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What To Do When Filing a Flood Damage Claim

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

An insurance claim form a pen and calculator Filing a flood claim doesn’t have to be complicated.

Tips For Filling a Claim

When your residence yields to a flood in Cumming, GA, the first action you must take is to contact your insurance agent to file a flood claim. Reaching out to your insurance company should be top of the list, above cleanup and documentation. They will be able to offer some guidance and can help you decide on the next steps to take. Here’s some tips for filing a claim:

Check Your Insurance Policy

Refresh yourself on your policy. Different insurance policies offer different levels of coverage. Go over your documents if you have them handy to double-check your coverage before you talk to your agent. This might include:

  • Hiring of a professional flood restoration company
  • Replacement of damaged items
  • Temporary accommodations while repairs are ongoing

Speak With an Agent

Contact your insurance company once you have your information on hand. It is best to do this immediately, as it can take a couple of days or even weeks for a claim to be processed. There might even be a time limit for when you can file a flood claim. This will get the ball rolling on restoring your house sooner rather than later.

Prevent Additional Damage

Once you have filed your insurance claim, it’s time to assess your home and take action to prevent further damage to your property. Standing water must be cleaned up. Excess moisture must be removed from the affected area by using wet vacuums, pumps, and/or dehumidifiers. Irreparable items should be thrown away. Items that can be salvaged should be left out to dry in a separate area free from moisture.
Filing a flood claim doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, most companies make it easy for their clients to take the flood recovery process step-by-step. Despite the damage to your home, you can rest easy knowing that you don’t have to deal with it alone.

3 Reasons To Choose a Mitigation Company To Rebuild Your Business

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

a fire alarm attached to a wall Commercial fire cleanup in Holcombe, GA

If your property in Holcombe, GA, sustains fire damage, mitigation and restoration will likely be priorities for you as a business owner. Businesses often hire separate companies to provide mitigation and restoration services. However, there are several benefits to employing the same company to provide both immediate loss prevention and any follow-up repairs and renovation.

1. A Quick Response

When your business has been affected by a fire, you likely will want mitigation and restoration efforts to begin as quickly as possible. However, it can be time-consuming if you have to contact two separate companies and schedule a time when each company can visit your building. A mitigation company that also performs restoration can provide you with a timely assessment of your business. A single company can also quickly provide your insurance adjuster with information about the state of your business.

2. Excellent Communication

After your business has sustained fire damage, it can be frustrating to go back and forth between a mitigation company and a restoration company. Communication is essential during the mitigation and restoration process. If two companies are unable to communicate with one another well, this can cause both processes to come to a halt. However, using a fire mitigation and restoration company can help to ensure that no important details are overlooked, ultimately helping your business to reopen more quickly.

3. Effective and Thorough Mitigation and Restoration

Hiring two different companies to mitigate the damage and restore your business could mean the quality of work may vary. Each company will likely have its own set of standards, and hiring an excellent mitigation company and a sub-par restoration company, or vice versa, could result in an unsatisfactory result. When you hire an experienced company to mitigate damage and restore your property, however, you can trust that you will receive consistent, high-quality results.
A mitigation and restoration company can respond quickly to a disaster, communicate effectively, thoroughly mitigate the damage and restore your business. Choosing a mitigation company to restore your business after your property has sustained fire damage can ultimately help to save you time, money and stress.

What's the Difference Between Flood and Storm Damage?

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

rain falling off a roof Storm damage in Dawsonville, GA

Learn Some Of The Key Differences Between Flood and Storm Damage

Flood damage and storm damage in Dawsonville, GA, can seem virtually identical. But there are key differences, some of which can have major implications when it comes to financing repairs. Curious to know what sets each of these apart from the other? Read on to learn some of the key differences.

Major Similarities

While flood and storm damage have some important differences, they are the same in the potential impacts that they can have on a home or business. Some of the most common and most costly include:

  • Temporary or permanent loss of business or residence
  • Expensive cleanup costs
  • Damage to personal goods

Different Causes of Damage

The mechanisms of damage can differ from a storm to a flood. In the case of a flood, damage often results from items being infiltrated by high levels of standing water. Storms, on the other hand, tend to cause damage from direct physical damage from high winds, hail and projectiles.

Different Types of Damage

Flood damages tend to be interior - that is, water damage that comes from appliances, carpeting, walls and more being left to soak in high waters. The result is typical water damage, which can include mold and mildew. Damages from a storm, however, tend to be more exterior. Storms batter the outside of a building, tearing of shingles and blowing out windows.

Different Insurance Coverage

One of the most financially relevant differences between these two types of damage involves insurance coverage. A homeowner's insurance policy will typically cover damages from a storm. But it usually will not cover damage from a flood - unless the flood is a direct result of a storm.
Storms and flooding can have very real consequences in terms of property cleanup and expense. Prepare in advance. Understand the differences between storm and flood damage as well as what some of the damage can be and you’ll be prepared.

Dealing With Toilet Overflow

8/25/2019 (Permalink)

a toilet full of contaminated water Try is using a plumbing snake to clear out any blockage.

Dealing With Toilet Overflow 

The plumbing in your home works hard each and every day to cover all your basic necessities. Without a properly working system, you may go without water for some time and end up requiring a lengthy sewage cleaning from professionals. Damage that can occur in the meantime includes:

  • Bacteria growth
  • Weak subfloors
  • Ruined flooring

One sign that there may an issue is an overflowing toilet while you shower. Here are the basics on how a toilet overflow needs to be taken care of.

Why Does a Shower Cause an Overflow?

Your plumbing is one interconnected system. When something is wrong with one section of your pipes, you may not notice an issue until another water fixture shows problems like when an overflowing toilet occurs while running your shower.

See, the water in your shower goes in your home’s water waste lines. If it encounters an issue like a clogged pipe, then the first place it can head to is the nearest toilet. The first thing you have to do to fix this issue is conduct appropriate sewage cleaning.

Repairing Overflow

The first step you can try is using a plumbing snake to clear out any blockage. A snake that can extend up to 25 feet is recommended. Removing the toilet may also be required in order to properly access clogged piping. Be sure to periodically run your shower to see if the overflow problem has disappeared.

If that method doesn’t work, try locating your home’s drain clean out. It is likely situated somewhere outside your home. Please note, that certain homes in Dahlonega, GA may not have this particular sewage component. Try using a plumbing snake in your clean out to see if your blockage may be there.

If neither of those solutions work, then it may be time to contact the right plumbing repair specialist for further assistance in sewage cleaning.

Is Mold Cleanup Covered by Commercial Insurance?

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold growth due to storm related water damage

If you've discovered mold at your Marble Hill, GA, commercial property, one of your first concerns was likely whether or not the cleanup process will be covered by your commercial insurance policy. The short answer is "maybe," and it likely depends on the root of the problem.

Types of Mold Damage That Are Often Covered

If the mold growth in your building was caused by an accident, the odds are higher that your insurance company will cover all or part of the cost of cleanup by experienced mold removal specialists. "Accidents" often refers to unforeseeable events such as the following:

  • Broken supply lines
  • Frozen or suddenly burst pipes
  • Storm-related water damage

In short, if you and your staff couldn't possibly have prevented the water or moisture influx that caused the mold, its removal may be covered by your commercial insurance policy.

Types of Mold Damage That Aren't Likely To Be Covered

If you're experiencing mold growth due to a structural issue with your commercial property that could've been averted or that is due to a lack of attention, the removal of that mold is unlikely to be covered by any form of mold insurance. "Preventable events" often refers to issues such as the following:

  • Pipes that leak over time
  • Tiles, shingles, flashing and other parts of the roof that exhibited visible signs of wear and tear
  • Seepage as a result of cracks in the foundation or other areas of the building's exterior
  • Past repairs that were performed incorrectly

If mold was able to take hold because of a longstanding issue — even if you had no knowledge that your roof was deteriorating because you never go up there, for example — the odds of your insurance company covering the cost of that mold's remediation are very low.

Ultimately, mold coverage depends on a variety of factors. In fact, some commercial insurance policies may let you buy coverage specifically for mold removal. It varies by state. The bottom line, however, is that the best way to find out what's covered and what's not is to contact your insurer.

Tips for Enjoying Candles Safely in Your Home

7/18/2019 (Permalink)

Place candles in a glass container

Everyone loves the warm glow of candles on the mantle, the patio or at a wedding, and who doesn’t have a favorite scented candle that they enjoy when trying to relax? Candles can add color, aroma and a flickering ambience that are both attractive and comforting. The potential for a candle fire and the resulting fire cleanup, however, is much less appealing. Nationwide, 23 such fires are reported daily, including in Amicalola, GA. Follow these tips for enjoying candles more safely and reducing the risk of fire damage.

Candle Safety Tips

Fire damage and smoke cleanup can be avoided if safety practices are observed when enjoying candles in your home:

  • Place candles in a glass or metal container taller than the candle flame whenever possible, and do not use in windy conditions.
  • Do not  leave candles burning while unattended or while sleeping.
  • If using candles for a romantic ambience in the bath or bedroom, make sure to blow them out before leaving or sleeping.
  • However charming, never put lit candles on a windowsill near curtains or furnishings or on a
  • Christmas tree or wreath (pines contain combustible oils in their needles) or other flammable decorative item.
  • Use luminaries outdoors only and never leave them unattended.

Prevention Is Key

A candle fire can leave a mess. Greasy soot and smoke cleanup are a task for professional fire restoration specialists and can cause a loss of belongings, time and money, so as with any types of fire, prevention is the best option. You may want to consider some candle alternatives such as the battery-powered type or small wax patties used in a melting pot.
With proper care and attention to safety, a disastrous candle fire does not need to result from your special occasion. You can enjoy the flickering light and pleasant fragrance of real wax candles when you use some common sense and reasonable caution.

What to do if you have damage from high winds?

7/15/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO can help after suffering from storm damage.

High winds can hit in Cumming, GA at any given time throughout the year. In some cases high winds can cause significant damage to your home. Here are some pointers if you need your home restored. 

3 Ways SERVPRO can help you after suffering storm damage

  1. Evaluate damages. Contact SERVPRO immediately. They will send a project manager on site to start evaluating the damages. 
  2. Extract water and place drying equipment. If there is water damage, SERVPRO will start extracting water and placing drying equipment inside the home. They will make sure to monitor it daily, and take accurate notes. These notes can be critical when dealing with your insurance company. 
  3. Restoration and rebuilding. After the remediation process is done, SERVPRO can help with the rebuilding and restoration of your home. Our in house construction team is able to handle everything for you from start to finish. 

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us at anytime. 

Flood Cuts: What You Should Know

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

A flood cut is performed when flooding contaminates the wall

Flood Cuts: What You Should Know

If your Ludville, GA, home has experienced storm flooding, then one of the many methods your chosen water damage restoration professional may used to utilize is a flood cut. For many homeowners unfamiliar with this method it may may be confusing as to why this step needs to be done. Here's what you may want to know.

1. What a Flood Cut Is

A flood cut is when restoration experts make a cut in the drywall approximately 12 inches above the flood line. They will then tear out the section of wall affected by the flood. This is done because flood water can often be contaminated with bacteria, and it's unwise to leave such sections in the home. After the drywall portion has been removed it can be replaced with a new section and made to look as if nothing has been done.

2. When a Flood Cut is Made

In most cases a flood cut will be used when the water causing the flooding is considered to be contaminated. Storm water usually falls into the black category because it's difficult to tell what it has come in contact with, and in many cases storm runoff can contain material from sewage. This means it has potential to carry bacteria which is unwanted in the home.

3. How a Flood Cut Helps Your Home

The removal of the portion of wall touched by flood water helps prevent further contamination in your home. It is a general recommendation that anything that may carry bacteria or mold be removed as quickly as possible, and that the affected area be thoroughly sanitized.

A flood cut is performed when flooding contaminates the wall. Removing the affected section is one way of preventing further damage to the home. Fortunately, your restoration professionals will know how to tear out and replace the section, and have it looking as if nothing had ever happened once the repairs are complete.

6 Steps To Clean Up Smoke and Soot Damage in Commercial Spaces

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Treat the building with ozone generating equipment

6 Steps To Clean Up Smoke and Soot Damage

Smoke damage is a complex problem. It begins with the first spark of a fire and remains a problem throughout the recovery. Its elimination is a six-step procedure that begins while the fire is underway.

1. Vent the building. The fire department will do this as part of the fire suppression effort. The more smoke and soot that vents outdoors, the less that stays behind for cleanup.

2. Set up air filtration equipment. After the fire department leaves, airborne soot and other particles are still present. Air filtration equipment removes these particulates before they can settle on surfaces, enter HVAC vents and damage electronic equipment.

3. Remove all damaged items and material. This step requires the removal of carpets, fabrics, furniture and equipment. Some items with soot damage will go into the trash. Much of the rest will go out for restoration or smoke cleaning. Any items which do not require cleaning should go into temporary storage.

4. Clean all exposed surfaces. The intent here is to clean all the hard surfaces. When this step is complete, there will still be smoke damage in hidden and hard-to-reach places.

5. Treat the building with ozone generating equipment. Ozone is a toxic gas. This step requires vacating the building and setting up ozone generators. Ozone will chemically neutralize the soot and other residue that has deposited itself in difficult-to-clean areas. This may take one or more days to accomplish.

6. Treat the building with a thermal fogger. At this point, the soot damage removal process is complete. Still, there is likely to be some residual damage that defies cleanup. The final step is to treat the building with a thermal fogger. A fogger will deodorize any untreated residue.

You can see that the process of eliminating smoke damage from your Talking Rock, GA, area business is quite complicated. A team of fire damage remediation specialists, with their specialized equipment and experience, can eliminate the damage in your business. They will leave it looking and smelling fresh and clean.

How to Remove Water From a Commercial Basement

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

A flooded basement can be caused by many varying disasters.

Removing Water From a Commercial Basement.

Surveying the damage to your commercial building in Cumming, GA after a flood can seem overwhelming. Not only do you have a mess on your hands, but your business may be shut down in the meantime. A flooded basement can be caused by many varying disasters including heavy rains, faulty sump pump or insufficient drainage around basement walls. Cleaning up a mess of two feet of water or more requires special equipment. Depending on the circumstances, you may be dealing with debris, contaminated water and mud.

Protection

When you notice the basement of your commercial building is flooded, take the time to protect yourself, your employees and your customers. Don’t let anyone enter the area without boots, gloves, mask and goggles. Until you determine the cause of the flooding, you don’t know what the contamination level of the water is.

Electricity

Before entering the water, cut off the main electricity to the basement. You can get electrocuted in even one inch of water. Always play it safe when it comes to electricity.

Cause

Try to ascertain the cause of the flood. If it is a busted water line, turn off the water at the shutoff valve. If it is due to a blocked drain, you may need special equipment to unblock it. If it is due to rising flood waters or sewage, limit your contact with the water. It is likely contaminated.

Water

Removing the water is the first real step to getting things back in order. For higher water, consider hiring a professional. They can use truck mounts and trash pumps to effectively and efficiently remove the water.

Don’t get overwhelmed by a flooded basement. Take care of the problem as quickly and efficiently as possible. Standing water can degrade and become contaminated quickly. Once you have cleaned up the water, make sure to have your building thoroughly inspected for mold. Seasoned professionals can make the job easier. They have all the special equipment to get the job done right.