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Advice on How To Handle an Insurance Claim

4/9/2021 (Permalink)

flood cut on drywall, floor tiles have been removed. Concept of water damage Water cleanup in North Riverside, CA.

How To Handle an Insurance Claim

There are many reasons why you might be leery of dealing with an insurance claim. After all, most people, aside from obtaining insurance in the first place, rarely have experience filling out the necessary paperwork for a claim. To many, it can seem as frightening as the bursting pipes that caused the water damage. However, the process probably isn't as problematic as you might think. As soon as possible, you should contact your insurance agent and let him or her know that your home has experienced water damage. A few other steps can make the experience of working with your insurance company more enjoyable.

The Choice of a Restoration Company
When you are dealing with bursting pipes in your home in North Riverside, CA, it is smart to call in professional help. A water restoration franchise has experience dealing with almost every type of water disaster possible. Experts there can also help you handle an insurance claim with assistance in the following areas:

  • Reduction of claims costs
  • Inventory of losses and expenses
  • Documentation of costs
  • Coordination of claims
  • Communication between clients

All of these services make the insurance process go more smoothly. This can be the difference between a delayed or disputed claim or a quick and accurate check sent to you when you need it the most.

The Value of a Comprehensive Cleanup
Whether you need someone to fix a broken pipe or remove standing water from your home, capable assistance is eminently desirable. A SERVPRO crew is always Here to Help. Certified technicians will work quickly, using the latest methods and equipment to clean your home to the highest industry standards. You can feel confident that any excess moisture has been removed and that you won't need to worry about future mold growth. After the problem with bursting pipes has been resolved, you can also expect professional assistance with completing your insurance claim.

2 Key Features To Look for in a Smoke Detector

4/9/2021 (Permalink)

Inside of a empty home burned, windows are boarded up Board up after a fire in Moreno Valley, CA.

2 Key Features To Look for in a Smoke Detector

If you're buying an older home or updating your current one in Moreno Valley, CA, it's very important to make sure you have the right safety features in place to protect you and your family. For instance, there should be a smoke alarm on each level, including the basement, in the halls outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom.
Every year, more than 350,000 house fires occur — one every 87 seconds — and smoke inhalation is the leading cause of death and injury by fire. In addition to knowing where to place your alarms, you should know what features to look for when shopping for replacements.

1. Power Supply
When choosing a smoke detector, go for a wired-in model if you can. These detectors are connected directly to your home's electrical system, so they are less likely to malfunction and require less maintenance than battery-powered ones. If that isn't an option for you, a battery-powered model is extremely effective and easy to maintain, as long as you are vigilant about replacing the batteries regularly.

2. Ionization vs. Photoelectric
Many people may not realize that there are two methods a smoke alarm can use to detect smoke. The ionization method uses the ionization of air to create a current that runs between two metal plates. When smoke gets into the detector, it disrupts the current and sets off the alarm. This type of detector works best for aggressive fires with open flames.
The photoelectric method uses light to detect smoke; the smoke particles block the light as it enters and trips the alarm as the light goes off. Photoelectric detectors work best for smoldering fires with more fumes than flames. Homes that are best-equipped for fire safety include both types of detectors in their floor plans.
Though you can't protect your home or your loved ones from everything, you can protect them from death, injury, and damage from fire by installing a smoke alarm in each recommended area of the home. If the unfortunate happens and you need smoke and fire remediation, contact professionals in your local community for help.

Understanding Commercial Storm Insurance

4/9/2021 (Permalink)

flood cuts performed on a drywall. Concept of water damage to drywall Drywall removal in a Banning, CA building.

Bad weather isn't unheard of in Banning, CA. You can't often anticipate a major storm, but there are ways you can be prepared. High winds, heavy rains and other effects can damage your building and contents inside. Storm insurance should be an essential piece of your business, as it can protect you and your investment. It's important to know how it works and what it covers.

What General Property Insurance Covers

You are no doubt familiar with property insurance and have a policy for your business property. However, this plan will not cover all types of damage you'd encounter from a storm. It will help repair damage from the following:

  • Damage from hail and wind
  • Damage from tornadoes
  • Water damage from broken pipes or a leaky roof

Covering the Rest
You may wonder what happens with other types of flooding if your normal insurance policy won't cover cleanup and repair costs. Storm insurance is supplemental and takes care of water damage that results from overflowing waterways, sewer backups or broken sewer lines. This coverage will also come in handy if torrential rainfall causes water to gather near the foundation of the building that then finds its way inside.

Filing a Claim
It's always best to file a claim as soon after the incident as possible. Insurance coverage is there to give you peace of mind and help you to rebuild. But the longer you wait to make a claim, the more difficult it will be to go through the process. Call your agent and describe what happened and what was damaged. It's best to include pictures of the affected area and a list of items that were lost.
Once you file a storm insurance claim, your agent will coordinate with professional cleanup crews to assess the situation and begin cleanup and rebuilding efforts. If you don't supplemental flood coverage, purchase a policy today.

Are Landlords Required To Maintain the Plumbing?

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

Pen and glasses on a lease agreement form. Every lease situation is different, but in all states, you should consult the lease agreement.

Whether you have polybutylene or PEX plumbing in a rental unit, it is your job as a landlord to take care of them according to your lease and the implied warranty of habitability. The main things you are supposed to do for your unit in Beaumont, CA, include:

  • Maintaining the pipes
  • Repairing any issues

The Lease

The first thing to check when you are trying to find out who is responsible for maintaining the polybutylene pipes is your lease agreement. Generally, this will outline the amount of rent a tenant pays in exchange for a certain habitability level. If you do not maintain the unit according to the lease, you are violating your agreement. Since this is a legally binding contract, you could find yourself in some trouble if you don't perform maintenance on those pipes.

The Implied Warranty of Habitability
Aside from the lease, the implied warranty of habitability mandates that landlords keep their units fully livable. While it doesn't require that you fix a leaky faucet, it does state that you will need to keep the plumbing working to make a site livable. If you don't do this, you could find yourself hiring a water remediation professional to fix the damage.

State Laws
Another factor that can determine who is responsible for the polybutylene pipes is state laws. Some state laws favor renters while others protect landlords. In most states, landlords are responsible for repairing the damage, but whether they or their tenants have to pay is based on these laws and who caused the damage.
Every lease situation is different, but in all states, you should consult the lease agreement, implied warranty of habitability, and state laws to determine who is responsible for maintaining the plumbing and paying to repair water damage from any issues. Make sure you check these documents to ensure you are meeting your responsibilities as a landlord.

SERVPRO: The Best Restoration Partner for Insurance Agencies

2/18/2021 (Permalink)

A male and female office worker smiling, Servpro logo and the phrase ASK THEM. Did you know that we are a Preferred Vendor for many insurance companies.

The most common claims made for property insurance are caused by water and fire damage. Together, they average over 50% of losses year after year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Because of this, many insurance agencies elect to use their local SERVPRO franchise as their preferred vendor for emergency restoration services.

The SERVPRO Advantage

Currently, SERVPRO is No. 10 on Entrepreneur’s 2021 Franchise 500 Ranking. This resource compares franchises based on several factors:

  • Financial strength and stability
  • Size and growth
  • Brand strength
  • Support

Having consistently placed high in this ranking since 2012, SERVPRO is the preferred vendor for many insurance companies. With over 1700 franchises in 48 states, there is a locally owned SERVPRO in every major U.S. market. With this extensive network of restoration professionals, SERVPRO is ideally positioned to be the go-to service for both residential and commercial customers. A SERVPRO franchise is the perfect combination of local accessibility and corporate support.

The SERVPRO Experience
Each certified SERVPRO location offers a wide variety of restoration services. Among the most common are services to mitigate fire and water damage:

  • Smoke odor removal
  • Dehumidification and drying
  • Mold remediation
  • Water removal and cleanup
  • Restoration of structures
  • Cleaning of damaged items

Each of these services requires specialized training and equipment in order to prevent secondary damage, and SERVPRO technicians are the best of the best. A franchise must follow 21 different guidelines in order to be a preferred vendor for insurance companies. Documentation is made for every step, from the first notice of loss to the claims information center. This ensures a consistent experience for clients nationwide.
Insurance claims in Old Town Riverside, CA, made due to fire and water damage are common, but the cleanup process is made much smoother for insurance agents and clients thanks to SERVPRO. When a SERVPRO franchise is on the scene, they’ll make it look “Like it never even happened.”

3 Locations Mold Might Hide in Your Commercial Building

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

mold in the corner of the window Mold growth in Calimesa, CA

Three Locations Where Mold Can Hide

When you own a Calimesa, CA, commercial property, there are many actions you can take to protect it. However, one factor you might not consider is the presence of damaging mold. Many types of fungi, including black mold, can cause serious damage to your building, even in dry climates, and there are three locations where it might hide.

1. On the Roof
Roof leaks can occur without warning and you may not notice the problem until water damage becomes plainly visible. These leaks can cause mold growth in your building’s attic, which may spread to stored items, such as valuable invoice documents. Having your roof checked annually and remaining aware of any moisture can prevent these issues.

2. In Restrooms
If your business is located in an arid state, this does not mean you need not worry about needing professional mold cleanup services. Some rooms are naturally humid and may be vulnerable to leaks, such as your employee restroom. Leaking toilets, overflowing sinks, and dripping pipes can all cause mold growth, so monitoring the area carefully for black mold and other types of fungi, especially if you discover a leak, can help you pinpoint and manage problems before they begin.

3. HVAC Systems
Because your building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning ducts are hidden from sight, they may develop mold due to condensation within the system. This may happen if the unit is the wrong size for the building or due to age and wear. A musty odor that occurs when you turn the system on can tip you off to the presence of mold. Calling in a mold remediation and restoration company can resolve this problem, as can scheduling future inspections and cleanings.
Black mold and other types of damaging fungi can have a serious impact on your Calimesa, CA, commercial building. Remaining vigilant and monitoring places where it hides can help you to better protect your investment.

3 Absolutely Imperative Mold Prevention Tactics

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

Wall covered with mold due to humidity Homeowners can fight off mold growth

3 Absolutely Imperative Mold Prevention Tactics

Mold growth is triggered when moisture enters a situation. The fluid acts as a catalyst, kicking off reproduction. The fungal spores, therefore, become a problem only when they have certain conditions: water and organic material. This hazardous combination permits development. Homeowners in Downtown Riverside, CA, who want to safeguard their property from undesirable black mold should take water damage seriously, minimizing moisture levels and completing the following measures.

1. Don't Wait; React Quickly
Time is not on the resident's side. Spores multiply within 24 to 48 hours of flooding, permitting spread to occur in a short amount of time. Allowing moisture to linger, therefore, is a major concern; thus, as soon as flood damage is sighted owners should begin remediation tactics. There is no time to wait and see what happens, and this isn't a problem to put off for tomorrow. Work to dry out the affected sections. Use dehumidifiers around the clock to pull out the extra humidity.

2. Don't Guess; Evaluate the Room
Mold growth isn't just on the surface. It occurs within porous items. Carpet, drywall and ceiling tiles are vulnerable to the spread, acting like sponges. The organisms penetrate deep inside, unable to be reached with cleaners. This also means that owners cannot see where the contamination stops. Professionals at a water restoration company use tools and tests to thoroughly examine the room. They can provide an action plan and uncover the areas requiring remediation.

3. Don't Keep Things; Remove Materials
Mold removal is imperative. Simply washing off items such as carpet and drywall won't kill the hidden infestation; however, tearing out the structures does get the levels down, reducing the likelihood of regrowth. Saturated belongings should be looked at with great care. If there is any doubt about the ability to sanitize, it's best to get rid of the object.
Homeowners can fight off mold growth. In order to do so, they should be proactive, seeking immediate and professional assistance with flood damage.

How To Fix Your Leaking Toilet in 3 Easy Steps

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe If your leaking toilet is a result of a bigger problem, you may need to call in a plumber

Follow These Three Steps

Homeownership is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have, but like everything else, it has its ups and downs. One of the "downs" is that eventually, you will need to make some repairs. If you notice you have a leaking toilet, it's important to repair it right away to avoid subsequent water damage. Fortunately, it's an easy fix that practically anyone can do.

1. Determine the Cause of the Leak
Usually, a faulty seal at the base of the toilet is to blame for your bathroom leak. It could be that the wax ring has dried out, or that the toilet was installed improperly. In some cases, the tank may just need to be tightened or the tank flange may be broken and need a repair strap.

2. Remove the Toilet and Drain the Tank
Shut off the water using the valve at the back of the toilet. Flush your leaking toilet, holding down the handle to drain as much water as possible. You'll probably need to scoop out or soak up the remaining water with a cup or rag. Next, disconnect the water supply tube, rock the toilet back and forth to loosen it from the seal, and lay it on its side on a towel.

3. Replace the Gasket, Fix the Flange and Put the Toilet Back On
Scrape off the old gasket from the closest flange and set the new gasket in its place. Then, attach the repair strap if you need to fix the flange. Put the toilet back on, pressing down to create a seal on the gasket. Tighten the bolts and press down again. Trim off the closest bolts with a hacksaw and tighten the nuts before you replace the caps. Reconnect the water supply tube, turn the water valve back on and check to make sure there are no leaks.
Hopefully, you've now added this fix to your list of homeowner accomplishments. If your leaking toilet is a result of a bigger problem, you may need to call in a plumber or your local water damage specialists in Riverside, CA, who can help you.

How Fire Sprinklers Protect Your Property

12/30/2020 (Permalink)

No picture available Automatic ceiling Fire Sprinkler at the Office The sprinkler head in your office ceiling is only one small part of your property’s fire system

When you walk through your business, how often do you think about your fire sprinkler system? If you were asked to explain how it works, could you? Knowing how your fire suppression system works can give you peace of mind and help you be ready for any fire-related situation.

How Sprinklers Work

The sprinkler head in your office ceiling is only one small part of your property’s fire system. Behind your ceiling and walls is an intricate piping system that holds pressurized water ready to douse flames. When a fire starts, the heat from the blaze triggers the closest sprinkler head and the system releases water from that particular nozzle. The water goes where it is needed most.

How Sprinklers Do Not Work
There are a lot of misconceptions about fire systems and reliability. The greatest fear business owners have is accidental deployment that could result in a lot of water damage. This rarely happens. Here are some other myths about sprinkler systems that the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has debunked:

  • Any type of smoke will set the system off
  • Smoke alarms will activate your sprinkler system
  • All of the sprinklers go off at once
  • They create more damage than they prevent

While no fire sprinkler system is full-proof, a properly installed and maintained one gives its owner far more protection than problems.

How to Handle Deployed Sprinklers
While the myth about excessive damage is not true, if you do have a fire and your sprinklers go off, there will be water damage. If this happens, you should call a local commercial fire and restoration services company in Riverside, CA, to inspect and help with the damages and fire sprinkler cleanup to get your business back to normal.
Understanding your fire sprinkler system might not seem like a priority, but you need to know how it works to keep it in firefighting shape.

What to Do About a Severe Toilet Overflow

12/25/2020 (Permalink)

Toilet overflow Toilet overflow in Banning, CA

Many people have dealt with a toilet overflow, whether at work or home. While not a pleasant event, most of these situations aren't serious and require a quick fix and cleanup effort. However, if there are major issues with the plumbing, and the toilet overflow affects two floors or more in your building, you'll need professional help. Flooding to this degree probably indicates sewer damage and other concerns. Make sure you address this emergency quickly before it becomes a health hazard.

Typical Causes of a Toilet Overflow

While this can be a common problem in Banning, CA, it is not one you will want to see in the workplace. Understanding what leads to a flooded toilet can help you prevent future incidents. You will also be prepared for cleanup and any restoration needs. Here are some common reasons this happens:

  • A clog in the toilet or the pipes
  • Blocked vents, or pipes that connect to the plumbing fixtures in the building
  • Blockage from the main sewer line that runs from the street to your building

Your Response to the Flooding
If a toilet in your building overflows, and water leaks onto the floor and the level below, there are some immediate steps you should follow. You should first shut off the water to the toilet. The supply valve should be on the wall behind the unit. You can also remove the lid and lift the float ball above the waterline. Next, contact the sewage company: flooded toilet, a plumber and a professional flood cleanup company.

Let the Pros Go to Work
You should never try to clean up after sewer damage on your own. Professionals have the right equipment to safely manage the cleanup process. Technicians also have the skill and experience to remove the water, repair the problem that caused the flooding and make your workplace clean and safe again.
Having sewer damage in your building can make it impossible to continue working in the facility. Make sure you follow these steps if you encounter problems.