERVPRO’s Claims Information Center provides fast, accurate information to insurers to enable them to make sound decisions. This includes a complete electronic job file, online access to all files, informative reports to improve results, and performance comparison to industry standards. This information is another way of ensuring the claims process is swift, uncomplicated, and fair.

6. Superior, time-tested training: Franchises are trained to IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) standards in Fire and Water Cleanup and Restoration. In addition, continuing education classes are available to franchise professionals and insurance clients at its state-of-the-art IICRC Approved Training Facility. This makes SERVPRO a reliable partner for insurance companies and a reliable restoration company for property owners. 

7. Vendor qualification compliance and professionalism: In association with most local and national insurance companies, SERVPRO uses only qualified vendors. This commitment results in:

  • A Customer Care Center to achieve prompt handling of the claim.
  • Implementation of best practices and job process programs.
  • National Accounts qualification criteria and annual compliance checks.
  • Crew and vehicle standards.
  • Insurance requirements.
  • File documentation requirements.
  • Quality assurance program.



A SERVPRO professional's job is to reassure the customer, perform quality service, and report to insurers quickly. Working together, SERVPRO and insurance companies strive to save everyone’s time and money. 24-hour emergency response, damage mitigation, loss assessment, and an electronic file are made available to insurers within hours. All this effort and structure is dedicated to ensuring that the property owners can have their insurance claims processed quickly, have their property restored to its original glory, and can return to their lives and businesses as usual.

With such advantages to the property owners and insurance, it is not a surprise that SERVPRO is one of the most preferred restoration companies in the country. Clients can check with SERVPRO to confirm if their insurer is a partner.

Why SERVPRO?

  • SERVPRO is one of the most preferred partners for local and national insurance companies in the country.
  • SERVPRO uses state-of-the-art equipment to bring the damaged property back to its original state. SERVPRO of Lakeway / Westlake is always updating its fleet and equipment so clients in Lakeway, Westlake, or anywhere else can quickly access the services. 
  • With over 1,700 US and Canadian Franchise locations, SERVPRO is strategically positioned to respond faster to an emergency of any magnitude.
  • The SERVPRO staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. They receive initial in-house training and constant skill up-gradation at the corporate training facility and also acquire the regular IICRC-industry certification.

For restoration and cleaning services, call SERVPRO® of Lakeway/Westlake today at (512) 261-4790.