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Serving Adjusters and Their Clients

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

drying equipment in a building Commercial water damage in Brentwood, MO.

Serving Adjusters and Their Clients

SERVPRO has become a preferred mitigation and restoration company for insurance adjusters and their clients throughout its years of outstanding service. There are several reasons why everyone, from insurance adjuster to client, trusts SERVPRO's assistance in the worst of disasters. The company is renowned for:

1. Responding Quickly
The longer it takes to begin the remediation process, the more damage will result. A timely response from the mitigation and restoration company will begin the assessment so that the work can start as soon as possible. One hour for call response, on-site visit in a four-hour window and verbal briefing has an eight-hour window.

2. Serving as a One-Stop-Shop
SERVPRO is preferred by insurance adjusters and their clients because they're an all-in-one service advancing through the entire process from initial damage assessment until your Brentwood, MO, structure is fully restored. Fewer people will have to be involved in the process, allowing for a smoother process and going through fewer hands, ensuring that no information goes missing. From the client to the insurance adjuster to the restoration company, you don't have to worry about data being lost in translation.

3. Providing Accurate Estimates
Adjusters and their clients appreciate the expertise of SERVPRO's certified restoration professionals. From the professionals' training and knowledge to the nationwide data network of the Claims Information Center that provides extensive loss information, accurate estimates are assured.

4. Utilizing an Electronic Claims Service
SERVPRO's Claims Information Center is an excellent resource for adjusters, providing everything they need to navigate the insurance claim process, including access to all the information shared by the restoration professionals. Insurance agents and adjusters have access to the entire electronic job file, including the first notice of loss, detailed photos of the damage, cost estimates, actual cost and scanned paperwork. Additionally, they have access to nationwide reports and industry standards comparison data.
If a commercial property sustains damage from a disaster, it’s likely that the insurance adjuster will recommend SERVPRO. You can be confident that the insurance claim will be settled quickly so your rebuilding can begin.

Why Do Some Insurers Exclude Mold Damage?

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

Mold growth on wall due to humidity Commercial mold damage in University City, MO.

A number of insurers exclude mold from commercial property insurance policies. The costs associated with fungus removal can be considerable, and liability for occupant exposure may also apply. Here are a few reasons why mold may be cut out of the primary commercial insurance policy for a building located in University City, MO, along with tips for restoring coverage.

Mold Is Secondary Damage

Proper mitigation, cleaning and restoration of primary water damage reduces the risk of a major mold problem. Mold may result from any of the following factors:

  • Failure to stop the source of moisture
  • Leaving surfaces or materials saturated
  • Not lowering high humidity levels

It is imperative to fix a pipe or roof leak, clean and dry the affected area and maintain low relative indoor humidity levels. Restoration professionals recommend these measures to minimize water damage and prevent mold.

Cleaning Up Mold Can Be Costly
If water damage is not restored correctly, the expenses of recovery may be much greater than the cost of a timely response to the initial incident. Mold inspection, testing and fungus removal can tack thousands of dollars on to total restoration costs.

Liability for Mold Is Complicated
Property owners or managers who do not respond to reports of water damage, musty odors or visible mold growth in a timely manner with inspection and mold cleanup may be held liable for their lack of action. In general, commercial lessees have fewer rights than residential tenants protected by state habitability laws or warranties.
Mitigating and restoring water damage quickly is the best way to reduce the costs and risks associated with mold in a commercial building in University City, MO. Fungus removal may be necessary if high moisture and humidity levels are sustained. Owners and managers of buildings prone to mold should seek out policies that cover mold or add a mold endorsement to existing coverage.

5 FAQs About Non-Revenue Water Loss

2/8/2021 (Permalink)

cement water pipe broken Damaged pipe in a Rock Hill, MO commercial building.

Here Are Some Of The Most Common Questions About It

In today's business world, water loss is a major problem. Even small leaks from damaged pipes can have major financial implications. The idea of non-revenue water loss is something that all business owners should understand. 

1. What Is It?
Non-revenue water is lost when water doesn't make it from the water source to the end-user. This loss can come from physical damage, broken meters, poor record-keeping, or water theft. Even minute losses can add up and put a financial strain on your business in Rock Hill, MO. Additionally, any physical damage to your plumbing can result in impurities in your water.

2. What Is a Water Distribution System?
Water distribution systems are the method used to deliver water to a user. There are multiple points in this system. This includes sources of water and delivery methods. When you have issues in your delivery method, such as damaged pipes, water can escape your distribution system.

3. Where Does Loss Occur?
If a distribution system is solid, there is no chance that water can be lost. However, water can escape from those that have issues. Typically, damaged pipes inside or surrounding your building are responsible for these losses. Additionally, people can tap into a water line after a meter and steal water from your business.

4. Is This a Problem?
When water loss is due to aging systems, you have a problem. This is because water is probably seeping out into your business. This can do serious damage. You will likely have to hire water restoration professionals and replace a lot of your equipment. If it is due to a slow leak, these costs won't be covered by your insurance.

5. How Can You Remedy Loss?
The first step is to locate the leaking pipes or other sources of water loss. Once you have done this, you can take the necessary steps to correct the issue or fix the damage.
Slow leaks and water loss can result in flooding and water damage to your business. Therefore, all business owners must know the basics about non-revenue water loss.

Post-Storm Safety Tips and Damage Assessment

1/11/2021 (Permalink)

Sandbags protecting a neighborhood Floods in Richmond Heights, MO

Storm Tips

When extreme weather hits any home in Richmond Heights, MO, the consequences may be devastating. Because of the rarity with which homeowners need to assess storm damage, tackling the task can be both perplexing and risky. Here are a few storm tips regarding how to react properly amidst the aftermath of an intense storm.

Perils of Storm Damage

Hurricanes, floods, and tsunamis can cause heaps of destruction, including:

  • Roof instability
  • Downed power lines
  • Water pump contamination
  • Broken windows

Besides avoiding the physical danger these scenarios create, setting them right can be a burdensome undertaking. Instead of attempting to handle the task yourself, hire a professional weather damage restoration service to fix everything for you.

Post-Storm Damage Actions
When assessing the effects of a massive storm, your safety remains paramount. Beware of broken glass and exposed nails. Stay at least 10 feet from downed power lines and immediately alert authorities to their presence. Inspect darkened homes with a flashlight, never an open flame, as fire near leaking gas lines could trigger an explosion. Commonsense storm tips like these will help keep both you and your family out of harm’s way.
Take photos and video of every negative impact the storm has had on your home. This information will be critical when filing your insurance claim. Also, take measures to protect your home from further damage. Place tarps over leaky roofs and board up broken windows and doors to keep out animals and vandals. Save receipts from any contractor or replacement item you purchase, as this will provide proof of financial expenditures.
Contact your insurance provider immediately to maximize the speed of your claim. Never feel shy about following up. Sometimes an added nudge is necessary to help move the process along.
These storm tips should go a long way in smoothing your recovery from a severe weather occurrence. Stay safe when dealing with a storm’s outcome and remain diligent when it comes to cataloging the impact.

4 Types of Basement Floods Typically Covered By Homeowners Insurance

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Pipe wrench used to tighten water heater fitting Broken water heater

Four Common Types Of Basement Floods

You’ve probably heard a horror story from a friend who had the basement flood and couldn’t get reimbursed by the insurance company. While it’s true that certain perils that cause water in the basement are excluded, there are four common types of basement floods that are typically covered by insurance.

1. Burst Pipe
Burst pipes in the basement are a relatively common reason a basement is flooded. When the winter weather sets in, pipes that are not well-insulated can freeze and burst open, causing a deluge of water to pour into the home. These losses are typically covered since it is not an outside source that caused the flood.

2. Overflowing Appliance
Insurance coverage won’t pay for the cost to replace the appliance itself, but will usually cover damage to property or furnishings if appliances overflow. Washer machines are the biggest appliance culprit for a wet basement. Although it isn’t as much water as a pipe or other flowing source, enough sudsy water can ruin flooring or personal property stored nearby.

3. Broken Water Heater
If you have a traditional water heater that stores hot water in a tank, you run the risk of a basement flood if something goes wrong with it. Many times, the bottom of the tank can slowly rot away, but it will go undetected unless regularly monitored by the homeowner. This quick release of hot water can devour anything in its path, but it is considered a covered loss on many insurance policies.

4. Overflowing Sump Pump
Some basements are equipped with a sump pump to draw rain and other water away from the home. However, the pump can stop working if the power fails or the motor burns out, causing a flooded basement. Those kinds of losses are often covered by a special endorsement. Because the water is coming in from outside, it’s a good idea to call flood cleanup experts to sanitize and dry out the affected area to keep your family safe and healthy.
A basement flood is always a nightmare to deal with. However, knowing that some losses are covered by insurance will give you peace of mind.

3 Essential Elements of Commercial Fire Preparedness

1/5/2021 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Statistics show thousands of commercial fires, annually

Three Essential Elements Of Fire Readiness

It’s difficult to imagine having a fire in your Oakland, MO, business. No one thinks it will happen to them, but statistics show thousands of commercial fires, annually. Fire preparation can be the most important way to reduce the risk of serious fire damage to your business. This discussion about the three essential elements of fire readiness could save you and your employees the daunting task of responding to a fire at work.

You are less likely to experience a business fire if you employ some preventive fire-safety measures. The following practices may reduce your risk of a serious fire:

Regular Inspections – Having your gas lines and other potential fire sources inspected regularly is an important part of fire preparation. This can identify small gas leaks in the lines or connections that may build up over time and increase your fire risk.
Maintenance – Cleaning your ventilation systems regularly can reduce the potential for debris or lint igniting and causing a fire.
Common Sense – Making sure your employees are aware of fire risks from space heaters, cigarettes, candles and other fire sources can make a big difference.

Human error causes a high percentage of commercial fires each year, and proper education for your staff can help protect your property.

Education and Participation
Fire preparation means getting everyone in your organization on board with fire-safety practices. Your town’s fire remediation specialists will likely be willing to provide you and your workforce with literature and even fire-safety in-services. It’s important to have practice drills and have a plan for extinguishing small fires and evacuating the building.

Early Detection
Your best chance at detecting a fire in the early stages is a good smoke alarm system. Building codes require them because they are very effective. Having a plan for changing batteries regularly and cleaning the units is recommended. Working smoke alarms are essential to your efforts toward fire preparation for your business.
Disaster preparation for any business includes fire safety. Planning and education can significantly reduce both the risk and degree of commercial fire damage. It’s much easier to clean up a little soot than recover from a catastrophic loss.

Tips for Handling Water-Damaged Electronics

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Above view of laptop with water drop damage liquid wet and spill on keyboard, accident concept Water and electronics never mix well

Water and electronics never mix well. If you are dealing with flooded electronics after a flood or other water-related event in your building in Ladue, MO, call a water damage repair service right away. Electronics that have been exposed to small amounts of water spillage, however, can sometimes be restored.

How To Handle Water-Damaged Electronics

Turn off the device immediately. In addition, disconnect the power source or remove the batteries, if applicable. The approach to handling a damaged electronic device varies on the type, so let's take a look at the steps involved in restoring a smart phone that has been submersed in water for a short period of time.

  • Using a pin or needle, open the SIM tray to remove the card.
  • Dry the phone thoroughly. Wipe it with a soft, dry cloth. Remove the phone's back panel and wipe that dry as well. Never use a hair dyer to dry your phone. The excessive heat could cause further electronic damage.
  • Place your phone in a substance that absorbs water. Rice is the traditional method of restoring flooded electronics, but there are other drying agents that have proven to be effective as well. Couscous performed as well or better in some testing situations. If you have access to silica gel, which is contained in the packets packaged with many electronics to reduce moisture, this method works the best.
  • The only problem is that you need a large quantity of the gel in order for it to be effective.

When To Seek Professional Advice
If your electronic device isn't restored with these drying methods, take your phone to a professional repair service right away. If it isn't fixable, you may still be able to get some trade-in value for the device.
Always respond to flooding quickly. Flooded electronics that have been exposed to large amounts of water must be handled by a professional. Electronics damaged by small spills, however, can sometimes be restored using sound drying methods.

How Lightning Can Start a Fire in Your Home

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

Lightning bolt strike from a thunderstorm over a city Lightning storm in Glendale, MO

How Thunderbolts Can Start Fire In Your Home

When you see lightning outside of your Glendale, MO, home, your immediate thought may not be the possible danger. However, a sudden strike has the potential to cause a fire in your house. You, like many others, may find this confusing.

Direct Contact
The simplest and most common way you may encounter a lightning fire is through direct contact. A strike can come down and immediately heat up flammable materials in your home. Unfortunately, these materials comprise a substantial percentage of many households. Unless your home is completely made of a non-flammable substance, this has the potential to occur. If this happens, the heat may result in a house fire. These are a few areas that are most likely to catch fire:

  • Attics
  • Basements
  • Rooftops
  • Outside trees

Some bolts are actually more likely to start fires than others. Ones with continuous electrical currents, as opposed to sporadic ones, have a stronger chance of heating an object.

Electrical Issues
While less of an immediate concern, electrical problems caused by thunderbolts can still create a lightning fire. Any wiring in your home may become compromised after a strike. This can eventually result in a fire. Unfortunately, these issues are sometimes hard to spot. Unless your appliances show clear signs of damage, in which case you should contact someone immediately, you may find yourself dealing with a fire out of nowhere. This is why it's wise to stay vigilant and get your wiring inspected right after experiencing a lightning strike.
Experiencing a lightning fire is more common than you might think, so it's important to stay informed. In the case that a fire does start, be sure to call restoration experts that can fix the damage afterwards. As long as you act quickly, your house may be back to normal in no time.

How To Identify and Remove Black Mold From Your Cooling System

12/4/2020 (Permalink)

Mold in air duct Mold inside an air duct can be difficult to spot

How To Identify and Remove Black Mold From Your Cooling System

Black mold is an especially nasty form of fungus. Although typically found on ceilings and walls, these notorious spores also grow within air vents. This presents a distinct problem, as temperature control systems are natural spreaders of airborne contaminants. When an infestation takes hold inside your system, get rid of the offending intruder ahead of staff becoming negatively affected.

Identifying Mold Inside Air Ducts
The mold that lurks inside your air conditioning unit in Clayton, MO, can be difficult to spot. Find it by:

  • Searching for black dust
  • Smelling for musty odors
  • Removing and visually inspecting suspected vents

If your building’s ventilation does, indeed, have black mold and it has been there for a considerable amount of time, it may have spread beyond your ability to treat it without qualified aid. Contact a commercial mold remediation and restoration professional to handle the matter on your behalf.

Removing Mold From Inside Air Ducts
As soon as you determine that trouble exists, acquire safety equipment. Make use of rubber gloves, safety goggles and respiratory masks before attempting any cleaning.
Examine your insulation. Any that has become compromised must be removed. Disposal should be performed with an industrial vacuum. Many municipalities have strict regulations concerning storage and transportation of old insulation, so identify which rules apply to your area.
Combine one tablespoon of cleaning detergent with a half-tablespoon of baking soda and one cup of water to create your own mold removal solution. Bleach also makes an appropriate cleaner. Turn off the vents and rub your solution all over the interior with a clean cloth. Next, employ a light brush to scrub away any remaining mold. Once your freshly clean ducts have dried, spray them down with an EPA-approved mold growth inhibitor.
Black mold becomes a particularly noxious threat after it breaches HVAC units. If an issue emerges within yours, eliminate it before employees start breathing it in.

How to Perform a Water Heater Flush

11/19/2020 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance Performing regular maintenance, such as a simple flush, can help keep your appliance running smoothly for years to come

How to Perform a Water Heater Flush

Much like any other appliance in your Clayton, MO, home, your water heater requires routine maintenance in order to continue functioning properly. Performing regular maintenance, such as a simple flush, can help keep your appliance running smoothly for years to come. The good news is that this process is quite simple to execute, even if you lack prior plumbing experience.

1. Turn Off the Machine.
This process varies depending on which type of model your home is equipped with. For gas models, simply cut the gas and extinguish the pilot light. Electric models can be switched off via your home's circuit box.

2. Empty and Flush the Tank.
Open your device's drain valve and allow the water to flow freely for several minutes, until the tank is completely drained. You can switch on the faucet in your kitchen sink to help the water drain more smoothly and efficiently. Wait a few minutes before turning off the supply valve. Switch the supply valve back on once the water flow ceases entirely. Flush the water heater quickly before cutting the supply once again.

3. Refill the Water Tank.
Once you feel satisfied that all of the water and debris left in the tank has been drained, you may close the valve. Switch the water supply back on and closely watch the flowing faucet in your kitchen sink. The stream will start flowing smoothly again once the water tank is completely full.

4. Reactivate the Power.
After the tank has been refilled, you can switch the power by on. Do so by repeating step one in reverse order. Double check to make sure the water tank has been filled completely before restoring the power. Doing so with a half full tank can damage your appliance. Your water heater flush is now complete.
Performing a successful flush on your water heater is a simple way to help maintain a crucial appliance in your home. Make sure to contact water remediation experts for assistance if you encounter any problems during your flush.