Archived Blog Posts
What To Do if You Find Mold in Your Rental Home
Black barrier mold
How to Handle Mold in a Rental Property
Mold spores are everywhere and are harmless when they're floating around, but the trouble comes when they take up residence in your apartment or rental home in Gardere, LA. Whether it's in your bathroom or around your windows, mold can pop up wherever moisture is. As a tenant, here are some things to do when you discover mold contamination in your home.
1. Appraise the Situation
Before you do anything, take a closer look to make sure the substance you're seeing is actually mold and not dirt or mildew. If it's mildew, which looks fluffy or powdery and is usually gray, white or yellow, it is easy to clean off. If you determine that the substance is mold, try to find the source of the moisture it's feeding on. If it's around your shower or windows, that's a pretty obvious reason why it might be there, but if it's on your walls, there might be a pipe leaking, requiring some more intense water and mold cleanup.
2. Contact Your Landlord
If you've determined that there needs to be some action taken, call your landlord. Send them pictures of the mold and explain what's happening. Since mold is usually tied to a water problem, they'll want to respond quickly. When you do this, though, don't assume that they'll automatically take care of the cost of the mold cleanup. If the source is a leaky pipe that is outside of your control, it's usually their responsibility, but if you caused a flood or haven't been ventilating the bathroom properly when you shower, it's often your job to cover the expenses. If you think the mold contamination may be your fault, talk with your renter's insurance about what they'll cover and what they won't.
Mold is a common issue in homes, but it's important that you respond quickly if you think you've found some in yours. This keeps the mold cleanup process from becoming bigger and more costly than it needs to be.
3 Reasons Protecting Wood From Water Is Vital To Its Lifespan
Wooden floor damaged by water.
Three Reasons To Protect Wood From Water
One of the biggest threats to the longevity of wood is water. Wood continuously absorbs and expels water, a process that eventually degrades the integrity of the material to the point that it is no longer usable. Especially in humid and rainy regions, swelling wood can be a persistent problem that is of utmost importance to address to extend the life of wooden constructions.
1. Contraction and Expansion Damages Wood
Swelling and shrinkage in wood are driven by moisture. Years of water absorption and expulsion weaken the integrity of the fibrous cell walls that make the material rigid. This leads to fragility and cracking, which not only causes breakage but increases the likelihood of decay. Minimizing the amount of water absorbed is key to prolonging the life of wood, making it vital to keep it sealed with paint or finishes like urethane.
2. Variation in Swelling Wood Rates Affect the Integrity of Structures
The speed of swelling and shrinking varies in each individual piece of wood. Uneven rates of swelling or shrinking can not only cause distortion or warping in an individual chunk but can also cause joint problems in the frame of a house or a piece of furniture. Protecting wood with paint or finish thus helps slow the distortion at the joints, increasing the longevity of wooden structures.
3. Keeping It Dry Is Protection, Too
Interior wood (studs, joists, etc.), although not exposed to the elements and hence often left unprotected, still requires vigilant upkeep. Exposure to water from a ruptured supply line or a leak from a water pipe repair can lead to swelling problems if left unaddressed. The life of even this unprotected wood can be prolonged simply by ensuring that any damp parts are allowed to dry and are kept dry.
In most cases, the effects of swelling wood can be mitigated by keeping a watchful eye on the paint or finish that protects it. Hiring the services of protection and restoration professionals is also a good way to ensure that homeowners in Baton Rouge, LA, get the most out of their wood.
4 Plans To Include Within Your Business Disaster Plan
Are you prepared?
Are You Prepared?
Are you prepared for the possible disasters that could happen to your business in Arlington, LA? Ready your facility and employees with these four plans for disaster preparedness.
1. An Involvement Plan
A key component of business preparedness is getting your employees involved. By creating a diverse planning team, you can address employee needs and have a clear plan for getting everyone to safety. The co-workers you choose should also be ready in emergency situations. They know the plan best, so they will be crucial to helping others during an emergency.
2. An Evacuation Plan
Getting everyone out of your facility safely means ensuring that your employees know your evacuation plan inside and out. To prepare them, you need to give them the information they need. Create detailed maps with evacuation routes, locations of safety equipment and assembly places. Post them in high traffic areas such as elevator corridors. Review your plans frequently to make sure they are understood. Conduct drills to give your employees confidence if a real emergency happens.
3. A Shelter-In-Place Plan
Certain emergencies might call for you to stay indoors. “Shelter-In-Place” plans need to consider how to keep your employees safe within your facility. These include tornado warning and air-quality contamination emergencies. Create a diagram of your building for each possible scenario and designate rooms for your employees to go to for each situation.
4. A Post-Disaster Plan
Disaster preparedness includes having a plan for when the emergency is over. Have a list of emergency contacts prepared. Create a communication network to check on employees and relay any important information they will need going forward. Develop a plan to continue servicing your most valued customers. This way, you can continue to work while commercial restoration services get your facility up and operating at full capacity.
Disaster preparedness is a business owner’s responsibility, but by including your employees in your preparation, you will be more prepared for an emergency.
How To File a Fire Claim for Your Business
Contact a restoration company if you would like further clarification on the claims.
Four Steps To File a Fire Claim
A fire is about the worst thing any business owner can experience. However, the important thing after any disaster is staying calm and restoring your business. In order to get back to business as usual, you may need to hire a fire restoration company in Gardere, LA, but before you do that, you will need to file a fire claim with your insurance company, which typically involves four steps:
1. Call Your Insurer
Before getting your fire restoration underway, call your insurer and report the disaster. While you may have millions of things going through your head after the disaster, contacting your insurance agent is crucial to getting the recovery process started.
2. Mitigate Further Loss
If you want your fire claim to be approved, then make sure you take efforts to mitigate any further loss. An insurer may cover the damage caused by the fire, but if any preventable damage occurs after the fire, then you are responsible.
3. Gather Proof of Loss
You can help move the recovery process along if you document any fire damage. An insurance adjuster will want evidence of lost or damaged property, so by photographing everything and labeling it, you can help the adjuster with a proof of loss statement.
4. Collect Receipts
Receipts help your insurance company determine the value of the claim. You want to prove the financial loss. If you have receipts from equipment purchases and repairs you made, make sure that those are organized and with the rest of the claim forms for review.
A fire claim is like any other insurance claim, but the process can feel a little direr depending on the level of devastation. By organizing receipts and documenting the scene, you can help move the claims process along. You can also contact a restoration company if you would like further clarification on the claims and recovery processes.
3 Risks of Driving Through Flood Water
Avoid driving through a flooded street.
Driving Through Flood Water Poses Three Dangers
Many of us wouldn’t think twice about driving through a flooded street. After all, what harm can a little H2O do? Fact is, it can do much more damage than you think. Not convinced? Here are a few more reasons why driving through flood water in Baton Rouge, LA, is never a good idea.
About Flood Water
Flash floods are common in areas that are low-lying, but they can happen anywhere that rapid rainfall accumulates. If you doubt the power of flood water, understand that
- It takes just a foot of water to make your car float
- It takes just two feet of water to make the average SUV float
Car engines aren't meant to be immersed in water. If flood waters are high enough, your engine can do something called hydro locking. This happens with water penetrates the combustion chamber, stopping your vehicle from running and killing your electrical system. That means a stalled car in a flood - not a good thing.
If your engine doesn't stall out in a flooded street, your brakes just might. That's because your brake components were meant to operate under dry conditions. Water can make it difficult or impossible for brake pads to contact rotors causing you to lose control of your car.
Being Swept Away
Swift-moving water is a force to be reckoned with. It can not only float your car but pick it up and moved down the road! This could leave you colliding with debris or even other vehicles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the majority of flood-related drownings come after someone drove into a flood.
Driving through a flooded street might not seem like a big deal, but it can become one fast. Never underestimate how dangerous flooded areas can be. Keep these flood travel tips from storm cleanup experts in mind the next time you think about taking on flooded roads.
3 Common Water Damage Situations You Should Anticipate
Commercial water damage in Arlington, LA.
The Most Common Causes of Water Damage In Businesses
A broken pipe might be your first guess when determining what caused water damage to your Arlington, LA, business. However, there are other factors that could have started it. Correctly identifying these issues allows you to resolve them and prevent them in the future. The following incidents are some of the most common causes of water damage in businesses.
1. Damaged Roof
Severe or even mild weather events are not generally problems since the building itself can withstand most of them and protect anything and anyone inside. Unfortunately, these elements can wear down the structure and areas such as the roof may allow water to seep in. The additional humidity can damage your walls, ceilings and work equipment, as well as cause a mold infestation. Yearly roof inspections and maintenance by professionals can spot and prevent these issues before they start.
2. Leaky or Broken Pipe
There are multitudes of reasons why your pipes can crack or break, from aging materials to high pressure caused by freezing temperatures. The signs of water damage can be challenging to notice because they happen within the walls. Search for musty smells, discoloration and small puddles throughout the building. Ignoring these signs can lead to greater incidents such as flooding. Call a plumber and shut down the main supply immediately to prevent further impact.
3. Defective HVAC Systems
An HVAC system is essential to keeping your customers and employees comfortable and happy. Their heating and cooling operations also require water, so malfunctions can result in this specific type of damage. Clogged or disconnected pipes, damaged ducts, frozen coils, dirty filters and more are some of the issues you should avoid before the situation escalates. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for operation and maintenance. Hire HVAC experts for regular inspections and repairs.
Various factors throughout your business can cause water-based disasters. From a broken pipe to a faulty air conditioner, you will need to watch for the usual culprits and contact water repair specialists once you find the damage.
How To Prepare For a Severe Storm
Make a safety kit.
Prepare For a Severe Storm
If you are expecting a storm in Gardere, LA, there are some steps that you can take to prepare yourself, your home and your family. The following actions can help reduce water damage to the building and increase your safety.
1. Seal Doors and Windows to Keep Out Flood Water
During a storm, water can make its way inside the building through cracks around doors and windows. Make sure these are closing properly and that the seals around them are not damaged. You may want to place sandbags near entrances for additional protection.
2. Relocate Important Belongings
If you live in a house with multiple stories, move anything that you can to an upper level. This will help reduce damage from flood water. If your home is single-story, place important or valuable items on shelves or inside airtight containers to keep them safe.
3. Make a Safety Kit
It is not only important to keep your belongings safe but also for yourself and your family. The power may go out during a storm, so prepare a kit with flashlights, radios and extra batteries. Canned foods that do not need to be cooked and bottled water should be included as well.
4. Evacuate If Necessary
In some cases, it may not be safe to stay where you are. If it is likely that the area will flood, you should find shelter somewhere safe until the storm passes. If you return to a flooded building, a professional flood damage restoration company can repair your home and clean affected belongings.
Severe weather can cause a lot of trouble, from creating a dangerous environment to filling your home with flood water. Preparing ahead of time can help you get through the situation more safely. Do what you can to protect your home and belongings, and take shelter somewhere else if you need to.
3 Details of Fire Escape Your Kids Need To Know
It is important to include children in the preparation of a house fire.
Three Things Your Kids Should Know About Fire Escape
Talking with your kids about fire safety might seem a little nerve-racking, but having the right information is crucial to ensuring kids' safety. Clear communication about your fire escape plan helps the whole family to be prepared. Even if you've already covered the basics of escaping a home fire in Baton Rouge, LA, with your children, there are a few details that you may want to revisit and practice during your next fire safety review.
1. Stay Low
There are two important scenarios during which your kids will need to remember to stay low when escaping a house fire:
- Getting out of bed: Have your kids practice safely rolling out of their beds onto the floor. Because heat rises, they should avoid sitting up to get out of bed during a fire.
- Moving through the house: Practice crawling on hands and knees through your home to your fire exits. Also practice crawling with the belly to the ground, in the case of extreme heat.
2. Don't Hide
It is important to remind children to never hide during a fire. The impulse to hide in the midst of a crisis is understandable, but it compromises kids' safety by making it harder for firefighters to find them. If they are unable to safely exit the home, they should stay put where they can be found quickly, such as lying on the floor next to their bed.
3. Pick a Meeting Spot
Talk ahead of time about where you will meet after exiting your home. Choose a spot that is easy to get to but a safe distance from the house. Have your children practice meeting there so they will remember if the time comes.
Practicing these steps helps to secure your kids' safety. In the event of a fire, everybody reaching safety and gathering at your meeting place enables you to focus on the next steps. These include finding a safe place to stay while you have a fire damage assessment done on your home. Clear communication with your children is key to both preparing for the event of a home fire and navigating any changes afterward.
3 Considerations for Fire Damage Estimates
Fire damage in a diner in Arlington, LA.
Three Things to Think About When Estimating Fire Damage
Business or commercial property owners who have recently experienced a fire at a property should consider the following factors when assessing the damage. All of the following factors should be considered in an estimate for damage caused by a fire to a commercial property in Arlington, LA.
1. The Extent of Fire Damage
The number of square feet of a building that a fire affects is the extent of the damage. Within this area, the degree of damage could range from minor scorching to a total loss of building materials and contents. Have commercial restoration experts inspect the site of a fire to determine the extent and degree of damage and provide an estimate for remediation.
2. The Scope of Restoration
Based on the degree and extent of damage caused by fire, rebuilding or restoration can take days, weeks or even months. Restoration pros should provide a work schedule and indicate a timeframe for completion. The areas and contents of a structure affected by fire may make it necessary for a business to temporarily close or relocate operations until repairs are complete.
3. Business Interruption or Temporary Relocation
When a commercial fire disrupts operations, a business may lose revenue while facing ongoing expenses and restoration costs. Commercial property insurance is helpful for limiting cash expenses, and additional business interruption coverage can offset lost profits or cover the cost of temporarily relocating operations to another location.
An estimate for restoration should factor in the first two considerations. The extent of damage will determine the ballpark price range for the cost and how long it will take to restore or rebuild a property that has suffered damage caused by fire. Business interruption insurance can help to recoup lost revenue or relocation costs during the restoration of a commercial property in Arlington, LA.
Common Reasons Your Toilet Leaks When You Flush
Toilet leaking in Gardere, LA.
The Most Common Causes of Toilet Leaks When You Flush
Toilets are a common source of household floods in Gardere, LA. Understanding what causes a leaking toilet can prevent water damage and help you decide if you need to replace your unit. These common culprits are responsible for leaks every time you flush.
Damaged Tank Flange
The flange pipe passes through the floor, secures the toilet, carries waste to the sewer and seals in odors. A rocking toilet and leaks upon flushing are indications of flange problem with symptoms, including:
- A soft floor near the toilet's base
- Water spots on the ceiling beneath the toilet
- Uneven flooring beneath the toilet
The flapper is a rubber or plastic part that rests over the flush valve. It helps keep water inside the tank and lifts it to release it into the bowl upon flushing. Flapper damage causes water to continue flowing into the bowl after flushing and may cause flooding.
Dry Wax Ring
The wax seal between the toilet and the drain pipe requires replacement when it dries out, contracts and allows water to seep out during flushing. Signs of a leaking toilet due to an ineffective wax ring are an accumulation of water at the toilet's base and water stains on the ceiling below it.
Cracks in the Bowl
Trauma and excessive use can cause a toilet's porcelain to crack and leak with every flush. Cracks inside the bowl can cause a damaging bathroom leak. Therefore, replacement of the entire toilet is usually necessary.
A loose connection between the tank and base of two-part toilets can cause a leak upon flushing. Tightening the bolts that attach these parts or replacing the rubber seal between them usually fixes the problem.
Improper Installation Can Also Cause a Leaking Toilet
Floods and leaks due to appliance and fixture installation errors are common causes of household water damage that emergency flood services address. Therefore, it is essential to carefully execute each step of the toilet installation process.
If you suspect a leak at your home in Gardere, LA, addressing it quickly can prevent water damage throughout your home.
4 Structural Components Prone to Moisture Problems
Black mold growth in Baton Rouge, LA.
Four Moisture-Prone Structural Components
Property owners in Baton Rouge, LA, know a big storm will happen before too long. Ensuring the property is sealed and protected against rain damage is essential to avoiding black mold growing, water losses and potentially expensive repairs. While a certified water damage and restoration company will be able to get your property back to "Like it never even happened," taking preventive measures may minimize the chances of damage happening. To do that, the building envelope—structural components that separate the interior and exterior—must be maintained.
The roof is the main structural component protecting your property. Regular maintenance and annual inspections by a professional are vital to ensuring it does what it should. If the roof is more than 20 years old, it may be time to consider a new one.
2. Doors and Windows
These parts of a building are the most prone to damage. Ensure they always working properly and make necessary repairs as soon as possible. Items to look for include missing screws, loose hinges and worn weather-stripping,
When it comes to rain damage, finding it in the lower levels of the property is common. Water easily finds its way through any tiny crack or damaged sealant as it follows its natural gravitational path. Along with repairing any damage, ensure the ground outside slopes away from the property.
4. Siding and Masonry
Any gaps, cracks or missing parts open up your property to water infiltration. Signs of siding trouble also include warping and bubbling. For structures with masonry, it may be time for a little upgrade to avoid water issues. It can be reinforced by removing ivy, replacing seals, grouting mortar joints and installing flashing.
As a property owner, you want to keep it in tip-top shape. Regularly inspecting common problem areas and making immediate repairs helps make that happen and minimizes the chances of rain damage.
How To Get Rid of Stubborn Smoke Smells
The strong smell of smoke damage can be neutralized with vinegar.
Removing Smoke Odor In Your Home
Whether from a fire or from a bad cigarette habit, smoke cleaning can be difficult and frustrating. No matter how hard you scrub, the smell seems to linger in your Arlington, LA, home and you feel as if your space will never be the same. Here are some steps that may help you get a good start on it before you reach out to a professional odor elimination specialist.
Determine the Source
There are a variety of reasons you may have a stubborn smoke odor in your home. Determining the source will help you decide the best route to get it cleared out. The smell may come from fire damage, years of indoor cigarette smoking, or even from outdoor wildfires near your home. The smell will leach into fabrics and any porous surface in your home, including furniture, clothing, dishes, floors and walls.
Neutralize With Vinegar
The strong smell of smoke damage can be neutralized with vinegar. Begin by placing several small bowls around the area where the odor is strongest. These will begin to absorb the noxious fumes and reduce the smell. You can also boil some vinegar on the stove to speed up the process, allowing it to simmer for an hour or two.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Smoke cleaning will also require you to remove and thoroughly scrub anything that was within the damaged area. All clothing, furniture cushions, or other fabric items should be washed. You'll also need to clean wall hangings and hard surfaces. Sprinkle baking soda on carpets and allow it to sit for a while before vacuuming up.
The most stubborn smells may require an ammonia treatment to fully destroy them. You can add some to the laundry when washing clothing, bedding and other fabrics. The stronger smell will be more unpleasant than vinegar, but you can also place bowls of ammonia throughout the home to absorb smoke smells.
Smoke cleaning takes a lot of work, but the time invested is worth it if you can eliminate the smell. Follow these tips to do it right.
Flood Water Prevention Methods
A dam can be built from sandbags to block water.
Methods of Flood Water Prevention
Engineers take considerable leaps to stop high water from flooding city streets and neighborhoods. As a business owner, you should take note of what measures Gardere, LA, has in the event of a natural disaster or flood.
These are some of the common methods:
- Levees are concrete or sand embankments to prevent water overflow.
- Dams block water completely, only allowing an area to flood when necessary.
- Locks allow ships to move from higher water areas to lower areas.
- Dikes are long walls or ditches that prevent the sea from crossing into cities.
- Gates can block water when necessary but open and close to permit traffic and water flow.
Unfortunately, none of these methods are perfect. During storm season, don't let your business be caught unawares by high water. You should be ready to reach out to a water damage remediation company as well as familiarize yourself with how your city protects itself.
Some cities have devised unique ways to keep floodwaters from entering business and agricultural districts.
The Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier in the Netherlands is designed to open and close completely. When it is open, the water flows freely. As the water rises, the walls close to stop flooding and fill the adjoining pools with excess water. When the flooding recedes, the barriers open again, returning the channel to normal flow.
The barriers on the River Eden in England are a newer solution for flood prevention. They replace traditional sandbags with hydraulic barriers that can be raised or lowered when necessary. The barriers are now computer-controlled to prevent them from accidentally lowering.
Barriers To Protect Your Business
Along with understanding what your city does to protect against a flood, you should also be prepared to protect your business yourself. A dam can be built from sandbags to block water. Retention ponds, like small versions of the Maeslant Storm Surge Barrier's retention pools, and french drains help control pooling water.
When a storm is coming, there are many things you can do to help safeguard your business from high water conditions.
Steps to Take After Your Business Suffers Fire Damage
The aftermath of a fire in Baton Rouge, LA.
Fire Restoration Process
A fire is a devastating incident, and you may feel overwhelmed if your business in Baton Rouge, LA, has been affected by fire damage. There are some key steps you should take in the aftermath of a fire in order to ensure that your business is up and running again as seamlessly as possible. Here are some tips to guide you through the fire restoration process and ensure that everything returns to normal again.
Stay Away From Damage
While you may be tempted to try to repair objects that have been damaged by the fire, it is best not to touch any damaged items in your business. Take the following precautions when surveying the effects of the fire:
- Avoid washing walls or painted surfaces
- Do not turn on lighting fixtures if walls or ceiling are wet
- Keep your hands clean to avoid spreading soot particles
- Refrain from cleaning damaged electronics
Staying away from damaged articles until a professional arrives can help prevent your business from undergoing further damage.
Call Your Insurance Company
Make sure to call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the fire damage. The faster you inform them of your loss, the faster you can focus on fire restoration and the less likely you are to miss important deadlines. Once you’ve spoken with an agent, you can make a fire insurance claim. Taking care of the logistics after an incident can help you be well informed during a stressful situation.
Turn off Utilities
Until help arrives, it is crucial to do what you can to minimize further damage. Turn off all the utilities in your building, including gas, electricity and water. You can shut off the water at the main valve and turn off gas and electricity at the meter. Once you’ve done this, refrain from using any utilities until a professional has inspected them properly.
Whether you need smoke cleaning services or water removal from firefighting efforts, a skilled fire restoration professional can conduct a fire damage assessment and help bring your business back to normal.
How Does SERVPRO's Electronic Claims Service Help?
SERVPRO's electronic claims service offers more security than paper records stored in an office.
SERVPRO's Electronic Claims Service
When your Arlington, LA, client files an insurance claim on their damaged property, it's critical to get the process under way as quickly as possible. Over the years, SERVPRO has become a trusted leader in the damage mitigation and restoration industry.
SERVPRO's electronic claims service provides several benefits:
1. Easier Collaboration
When information passes through the hands of insurance agents, adjusters and damage restoration professionals, it helps to have all the data in one location. Unlike paper documents, electronic files provide everyone access, allowing for collaboration without the risk of data loss. An insurance agent can prepare a claim by reviewing the electronic claims system. Damage information and photos are just a couple of parts of the electronic claims service, along with access to nationwide comparisons.
2. More Security
SERVPRO's electronic claims service offers more security than paper records stored in an office filing cabinet. Security teams back up and monitor the digital files. Not only is the information protected from being physically destroyed (e.g., by fire), but its confidentiality is also more secure.
3. More Accessibility
Data related to the insurance claim can be easily viewed and inputted from the office or in the field by everyone involved. The insurance agent, adjuster and remediation specialists can access it via smartphone, tablet or computer.
4. Less Risk of Errors
Everyone engaged in the claims process sees updates online through the electronic claims service. This ensures that all remain on the same page, reducing the chance of mistakes. Fewer mistakes mean a more accurate compensation value so the restoration can be completed as quickly as possible.
5. Quicker Resolution
When restoration professionals submit detailed data regarding damage and the cost estimates, the agent and adjuster can also view it. This real-time exchange makes for a much faster resolution than the traditional claims process, in which information is typically distributed through the mail.
The longer the insurance claim process, the more damage can affect the property. The SERVPRO electronic claims service ensures that it's handled quickly and efficiently.
Prevent Plumbing Disasters by Staying Proactive
Commercial water damage in Gardere, LA.
Four Ways To Prevent Plumbing Disasters
Being proactive when it comes to plumbing problems is a great way to prevent disasters and extend the life of your business’s plumbing system. Conversely, ignoring minor signs and waiting for disaster to strike can lead to costly repairs and additional damage. If you want to save money, and perhaps save your sanity, learning how to stay ahead of your plumbing issues is especially important in Gardere, LA.
1. Find a Professional Plumber
Even before you become aware of any potential issues, it is a good idea to get the contact information of a reliable plumbing service. Knowing who to call in the event of a broken pipe or similar emergency can save you from the headache of scrambling to find one later when the need is urgent. It is also recommended to have the number of a commercial water cleanup service available, in the event of an unforeseen water disaster.
2. Schedule Routine Inspection and Maintenance
Routine maintenance is important for ensuring your plumbing system is working properly. Plumbers will advise you on proactive measures, such as upgrading old equipment that is no longer reliable. Upgrading can save you money in the long run by helping you avoid leaks and other damage.
3. Fix Small Problems
Take care of minor plumbing problems like dripping faucets and slow draining sinks before they morph into expensive issues. Dripping faucets may not seem like a big deal, but they can run up your water bill over time.
4. Watch Your Monthly Usage
Keeping an eye on your monthly water bill can help you spot problems that go unnoticed to the naked eye. If your bill skyrockets without any explanation, you could have an underlying problem, such as a faulty pipe behind your walls or a major leak in your water main.
Being proactive is one of the most effective ways to ensure you catch plumbing problems in your building before they start. Investing the time and money to maintain a good working system will far outweigh the cost of major repairs down the road.
The Importance of a Claims Inventory Service
With highly-trained professionals that are always available in many locations across the country, SERVPRO is an obvious choice.
What A Claims Inventory Service Is And Why It's Important
Making an insurance claim is an important step for homeowners to take after their home in Baton Rouge, LA, is affected by flooding, fires or storms. However, the claims process can be overwhelming. Working with a restoration company that has a claims inventory service can improve the process in a variety of ways.
1. Organizes Documentation
Insurance companies often require a myriad of information, including photographs, receipts and forms after a disaster occurs. Keeping track of various documents can be difficult for homeowners whose households are damaged. However, working with SERVPRO, a restoration company that uses a claims inventory service, ensures that adjusters and homeowners can clearly see what has been documented.
2. Access to Information
Sometimes, an insurance agent or a homeowner needs access to information quickly. However, it can be easy to misplace important documents that are related to the insurance claim. A restoration and cleanup company that has a claim inventory service will allow everyone involved to view relevant information as needed. Homeowners and agents can use the information found on the claims inventory service to make the best decisions throughout the restoration.
3. Quicken the Claims Process
If making a claim takes a long period of time, it’s possible that more damage may occur to a home. In addition to adding to the stress of adjusters and homeowners, a long claims process can ultimately increase the cost of the claim and can prolong the restoration procedure. A claims inventory service that keeps all documents organized and accessible increases the chances of a quick claims progression and can make the restoration run more smoothly.
Making and managing an insurance claim doesn’t have to be complicated. SERVPRO uses the latest technology and helps insurance agents and their clients with a claims inventory service that keeps documents organized, is easily accessible and can ultimately quicken the process of making a claim.
How Can You Prepare for Flood Damage?
If you are having flooding issues and suspect storm or water damage, give SERVPRO a call on our 24-hour service line.
What Can You Do To Prevent Flood Damage?
Mother Nature is unpredictable, but even when you can’t prevent or predict flooding, you can still be prepared. Flood damage and storm damage can cause costly and catastrophic losses that many commercial businesses struggle to recover from. With appropriate preparations, you can minimize loss of property, inventory, and livelihood.
1. The First and Best Preparation Is Prevention
If you’re selecting your first commercial location, one of the best things you can do is choose a site that’s both advantageous to your business needs and positioned strategically in a low-flood zone. Historical flood data in Gardere, LA, can tell you which areas are less likely to deal with flooding and runoff.
If you’re already established, though, you can still mitigate damage by ensuring your property is water-tight. Check weather stripping and sealing, and where applicable, use waterproof coatings and paint.
2. Stock Up on Sandbags
When you know bad weather is coming, it helps to have sandbags on hand. Sandbag your doors and windows to create a watertight seal and prevent windows from breaking inward. You can also sandbag your walls if you have enough, particularly if you’re worried about water damage or about walls breaking inward under heavy flooding.
3. Seek High Ground
If you have the ability to move inventory, furniture, and office equipment to a higher floor in the event of a flood, take advantage to keep your investment safe. Migrate anything that isn’t fixed in place. Organize and label everything neatly as needed; you may also need to create a labeled floor diagram to replace things after.
4. Check for Leaks
Although sandbagging will help prevent some water intrusion, check your entire property for leaks. This includes checking your ceiling. Sandbags can’t prevent roof leaks, which can cause major storm damage and make the work of restoration specialists even more difficult. One good way to test if areas are watertight is to check if they’re airtight. You may notice drafts already, but you can also use a can of air to check any seams or jointed areas.
Keep Your Pet Safe in a Home Fire With a Pet Evacuation Plan
Keep your pets and family members safe by having a well thought out plan if a fire emergency ever does occur.
With A Pet Evacuation Plan, You Can Keep Your Pet Safe In The Event Of A House Fire.
If a fire occurs in your home in Erie, CO, your first priority should always be to get yourself and all your family members out safely. While you should leave belongings behind until a fire restoration company can retrieve them, you will likely not want to leave your pets behind. It is important you have a plan in place to evacuate your pets in case a fire emergency ever occurs. A good place to start is by including your pets into your home escape plan.
5 Pet Preparation Tasks You Should Complete
Preparation is key when it comes to protecting your pets in a fire. In case your pets are in an unsafe location that you or your other family members can’t get to, there are several steps you can take to better the chance of their rescue:
- Place your pet near a door so firefighters can quickly save them.
- Keep an updated pet alert window sling on the front window of your home.
- Set aside a disaster supply kit just for your pet in the case of a fire emergency.
- Place important pet ownership documents and proof of vaccinations in a fire box.
- Teach your pets the “Come” command so you can easily direct them towards you.
Creating Your Pet Evacuation Plan
In addition to these important pet safety tasks, you will need to create a pet evacuation plan for your pets. Assign a specific individual or two to being in charge of retrieving the pets. If your pets are located in a specific part of the house during the night, identify several different routes to that location. Lastly, make sure to practice the evacuation plan several times.
Keep your pets and family members safe by having a well thought out plan if a fire emergency ever does occur. While your pets might be able to escape safely on their own, you can increase the chance of their rescue with these tips!
4 Types of Mold You May See in Your Home
Water can lead to mold growth.
Mold Growth In Your Property
There are thousands of types of mold in the world, and many of them can find their way into your home. If you notice mold growth on your walls, floors or ceiling, you should call your local mold remediation company immediately. These certified professionals can identify the type of mold and use that information to formulate the best plan for getting rid of it.
More commonly known as black mold, this fungus is attracted to damp areas, particularly those that have water damage that has gone unnoticed or untreated for several weeks. You may notice black mold on walls or near air vents where condensation has collected. It may also infest cardboard, paper or wood.
This type of mold is particularly attracted to areas that tend to have high humidity due to extensive and frequent water usage, such as kitchens and bathrooms. This mold growth may appear alone or beside other household molds.
You are likely to see thick swatches of mucor near your HVAC unit. It thrives on the condensation that gathers around air conditioner coils and vents. Once it starts to grow, it can multiply very quickly. It is advisable to call mold specialists in Baton Rouge, LA, as soon as you see these greyish white patches.
This fungus often remains out of sight. It shows up in areas that have ongoing water damage. Attics and basements where leaks have occurred may start to take on a musty smell. This is a sign that you have a mold problem that needs to be mitigated.
No matter what type of mold growth you find in your home, the best course of action is to call in the experts. These technicians are trained to assess and strategize ways to overcome mold, and they have the skills to clean your home and restore it to its original condition.
4 Facts About Commercial Smoke Damage Coverage
Commercial fire damage in Arlington, LA.
Facts About Smoke Damage
An owner of a business or commercial property that has recently suffered a fire may be unsure about the types of damage commercial property insurance covers. Here are four facts about smoke damage coverage.
1. Smoke Remediation Is Usually Covered
Many policies cover smoke cleaning due to fire or another covered peril. If smoke or soot damage results from some other source, it may be more difficult to file a claim. Some commercial property insurance providers require proof of damage. It is more likely that a policy will cover cleanup and restoration than replacement.
2. Damage Caused By a Nearby Fire Should Be Covered
If your business has not suffered a fire but has smoke damage from an incident nearby, this should also be covered by your insurance. Once again, it may be necessary to demonstrate the severity of damage.
3. A Variety of Treatments Are Available
A smoke cleanup service can recommend the best treatment method for a commercial property. If a brief evacuation is possible, an ozone machine or thermal fogging treatment can achieve noticeable results in the least amount of time. If occupants must remain in the structure during any part of treatment, slower options such as a hydroxyl generator or vapor modification may be ideal.
4. You Should Have Physical Proof and Documentation
If an insurer is reluctant to cover smoke odor remediation, it may be beneficial to retain evidence of damage. You may want to hold off on scheduling cleaning until an adjuster can visit or keep at least one of each damaged type of item if you pursue treatment and reimbursement.
These four facts can help business and commercial property owners make more informed decisions when dealing with smoke damage at a structure in Arlington, LA. Be sure to check policy limits and provide insurers with an estimate from a reputable smoke cleaning service.
Cleaning After a Flood
Water in your home requires a lot of work.
Cleaning After a Flood
When floodwater in the home is gone, and most of the heavy work is finished, many Gardere, LA, families and individuals want to slip back into life as they knew it before the disaster. Unfortunately, all the wood, fabric, drywall, and other materials exposed to the water have probably absorbed the liquid. Moving belongings back into your house too soon could lead to ongoing problems, such as mold growth, pest infestations, and long-term deterioration. Remember, flood water isn't clean; it needs to be handled differently than other types of water disasters, such as a broken pipe.
Focus on Safety
Before taking your first recovery steps, make sure you know how to proceed safely.
• Arrange structural, electrical, fire, and gas inspections, so you know the home is safe to enter.
• Wear sturdy, protective clothing. It's best to have waterproof protection.
• Don't mix chemicals, such as chorine and ammonia, when cleaning.
• Watch out for pests hiding in flooding, including snakes and fire ants.
If you're not sure about safety and water in the home, get more information from water damage remediation professionals and local authorities.
Contact Appropriate Professionals
Your next steps should include contacting your insurance adjuster, scheduling repairs and cleaning from professionals in Gardere, LA, and making sure your electricity and gas have been turned off. With these tasks completed, move on to cleaning and disinfecting your property.
Identify the Work
Working closely with the remediation professionals, you'll separate items into at least three categories: to clean yourself, to leave for the technicians, and to discard. There are many repairs you can handle yourself. Clothing may be wet or could have a mildew smell. It's generally safe for laundering or dry cleaning those items on your own. However, expensive and structural items should be turned over to professionals. Your carpets, flooring, furniture, and walls present cleaning challenges that require specialized techniques and training. Finally, some items, such as mattresses, must be thrown out for your family's health.
Water in your home requires a lot of work even after floods recede. When you know what to do and who to call for help, that work can progress smoothly and efficiently.