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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Commercial Blog Posts

How Do I File an Insurance Claim After a Fire?

10/16/2022 (Permalink)

Interior of a diner damaged by fire Fire damage in Baton Rouge, LA.

What To Do In the Aftermath Of a Fire

Have you ever wondered what to do after a fire? Unfortunately, fires happen, and most people aren't prepared for the financial impact. Fortunately, it's not as difficult as it seems to claim damages from your insurance company. Here's how to get started with filing a claim after a fire:

Contact your insurance agent

In the wake of a fire, you’re likely to be frazzled. Your first step should be to contact your insurance agent and provide them with as much information about what has happened as possible. If you have an agent already but do not know who it is, try calling your local insurance agency or company and ask for their assistance.

The next steps will depend on how bad the damage is in each room of your Baton Rouge home. For example, if only one room is affected by smoke damage and there are no structural damages (meaning that nothing can fall or collapse), then this may be covered under basic homeowner's coverage. However, if several rooms were burned through completely or there are signs of water damage nearby due to hoses being used during cleanup efforts (which could lead to mold growth), then those kinds of claims would have to go through an additional detailed process before they can move forward with repairs

Document the Damage

  • Photographs are the most important part of this process. Make sure you take photos of all areas that were damaged by the fire, including walls, floors, and ceilings.
  • Make a list of all damaged items with their original purchase date and price. Then keep receipts for any expenses related to your claim such as temporary living arrangements or repairs. You can keep these in one folder for easy access when submitting your claim to your insurance company.
  • Keep copies of any police reports that show how much damage was caused by the fire and who was responsible for it (if applicable).

Know What's Covered

Before you file a claim, make sure you know what's covered and what isn't:

  • Check your policy. Your insurance company may only cover damage to the building or home itself, but not any other structures on the property (like fences or sheds). If you need to repair these items, check with your insurance company first to see if they're covered by your policy.
  • Check your deductible. Once again—your deductible is an amount of money that you pay before they start paying out anything at all. For example, let's say someone breaks their leg in an accident involving something that was previously insured by their house's owners association (HOA). The HOA can go after either party for damages incurred as part of their policies; if so, it will be determined later whether or not there was negligence involved on either side and how much each party would owe based on whatever had been agreed upon beforehand via contract law (or lack thereof).

Claiming damage from a fire is like other insurance claims, but you should work with a professional restoration company.

Fire damage is different from other types of damage, and the process of claiming it can be complicated. If you decide to claim on your insurance for fire damage yourself, there are many pitfalls that you should avoid. You should work with a professional restoration company so they can make sure everything is done right and you get the money that's rightfully yours. Some professional restoration companies, such as SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge, can take care of the whole insurances claims process for you. 

When a fire damages property, it's not just physical damage that needs to be repaired: There may also be smoke or water damage as well as structural issues in addition to cosmetic ones (such as smoke stains). It's important that these areas are restored correctly so they don't cause problems down the road or become more expensive than necessary. With specialized training and equipment specifically designed for this type of work, professional restoration companies have everything they need to make sure properties receive thorough care when recovering from fires—and this makes hiring them worthwhile even if their rates seem high at first glance!

In conclusion, it's important to know what your insurance covers and how much coverage you have. If you're in doubt, speak with an agent to make sure that you're covered for fire damage

Why Choose a Certified Drying Specialist?

8/20/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician on his knees checking a dehumidifier Drying commercial services in Arlington, LA

Why Go with a Certified Drying Expert?

If your Arlington, LA, business has experienced flooding, leaks or other water damage, you will likely need to hire professionals for the water clean up. Choosing a certified restoration service gives you peace of mind that the job is done correctly.

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration is a global leader with almost 50 years of experience in setting standards and providing training to restoration professionals. In addition to creating standards in other restoration areas, the IICRC offers certification in commercial drying. The IICRC certification ensures that restoration teams are up-to-date on the following:

  • Technology
  • Equipment
  • Techniques
  • Project management

The IICRC standards are developed by industry leaders and rigorously tested to ensure they reflect the restoration industry's best practices. You can trust that an IICRC-certified restoration team will perform complex commercial jobs efficiently and thoroughly.

The IICRC standards go into great detail about the water clean up process, but the general steps are the same for most restoration jobs. The source of the water is addressed as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. The damage is then documented via photo or video for the insurance company. Standing water is extracted using pumps or wet/dry vacuums, and the remaining moisture is dried using fans and dehumidifiers. Cleaning, sanitization and mold removal are done as needed. Documents, antiques, electronics and other items may be moved off site for more delicate restoration techniques. Everything that cannot be fully cleaned and dried is removed from the property. Finally, all damaged items are repaired or replaced.
Whether your commercial building has experienced a roof leak, broken pipe, flooding or other water event, beginning the water clean up process as soon as possible can prevent further structural damage and mold growth. Bringing in an IICRC-certified restoration team in ensures that the job is done is properly and professionally, so you can focus on your customers, employees and other business matters.

3 Common Water Damage Situations You Should Anticipate

6/18/2022 (Permalink)

Extracting water with a vacuum, wet carpet. 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. 

3 Considerations for Fire Damage Estimates

5/25/2022 (Permalink)

Dark diner, floor with soot damage, fire damage in a diner 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.

How Can You Prepare for Flood Damage?

2/23/2022 (Permalink)

an office with 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.

4 Facts About Commercial Smoke Damage Coverage

1/26/2022 (Permalink)

Restaurant burned 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.