Storm Damage Cleanup and Recovery from the Dreaded Derecho

All Nation Restoration professionals are the storm and water damage restoration team to call when severe weather causes property damage at a home or business.  Spring and summer are the seasons most vulnerable to heavy thunderstorms, hailstorms, straight-line winds, tornadoes, and Derechos. Each type of storm has its identifiable damage pattern, though they share similar characteristics. Severe storm damage calls for serious cleanup and restoration by an experienced, certified, and prepared professional.

Derecho Storm Damage

A derecho is an expansive, fast-moving windstorm associated with a band of thunderstorms and can cover hundreds of square miles and last for hours. A derecho lacks rotation like a hurricane or tornado. The damage pattern is along a straight line and is often referred to as “straight-line wind damage. Wind gusts in a derecho can be from 58mph to 100mph, sometimes higher! For a windstorm to qualify as a derecho, the damage path must be at least 400 miles long and 60 miles wide.

If a derecho is in the forecast, the safest place is indoors and away from windows. The winds are strong enough to break tree limbs and turn lawn furniture, garbage cans, and trampolines into dangerous projectiles. Roof vents, shingles, gutters, and siding can take a beating during a derecho.

 

Recovering from a Derecho

By following these steps, a homeowner or business can stay safe, begin the cleanup and restoration process, and resume everyday life or business operations.

Step #1: Contact the local power company in the event of a power outage.

If the severe weather causes a power outage, contact the utility provider for that area. Most companies have advanced automated devices relaying data about locations without power. However, some smaller, more local utilities may not have sophisticated technology and alert capabilities.

Step #2: Stay safe.

When water and electricity mix, the results could be disastrous. Watch out for any downed power lines around the structure or in the neighborhood. If downed power lines are spotted in wet or flooded areas, avoid contact with the pool of water. The wires could still be hot. Residual electricity from a neighbor or cleanup crew operating a generator could potentially charge the lines. Other hazards include nails protruding from boards, glass fragments, and submerged debris. Broken or weak tree limbs may fall to the ground during a gust of wind, causing personal injury or more property damage. Avoid approaching pets, farm animals, and wild animals as they might be traumatized and respond by biting or clawing. DIY cleanup and restoration activities often lead to severe injury or death from slip-and-falls, electrocution, tree work accidents, and falls from a ladder.

Step #3: Stay informed.

Stay tuned in to the local weather alert system with a weather radio and a subscription to mobile phone alerts. Make friends, family, and business contacts aware of any situation that might affect them. Social media can be helpful in times of disaster and isolation.

Step #4: Hire a reputable damage restoration company to take care of any storm and water damage restoration needs.

The company should have solid references and social media reviews. IICRC certifications indicate competency. The service provider should be bonded, insured, and licensed to protect the homeowner from any liabilities in case of an accident or faulty work. Inquire about guaranteed response times. A rapid response reduces advanced secondary damage such as swollen baseboards, warped sheetrock, buckled flooring, and dreaded mold.

The best time to find and qualify a property damage restoration company is before property damage occurs. A state of chaos, sirens blaring in the background, water cascading through the ceiling, smoke billowing out the front door, or sewage oozing out of the bathroom can make the qualification process extremely stressful. The added stress can make it difficult for the homeowner or business owner to make a careful and informed decision.

The All Nation Restoration team is committed to customer service and client satisfaction. The Austin, TX, damage restoration company can handle the entire project, bring it to completion, and provide the necessary documentation that work has been completed.

Contact All Nation Restoration to learn more information about water and storm damage restoration in Austin, TX. The office can be reached by phone at (512) 934-8180 or by emailing [email protected]

Chris MorenoStorm Damage Cleanup and Recovery from the Dreaded Derecho
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Damage Restoration Company Explains How to Avoid Mold Damage in the Garage

All Nation Restoration specializes in mold remediation in Austin, TX, and mold removal services are essential for the area since the local climate’s temperature and humidity foster mold growth. Residents of Austin, TX, know that the city is a great place to live and conduct business. Choosing a mold remediation company is a proactive step for homeowners and businesses in the community.

An article in Forbes asked the question, “Is Austin, TX, The Best City in America?” The article states, “What is it about Austin, Texas? This southern city keeps making headlines. Austin has recently been voted the No. 1 place to live in America for the third year in a row — based on affordability, job prospects, and quality of life. It was named the fastest-growing large city in the U.S. It ranked No. 4 of the best large cities to start a business. It was chosen among the top 15 cities in the United States to visit. And its home state of Texas took the top spot in a study of the best states for female entrepreneurs.”

The article went on to highlight that Austin is also attractive to tech companies. “It’s no secret that Austin, Texas is a hotbed for technology, startups, and innovation. There are so many tech companies that Austin has been nicknamed “Silicon Hills.” Apple recently announced that it is creating a $1 billion campus with the capacity for 15,000 employees, making it the largest private employer in Austin. A hiring surge from Facebook is turning Austin into the third-largest U.S. hub outside of the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters. And in the past couple of years, Google and Oracle have opened offices downtown…Austin has also long been the tech center of Texas, with 6,500 startups and tech companies based here, including Dell — which was founded in 1984 by Michael Dell while he was at the University of Texas and helped kick off the city’s technology boom.”

Why Mold Thrives in Austin, TX, Garages

Garages are popular in Texas, especially in the upscale Austin area. The garage is referred to as the “Texas basement” since basements are rare in Texas due to the high water table, which makes it challenging to keep a basement dry. Also, the native bedrock is close to the surface, so excavating a basement through solid rock is quite expensive.

A garage is susceptible to mold infestation because high humidity, minimal ventilation, and little sunlight create an environment where mold thrives. A garage creates just such an environment.

 

Tips for Preventing Mold Growth in Austin, TX, Garages

These easy-to-follow-tips will help Austin, TX, homeowners reduce one of the mainstays of the mold diet: moisture.

Tip #1: Look for leaks.

Begin by looking for leaks in the most likely places: the floor, roof, and gutters. Seal floor cracks and repair leaks immediately to prevent further moisture intrusions. Hire a roofing contractor to inspect the entire roof, especially the area over the garage. While on the roof, the contractor can also check the gutters for dents, cracks, and separation.

Tip #2: Refurbish or replace the garage door.

The garage door may need to be weather-proofed. Seal cracks and insulate the panels. Replace damaged weather stripping and, if necessary, the bottom seal. If the entire door needs replacing, select a replacement door with pre-insulated panels.

Tip #3: Take steps to lower the humidity in the garage.

Enhance ventilation and airflow with vents and fans. Raise the garage door for several hours during the day to let in sunlight, and install a heavy-duty dehumidifier to remove moisture when the garage is closed off.

Tip #4: Waterproof where possible.

Use mold-resistant drywall, waterproof paint, and pre-coated aluminum siding for new construction or a remodeling job.

Tip #5: Don’t stand for standing water.

Water puddles in the garage may come from wind-blown rain or a freshly washed vehicle. Remove the water and dry the area with a leaf blower or dehumidifier. Water and moisture on a smooth garage floor create a serious risk of a slip-and-fall injury. A mold problem pales in comparison to a broken hip or a concussion. Reducing moisture and humidity makes for a safer garage.

Tip #6: Keep the floor drains clean and flowing.

Clean drains and adequate floor slope can keep the garage high and dry when severe weather hits. If any water intrusion occurs, the drain system will promptly evacuate the unwanted moisture.

Tip #7: Extend gutter downspouts.

Extend the downspouts to at least ten feet away from the garage. The ground slope needs to be about one inch per foot to prevent pooling around the foundation, including the garage area.

Tip #8: Contact All Nation Restoration if a mold infestation is discovered.

Experienced technicians utilize the latest equipment, advanced cleaning techniques, and the safest and most effective cleaning products to remediate household mold outbreaks, including in the garage.

To learn more about mold removal in Austin, TX, contact the All Nation Restoration office by calling (512) 934-8180 or by emailing [email protected]

Chris MorenoDamage Restoration Company Explains How to Avoid Mold Damage in the Garage
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Flood Damage Restoration Company Explains How to Assess the Severity of a Leak

All Nation Restoration realizes the disruption, anxiety, and cost of water and flood damage. The company’s damage restoration professionals come alongside Austin, TX, home and business owners and do all the hard work and heavy lifting so homeowners and businesses can return to normal as quickly as possible. To ensure customers receive the best service the industry has to offer, All Nation Restoration provides technicians with the best training, equipment, and innovative technology.  Property damage restoration services are customized to the client’s needs, including water damage restoration.

 

What Causes Water Leaks?

Water leaks occur for a variety of reasons.

  1. A plumbing leak may develop during periods of extreme temperature variations where the expansion and contraction of the pipes over time cause a leak at a joint or along a crack in the pipe.
  2. Animals can chew a hole in a water pipe. A scuffle in the crawl space between a pet and a raccoon, possum, or skunk could also cause water pipes to break.
  3. Tree roots, though they grow relatively slowly, are capable of puncturing pipes.
  4. Pipes can rupture due to age.
  5. Sometimes, pipes leak for no apparent reason or discernible cause, such as age or damage from activity under the house.

 

When Does a Water Leak Become a Problem?

All leaks need to be addressed promptly to prevent serious water damage from occurring. For some leaks, repairs can wait until morning or the next business day. Other leaks require immediate attention from a plumber, even in the middle of the night. Listed below are some factors to help home and business owners make the best decision about the leak.

1. How severe is the leak?

Is the leak a few drops a second? Can the leak be captured in a bucket or large pan until morning or until the plumber arrives? Water gushing from a burst pipe in the ceiling could be dumping as much as seven to nine gallons of water per minute onto the floor. The homeowner needs to shut off the water at the home’s emergency shutoff valve. Mitigating the water intrusion could save thousands of dollars in water damage restoration. Be aware that the water damage present may be much more extensive than the water damage that is visible. A trained and experienced water damage specialist will need to assess the extent of the damages.

Make sure family members know where the emergency shutoff valve is located. Place a note in a high-traffic area; the note should be a reminder of the valve’s location.

An emergency service call after hours comes at an additional cost. However, an additional inconvenience fee is much less than the restoration costs for more extensive water damage. Paying extra to have the leak fixed and water damage mitigated quickly could save thousands of dollars in cleanup and restoration expenses resulting from an unrepaired water leak continuing to cause damage, or large amounts of standing water continuing to be absorbed by construction materials and causing mold to form.

2. Is the leak occurring during cold weather?

If the pipes are leaking due to cold weather, prompt repair is crucial. Leaking water can freeze and cause other pipes to burst, making the problem worse.

3. How soon will people need to use the plumbing?

If the use of the plumbing is essential for immediate sanitary or health reasons, then a plumber should be contacted to request an emergency service call.

Water Damage Indicators

An accurate assessment of the size of the leak and the extent of the water damage can be difficult to determine. Here are some key indicators the water damage may be more extensive than initially thought.

  1. The walls, ceilings, or flooring are stained or discolored.
  2. The area around the leak is moist.
  3. Water accumulation is expanding as time passes.
  4. A musty, mildewy smell indicates that the leak has been present long enough for mildew and mold to grow.
  5. The water pressure seems to be noticeably lower.
  6. The homeowner is receiving irregularly high water bills, which may indicate a water leak.
  7. The water meter continues to register water flow when all the water in the house has been turned off.
  8. There are unexplained wet spots in the yard near the water meter or along the zone where the pipes connect from the meter to the home.
  9. Dripping noises at night and water in the crawl space indicate a water leak.

 

Cleanup, Repair, and Restoration Solutions

The experts at All Nation Restoration are committed to providing customers with great service and excellent cleanup, repair, and restoration. Damage restoration technicians are on-call 24/7, 365 days a year, even on holidays. The water damage restoration company in Austin, TX, manages the entire project from start to finish and provides the necessary documentation that work has been completed.

For more information about flood damage restoration in Austin, TX, contact All Nation Restoration by email at [email protected] The team can also be reached by calling (512) 934-8180.

Chris MorenoFlood Damage Restoration Company Explains How to Assess the Severity of a Leak
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What Home Renovators Should Know When Flipping a Water Damaged Home

All Nation Restoration realizes the benefits and risks of renovating a home needing water damage repair. The property damage restoration professionals at All Nation Restoration have the equipment, training, and techniques to repair water damage and mitigate mold issues. The restoration company provides property damage restoration services that are custom-fit to the client’s needs.

 

Water-Damaged Homes: An Opportunity for the Home Flipper

A flood-damaged property can be a profitable venture for the savvy home renovator. One investor took a chance on flood-damaged homes in the wake of a tropical storm that devastated a large swath of Southeast Texas. Distressed properties were purchased for 30 to 40 percent of their pre-storm value. After cleanup, restoration, replacements, and reconstruction, enough margin remained to justify the risk and hard work required to make the homes ready for market.

The most important element affecting the profitability of these homes is seller motivation. Many sellers want to offload their damaged property as soon as possible; others want to move out of the state quickly. Most have been through multiple tropical storms and had enough.

What to Consider When Purchasing a Flood- Or Water-Damaged Home

Value buys are readily available in areas hit by bands of strong thunderstorms, tropical storms, hurricanes, or tornados. A disaster may carry potential financial opportunities for the investor, but some challenges and risks are associated with taking on a house with severe water damage.

Tip #1: Investment in a property located in an area designated by FEMA as a flood zone carries with it significant risk.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is the government agency tasked with determining natural disaster or FEMA areas. Most hard money lenders do not lend in FEMA areas. Investopedia provides the following definition for a hard money loan: “A hard money loan is a type of loan that is secured by real property. Hard money loans are considered loans of “last resort” or short-term bridge loans. These loans are primarily used in real estate transactions, with the lender generally being individuals or companies and not banks.”

Insurance premiums are high in FEMA areas, and the potential for future natural disasters is elevated in these FEMA areas. Both of these factors exert downward pressure on the actual value of the home and cause potential homeowners to think twice about purchasing a home with built-in overhead (the high insurance premiums) and the risk of a natural disaster damaging or destroying the house. A worst-case scenario would be a hurricane or tropical storm damaging the renovated home while it is on the market.

Tip #2: Beware of a property with septic tank, foundation, or well problems.

A flood, be it a local neighborhood flood or a raging creek overflowing its banks, has the potential to damage anything in its path. The National Weather Service refers to the Austin area as “flash flood alley.” Floodwaters can undermine the integrity of a home’s foundation. For the investor, the ability to secure a loan to finance the project may depend on the cost to remedy damages to the foundation, septic tank, or well. Remediation can be costly in terms of both time and money. In addition, an engineer’s report verifying the cost-to-cure may be required for the investor to obtain funding.

Tip #3: Mold infestation, electrical issues, or HVAC problems could be deal-breakers even for the savvy investor.

Water damage can lead to mold infestation if the flooded home is allowed to go without immediate water damage cleanup and restoration. Potential investors will definitely want to test for a mold infestation. The naked eye may not always be able to detect the presence of mold or the severity of the infestation. If mold is detected, it can be mitigated. If the cost-to-cure is less than around $5,000.00, funding for rehab should still be available at a reasonable interest rate. A verified remediation bid should be enough to satisfy lenders.

Wiring or outlets that have been submerged in floodwaters will probably need to be replaced. If it was submerged, the HVAC unit may only need a motor replacement. To be on the safe side, factor in replacing the unit, possibly including the ductwork and insulation. In combination, a mold infestation, electrical issues, and the need for a new HVAC unit may ward off potential lenders and may cut into margins so deeply that the home can no longer deliver a reasonable ROI.

Flood-damaged homes can be a great fix-and-flip opportunity for real estate investors. All Nation Restoration can provide the services needed to make the damaged home safe and clean.

To learn more about water damage restoration in Austin, TX, contact All Nation Restoration by phone at (512) 934-8180 or email [email protected]

Chris MorenoWhat Home Renovators Should Know When Flipping a Water Damaged Home
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Restoration Company Debunks Common Myths about Mold Growth and Mold Removal

All Nation Restoration specializes in mold removal services, and the team does all the hard work and heavy lifting dealing with mold so homeowners and businesses can stay safe while moving forward with life and business. The damage restoration and cleaning company provides cutting-edge training, advanced technology, and innovative techniques to their staff. Property damage restoration services are custom fit to the client’s needs, including mold removal in Austin, TX, and the surrounding area.

Mold is everywhere and on everything. Problems arise when conditions are such that a mold infestation occurs. It can grow very quickly in dark, warm, moisture places where organic material such as wood, paper, clothing, drywall, and carpet is present. In as little as 24 to 48 hours, mold can infest a home that has suffered a water damage disaster. Scientists have learned much about mold and have harnessed many of its benefits. With all that has been learned about mold, many people still have misconceptions. When myths are dispelled, property owners can have a more accurate understanding of mold and its effect on the home, as well as how to effectively deal with a mold problem.

Myth #1: Mold can be totally eliminated from the home.

The misconception is that a home, business, or other structure can be completely free of any mold spores whatsoever. The truth is that mold spores are everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. The issue is the concentration of mold spores floating in the air and growing on things in the home.

While it is possible to reduce mold levels, a consistent “net zero” mold status is virtually impossible. However, mold should be kept in check since a mold infestation can lead to health effects and can cause significant damage to the home if not promptly remediated. A reputable damage restoration company will use appropriate cleaning techniques and cleaning products and will identify and resolve any moisture issues or water intrusions in order to prevent the mold issue from returning.

Myth #2: Mold can always be seen with the naked eye.

This myth involves the misconception that if mold is not visible, it is not present and not a problem. Some types of mold are not readily visible to the unaided eye. In these cases, smell can be a more accurate indicator of a mold problem. A musty odor can signal a moisture issue, and mold thrives where moisture is present.

Myth #3: The average person can identify the species of mold growing in their home.

Mold species number in the hundreds of thousands, far too many to identify without careful testing and special technology.

Myth #4: Bleach effectively kills mold.

Bleach does not kill mold spores; it only discolors the mold. The mold will reappear in areas where moisture and humidity are high. Use a combination of household detergent and water to clean contaminated surfaces. Run the exhaust fan in the bathroom to reduce humidity levels when taking a bath or shower.

Myth #5: A little mold spot is ok.

If moisture issues are left unresolved, a small, insignificant mold spot can spread to walls, flooring, ceilings, furniture, or anything else organic upon which the mold can feed. The HVAC system can disperse mold spores throughout the home and cause widespread damage.

Myth #6: Mold cleanup can be a safe and effective DIY project.

Professional mold remediation services may be needed on areas as small as ten square feet or less. Improper mold removal techniques can increase mold growth. Mold remediation professionals utilize the proper equipment, cleaning techniques, and cleaning products to efficiently and safely resolve mold issues.

Myth #7: Once the mold is removed, it will not return.

Mold can be effectively remediated. However, if the moisture and humidity issues are not resolved, the mold will most likely return.

Homeowners and business owners can trust the team of mold remediation professionals at All Nation Restoration. Homeowners and business owners needing a team of qualified professionals to handle mold remediation in Austin, TX, can rely upon All Nation Restoration. Technicians possess the proper training and experience to remove, remediate and treat mold infestations.

To partner with a mold removal company that homeowners can trust, contact All Nation Restoration by emailing [email protected] The office can also be reached by phone at (512) 934-8180.

Chris MorenoRestoration Company Debunks Common Myths about Mold Growth and Mold Removal
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Five Christmas Presents That Can Cause Water Damage in Austin, TX, Homes

As a local leader in water damage restoration, All Nation Restoration is constantly helping individuals and families in the community. The team knows the importance of building relationships, and the holidays can provide many opportunities for friends and family members to grow closer to each other. One of the most rewarding aspects of the holidays is giving presents and watching someone enjoy a thoughtfully selected gift. This holiday season, All Nation Restoration is advising people to be aware of gifts that have the potential to cause a water damage disaster in the home.

Gift #1: Indoor hot tub

An indoor hot tub is a gift that will make the recipient smile at the anticipation of enjoying a relaxing dip in the tub at the end of a long, hard day. Hot tubs are often used to ease sore muscles and can be a welcome present for an industrious office worker or a driven athlete. Indoor hot tubs, unlike their outdoor counterparts, can be used year-round despite the weather conditions. An indoor spa also offers additional privacy and convenience.

While smaller models are generally ideal for an indoor hot tub, even a small hot tub contains hundreds of gallons of water. Hot Tub Owner HQ, an online resource for hot tub owners, explains, “A small 2-3 person hot tub will hold approximately 300 gallons, whereas a large 7-7 person hot tub will hold up to 675 gallons or more.”

Improper installation, misuse, faulty craftsmanship, or wear can lead to a hot tub spilling water into the basement, patio, or hot tub room. Many leaks spring from the spa’s pump, but the tub’s filter, heater, shell, valves, and connections can also be sources of leakage.

An indoor hot tub, particularly a hot tub installed in the basement, can also lead to moisture damage over time. According to the spa experts at Hot Spring®, “When water is heated, it evaporates in the form of steam. Outdoors, the water vapor from a hot tub simply integrates with the surrounding air. But in a basement, eventually, it condenses back into water that settles on surfaces, including the walls, ceiling, floors, furniture, and fixtures. Over time, this condensation can create significant problems. Moisture encourages the growth of mold and mildew on surfaces. Many basement ceilings consist of timber joists and the bottom of the wood floor above. Water collecting on those surfaces can cause rot over time and serious structural issues. Ventilation of any indoor space with a hot tub is critical to prevent moisture problems from developing.”

Gift #2: Family vacation

The prospect of a vacation during the holidays is a source of excitement for the whole family. A week spent at the beach, the mountains, a resort, or a theme park can bring a family together and create beautiful memories that last a lifetime.

Extended absence from the home puts the house at risk of experiencing a water damage disaster that could have been trivial had someone been present to notice and deal with the water intrusion. A burst washing machine, refrigerator supply line, or other appliance failures can flood a home by the time the family returns from their week-long vacation.

Gift #3: Waterbed

Long considered a relic of the 1980s, Waterbeds are poised to experience a comeback as technology and waterbed designs improve. In a 2018 interview with CBS, Charlie Hall, the original inventor of the waterbed, presented a redesigned and reimagined waterbed that would appeal to modern consumers. Hall’s company, Afloat, touts the benefits of this 21st-century waterbed for comfort, spinal alignment, temperature control, and hygiene.

For some, a waterbed is a nostalgic gift that offers the potential for a restful night’s sleep. However, waterbeds contain large quantities of water, and although advanced technology has made these beds more resistant to being punctured, leaks are still a concern.

Gift #4: New appliance

A new appliance, such as a dishwasher or a refrigerator, is a practical present that can make everyday life in the home much easier. The water risk with these types of gifts is improper installation. A family that has planned a family vacation for the holidays may arrive home to find that their icemaker was not installed correctly and has been gushing water onto the floor for days.

For more details about Austin, TX, water damage restoration, contact All Nation Restoration by email at [email protected] Staff can also be reached by phone at (512) 934-8180.

Chris MorenoFive Christmas Presents That Can Cause Water Damage in Austin, TX, Homes
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How Teaching Children Plumbing Safety Principles Can Prevent Water Damage

When a water damage disaster strikes, the water damage restoration professionals at All Nation Restoration do all the hard work of remediation. The damage restoration company provides fresh training, advanced technology, and innovative techniques to its staff, and all of the company’s property damage restoration services are customized to the client’s needs.

Plumbing Safety Principles for Children

Young children are fascinated by plumbing fixtures. A gentle tug on a toilet handle produces loud noises and a rush of water that swallows the contents of the toilet bowl. A turn of the faucet handle yields an endless river of warm or cold water. An empty bathtub transforms into a mini-water park for the weekly bath. However, these sources of enjoyment, cleanliness, and sanitation can also create a serious water damage disaster if improperly used.

Costly and disruptive water damage incidents can be prevented by educating children in the home with age-appropriate principles for plumbing use. These principles can be utilized when visiting family and friends. A water damage disaster in the home is bad enough but causing a plumbing disaster while visiting family or friends can be highly embarrassing to both the children and the parents.

By teaching children best practices for the care of the plumbing system, parents take steps to prevent water damage and save time and money. Three factors are key when educating children about plumbing:

  • Begin early.
  • Reinforce the principles with practice.
  • Reward success.

Listed below are four important plumbing lessons that children can learn and the recommended age for beginning each lesson.

Lesson #1. What Goes in the Toilet

Target age: Preschool age and older

Flushing toys and other objects is highly unsanitary, especially if the child has their face directly over the toilet bowl. Foreign objects in the toilet can cause severe plumbing problems that can cascade throughout the entire drain system, even leading to a costly sewage backup. Only toilet paper and the bodily functions for which toilets were designed should go into the toilet.

Even adults make mistakes and flush clog-causing items down the toilet. These items include:

  • Diapers
  • Hair
  • Q-Tips and Dental Floss
  • Paper Towels and Facial Tissue
  • “Flushable” wipes

Toilet paper is specially engineered to do the job and then dissolve when flushed. Children should be aware that flushing too much toilet paper at once can clog the toilet — which leads to the next lesson.

Lesson #2. How to Unclog a Backed-up Toilet with a Plunger

Target age: 12 years and older

Plunger skill is a plumbing necessity. Encourage children not to panic if the toilet clogs. It is a common occurrence.  Remind the children to plunge, then flush. Flushing before plunging can lead to a toilet overflow. Adult supervision is advised until the child is comfortable handling this task. Should the plunging efforts fail and the toilet begin to back up, the child should be trained to immediately turn off the water flow to the toilet.

Lesson #3. What Goes in the Garbage Disposal

Target age: 6 years and older

As a general rule, only very small plate scraps go into the garbage disposal. Grease, oils, fat, pasta, rice, and bones are some of the items that should not be put in the garbage disposal. Also, remind children to keep their fingers, hands, and eating utensils out of the garbage disposal.

Lesson #4. How to Turn Off the Main Water Valve

Target age: 12 years and older

To prevent widespread water damage due to a sudden leak, everyone in the home who is old enough should know the location of the home’s main water valve. A small child may not have the strength or motor skills to operate the valve, but they can direct a neighbor or family friend to the water main. Conduct an exercise with the children, showing them the exact location of the valve and how to shut it off. Let them try it a few times so they will have the confidence to act in an emergency.

Bonus Tip: The contact information for a pre-qualified water damage restoration company, such as All Nation Restoration, should be posted in a prominent, easily accessible place. In a property damage disaster emergency, one call can summon a competent, trusted, and vetted property damage restoration company.

To learn more about water damage restoration in Austin, TX, contact All Nation Restoration by phone at (512) 934-8180 or email [email protected]

Chris MorenoHow Teaching Children Plumbing Safety Principles Can Prevent Water Damage
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Austin, TX, Restoration Company Warns Homeowners About Mold Growth in Cold Rooms

All Nation Restoration understands the headache and expense involved in property damage in Austin, TX. To ensure customers receive the best the industry has to offer, All Nation Restoration provides innovative training, technology, and techniques to its technicians in order to custom fit the services to the client’s situation, including mold mitigation.

mold remediation

Can mold grow in a cold room?

If mold needs food, moisture, and warmth to flourish, the homeowner may wonder, “Does mold grow in cold rooms?” A science and technology news site explains the somewhat counterintuitive answer to this question: “Does mold die in the winter or in cold? It would make sense to assume this. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Even though it needs a specific environment to flourish, mold can adapt to a variety of weather conditions.”

As it turns out, cold rooms are not consistently cool enough to prevent the growth of mold. The change in temperature during the day and from day to day causes condensation on the walls of the cold room. The build-up of condensation encourages mold growth over time. Poor ventilation, combined with the absence of airflow, hinders the evaporation of the moisture that has condensed on the walls of the cold room. If this condensation is not addressed, the resulting mold growth and structural damage will likely require professional attention.

Why are there cold rooms in a home?

The reasons for cold rooms are numerous. Homeowners will shut off rooms that are seldom used. If a child goes off to college or gets married, the parents may shut up the child’s room, including closing the vents to save on energy bills. Interest in sewing diminishes, so the sewing room — which is filled with fabric, a favorite food for mold — is closed off. The unfinished bonus room above the garage is closed off for months at a time until further renovations can be made. The playroom only sees the light of day when the grandchildren visit during major holidays. Older couples whose children have all left the nest often live in homes where most of the rooms are rarely used. The blinds are closed. The vents are shut. The closet doors are never opened. Meanwhile, mold grows unnoticed and unchecked. Though not connected to the home’s HVAC system, the storage closet in the garage experiences a wide range of temperatures, and the condensation makes the closet a prime location for mold growth.

How serious is mold growth in a cold room?

Mold growth in a cold room can result in a mold infestation throughout the entire home. Once the mold is established in the cold room, it can spread to other areas of the house through several avenues. Mold in the carpet can be tracked into other rooms. Mold on clothes, shoes, and other items stored in the closet can transport mold to other locations when the items are removed from the closet. When the HVAC system is active in the room, whether for heating or cooling, mold spores that have infested the vents and ductwork will infiltrate the entire home through the ductwork.

How can mold be prevented from growing in a cold room?

Here are several steps to prevent or reduce mold growth in a cold room.

  1. Improve ventilation and airflow.

Providing adequate ventilation and airflow is the best way to prevent mold growth in a cold room. The reduction in moisture build-up and condensation does not create an environment that fosters mold growth.

  1. Identify and repair any vulnerabilities in a cold room.

These vulnerabilities include:

    • air leakage from poorly insulated windows
    • missing insulation
    • improperly installed or missing vapor barriers
    • water leaks from the windows, roof, toilet, or water supply line
    • moisture intrusion from an adjacent bathroom while the tub or shower is in use

These issues need to be properly addressed to restore the integrity of the cold room.

  1. Install a dehumidifier to keep the room dry.

Dehumidifiers are energy-efficient and are highly effective at removing moisture within a certain range.

  1. Keep the room open.

Consider allowing the room to remain open and maintaining it at the same temperature as the rest of the home. The expense to remediate mold and repair property damage may far exceed the increase in the energy bill.

mold remediation

What should the homeowner do if mold is discovered?

Small outbreaks of mold can be dealt with by the homeowner. However, the presence of any mold outbreak should motivate the homeowner to take measures to determine the extent of the mold growth. Just because a visual inspection does not turn up much mold does not mean that mold has not reached infestation levels. Do a smell test. If the musty, earthy smell is strong, the problem could be significant.

The experts at All Nation Restoration are dedicated to helping customers resolve mold issues. Certified technicians can test for and treat mold. Any property damage resulting from a mold infestation can be repaired by the talented team of professionals at All Nation Restoration. The property damage restoration company in Austin, TX, can manage the entire project, bring it to completion, and deliver the necessary documentation that work has been completed. Whatever solution the homeowner chooses, All Nation Restoration is ready to walk him or her through the mold remediation process.

For more information about All Nation Restoration, contact the damage restoration company by phone at (512) 934-8180 or email [email protected]

Chris MorenoAustin, TX, Restoration Company Warns Homeowners About Mold Growth in Cold Rooms
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How to Test a Sump Pump in Order to Prevent Water Damage in the Basement

Water damage in Austin, TX, generates stress and anxiety for homeowners. When water intrusion occurs at a residential property, the damage restoration professionals at All Nation Restoration do all the hard work so that the home’s occupants can quickly and safely return to their home. Property damage restoration services, including water damage restoration, are tailored to the client’s needs.

Common Causes of a Flooded Basement and Crawl Space

Some causes of basement flooding are related to severe weather such as a hurricane, tropical storm, tropical depression, or a thunderstorm that stalls over a neighborhood or small community, dumping as much as three or more inches of rain in less than an hour. Gutters are unable to disperse this much water through the downspouts. The water flows over the gutters and pools near the foundation of the home. If the soil next to the home or business does not slope away from the structure, a typical thunderstorm can produce enough water to flood a basement. An extended period of rain that saturates the ground around the home can also present challenges for the sump pump system. A sump pump system should be rated to handle anything nature can produce. As long as the system begins to pump at the earliest onset of excess moisture around the foundation and under the slab, a flood can be averted.

The Key to a Dry Basement or Crawl Space: Maintenance and Testing

The key to success is to properly maintain and test the sump pump system. In situations where flooding events are common, redundancies are put in place. A backup power supply may be installed. This alternative works for a while. If the power goes out for an extended period of time, the battery will not recharge. Two nonfunctioning sump pumps spell disaster.

Another backup system is to install a sump pump that operates on water from the public water system. The water is under enough pressure to run a pump that can effectively evacuate water from the basement. One caveat is that in a major disaster, sometimes the public water system experiences a failure. In areas susceptible to flooding, a triple system is on occasion deployed. In some instances, insurance companies may require a homeowner to install a backup electrical power source that runs off gas or diesel. Repeat offenders may even be denied coverage if steps are not taken to remedy any structural issues that might lead to flooding.

How to Test a Sump Pump

The homeowner must keep the sump pump system in top operating condition. Regular maintenance and testing are the best avenues to achieve this goal. Functional systems prevent flooding. By testing the system and its backups, the homeowner can be confident the basement or crawl space will not flood when the storm clouds appear.

Listed below are some tips on how to maintain and test the typical sump pump system:

  1. Inspect the pump, sump pit, and outlet pipe.
  • Listen for the pump to turn on and turn off.
  • Remove the sump pump pit cover to see if the water level is low. A low water level is a good indication that the system is functioning correctly.
  • Remove any debris and mud in the sump pit. Examine the outlet pipe, and test the check valve.
  1. Examine the electrical connection of the sump pump.
    The sump pump should be plugged into a ground fault circuit interrupter.
  1. Physically test the sump pump by pouring a bucket of several gallons of water into the sump pit.
    The pump should come to life and pump the water from the pit.
  1. Clean the sump pump at least once a year.
    If the pump is over ten years old, consider a replacement. If the pump is very active, replacement may be needed every five to seven years.

All Nation Restoration is committed to providing customer service that reassures and gives confidence to clients. The water damage restoration company in Austin, TX, will complete the entire project and provide the necessary documentation that demonstrates the work has been completed. All Nation Restoration also offers consultation and rental options for homeowners who want to take on a DIY restoration project. Whatever solution the homeowner chooses, All Nation Restoration is ready to guide the homeowner through the process.

For more details about water damage restoration in Austin, TX, contact the team at All Nation Restoration by phone at (512) 934-8180 or email [email protected]

Chris MorenoHow to Test a Sump Pump in Order to Prevent Water Damage in the Basement
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How Proper Ventilation at Home & Attic Can Help Prevent Mold Growth in Austin,TX

All Nation Restoration understands that the situations that require services such as water damage restoration or mold removal in Austin, TX, are stressful and inconvenient for homeowners. When a water damage issue occurs, the All Nation Restoration professionals are able to handle the matter from start to finish, including insurance claims. Technicians utilize advanced technology and innovative techniques to ensure customers receive the best service and are happy with the water damage restoration. To help Austin and Waco, Texas residents enjoy a healthy home environment, the team at All Nation Restoration explains how proper ventilation in the home and attic can help prevent mold growth in Austin, TX.

Ventilation issues in the home can cause mold growth

Ventilation is a key factor in determining the air quality in a home. Modern building codes, coupled with efforts to increase energy efficiency, drastically reduce ventilation in the home and attic. Inadequate ventilation can create an environment that can facilitate mold growth in a house.

An effective ventilation system circulates fresh, clean air into a structure. The continuous circulation of fresh air discourages mold growth, as well as the spread of viruses and other allergens.

What are some signs of poor ventilation in the home?

The following signs indicate a lack of proper ventilation in the home:

  • Glass windows and transparent shower doors that have a frosted coating
  • Walls, tiles, grout, and flooring that appear discolored
  • Metal pipes that have developed rust stains
  • Strong odors that linger in the home
  • Wood, walls, and fabrics that show signs of mold growth
  • Heat build-up that does not dissipate

Poor ventilation and excessive moisture foster the development of these conditions, and inadequate ventilation permits excess moisture to linger, which may lead to other problems. Sufficient ventilation effectively diminishes or eliminates excess moisture.

What are some causes of poor ventilation?

  • An imbalance between air intake vents and external vents

Exterior vents in a home allow moist, stale, polluted air inside the house to be drawn out and fresh air to be taken into the structure. An insufficient number of vents impedes much-needed airflow. Occupants are forced to breathe air with an elevated amount of polluted air.  A proper balance between the air intake vents and the external vents will remedy this respiratory hazard in the home.

  • Blocked or damaged roof vents

Inspect exterior vents for obstructions or damage. To enable the free flow of air throughout the home, the homeowner should make sure that attic or roof vents always remain open. Remove any blockages from debris or insulation. A blocked or closed dryer vent can lead to dangerous levels of carbon dioxide in the home.

Can poor ventilation lead to an increased risk of viral infections?

An elevated risk of transmission of airborne infectious disease may be related to subpar ventilation. This poor ventilation allows for the accumulation of dampness and indoor pollutants, all of which can contribute to the development of health issues.

Does insufficient ventilation lead to mold growth?

Poor ventilation can create an environment in which mold will thrive. The combination of moisture and restricted air circulation provides the ideal humid and moist conditions in which a mold infestation can occur. Signs of mold growth include:

  • Black, white, or brown spots on walls or ceilings, especially in closets and in the attic
  • A musty odor in rooms that are seldom used, in closets, and in the attic

The power of proper ventilation in the attic

Proper ventilation in the attic helps to prevent mold, improve energy efficiency, prevent structural damage to exposed beams and other wood products in the attic, and extend the life of the HVAC unit.

To create an environment in the home that is healthy, safe, and energy-efficient, identify and resolve any energy leaks. Improve the current attic ventilation system to ensure air can move throughout the house at a healthy rate. When a home has suffered water damage or moisture damage from poor ventilation or from a roof leak, contact the experts at All Nation Restoration to provide solutions that work. The team at All Nation Restoration is dedicated to providing a positive, confidence-inspiring customer service experience. The water damage restoration company in Austin, TX, manages all aspects of the restoration project, brings the job to completion, and provides the necessary documentation demonstrating that the work has been completed.

For more information about damage restoration in Austin, TX, contact the office by phone at (512) 934-8180 or email [email protected]

Chris MorenoHow Proper Ventilation at Home & Attic Can Help Prevent Mold Growth in Austin,TX
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