Recent Posts

Is Your Broken Pipe Covered by Your Insurance?

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage Of Water From Stainless Steel Pipe On Gray Background Broken pipe in a Ball Ground, GA

Is Your Broken Pipe Covered by Your Insurance?

Does your insurance policy cover the flood of water following a broken pipe? The answer to this question is "It depends." There are several factors that affect whether you and your home are protected in this frustrating emergency situation:

  • Was the break the result of gradual damage?
  • Is there evidence of neglected wear and tear?
  • Was the leak sudden, and did you respond immediately?
  • Is the damage due to a broken appliance?
  • Did hidden plumbing leaks contribute to the water damage?

In general, if you have homeowners' insurance coverage and you have properly maintained your home, there's a good chance that the water damages will be covered.

Keep Numbers at Hand

When a flood does happen, there are a few tips you should follow to improve your compensation. One of the first is to keep contact numbers for your insurance company and residential cleanup and restoration professionals on hand. Post your insurance policy numbers nearby.

Keep Detailed Records

Plan to write everything down. Start by recording the details of your phone call to the insurance company. Write down who you spoke to, what time you made the call, and what you talked about. Next, take notes of the damage to your home and take photos of the damage. If you have receipts, save them and keep them with your other notes.

Hold Off on Repairs

Don't fix broken pipe or complete other repairs before the adjuster has completed the necessary estimates. Your quick work may void your coverage. You may also make it harder for restoration technicians to do their work.

Prevent Further Damage

There are some steps you can take to minimize water damages. These include turning off the water and electricity, soaking up water, boarding up broken doors or windows, and drying out the home and furnishings. Along the way, save any new receipts for services and repair costs.
When it comes to insurance companies, there's a big difference between water damage from wear and tear and damage from natural sources. If you live in an area with heavy rains and overflowing waterways, ask your Ball Ground, GA, agent about flood damage insurance.

How To Keep Your Dryer Exhaust Lint-Free

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Vacuum cleaning a flexible aluminum dryer vent hose, to remove lint and prevent fire hazard Vacuuming lint out of your dryer and vents is worth the effort

How To Keep Your Vents Lint-Free

There may be a fire hazard lurking right under your nose: your dryer vent. When lint builds up in the exhaust of your laundry room, it can cause a malfunctioning dryer or even a lint fire. Luckily, it's relatively easy to clean the lint from your dryer and lessen the chances of creating a dryer fire. Here are some maintenance guidelines to keep your vents lint-free.

  • Routine cleaning
  • Vacuum cleaning
  • Deep cleaning

Routine Cleaning

Cleaning out your lint trap should be second nature when doing laundry. Each time you start and finish a load of laundry, simply pull the lint screen out of your dryer and scrape the lint off. If there is any sticky residue, you can run the screen under water. Washing the screen weekly is especially helpful for removing slag deposited from dryer sheets.

Vacuum Cleaning

Vacuuming lint out of your dryer and vents is worth the effort. You can prevent a lint fire by using the attachment on your vacuum to suck lint and debris out of the area that houses your dryer's lint screen. When this area is cleared, it's less likely that clogs will form and catch on fire.

Deep Cleaning

Deep cleaning your dryer and exhaust is recommended every 6 months. This process removes lint and debris from deep within the exhaust and the dryer itself. Before starting, be sure to unplug your appliance. Move the dryer away from the wall, remove the exhaust hose, and then vacuum it out. You can buy a vent kit at a home improvement store and follow the manufacturer's instructions to fully clean out the entire vent. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, contact an appliance specialist to perform the deep cleaning.
Keeping your dryer and exhaust lint-free is an important step in preventing house fires. Fire damage in your Holly Springs, GA, home can be devastating. If you have experienced a lint fire, contact experts in fire and water damage restoration as soon as possible to get your home back in its best shape.

I Smell Gas – What Should I Do?

2/7/2020 (Permalink)

A hand holding a lit match Flames must be avoided until the source of the gas smell has been located.

I Smell Gas – What Should I Do?

As a homeowner in Canton, GA, you want to do everything you can to make sure your loved ones are safe. The threat of a gas explosion is something you should always be prepared for. Every year, thousands of people are injured and homes damaged because of natural gas fires which could have been avoided. Expensive structural repairs requiring the services of a fire restoration company are often the result. In many cases, these fires could have been prevented had quick action been taken. So, what should you do if you smell gas in your home? 

1. Find the Source of the Odor

Check your stove to see if the burner has been left on without the gas being lit. If this isn't the source, check along the gas lines for a hissing noise. Check for leaks behind water heaters or other gas appliances.

2. Find the Gas Shutoff Valve 

If the source is not evident, locate your gas meter. The shutoff valve is attached to the meter. Using a wrench, turn the valve to the "off" position.

3. Ventilate the Area

Open all the windows in your home, as well as the doors. This way, any gas trapped in the house can be vented to the outside.

4. Do Not Light Matches or Lighters

This may appear to be common sense, but flames must be avoided until the source of the gas smell has been located. Don't try to light cigarettes or candles if you smell gas!

5. Don't Make a Spark

Keep the lights off if you smell gas. Turning on a light switch could cause a spark, which could set off a gas fire.

6. Vacate Your Home

If you still haven't located the source of the gas leak, leave your home and get to a safe location, well away from the house. Call 911 or the gas company for help.

If you smell natural gas in your home, you need to act right away. These common sense tips can help your to prevent a gas fire from happening.

3 Reasons To Replace Old Pipes

1/30/2020 (Permalink)

A pile of old, rusty pipes When your pipes are old they can become brittle more easily

Here Are Several Reasons to Replace Old Pipes

Plumbing technology has improved over the last few decades. Polybutylene pipes used to be the industry standard because they were relatively inexpensive. If you have this type of pipe in your commercial building in Woodstock, GA, however, you may need to replace them. There are several reasons why this decision makes sense.

Broken Pipes

Old materials often cause significant problems:

  • Weakened pipe walls
  • Pinhole leaks
  • Flooding
  • Water damage

When your pipes are old or made from poor quality materials, they can become brittle more easily. According to water restoration specialists, this can cause pipes to break and flood your building.

Water Quality

No substance ever just disappears. It has to go somewhere. Unfortunately, if your polybutylene pipes start to flake because they cannot withstand the common chemicals used to treat the water supply, those flakes usually end up in the water supply itself. Even though the water is clean when it leave the treatment plant, it can become contaminated by old pipes once they start to deteriorate. This can affect the water quality for your whole building.

Building Codes

Because the problems with these old pipes are well known, modern building codes have been updated to exclude them. If you have pipes made from substandard materials in your building, it is not likely to pass inspection. You may even be fined. While having a whole new plumbing system installed may seem costly at first, it is less expensive in the long run that the costs you may face if your building doesn't meet municipal standards. Between potential damage mitigation expenses and penalties, you are better off replacing your pipes with new ones.
Upgrading your plumbing may not be high on your maintenance list, but it could save you a lot of money to do it as soon as possible, especially if you still have polybutylene pipes. An upgrade can protect your water quality and the structural integrity of your building.

Why Insurance Companies Prefer Qualified Vendors

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Business Communication Connection People Concept Ask your insurance agent to call SERVPRO.

Why Insurance Companies Prefer Qualified Vendors

When a disaster happens in Free Home,GA, the response could involve a number of complicated situations. This might include handling hazardous materials, treating sensitive documents and utilizing sophisticated equipment. A smart insurance agent wants to make sure the disaster response team is up to the challenge. A sure way to accomplish this is by hiring a company that has rigorous performance guidelines. A SERVPRO franchise must be proficient in 21 guidelines to receive insurance referrals. One important aspect of this is background checks on employees. This attention to detail ensures an employee has a clean history and will be an asset to the company.

Cleaning Standards

A professional remediation team will abide by the standards set by the IICRC, the most trusted name in cleaning and restoration certifications. High standards yield the following results:

  • Trained technicians on site
  • The proper use of drying and other forms of equipment
  • Adherence to safety protocols
  • A job completed correctly the first time
  • Satisfactory cleaning and sanitizing of the workplace

The insurance agent can feel confident when working with a franchise that values the training and certification of its technicians. Not only are SERVPRO technicians trained in IICRC standards they also receive continual training throughout the year to keep up with advances and changes.

Filing Excellence

A professional restoration vendor program also provides help with processing insurance claims. That means documentation is complete. It begins when the workers first step on the site with a notification of loss right after an inspection and damage assessment. From that point on the insurance agent is kept in the loop and receives regular communications. Documentation comes in the form of worksheets, is backed up with photos and is digitized. This documentation is backed up with the Claims Information Center, which makes sure comprehensive reporting is accurate and timely. High standards matter in the recovery business from start to finish.

How the Mold Removal Process Works

1/10/2020 (Permalink)

Specialist using protective gear while removing mold Mold removal requires expert skills and experience

Discovering mold in your Free Home, GA, office can raise some red flags. You want to resolve this concern as quickly as possible without disrupting your business operations. There are steps you can take to minimize the chances of getting mold. However, you can also have peace of mind to know that mold removal is effective.

Signs That You Have Mold in the Office

Mold can be in your building, even if you don't see it. Mold growth can occur in hidden areas such as in walls, behind and under appliances, underneath sinks, and in pipes and air ducts. Mold may have a pungent odor.

Call the Pros

Mold removal requires expert skills and experience. Professional mold cleanup companies have the right tools and equipment to safely get rid of this fungus. The team can come to your office on the same day as your call. Technicians will begin by inspecting the affected areas and assessing the severity of the damage. This will help the crew formulate a plan and give you an estimate on the cleanup timeline.

Removal Time Frame

Depending on the size and scope of your mold problem, it could take anywhere from three to seven days to eliminate the fungus and get your office back to normal. The cleanup process may take a little longer if there is a significant amount of black mold. You must also take into account how much repair and restoration crews will need to do to walls, ceilings, floors, and the heating and cooling system. Good mold removal companies will also provide you with updates on the progress.
Mold removal is nothing to take lightly. Fortunately, highly skilled companies have the resources you can rely on to get rid of mold from your office within a few days.

The Advantages of Working With One Company After a Fire

12/30/2019 (Permalink)

Workers cleaning a building after a fire Cleaning up after a fire in Oak Grove, GA

The Advantages of Working With One Company After a Fire

The steps to successfully recovering from a business fire are numerous. Working with one company in Oak Grove, GA, can simplify matters while at the same time giving you the full expertise you need. Because fire damage frequently involves water issues, soot buildup and smoke odors, it's nice to work with a fire restoration team that has experience in all of these fields. You may also have to deal with moving some items out of your building while the cleanup is underway, and you may need to work with an insurance adjuster for a fire claim, all of which can be expedited by choosing the right company.

A Comprehensive Fire Mitigation Team

One important step in the process of fire recovery is securing the building afterwards. Broken windows and other openings could appeal to thieves and vandals, and leave your building vulnerable to additional damages and liability issues. Therefore, a professional board-up and roof-tarp service could be helpful. Other steps to consider are as follows:

  • Water removal and drying
  • The cleaning of smoke and soot from surfaces
  • A thorough cleaning of fabrics, clothes, electronics and documents
  • Restoration repairs

Fire damage often results in harm to the drywall, necessitating a repair, as well as the need for painting and tearing out and installing new carpeting. The right team can tackle these projects for you and get your company back on its feet.

A Plan for Recovery

Training and experience are critical when it comes to fire cleanup. You should always look for a team that has the ability to tackle tough challenges with those who are trained in eradicating smoke and soot damage, eliminating odors and cleaning materials. Advanced and sophisticated equipment is often needed to do the job right. Fire damage can often be extensive and the cleanup process could be a long one if you have to deal with multiple companies. An orderly process will be appreciated by your insurance company, making it easier to file a claim and receive payments.

3 Steps for Pet Fire Safety

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Drill Alarm with words FIRE DRILL! Do evacuation drills

Promote Pet Safety in The Event of a Fire

Fire safety plans should account for all of the occupants of a household, including pets. Whether cats, dogs, fish or any other animals live with you in Nelson, GA, you can take the following steps to promote pet safety in the event of a fire emergency.

Identify Your Pets

Keep identifying tags and papers for your pets close at hand. Even if a cat or dog does not always wear a collar at home, you may want to keep important identifying items and certifications in a fire box or convenient evacuation kit. Place window clings indicating the number and type of pets present in your home near exterior doors in case of a fire rescue.

Prevent Common Accidents

Your pet certainly doesn’t mean to knock over a candle or get too close to an open flame, but accidents happen and you could run the risk of a fire emergency if you don't take proper care. Training can discourage animals from jumping on surfaces such as counters, tables, grills or stoves. Avoid leaving cooking equipment or space heaters unattended while in use.

Do Evacuation Drills

It is important to train every member of a household in fire safety, including pets. One key to pet preparation is to familiarize animals with the sound of the fire alarm so they don't panic and flee. Take your pets with you as you practice taking primary and secondary evacuation routes out of every room in your home and going to a safe meet-up spot.
With a little planning, every member of your household can be ready to evacuate in the event of a fire emergency. Window clings and pet monitoring systems can be particularly helpful if your pets are home alone when a fire breaks out. After you make sure that everyone is safely out of a burning structure, contact damage restoration experts to fix minor to severe fire damage so you and your family, animals included, can move back in.

Why You Need Commercial Flood Insurance

12/21/2019 (Permalink)

The hands of someone showing an insurance policy and pointing with a pen where the policyholder must to sign If you own a business or property in Nelson, GA, be sure to purchase a flood policy

Why You Need Commercial Flood Insurance

Typical commercial insurance does not include coverage for flood damage. That is why you need to purchase a separate flood policy.
Flood insurance may seem like an additional cost for your business. However, buying this insurance now can save you money in the future. Your policy can help you pay for expenses in the event of a flood. A flood is defined as excess water on two or more acres or two or more properties that are typically dry. Flooding can result from any of the following:

  • Mudflow
  • Overflow of tidal or inland water
  • Land collapse due to erosion
  • Runoff or rapid accumulation of surface water

Buying a Policy

Purchasing flood insurance is simple thanks to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA created the National Flood Insurance Program to provide this insurance to people and companies. A general NFIP policy for businesses includes $500,000 of coverage for buildings and another $500,000 for personal property within the properties. This commercial insurance money can be used to replace items affected by storm damage. It can also be used for flood cleanup and restoration services.

Understanding What Is Covered

The building and personal property sections of your flood insurance each cover different things. Building property coverage includes any permanently installed items, including wallboard, carpeting, cabinets and bookcases. It also includes the building foundation, the water heater, and the plumbing and electrical systems.
Your personal property coverage, meanwhile, pays for the costs of equipment, furniture, machinery and other similar items. This includes portable microwaves and air conditioners, food, and even original fur and artwork.
While flood insurance is a necessity for any property owner, it does not cover everything. Vehicles, fences and other items outside the building are not included in a typical policy.
If you own a business or property in Nelson, GA, be sure to purchase a flood policy to go along with your commercial insurance. This could prevent you from spending money on storm cleanup in the future.

Will Your Insurance Cover Broken Pipes?

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Leakage Of Water From Stainless Steel Pipe On Gray Background Leaky pipes can cause flooding as well

Will Your Insurance Cover Broken Pipes?

No homeowner in Lebanon,GA, or anywhere else ever wants to contend with a flood in their house. There is great risk of suffering loss of sentimental belongings, plus cleanup and repair costs can be high. One of the first things you'll want to do is reach out to your homeowner's insurance to file a claim. It's important to understand your policy and what your provider will and won't cover.

What Your Policy Doesn't Include

If water damage occurs in your home from a backed-up sewer or broken main water line, your standard homeowner's insurance coverage won't apply. You can, however, purchase additional flood insurance to pay for these sources of flooding. Other non-applicable items include:

  • Water damage from unresolved maintenance problems
  • Deliberate damage you cause yourself
  • Water from outside flooding sources such as a storm surge or overflowing river

Unexpected Disasters

If a flood occurs from your home because of a sudden problem at home, you should have coverage. For example, if a pipe bursts without warning and expels water all over the ground, your insurance company should help out with repair costs. If your water heater malfunctions and leaks water everywhere, your policy will be in effect. Other appliances such as washers and dishwashers could suddenly break, causing water damage. Coverage should be on your side in these cases too.

Pipe Issues

Leaky pipes can cause flooding as well. A pipe could slowly be letting water out for months or even years without you knowing. To fix broken pipe could solve the issue, but the damage could already be done. Your homeowner's policy should take care of the costs or repairs and replacement, as long as you can show that this didn't happen due to willful neglect.
In many cases, your insurance company should pay out for flood damage. The provider should take care of the costs for a professional water cleanup team to remove the water and sanitize the area.