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What To Know Before Making a Water Damage Insurance Claim

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

A blank form is waiting to be completed and signed by a policyholder or an insured person. Many homeowners will have to make a water damage insurance claim at some point

What To Know Before Making a Water Damage Insurance Claim

Many homeowners will have to make a water damage insurance claim at some point. In fact, one in 50 homeowners files a water-related claim each year. This is partly because there are numerous different causes of water problems in a home. They include:

  • Flooding
  • Storm damage
  • Water or sewage backup
  • Bursting pipes
  • Overflow

Before you make your damage claim, there are some things you need to know. First, you should learn which water losses are and are not covered by insurance.

Understanding Gradual Damage
Gradual damage, as its name implies, takes place over an extended period of time. One example is a prolonged pipe or faucet leak that harms your floors or ceiling. Cracks in the foundation that cause water to enter your home could also be considered gradual damage.
In general, insurance is meant to cover sudden or accidental discharges of water. It does not usually apply to harm caused by your neglect. However, there are some exceptions. For instance, if gradual damage occurs due to an emergency that was covered by insurance, the insurer may cover the cost of this subsequent repair.
Bursting pipes are another example. The insurer may not pay to fix a broken pipe, especially if the pipe cracked due to wear and tear over time. However, your insurance provider could reimburse you for the cost of water damage cleanup services.

Ensuring Your Claim Is Accepted
There are some steps you can take to reduce the chances of the insurer rejecting your claim. Be sure to keep track of any repairs you make to your home. You should also perform regular maintenance twice each year, ideally in the spring and fall. Finally, re-read your policy so that you understand the responsibilities you have.
Bursting pipes and other water disasters can cause severe harm to your White, PA, home. Luckily, your insurance may provide some financial relief during the restoration process.

How To Keep Your Grill in Tiptop Shape

5/27/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning a grill with a brush Follow these grill cleaning steps and your grill will work for many years

Grill Maintenance Steps

You probably conduct a cursory grill cleaning each time you use your gas grill, as you don’t want to let those dried bits of food work their way into your next hamburger patty. However, did you know that if you thoroughly clean your grill periodically, you can avoid a grease fire at your Indiana, PA, home? There are a few grill maintenance steps that will keep your grill working in tiptop shape and help you to avoid costly fire damage repairs.

Supplies You Need
There are just a few basic items you’ll need to begin your grill cleaning. From the kitchen, grab some paper towels, dish soap, aluminum foil, and stainless steel wipes. A pair of work gloves, a grill brush, and a clean bucket are also needed.

Steps To Follow
The best time to clean the grill is when it’s still a bit warm from use. Make sure the dials are off, then disconnect the propane tank. After putting on the work gloves, follow the steps below.

  • Lift off the grill grates, as well as the metal plates, and soak them in a bucket of hot, sudsy water.
  • Place a large piece of foil on top of the heating elements, and scrub the underside of the hood and the walls above the heating elements with the grill brush. Wipe the walls with a wet paper towel.
  • Carefully remove and empty the drip pan into a waste can, and place the pan in the sudsy water.
  • After a couple of minutes, remove all of the components from the soapy water. Scrub them thoroughly and rinse with water.
  • Lift up the foil and discard. Brush off the heating elements with the grill brush.
  • Reassemble all of the components.
  • Clean the exterior of your stainless steel grill with the stainless steel wipes.

If you follow these grill cleaning steps every few weeks, your grill will look and work like new for many years.

Why Call Professionals for Smoke Odor Remediation

5/25/2020 (Permalink)

Walls of a house with smoke Fire restoration in Indiana, PA

Home Fire and Professional Cleaning Services

Anyone who has ever dealt with a fire at home can attest to what a horrible experience it can be. Not only can a house fire in Indiana, PA, devastate your most important items, but the smoke damage can be significant. For many homeowners recovering from a fire, it’s difficult getting rid of the smoke odor. Fortunately, professionals have some tried and true methods for handling smoke cleaning and getting your home smelling the way it did before the fire.

  1. Professionals have the experience you need. Hopefully the first house fire you experience is the last one you’ll ever have to deal with. You can’t imagine going through the ordeal again. However, a professional restoration company has helped countless homeowners recover from this terrible event. The pros know what you’re going through, so they’ll respond in a timely, caring manner. Qualified experts understand the delicate, urgent nature of the situation, so they’ll act with swiftness and concern for your property and possessions.
  2. The experts have the skills you’d expect. If you’ve been the unfortunate victim of a house fire, you may be overwhelmed by the smoke damage and smoke odor in your home. You may not know where to begin to eliminate the smells and restore order to your home. The experts in Indiana, PA, are trained to assist with your problem. No challenge will be too large for the team to address. You can have peace of mind that your home can look, smell and feel as good as new.
  3. A restoration company has the right tools. You may not have a clue what will perform effective smoke cleaning, but the professionals have all the resources to make things right. A professional will use filtration devices, ozone machines and thermal foggers to clean up the smoke issues in your home.

Smoke cleaning has never been easier than when you choose a professional company to get rid of your smoke odor and address the smoke damage in your home. Rest easy knowing the right help is just a call away. 

Protecting Your Business From Water Damage

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

Broken pipe Broken pipe in Loop, PA

Damaged pipes and other sources of water damage can be serious issues for businesses. With a little knowledge, however, you may be able to prevent and minimize damage to your Loop, PA, business.

Causes of Water Damage

There are a variety of ways that water can damage your commercial building or other business property. The following are situations that many businesses have experienced:

  • Roof leaks
  • Broken pipes
  • Frozen pipes
  • Flooding

It is important to understand what types of water damage events are covered by your insurance. For example, damage from flooding is usually not covered unless you have a specific flood policy. It is also important to remember that not all damaged pipes are the same. Your insurance company may cover a loss caused by sudden damage, such as a pipe rupturing, but not cover damage from a slow leak. Talk to your insurance agent and read your policy carefully to make sure you understand your coverage.

Preventing Water Damage
In many cases, water damage can be prevented with routine maintenance. Insurance companies generally do not cover damage that could have been prevented, so it is important to maintain your building. Routinely check for leaking pipes, and repair them as soon as possible. Have regular roof inspections, and check for damage after strong storms. Your roofing contractor can help you determine the best schedule for roof maintenance. Inspect your appliances to make sure they are in good working order.

Repairing Water Damage
If your business does suffer water damage, it is important to act quickly to prevent mold growth. First, extract standing water using a pump, specialized vacuum, or bucket. Then dry out remaining water with fans and dehumidifiers. Sanitize everything that came into contact with the water. Anything that cannot be fully cleaned and dried should be thrown out. Finally, repair or replace damaged items.
Unfortunately, even the most conscientious business owner can suffer damaged pipes and other types of water damage. If you need help getting your business back to normal, a certified restoration company can help.

What You Need To Know About Indoor Mold

5/11/2020 (Permalink)

mold in the corner of the window Mold is a common issue in both indoor and outdoor spaces

What You Need To Know About Indoor Mold

Mold is a common issue in both indoor and outdoor spaces. Larger mold issues can usually be identified via sight or a musty smell. However, if you ask a seasoned indoor environmental specialist about the risk of mold in your building, the specialist will tell you that mold can grow on just about any material, exposed or hidden, including:

  • Fabrics
  • Drywall
  • Wood
  • Windows

Many of those places can be harboring mold undetectable by the senses. Even if you can't smell or see the mold growth yet, the spores that all molds release into the atmosphere consistently affect air quality. Mold often grows itself quickly, so it's essential to get any mold issues resolved right away.

Factors That Increase Your Mold Risk
Water issues and humidity are going to be the main inciting incidences responsible for mold in your building. You'll want to resolve any excess humidity and seal off leaking water immediately to prevent mold down the road. Insufficient ventilation may also exacerbate mold problems. Beware of installing carpet or having extra fabric in places where they may be exposed to moisture; mold damage can be particularly severe when it comes to textiles and fabrics.

How To Test for Mold
An indoor environmental specialist can conduct a mold test to detect anything that may have slipped under the radar. Mold remediation professionals use various technologies to both identify the presence of mold and to effectively contain and eliminate the mold issue in your space. Beyond preventing further immediate damage, it's best not to try and clean up mold yourself. Pervasive and resilient mold is hard to kill. It's best to leave that in the hands of professionals.
Mold can strike on almost any surface with merely the presence of excess water. An indoor environmental specialist in South Bend, PA, is your best resource for combatting mold growth and enjoying good air quality in your building once again.

How To Deal With Mold After Flooding

4/29/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO truck parked in the outside of a neighborhood As soon as you know you have water damage from a storm, call flood remediation experts

When your home floods after a storm in Iselin, PA, you may have a lot on your plate dealing with flooding and other damage. Mold growth may be the last thing on your mind. It's not outside the realm of possibility, though. Knowing what to do when you find mold in your home after a flood can help speed up the mitigation process.

What Mold Needs

In order to grow, mold needs three things:

  • Excess moisture
  • Organic matter
  • Stagnant space

Unfortunately, all three of these conditions are often present after a flood. Standing water is not only a potential breeding ground itself but also increases the humidity in the air, turning any surface near it into a great place to host mold growth. Fungus also needs some type of organic matter to feed on, and just about any debris from the storm will do. With the sustenance of food and water and the added factor of space with little of the airflow that would normally keep spores moving through rather than settling, secondary damage is highly possible.

What To Do
Prevention is the best option. As soon as you know you have water damage from a storm, call flood remediation experts to take care of it as soon as possible. They can remove excess water and dry out the affected area. They also disinfect every surface, discouraging bacteria and other organic matter from settling. If mold starts to grow before the remediation process is finished, contact your insurance company to make sure that the extra steps needed to deal with the mold are included in your flood policy.
It is smart to focus on flooding when your home suffers damage during a storm. Keep in mind, however, that the flood can lead to mold growth if not remedied quickly. Having a plan for what to do when that happens is the key to taking care of it more quickly.

All About Fire Loss: Insurance and Repair Tips For a Simpler Restoration Process

4/20/2020 (Permalink)

Insurance adjuster inspecting abandoned building Have a thorough inspection done in your building

All About Fire Loss: Insurance and Repair Tips For a Simpler Restoration Process

When you find yourself dealing with fire loss on your property, but the building and its contents are still salvageable, insurance qualifies affected areas and items as "partial losses". Partial loss insurance paperwork can get complicated. To ensure that your property gets restored in the most efficient way possible, here is a practical list of steps to take:

  • Document Everything Immediately
  • Have a Thorough Inspection Done
  • Revisit Insurance Policy Specifics

Taking these careful first steps can help you get the most out of your policy. The next best thing you can do is partner with well-qualified restoration specialists. Experienced specialists can help you tackle these common but sometimes overlooked areas of damage so you don’t have to worry about them:

1. Smoke and Air Quality Issues
Discoloration, permeable surfaces, and ductwork are the main areas of concern when it comes to smoke damage. Smoke is likely to seep into fabric, flooring, and ducts. You’ll need a professional’s help in order to really get all the smoke out of the damaged property and get the air quality back to safe levels.

2. Water and Mold Issues
When dealing with fire loss, water damage issues are usually not the first to come to mind. Yet, property fires can do a number on your pipes. Burst water supply lines can cascade into a host of other issues, such as hidden mold problems, plumbing issues and more. This is an area of concern you’ll definitely want to have an expert investigate and amend.

3. Fire and Uniformity Issues
You don’t want your property to look like it’s been through a fire at the end of the restoration process: you want it to look as it was or better. Legal and insurance policy standards often reflect this need for uniformity. Licensed professionals in Canoe Ridge, PA, can help you restore a seamless congruity that makes your property feel new again.
Fire loss is terribly stressful to remedy. Having good information for your insurance company and a strong team of home repair experts makes fire restoration exponentially more doable.

Different Types of Insurance Coverage for Storms

4/9/2020 (Permalink)

a young man in suit in his office showing an insurance policy and pointing with a pen where the policyholder must sign Are you covered?

Different Types of Insurance Coverage for Storms

A storm is a powerful event and no matter how hard people and businesses prepare for it, bad things can still happen. That's why storm insurance is a good idea for nearly everyone. It can pay out claims for damages and provide money to replace ruined items from water. This is true for both the landlord of a rental property and for the tenants or renters of apartments or other housing units. Renters insurance provides the tenant with the following protections:

  • Liability coverage for damages caused by negligence
  • Lost items coverage for damaged possessions
  • Replacement coverage for personal possessions
  • Relocation expenses

This type of insurance is relatively inexpensive. Renters insurance does not provide coverage for the dwelling, as that is the responsibility of the landlord or property owner.

Commercial Property Insurance

To protect his or her property in Willet, PA, the landlord of a rental unit should have a standard commercial property insurance policy. This type of insurance coverage pays out claims for damages due to named perils. Damage from tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms and high winds are covered under this policy, as are such things as fire damage from lightning or from many other situations. The landlord is typically not responsible for the renters' personal items that are damaged from a storm, nor does the landlord typically have to pay the expenses of a renter who has to relocate due to housing being rendered uninhabitable due to a storm.

Commercial Storm Cleanup

Renters insurance and property insurance are just part of storm protection. Once damage has occurred, a professional cleanup may be required. A reputable storm mitigation franchise has the resources to deal with storm damage both big and small. The hallmarks of an effective cleanup include a fast response, efficient water removal, thorough drying, effective cleaning and sanitizing and restoration. A complete cleanup prevents the growth of mold, removes odors and restores the building "Like it never even happened."

Are At-Home Mold Testing Kits Reliable?

3/26/2020 (Permalink)

The Microbial test kit isolated on white background DIY mold test kits do not provide the value or solutions you need

Are At-Home Mold Testing Kits Reliable?

If you suspect there is mold growing in your Two Lick, PA, residence, you may be tempted by the numerous options for DIY mold tests. However, it's important to know about the fallacies of at-home mold testing kits before spending your money on them. Mold spores live everywhere, and all homes have some degree of fungal growth. To resolve a mold problem, you need to know where it's coming from and remove its source. Hiring an environmental hygienist can help you identify the crucial information:

  • Where is the moisture source that's feeding the mold?
  • Where is the location of mold infestation?
  • What type of mold is growing in your home?
  • What actions can be taken to remediate mold growth?

Why At-Home Mold Tests Are Inaccurate

In short, DIY mold testing will almost always give you an inaccurate result. These mold kits use testing dishes that you set out for some time, usually 24 to 48 hours, to allow mold spores to fall into the dish. The results are not reliable as this testing method creates both false negatives and false positives. In addition, the test does not identify the type of mold or the source of moisture that is feeding the mold. To effectively eradicate mold, you must fix the water leak or humidity issue in addition to cleaning up the mold itself.

Why You Need Professional Assistance

If you find mold in your home, professional testing may be required. A DIY option will not reveal if the mold is toxic or not - nor will it help you resolve the problem. An environmental hygienist can accurately and safely test for mold and develop a plan to treat existing mold and address the source feeding the fungal growth.
If you're considering options for mold testing in your home, save your time and money and turn to the experts. DIY mold test kits do not provide the value or solutions you need.

Can Employees Return to Work During Restoration?

3/5/2020 (Permalink)

Air movers placed on affected area. Concept of water restoration Black water damage in a Black Lick, PA building

Can Employees Return to Work During Restoration?

If black water invades your business in Black Lick, PA, there are a few things that must be done before your employees can return to the building. Since this type of water harbors bacteria, viruses, chemicals, or other debris, it is important not to allow anyone near the water. You do not need to wait for the entire restoration process to be complete as long as a few key tasks are done ahead of time.

1. Black Water Clean Up Floodwater can contain materials that make it unsafe to enter. This can be caused by a contaminated water source, backed-up sewage systems, or water that has been left to sit for more than 24 hours. When you hire a restoration company for flood cleanup, they will usually extract the standing water and then dry the area with special blowers.

2. Demolition Certain structural materials like drywall, flooring, and carpeting may have become so damaged that they must be taken out. All of these items will be replaced at the end of the restoration process. Since there may still be unsanitary conditions during this phase, employees should not be present.

3. Disinfection Even after demolition, there will be certain items that came into contact with the floodwater. This could include subfloors, walls, ceilings, baseboards, or other materials. All of these must be disinfected before it will be safe for your employees to return to work.

4. Resume Operations After disinfection, the rebuild process will begin. Your building may resemble a construction site during this phase, so it is important to check with your restoration company to ensure it is safe for your employees to be onsite. Once you have approval, you can use air filtration devices to help ensure a safe working environment.
After experiencing black water, you want to keep your operations running as smoothly as possible. By enlisting the help of a professional restoration company, you can protect the health of your business and your employees.