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What’s the Difference Between Flood Damage and Water Damage?

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Entrance of a building flooded Flood damage in Cullowhee, NC.

What’s the Difference Between Flood Damage and Water Damage?

Having a commercial insurance policy is often mandatory for businesses in Cullowhee, NC – especially if they have lenders or investors. When your business gets storm damage, there are a variety of factors that determine if it’s covered by a standard policy, and you should know in advance what exceptions are carved out.

One of the biggest exclusions is flood damage. It requires a separate policy but knowing what the difference is can be tricky.

What About a Water Leak Caused By Storm Damage?
When a storm damages your building, most of the perils are covered by a standard policy. This includes:

  • Hail
  • High winds
  • Tree strikes
  • Falling objects
  • Lightning and fire

All these incidents are considered an Act of God and are generally covered. Water damage that’s caused by these sorts of hazards will also normally be covered.

What About Flood Damage?
A flood is defined by the National Flood Insurance Program as “a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or two or more properties.” When flooding occurs, that damage is excluded from all standard insurance policies.
So, flooding that occurs just inside your building from a broken pipe or storm-damaged roof will normally be covered. If the floodwaters come from off your property, that normally won’t be covered.
Both kinds of water damage must be handled by a storm damage mitigation expert. A heavy water intrusion is a disaster for absorbent materials as well as the foundation. However, damage from flooding is usually worse, since it isn’t clean water and is usually filled with toxic debris and substances.

What Else Is Excluded?
If the water damage is a result of your negligence, it won’t be covered. For instance, if you don’t clean your gutters, it can back up the water, causing seepage. The insurance adjuster can deny your claim if they see that during an inspection. You’re expected to take reasonable precautions for managing your property.
Your restoration company can often help you determine if the damage is covered. If you have a flood policy, all the floodwater damage should be fully insured and repairs can often begin immediately.

5 Steps of Professional Mold Remediation

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Wall covered with mold Mold growth in a home in Hayesville, NC.

Professional Mold Cleanup

Once mold appears in your Hayesville, NC, removing it isn’t as easy as it may seem, especially if it is black mold. While some of it may be all too visible, there is a chance it has already spread to areas of the home not affected by water damage. To ensure it is removed right, it is recommended to seek the help of a certified mold remediation and restoration company. Below are the five general steps involved in a professional cleanup.

1. Inspection
Within 24 hours of receiving the call, the right professional can set up a time to inspect and assess the damage. Various technologies are used to detect hidden water damage and fungi growth. After the inspection, the experts can provide a detailed plan for remediation.

2. Containment
Black mold spreads fast, so the first step is containment. Depending on your situation, various methods can be used to keep spores from floating to other areas. Typically, a negative air chamber along with physical barriers trap the spores in preparation of cleanup.

3. Air Filtration
Visible mold is likely already in a stage in which it can start to send spores elsewhere. An essential component of mold cleanup is cleaning the air. Professionals use high-tech, industrial-grade air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to keep spores from spreading. Negative air machines are also used to remove airborne particles, ensuring no lingering ones remain.

4. Removal and Cleanup
Once the area and air are contained, the removal and cleanup process begins. The extent of the damage determines how long the process takes. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments prevent the creation of additional colonies. Highly infested porous materials are removed. This often includes insulation, drywall, trim and carpet. Belongings also must be carefully removed for proper cleaning and sanitizing off-site.

5. Restoration
Often the longest part of the process, restoration starts once the affected areas have passed a clearance test. SERVPRO's team of professionals know what is needed to take your home back to “Like it never even happened.”
Dealing with black mold requires expertise and patience. Luckily, help is just a call away.

A 3-Step Smoke Alarm Inspection

6/2/2021 (Permalink)

Hands replacing batteries in a smoke detector Alarms that rely on replaceable batteries should receive new batteries every year.

Take These Three Steps to Determine Whether any Smoke Alarm is Functional

Smoke alarms are critical safety devices. A wide range of detector designs is currently available. Homeowners may be interested in a smart detection and alarm system, hardwired system, or standard battery-powered alarms that use the best detection method for a particular area of a residence. A homeowner can take these three steps to determine whether any smoke alarm is functional.

1. Check the Age

The sensors and machinery in a smoke detector become less responsive over time. Fire safety experts recommend replacing an alarm every 10 years, regardless of the battery type. Newer detectors that run on long-life lithium ion batteries must be replaced, as there is no way to replace this built-in battery without installing a new alarm.

2. Test the Alarm

Homeowners should press the test button on a smoke alarm at least once every month. Regular tests can be helpful for making sure an alarm is connected to a power source. If the test button does not function, check the battery or wiring. If a power source is available, another component in the alarm may be malfunctioning and require replacement or repair.

3. Replace the Batteries

Alarms that rely on replaceable batteries should receive new batteries every year. This applies to nine-volt or PP3 batteries as well as alarms that run on AAA, AA, C or D batteries. Alarms that run on lithium ion batteries should operate for up to 10 years before the entire alarm unit should be replaced.

Each of these steps is important to ensure that every smoke alarm in a residence will be able to sound in the event of a fire. It is a good idea to test each alarm monthly. Switch out replaceable smoke detector batteries or battery backups at least once a year. In the event of fire damage, homeowners should contact a fire restoration company located in Cashiers, NC.

Tips for Dealing With a Partial Loss

4/21/2021 (Permalink)

Door structure and wall burned Fire damage in Murphy, NC.

How To Handle The Damage To Your Building

Sometimes, a fire results in the total loss of a building. If your building in Murphy, NC, is only damaged in the fire, the good news is that it is probably able to be restored. However, a partial fire loss can also come with some complications. Here are a few tips on how to handle the damage to your building so that it can be functional again.

Find Hidden Damage
Not all fire damage is obvious. Just because everything seems fine, that doesn't mean that you don't need remediation. In fact, a fire in an adjacent building can even cause damage to yours:

  • Soot or smoke damage
  • Warping from extreme temperatures
  • Ash deposits
  • Air quality issues

If there has been a fire in either your building or any structure near the property, a thorough inspection is a good idea. Certified fire cleanup experts can examine the whole structure and identify what needs to be fixed.

Get a Thorough Cleaning
A fire loss can affect many parts of your building. Damaged materials from the roof, walls, ceiling and flooring should be torn out and replaced. Since part of the existing structure is likely to remain after a partial loss, you want to make sure that the restoration team matches the new additions to what is already there. The technicians who conduct the assessment should also be able to give you a timeline for when you can expect restoration to be complete.

Inspect Final Outcome
The technicians who handle the restoration to your building should be able to give you a detailed account of the work they did. It's important to get an itemized statement for the job. If an inspection reveals any issues after the work is complete, contact the fire restoration company to discuss the next steps.
Even if your building isn't completely destroyed, you may still have to deal with a partial fire loss after the flames are put out. A trustworthy restoration company should be able to return your building to normal.

Protect Your Personal Belongings From Fire Damage

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

bathroom vanity covered with smoke House fire damage in Cashiers, NC.

Protect Your Belongings From Fire Damage

If you are renting, it is still important to practice all of the guidelines for fire safety. This includes having fire alarms strategically located throughout the apartment or home, keeping an eye on open flames when cooking and not storing combustible or flammable items in an unsafe manner. This will keep you safe and protect your property. You should also look into renters insurance, as this covers your personal belongings if they get destroyed in a fire. It will also cover some expenses for a professional cleanup and fire restoration if needed. The cost of this insurance is relatively inexpensive, as you are just paying for the protection of your personal belongings and not for the structure of the apartment.

A Solid Value
People sometimes avoid renters insurance for a couple of reasons. The first is that they think they do not have enough belongings to merit insurance. However, when people add up their belongings it often is more than they think, and more they can afford to lose. The second is they fear the insurance will be too expensive. At the least, you should get a quote from an insurance agent. This type of insurance has many benefits:

  • Inexpensive
  • Customizable
  • Liability options
  • Fire restoration coverage

If you do own a fair amount of things, insurance is essential. It will help you recover from significant fire damage.

A Source of Help
If you do experience a fire in your residence, it is important to call a fire remediation company in Cashiers, NC, right after the fire trucks depart. Trained and experienced technicians will arrive quickly and begin to work on cleaning up soot and smoke damage. They will have all of the tools to restore your rooms to excellent condition. If you have renters insurance, many of the restoration services will likely be covered. Comprehensive fire protection includes insurance and professional help.

3 Frequently Asked Questions About Flood Insurance

3/31/2021 (Permalink)

dehumidifier placed on a room, floor is being dried up. Storm damage cleanup in Andrews, NC.

Flood Insurance

One storm can have a devastating impact on your business. Your commercial property insurance policy covers damage caused by many natural disasters, including wind and lightning. However, floods following heavy rain are not typically included in these policies. To protect your company, you should thus purchase separate flood insurance.
In fact, a flood policy is mandatory for some business owners. If you purchased a mortgage from an insured or federally regulated lender, and your property's location is at a high risk of flooding, you must purchase flood coverage. Still, even if you are not legally required to buy a flood policy, the benefits of this insurance outweigh the downsides. Below are the answers to three common questions about this type of insurance.

1. What Does This Insurance Cover?
Flood coverage includes both your building and the contents inside it. A typical policy does not cover items outside your structure, including company cars and septic systems.

2. How Do You Get This Insurance?
Most commercial insurance companies do not offer flood coverage. However, you can purchase a flood policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.
You do not contact the government to get this insurance. Instead, find an insurance agent in Andrews, NC, who can help you purchase flood coverage from the NFIP. Once you buy the policy, it usually takes one month to go into effect.

3. How Much Insurance Coverage Do You Get?
A commercial flood policy usually includes $500,000 of coverage for the contents of a building and another $500,000 for the structure. This should help you pay for water damage restoration services. If you think this amount is not sufficient, you can always purchase excess coverage.
Flood insurance is essential for any business owner. It should help you pay for repairs to your property after a storm. This way, you do not have to spend your company's hard-earned profits on restoration services.

Avoid Major Plumbing Damage by Identifying Early Warning Signs

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Split drainage pipe caused by ingress of tree roots in Franklin, NC. Tree roots can affect your plumbing pipes.

As a property owner in Franklin, NC, there are sure to be some maintenance issues that are more problematic than others, such as a blocked sewer. While many tasks can be handled without much fuss, trouble with any part of the plumbing system can be messy, unpleasant, and much bigger than they originally appear.

Identify Common Plumbing System Issues

If you've been involved with commercial property maintenance for a couple of years or more, you may recognize some of the most common plumbing-related problems:

A blocked sewer line could result in raw sewage flowing into your property through the drains. Some of the first warnings that the sewer line is blocked include percolation in the toilets and water seeping out of basement level floor drains.
Clogged pipes often happen when items are flushed down the toilet or rinsed down sink drains. In addition to causing a toilet overflow, tough clogs may lead to damaged pipes and leaks along the plumbing line. You can recognize this type of problem when water doesn't drain appropriately.
Cracks and other types of foundation damage may be linked to trouble in the plumbing system. Sometimes, the cracks are the result of tree roots or soil displacement. Both of these issues can affect your plumbing pipes, so it's best to inspect the cracks and find out why they've appeared.
Water damage is often the result of pipe breaks and leaks. Pipes may break because of normal wear and tear, mistakes made during installation, the use of cheap materials, or pests living within the building. Whatever the cause of the burst pipes, it's important to recognize reduced water pressure, building walls, loose ceiling tiles, or water stains.

A quick response is the best way to avoid further trouble and expensive repairs. When plumbing problems affect your commercial property, water damage cleanup and repair professionals can quickly resolve the issue and complete any necessary repairs.

Recognize Major Areas of Concern
As a maintenance professional, you know that some repair jobs require more time and energy than others. Make sure you know how to recognize major plumbing issues, such as a blocked sewer pipe, so you can take quick actions to avoid further damage.

How To Become a Preferred Vendor

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Business Communication Connection People Concept Did you know that we are a Preferred Vendor for many insurance companies.

How To Become a Preferred Vendor

Not all restoration companies are created equal. Your company needs help to restore your business space after a disaster in Franklin, NC, and you want to make sure that your first pick will be easy to work with, reliable, and provide superior service. Your insurance agent will provide you with a list of preferred vendors, but how can you know that you're really getting the best? At SERVPRO, you'll find some of the most stringent standards in the industry that ensure your project will be completed with excellence every time.

1. Quality Checks
When your insurance agent recommends a local franchise to complete your project, the SERVPRO vendor program has 21 guidelines that franchise owners must adhere to in order to earn jobs when you, the client, call the restoration hotline. These guidelines include conducting background checks for all employees, submitting to internal auditing for quality assurance, and maintaining all proper insurance coverage.

2. Rigorous Documentation
From the moment the customer contacts the restoration hotline, your case will be tracked every step of the way. You will be presented with information about which local franchise you were connected to, the amount of time it took to respond, the cause of the claim, and each step that was taken to complete your project.

3. Project Validation
Restoration companies have standards that must be followed when completing a project. You'll never have to wonder if your site was cleaned properly because you can request that drying validation be a part of your project documentation. You as the business owner can see the standards that the company promises and the tools that are to be used; there are no industry secrets. This transparency can provide you peace of mind, knowing that your restoration project was done to the highest standard.
When your insurance agent provides a preferred vendor list that includes a local SERVPRO franchise, you can be confident that your restoration project will be backed by high industry standards.

3 Water-Susceptible Materials and How Pros Deal With Them

3/12/2021 (Permalink)

Floor mat system extracting water from wooden floor in Franklin, NC Floormats working after water damage in a Franklin, NC residence.

3 Water-Susceptible Materials and How Pros Deal With Them

Has your home in Franklin, NC, suffered water damage? If swelling wood is an issue for you, it's best to contact a water damage restoration professional. The pros follow a few simple steps to get your home back to normal as soon as possible.

1. Drywall and Real Wood
Both of these materials are dried and saved using different kinds of equipment. Fans are used to circulate air and prevent mold from stagnation. Hidden moisture pockets are detected with special infrared imaging devices and all rooms are dried with dehumidifiers to also combat future mold growth. Rest assured that any family heirlooms or other precious materials made of real wood are safe from all but the most severe water damage.

2. Cabinets and Subfloors
Due to the nature of subfloors and many cabinets, these cannot be dried by the means listed above. Because both are made from plywood or other particle and composite sawdust mixtures, the water stays trapped and is very difficult to evaporate. Additionally, any glue used to hold the wood together during the manufacturing process disintegrates in water. To avoid swelling wood and long-term structural damage, these fixtures must be torn out and replaced.

3. Furniture
Though the process is a bit different from the steps for drywall and swelling wood, most materials of vinyl and leather are salvageable. In the best of cases, there is no evidence of any water damage as long as professionals get to your home and start work quickly. The only catch is that any piece of furniture with a composite frame — the same sawdust material that plywood is made from — is likely to fall apart as water weakens the glue. These pieces cannot be dried and must be replaced or else they can cause mold growth.
Whether the culprit was a supply line or a natural disaster, an expert helps restore your home quickly and efficiently. Plan for professional service after a water pipe repair or other disasters.

Precautions To Take During Mold Remediation

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Mold Quarantine in Franklin, NC Mold remediation services in Franklin, NC

Finding black mold in your building can be stressful, and you may be concerned about how to keep your employees and building safe during the mold removal process. Taking these precautions can help.

Prepare for Remediation

Before the mold remediation service arrives, there are things you can do to prevent further mold growth, minimize damage and keep everyone safe:

  • Clean up water and dry the area
  • Remove any items touched by mold or water
  • Open windows and doors
  • Clear the work area for technicians
  • Remove people and animals from the area if instructed by a technician

Understand the Remediation Process
While every mold remediation service in Franklin, NC may have slight differences in procedures, the mold removal process is generally the same. Understanding what to expect can help you prepare and take proper precautions.
The technicians will first bring necessary equipment into the building and set up protective materials, such as plastic sheets, to prevent any further damage. They will then put on protective equipment before coming into contact with mold or water. While not all mold or liquids are hazardous to touch, they will usually take precautions as if the area is contaminated, just to be safe. You and anyone else in the building should take these same precautions and avoid contact with potentially contaminated materials.
After drying any moisture, they will spray a disinfectant over the area that kills spores and prevents mold growth. They may have to return the following day to spray an encapsulant on the area, which further contains the mold, preventing further growth or damage.

Repair Structural Damage
Mold can damage building materials, such as wood, and cause structural damage to the building. The mold remediation service should check for any signs of damage. Any problem areas should be repaired as quickly as possible to ensure that the building is safe and structurally sound.
Knowing what to do before remediation, understanding the mold removal process and promptly repairing structural damage can protect your employees and building if you discover mold growth.