Recent Posts

Shopping for a House? 5 Things to Look Out for to Avoid Buying a Moldy Home

12/7/2022 (Permalink)

Spots of mold growth on ceiling If you find mold in your home, give SERVPRO of Georgetown/Florence/Sun City a call!

5 Things to Look Out for to Avoid Buying a Moldy Home

Purchasing a house is a big step that takes time, care, and research. In this article, we'll take you through the things to look out for when buying your new home so that you can avoid purchasing a house that has been previously damaged by water or mold.

Important Things to Consider When Buying a Home

There are a few things you should consider when you are buying a home: 

Location, size, and amenities: These are the base factors that will influence your decision. If you're looking for a place close to public transit or schools, you might want to think about those before anything else. The same goes for things like the nearby quality of neighborhood parks and other recreational facilities.

Price, mortgage payment and insurance: When buying a home it's important to look at all three factors together so that they balance out financially. This way, if one cost increases or decreases dramatically over time due to inflation or unexpected developments in policy or technology (like electric cars), then your budget will still work out as planned.

Safety/security: It's also worth considering how safe your new neighborhood is before making an offer on any given property -- especially if there are strangers around who could pose threats such as animal attacks (which are rare). Most real estate agents can provide helpful information about these things during pre-inspections if asked nicely!

History of the home: It's always wise when buying any kind of property - especially one without previous owners - first ask yourself why someone would leave behind something beautiful like this place. What happened here? How often does it happen? What caused these problems last time around which could lead us down similar paths with future residents coming after us?”

Research the Area and the Home

The first thing you should do is get to know the area your house is located in. The quality of the neighborhood can make or break whether or not you will be happy with your purchase. If there are bad schools nearby, or if it’s known for flooding often—there are many factors to consider when choosing where to buy a home.

Also, make sure that you know what kind of conditions exist within the home itself before purchasing it! Do not buy into any myths regarding mold or mildew; buying an older house does not mean that it has been completely cleaned out and no longer contains any potential health hazards such as mold spores.

Watch for Signs of Mold

Beyond the above suggestions, you should watch for signs of mold in each home you are considering. Mold can be a huge problem, and a potentially very expensive problem to solve. 

As you look at homes, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for these five common signs of water damage:

  • Mold in the home
  • Water stains on walls or ceilings
  • Leaking pipes, roofs, and gutters
  • Pests like mice and ants. If there are signs of pests in a house that you're considering buying, it's likely there's some sort of moisture problem in the walls or floors nearby (and from there it can spread)
  • Structural damage caused by leaks or flooding in your home (sometimes seen as cracks in the foundation)

Working with a Property Inspector

As a home buyer, you should always work with a property inspector who understands and is experienced in mold inspection. A professional will be able to tell you if there are signs of mold in your prospective home, as well as identify what type of mold it is, how to deal with it, and how to prevent future outbreaks.

The best thing to do when purchasing a home is to take your time and look at everything carefully. That way, you will be able to avoid the pitfalls of buying a moldy house in the first place.

If you do find mold in your Florence, TX home, give SERVPRO of Georgetown/Florence/Sun City a call to remediate the mold and get it back to its preloss condition!

How To Prevent Water Damage on Vacation

11/5/2022 (Permalink)

Water gauges pressure, main valve shut off, shut down. Turn off the water supply at the main shut-off valve

Preventing Damage Back Home When You Are On Vacation

Vacation is a time when you want to relax and enjoy yourself. But if you're like most homeowners, there's probably underlying anxiety about whether your house will be safe while you're away. Even though it's unlikely that anything will happen while you're away, it's still worth taking some precautions to prevent damage from occurring while you're on vacation.

Turn Off the Water

It isn’t a bad idea to turn off some things when you leave for a few days:

  • main water shutoff valve
  • water meter
  • backflow prevention device
  • well pump

Turn Off the Thermostat

Depending on the time of the year, it might be a good idea to turn off your thermostat. Turning off your thermostat will save you money because it won’t be running when no one is there.

Additionally, make sure that any space heaters are unplugged or turned off completely before leaving town. If possible, have someone check in on your home while you're away so they can make sure everything is turned off properly.

Be Prepared With Tools

It’s a good idea to have some simple tools and materials on hand in case you need to shut off the water or electricity. For example, you can purchase inexpensive shutoff valve adapters that will fit over any plumbing fixture for easy access. If you have an electrical panel in your home, it’s helpful to have a multi-tool with wire cutters so that you can safely disconnect any exposed wires from the circuit breaker.

If possible, locate all of these items ahead of time and place them somewhere accessible in case they are needed during your trip away from home.

Check Your Insurance Policy

One of the most important things to be sure of before you leave is whether or not your current insurance policy will cover your home while it's empty. Many homeowners' policies do not cover damage caused by a pipe break or flood. If you don't have insurance, then this may be an opportunity to consider adding it.

Another thing to verify before leaving on vacation is how much coverage you have in case of theft, vandalism, or burglary. Is there enough? Do you need to increase it?

If you do have an adequate amount of coverage and decide to leave town anyway, then be sure and take pictures of everything that's left behind so that if anything does happen while your house is unattended, there will be photographic evidence for the insurance company.

Remember, every home is different and it’s important to know what your insurance policy covers. You can also protect yourself by turning off the water supply at the main shut-off valve, which will save time if you have a leak and need to call a plumber quickly.

In the event of a water damage event or fire damage event while you are away from your Florence home on vacation, give SERVPRO of Georgetown, Florence, Sun City a call!

Smoke Damage In Your Building

10/8/2022 (Permalink)

wooden structure with smoke damage, ceiling collapsed and debris on the floor After fire damage

Smoke Damage To Your Building

If you are a property owner in Georgetown who has experienced a fire, you are likely aware that there is more than one type of damage that can result. While it's no secret that fires cause extensive physical damage to your building and its contents, they can also cause less visible but equally destructive smoke damage. This article will explain how smoke damage occurs, why it happens, and how to spot if it has happened on your property.

Smoke Causes Damage

Smoke damage can be a serious issue that you may not be aware of until after the fire has been extinguished. The smoke from a fire can cause damage to your property that isn't apparent until the smoke starts clearing and you begin cleaning up. However, even if there is no visible evidence of fire-related damage, your insurance policy may cover repairs for smoke damage.

In short: Smoke damage doesn't necessarily mean fire-related physical property damages; it could also mean exposure within areas affected by soot accumulation due to excessive heat/smoke levels caused by fires burning nearby which leads us nicely into our next point about what kind

Smoke Damage and Your Insurance

Smoke can cause serious problems for your property, which can lead to costly repairs or replacement of items. In some cases, even if there was no physical damage to an item—for example, if it wasn't charred or melted—it could still have been affected by smoke-related chemicals that would necessitate replacing it anyway.

If a fire breaks out in your building and you have smoke damage as a result, it is important to know that the damage is covered by the same policy that covers fire damage. That's because even though smoke damage may not be visible, the materials are still being damaged.

This type of coverage is referred to as "secondary coverage" because it covers any damages sustained by your home or business that are not directly related to the original cause (the main event) of loss on your claim. As an example of secondary coverage, if someone driving down the street runs into a tree stump and smashes their car's right front fender, they would have collision coverage under their auto policy; however, if they hit a tree stump while backing out of their driveway without hitting anything else along with their car's front bumper falling off from impact with said tree stump—that would fall under secondary coverage since it wasn't caused by another vehicle but rather just something unfortunate happening in their own driveway!

Your Beeping Fire Alarm Needs Attention

8/30/2022 (Permalink)

Changing the batteries of a smoke alarm A fire alarm is one of the easiest ways to prevent a devastating fire emergency.

Attention Required: Your Beeping Fire Alarm

It is easy to forget about the fire alarm in your home or office in Serenada, TX. As innocuous as it is, it serves an extremely important function. Pay attention to maintenance signals, such as beeping, to keep your alarm in working order and everyone in the building safe from a fire.

Stop the Beeping
When your alarm emits a loud chirping noise, it is communicating to you that there is an issue that needs to be resolved. Most often, the issue is that the batteries are low, and you need to replace them. Follow the steps below:

  • Remove the cover and old batteries; take note of the battery type.
  • Put in fresh batteries.
  • Replace the cover and perform a test.

If your alarm is hardwired, you may need to reset it. You can reset it by shutting the power off and on in your breaker box.

Practice Routine Fire Alarm Maintenance
Rather than waiting for your alarm to alert you to an issue, the best practice is to perform routine maintenance. Batteries should be replaced twice per year. You should perform tests about once a month. In tandem, keep your fire plan updated and make sure everyone in the building is aware of it. Have a list of fire damage services and protocols ready to go.

Invest in a Better Alarm
Although almost any alarm will get the job done, some are built better than others. Long-life alarms have a sealed lithium battery and will not chirp or need to be reset for 10 years. There is an end-of-life warning that will let you know when to replace the alarm. Some states now require this type of alarm due to its increased reliability.
A fire alarm is one of the easiest ways to prevent a devastating fire emergency. Alarm maintenance typically does not require a lot of effort or time. Make it a habit to check on your alarm and avoid smoke damage from a fire.

Flood Features To Look For When for Buying a Commercial Property

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

Excavation contractor using a track excavator during the installation of a new large block retaining wall at a new commercial Construction on a retaining wall.

Flood Prevention Measure

A lot goes into planning for flood prevention. Whether you are purchasing a building or having one built, it is important to take a close look at what can help keep the water back in the event of a flood.

Areas of Concern

Flooding can be a major issue for any business in Andice, TX. When building or purchasing a property, you want to look for:

  • Low lying areas
  • Bodies of water within a mile
  • Swampy areas
  • Areas that have flooded previously

Although this is not to say that other areas don't flood, it is important to be prepared no matter where your business is located. Otherwise, you might need the services of a flood cleaning company.

Retaining Walls
Retaining walls are usually built around levees, lakes, retention ponds and other smaller bodies of water. They are higher than the water at a normal level and allow the body of water to fill when it floods.

Flood Plain Planning
If your business is on or near a flood plain, it is a good idea to check to see what the city plan is for the area. They should have a plan in place or already instituted. Also, make sure they have flood prevention in mind when they issue building permits that might block natural water drainage.

Coastal Defense Walls
If you are near the ocean or other large body of water, you should look for coastal defense walls. This could be concrete blocks or sandbags placed in strategic areas to help prevent tidal flooding. This is particularly important because saltwater flood cleaning is much more difficult than freshwater.

Sand Dunes and Vegetation
Some places have natural or artificial dunes that help protect property from tidal flooding. Natural barriers often work best for preventing tidal surges, waves and incursion.
No matter where you are, flood prevention should be a factor in building or purchasing a commercial property. Checking for or implementing these measures can save you both time and money later on.

How to Deodorize After a Fire

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone generators can remove smoke odor from your home.

How Do You Get Rid Of The Smell After a Fire

Smoke particles do not just disappear after a fire. Instead, they can infiltrate everything you own. Your carpet, furniture, clothing and even walls may smell like smoke for months after the fire. Without a professional restoration firm, it may be difficult to fully remove the noxious odor of smoke from your home. Keep in mind that deodorizers, incense and the like are only temporary fixes.

Clean the Air

Primarily, your restoration professional may use the following equipment to clean the air:

  • Air filters
  • Thermal foggers
  • Ozone machines

This equipment will not only fight the odor but remove the source of the odor as well. They can rid your home of the smoke particles responsible for the smell. In addition, these machines will usually help your property receive optimal airflow during and after restoration.

Clean the Source

If you do not get rid of the source of the problem, you will not get rid of the odor. The first thing you should do during a smoke cleaning is to see which of your belongings are scorched. The best course of action is to remove anything that is unsalvageable. As long as there is visible fire damage in the home, you may not be able to get rid of the smell entirely.

Clean the Surface

Next, it is time to look at all the exposed surfaces in your home. A thorough smoke cleaning involves cleaning walls, ceilings, floors, countertops and any appliances left in the home. This will help restorers take care of all the remaining smoke damage. Keep in mind that it does not matter if a room was untouched by fire, smoke and other particles can still stick to surfaces.

If you want to get rid of smoke odor, you do not have to do it alone. Professional services that specialize in smoke cleaning in Florence, TX can remedy the damage caused by fire and smoke.

The Basics of Commercial Property Insurance Coverage

7/30/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial Insurance Policy Talk with your insurance agent if you have questions about your commercial insurance policy

Every business owner knows the importance of property insurance to protect their property against damage from fire and other disasters. Frequently, a commercial insurance package will include protection for various scenarios in addition to property protection, such as general liability insurance and employee practices liability.

Property Insurance Considerations

Your insurance agent considers a number of factors when determining the best property insurance coverage for your business in Georgetown, TX.

Geographic location - If you live in an area with ample fire hydrants and a nearby Fire Department, your cost will usually be lower than if your home is situated in a rural location with limited resources.
Type of business - A restaurant or mechanical shop will typically have higher rates than an office building. Even if your business has a low fire risk, if you share a space with one that has a greater risk, your premiums tend to be higher as well.
Construction type - The type of materials used to construct your building affects your premiums. If your building is made with fire-resistant components, your commercial insurance rates will usually be lower than in buildings made from combustible materials. Your insurance agent looks at internal structures, such as stairways and floors, as well as the construction of the exterior of the building when determining your coverage.

Examples of Property Insurance Protection
The most common commercial property insurance claims involve some sort of damage caused by a fire or natural disaster. However, the typical policy also protects your business from theft and vandalism.
If you need help renovating your business after a devastating fire, don't wait to contact a fire damage repair service. Further damage can occur if you wait too long for help. Professionals are trained to assess the damage and develop a plan to get your business back to normal as soon as possible.
Talk with your insurance agent if you have questions about your commercial insurance policy.

What To Do If You Have Leaking Light Fixtures in Your Home

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

water coming out a light fixture Do not attempt to address water in light fixtures on your own

Take the Following Steps If You Find Yourself In This Hazardous Situation

Water damage in your home can come from a variety of sources. A storm in Serenada, TX, a broken appliance and damaged plumbing may all cause quite a bit of trouble. If flooding occurs on an upper floor, this can sometimes result in water in light fixtures.

1. Turn Off the Electricity
The first thing you need to do if you notice water in the lights in your house is to turn the electricity off. Do not attempt to switch off individual devices since this can be dangerous. Instead, use the breaker to shut off electricity in the whole building.

2. Turn Off the Water
Depending on the source of the flooding, you may also need to shut off the water in your home. This is likely if the dripping water in light fixtures is coming from a damaged pipe or appliance. Plumbing problems, such as an overflowing toilet or bathtub, may require the same treatment.

3. File an Insurance Claim
If you have insurance that covers the type of damage that has occurred, you should file a claim right away. Depending on the terms of the policy, waiting too long could result in denial of your claim. The process can be lengthy, so starting immediately will also save you some time.

4. Hire a Professional
Because water and electricity are a dangerous combination, you should not attempt to address water in light fixtures on your own. These may need to be completely replaced and should be tested by a professional before you use them.
If you have ceiling damage or need repairs after a leak or flooding, a water damage remediation company can take care of this for you. They will inspect your home to assess the damage, perform mitigation and make repairs. If you have belongings that have been affected, these can often be salvaged as well.

5 Steps To Solve a Bathtub Sewage Backup Problem

7/15/2022 (Permalink)

Bathtub overflowing, clean water flooded a bathroom. Bathtub backup in Andice, TX

Take These Five Steps as Sewage Starts Backing up Into a Bathtub

When contaminated water or solid waste backs up into a bathtub, homeowners need to resolve underlying plumbing problems before cleaning and restoring damage caused by a sewer backup.

1. Plug the Bathtub Drain
A drain plug can be helpful for keeping backups under control. Plugging the drain limits the amount of contaminated water that can flow back into a bathtub or overflows into a bathroom.

2. Clear the Sewer Line Blockage
Water will follow the path of least resistance and most tub fixtures are lower than bathroom sinks and toilets. Clearing blocked primary or secondary drains may resolve an issue. Depending on the severity of a clog and the availability of plumbing tools, a homeowner may need to call a professional.

3. Limit the Scope of Damage
Any measures a homeowner can take to contain contaminated water and solid waste can minimize sewer backup damage. Bathtubs are easy to disinfect, but porous materials and contents may need to be torn out, disposed of, and replaced.

4. Dispose of Contaminated Materials
It is important to get rid of absorbent materials that cannot be disinfected. Any materials contaminated by flooding that remain intact raise risks of mold damage and exposure.

5. Disinfect Nonporous Surfaces
A bathtub and most nonporous surfaces in a bathroom can safely be disinfected. Depending on the extent of sewer damage, a homeowner may clean up a backup into a bathtub or need to call professionals for a more comprehensive cleanup and restoration.
It is important to limit the spread of contaminated water and waste during a bathtub backup at a residence in Andice, TX. While most tubs are made of hard, non-porous materials, absorbent grout or drywall surrounding a bath may be difficult to completely clean and continue to pose re-contamination risks after a sewer backup.

4 Steps of Timely Mitigation

6/27/2022 (Permalink)

water damage on ceiling Ceiling water damage after a storm in Florence, TX.

Four Steps of Timely Mitigation

A leak in your attic after a storm in Florence, TX, is a clear sign that you need roof repair. To prevent additional damage, you need to call storm mitigation experts as soon as possible. The sooner they can get started, the sooner they can work through the four steps needed to resolve the problem.

1. Assessment

The first thing the specialists do is analyze the roof damage to see what needs to be fixed. If there are no signs of leaks or damp insulation in your attic, you probably don’t need to replace the roof altogether. If, however, water has already made its way into your home, they know that the process is going to be a little more complicated than replacing a few shingles.

2. Drying

Mold can start to grow in damp places within as little as 24 hours after the storm has torn up your roof. Getting the wet areas dry as soon as possible, therefore, should be a priority. Saturated materials should be torn out and replaced. Tarps should be placed on the roof over the open areas so that no further damage can occur.

3. Removal

Roof repair also includes removing damaged materials before contractors can start to rebuild. Damaged shingles, chipped flashing, damaged vents and other broken parts must be taken away so that they can be repaired or replaced.

4. Restoration

If your attic flooded as the result of heavy rains or wind damage, the waterproof layer will likely need to be replaced. After that is down, the roofers can rebuild the other components of your roof. Once repairs are complete, it is a good idea to set up an appointment for the next inspection to protect against future damage.

Roof repair is not something you want to delay. Timely mitigation is vital to repairing the problems that exist and preventing secondary issues from occurring.