Recent Why SERVPRO Posts
The Role of Pretesting in Filing Insurance Claims for Property Damage
Pretesting is one step that can help keep claim amounts within an acceptable range
Disasters such as fires, floods, and severe storms can wreak havoc for Rosebud, TX, residential and commercial properties. These situations may displace entire families and businesses until the storm abates or fires are controlled. Unfortunately, once the smoke has cleared and the water has been diverted, the buildings, furnishings, possessions, and contents left behind have been severely damaged. Many property owners will work quickly to get an insurance claim filed, but the terms of that claim may leave them less coverage in the future. Pretesting is one step that can help keep claim amounts within an acceptable range, so property owners don't have to worry about higher premiums.
Why Testing Is Necessary
In many cases, pretesting is part of the initial inspection performed by property damage cleanup and remediation professionals. It's important that the testing takes place before an insurance agent files a claim:
- Pretesting identifies how much of a property is damaged and which types of materials have been damaged
- Professionals will determine whether there are any parts of the property that haven't been affected by the disaster
- Testing crews will decide when Items can be restored and what must be replaced
These efforts can improve the accuracy of claims by identifying and recording the severity and range of damage and related issues.
The Risk of Neglecting Testing
When testing isn't done properly, unnecessary losses may be reported resulting in long term consequences, such as increased premiums. Some disaster restoration companies provide pretesting because of their training in recognizing long=term damages and solutions.
Too Much Damage for Reconstruction
Unfortunately, there are some cases when the testing professionals have found that the damage is too severe for repairs, and reconstruction or replacement is the best option. Replacement of structures and contents may be the most cost-effective way to bring the property back to its pre-damaged condition.
When property owners contact their insurance agent to begin the claims process, they should also be sure that pretesting will take place. Get the best results with a disaster response company that understands the value of the testing.
3 Things To Watch Out For in a Partial Damage Fire
Fire damage in Marlin, TX
Look Out For the Following in a Partial Damage Fire
Partial damage fires are some of the most overlooked commercial insurance claims. Filing a claim for fire restoration can be helpful in returning your workplace to its former condition. As you set out to restore your commercial property after exposure to fire, look out for the following concerns.
1. Restoration vs. Replacement
When filing an insurance claim after a fire loss, many business owners are under the impression that their insurance coverage will only address the cost of replacing damaged items. While a commercial fire loss policy is helpful for replacement, it can also be used to cover the cost of restoration. If a fire incident at your business is considered a partial loss, it is likely that some items were damaged but not completely destroyed. Ask your insurance provider about your coverage for restoration services, including the following:
- Odor removal
- Carpet and upholstery cleaning
- Soot cleanup
2. Hidden Damage
If a partial damage fire occurs at or near your commercial property, make sure to hire a professional fire inspector to check the area for hidden damage. Harm from a fire may be present but difficult for the untrained eye to detect. Fire-related losses may be just below the surface, including water leaks, smoke damage, poor air quality, or ash and soot in the air ducts.
If restoration after a partial loss fire is a priority, work closely with your insurance provider and a Marlin, TX, restoration crew to make certain uniformity is achieved. Restoration is an effort to return your facility to its pre-fire state. This process may require the replacement of non-damaged items, such as flooring or cabinetry, to make sure the overall appearance and function are brought back up to previous standards.
Whether you experience a small workplace fire, or a neighboring fire brings up potential concerns, contact your commercial insurer to begin the process of filing a claim. Fire loss may appear minimal at first glance, but with careful inspection and calculation, you can get the most out of your insurance policy.
A Guide to the Mold Remediation Process
Mold caused by water damage in a Rosebud, TX property
Mold Remediation Process
If your Rosebud, TX, property has sustained water damage, there is a possibility that mold growth has occurred. If moisture is present for a long period of time, mold has a chance to proliferate, causing even more damage and posing a possible health hazard if pathogens such as black mold are present. You may wish to consult a professional mold remediation company. Following the steps outlined below, a mold cleanup professional can make sure any problem is eradicated safely and completely.
Once on the scene, the mold professionals can make a careful inspection of the property, assess the areas of damage, test to see what types of mold they are dealing with, and see if more toxic forms, such as black mold, are involved. Using specialized techniques, they are able to find any moisture sources that might otherwise remain hidden.
Once the sources of the problem are identified, they can contain the mold to keep it from spreading. First, all cooling, heating and ventilation systems are turned off. Then the technicians utilize advanced containment procedures such as negative air chambers and negative pressure. Using HEPA vacuums and air scrubbers, the mold specialists are able to isolate any microscopic mold spores that might otherwise escape.
3. Mold Removal
Depending on how much mold growth has occurred and whether more dangerous molds such as black mold are found, a variety of treatments can be used to contain and disinfect, such as antimicrobial and antifungal agents. Any mold-infested materials, such as carpeting and drywall, are removed at this time.
4. Contents Cleaning and Sanitization
All salvageable items, such as furniture, clothing and other belongings, are removed from the area to be cleaned and sanitized using various advanced cleaning techniques. Fogging equipment may be used to eliminate odors.
Once the mold has been removed and the affected areas cleaned and sanitized, any needed restoration can begin. This can range from replacing carpeting and drywall to rebuilding entire rooms.
A mold remediation company has the skills and equipment to tackle any type of mold damage. If you're experiencing a problem in your building, these experts can make sure the job is done right.
Reasons To Make SERVPRO a Part of Your Disaster Recovery Team
Roof damage after storm in Belton, TX
Make SERVPRO an Integral Part of Your Cleanup Team
Every area has its own unique brand of extreme weather. A natural disaster in Belton, TX, can cause great damage to your home. When this happens, it is good to have a great storm damage remediation company to provide quality disaster recovery services. The best companies combine the local expertise of an area franchise with the resources of the corporation that backs it up. Here are some reasons to make SERVPRO an integral part of your cleanup team.
Specialized Storm Protocols
The benefit of having a local franchise of a well-known restoration company is that it can provide specialized storm response according to weather patterns that are typical in your area. SERVPRO can help with cleanup in your home after several types of storms:
Each team is primed to handle damage from storms that frequent its area. You can count on your local technicians to have the special skill set needed to handle the damage in your home.
Skilled Insurance Liaisons
When it comes to filing claims with your insurance company for disaster recovery and repairs, it helps to work with a company that understands the kind of information your adjuster needs. SERVPRO is a preferred vendor for many insurance companies. The company works with your adjuster by providing an itemized list of damages and an estimate of the cost of the restoration through electronic records that can easily be stored and shared.
Access to Corporate Resources
No matter what kind of storm damage your home has, SERVPRO has a team ready to handle it. When a major disaster occurs, storm teams mobilize to get the necessary equipment and technicians to the affected area quickly. Every local franchise has the backing of corporate resources, particularly during a weather crisis.
If your home is damaged by a natural disaster, you need remediation specialists you can depend on. When storms rage, the SERVPRO disaster recovery team is Here to Help.
Identifying and Treating Mold-Related Odors
Baking soda can help with eliminating mold odor
Ways To Treat Mold Odor
Mold causes many problems, including a lingering musty odor. The mycotoxins that accompany mold growth often result in an unpleasant odor. Fortunately, there are several ways to treat the odor associated with mold.
Identifying Mold Odor
Different types of mold result in different smells. The following terms are commonly used to describe these smells:
- Wet leaves
- Wet towels
It can be difficult to tell the difference between common household odors and those resulting from mycotoxins. If the smell is persistent, even after opening the windows and doing routine cleaning, you may have a mold problem.
Eliminating Mold Odor
The first step in getting rid of the smell associated with mold is to remove the mold itself. However, even after mold remediation there may be a lingering odor. The following items are well-known for their odor-eliminating capabilities:
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- HEPA air filters
- Activated charcoal
HEPA filtration is good for trapping mold spores as they float through the air. Vinegar and baking soda can be applied to the moldy surface to kill the mold and the associated odor. Additionally, you can open the windows and turn on a fan. Be sure to close the doors, so the fan does not spread mold spores throughout the rest of the home. Sometimes cleaning and air purification do not fully eliminate the musty odor. If you find yourself in this situation, you can place an odor absorber, such as a bag of activated charcoal, in the room.
Removing mold growth and mycotoxins should leave your home smelling fresh and clean. However, you may not be able to thoroughly resolve the issue yourself. If you are immunocompromised or dealing with a particularly large or severe area of mold growth, you may wish to enlist an experienced restoration team to help get your Academy, TX, home back to normal quickly and safely.
What Is Pretesting and How Can It Help Keep Insurance Costs Down?
SERVPRO associates are trained to perform damage assessment.
What Is Pretesting And How Can It Help Keep Insurance Costs Down?
Pretesting refers to the process of assessing a property after disaster has occurred to determine the extent of damage and whether or not restoration is possible. This process is a necessary component of any insurance claim, as it can help keep insurance costs down, which benefits both the insurance company and the insured. SERVPRO associates are trained to perform damage assessment as a courtesy to both the building owners and insurance agents for which they work.
How Damage Assessment Minimizes Costs
Damage assessment is an essential stage of the claims process as, if the disaster response team deems a space is restorable, it means the building owner and insurer can avoid the high cost of replacement. The Belton, TX commercial restoration team at SERVPRO can help your insurance agent and adjuster quickly yet thoroughly assess the restorability of your property:
- 24/7 emergency response personnel are available to provide pretesting in most emergency situations.
- Once on site, specialists will perform a thorough assessment of the fire, mold or water damage.
- After a technician has performed an assessment, he or she will take his or her notes and type up an itemized inventory list of losses, which he or she will then send to the insurance agent.
- If building owners or insurance providers need additional help, they can always call on their local SERVPRO franchise for immediate assistance.
As a "Preferred Vendor" for most insurance agencies, SERVPRO goes above and beyond to ensure that its technicians are worthy of the title. This means ensuring that specialists never cut corners and always strive to do right by both building owners and insurance companies.
Ready To Provide Swift Support
Dealing with an insurance claim is neither easy nor fun for the building owner or an insurance agent. Though even SERVPRO cannot make the process fun, it can make it less complicated—and less costly. One of many ways in which it does that is by pretesting. Learn more about the #1 Restoration Team's process today.
How To Prevent Common Small Business Claims
Hallway with water damage in Marlin, TX
5 Maintenance Measures That May Prevent the Need to File an Insurance Claim
Nearly half of small businesses end up filing insurance claims within 10 years of operation. It may be possible to avoid filing a business claim by performing regular maintenance at a commercial structure in Marlin, TX. Here are five maintenance measures that may prevent the need to file an insurance claim.
1. Prevent Pipes From Freezing
Pipes exposed to frigid temperatures run the risk of freezing. If this occurs, pressure buildup may result in a pipe break and water damage. Insulate pipes that are likely to freeze and heat a building during cold weather.
2. Schedule Preventative Plumbing Maintenance
Preventative maintenance may enable building owners to avoid filing a business claim. It is a good idea to have a licensed plumbing inspector check pipes every year or two. A building owner or manager should be aware of the age, condition, and pipe material in a structure.
3. Maintain the Building Envelope
The envelope of a commercial structure shields the interior from exterior elements. Maintaining this protective layer can limit condensation, prevent leaks, and keep cooled or heated air from escaping.
4. Keep Drainage Clear
It is a good idea to clear the drainage system twice a year and check every component for functionality. Downspouts, gutters, and roof drains can keep water from collecting and undermining roofing materials or causing problems around the base of a structure.
5. Inspect Critical Systems and Appliances
Malfunctioning systems such as the HVAC, electrical wiring, or plumbing can cause problems at a commercial building. Owners or managers should schedule regular inspections of systems and appliances that pose any risk of fire or water damage.
These measures may prevent the need to file a business claim. Regular maintenance can resolve most issues before major damage occurs. Rely on commercial maintenance services and, if worst comes to worst, a mitigation and restoration company located in Marlin, TX.
Tips for Estimating Fire Damage Repairs
Fire damage in Belton,TX
If a fire affects your Belton,TX, commercial building, you may have a major repair in your near future. How much will this work cost you? There are a lot of factors that can affect the cost of repairs. When you get an estimate, you may need to keep the following in mind:
- What fueled the flames
- How long the fire burned
- How hot the fire got
As you try to figure out the cost of repairs, you can work with a professional to get a better quote. Keep the following tips in mind as well.
Consider the Extent of the Damage
How much fire damage was there? If the flames affected the roofing, siding and structure of your commercial building, you may be looking at a bigger repair bill than if the fire had only affected the carpeting and furnishings in your building. You may also need to consider how much of your building was engulfed in the fire. For example, some fires may spread over an entire building while others may be confined to one or two rooms.
Find Out How the Fire Was Put Out
Did firefighters have to put the flames out? Did your building's sprinkler system dampen the fire? Was a fire extinguisher enough to stop the spread of the fire? The tools used to put out a commercial fire may affect the damage done to your building.
Get the Right Help
There are a lot of factors that effect the cost of repairs after a fire. Working with the right professionals can help you get a better estimate for the overall costs. You should work with your insurance provider. This will help you understand how much of the costs you will be responsible for out of pocket. You also need to find the right fire restoration team. You can get quotes on cost and schedule to find the best fit for your situation.
If you want to get an accurate estimate for damage repairs, you need to consider every factor. Getting an accurate quote can help you plan for the repair and cleanup process.
Storm Shutter Choices and Your Budget
While decorative shutters are popular window accents throughout the United States, in regions prone to high winds, the functional kind can be a necessity. Depending on your environmental conditions and aesthetic preferences, a wide variety of storm shutters are available to fit the weatherproofing needs of your home.
The look most typically associated with classic shutters, the colonial type are hinged panels on either side of the window that can be latched closed in case of a storm. These can be made of steel, aluminum, wood, or composite materials and can be easily painted to match the existing exterior design. They range from $200-$500.
Another iconic visual design, the Bahama type of storm shutters are hinged at the top and prop open to double as a window shade similar to an awning. Depending on the choice of materials, the Bahama option runs upwards of $200 per window.
True to its name, the accordion style is built from long, interlocking metal panels that fold up into a box when not in use. Before a weather event with high winds, the shutter can be extended across the window and locked in place to prevent rain and debris from entering the home. This type is best suited to larger exterior fixtures such as sliding glass doors and can range from $15-$25 per square foot of coverage.
While this style also uses a storage box when not in use, the bay is typically mounted to the top of the window. Unlike the accordion design, roll-up shutters are more lightweight and can be used as window blinds in addition to storm protection. They come in a wide variety of decorative styles, can be manual or powered, and range from $20-$30 per square foot.
These are four of the most popular solutions available to homeowners in Belton, TX, seeking to protect their home from high winds and other storm perils. These fashionable, permanent designs are superior to temporary storm preparations such as plywood and can prevent the need for post-storm cleanup from a professional specialist.
4 Flood Safety Tips Everyone Should Remember
Remember that flood safety comes before anything else after a severe Temple, TX, storm.
If you are a homeowner in Temple, TX, you likely have either experienced household flooding in the past or will have to be prepared for it in the future. Clean up and restoration are important steps to take after a flood, but the security of you and your loved ones comes first. Here are four important tips for flood safety that you and your family should keep in mind year-round.
1. Listen to Authorities
This is one of the most critical safety tips. If the coast has not been cleared for you to return to your property, do not even think about attempting to do so. Trust the judgment of law enforcement and stay put; your well-being is more important than your house.
2. Wear Protection
After a flood, wild animals may go indoors to seek refuge. If you are doing any light cleanup before professional help has arrived, or you are simply trying to survey the damage, make sure to wear gloves, boots and other equipment for flood safety at all times in case dangerous wildlife are inside your home.
3. Beware of Shock
If you can safely do so, turn off your electricity before touching electrical appliances in your home. If you cannot shut off your power, do not touch these devices at all to avoid electrocution.
4. Avoid Floodwater
Floodwater can be dangerous for many reasons. If you are stuck in a building with high levels of water, your best bet for safety will be to seek the highest level of ground possible. This may mean climbing on to the roof in some cases.
Remember that flood safety comes before anything else after a severe Temple, TX, storm. If something feels unsafe to you, it probably is. Homeowners often get wrapped up in worry over their home’s safety, but buildings and objects can be replaced; your health and welfare are much more important. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROtemplebelton.com/.