Recent Posts

Will a Dehumidifier Help With Mold?

11/15/2023 (Permalink)

Mold growing on a white wall. If you're dealing with a mold issue, don't hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Taylor, Elgin for professional mold remediation services.

Mold is a common concern, especially in regions with high humidity like Elgin, TX. In this blog, we'll explore whether using a dehumidifier is an effective strategy for mold prevention and control.

Understanding Mold and Humidity

Before we delve into the role of dehumidifiers, let's briefly understand how mold thrives in Elgin's humid climate. Mold spores are everywhere, but they require moisture and a food source to grow. Our region's humid conditions provide the ideal environment for mold to flourish, making mold prevention a priority for homeowners.

The Role of Dehumidifiers

Dehumidifiers are appliances designed to reduce the humidity levels in indoor spaces. Here's how they can help with mold prevention:

Moisture Control

Dehumidifiers extract excess moisture from the air, effectively lowering indoor humidity levels. Maintaining humidity below 50% can discourage mold growth, as it thrives in damp environments.

Targeted Approach

Dehumidifiers can be strategically placed in areas prone to moisture, such as basements, bathrooms, and crawl spaces. By focusing on these high-risk areas, you can significantly reduce the chances of mold taking hold.


Using a dehumidifier as part of your regular home maintenance routine can be a proactive measure to prevent mold growth. It complements other preventative measures like proper ventilation and leak repairs.

Choosing the Right Dehumidifier

When considering a dehumidifier for mold prevention, keep these tips in mind:

  • Determine the size needed based on the square footage of the area you want to dehumidify.
  • Opt for a dehumidifier with a built-in hygrometer to monitor humidity levels.
  • Regularly empty and clean the water reservoir to prevent mold and bacterial growth within the appliance.

In Elgin, TX, where humidity levels can be high, a dehumidifier can be a valuable tool in your mold prevention arsenal. While it won't eliminate mold spores entirely, it can create an environment less conducive to mold growth. However, remember that mold prevention is a multifaceted effort. Proper ventilation, prompt leak repairs, and regular inspections are equally essential.

If you're dealing with a mold issue that's beyond the capabilities of a dehumidifier, don't hesitate to contact SERVPRO® of Taylor, Elgin for professional mold remediation and cleanup services. Our team is ready to assist you in keeping your home mold-free and your environment safe and comfortable.

Top Causes and Fixes of Foundation Cracks

10/9/2023 (Permalink)

Due to the wide variety of weather events that occur in the Taylor, TX, area, homeowners often face unique challenges when it comes to maintaining their properties. A common issue to encounter is foundation cracks and the subsequent water infiltration problems they can cause. In this blog, we'll explore the causes of foundation cracks and provide valuable insights into how to fix and prevent them in your Taylor, TX, home.

Understanding Foundation Cracks

Foundation cracks can occur for various reasons, and it's crucial to identify the underlying causes to effectively address the issue. Here are some common culprits:

Soil Composition: Taylor, TX, is known for its expansive clay soils. These soils can expand when wet and contract when dry, putting immense pressure on your foundation walls. Over time, this movement can lead to cracks.

Water Saturation: Heavy rains and flooding are not uncommon in Taylor, TX. Excess water in the soil can exert pressure on your foundation, leading to cracks. Improper drainage can exacerbate the problem.

Tree Roots: Large trees near your home can cause foundation cracks as their roots seek moisture in the soil. This can result in shifts and cracks in the foundation over time.

Poor Construction: In some cases, inadequate construction practices can lead to weak foundations that are more prone to cracking.

Fixing Foundation Cracks

Once you've identified the cause of your foundation cracks, it's essential to take prompt action to prevent further damage. Here are some steps to consider:

Professional Inspection: Start by hiring a professional foundation inspector in Taylor, TX. They can assess the extent of the damage and recommend appropriate solutions.

Repair Techniques: The choice of repair method depends on the severity of the cracks. Common repair techniques include epoxy injection, carbon fiber reinforcement, and helical pier installation. A professional will determine the best approach for your situation.

Waterproofing: To prevent future water infiltration, it's essential to waterproof your foundation. This can involve installing drainage systems, applying waterproof coatings, and ensuring proper grading around your home.

Tree Management: If tree roots are causing issues, consult with an arborist to discuss potential solutions, such as root barriers or tree removal if necessary.

Preventing Future Cracks

Prevention is key when it comes to foundation cracks in Taylor, TX. Ensure that your property has adequate drainage systems in place to redirect rainwater away from your foundation. Regularly inspect your foundation for any signs of cracks or damage. Catching issues early can prevent costly repairs later. When planting trees on your property, consider their proximity to your home and foundation. Choose species with less invasive root systems if possible.

Foundation cracks and water leaks are common concerns for homeowners in Taylor, TX. By understanding the causes and taking proactive measures, you can protect your home from further damage. Remember that professional guidance is crucial for assessing and addressing foundation issues effectively. If you need assistance with water damage cleanup and restoration, don't hesitate to reach out to SERVPRO® of Taylor, Elgin – your local experts in property restoration and maintenance. We're here to help you keep your home safe and secure.

How Storms Can Affect Your Homes Electrical and Appliances

9/17/2023 (Permalink)

Water on a laptop. If you encounter signs of damage or malfunction, seek the expertise of qualified professionals to address issues promptly and effectively.

Texas residents are no strangers to the unpredictable nature of sudden storms. These weather events can have a significant impact on various aspects of our lives, including the integrity of our homes' electrical systems and essential appliances. In this informative guide, we will delve into the ways storms can affect these crucial components, and we will provide practical insights and strategies to help you safeguard your property and ensure the well-being of your loved ones.

Lightning Strikes and Power Surges

One of the most noticeable effects of storms is the presence of lightning, which can lead to power surges that affect our electronic devices. These sudden increases in electrical voltage can cause damage to sensitive equipment such as televisions, computers, and other gadgets. To mitigate this risk, consider investing in surge protectors, which act as a defense mechanism by absorbing and redirecting excess electrical energy away from your devices.

Ensuring Uninterrupted Power with Backup Generators

Storms can occasionally result in power outages, leaving your home without electricity. This can disrupt daily activities and pose challenges, especially during critical times. To counteract this, backup generators offer a reliable solution. These devices automatically activate in the event of a power outage, providing temporary electrical power to essential appliances and systems in your home.

Navigating the Intersection of Water and Appliances

Storms can bring heavy rain and potential water leaking into your home, which can impact your appliances. Appliances such as washing machines, dryers, and refrigerators are vulnerable to water damage, which can be costly to repair. Elevating your appliances and implementing moisture barriers are effective preventive measures to protect these valuable assets.

Preserving HVAC Systems

Temperature fluctuations during storms can place additional strain on your home's heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Regular maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity and efficient operation of your HVAC system. By scheduling routine check-ups and addressing any issues promptly, you can minimize the risk of breakdowns and maintain a comfortable indoor environment.

Protecting Outdoor Equipment 

Outdoor equipment, such as air conditioning units and outdoor lighting, is directly exposed to the elements during storms. Debris, wind, and rain can compromise their functionality and potentially lead to damage. Securing these components and considering protective covers can help extend their lifespan and ensure reliable performance over time.

A Call to Action

As you become more informed about the potential impact of storms on your home's electrical systems and appliances, it's essential to take proactive steps to mitigate risks. Remember to unplug electronics during storms, invest in surge protectors, elevate appliances, prioritize HVAC system maintenance, and safeguard outdoor equipment. If you encounter signs of damage or malfunction, seek the expertise of qualified professionals to address issues promptly and effectively.

By understanding the potential effects of storms and implementing preventative measures, you can navigate challenging weather events with confidence. Texas residents can proactively protect their homes, ensuring the safety of their electrical systems and preserving the functionality of valuable appliances. As you face the elements, remember that knowledge and preparedness are your allies in maintaining a secure and comfortable living environment. Here's to weathering storms with resilience and safeguarding what matters most in your home.

Which Fire Extinguisher is Right for Your Home or Business?

8/19/2023 (Permalink)

A commercial fire extinguisher. Selecting the right fire extinguisher is a critical step.

In any home or business setting, fire safety is of utmost importance. Having the right fire extinguisher on hand can be a lifesaver during a fire emergency. However, with various types of fire extinguishers available, it can be confusing to determine which one is best suited for your specific needs. In this blog, we'll guide you through the different types of fire extinguishers, their unique capabilities, and how to choose the right one to ensure your property's safety remains a top priority.

Class A Fire Extinguishers

Class A fire extinguishers are designed to combat fires involving ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth, and plastics. They are an essential choice for homes and businesses, as they can handle the most common types of fires encountered in everyday settings.

Class B Fire Extinguishers

Class B fire extinguishers are designed to extinguish fires caused by flammable liquids, such as gasoline, oil, grease, and other petroleum-based substances. These extinguishers are crucial for environments where flammable liquids are present, such as kitchens, garages, and workshops.

Class C Fire Extinguishers

Class C fire extinguishers are designed to tackle fires involving electrical equipment and wiring. Since water-based extinguishers can conduct electricity and cause electrocution, it is vital to have a Class C extinguisher for areas with electrical appliances and circuits.

Class D Fire Extinguishers

Class D fire extinguishers are specifically designed for fires involving combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, and potassium. They are commonly used in industrial settings where combustible metals may be present.

Class K Fire Extinguishers

Class K fire extinguishers are designed for commercial kitchens, restaurants, and food processing areas where fires involving cooking oils, fats, and grease are prevalent. These extinguishers use a special agent to smother and cool down the hot oils, effectively extinguishing the fire.

Consider the Location

When choosing a fire extinguisher, consider the location and potential fire hazards in your home or business. Install fire extinguishers in accessible and strategic locations, such as near exits and high-risk areas like kitchens and workshops.

Regular Maintenance and Inspection

Once you've chosen the appropriate fire extinguishers, regular maintenance and inspection are crucial. Schedule annual checks by a certified professional to ensure that the extinguishers are in good working condition and ready to respond in case of a fire emergency.

Selecting the right fire extinguisher is a critical step in ensuring the safety of your home or business. Familiarize yourself with the various types of fire extinguishers and their suitable applications. Choose extinguishers that match the potential fire hazards in your surroundings, and remember to prioritize regular maintenance and inspections. By making informed decisions about fire extinguishers, you can be prepared to handle fire emergencies effectively and safeguard your property and loved ones. Safety should always come first.

5 Things You Need to Know About Washing Machine Leaks

7/20/2023 (Permalink)

Dealing with a washing machine leak can be a stressful experience for homeowners. Not only can it cause water damage to your home, but it can also disrupt your daily routine. In this blog, we will provide you with five essential things you need to know about washing machine leaks. Understanding these key points will help you identify, prevent, and address any issues promptly, ensuring the efficient and safe operation of your washing machine.

Common Causes of Washing Machine Leaks

One of the first things you should be aware of is the common causes of washing machine leaks. These include issues such as damaged hoses, faulty water supply valves, worn-out pump seals, and even overloading the machine. Identifying the root cause will help you take appropriate actions to prevent leaks in the future.

Signs of a Washing Machine Leak

Being able to recognize the signs of a washing machine leak is crucial in addressing the issue early on. Keep an eye out for signs such as water pooling around the machine, damp walls or floors near the washing machine, or unusual sounds during the wash cycle. Promptly addressing these signs can prevent further damage and potential mold growth.

Prevention and Maintenance Tips

Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding washing machine leaks. Regular maintenance and following best practices can significantly reduce the chances of leaks occurring. Some preventive measures include inspecting hoses for cracks or bulges, ensuring proper installation and leveling of the machine, avoiding overloading, and using high-quality detergent suitable for your machine.

Immediate Steps to Take When a Leak Occurs

If you discover a washing machine leak, it's important to take immediate action to minimize damage. Start by shutting off the machine and disconnecting it from the power source. Next, turn off the water supply valves and clean up any standing water. Contact a professional restoration service to assess the damage and address the underlying cause of the leak.

When to Seek Professional Help

While some minor leaks can be resolved through DIY efforts, there are instances where professional help is necessary. If the leak persists, the damage is extensive, or you're unsure about the best course of action, it's wise to contact a professional restoration service. They have the expertise, tools, and knowledge to address complex leaks and restore your washing machine and affected areas to their optimal condition.

If you require professional assistance in dealing with washing machine leaks or any water damage restoration needs, please contact our experienced team at SERVPRO of Taylor, Elgin. We are here to help you restore your home to its preloss condition efficiently and effectively.

Understanding the key aspects of washing machine leaks empowers homeowners to take proactive measures in preventing, identifying, and addressing issues promptly. By following the tips and guidelines provided in this blog, you can maintain a reliable and leak-free washing machine, protecting your home from water damage and ensuring peace of mind. Remember, knowledge and timely action are your best allies in safeguarding your home from washing machine leaks!

Water Categorization Demystified: Understanding the 3 Different Categories of Water

6/12/2023 (Permalink)

rain water on ground Contact a water restoration company to ensure proper cleanup and mitigation.

Water is a vital resource necessary for our daily lives, but not all water is the same when it comes to potential hazards and risks. In the field of water damage restoration and mitigation, water is categorized into three distinct categories based on its level of contamination. Understanding these categories is essential for assessing the severity of water damage and determining the appropriate steps for cleanup and restoration. In this blog, we will delve into the three categories of water and their implications.

Category 1: Clean Water

Category 1 water, also known as "clean water," refers to water that originates from a sanitary source. This includes water from broken pipes, overflowing sinks or bathtubs, or rainwater. Category 1 water is generally considered safe for basic cleaning and restoration. However, it is important to address the issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential microbial growth.

Category 2: Grey Water

Category 2 water, known as "grey water," contains a certain level of contamination and may pose a risk. Grey water can come from sources such as dishwasher or washing machine leaks, toilet overflows without feces, or sump pump failures. While grey water does not contain sewage or fecal matter, it can contain chemicals, detergents, or microorganisms that can cause illness if ingested or if prolonged exposure occurs. Proper precautions and protective equipment should be used when handling and cleaning up grey water.

Category 3: Black Water

Category 3 water, also referred to as "black water," is highly contaminated and poses a significant amount of risk. This type of water contains pathogens, toxic substances, and potentially harmful bacteria. Black water sources include sewage backups, flooding from rivers or streams, or water from a toilet containing feces. The cleanup and restoration of black water require extreme caution and should be performed by trained professionals. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and specialized techniques are necessary to minimize the risk of exposure to harmful contaminants.

Understanding the distinctions between these three categories of water is crucial for determining the appropriate response and ensuring the safety of individuals involved in the cleanup process. It is important to note that water contamination levels can change over time. For instance, clean water left standing for an extended period can become contaminated and transition into a higher category. It is essential to address water damage promptly to prevent escalation and minimize potential health risks.

In conclusion, categorizing water into three distinct categories helps professionals and homeowners assess the level of contamination and potential health risks associated with water damage incidents. Clean water (Category 1) poses the least risk, grey water (Category 2) contains some contaminants, and black water (Category 3) is highly contaminated and requires professional intervention. If you encounter water damage in your home or business, it is important to consult with experts in water damage restoration to ensure proper cleanup and mitigation, safeguarding the health and well-being of everyone involved.

Eliminating Mold Odor: Effective Methods for a Fresh-Smelling Home

5/21/2023 (Permalink)

Mold growing behind wallpaper. There are several effective methods for getting rid of mold odor in your home.

Mold odor can be unpleasant and difficult to eliminate, especially if you’re not sure where it’s coming from. In this blog, we’ll explore some effective methods for getting rid of mold odor in your home.

Identify the Source

The first step in getting rid of mold odor is to identify the source of the smell. Mold can grow in hidden areas, such as behind walls and under floors, so it’s important to thoroughly inspect your home for signs of mold growth.

Look for visible mold growth on walls, ceilings, floors, and other surfaces. Check for water damage, leaks, and areas where moisture may be present. Once you’ve identified the source of the mold odor, you can take steps to eliminate it.

Clean and Dry the Area

One effective method for getting rid of mold odor is to clean and dry the affected area. Use a solution of water and vinegar or hydrogen peroxide to clean the surface where the mold is growing. Be sure to wear protective gloves and a mask to avoid inhaling any mold spores.

After cleaning the area, dry it thoroughly using a fan or dehumidifier. Mold thrives in moist environments, so eliminating any sources of moisture is crucial in preventing its growth and eliminating its odor.

Use Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is another effective method for getting rid of mold odor in your home. It works by absorbing moisture and odors from the air, making it a great solution for areas where mold is growing.

Place activated charcoal in a small bowl or pouch and place it near the source of the mold odor. You can also use a charcoal air purifier to help eliminate mold spores and their odor from the air.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is another natural solution for eliminating mold odor in your home. It works by neutralizing odors and absorbing moisture, making it an effective solution for areas where mold is growing.

Sprinkle baking soda on the affected area and let it sit for several hours before vacuuming it up. You can also mix baking soda with water to create a paste and apply it to the affected area. Let it dry before wiping it away with a damp cloth.

Call in a Professional

If you’re unable to eliminate the mold odor in your home, it may be time to call in a professional. A mold remediation specialist, such as SERVPRO of Taylor, Elgin, can conduct a thorough inspection of your home and provide recommendations for eliminating the mold and its odor.

During the remediation process, the specialist will use specialized equipment to detect and eliminate mold growth. They can also provide recommendations for preventing future mold growth and eliminating any remaining odor.

In conclusion, there are several effective methods for getting rid of mold odor in your home, including identifying the source, cleaning and drying the affected area, using activated charcoal and baking soda, and calling in a professional. If you’re unable to eliminate the mold odor on your own, consider calling in a professional mold remediation specialist for a thorough inspection and treatment. Remember, preventing mold growth and eliminating its odor is crucial in maintaining a healthy and comfortable home environment.

Say Goodbye to Soot Webs: A Complete Guide on How to Clean Them Properly after a Fire

4/11/2023 (Permalink)

Soot webs in a house. Soot webs can be frustrating and unsightly aftermath of a fire.

After a fire, you may notice unusual spiderweb-like formations on your walls or ceilings. These formations are known as soot webs, and they are the result of smoke and soot settling on surfaces and combining with humidity to create a sticky, web-like substance. Soot webs can be unsightly and difficult to clean, but with the right techniques and equipment, they can be removed effectively.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean soot webs properly:

Step 1: Protect Yourself

Before you begin cleaning soot webs, it's essential to protect yourself. Wear gloves, a mask, and goggles to prevent inhaling any soot particles or getting them in your eyes or skin.

Step 2: Assess the Damage

Examine the area affected by soot webs and determine the extent of the damage. If the area is small, you can clean it yourself. However, if the damage is extensive, it's best to call in a professional disaster restoration company to handle the cleanup.

Step 3: Dry Cleaning

Dry cleaning is the first step in removing soot webs. Use a dry sponge or soft-bristled brush to gently wipe the affected area, being careful not to apply too much pressure. Dry cleaning removes the bulk of the soot and prepares the surface for the next step.

Step 4: Wet Cleaning

After dry cleaning, it's time to use a wet cleaning method. You can use a mixture of warm water and mild detergent to clean the affected area. Use a soft cloth or sponge to apply the cleaning solution to the surface, being careful not to saturate it. Rinse the cloth or sponge frequently to prevent spreading the soot around.

Step 5: Rinse and Dry

After cleaning the affected area with a cleaning solution, it's essential to rinse and dry it thoroughly. Rinse the surface with warm water to remove any remaining cleaning solution. Then, use a clean, dry cloth to pat the surface dry.

Step 6: Paint or Seal the Area

If the area affected by soot webs is painted, you may need to repaint it after cleaning. If the paint is still in good condition, you can seal the area with a sealant to prevent any remaining soot from coming through.

Soot webs can be frustrating and unsightly aftermath of a fire. While they can be difficult to remove, with the right techniques and equipment, it's possible to clean them effectively. Remember to protect yourself before beginning any cleaning efforts and assess the extent of the damage to determine if professional help is necessary. With dry cleaning, wet cleaning, and proper rinsing and drying, you can restore your walls and ceilings to their pre-fire condition.

How Do I Keep Mold From Growing In My Bathroom?

3/10/2023 (Permalink)

dirty bathroom sink with mold Bathroom sink with mold growth

What is Mold?

Mold is a fungus that grows in damp, dark areas. It can be found in your bathroom if you have a leaky faucet, or if you leave wet towels on the floor. There are many types of mold--some are harmless and others can cause harm. It's important to know which type of mold you're dealing with so that you can prevent it from spreading further into your home!

How to Prevent Mold Growth in the Bathroom

To prevent mold from growing in your bathroom, you should:

  • Keep humidity levels low. Humidity is the number-one reason why mold grows. If you want to keep your bathroom dry and prevent mold growth, make sure that there are no leaks anywhere in or around your home. Also make sure that there are no damp areas on the walls or flooring where water could collect and lead to a mold problem later on down the road.

  • Use exhaust fans when taking baths or showers so that any excess moisture gets removed from the room as soon as possible after use instead of lingering inside until it dries out naturally over time (which would allow for more opportunities for mold).

  • Use materials resistant against mildew such as stainless steel faucets instead of chrome plated brass which tends to be prone towards developing mold due to its porous nature

How to Maintain a Mold-Free Bathroom

Maintaining a mold-free bathroom is easy if you clean regularly with disinfectants like bleach or vinegar mixed with water (1 part bleach/10 parts water). Finally inspect for leaks frequently; if you find any cracks or gaps between floors or walls then seal them up immediately before they become an entry point for mold spores!

What to Do If You Suspect a Mold Problem in Your Bathroom

If you suspect that mold is growing in your bathroom, contact a professional and have the mold tested. You can also take preventive measures to prevent further growth.

The Benefits of Keeping Your Bathroom Mold-Free

Maintaining a dry bathroom will effectively reduce the potential for damage. By keeping your bathroom free from moisture buildup, you'll be reducing the risk of damaging walls or ceilings on your property.

Now that you know how to keep mold from growing in your bathroom, it's time to start taking action. Make sure to clean regularly and check for leaks as soon as possible if you do notice any signs of mold growth. SERVPRO of Taylor, Elgin is here to help if mold takes hold of your home!

How To Prepare A Home Escape Plan

3/10/2023 (Permalink)

smoke detector on top of fire evacuation map A mapped out fire evacuation plan

A fire can happen at any time, which is why it's important to have a home escape plan in place. In the event of a fire, every second counts. Knowing what to do and where to go can make all the difference in ensuring everyone's safety. Here are some tips on how to prepare a home escape plan in case of a fire.

Step 1: Draw a Floor Plan

The first step in creating a home escape plan is to draw a floor plan of your home. This should include all the rooms, doors, and windows in your home. It's important to mark two ways out of each room and to make sure that all doors and windows open easily.

Step 2: Determine a Meeting Place

Once you have your floor plan, you should determine a safe meeting place outside of your home. This could be a neighbor's house, a tree in your yard, or a specific spot in your driveway. Make sure that everyone in your home knows where this meeting place is and that it's a safe distance away from the house.

Step 3: Decide on an Escape Route

Decide on the best escape route for each room in your home. Make sure that everyone in your home knows the escape route and that it's marked on your floor plan. If you live in a multi-story home, make sure to have escape ladders or other devices available for second-story windows.

Step 4: Practice, Practice, Practice

Once you have your home escape plan in place, it's important to practice it with your family. Hold a fire drill and make sure that everyone knows what to do in case of a fire. Practice different scenarios, such as escaping from different rooms and using different escape routes.

Additional Tips

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when preparing your home escape plan:

  • Install smoke detectors in every room of your home and test them regularly.

  • Make sure that everyone in your home knows how to call 911 in case of an emergency.

  • If a room is filled with smoke, crawl on the floor to escape as smoke rises.

Having a home escape plan in place can save lives in the event of a fire. By drawing a floor plan, determining a meeting place, deciding on an escape route, and practicing your plan with your family, you can ensure everyone's safety. Remember to install smoke detectors and to call 911 in case of an emergency.