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Is Commercial Smoke Damage Covered by Insurance?

1/12/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Is Commercial Smoke Damage Covered by Insurance? Business fire in Hopkinsville, KY

After being exposed to smoke damage from a commercial fire in Hopkinsville, KY, your facility may feel like it will never be the same again. Soot damage and heavy smoke odors may permeate your once functional space. Find answers to some of the most commonly asked-questions about cleaning up after a commercial fire.

Why is Smoke so Damaging?

While a commercial fire is a probable concern for the average businessowner, many may fail to recognize smoke as one of the fire’s most destructive results. Smoke can be very hazardous to these commonplace objects:

  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Standard surfaces

Smoke has a polarizing charge which can actually impact the magnetism of most electronic devices. Smoke contains particles made of solids, liquids and gasses. This means that when it settles it can permeate and attach to objects it lands on. That is why smoke tends to leave an ashy film on everything it touches. This sooty film is highly acidic. Soot damage may impact the rate at which objects decay causing them to break or malfunction much sooner than expected.

Does Insurance Cover Loss From Fire Smoke?

Luckily, the average commercial fire insurance policy takes into consideration the rapid degradation that results from smoke damage. The only way to know if your policy covers damage caused by smoke is to check with the insurance company directly. Some plans even account for damage received as a result of a fire at an adjacent business.

Can a Commercial Business Be Fully Restored After Exposure to Smoke?

Although the effects of smoke vary by case, fire restoration professionals in Hopkinsville, KY should be able to evaluate damages and begin the smoke cleaning process. Electronics, photographs, upholstery and more can often be returned to their original state. Look for a cleanup operation that offers key services like odor removal and surface restoration.

As you cope with the consequences of a commercial fire, turn to a professional to safely restore your business. Addressing smoke damage is the first step to achieving total restoration.

How To Approach Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage How To Approach Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim Flooded basement in Hopkinsville, KY

How To Approach Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim

Navigating the process of making an insurance claim when your home has incurred damage can be daunting. Fortunately, most insurers have standardized procedures in order to facilitate filing. The following simple guidelines are instrumental in expediting the insurance process in Hopkinsville, KY.

1. Preparation

As soon as you notice a problem that could result in a legitimate claim, contact a representative from your insurance provider. Because subsequent remediation steps can take time, beginning promptly is critical. More importantly, claims must be filed within a certain time window by law to be valid. Take any necessary precautions to protect your home from ongoing damage, as this may not be covered by your policy. For example, any standing water from a flood should be removed in order to protect against long-term mold or rot.

2. Documentation

As your agency prepares to send an adjuster to confirm the insurance claim, the claimant should begin to collect proof of the damages. Many providers will want photographs of the affected portion of the home, as well as any receipts for urgent repairs, temporary lodging or other expenses directly related to the incident. A finalized inventory of all affected belongings will be helpful at this stage.

3. Verification

Typically, an adjuster or other employee from the insurance agency will need to visit the home in person in order to verify the claim and its relationship to the homeowner’s existing policy. At this stage, the documentation must be made available to the representative. This should include any estimates from professional repair or cleanup services. For example, a pipe burst would require the adjuster to both see the damaged plumbing as well as any receipts for replacement parts and flooring repair.

Making an insurance claim can be an arduous process, but the peace of mind afforded by a robust policy outweighs any minor difficulties. By familiarizing yourself with the claim procedures, you can be prepared for a number of potential problems.

5 Ways To Protect Pets From Fire

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 5 Ways To Protect Pets From Fire Place candles out of reach of pets in your Franklin, KY home

Pet Safety Tips

Fire safety measures are critical for every occupant of a residence. Pet owners need a clear plan of action to protect animals in the event of a fire emergency. Here are five pet safety tips that you can act on today.

1. Make a Fire Escape Plan For Pets

A fire escape plan should account for the safety of pets. Decide who is responsible for each pet and delegate responsibility for important supplies. Bring pets with you when you do drills. Updating ID tags and microchips with current contact information is another pet preparation measure.

2. Exercise Caution With Open Flame

Don't leave candles, fireplaces, or other open flames unattended. Place candles out of the reach of pets or use safer alternatives, such as battery-powered LED candles.

3. Keep Pets Away From the Stove

The most common cause of house fires started by pets involves stove knobs. If a dog or cat accidently nudges these knobs, an electric burner or gas flow may turn on. You may want to keep pets out of the kitchen while you are not at home, install pet-safe covers, or remove knobs when the stove is not in use.

4. Keep Pet Records In a Fire Box

Gather pet records in a fire safe box. It is preferable take this box with you when you evacuate. If worst comes to worst, these documents may still be salvageable after a fire emergency.

5. Post Pet Decals Near Exterior Doors

Post a decal in the front window or near other exterior doors indicating the type and number of pets in the household. Notify firefighters if pets have been evacuated.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 500,000 pets are affected by fires each year. If a fire emergency occurs at a home in Franklin, KY, contact the fire department and a fire mitigation and restoration service.

Tips for Avoiding Water Damage Claims

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Tips for Avoiding Water Damage Claims Commercial water loss in Oak Grove,KY

Tips: Keep Your Property Safe From Harm

Every year in Oak Grove, KY, hundreds of business claims are filed as a result of water damage. Sometimes accidents are unavoidable; the damage might be the result of a flood, a pipe break or a broken water heater.

These claims can be extremely costly, sometimes totaling ten thousand dollars or more, which could cause insurance rates to go up. And depending on what type you have, your policy might not cover certain things like secondary damage from mold.

Luckily, you can take steps to prevent or drastically reduce the amount of damage your building could sustain and save yourself from having to file a business claim. Here are a few things you can do to help keep your property safe from harm:

1. Leak Sealing

Make sure to inspect your foundation and areas around the exterior. If you find a crack or gap, make it watertight with the appropriate sealant.

2. Pipe Insulation

Any pipes that are exposed or accessible should be completely covered by insulation. If a pipe becomes frozen, it's easy for it to expand and burst. You should be able to find insulating materials at your local hardware store.

3. Drainage

It's important that water is able to drain away from the structure. Any gutters or downspouts should be kept clear of leaves or any other potential blockage, and the drainage areas should be free of debris.

4. Asset Protection

You should make sure that any valuable assets, such as electrical equipment and appliances, are raised above the floor to keep them safe from flooding. Non-waterproof valuables, such as important papers, should be stored in a secure place.

5. Consultation

It may be a good idea to consult with a professional water mitigation company about damage prevention. They can do a thorough inspection to make sure you haven't missed anything, and then give you expert, customized advice.

Filing a business claim for water damage is a hassle no one wants to have to deal with. But by taking the precautions outlined above, you can prevent most damage before it can happen.

An Overview on Mold

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation An Overview on Mold AC leak causes mold behind drywall in Hopkinsville,KY

3 Top Questions Asked About Mold

Most people know a lot about black mold. They know how to identify it by sight and smell. When it comes to taking care of your home, you have to be aware of potential causes in order to prevent a large-scale mold cleanup. If you need to learn more about it, here are three top questions asked about mold.

1. How Does Mold Develop?

For most residential buildings, mold develops when there is a moisture problem. This can be from the high humidity of the air outside, or it can be from leaking pipes or flooding. Wooden furniture, walls, paper and any organic material can provide food for black mold and other molds. In a warm, wet environment, mold thrives.?

2. How Can Mold Be Prevented?

The best way to prevent mold is to keep the environment difficult for it to thrive. Often, after a flood or in the case of burst pipes, mold is a common problem during the cleanup. If you want to protect your Hopkinsville, KY home from the buildup of mold, it’s important to ensure that you don’t have any leaking pipes or other sources of moisture. Use fans to prevent bathrooms and similar areas in your home from continuously being damp. Consider installing a dehumidifier to keep the humidity levels down. Since mold spores can travel via air, you can also use an air filter to help cut down on spores.

3. How Can Mold Be Tested?

Your first lines of defense against mold are your eyes. Most of the time, people see mold first and know then to deal with it. On rarer instances, however, you may not be able to see the mold. If you think that you might have a mold problem, you can look into a professional service that can perform a mold test.

Top 3 Things To Do After Your Home Floods

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Top 3 Things To Do After Your Home Floods Water pipe in a Franklin,KY home leaked and caused the drywall to start peeling

Water Cleanup Process

A house flood in Franklin, KY can happen out of nowhere. Whether the cause is broken pipes or heavy rains, recovering from this household disaster requires lots of work. The biggest issue you face is water damage. It wreaks havoc on everything from carpets to furniture. Getting your life back in order requires a major water cleanup. There are steps you can take to make this process run smoothly.

1. Turn Off the Power

Entering a home post-flood has potential risks. The combination of water and electricity can result in serious injury. So, shutting off the power is needed for your safety. It’s best that you have an electrician do this for you. However, you can do it yourself as long as the power source you’re turning off isn’t wet or located in standing water. Make sure you wear gloves and rubber boots for additional protection.

2. Call Your Insurance Agent

Your homeowners policy may help cover the cost of the water damage. A claims adjuster will come to your home and assess the damages. Before the adjuster arrives, have before and after photos of your belongings. This helps the insurance company determine the cost of damages. Additionally, the agency may recommend a repair and restoration company to help return your home to its pre-flood condition.

3. Start Cleaning Up

Wet items must be dealt with immediately. Excessive moisture in your home can lead to mold and mildew. Remove your valuables from the water and let them air dry. Porous items such as pillows, box springs and mattresses are usually thrown away because they hold lots of water. Professional restoration services handle major projects like removing flooring, insulation and drywall.

Broken pipes, floods and water damage can turn your life upside down. By taking the right steps you can return things back to normal. One of the most important things you can do is to have trained remediation technicians in Franklin, KY assist you with the water cleanup.

3 Ways To Prevent Mold in a Humid Climate

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Ways To Prevent Mold in a Humid Climate Moldy office in Rusellville,KY

Three Steps to Reduce Mold Growth

Mold thrives in climates with high humidity levels. Commercial building owners and facilities managers can prevent mold damage by taking these three steps to reduce the likelihood of interior mold growth.

1. Lower Indoor Humidity Levels

Even if the humidity is high outside, it is possible to control interior levels. Run a dehumidifier to maintain an environment that is less likely to support mold growth. Proper ventilation and air filtration can also keep mold from growing. A HEPA air filtration device can capture spores as small as one to three microns. 

2. Clean the Premises

Cleanliness can limit the food sources available to support mold. Fungus tends to grow in areas with dirt, dust, and other food sources that remain undisturbed. Mold can also thrive if food packaging or discarded items remain in trash containers for long periods of time. Encourage occupants to throw away food in trash cans that are emptied daily and avoid leaving coffee cups around work areas. It is also important to monitor places where condensation collects or high humidity persists. Regularly dry these areas, or consider ways to enhance the building envelope to prevent moisture from accumulating.

3. Select Mold-Resistant Materials

The right building materials can help to prevent mold from becoming a problem. Consider paint that contains mildewcides, mold-resistant drywall, or cleaning products designed to kill mold and prevent regrowth. In general, non-porous plastic, metal, and glass surfaces will be less likely to develop mold than materials that contain cellulose. Hard tile or laminate floors are also less likely to support mold than carpet or wood.

All of these methods can reduce the likelihood of mold growth becoming a problem in a building located in a climate that has high humidity levels. If you suspect that mold damage is present, contact a service that specializes in mold clean up and prevention in Rusellville, KY.

5 Reasons a Mitigation Company Should Complete a Rebuild

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 5 Reasons a Mitigation Company Should Complete a Rebuild Franklin,KY business fire

Fire Damage Mitigation and Recovery Process

After a fire at a commercial building in Franklin,KY, a property owner may look for ways to speed up the fire damage mitigation and recovery process. Here are five reasons to work with a one-stop shop.

1. A Single Company Simplifies Insurance Claims

A disaster cleanup and fire mitigation company can provide an insurance adjuster with a quote for the cost of the overall recovery. The same specialists can provide updated estimates throughout the cleanup and repair process.

2. One Company Means One Schedule

There is no need to coordinate schedules when you hire one company for mitigation and restoration. If cleanup takes longer than expected, you won't have to worry about delays. You should also have a clearer sense of the length of the process.

3. A Single Company Can Prevent Crossed Wires

Hiring one service to clean up fire damage and another to complete restoration is likely to lead to miscommunication. Rather than worrying about whether both services are on the same page, hire a single company capable of completing both stages of the fire recovery process.

4. Simplify Payments to One Service

Rather than shuffling bills for the work of multiple specialists, pay a single firm for mitigation and restoration. In addition to simplifying the insurance claim process, this can also reduce stress and enable property owners to focus on re-opening for business.

5. Start the Process With a Single Call

Rather than calling around to multiple services, schedule an inspection with a one-stop shop. Cleanup and restoration work can also start with one inspection and without any break between phases.

If you are dealing with the aftermath of a fire at a commercial building in Franklin, KY, the last thing you need to be doing is juggling multiple fire damage cleanup and restoration companies. Make a single call to start the boarding up, fire mitigation, and restoration process.

Prepare to Deal With Water in Your Crawlspace

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Prepare to Deal With Water in Your Crawlspace Keep your sump pump ready to go

Well-maintained equipment is worth its weight in gold, especially if it includes a sump pump and you've got two feet of water in your crawlspace! When heavy rains roll through, hurricanes threaten, or the surrounding soil doesn't drain well, your Rusellville, KY, property could be exposed to flooding. If storms leave you to deal with excess water or a pipe breaks and floods the basement, you want the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are prepared to quickly remove that water.

Home and commercial property owners may have sump pumps that sit unused for many months at a time. Keep your own sump and trash pump primed and ready to go with the following steps.

Quarterly Maintenance

  • Clean out the inlet screen.
  • Visually inspect the power cord and make sure it's plugged in appropriately.
  • Run a bucket of water through the pump to be sure the float rises, and the pump turns on.

Annual Maintenance

  • Remove the pump for thorough cleaning, inspection, and necessary repairs.
  • Clean the pump.
  • Perform required maintenance as described by the owner's manual. (If you don't have the manual, check online for this information by using the manufacturer's name and model numbers. You might also contact a sump pump maintenance professional for guidance.)

If your crawlspace does flood, take the following steps:

  • Shut off the electricity to prevent the risk of electrocution.
  • Make sure the sump and trash pump are running.
  • Remove valuables from the crawlspace if you can do so safely.
  • Check the vapor barrier to determine additional risk to your property.
  • Take pictures of equipment and property and document the damage and your actions. This information will be shared with the insurance company.

Prevent Trouble in Crawlspaces

Crawlspaces are put under many homes because creating concrete pads is very expensive and don't allow for HVAC units, water systems, and sewage distribution. This cost-effective convenience requires some sacrifice, however. Make plans to keep your sump equipment well-maintained for safety and loss prevention during flooding.

Post-Fire Tips: What to Throw Away

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

If you recently experienced fire damage in your Oak Grove, KY, home, you may be wondering what you should throw away and what you should try to salvage. Some items are definitely worth saving, while others need to be tossed. Here are three things that you should get rid of if they have been present during a household fire.

1. Food

Food can be chemically changed after being exposed to high heat, making it unsafe for consumption. It can also come in contact with water and other substances while the fire is being put out. If you have any doubts about a food or it was found opened, charred or soaking wet, it needs to be put in the garbage, particularly if it is perishable.

2. Cosmetics

Throw away your makeup or skin care products if they look to be burned or seem to have been damaged in another way by the fire. They may not be safe to use on your body after being exposed to different elements such as smoke and firefighting chemicals.

3. Medicine

Like food and cosmetics, medicine either goes on or in your body. As a result, it needs to be kept at a regulated temperature and away from any materials that could harm you if your body comes into contact with them. Do not hesitate to dispose of them if they seem to be damaged in any way or you have your misgivings about holding on to them.

While it may seem that there are many things you have to throw away after a fire, there are also many objects that a fire restoration company can help you salvage. Some of these things include clothing, documents and household valuables. Do some thorough research - you will be happily surprised to learn that there are many belongings that you will be able to save after a fire, helping you ease yourself back into a more normal life.