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How To Prepare for a House Fire

5/20/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Prepare for a House Fire Every emergency escape plan should consist of two ways out from every room

How To Prepare for a House Fire

A well-crafted fire escape plan can be the difference between life and death in a disaster situation. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the components that go into making an OK strategy great. There are at least four steps to take to ensure that your escape plan is the best plan for your home and family.

1. Know Two Ways Out

According to the Red Cross, every emergency escape plan should consist of two ways out from every room. While this may sound difficult, it may be easier than it seems. Every bedroom has a window and a door, and the same can be said for almost every other room in the house. The basement and attic can be difficult, but safety systems can be installed. For instance, homeowners could install an egress window in the basement, providing another means of exit.

2. Clear Obstacles

Once you have determined the routes for your fire escape plan, you should spend time clearing the paths. Keeping tables and furniture away from the route is vital because these objects will only slow down an escape. Also, these pieces will only add to the confusion when crawling through a smoke-filled home.

3. Practice

Since a fire will limit visibility, the routine practice of escape routes is necessary to commit the plan to memory. You can also practice these paths while crawling and staying as low as possible because this is what you may be forced to do in a real-life situation.

4. Consult With a Professional

If you are having difficulty preparing a plan for your home and are struggling with finding the recommended two ways out from every room, then you can contact a fire assessment specialist in the Candler,NC, area. These professionals will be able to guide you through the process of plan creation, or they may even be able to customize your plan for you.

A fire escape plan should be an essential tool in all family homes. While no one likely wants to need a strategy, if the day ever comes that a fire breaks out, you will probably be happy to have prepared.

Tenant Responsibilities After a Flood

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tenant Responsibilities After a Flood It’s important to talk to your agent about getting additional flood insurance

Leasing office or warehouse space in Asheville,NC, comes with certain responsibilities. If you run a business in an area that floods regularly, you want to make sure you have the right renter’s insurance to cover all the flood damage that may occur. Once you know what your obligations are, you are better equipped to understand what your insurance package should include.

Owner vs. Tenant Responsibilities

The owner of the building and the tenants who rent the space are responsible for different problems that may arise when there’s storm damage. Basically, if you provide it, it’s your job to fix it. Therefore, you need adequate insurance coverage to pay for the following expenses:

  • Furniture
  • Equipment
  • Office supplies
  • Important documents
  • Operational costs

The owner must repair the building and all the fixtures within, such as plumbing and electrical systems. If the damage is so bad that you have to vacate the premises while repairs are made, you shouldn’t be expected to pay rent for the time you cannot use the space.

Coverage You Need

Your renter’s insurance policy probably covers the basics of storm cleanup services such as repairing water damage from a leaky roof and restoring or replacing electronics. It may have exclusions for flooding, however, so it’s important to talk to your agent about getting additional flood insurance if you need it.

While you may get a reprieve from rent if you have to relocate, the building owner is not going to pay the cost of doing so. Your renter’s policy may cover part of the relocation cost, but it’s a good idea to have business continuity coverage for the actual expenses associated with running your business and any money you may lose as a result of the time needed for flood cleanup in the space.

Knowing both your rights and your responsibilities as a tenant can help you choose the renter’s insurance you need. Adequate coverage can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Important Steps in the Flood Damage Claims Process

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

After your home in Jupiter, NC has sustained water damage from a storm, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure what to do next in order to make a flood claim. There are several useful measurements that can simplify the claims process.

1. Make Contact with Your Insurance Company

In order to make an insurance claim, your insurance provider should be informed of what damage has occurred to your home. After you have initially made contact with your provider, your insurance company will likely send an insurance adjuster to inspect the damage. The adjuster will document the amount and the type of damage caused by the flood, which will give your insurance company valuable information that will help to determine what costs will be covered.

2. Remove Items That You Can Access

Removing items from your home soon after the flood has occurred may allow the damaged belongings to be restored. However, items that are in standing water or belongings that are near electrical hazards can be dangerous to remove and should be left. Though replacing rather than repairing items will likely increase the cost of your flood claim, it’s generally wise to prioritize your safety by not removing items in unsafe areas and instead focus on removing what you can easily access.

3. Wait Until the Home Is Dry Before Making Major Repairs

Though you’re likely eager to restore your home as quickly as possible, it can be detrimental to attempt repairs when the home isn’t dry. Making repairs while your home is still wet can result in the structure of your home becoming damaged, and any repairs will likely be ineffective while the home is damp. Instead of jumping to make repairs too soon, it can be helpful to contact flood restoration professionals who can help to determine when restoration can safely begin.

Knowing how to make a flood claim after your home has been flooded can put your mind at ease. Contacting your insurance company, removing items safely and holding back on repairs are often beneficial steps to take during the claims process.

How To Clean Up After a Pipe Breaks

4/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Clean Up After a Pipe Breaks A broken pipe can be a major water damage

A property owner or manager can take several measures to clean up after a pipe breaks at a building in Alexander, NC. The following four steps can reduce the extent of damage due to bursting pipes and start the drying process as soon as possible.

1. Shut Off the Water Supply

The most effective way to limit damage before a plumber arrives to fix broken pipe problems is to shut off the water supply valve. This valve is located where pipes enter the building, near the water meter. Turn the valve to stop the flow of water and then turn on a faucet to relieve pressure in the lines and reduce the amount of water emitted from bursting pipes.

2. Extract Standing Water

As soon as a plumber fixes the broken pipe, it is time to start mitigating damage. Removing as much water as possible is the most important step. Non-professionals may have access to a mop or wet vac and the option to rent a pump. For the best results, a building owner or manager should rely on damage mitigation professionals who have specialized expertise and equipment.

3. Promote Area Drying

Next, a building owner or manager should promote drying by increasing ventilation. A damage mitigation service can provide air movers or fans to ensure that the affected area will dry quickly.

4. Lower Humidity Levels

Reducing residual moisture is critical for preventing secondary damage such as corrosion, rot or mold. Experts recommend using a dehumidifier to maintain relative indoor humidity levels between 30 percent and 50 percent.

Depending on the amount of water emitted from bursting pipes, it may be advisable to arrange for professional cleanup and drying. For damage mitigation expertise and access to equipment that can accelerate the water extraction and drying process, a property owner or manager should contact professionals who specialize in water damage in Alexander, NC.

Common Locations for Roof Leaks

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Common Locations for Roof Leaks if you have mold damage call SERVPRO of Asheville West

If the top floor of your commercial building in Enka, NC, has water damage on the ceiling, the most likely cause is a leaking roof. It's important to locate the source of the leak and get it fixed so that you don’t end up with a black mold problem. Mold can start to grow in as little as 24 hours after water damage has occurred, so time is of the essence when it comes to taking care of this issue. Check the following areas of your roof for leaks so that you can fix it quickly.

Substrate

The substrate is the base part of the roof to which other materials are applied. Substrate boards serve several purposes:

  • Support insulation
  • Hold waterproofing materials
  • Improve fire resistance

This layer is the main barrier between the outside of your building and the attic. If the substrate boards are damaged, you are likely to experience a ceiling leak the next time it rains.

Shingles

A damaged shingle can let in unwanted moisture that may eventually result in black mold. If your shingles are broken, everything underneath them is at risk. Wet or moldy insulation is ineffective and will need to be replaced. Finding the problem early can significantly reduce the likelihood of mold as well as the cost of the water or mold remediation services.

Joints

The third place you may find a roof leak is where two different parts of the roof meet. Anywhere there is a joint, there is the opportunity for a weak spot. Having your roof inspected regularly can tell you if you need more caulk or need to replace the flashing in the joints on your roof.

Any time you see water damage on your ceiling, particularly on the top floor, you may have a small window of time to mitigate before black mold starts to grow. To protect your building from secondary damage, call remediation experts as soon as you notice the problem.

How Does a Vendor Program Work?

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Insurance companies rely on vendor programs to identify trusted service providers. These programs have requirements to ensure that work meets the highest standards. An insurance agent may continue to use the same mitigation and restoration service as long as this company is reliable and completes high-quality work. Find out more about some of the standards and benefits of a vendor program.

Establishes Basic Standards

Most programs set forth basic requirements for services. Depending on the insurer, these may include any of the following factors:

  • Bonding
  • Certification
  • Performance data

Insurance companies want to make sure that service providers are insured and qualified to complete jobs. Some services also maintain internal standards. SERVPRO franchises must satisfy 21 requirements of a Participation Agreement to receive insurance jobs.

Ensures a High Quality of Service

Insurers prefer to work with companies that have a track record of providing exceptional service. Companies in a vendor program tend to have worked with insurers in the past and achieved satisfactory results. An unreliable service is unlikely to remain in a program.

Expedites Claim Settlement

An insurance agent can rely on a preferred mitigation and restoration service to provide all of the information necessary to settle a claim. This may include several types of documentation:

  • Estimate
  • Report of damage
  • Performance data

All of this information should be readily available to insurers. The Claims Information Center makes it easy for agents and adjusters to access this data online at any time, which may make it possible for claims to be settled more quickly.

These are a few broad aspects of vendor programs. Each insurer is likely to have slightly different priorities and requirements for Preferred Vendors. An insurance agent, adjuster or insured client should select a mitigation and restoration company that meets all of the applicable vendor requirements for coverage to complete a commercial restoration job in Leicester, NC.

What Happens to Wet Building Materials?

3/19/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What Happens to Wet Building Materials? Wood floor damage in a Candler,NC home.

Understanding Of How Certain Materials React To Water

Whether you’re doing major renovations or making small adjustments to your home in Candler,NC, swelling wood and other signs of water damage on building materials can bring a project to a halt. However, knowing what items can be saved and what items should be replaced can help you save money and time.

1. Drywall

Since drywall is made up of such an absorbent material, it’s common for the plasterboard to retain moisture after a leak or flood has occurred. If the drywall remains wet for a long period of time, mold growth is likely to occur, and boards with mold should be replaced. However, in most cases, if water is thoroughly and carefully removed from drywall in a timely manner, the plasterboard can be saved.

2. Subfloors

When a cabinet or subfloor becomes wet, the wood that makes up these items often begins to swell. Swelling wood occurs when thin pieces of wood or wood-like materials absorb water. Subfloors engorged with water are more likely to break and are not structurally sound; likewise, cabinets that are swollen with water are at risk of deteriorating. Water damage restoration experts can often help to remove and replace damaged cabinets and subfloors.

3. Hardwood

Hardwood floors can make a statement in a home, but they are often one of the first things to become damaged during a flood. Fortunately, hardwood floors can usually be saved if they are quickly dried off. Unlike subfloors, hardwood floors are unlikely to become swollen in a short period of time. After drying off hardwood floors or other surfaces, you can focus on seeking out professionals to fix the supply line or make the water pipe repair in order to prevent water damage from reoccurring.

Drywall and hardwood can withstand moisture, but swelling wood in cabinets or subfloors will likely need to be replaced if it becomes wet. With an understanding of how certain materials react to water, homeowners can protect the various surfaces in their homes.

What Makes Mold Spread?

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What Makes Mold Spread? Mold was growing behind this wall after a pipe leak

Smelly, destructive and seemingly everywhere, mold is one of the great frustrations of owning a home. Unfortunately, no matter how pristine your home is, there’s a chance that it can fall victim to spreading mold. But just how does it spread? Figuring this out can be the first step in minimizing mold in your Asheville, NC home.

Understanding Mold

Part of understanding why and how mold spreads is understanding what mold is. On its face, mold is an unpleasant smelling, fuzzy-looking spot that appears where there is moisture and warmth. More specifically, mold is a type of fungus that:

  • Feeds on things like plants and fibers
  • Thrives in damp, musty locations like bathrooms and attics
  • Can cause expensive damage to everything from drywall to furniture

Now you know what and where mold typically is. How does it get there?

Mold Reproduction

Molds multiply via tiny spores that are invisible to the naked eye. These lightweight spores travel through the air, land on wet areas and breed. They prefer to grow on organic materials, which can include things like paper, leather, dirt and soap scum. They also like temperatures between 77 and 86 degrees. That means that keeping your environment warm and damp contributes to spreading mold.

How to Stop Mold from Multiplying

Stopping black mold in its tracks can be as simple as finding and eliminating the source. Inspect your home for moist areas, paying attention to areas around windows and beneath sinks, as well as enclosed areas like attics and basements. Remove moisture if you can or work with a cleanup company if there’s a bigger moisture source such as a leak.

Mold is an inconvenient part of life. Fortunately, there are ways to stop spreading mold in your home. Find and eliminate water sources or work with a mold remediation company to remove moisture and shut mold down before it takes hold.

3 Reasons a Restoration Company’s Response Time Matters

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Reasons a Restoration Company’s Response Time Matters SERVPRO can respond immediately to any disaster.

3 Reasons A Restoration Company’s Response Time Matters

Whether homeowners have had their home in Enka, NC affected by fire, flooding or storms, the damage that occurs as a result can be disastrous. A restoration company that has 24-hour availability and can respond quickly can benefit a home in many ways.

1. Accurate Assessments

After a home is damaged, receiving an accurate assessment of what has been affected can be useful to both homeowners and insurance adjusters. Knowing what has been damaged and what likely needs to be replaced can ensure the insurance adjuster provides a homeowner’s insurance company with the relevant information. Once the claim has been made, the process of restoring the home can begin sooner rather than later.

2. Mitigate Damage

If a restoration company does not respond quickly to a disaster, the home that has been affected can become increasingly damaged over time. Water damage can cause mold to grow, structures can become weak and items that could have been restored with earlier intervention may need to be replaced. A restoration company that has 24-hour availability can respond immediately to a disaster and can ultimately mitigate the amount of damage that a home sustains.

3. Answer Urgent Questions

Having confidence in the company that is restoring a home is important for all parties involved. The process of restoring a home can be complex at times, and when homeowners, insurance companies or insurance adjusters have questions, receiving a fast response is often important. Whether a homeowner wants to know how their belongings will be restored or an insurance adjuster requires documentation, a restoration company that is always available ensures no question will be left unanswered.

With a quick response and 24-hour availability, a restoration company can provide adjusters, insurance agents and homeowners with accurate assessments while mitigating the damage to a home and answering any questions throughout the restoration process. Working with a preferred vendor that is always open can make the restoration process much easier.

What You Should Know About Flood Damage as a Tenant

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What You Should Know About Flood Damage as a Tenant Ask your insurance agent if you are covered.

As A Tenant Am I Covered?

When a storm or flood affects the home you’re renting in Enka,NC, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, knowing what renter’s insurance will and will not cover can help to eliminate some of the stress that comes with the restoration process.

1. Landlords Can Help Prepare for Floods

Mitigating the amount of damage that a flood can cause can help to protect your home. Before a storm or flood occurs, the landlord of a property can often take steps to prevent major damage from occurring, such as using tarps on roofs and boarding up windows. Additionally, your landlord can provide you with important information about how to evacuate if it becomes unsafe to stay in your home.

2. Tenants Cover Property Losses

Although it’s helpful to move important items, such as legal documents or items of sentimental value, in waterproof containers before a storm or flood, you may not have much warning before a flood occurs. As a result, valuable items may become damaged. The tenant is responsible for any personal items that were damaged in a flood, but renter’s insurance will cover the cost of replacing those items. It can be helpful to document the damage so your insurance company can give you fair compensation.

3. Landlords Cover Structural Damage

While the tenants’ insurance coverage will cover the cost of personal property damage, the landlord is responsible for fixing any structural damage that occurs as the result of a storm or flood. Structural damage can include damage to your home’s roof, pipes and more. However, if your items become damaged as a result of structural damage, you as the tenant are still responsible for replacing those personal belongings.

As a tenant, it can be useful to know that landlords can help to prepare you and your home for floods and storms; it’s also useful to know what your renter’s insurance will and won’t cover. If your home has been affected by flooding, it may be helpful to contact water damage restoration experts.