What to Know Before Water Damage Strikes
Evaluate the risk of potential water damage.
Homeowners undoubtedly have a responsibility to try and protect against the next loss. More carriers are seeing similar trends regarding water damage recidivism. As a result, some are not renewing homes with multiple water losses, or are requiring the installation of mitigation devices. In a study by the California Department of Insurance, 25% of the companies (surveyed) refused to renew the policies of customers who made one or two non-water damage claims in the past three years. And 32% refused to renew policies for people who made one or two water-loss claims in the past three years2.
Understand your insurance policy. Does it include a flood rider? Most policies need this to be specifically added by the policy holder. If it does, know your coverage. Oftentimes, flood and water damage are not a “total restore” under the policy, meaning that the loss may be covered only up to a percentage. If this is the case, it may be worth speaking with your provider about extending your coverage.
Between hour 2 and the end of the first week, the damage will compound. Your home will experience growth and spread of mold and mildew. The doors, windows, and wood flooring may swell and warp, and metal may begin to rust and corrode. At the same time, there is a possibility of serious biohazard contamination.
What to Know About Gas Leaks
It is everyone’s worst nightmare to have a fire ignite in their home. But with all of the technology stored and used in our homes, the event has a notable chance of occurring. One cause of fire that many people often do not notice are gas leaks. Gas cannot be seen and sometimes the leak cannot be heard. Here are some signs of a gas leak to help you identify if you are faced with the problem or not:
If the aroma in your home has changed to a gas-like smell or sulfur egg-like smell, that is one big sign something is up with your gas line.
If your gas line is leaking, the content of it in the air will wither and kill your plants. Keep note of how your plants are doing!
Hiked Gas Bill
The excessive leaking of gas will cause your bill to rise, so if the price is out of the norm check the line.
Dust Cloud Around Gas Line
The leaking of gas will cause dust and dirt to possibly be thrown in the air around the affected area.
If the gas is leaking from a small hole in the line, it will make a hissing sound as it escapes the small area.
After noting all of these signs and you come to the decision you have a gas leak, evacuate your home and call 911 or SoCal Gas at 1-800-427-2200. Do not light any matches or flip any switches, as this will spark a fire. If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to call us at our 24 hour service line. SERVPRO is here to help!
Why SERVPRO Will Meet all of your Damage Remediation Needs
SERVPRO is one of the most experienced damage restoration companies in the areaWhen you’re ready to schedule restoration service from SERVPRO, its customer service team is available 24/7. Once you find a location near you, call to request an inspection. Then, a technician will arrive to assess the damage and give you an estimate for restoration services.
Each of SERVPRO’s over 1,500 nationwide franchises is independently owned and operated by trained professionals committed to providing the highest level of emergency cleanup and restoration services and customer satisfaction. What this means to you, the commercial property owner or manager, is that should fire, water or mold damage occur in local facilities or a facility across the country, a SERVPRO professional will provide quality professional services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
When a homeowner needs help dealing with severe water damage, they should contact a water damage restoration service like SERVPRO with experienced, certified technicians. It’s also advisable to ask if the company ensures the work it completes. Most companies will guarantee the work for a specified period so that a homeowner can have peace of mind knowing that if there are any problems with the work, the water damage restoration service should handle it. A homeowner should make sure to get it in writing to guarantee that they are covered in the event of any problems. Here at SERVPRO, we make sure all of these bases are covered to provide our clients with smooth and speedy restoration process.
What They Don't Tell You About Water Damage!
Water damage is a common problem that homeowners face.
Water damage, though not well-understood, is certainly not uncommon. According to statistics from the attorneys at Arguello Hope & Associates, PLLC, 4 in 10 homeowners have experienced some sort of loss from this issue. The same source reported that more than 90% of it is preventable, however.
Yes. Water damage can be one of the most common and most serious emergencies your property can experience. Whether your home has been affected by a storm, flood, roof leak, HVAC leak, busted pipes, overflowing appliances or sewage backup, a water problem can easily distress and threaten you and your home’s safety as well as your property value.
Common costs associated with water damage include replacing flooring and furniture, mold repair and removal, and installing new drywall. Wood beams and other structural elements will often need to be replaced. If the home must be gutted and re-done, the costs can be astronomical — which is why having a comprehensive homeowner’s insurance plan is a good idea.
Water damage can cause extensive damage to property.
The damage may be imperceptibly slow and minor such as water spots that could eventually mar a surface, or it may be instantaneous and catastrophic such as burst pipes and flooding. However fast it occurs, water damage is a major contributor to loss of property.
Water damage can ruin your electrical system. We all know water and electricity don’t play well together. Water damage left unattended too long can cause electrical shorts and damage to your circuits. Can you say fire hazard? The less damage the better, so staying on top of water damage cleanup is a must.
Water damage affects buildings on so many levels. When water creeps into areas of your property where it shouldn’t be, your floor could warp. Water damage also discolors beautifully painted walls. All that moisture can also lead not only to the formation of mold inside the building but also to a vermin infestation. Worst of all, water damage that isn’t immediately addressed through water damage restoration could eventually weaken the foundation of any building.
Water damage can be disastrous and costly.
The fact of the matter is that the longer you leave water damage, the more it’s going to cost to repair. Fixing the problem right away could be relatively quick and easy, but if you leave it, it could just get worse and worse. When you do finally take care of it, you could end up paying much more than you should have.
Call us at SERVPRO of South Lake Forest/ Laguna Woods to schedule an inspection of your property today.
General Tips to Protect Your Commercial Business Property
Protect your commercial business property from natural disaster damage.
If you find yourself in the tricky situation of cleaning up commercial water damage, follow these simple guidelines. By using a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the area and stop mold and bacteria growth, you’ll be able to speed up the cleanup process considerably.
The components of a commercial building envelope are as varied as its occupants and uses. Brick and glass, bitumen and composite panels, marble and stone, all can be used. And all respond differently to the forces of wind, rain, snow, and ice. Ideally, the envelope ensures that the weather stays on the outside, where it belongs, and that the people and property inside are protected. One of the best ways to minimize a building’s risk of water damage is to develop, maintain, and follow a systematic operations and maintenance inspection routine that includes all elements of the building envelope.
Make periodic inspections of your commercial property. Inspect your property and make any necessary repairs to ensure that it can resist an unexpected event. Ensure that signs, awnings, equipment on the roof, and other accessories on the exterior of your property are firmly attached to the structure. Keep drains, rain gutters, and roof areas clean. Prune any trees that might cause damage to the structure or to electric cables.
Prepare the property when an emergency is imminent. Remove antennas, signs, awnings, and any other accessory that is not firmly attached to the structure. Cover windows and doors with storm shutters or sheets of plywood. Check door and window frames to ensure that they are tight and well installed. Take objects indoors that may be picked up by the force of the wind and become projectiles. Raise elevators to the top floor and turn off the system. Be sure that the machine room is well protected from water leaks or other types of damage. Water tanks should be fully filled, and their covers should be sealed. Protect electrical equipment from water; cover equipment with plastic sheeting and raise it off the floor.
Outside your business space, you should trim trees and remove exterior debris that might become a hazard during strong winds. Have a professional logging team remove dangerous trees and anchor outdoor items such as benches to the ground. If you’re located in a flood zone, consider installing flood gates to prevent water from coming into the business space.
Protect your commercial business property from theft.
Protect your business’s documents. Keep duplicate files of your business’s and your customers’ records. Keep copies on a server, in the cloud, or in a physical location that you can access from other locations in case your property is destroyed or inaccessible. Some of the documents you should protect are financial information; employee, customer, and supplier databases; municipal, state, and federal licenses and certifications; tax receipts; and insurance policies.
Good lighting - Lighting can be an effective deterrent against crime, both inside your business and outside the building . Make sure the light fixtures are in good working order. Use light cages to prevent bulb breakage. Replace burned-out bulbs as quickly as possible.
One final area of protection are your windows. Perforated vinyl graphics – usually available from your local signage provider – can provide added privacy to your windows, preventing criminals from easily seeing the contents inside, but still allowing daylight in for the occupants. Windows can also be covered in burglar-resistant glazing for reinforced security.
The Potentialities of Water Damage
Although not well-discerned, water damage is certainly not uncommon. Generally, this issue can be defined as water that dismantles the interior of your home or business. It can be a result of the following:? A hailstorm shatters your windows and gets your floors wet.? An overflowing bathroom that damages your floors.? Rain penetrates your roof and destroys the ceiling and walls.? A cracked pipe that saturates your ceiling.
If your home or business has this kind of damage, the first thing to do is review your homeowner’s insurance. Also, consider re-evaluating the individual policy for the specifics of your circumstance. Note that accidental events will be catered for, but any destruction caused by negligence will be neglected as well. There is also a distinction between flood damage and water damage. While the overall root of the two issues is similar, they are monumentally distinct. For instance, flood often meets conditions such as rapid accumulation of surface waters from any source, mudflow, and an overflow of inland or tidal waters. Water damage, on the other hand, happens before the water comes in contact with the ground.
Even in grave cases, water can grow into something more deleterious if not handled promptly. SERVPRO recommends that you avoid risking addressing experts when it is too late. The restoration process is not all that complicated, and we do everything in our power to make it as perfect as possible. Get in touch today!
Read This to Familiarize Yourself With The Classes of Fire Damage
To restoration companies, fire damage refers to the physical damage to structures or property as a result of burning. Most often than not, the damage is caused by corrosive substances, flames, and smoke. At SERVPRO, we are glad to inform you of 6 types of fire damage:
Class A- a fire that entails liquids or solids that can change into liquids.
Class B- a fire that entails flammable solids such as plastics, woods, or cloth.
Class C-fire is caused by combustible metals such as potassium or magnesium
Class D- relatively hotter and more debilitating including fats and cooking oils.
Class E: fire that involves gasses such as butane, propane, and hydrogen including natural gas.
Class F: fire that involves conditions in class A and B and electrical components.
Moreover, multiple insurance companies dissect fire damage into primary and secondary. The primary is concerned with fire damage caused by flames while a secondary entails damage caused by smoke and other substances. There is also spontaneous combustion which occurs when an organic matter is set on fire due to an internal source, when it trickles down to insurance, it is a unique clause in property and fire policies that entitles the policyholder to compensation for the fire damage. It is peculiar because it is not often included in common fire and common property policies. A property situated in a location where earthquakes frequently happen is insured with legislation that covers damage brought by an earthquake. The same applies to commercial buildings with hazardous components such as flammable oils and liquids.
At SERVPRO, we will manage all your frustrations with our trained experts ready to help at any time. Reach out to us, we will be more than glad to help!
A Guide To Confronting Water Damage
Immediately you shut down the electricity and water source, you are looking at puddles and contemplating,” What’s next?”. Consider conducting an assessment and plan for a damage repair promptly. Wet materials begin developing profound grave problems like mold after 24 hours. SERVPRO has several successful tips for water damage repair as follows:
1. Know the distinct types of Water-
The first type of water is gray water, moderately dirty water from washing machines, dishwashers, and clean toilets. You can clean it up yourself if you can remove it cautiously and with the right safety gear to protect yourself. The second type is clean water from leaky pipes or rain. This is less harmful and you can clean it yourself or hire a restoration company to deal with the water damages.
2. Assess serious problems like mold-
Inspect damaged items for mildew and mold. Mold grows under the right conditions in as little as 24 hours. If you find mold and mildew problems, you ought to be very cautious. Remember that mold can hide inside walls and under floors, and this is why there is a need for a thorough assessment/inspection.
3. Dry out the affected areas-
It is incumbent to eradicate all moisture swiftly before it causes more damage. You can use fans to circulate air in the affected regions and be thorough about this step. For bigger projects, consider leasing a large-capacity dehumidifier to thoroughly dry out carpets, wood, and materials.
4. Reach out to SERVPRO-
You have handled basic steps autonomously. The next phase involves you reaching out to the best restoration service. Our experts will visit and assess the damage, and negotiate with your insurers to guarantee a smooth restoration process. We will measure and replace dry walls, and inspect and replace external siding, caulk, and paint. Call us at any time, will be there to handle your home or commercial property damages.
What goes into a commercial property damage insurance claim?
A property damage claim is a request for compensation for property damage caused by a collision or other event. The most common property damage claim is when someone files a claim with an at-fault driver’s insurer after a car accident. But if a driver causes an accident or otherwise suffers vehicle damage, they would file a property damage claim with their own collision or comprehensive insurance.
While commercial property owners may know the ins and outs of their business, that doesn’t mean they know everything about their insurance policies. This is often due to insurance policy language being heavily nuanced and containing various provisions and exclusions that may be unknown to the policyholder. A lack of policy knowledge can be a major issue when filing a property damage claim.
Once the damage has been well documented, property owners should file an insurance claim with the insurer. Once the carrier receives the claim and reviews the documentation, it will send an adjuster to review and determine the extent of the damage. Their job is to assess your liability (if any) and what will be covered by the policy. You’ll likely need to complete a proof of loss form to provide them, as well as any other evidence that you collected. It’s important to not make permanent repairs to the property during this time so the adjuster can make an accurate assessment of the damage sustained. Repairing property damage before an adjuster assessment can lead to the claim being denied.
When a commercial property is damaged, resolving the issue and getting back to business are top priorities for business owners. However, the insurance claims process is often complex and can be difficult to navigate. Knowing the steps to take and what actions to avoid can help commercial property owners ensure they are successful in resolving a commercial property damage claim.
The Steps to a Speedy Fire/Smoke Damage Restoration Process
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), there is a fire department situated somewhere in the United States that responds to a fire every 24 seconds. A fire can be a frustrating experience, and the thought of restoring fire-damaged property can be overwhelming. It is restoration experts who are largely tasked with returning structures to their original state. Fire restoration entails cleaning up and the process can take weeks or months, considering the destructive nature of the disaster.
The process may also involve demolition, property board, and reconstruction on top of projects such as soot removal, removing disturbing hazards, and debris mitigation. Notably, fire and water damage often occur concurrently. This is because the structure is doused with water while the fire department strives to extinguish the inferno. Sometimes pipes burst during the fire which leaks water into the property. The following are steps of how the fire damage restoration process is performed:
Damage AssessmentInvolves a contractor evaluating the damage sustained in the fire and how smoke and flames penetrated the structure.
Security of Property and Removing DebrisThe next step includes installing fencing around the structure and boarding up openings in the property.
Water mitigation and dry-outThe objective is to circumvent further damage caused by corrosion or mold by removing water. Personal property will be removed from the interior of the structure and roof tarps maintained during this phase of restoration.
Smoke removal and Clean UpThis is the most intensive part of a fire damage restoration task. There is a lot of manual labor to clean soot and smoke from interior and exterior surfaces.
Construction and RestorationThis is the final step in returning the structure to its original condition. Some parts of the structure may be totally unsalvageable during the initial evaluation, and therefore have to be removed and replaced.
At SERVPRO, we care about you and are always ready to dispatch our team of experts to help with all your restoration needs. Feel free to reach out!