Recent Posts

Can Mold Grow in Air Ducts?

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth in air duct Moldy air duct in Canyon City, TX

Can Mold Grow in Air Ducts?

Mold in your building can be a serious situation. Whether you see it or smell it, it's important to remove the mold itself and also its source. Mold spores are everywhere, and they can take root in areas with high humidity and moisture. If you suspect that mold is growing in the air ducts of your Canyon City, TX, property, here are some ways to determine what steps to take, including HVAC cleaning.

Identifying Mold

The easiest ways to identify mold are by sight and smell.

Sight. Look for mold in areas that have water leaks, high humidity levels, and trapped moisture. If you think mold is growing in your HVAC system, check the air ducts, vents, coils, and drip pans.
Smell. In some cases, you may not be able to see the mold, but you will most likely smell it. A pervasive, musty odor that spreads through the building is indicative that mold is present in your HVAC system.

A way to test for moldy air ducts is to turn off your HVAC system, wait 10 to 20 minutes, and turn it back on. If the mildewy smell diminishes when the system is off and then returns when you switch it back on, there is likely mold in your ducts and you need to find HVAC cleaning services.

Treating Mold

Should you find mold in your ducts, contact professionals. Since mold spores are everywhere, floating through the air at all times, it's not realistic to remove all spores. However, mold cleanup and remediation are very realistic and necessary. As dust collects in your ducts, the mold feeds on it and grows. Regularly cleaning vents will help prevent the mold from establishing itself. Experts in mold damage remediation can safely and effectively treat your mold problem.
Finding professionals for your HVAC cleaning needs saves you time and money in the end. The faster you act, the less damage the mold does to your property.

The 5 Best Ways to Protect Your Home During Fire Cleanup

1/9/2020 (Permalink)

Burned kitchen after fire Fire damage in San Marcos, TX

How to Safeguard Your Home During Fire Cleanup

The walls and roof of your home protect you from the elements, but after a fire guts your house, what is left to protect the building itself? Here are a few tips to safeguard your San Marcos, TX, home during fire cleanup.

1. Cover your roof with a tarp. This is the first and most essential step to ensuring your home remains protected while you handle roof repair and other fire cleanup. Fire damage may have left holes in your roof or even caused collapses. A tarp will keep out the elements and prevent any further interior damage. If you aren’t able to place a tarp yourself, try hiring tarp services professionals to do the job for you.

2. Seal off open areas. Whether it’s shattered windows or the remains of doors, you should seal off any openings that may allow in water leakage, drafts, or vandals.

3. Maintain adequate ventilation. Continuously breathing smoke and ash can be harmful to your health, on top of being downright unpleasant. Use fans to keep air circulation going and help blow away some of the fallout.

4. Cordon off unsafe areas. Some portions of your home may still be prone to collapsing structures or may have exposed wiring, broken shards of planks, or other safety hazards. Mark off areas that aren’t safe to enter and ensure family members stay far away.

5. Avoid attempting to use the utilities. After a fire all water and electric service should have been cut off, but some water may remain in tanks and some electrical outlets or other wiring may still hold a charge. This can cause an electrical fire or flooding and create dangerous conditions if you attempt to use them.

The most important tip for home protection during fire cleanup is to stay safe. Always take practicality into account when planning a cleanup, and wear protective gear.

3 Ways Post-Fire Security Fencing Benefits Your Business

12/26/2019 (Permalink)

A woman watching a burned building Fire damage in a building in Dripping Springs, TX

3 Ways Post-Fire Security Fencing Benefits Your Business

The restoration process is important after your commercial property in Dripping Springs, TX, suffers from a fire. You will need to enact mitigation measures and contact emergency restoration services to bring the building to its former glory. One of these practices involves installing a security fence. While this action may seem unrelated to fire damage, it can provide numerous benefits in the recovery process.

Stops Further Destruction

Fire can severely weaken the structure of the business location, as well as any potential defenses against intruders and other destructive elements. As a result, the building is vulnerable to crimes that can create further damage.

  • Trespassing
  • Looting and theft
  • Vandalism
  • Other environmental hazards

These potential dangers can significantly delay the restoration and cost your business more money. Additionally, damage occurring after the fire is not covered by most insurance plans. It is important to stop further damage to the building.

Prevents Liability Issues

An additional risk inherent to trespassing involves potential liability issues. Without a security fence to prevent unauthorized entry to the territory, people can enter the hazardous building and injure themselves. As the property owner, you are liable for any harm that comes to the interlopers, despite their crimes. Avoid a legal battle that can harm your businesses financially and have a fence installed that will deter most to all intruders.

Provides Mitigation Proof

When dealing with a natural disaster, you would need to contain and prevent damage with mitigation practices such as boarding windows or entrances and covering vulnerable places with tarp. Fencing around the area is considered a mitigation tactic by most commercial insurance providers. Not only does fencing prevent additional destruction of the building, but it also increases the chances of being covered by insurance companies.
A security fence can be an important investment that prevents the further deterioration of your fire-damaged business. A commercial restoration professional can help you install the best fencing for your property.

What Are the Requirements for Flood Insurance?

12/24/2019 (Permalink)

Flood insurance form on a table with a book You must go through an insurance agent to buy a policy from the NFIP

What Are the Requirements for Flood Insurance?

If you have a business with its own buildings and some valuable equipment, it can be risky to go without flood insurance. In a number of situations, it's up to you as a business owner if you wish to purchase protection from floods caused by a hurricane, rapidly rising waters or torrential rains. Sometimes, though, you could be required to have flood coverage.

The Basics

Your commercial insurance policy or Business Owners Policy will not cover your company's assets in the case of a flood. The National Flood Insurance Program is the primary source for this insurance, though it can be bought sometimes from private insurers. You must go through an insurance agent to buy a policy from the NFIP. Here are a few more facts about flood coverage for a business:

  • Coverage limits are $500,000 for structures and $500,000 for contents
  • Additional coverage is available for properties above the $500,000 limit
  • A 30-day waiting period is common for the program
  • Some things are typically not covered, such as landscaping, septic systems and fleet vehicles

To find your business's risk of flooding in Kyle, TX, refer to a flood zone map. If you are located in a high-risk area, and you have gone through a federally insured or regulated lender, flood insurance is mandatory.

The Benefits

If your business gets inundated by water, you can expect a lot of damage to the building and the contents. Costs can easily run into thousands of dollars. Without flood insurance, you would have to cover that expense on your own. To help you recover faster from a water disaster, call in a storm remediation team to speed up the process of cleanup. A professional crew will help remove the water from the property and begin repairing or replacing damaged items. A quicker return to normal business operations provides high value to your company.

The Legal Liability of Fire Damage Coverage

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Window,  table on the middle of a room with burned debris Fire loss in a Buda, TX home

If your home experiences fire damage, you want to know how much insurance will cover. With over 3,550 fires each day in the U.S. that require a fire department call, property damage from fires exceed $11 billion a year. Your coverage is especially important if you rent property in Buda, TX. Legal liability coverage refers to insurance for damage caused by a fire to the buildings a tenant occupies. This type of coverage is necessary if you are renting a home, and it should cover the value of the premises as well as provide liability insurance for damage to nearby properties because of negligence.

Facts About Legal Liability Coverage

Both direct damage and fire damage restoration costs can add up quickly. As with all insurance policies, it's important to understand your coverage and to ask for clarification from your agent. Here are a few additional salient points concerning fire damage and legal liability coverage:

Exclusions and limitations of coverage may apply
Monetary limits for claims may be capped at $50,000 or $100,000
Contents of properties may not be covered
Water damage may not be covered

You should talk with your insurance agent to see if smoke damage is covered. Always purchase a legal liability policy that meets your needs. Make sure you explore all available options to get the best value.

Information About Fire Cleanup

Working with a fire remediation team in Buda, TX, is a smart way to minimize expenses due to fire damage. A team that is available and that can arrive on site Faster to any size disaster can quickly assess the damage and start the cleanup process. After a fire, always secure your property against additional damage due to vandals and weather. The team may also be able to help with insurance claims by providing an inventory of damaged items and expenses for cleanup.

Common Causes of a Leaking Swamp Cooler

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Rusty air conditioner leaking Leaking swamp cooler in Kyle, TX

Common Causes of a Leaking Swamp Cooler

Your swamp cooler is essential to keeping your home cool during the hot summer months. While it is generally an effective and energy-efficient appliance, your cooler may begin to leak at some point and fail to function properly as a result. If you don’t take action right away, a swamp cooler that has started to leak may lead to mold growth in your Kyle, TX, home. Be sure to look out for these common causes of a leaking swamp cooler so you can address them appropriately.

Leaky Pads

The pads inside your swamp cooler absorb water and allow it to evaporate, which facilitates the process of cooling your home. If your swamp cooler has sprung a leak, it is often a direct result of leaky pads. This can occur because of the following issues:

  • Pads are the incorrect size
  • Pads weren’t inserted properly into the swamp cooler
  • Pads are no longer able to soak water effectively

Be sure to carefully inspect your swamp cooler pads to identify the source of the leak. Once you’ve determined what the issue is, have your pads repaired or replaced immediately.

Faulty Float Valve

Swamp coolers also contain a float valve that is meant to regulate the water levels in the reservoir. However, the reservoir can end up overflowing if the float valve is broken or placed incorrectly. When searching for the cause of your leaking swamp cooler, check to make sure that your float valve is properly placed and in good condition.

Damaged Water Lines

In some cases, the cause of the leak isn’t related to the swamp cooler itself. Copper water lines that have a loose valve or are otherwise damaged can begin to leak and cause your entire unit to fail. Make sure to examine the lines that transport water to your swamp cooler to confirm that they’re working properly.
Regularly maintaining your swamp cooler and scheduling routine inspections can prevent problems from occurring. If you notice signs of mold resulting from a leaking swamp cooler, request a mold damage assessment to remediate the issue.

How do Chemical Drain Cleaners Work?

12/13/2019 (Permalink)

Drain cleaner ads, water pipe detergent with clear pipes section in 3d illustration Clogged drain cleaners are easy to find and even easier to use

From liquid to gel to powder, household drain cleaners are one of the most common go-to tools in the homeowner’s arsenal. They can quickly fix a clogged drain and get your plumbing back to normal. But how do they work? Knowing what makes these seeming miracle products tick can be invaluable in deciding how often you want to use them in your Sattler, TX, home.

What Are Chemical Cleaners?

Sold under various brand names, chemical cleaners share a few commonalities. All use an electron-transfer process that heats whatever is causing a clogged drain, breaking it down and allowing it to be flushed away. They work best on things like:

  • grease
  • hair
  • soap

and any of the myriad of things that are commonly stuck in household drains. But how do they do it?

Three Main Methods

Whatever their brand, chemical pipe cleaners typically fall into one of three categories. Those are caustic, oxidizing or acidic. The first, caustic, works by using things like lye or potash to break down substances into a soap-like material that is easily dissolved and flushed down the drain.
Oxidizing clog cleaners are comprised of things like bleach and peroxides. They release heat and gas and easily move through water, helping them clear clogs quickly.
Acid pipe cleaners are the last type and they are often not sold to homeowners because of how dangerous they can be. These strong cleaners contain sulfuric or hydrochloric acid and work by melting grease and other materials.

Clogged drain cleaners are easy to find and even easier to use. But understanding how they work is a must before you make them a household staple. All the above types of cleaners can cause damage to pipes over time, so use them sparingly. And if you have a persistent plumbing problem, reach out to a septic specialist or sewage cleaning expert to resolve the bigger issue.

3 Common Bathroom Plumbing Problems

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

Plumber unclogging a toilet with manual auger Snake the toilet

3 Common Bathroom Plumbing Problems

Often, plumbing issues in your bathroom have simple solutions. You don't have to be a professional to handle small repairs in Startzville, TX. However, keep in mind that larger sewage cleaning situations should be handled by water damage remediation specialists.

Overflowing Toilet

If you notice toilet overflow occurring every time that you step out of the shower, you probably have a clog somewhere in the pipe connecting the toilet to the sewer. Three typical solutions to this problem are:

  • Snake the toilet- find one that is at least 25 ft.
  • Clear the drain cleanout- this can be usually be found in your basement.
  • Repair or replace the sewer line- tree roots or pipe collapse may have caused damage.

Toilet Leak

If you find time and time again that water is accumulating at the base of your toilet, it means that the wax gasket that seals the toilet to the floor is compromised. To avoid more heavy duty sewage cleaning, you'll need to remove the toilet to replace the seal. All you need to do is turn off the water supply, remove the nuts from the bolts holding it to the floor and rock it back and forth to loosen what is left of the sealant. Then you can gently lift it away and lay it on its side. Finally, lay down a new gasket and put the toilet back.

Whistling Shower Head

High pitched squealing while you shower usually indicates that the water flow is being forced through a passageway that is too small. Either there is a clogged pipe or blockage in your valve, or the washer and nut have come loose in the valve. Usually it is the latter, and can easily be fixed by taking apart your faucet or shower head. If the blockage is further back, you may have to call a professional.
Bathrooms get a lot of action, so it's almost inevitable to encounter a leak or a clog every now and then. If you know the signs, you could have your pipes back to working order in a jiffy.

How to Clean a Gas Range

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Clean  gas stove top Clean gas stove top

How to Clean a Gas Range

If you own a gas range, you know that it has advantages over an electric stove, especially a more precise cooking experience. It’s important to keep your appliance clean so that it stays in good working condition throughout its life. Clean your stove about once a month or whenever you notice that the flame is uneven or discolored. Start by filling your sink with hot, soapy water. Then, continue by:

1. Removing Grates

Remove the grates and put them in the hot, soapy water to soak.

2. Cleaning Stovetop

Remove all loose crumbs from the stovetop. Next, you will want to clean dried spills. A 1:1 vinegar to water mixture works great. Spray onto the whole stovetop and use a rag to wipe clean. Grease buildup will require a little more work; dish soap and a toothbrush are ideal for this job. Scrub in a circular motion with the toothbrush and finish by cleaning with a damp rag.

3. Removing Burner Caps

A typical gas range only requires you to lift up on the burner caps to remove them. Place them into the soapy water to soak with the grates.

4. Removing Burner Heads

As with burner caps, lift up to remove the burner heads and let them soak with the grates and burner caps.

5. Vacuuming Any Remaining Crumbs

Lift up the range (consult product manual if necessary) and vacuum any remaining crumbs and debris from under the range.

6. Washing Grates, Burner Caps and Burner Heads

Once everything has soaked in hot, soapy water for 20 or 30 minutes, scrub grease and residue from the grates, burner caps and burner heads. You can continue to use the toothbrush you used for cleaning the range. The burner heads may be clogged in some little crevices; use a pin or unbent paperclip for more precise cleaning. Rinse everything thoroughly and dry.
Once everything has been scrubbed clean, reassemble the burners and your range cleaning job is complete. Your gas range should be working like new. If your home in Kyle, TX sustains fire damage or has a lingering smoke smell, you might consider hiring fire cleanup professionals.

3 Important Things You Should Know About Mold

9/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold spores. In the middle of the picture it says: Thrive on moisture. Black mold thrives on moisture

3 Important Things You Should Know About Mold

Black mold is a common problem that can affect many homeowners in New Braunfels, TX. However, there are a few things about this fungus that you may not know. Understanding more about mold and how it grows can allow you to handle the issue correctly if it shows up in your house, so keep the following information in mind.

1. Mold Loves Moisture

One of the most important things to remember about black mold is that it thrives on moisture. In the right environment, mold can spread very quickly and you may end up with a severe growth in just a few days. For this reason, it is important to keep humidity levels in your home low if you have a mold problem. Opening windows and using a dehumidifier are a couple of ways you can do this. You should also have leaks or water damage cleaned and repaired as quickly as possible.

2. Mold Won’t Go Away On Its Own

If you see an excessive growth of mold on your walls or your shower tiles, it can be tempting to just leave it alone and hope that it goes away eventually. However, this is highly unlikely to be the case, even if you allow the area to dry. When you are not proactive about removing mold, you are only allowing it to spread further. Mold cleanup should be done to prevent this.

3. You Cannot Remove It Completely

One reason that mold is such a common problem is that spores are present nearly everywhere. Because of this, even if a mold remediation company removes the visible growth, it is likely to return if you continue to have a moisture problem in your house. To keep the fungus at bay, you should make sure to clean your home regularly and keep surfaces dry.
While there are probably some spores floating around your home, they will usually not cause you any trouble as long as they do not have the right conditions to spread. Remember to keep humidity low and call a professional to perform cleanup if you notice any visible black mold growth.