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What To Do After a Flood and Before the Insurance Adjuster Arrives

7/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What To Do After a Flood and Before the Insurance Adjuster Arrives Flooded home caused by storm waters in Glendale, AZ

After a flood in Glendale, AZ, you may need to make a claim on your flood insurance. While it is important to alert your insurance company after a storm, you may not want to wait for an adjuster to visit your property before beginning repairs.

Why You Should Address Water Damage Immediately

There are several reasons to begin water damage remediation sooner rather than later:

When a storm has caused damage over a large area, the insurance adjusters are likely to be booked for quite some time.
Allowing flood water to sit increases the likelihood of additional damage, such as warping. The more extensive the damage, the more likely the items will have to be replaced rather than repaired.
Mold can begin to grow within 24 hours of a flood. After mold damage sets in, it can spread very quickly. This poses risks not only to your property, but to the health of those living or working in the home.
Insurance companies will generally accept photographic evidence of damage for a flood insurance claim. It is not necessary for an adjuster to see the damage in person, but your claim may be processed more quickly if you have thorough documentation.

How To Document Damage Properly

The first step in damage documentation is taking photos or video. Make sure to date these materials. Additionally, make a list of all damaged possessions. Try to locate receipts for items like appliances and electronics. Also, keep receipts of everything you purchase while repairing the flood damage. If it is necessary to replace carpeting or other fabrics, try to keep a portion of the damaged material to show the adjuster.
Flood insurance is very helpful in paying for repairs after a storm, but it is important to address water damage as soon as possible to prevent further damage. A professional restoration team can make sure the job is done correctly and safely.

Tips for Preventing a Fire Disaster at Your Commercial Property

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Tips for Preventing a Fire Disaster at Your Commercial Property Wildfires can be a common fire source in your area

Nobody wants a fire to happen to them in New River, AZ, especially if it effects their livelihood. So it is in your best interest to do what you can to reduce the likelihood of such an event and to implement fire preparation policies in case it does happen to you.

Risk Analysis

A good place to start is to identify where a fire is most likely to come from in your building and then target most of your disaster preparation at that area. You can also shore up your insurance to cover the types of damage you think it might incur. You should research the appropriate fire remediation services so that you don't have to worry about that after the fact. Some common fire sources are:

  • A kitchen or a grease fire
  • Electrical outlets
  • Wildfires in your area

Develop an Emergency Plan

To mitigate the damage a fire can cause, fire preparation should also include your employees. You should choose an evacuation route and train employees regularly in their specific roles during an incident. So that everyone's lives aren't put on hold, you can come up with plan for how to continue to run the business during the recovery period.

Protect Your Assets

To keep your fire damage losses to a minimum, you should back up all your important documents and files to a remote server or database. You could also consider keeping certain valuable equipment and materials at separate locations. It would be a good idea to maintain an updated inventory of all company property along with proof of each item's value.

It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to fire preparation. Although it can sometimes be inevitable, it is smart to do your best to prevent it from happening to your commercial property and have plan in place should it occur anyway. As the scouts say, be prepared!

How to Salvage Important Documents After Water Damage

6/18/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial How to Salvage Important Documents After Water Damage How to salvage important documents after water damage

How to Salvage Important Documents After Water Damage

Flooding in commercial buildings in New River, AZ, can be costly and time consuming, and oftentimes the damage goes beyond just the floor. In a business, wet documents can be a huge problem. Even though so much is done digitally, companies still house many important papers. Here are some tips that may help in saving them.

Air Drying

This method of document drying is best for papers that are not severely damaged. You should first take a paper towel and remove excess moisture by gently pressing it down on the paper. Once you've carefully gotten as much liquid from it as possible, you can hang it up to air dry. This can be done with either a dehumidifier or a fan. You want to take care not to point the fan directly at the wet documents as this can cause them to fall apart.

Freeze Drying

You may want to consider freeze drying papers or books that are in bad condition due to the flooding or that have not dried after being hung up for two days. You can still begin by using the paper towel to take away some of the water. You will then put wax paper between all pages and put them in a ziplock bag before putting the items in the freezer. It is usually best to do this at the lowest temperature setting. After two weeks, you can take them out and air dry them.

If you are at all uncomfortable trying to salvage your wet documents yourself, you can call a water restoration professional in New River, AZ, to dry them for you. You should also consider hiring someone to help if the documents have been exposed to contaminated water as this may take a special type of clean up. No matter what method you decide to go with, you should take extra care when handling these papers as they can rip extremely easily.

Tips for Flushing Your Water Heater

6/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Tips for Flushing Your Water Heater Flushing a water heater in Glendale, AZ

The average homeowner doesn’t give much of a second thought to their water heater. But this silent household savior needs maintenance just like any other part of your Glendale, AZ home. Neglect it, and you may pay with tepid showers and creeping utility bills. One task, flushing the tank, is easy enough for you to do by yourself.

Why Flush?

Your heater can seem fine, but inside, sediments like magnesium and calcium may be accumulating. Over time, the calcification of these sediments can lead to:

  • Hard water
  • Uneven heating
  • Leaks and clogs

In some cases, it can get bad enough to destroy the entire appliance. You have options before it gets to that point. Simply grab a garden hose and a screwdriver and get ready to handle a water heater flush.

What to Do

Turn off the heater. If it’s gas, turn off the gas to put out the pilot light. If it’s electric, simply find the supply line in your circuit breaker and turn it to the off position. Next, prep your drainage area - the area where all of the water will go. Connect the garden hose to your heater’s drain valve and run the end of it to the drainage area. Next comes the fun part! Open your heater’s drain valve and let the water and sediments flow out. Wait a few minutes and turn off the water supply valve to bring the drainage to a stop. Turn the water supply valve on one more time for a quick final flush, then close all the valves. Next turn your power supply back on and you are good to go.
Maintenance can be easy to neglect, but the impact of a broken water heater is hard to ignore. Follow the above tips for water heater flush before a leaky heater requires water damage repairs. Your wallet will thank you.

To Repair or Replace: Determining the Fate of Your Saturated Belongings

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Few things may strike fear into the hearts of homeowners quite like the harsh reality of a pipe break. After the stress and expense of quickly finding and fixing the initial problem, the cleanup and repair of your home and its furnishings can seem like an even higher and harder mountain to climb. Luckily for you and your bank account, there are a couple of key factors to consider that may help you salvage some of your belongings and save a few pennies, too. When assessing the situation be sure to consider the following:

• The contamination level of the water
• How long the water was left to sit
• How quickly you will be able to react

Contamination Levels Matter

If the water entering your home originated from a source free of contaminants, such as an overflowing sink or pipe break, there is a good chance the water is clean and, therefore, the affected property might be salvageable. For example, professional cleaners may be able to assist you in restoring your carpet if you have suffered from clean water damage. However, should the water originate from a more polluted source, such as floodwater or a sewage leak, restoration may be highly unlikely.

Quick Action Is Key

Unfortunately, the contamination level of sitting water may change over time. If water damage is left untreated for 24 to 48 hours, the degree to which the water is polluted may rise. So while your belongings may have been ripe for rescue after the initial pipe break, if repairing the damage is delayed, replacing the contaminated possessions may be the only safe solution. It is prudent to contact professional water restoration experts as quickly as possible to avoid turning a once salvageable situation into a remove-and-replace endeavor.

If you have suffered unexpected water damage in Phoenix, AZ, you may be able to save some of your saturated belongings. Just remember, when it comes to dealing with tarnished furnishings and carpet, water contamination levels and time are crucial factors to a happy outcome. Always be sure to seek professional assistance if there is a possibility you are dealing with contaminated water or property.

3 Steps To Take After a Fire in Your Home

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Steps To Take After a Fire in Your Home Call SERVPRO of Northwest Phoenix/Anthem today!

If your home in Phoenix, AZ is affected by a fire, you will likely want to begin the fire restoration process as quickly as possible. There are several measurements you can take to help quicken the restoration process.

1. Contact Your Insurance Provider

After a fire has occurred in your home, it’s often helpful to contact your insurance provider in order to learn what your fire insurance will cover. Though every insurance company is different, damage from a fire is often covered, at least in part, by insurance. By talking with someone at your insurance company, you can also learn about the next steps your company may require you to take in order to complete your claim.

2. Avoid Causing Further Damage

Although you may be tempted to enter your home as soon as possible after a fire, this isn’t always the best idea. By entering your home after a fire, you could potentially worsen any structural damage, which could slow down the fire restoration process. Additionally, disturbing soot in the home could damage property and could cause respiratory issues. It’s often best to allow professionals who have the proper equipment to remove items from your home.

3. Request Board Up Services

When a home has been damaged by a fire, it’s often important that the home is protected in order to prevent more damage from occurring. Boarding up your home can help keep out wind and rain in addition to making it more difficult for thieves to enter the home. Once your home has been boarded up, the process of smoke cleaning and making structural fixes can begin.

The fire restoration process can often be made easier if you know how to properly make a fire claim and keep your home safe. If you need assistance in restoring your home, it could be helpful to get in touch with fire damage restoration professionals.

3 Benefits of Hiring an Environmental Hygienist

5/29/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 3 Benefits of Hiring an Environmental Hygienist Environmental hygienists are certified to handle your mold remediation

Hiring a Qualified Environmental Hygienist

Mold is actually more common than you might think. Mold grows in moist places, so if your house in New River, AZ, is overly humid, it is very possible for you to end up with a mold problem. If caught early, mold cleaning can usually be taken care of pretty easily, but you need to know who to hire. Instead of trying to remove the mold yourself, it is best to hire a qualified environmental hygienist to take care of it for you.

1. They’re Certified

Environmental hygienists are certified to handle your mold remediation by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification. This means they have gone through extensive training and have the proper knowledge and equipment to deal with the mold damage.

2. It’s Safer

Cleaning the mold yourself can be tempting, but it is best to hire someone who is equipped to deal with mold cleaning. Not only do they have the proper training, but they also have the right safety equipment. Unless you know what type of mold you are dealing with, you will not know how dangerous it might be. Environmental hygienists are also able to test the mold to see what kind is in your home.

3. Insurance

It is possible that your insurance company will pay for the mold removal. Always check with them to see what type of coverage you may have in this situation. They may actually be more likely to pay if you tell them that you are using an environmental hygienist. They prefer for you to work with certified mold removal firms so that they know the job is being handled properly the first time around.

Be sure to ask each company that you speak to whether they are certified. Mold cleaning can be a tricky job, so you want to make sure you hire someone who can safely handle the situation. Make sure you call someone as soon as you notice the mold as the smaller the job, the less expensive it will be.

How To Remove the Smell of Smoke From Your Home

5/17/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How To Remove the Smell of Smoke From Your Home Thermal fogger

Removing the smell of smoke from your home can be very difficult, especially if the cause of the odor is from a house fire or continued indoor smoking. If you’ve done all that you can do and the smoky smell simply won’t go away, it’s time to seek help from smoke cleaning services. These professionals will have the necessary equipment and expertise to rid your home of smoke for good. If you do employ the help of these experts to deodorize your home in Glendale, AZ, here is what you can expect.

Causes of a Smoke Smell in Your Home

The method used to remove a smoke odor from your home can vary depending on the cause. If the smell is a result of any of the following causes you’ll need to rely on professional deodorization services:

  • Cigarette smoke
  • Smoke damage from a house fire
  • Lingering smoke smell from burnt food
  • Fireplace smoke

The Deodorization Process

When a smoke cleaning specialist visits your home, they’ll use a variety of methods and processes to completely rid your home of the smoke odor. After identifying the source, they’ll use equipment such as air filtration devices, ozone machines, and thermal foggers to remove the odor.

  • Air Filtration Devices: Air filtration devices use HEPA filters, activated carbon filters, or other types of filters to catch odorous contaminants and remove them from the surrounding air.

  • Ozone Machines: Ozone machines release ozone, molecules with an added oxygen atom, into the air to directly attack odors by changing their chemical structure and destroying them completely.

  • Thermal Foggers: Thermal fogging works by releasing a mist into the air with particles close in size to smoke that will help neutralize any odors it comes into contact with.

No one enjoys the smell of smoke in their home or the negative health effects that lingering smoke causes. Professional smoke cleaning services are your best line of action in battling this unwanted odor.

Major Differences Between Storm Damage and Flooding

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Major Differences Between Storm Damage and Flooding Broken window on a Phoenix,AZ building due to high winds

Storm and Flood Damage: What's the Difference?

Storms and floods can wreak havoc on businesses in Phoenix, AZ. While both storm and flood damage can have devastating effects on a business, it can be useful to know the differences between the two types of damage.

1. High Winds

When a storm occurs, high winds can damage a building. Occasionally, high-speed winds can accompany flooding, but high winds are usually associated with strong storms or hurricanes. If you know a storm or a hurricane is likely to affect your business, there are measurements you can take to protect your building from high winds such as boarding up your business’s windows.

2. Mold Growth

Though it is possible for mold growth to occur if a storm with heavy rain occurs, it is significantly more likely that mold growth will appear after flood damage rather than after storm damage. Damp building materials, such as wood or drywall, help to create the perfect environment for mold to grow. Even though mold growth cannot always be prevented, you may be able to prevent the mold from growing after a flood by quickly drying your building and keeping the building well-ventilated by opening windows.

3. What Part of the Building Is Affected

Depending on the severity of a flood or a storm, different parts of a building may be affected. Storms with high winds can cause interior damage, but more commonly badly damage the exterior of a building, tearing off shingles and siding and causing windows to break. Flooding can cause structural damage to a property, which can potentially affect the business’s interior and exterior. It may be helpful to contact storm and water damage experts if your building has sustained either interior or exterior damage.

Understanding the differences between storm and flood damage can help you to prepare your business for either type of disaster. While high winds are more likely to occur with storms, mold growth is more likely to occur with a flood and often, storms and floods affect different areas of a property.

What Can Property Managers Do To Prepare For a Hurricane?

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What Can Property Managers Do To Prepare For a Hurricane? Separate flood insurance coverage may also be necessary.

Hurricanes can cause severe damage wherever they strike. Property managers may be able to take a few measures to limit the amount of hurricane damage sustained by a residential building in Peoria, AZ. Here are three measures building owners or managers should take before a hurricane is expected to strike.

1. Install Storm Shutters or Board Up Windows

Owners of properties in areas prone to hurricanes may want to install storm shutters. There are several styles of shutters that make it possible to find the right hurricane preparedness equipment for any type of building. These solutions can range in cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on the number of windows that require protection. Boarding up windows can also be an effective short-term solution.

2. Check Insurance Coverage

If a property is located in an area prone to hurricanes, the owner or property manager should make sure that the current level and types of insurance coverage are sufficient. Most standard residential and commercial property insurance policies do not cover hurricane damage. It may be necessary to add a policy to cover damage caused by these severe weather events. Some policies also only cover damage resulting from certain categories of hurricanes. Separate flood insurance coverage may also be necessary.

3. Take an Inventory

A property manager should have an up-to-date inventory of all of the contents and equipment in the common areas of a structure. Managers may also want to encourage tenants to take out rental insurance policies and make sure that these policies cover contents damaged by hurricanes. Managers should document damage after a hurricane and prepare to make an insurance claim.

These measures can limit damage and make it easier to file an insurance claim for hurricane damage. If a building sustains major damage, property management should arrange for professional mitigation and restoration services as quickly as possible.