Insurance Claims and Disaster Response
As a leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO offers some of the most accurate estimations and assessments.
Insurance Claims And Disaster Response
While a call to your insurer is likely the first thing that you should do after a disaster, it can be hard to focus immediately following a traumatic event. Your insurer will send out an adjuster to your property to help you understand claim services and to issue proof of loss forms. You can handle this process alone, but disaster restoration companies have experience with not only restoration work but also the insurance procedures surrounding it.
1. Protecting Your Claim
One of the first and best things an emergency response team does is mitigation work. This is typically referred to as the tarping over or boarding up of your home. The reason that this is so important to the claims process is that it prevents rejections from your insurer. An insurance provider is less likely to approve a claim when the client doesn’t take the necessary action to protect their property from further damage.
2. Clearing the Way for Proof of Loss
Another requirement of claim services is an accurate and all-encompassing proof of loss statement. While it is possible for these statements to be adjusted later, any adjustments prolong approval times and push off the restoration process. To help ensure you have an accurate statement, disaster restoration companies thoroughly clean out your facility, making sure that damage is visible.
3. Performing the Restoration
Insurance claims are based on accurate estimates of restoration work, and as a leader in the restoration industry, SERVPRO offers some of the most accurate estimations and assessments. You can even find a database of claims made for the Mayfield, OH area. Accuracy is everything for insurers because it means that they can better serve you, their client.
While insurance claim services can be confusing and overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. Restoration companies can offer valuable insight into the process and will help you throughout while simultaneously trying to keep costs down.
Preparing Your Business for Severe Thunderstorms
Severe thunderstorm should not be taken lightly
A rain storm is different from a severe thunderstorm in several ways: thunder, lightning and strong winds. It is advised to find shelter and stay indoors when severe weather strikes, but what else should a business be doing to protect its assets, employees and customers.
1. Keep Trees and Shrubs Trimmed
The exterior of your building can become extremely dangerous during high winds and severe weather, especially with unkempt trees and shrubs. While many plants and trees appear fine in normal weather conditions, long branches or otherwise innocuous bare limbs can become projectiles in certain instances. It is best to keep trees and shrubs trimmed to prevent any possible issues.
2. Have an Emergency Plan
A rain storm is mild enough to continue with your day-to-day operations, but a severe storm changes things. With lightning and strong wind gusts, it is best to stay indoors and preferably away from windows and doors. As a business owner, it is best to create an emergency plan for all employees. You should find a designated storm shelter within the building away from the exterior.
3. Know First Aid
In an emergency situation, it pays to have knowledgeable people present. For instance, it is wise to have employees who are aware of basic first aid practices, including CPR. This way, you ensure that there are people present who can safely apply aid while waiting for rescue if it comes to that.
4. Install Lightning Rods and Other Defensive Measures
Beyond planning and first aid, you can install lightning rods and generators to prevent damage to electrical systems. A disaster restoration specialist in the Chagrin Falls, OH , area can help you come up with a specific plan for your business and building.
While a rain storm may not cause the greatest concern, a severe thunderstorm should not be taken lightly. These storms can wreak havoc on electrical systems and may even cause physical harm to you or your employees. Know your options and plan ahead.
Preparing Your Home and Family for a Fire
Practice your fire escape plan
Fire safety is one of the most important things you can teach your children about your home. Having a fire escape plan involves more than just telling everyone to vacate your house in Chagrin Falls, OH, if a fire should break out. To help your plan go smoothly, you must prepare both your home and your family for the possibility of fire.
Preparing Your Home
The first line of defense against a home fire is your alert system. You should install smoke detectors throughout your home in prominent places:
- Inside every sleeping area
- Outside every sleeping area
- In a middle common area on every level
It’s not enough to install the detectors, however. Test the detectors frequently. A sensible time to do so is when you practice your fire escape plan. This tells you if your smoke detectors are working and if they’re all connected like they’re supposed to be.
It’s also important to make sure that there are clear paths to safety. When you are devising a plan, check to see if there are two exits out of every room and that these exits are easy to use. Don’t block windows with chairs or other furniture.
Preparing Your Family
While your fire preparation plan may include contact information for a professional restoration company to make your house safe again, the main priority when a fire breaks out is the safety of the people inside. It’s essential that everyone knows what to do during a fire. Talk about how to get out and where to meet once you do. Set off the smoke detectors and have everyone walk through the process. If you have small children or elderly family members who will require assistance, designate someone specific to do so. Involving family in the plan and practice increases their chances of safety.
No one likes to think about a fire ravaging their home. With a comprehensive fire escape plan, however, you can teach you family how to stay safe if one should occur.
Home Mold Proliferation
Molds are fungi that can be found both indoors and outdoors
Certain places in your Chardon, OH , residence can harbor mold growth, even if your environment is usually dry. Learn how to protect your home’s crawlspace from problematic fungal activity by familiarizing yourself with some common treatment methods.
1. Location and Inspection
The first step in stopping mold growth is to understand the sites from which it frequently spreads. Due to its low-lying location and lack of sunlight, the crawlspace beneath the lowest floor of your home is a frequent culprit of fungal growth. Leaking pipes can create problem areas on upper floors, as the resulting flooding is retained in porous surfaces. Regardless, you should contact a local mold inspection agency to get an estimate if you suspect mold in your home.
If an inspector finds mold in your home, he or she will schedule a mold removal process. Most companies will use a media blasting technique in which wood and other surfaces are treated with soda under high pressure. Chemically speaking, this soda is sodium bicarbonate, which is the same as the baking soda used in many cooking applications. The use of dry soda in the blasting technique is due to its abrasive properties, which scour the mold away from the wood.
The use of an inert soda compound means that it is totally safe for your family and pets. Unlike some chemical methods such as fogging, you will not lose access to your home for any substantial length of time. The procedure is also fast and inexpensive compared to scrubbing the affected surfaces by hand. Depending on your degree of coverage and the specifics of your mold damage, your homeowner’s insurance may cover the media blasting and other professional restoration services.
Mold growth in your residential crawlspace is not the sort of problem you want to leave unaddressed. Stay on top of your home maintenance and inspection by obtaining an estimate from a local media blasting professional.
A Running Shower and an Overflowing Toilet Indicate a Severe Sewer Blockage
If your toilet overflow caused a significant flood, consider bringing in flood restoration experts
You just discovered that your morning shower caused a toilet overflow downstairs. This overflow indicates that you have a severe plumbing problem and have several concerns:
- You face a messy sewage cleaning job.
- The sewer blockage is below the level of the toilet.
- Other drains may be affected.
You may Be Able to Clear the Clogged Pipe Yourself
Before attempting to clear the pipe, it is essential to perform an initial cleanup of the overflowed sewer water. That is the most dangerous category of water and disinfecting the entire area is recommended. Gloves and a mask are also essential.
If the obstruction is in your house, there is an excellent chance that you can clear the clogged pipe yourself. However, a blockage outside your home will likely require the services of a plumber or even your Department of Public Works.
Determine the location of the blockage by checking the other drains in your home. If any pipes are open, the clog is likely in your home. Unfortunately, the tests may cause more water to back up into the toilet and require additional sewage cleaning. You should take this into account while cleaning the overflow area.
The Plumbing Auger Is the Tool of Choice for Clearing Blocked Drains
An auger is a long thin coiled wire with a flared tip. You insert it into the toilet as far as it goes. If it encounters the blockage, a twisting and back-and-forth motion and running water will remove the clog. If you don’t own and can’t borrow an auger, someone in the plumbing department of a Chagrin Falls, OH, hardware store can help you find the right one.
If your toilet overflow caused a significant flood, consider bringing in flood restoration experts with their specialized equipment and expertise to perform your sewage cleaning. When they are finished treating your home, it will be “Like it Never Even Happened”.
Fire Escape: Is Your Business Prepared
You should have a fire extinguisher in every corridor of your Chardon, OH business
Fire Escape: Is Your Business Prepared
A business fire, or any fire for that matter, incites panic and fear. Proper fire preparation can reduce the chances of entrapment and ensure that all your employees or tenants escape the property intact and healthy. To ensure the safety of everyone, you should be making routine checks throughout your property.
1. Fire Extinguishers
You should have fire extinguishers in every corridor and within 75 feet of hazardous areas. All extinguishers should be inspected annually. Also, the units should be mounted 5 feet from the floor with no other elements within a 3-foot radius.
2. Suppression Systems
A business fire can be extinguished quickly if your fire suppression system is working correctly. You can perform routine maintenance, ensuring that the sprinkler heads are free of debris and are not leaking or broken. However, you should have the system checked annually by a professional.
3. Emergency Exits
All emergency exits should be unlocked and have alarms attached. Also, while some may find hallways a perfect place to store miscellaneous goods, these exits should remain clear. Any obstruction can slow down an exit and may even result in someone losing their life.
4. Exit Routes
Additionally, there should be clearly defined exit routes. You can create maps of the building, specifying exits, and mount them throughout the premises, but you should also have lit exit signs and other signage that make escape routes clear and defined.
If you need assistance with emergency planning, or if you are currently dealing with fire damage and loss, a disaster restoration specialist in the Chardon, OH, area may be able to help. These professionals often offer free property assessments to aid in your planning needs.
A business fire, as with all fires, is dangerous. However, in commercial property with multiple hallways and rooms, it is especially challenging to navigate and find your way to safety. Therefore, it is vital to plan and practice escapes as well as prepare your facility for the possibility of a disaster.
How To Maintain Fire Sprinklers
There are several measures that an owner or facility manager of a commercial building can take to maintain fire sprinklers. Regular sprinkler maintenance can help to ensure that a fire suppression system is functional and prevent accidental activation.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
A maintenance service should inspect sprinklers at least once a year. This inspection should include checking the:
• Alarm system
• Test flow and tamper switches
• Water volume
Sprinkler maintenance can keep a fire suppression system functional. If the occupancy or usage of a commercial property changes significantly, the fire suppression system may also need to be modified.
Update the System
It is important that the layout of the sprinkler system correspond to the purpose and needs of a structure. The system may need to be modified if any of the following factors change:
• Fire risks
• Use patterns
Keep this in mind if a commercial building is being rented out to new tenants. It may be worthwhile to determine whether the fire sprinklers meet the needs of the new occupants.
Assess Accidental Activation
If sprinklers accidentally activate, it is important to find out why a malfunction has occurred. Sprinklers are tested to prevent accidental activation or leaks. In either event, a building owner or facility manager should contact a sprinkler company. It is important to:
• Accurately describe the circumstances
• Mitigate water damage
• Provide every part of the malfunctioning sprinkler
A sprinkler may activate due to defects, corrosion, or environmental factors such as excessive heat or freezing. Regular maintenance and safe conditions should be sufficient to prevent most instances of accidental activation.
These sprinkler maintenance measures ensure that a fire suppression system will be effective in the event of a fire. If a system activates to suppress a fire or accidental activation occurs, contact a sprinkler company as well as a damage mitigation and restoration firm in Bainbridge, OH.
How To Effectively Remove Cigarette Odor From Your Home
Technicians in Chagrin Falls, OH can get rid of smoke odor in your home
Of all of the household odors you can encounter, cigarette smoke is one of the more pervasive and persistent. There are many reasons why you might want to rid your home in Chagrin Falls, OH, of this smell. You may be selling a home where someone uses tobacco, buying one, or entertaining visitors who smoke indoors. It may be as simple as a purchase of used furniture that brought the odor into your home. Whatever the source, you may find yourself wondering about an effective and lasting home deodorization process.
Why Ozone Can Be Beneficial
Of course, a thorough cleaning should be done first to remove nicotine and other residues, but that likely will not remove all of the odor. The best and most powerful method, once initial cleaning has taken place, is to place an ozone machine in your home. There are several reasons this is effective.
- Ozone can penetrate any soft or porous surface.
- It can reach even the smallest crevice.
- The gas destroys spores, molecules, and bacteria that cause odors to form.
- It is non-staining and leaves no residue.
When it comes to home deodorization, an ozone generator is considered the most effective way to break down the cells that hold odor-causing substances. Enough of this gaseous form of oxygen needs to be produced to adequately fill the area, pressing into cracks and crevices and penetrating fibers and fabrics.
Who Can Assist With This Specialized Treatment
Eliminating stubborn cigarette odor is best done by calling a professional service technician in Chagrin Falls, OH. The professional will be able to determine how much ozone is needed, for how long, and make sure it is handled safely. They can instruct or assist with cleanup and safety measures afterward as well.
Eradicating the smell of cigarette smoke can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying your surroundings. Using ozone in your home deodorization process may ensure that it doesn’t become a reoccurring problem.
Does Drain Cleaner Damage Pipes?
Clogged drain in a Chardon,OH home
Chemical drain cleaners can be effective for clearing a clogged drain, but these substances may merely move blockages or damage pipes. Find out more about the risks of common chemical cleaning formulas.
The Type of Pipe
Chemical products may be more or less damaging depending on the formula and pipe material. Drain cleaner may:
- Damage older metal pipes
- Soften PVC pipes
- Adversely affect any pipes if used improperly
These products are very powerful and toxic. Gentler and safer enzymatic treatments can clear partial blockages within 24 hours.
The Type of Clog
A fully clogged drain calls for a mechanical, rather than chemical, cleaning method. There are several reasons why chemicals will not work on a drain that is completely blocked:
- Cleaning products may not dissolve a total blockage
- Chemicals may sit in pipes and cause damage
- An auger or snake can penetrate and extract or break up clogs
A homeowner should factor in the type of pipe and clog to choose the best drain clearing solution. If you choose to use chemicals, select a formula that is relatively safe for the pipes in your home and follow the instructions.
The Type of Cleaner
It is important to consider how cleaners work. There are several major types of chemical drain cleaners:
- Caustic cleaners, such as sodium hydroxide, give electrons to the clog and release heat
- Oxidizing cleaners containing sodium hypochlorite oxidize the clog and release electrons, heat, and gas
- Acidic cleaners, such as sulfuric or hydrochloric acid, attract electrons and release heat
Every chemical cleaner can degrade pipes. Look for the most effective and least damaging solution for the pipes in your home.
Chemical drain cleaner may be temporarily effective, but these formulas may simply move a clog further down the drain. If a clogged drain results in a toilet overflow or backup, contact a sewage cleaning service in Chardon, OH.
Is it Time to get Help After a Storm? Here's What You Need to Know
Storm Damage in Bathroom where a Ceiling had caved in from the heavy rain.
Are you facing flooding? Roof damage? Ice damming? Frozen pipes? These problems can all be caused by aggressive storms in your area. Unfortunately, if you've had unexpected river flooding, wind damage, or frozen pipes, you might be wondering how you can repair your home. Maybe you feel lost or confused. The good news is that no matter what you're facing, it's possible to get the home restoration help you need in order to return your home to its original state. Here's what you need to know.
It's best to call sooner, rather than later.
If you have frozen pipes or ice damming, you might be thinking of waiting until the spring to have storm remediation. After all, shouldn't you wait for warmer weather to face home restoration? Actually, it's best that you avoid waiting for storm remediation. If you have frozen pipes, ice damming, wind damage, hurricane damage, or flooding at your home, you shouldn't wait for water restoration. Instead, you should seek out storm remediation.
Although you might be facing cold temperatures when dealing with an ice dam or roof damage, it's important that you seek assistance before you experience further roof damage. After all, facing a roof leak would be frustrating, and roof damage to lead to just that. Similarly, extreme hurricane damage or wind damage can cause a roof leak that needs a roof repair performed by a professional home restoration expert. As soon as you notice wind damage, storm damage, or hurricane damage to your home, get ready to get storm remediation.
Unfortunately, some storm damage, wind damage, hurricane damage, ice damage, hail damage can be extreme. One of the biggest concerns homeowners have is that they'll experience flooding at their home that requires a flood pump to remove the ground water. You could experience flooding in your home after river flooding in your area, but you may also notice flood water as the result of hurricane storm damage. River flooding and ground water in your home can lead to health risks, which is one of the reasons it's important to have a water restoration professional use a flood pump to remove that excess water from your home. River flooding can also lead to ground water and flood water outside of your home. For example, you may notice standing ground water and flood water in your yard as a result of the flood water in your area.
If you're facing a specific problem such as a roof leak, hail damage, or ice damage, it's important to understand that many of these problems can be prevented before you need a roof repair. When you meet with your water restoration or home restoration professional, ask about ways to prevent damage from happening to your home once more. Many homeowners simply don't have the resources to prevent damage to their home before they experience ice damming or a roof leak, but the right water restoration professional can guide you in taking preventative measures to care for your house.
Storm restoration might seem like an overwhelming concept, but the truth is that every home owner has to face storm restoration at some point. Maybe your area had a hail storm that led to hail damage and now you need a roof repair. Perhaps you need a roof repair due to an ice dam. Both an ice dam and hail damage can be devastating, but ice damage caused by an ice dam can often be prevented in the future with the right storm restoration professional. Ask your storm restoration professional about how he can use a flood pump to remove water from your home, as well as ways to prevent ice damage from occurring in the future.
Although some problems, including those requiring a flood pump, can't always be prevented, you may be surprised to find that you're able to minimize future damage to your home, regardless of where you live.