Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

Strategies To Keep Expenses Down

1/24/2020 (Permalink)

Man holding a bucket under a water leak coming from a roof Calling SERVPRO right away helps lower the cost of the claim

A commercial claim for a disaster, whether flooding, a fire, or something else, typically has a lot of moving parts. One factor business owners and insurance adjusters consider is how to keep costs low during cleanup and a restoration. There are several strategies to help with this; pretesting is one of the most effective. Another proven procedure is to fix items whenever possible and only replace them when necessary. Disaster technicians have a high level of training and certification in these types of project, and they can remove smoke odors, soot, water damage and mold growth to save many items from being discarded.

How Pretesting Works

One of the first steps after a disaster is an inspection and damage assessment. This lets the professionals get an overview of the situation and develop a plan of action. A series of tests also allows technicians to discover the following valuable information:

  • Is the water from a flood clean or dirty?
  • Is mold growth present? If so, what type of mold is it?
  • How extensive is the water damage? Are there areas of hidden damage?
  • Can items with smoke odors be saved? 

Testing involves sophisticated techniques and specialized equipment and helps focus the cleanup on critical areas. It can reduce the final insurance claim by only working on areas that have a problem.

How a Claims Inventory Process Helps

An insurance agent will appreciate a claims inventory by a specialist like SERVPRO. This procedure keeps track of all repairs and expenses through photos and Excel documents.
A disaster mitigation company that does pretesting and has a philosophy and a track record of keeping on eye on cost while still doing the job right is especially desirable. That's why SERVPRO is the preferred vendor for many insurance companies. With an extensive network of locally owned franchises, it is likely to have one in Jupiter, NC, staying true to their motto, "Faster to any size disaster."

3 Elements That Make Up a Good Fire Policy for Your Commercial Property

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

businessman present insurance concept with house on fire It is advisable to get additional fire insurance before you need it

When you own commercial property in Alexander, NC, it is important to have sufficient insurance coverage to pay for any damages that may occur. While most of the fire insurance you need is often covered under a standard property policy, there are several elements you need to make sure that you have just in case your building does take on fire or smoke damage.

Coverage for Exclusions

Your property policy probably covers most fire restoration services. There are several perils that can lead to fire, however, that may be excluded in a general policy:

  • Electrical issues
  • Storm damage
  • Lightning
  • Flooding

A general policy usually also excludes things such as vehicles and land. You want to make sure that you get supplemental fire insurance just in case the fire affects any property beyond the building itself.

Full Coverage

Many business owners often try to save money by scraping by on the bare minimum coverage that they need. This can be problematic. The reason to purchase insurance is to make sure you can pay for repairs that you can't necessarily foresee. You may hope you never need it, but it's vital to have adequate coverage when you do. If your property is under-insured, your policy is unlikely to cover the full cost of the repairs you need if something does happen. You may end up spending much more money on fire and smoke cleanup than you saved on premiums when you have to cover the remainder of the cost out of pocket.

Replacement Cost

A basic policy is likely to insure your property for its actual cash value. Because property depreciates as it gets older, however, what you need is a policy that can pay the actual cost it takes to replace anything lost in a fire. It's smart to talk to your agent about replacement cost coverage.
While you may have all your basic needs covered by your business owners policy, it is advisable to get additional fire insurance before you need it. This extra coverage is likely to be well worth the extra premium cost if your building catches fire.

5 Steps for Preventing Bathroom Mold

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

As a homeowner in Candler, NC, you may want to know how to prevent potential water damage and mold issues in your bathrooms. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to help mitigate these problems. Many professionals recommend the following five steps.

1. Ensure Caulking is Intact

Many water and mold damage restoration professionals recommend ensuring that the caulking is intact around your sink, tub and toilet. Caulking is used to help prevent water from leaking into unseen areas, causing damage, and creating potential mold habitats.

2. Use an Exhaust Fan

Another way to help prevent mold growth in the bathroom is through the use of ventilation such as an exhaust fan. Turn it on whenever bathing to help keep humidity levels low.

3. Use a Bathmat

You can also help prevent water damage which could lead to mold by using use a bath mat. These are designed to absorb water, helping to keep it from pooling on the floor and seeping into cracks and crevices where damage may be caused.

4. Squeegee Your Shower

Another step often recommended in mold prevention is to squeegee the shower walls when you are done bathing. Doing so can help prevent the buildup of humanity as the water evaporates, which may help mitigate mold issues.

5. Clean Regularly

You may want to help mitigate potential problems by regularly cleaning the bathroom. Not only will this allow you to spot any potential problem areas before damage is caused, but the use of disinfectants found in many cleaners may also help mitigate mold issues.


Remember, if you're trying to mitigate mold problems and water damage in a bathroom, these five steps may be able to help. You may also want to ensure that all caulking around the sink, tub and toilet is intact. Use ventilation such as an exhaust fan whenever running water, utilize a bath mat outside your shower tub, and squeegee your shower walls after use. Regularly cleaning the bathroom may also help.

How to Keep Your Swamp Cooler in Working Order

9/23/2019 (Permalink)

Old swamp cooler A swamp cooler can grow mold

How to Keep Your Swamp Cooler in Working Order

Summer in Enka,NC, is dangerously hot. Temperatures skyrocket and it seems as though cold air isn’t found anywhere. Have you gotten out your swamp cooler? Is it working like it should? Like an air conditioner, a swamp cooler can grow mold. Regular maintenance is essential to prevent mold growth. It’s time to do some swamp cooler maintenance. Use the following as a checklist.

1. Remove the panels and clean out the water tray.

Any debris left in the tray can build up and cause a leaking swamp cooler. You can repair the water pan by using roofing cement or tar to patch any holes. Look for split seams or rusted areas.

2. Check the fan belt. It can loosen up over time or stretch out with use. Make sure the belt is secure around the pulley. Adjust as needed. If there’s squeaking, you’ve got the belt too tight.

3. Lubricate the blower bearings. Fill the reservoir cup to the top. Oil motors that do not have sealed bearings. Without enough oil, the bearings will seize up and cause the motor to overheat.

4. Replace the cooler pads every year. The pads are what keep the cool air coming. As water passes through the pads the fan blows over them releasing the cold. The fiber cooling pad is one most commonly used. Aspen wood is usually the go-to, but other pads are made from cellulose fiber and synthetic fiber.

Once the maintenance is complete start it running. Check to see if there are any leaks. If so, the following issues may be causing the leaking swamp cooler.

Float valve
Leaky pads
Cracked reservoir
Loose water lines

If you can’t fix the leaking swamp cooler yourself, it’s probably time for a new one. They are expensive. You’ve got a choice to make. New swamp cooler or mold removal or remediation? A mold remediation specialist can give you more information.

How To Determine If There Is Mold in Your Air Ducts

7/25/2019 (Permalink)

mold on ceiling Once mold gets into the HVAC unit, it can easily spread throughout your commercial building

How To Determine If There Is Mold in Your Air Ducts

Since mold thrives in wet areas, it is particularly common to find spores within the building’s heating and air conditioning unit. Regular HVAC cleaning can limit the growth of mold in moist areas of the system, such as:

  • Evaporator coils
  • Drip pans
  • Air ducts

Once mold gets into the HVAC unit, it can easily spread throughout your commercial building. You thus need to detect the presence of mold quickly. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to tell if excess mold is growing in your cooling and heating system.

Use Your Eyes

Mold has a pretty distinct appearance, so you may be able to see it as it grows. You should also regularly check moist areas such as ducts and coils for signs of mold. Look out for any wet spots or leaks, as well. , If you do see any buildup of water, perform an HVAC cleaning immediately and inspect the site for mold spores.

Use Your Nose

Mold also typically produces a musty odor. Once you start to smell mildew in your building, try turning off the HVAC unit to see if that reduces the stench. If the odor goes away when the system is off, then you have likely found the location of the mold.
A mold infestation can be disastrous for your Avery Creek,NC, business. After all, you have to remove your employees and customers from your building during the cleanup process, which can affect productivity and profits.
Cleaning vents can prevent the spread of mold within the building. You may also be able to see or smell the mold during your HVAC cleaning.
If you do find mold, you should not attempt to fix the problem yourself. Commercial mold remediation specialists can find the source of the increased mold growth and make sure the excess spores don’t return. They can even help control odors. Best of all, they can address the issue quickly, which minimizes the disruption to your business.

How Does a Vendor Program Work?

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is a Preffered Vendor for many insurance companies. Ask your insurance agent to call SERVPRO.

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 Makes Mold Spread?

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

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)

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.

Tips for Preventing Water Damage

12/18/2018 (Permalink)

Kitchen water damage in Asheville, NC

Tips for Preventing Water Damage

Water in the home can cause extensive damage. It can weaken any part of the structure it saturates, and it can result in secondary damage such as mold growth. Fortunately, leaks are pretty easy to detect, thus allowing you to avoid more expensive problems. Damage from leaks and excess moisture can be prevented with regular inspection and maintenance of a few key areas of your home.

Plumbing

Damage to the pipes that carry water throughout your home in Asheville, NC, is a common cause of water damage. Keep a lookout for signs of a broken pipe:

  • Condensation around pipes
  • Corrosion on pipes
  • Water patches on ceiling or walls

The main areas where water damage from a plumbing mishap is likely to be found are in the bathroom and under the kitchen sink. If you find a problem, call the plumber and water restoration specialists for pipe cleanup as soon as possible.

HVAC System

Another common place to find excess water in the home is in the HVAC system. If there is condensation on an indoor unit, that means that something is leaking or not draining properly. It is fine if the indoor evaporator coil has a little perspiration on it, but there shouldn’t be so much that it drips. Have your system inspected regularly to ensure that the coil is not dirty, which can also cause leaks.

Appliances

The appliances in your home that use water also need to be checked for leaks on a regular basis. Your dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine and water heater are the four appliances that are most likely to leak when they need to be repaired. Cracked supply lines and residue buildup can contribute to leakage. Consider installing a leak detector on each appliance that alerts you when a problem occurs.

You may not be able to keep a pipe from bursting, but you can prevent damage from water in the home by keeping a close watch on the areas where it is likely to occur. Inspection and maintenance are the keys to saving you time and money.

Keeping Your Company’s Fire Sprinklers in Tip-Top Shape

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Before and after a fire loss in a Candler,NC office

Fire Sprinkler System

When you go to work, you think about meeting customer demands and growing your business. In the back of your mind, however, you likely also think about planning for potential catastrophes. As you probably know, commercial fires can destroy your building, equipment and inventory. To limit damage, you likely have a fire sprinkler system. Your system can only give you peace of mind, though, if it is in good condition. Here are four steps you can take to keep your company’s fire suppression equipment in tip-top shape.

1. Establish a Proactive Workplace Culture

Your colleagues can help you keep an eye on your company’s fire equipment. Try to establish a proactive workplace culture that encourages employees not to interfere with fire sprinklers. Also, ask them to alert you immediately if any part of the system sustains damage.

2. Inspect the Sprinkler System

While you probably don’t have the expertise to test your company’s fire system, you can tell when something doesn’t look quite right. If you notice damaged heads, broken pipes or other signs of trouble, you should contact a repair service as soon as possible. Also, if you find objects that may obstruct a fire sprinkler, you should remove them. Finally, at least once a year, have a professional inspect your sprinkler system.

3. Plan for Cleanup

If your business survives a fire, you can probably thank its sprinkler. While sprinklers may cover your workplace with water, they usually spray significantly less water than firefighters do. As part of your contingency strategy, though, you should plan for fire sprinkler cleanup. Emergency fire-restoration technicians have the equipment and expertise to remove standing water, clean company furnishings and prevent mold growth.

Rather than leaving your company’s fire system to chance, you must develop a plan for keeping it in excellent shape. Remember, with a functioning fire sprinkler, you increase the odds of your company surviving a commercial fire in Candler,NC.

5 Types of Storm Shutters To Protect Your Home

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Types Of Storm Shutters

Keeping your home safe during a storm is dictated by the environment where you live. If you live in an area where storms with high winds are a regular occurrence, this may include installing storm shutters.

There are several types of window treatment available. Which is right for you may depend on a variety of factors:

  • Permanence
  • Appearance
  • Function
  • Degree of protection
  • Price

Accordion Panels

These protective barriers are attached to your home permanently. They consist of hinged panels made of metal or polycarbonate. When a storm threatens, you'll have to unfold them from their boxes at the side of your windows and then lock them into place. These panels are moderately priced and are considered an affordable option.

Bahama Awnings

These permanent window coverings are best in locations where it is hot and clear. They provide shade during sunny days and protection from debris when there are high winds. They're available at a wide range of prices, from affordable to higher-end.

Colonial Panels

These permanent panels are designed to be attractive and protective. They are on the higher end, pricewise, but come in a wide variety of designs, materials, textures, and colors. When a storm threatens, you unlatch them from their position by the windows and bolt them into place.

Rolling Shutters

These are attached permanently to your home and are available in many attractive designs. They provide a wide range of functions and can be operated mechanically. They are considered to be some of the most effective storm closures and tend to be among the most expensive.

Storm Panels

These purely functional panels are often made of aluminum, polycarbonate, or steel. They are only put up when there's a threat of a hurricane or high wind speeds. For installation, a steel channel must be bolted around the frames of doors and windows. These storm shutters tend to be some of the most affordable; only plywood is less expensive.

If you aren't sure which panels are best for Leicester,NC, contact a home restoration professional with experience in high winds for recommendations. It may save you a lot of grief in the future.