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Getting Ready for the Insurance Adjuster

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

basement flooded Flooded basement in Essington, PA.

Getting Ready for the Insurance Adjuster

When your home in Essington, PA, has sustained water damage, it can be overwhelming to process what happened and know what to do next. However, as soon as you have a handle on the extent of the damage, it's important to place a claim with your insurance company as quickly as possible. Soon after you file your claim, a home adjuster should be sent out to assess the damage and file a report. While you're waiting for the adjuster's visit, here are a few tips to help the claims process go smoothly:

Know What To Ask Your Agent
Have your questions written down before calling your insurance company and be sure to ask:

  • When to expect the visit from the adjuster
  • What receipts you need to provide
  • What the deadline is for filing
  • What your deductible is
  • Whether your policy covers the damage you incurred
  • How long it will take to process your insurance claim

Itemize the Damage Thoroughly
Create your own "damage report." In addition to writing out a detailed list, photograph and videotape the overall damage and the damage to each item on your list. If you've saved receipts, collect them and make copies to give to the home adjuster, or if you don't have them, research the current replacement costs for what's been damaged. Get written estimates for repairs and include that along with everything else.

Act Quickly To Repair Damages
If your repairs require expertise not in your skillset, call in the appropriate contractors to begin the work as soon as possible. In many cases, your best option is to hire a water damage remediation service to address everything from the initial cleanup to preventing further damage in the future. Even better, these professionals can work with your insurance company to help speed along the claims process.
If you don't already have it, ask your home adjuster or agent whether you can add a flood insurance rider to your policy. Because water damage occurs unexpectedly, it's a good idea to be prepared ahead of time so you aren't hit with a big bill if the worst happens.

Where Do I Install My New Smoke Alarms?

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

wooden structure of a bathroom burned Fire damage in Tinicum Township, PA.

How Do Smoke Alarms Work And Where Should They Go

Whether you're building a new home or need to revamp your current home-safety system, choosing a good smoke alarm and knowing where to install it is necessary. There are two basic types of detectors: ionization and photoelectric. They not only detect smoke differently but also detect some types of fires more quickly than others. Understanding how they work and where they work best will help you protect your family, home and possessions from harm.

How They Work
An ionization smoke detector uses a small amount of radioactive material to cause ions to be released, creating a current between the metal plates on either side of the material. Flaming, aggressive fires send up thick smoke that quickly disrupts the current and trips the alarm. Though ionization models also detect finer smoke particles, a photoelectric detector senses smoke from smoldering flames earlier. It uses light to detect smoke; when smoke particles block the interior light, an alarm goes off. If you want to create the best fire safety plan possible, use both types of alarms in your home.

Where They Should Go
At a minimum, you should have one smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every floor including the basement. Since many house fires start in the kitchen, it is good to have a detector there, and if you have a fireplace anywhere in your home, install one in that room as well. Finally, if you use gas or oil to heat your home, make sure to have a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector near the furnace and on every level. You can purchase wired-in or battery-operated smoke detectors; both are effective, though battery-operated ones require regular battery changes to ensure they're working properly.
Sadly, almost every home in the United States has had some kind of fire or smoke-related damage at one time or another. If there is evidence of damage in your home, a fire remediation service in Tinicum Township, PA  can inspect every smoke alarm, repair damages, clean the area and remove any residual odors that are present.

Keep Your Employees Safe With Storm Preparedness

4/1/2021 (Permalink)

wet floor inside a car wash. Concept of storm caused damage in a car wash. Flooded building in South Philadelphia, PA.

Weather Safety Guidelines

Keeping employees safe during a rain storm is the responsibility of every office manager. How you react to one is as important as the preparatory measures you take. Here are some extreme weather safety guidelines that should always be followed.

Thunderstorm Preparations
Before high winds and driving rains hit your office, reduce the risk of danger by employing these measures:

  • Download an emergency weather app to your phone and turn on notifications
  • Trim trees so that blown branches are less likely to break windows
  • Install lightning rods with guidance from your local fire department
  • Create an emergency first aid kit and inform everyone of where it is being stored

The danger presented by any heavy rain storm can be significantly reduced with the execution of these precautions.

Thunderstorm Responses
When a storm strikes, remain calm and take charge. The odds of someone getting injured are lower when you stay in control and are aware of what to do.
If a company picnic or other outdoor activity is underway when bad weather rolls in, immediately call off the event. Usher everyone inside, reminding them of the danger from lightning strikes. Transfer as much fun inside as possible to reduce the temptation of heading back out. If conditions make re-entering your building impossible, avoid high ground, fences and sheds. Take shelter in another dwelling or a vehicle with the windows rolled up.
Shutter your workspace's windows and secure the main entryways. Resist the temptation to constantly peer outside, as windswept items can shatter glass.
Shut down computers. Instruct staff to avoid using telephones and other electrical equipment. If possible, temporarily replace these devices with battery-powered alternatives.
Only after the danger has passed should you concern yourself with how much damage has been sustained. Once you have taken stock of everything needing repair, get in touch with an office repair specialist and bring your workspace back to normal.
Every heavy rainstorm comes with the potential for disaster. Make sure your staff stays safe by taking smart actions both before and after one arrives in South Philadelphia, PA.

4 Things Insurance Companies Consider When Creating a Preferred Vendors List

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Businessman and businesswoman smiling, SERVPRO logo phrase Ask them Did you know that we are a Preferred Vendor for many insurance companies.

Steps Insurance Companies Use To Decide On Preferred Vendors

Your insurance agent just gave you a list of their preferred disaster restoration professionals. You're probably wondering how they decided on this list.

1. What They Offer
That list your insurance agent gave you will have similar companies. You will notice that they are well-known companies that are established in the remediation industry. They have the appropriate certifications and trained staff. Plus, they are capable of doing a variety of restoration work. Some may even be willing to work directly with your insurance company. This is not by mistake. Your insurance company sat down and searched out vendors in your area that offered the most desirable services.

2. How They Meet Requirements
Once they find potential vendors in Darby Township, PA, insurance companies sit down with them and determine if they can work together. They discuss what the insurance company is looking for in a vendor. The vendor will propose how they meet these requirements. It will also likely supply examples of past work. For instance, a restoration company may provide before and after pictures from a business damaged by flooding.

3. If They Offer Quality Work
You'll notice the list your insurance agent gave you has multiple vendors on it. This is because multiple contractors can meet the requirements. All of these candidates have gone through the vetting process. This process is what your insurance company uses to ensure they offer quality work. Your insurance company will examine all of their potential candidates and include those who offer quality work and meet their other requirements.

4. If They Continue To Perform
Once in the vendor program, the process doesn't end. The companies are monitored continuously. Their work is reviewed, and they must continue to provide high-quality services.
To the excitement of clients, many insurance companies offer a preferred vendors list. Choosing one of the companies on these lists, such as SERVPRO, ensures you get quality work. This is because potential vendors go through an extensive vetting process to become a preferred company.

How To Clean Category 3 Flood Waters

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

sewage water damage in commercial building Sewage backup is considered Category 3 water damage

All types of flood water have the potential to cause damage, but some are more worrisome than others. Those deemed Category 3 are the worst, as these waters contain harmful toxins including negative bacteria and pesticides. Because cleaning this level of flooding requires the most care, here are a few things you should know about the origins and cleaning of these nefarious disasters.

Category 3 Spill Types

Also known as black water, Category 3 flooding has a number of causes, some of them being:

  • Toilet overflow
  • Sewage backup
  • Rising rivers and streams

Improperly handling one of these noxious stews exposes you, as well as your employees in Sharon Hill, PA, to a significant danger. If you are incapable of following each of the below cleanup guidelines, contact a flood water restoration professional to do the job for you.

Category 3 Spill Cleanup

Individuals authorized to rid offices of contaminated water are required to wear safety gear such as goggles, boots and gloves. Before starting, rid your space of hazards like electrical wires touching water or cracked drywall in danger of collapse. Identify and halt any rushing source of liquid. Place desks and chairs that are not easily removed from the jeopardized area onto raised blocks.
Soaked carpeting needs to be dried with a sub-surface extraction device, but any overly compromised floor covering should be discarded. Sop up standing water with mops and squeegees and then use dehumidifiers to increase aeration. Once the zone is free of moisture, apply a biocide to prevent mold growth.
Check every room to make sure water has not seeped elsewhere, paying close attention to the moisture levels of affected areas. Keep track of completed steps and write down everything to be certain that nothing is skipped.
Flood water can wreak havoc within offices, especially that of the contaminated variety. Should your business become soaked with hazardous liquid, rid yourself of it with safety in mind.

3 Things Business Owners Should Expect During Mold Remediation

2/3/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth behind drywall If you suspect black mold is growing, do not wait to seek action.

Three Steps To Clean Up The Trouble

If your business in Folcroft, PA, recently experienced water damage, the property could be hosting black mold. The spores thrive on moisture, reproducing quickly within one to two days. Leaky pipes, toilet overflows and lingering spills are just a few issues that trigger the dilemma, especially when they do not receive the appropriate restoration care. Towels and bleach aren't going to be enough to secure the area. Instead, owners must carefully tend to the moisture issue using the services of a water restoration company. The crew should implement the following three steps to clean up the trouble.

1. Determine the Contamination Zone
Specialists thoroughly evaluate the building, creating a mold cleanup. The experts assess air quality and dampness, deciding how much of the structure has been harmed. The impacted sections are blocked off to prevent additional infestation. Doors and windows should remain closed. Place barriers and signs in the rooms to keep others out. Use negative air chambers to stop the spores from moving through the air conditioner.
When people, mostly the work crew, do enter, they should have protective gear such as goggles, gloves and boots. Microbes love to hitch rides, so these items assist in mitigating their movement.

2. Eliminate Moisture
Black mold thrives on dampness; therefore, handle lingering wetness immediately. Use wet vacuums to suck up puddles, and run dehumidifiers to draw out the excess humidity. Then, wipe the walls down and extract saturated materials such as carpeting and drywall. Microscopic fungus spores penetrate porous substances, so removing them is necessary to lower the count.

3. Sanitize the Space
The mold remediation crew washes the remaining fixtures with soap and water, drying them carefully. They then apply an antimicrobial spray to baseboards, walls and other nonporous structures. At this time, voice any requests about content cleaning services. Technicians have specialized equipment to salvage documents and electronics.
If you suspect black mold is growing, do not wait to seek action. Contact professionals to guide you through the remediation process. The team's meticulous procedures ensure that the establishment is cleaned and ready to resume business.

3 Tips for Cleaning Your Contents After a Flood

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

washing machine covered with mud, table, couch, chairs, small refrigerator covered with black water Flooded content damage in Collingdale, PA

Content Cleaning Tips

A flood in your Collingdale home can not only cause significant damage to the structure but can damage or destroy the contents of your home. Some damaged contents will need to be discarded and replaced, but others can be cleaned and restored. These three content cleaning tips will help you salvage your water damaged property.

1. Observe Safety Precautions
Avoid walking through standing water. Downed power lines could present an electrocution risk. Additionally, there may be black water from the sewage system that contains untreated sewage and other contaminants. Before entering your home, look for foundation cracks or other signs that the structure may not be stable. Call your utility company to turn off the gas and electricity. Wear protective clothing such as goggles, gloves, and waterproof boots. Do not use candles or lamps with open flames that could ignite a gas leak. Do not force open doors. Watch for insects and wildlife.

2. Remove Water-Damaged Contents
Most contents that have remained in a flooded home for more than 24 hours after the water has receded will not be salvageable. Because of this, it is important to remove damaged items from the home as soon as it is safe. Discard carpet padding, mattresses, and upholstered furniture. Throw out all food products. Hose off, clean and sanitize metal, solid wood, and plastic furniture or contact a content cleaning service for assistance.

3. Document Your Damage
If the flooding was widespread in your area, it may take some time for the insurance company to be able to inspect your damage. You may be able to speed up the process by providing photographs of your damaged items to the insurance company.
Content cleaning can help restore some types of property that may otherwise need to be discarded and replaced. These three tips can help you salvage your valuable property and lower your restoration costs.

Does Water Damage Always Accompany Fire Damage?

1/7/2021 (Permalink)

Fire and strong smoke covered building. Dangerous situation Commercial fire and water damage in Sharon Hill, PA

Water and fire damage can coincide when a fire hose or another water-based method is used to suppress a blaze. Find out more about the ways that these elements combine and compound the severity of property damage.

Some Suppression Methods Use Water

Water can be effective for putting out some fires. Any of the following methods may be used to extinguish or suppress flames:

  • Fire hoses
  • Class A extinguishers
  • Sprinkler systems

Fire hoses tend to cause more extensive and severe water damage than extinguishers or sprinklers, but the presence of any excessive moisture has the potential to compound the effects of fire damage. Water may also cause flames fed by certain combustibles, such as grease, to spread.

Not Every Suppressant Contains Water

Some Class A extinguishers and most multi-class extinguisher models contain dry chemical suppressants. These suppression methods limit damage caused by fire without causing more damage with water. The residue of these substances can be removed during cleanup along with ash, soot and debris.

A Fire Hose Can Cause Major Water Damage

The flow rate of fire hoses varies widely, but this suppression method can swiftly introduce hundreds or thousands of gallons of water into a burning structure. Although heat causes evaporation, any water that pools in a fire-damaged structure will become contaminated and have the potential to increase the risk of many other forms of secondary damage.
The quantity of water is an important factor in determining the severity of combined water and fire damage. Fire hoses emit hundreds or thousands of gallons of water, whereas fire sprinkler systems only activate the heads closest to the portion of a structure where high temperatures have been detected and have a lower flow rate. Make sure any extinguishers you use contain effective suppressants for the classes of fire that are most likely to occur at a building in Sharon Hill, PA.

How To Unclog a Drain Without Using Harmful Chemicals

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Woman with plunger trying to remove clogged sinks. You can try with a plunger to unclog the drain

Different Ways To Unclog Your Drain

Chemical cleaners may work on your clogged drain, but they can also damage your pipes. The chemicals produce heat which can cause metal and plastic pipes to warp. Using chemicals on drains that are completely blocked is especially bad since they will just sit on top of the blockage causing more damage to your Collingdale pipes. There are some safe and effective alternatives to unclogging your drains, however.

1. Plunger
A sink plunger should be placed over the drain opening so that it seals the area completely. The vacuum created by the pumping action can sometimes clear the clog.

2. Wire Hanger
If a plunger doesn't work, try using a straightened wire hanger. Push the wire down into the drain and then slowly push it out and then back in several times to break up the blockage.

3. Drain Snake
You can rent a drain snake from your local hardware store in, to fix the clogged drain. Place the auger end into the drain and turn it while feeding the cable into the opening. Continue to twist the snake handle until you reach the blockage, allowing the cable to latch onto the clog. Slowly pull out the cable, along with the clog.

4. Baking Soda and White Vinegar
A great alternative to a chemical drain cleaner is using baking soda and white vinegar. The combination of the two ingredients causes a chemical reaction that eats through the blockage, without damaging the pipes. First, pour 3/4 cup baking soda into the drain, followed immediately by 1/2 cup white vinegar. Cover the opening with a rag and leave it for about 30 minutes. Boil some water and pour it down the drain slowly.
It's important to remember that if you require any sewage cleaning, call a water damage repair service as soon as possible.
You don't need harsh chemicals to fix your clogged drain if you try these quick and inexpensive solutions.

3 Mold Prevention Tips for Your Commercial Property

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician checking for mold on the floor of a Collingdale building Call SERVPRO of South Philadelphia / SE Delaware County to help with the proper mold remediation

Here Are Some Other Mold Prevention Tips

Mold is not something to be taken lightly. The fungus can appear on paper, carpets and other parts of your Collingdale, PA commercial building. Mold can even grow above ceiling tiles and behind walls. The fungus can cause extensive harm to your property that necessitates professional mold remediation services.
Mold is especially common in moist areas. You can thus reduce mold by limiting the amount of water damage to your building. Here are some other mold prevention tips.

1. Ventilate Properly
Commercial kitchens and laundry rooms can release moisture into the air that encourages mold growth. Make sure that any stoves and dryers are vented outdoors. You may also want to purchase dehumidifiers for your property. Clean these dehumidifiers regularly so they do not produce any additional moisture.
Energy-efficient buildings, in particular, may trap moisture in the air. If your property has energy-efficient appliances, consider running an exhaust fan or opening the window when they are being used.

2. Dry Wet Spots
Ideally, you should prevent leaks and other causes of water damage to your property. However, accidental floods may still occur. If you do discover standing water in your building, you need to address it within 48 hours. Any equipment or furniture that cannot be completely dried should be removed from the premises. Mold can even grow on wet clothes, so hang them to dry outside if possible.

3. Reduce Humidity
Humid locations are particularly vulnerable to mold. Keep the indoor humidity between 30 and 60 percent at all times. You can purchase a moisture meter at a hardware store to make sure you are staying within this recommended guideline. Keep an eye out for condensation and other signs of humidity.
Since mold appears naturally in the environment, you cannot completely eradicate it from your property. However, by reducing moisture and immediately addressing any water damage, you can prevent excessive mold growth that could destroy your building.