Recent Posts

Why Should Insurance Agents Use a Claims Inventory System

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

4 Reasons Why Agents and Adjusters Rely on Inventory Systems

Insurers prefer to work with helpful and reliable mitigation and restoration services. SERVPRO provides access to estimates and data through a Claims Information Center and is a leading company in many vendor networks. Here are four reasons agents and adjusters rely on inventory systems when processing an insurance claim related to damage at a residence in Cherry Grove, WA.

1. Tracking Estimates

An inventory system makes it possible to view an estimate as soon as it has been uploaded by a franchise. This system can also be useful for monitoring the progress of a job. This is particularly the case if adjustments are necessary once cleanup or restoration is underway.

2. Accessing Data

These systems also make it easier for an insurance agent to determine whether an estimate is in line with regional and national averages. The Claims Information Center allows users to compare causes of loss, job file costs, types of claims and company and franchise performance. All of this information may facilitate the settlement of an insurance claim.

3. Communicating Efficiently

A claims inventory system also makes it easy for insurers to see information uploaded by a mitigation and restoration franchise. Estimates and other relevant files are submitted to an internal system and made available on the Information Center for authorized access at any time.

4. Streamlining Claims

The availability of information on individual claims and aggregated data can make it easier settle a claim. The Information Center offers all of this information, and SERVPRO also maintains a franchise Participation Agreement to increase the likelihood of coverage.

An agent or adjuster can use an inventory system to track and research claims. A service such as the Claims Information Center makes it easy to compare types of damage and restoration jobs. Insurers can access an individual insurance claim and data on national, regional, area or local damage in Cherry Grove, WA.

What to Know About Restoration and Your Company

2/14/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What to Know About Restoration and Your Company Storm damage in Sara, WA

When your company in Sara, WA, experiences flooding and contamination by black water, your staff may wonder if it's safe to come to work during the restoration process. Many restoration experts recommend staying away from the building during certain steps in the process, however, staff may be able to return to work sooner than expected.

The Business Building May Need to Stay Closed for Some Steps

Many damage and restoration professionals recommend either closing or moving business off-site while certain repairs are underway. These restoration steps may include

  • Water removal
  • Decontamination of the affected area
  • Necessary demolition or cutaway work
  • Mold remediation efforts

Some Tasks Can Be Performed from Alternate Locations

While the company building is cleansed of black water and then decontaminated, some parts of your business may be able to continue from an alternate location. If your business’s electronic files are backed up onto a server, then your IT company may be able to set you up on an alternate computer. Phone calls may be able to transfer to a different line, and some employees may be able to work from home.

When it May Be Safe to Return

After the flood cleanup, staff may be allowed to return to parts of the building that are not under construction. Air filtration devices may still be in use to improve air quality while restoration efforts are underway. There may also be some areas of the building that are inaccessible until repairs are complete. However, with the permission of the restoration company, employees can get back to work.

During a black water cleanup at a place of business, it's important to remember that because of certain steps in the restoration process the building may need to remain closed for repair. Fortunately, the company may be able to perform some tasks off site. After any damaged material and water has been removed, staff may be allowed to return to the building and resume work.

3 Things You May Need To Throw Away After a Home Fire

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Things You May Need To Throw Away After a Home Fire Fire in a Salmon Creek, WA home

Items that Need to Be Thrown Out After a Fire

When a fire occurs in your home in  Salmon Creek, WA, the process of cleaning up can be daunting. Often, people are unsure of what to throw away. There are several types of items that are often damaged in fires, and they commonly need to be thrown out.

1. Cosmetics

Cosmetics, even if they are packaged, generally need to be stored in clean, cool environments to remain in good condition. Unfortunately, high heat from a fire can cause the packaging of many items, and the items themselves, to melt. As a result, smoke and soot can easily damage the cosmetics, making them unsafe to use.

2. Food

After a fire, it’s often best to throw away the majority of food items in your home. Though some items may be visibly damaged, especially if the fire occurred in the kitchen, some pieces of food may appear to be unharmed. However, even if items are canned or wrapped up, smoke and soot can still affect the quality of food, and consuming food that has been harmed by soot or smoke damage can be hazardous. If you’re unsure whether or not food has been harmed, it’s generally best to discard the item.

3. Medication

Many medications need to be stored in relatively cool environments, and some medications may need to be stored in a refrigerator. During a fire, the temperature in a house can quickly rise. The high heat from a fire can damage the overall quality of the medication, which can ultimately make the medication ineffective and unsafe to consume. If you can document the medications that need to be replaced, you may be able to receive compensation from your insurance company.

Knowing that you may need to throw away cosmetics, food, and medication after a fire can help make the process of sorting through your belongings easier. Often, homeowners whose homes have sustained damage from fires find it useful to work with fire damage restoration experts.

The Pros and Cons of HEPA Filters for Air Purification

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Pros and Cons of HEPA Filters for Air Purification HEPA filters are rated to remove 99.9% of particles 0.3 microns in size from the air that passes through

By now, you’ve likely heard of the benefits of using air filtration in your home located in Felida, WA, to rid of mold that has made its way into the air you breathe. Many people choose to use air purifiers that are equipped with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters to rid of mold spores floating around. While these filters are often very efficient at completing this purpose, they can become problematic if not cared for correctly.

Applications of HEPA Filters

HEPA filters are used in several different settings including:

  • Home purifiers
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Hospitals
  • Airplanes
  • Tesla Model X

How a HEPA Filter Works

An air purifier with a HEPA filter cleans the air of mold by catching particles that are in your home. These filters are effective 99.97 percent of the time since they can only catch particles that are 0.3 microbes are larger. However, a large majority of spores are between 1 to 30 microbes in size, so only unusually small particles are able to get by undetected.

The Cons of a HEPA Filter

While a HEPA filter is considered to be an effective means of air filtration, there are a couple of cons to consider:

  • When not cleaned regularly, mold can grow on your HEPA filter and be emitted into the air
  • Unlike some other types of filters that are able to kill mold, HEPA filters only trap them.
  • A HEPA filter cannot trap very small mold spores.

When a HEPA Filter Isn’t Enough

It is important to remember that an air purifier only removes mold spores from the air inside your home and does not tackle mold growth problems within your home. To address a serious mold issue, you will need to contact a mold restoration specialist.

No one wants to have mold spores floating around in their home, which is why air filtration is so beneficial. HEPA filters are especially effective at purifying your air. Just make sure you replace them regularly to avoid unnecessary mold growth!

What Do You Need To File a Water Damage Claim?

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What Do You Need To File a Water Damage Claim? Water loss in a bathroom in Hazel Dell, WA

Documentation is required to file a homeowners insurance claim for water damage. A policyholder should provide photos, videos, maintenance records, and proof of purchase to an insurer as evidence of damage caused by a pipe burst or any type of leak. Learn more about what information a homeowner should gather as he or she prepares to file a claim for water damage.

Proof of Damage

Insurers will want to see proof of the full extent of the damage. There are several types of useful documentation:

  • Photographs
  • Video
  • Footage dated prior to an incident

These records indicate that damage was caused by the incident that led a homeowner to file an insurance claim. It is important to document damage before taking any steps toward mitigation. Homeowners may also benefit from being able to produce maintenance records indicating that the incident was not due to negligence. Even if an insurer does not cover the cause of damage, coverage should be available for the effects.

Proof of Purchase

It can also be helpful to gather receipts or other proof of purchase for damaged contents. Check your policy to ensure that the replacement cost of items is covered rather than the actual cash value. Given depreciation, the latter may not be sufficient to replace items with severe damage.

A Restoration Estimate

Insurers prefer to work with an established water damage mitigation and restoration company. Obtain an estimate for the cleanup and restoration processes by contacting a company that provides both services. This calculation may be more accurate and complete than estimates from more than one business.

All of this information can help a homeowner filing an insurance claim for water damage. Be aware that homeowners insurance does not cover any damage caused by flooding. A separate flood insurance policy is necessary for damage resulting from heavy rains or rising bodies of water in Hazel Dell, WA.

Answers to Basic Questions About Interruption Insurance

1/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Answers to Basic Questions About Interruption Insurance Flooded room in a Vancouver, WA office

Even if you've taken all the appropriate steps, your Vancouver, WA, business could still be affected by fire. When this happens, one of the most worrying aspects of the situation is how much money you could lose because of business interruption. Fire isn't the only emergency that could put your business in danger; other financial perils could include extreme weather, hail, windstorms, tornadoes, flooding, and other circumstances that may temporarily close your business. Protect your business with interruption insurance.

What Is Included in the Coverage?

Standard property insurance covers a lot of the physical damages and losses that fire leaves behind, but it doesn't cover everything. There are three main things that business interruption policies cover that your property insurance probably won't.

  • Profits you would have earned during the time period
  • Operating expenses you're still obligated to pay, such as rent
  • Moving costs to your temporary location

Sometimes this type of insurance is called business income insurance.

Who Qualifies for Coverage?

Sadly, there are business owners who don't qualify for this protection. One of the primary qualifications for this type of insurance is a dedicated commercial location. If you run a small business out of your home, you probably won't qualify for the policy. However, you may be able to get a business owner's policy. Other aspects of your business that may affect your eligibility include the type of industry, your history of business interruption claims, and the location.

How Long Does the Interruption Coverage Last?

Fortunately for many business owners, interruption insurance is available for the entire period of restoration. This is defined as the length of time necessary for repairing, rebuilding, and replacing any of your property that is damaged or destroyed. It's a good idea to find out exactly what is covered before you talk to the fire restoration professionals.

As you put safety procedures in place and provide training for your employees, don't forget to research interruption insurance in Vancouver, WA. You'll want the peace of mind that comes from knowing your business won't fail when disaster strikes.

Preventative Maintenance Strategies for Commercial Plumbing

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

No one likes having to deal with plumbing problems. They can cause significant damage to your commercial property that can only be fixed by water remediation experts. When you bring in the experts before the problem starts, however, you can prevent most of the common issues property owners in Felida, WA, tend to have. Being proactive can save you a lot of money and a lot of headaches in the long run.

Keeping a Watchful Eye

Some problems cannot be avoided. For example, if there is a water main break, your building will likely sustain some damage no matter how vigilant you are. Most plumbing issues, however, are easily prevented by recognizing and dealing with them as soon as you discover that something is wrong. A few key things to look out for include:

• Signs of leaks, such as bowed walls, standing water or water marks on the ceiling
• Clogged drains, as evidenced by overflow and slow draining sinks
• Low water pressure readings when you test with a pressure gauge

If you notice the signs of potential plumbing problems, contact someone to further assess and fix them immediately. The sooner a problem is fixed, the less damage it will do.

Have Your Plumbing Inspected

Regular inspections are vital for keeping your plumbing system working properly. Certified professionals can find the broken pipe or root invasion that is causing the problem in your building. With frequent inspections, they may even find it before it causes any damage that you would be able to see. Prevention trumps solution every time.

Taking care of a commercial plumbing system is a big responsibility, but preventing plumbing problems are well worth the effort. Have your plumbing professionally inspected before fall and after winter. It’s also a good idea to perform monthly inspections yourself. By being proactive, you can save yourself a lot of time and money.

No, Your Leaky Toilet Is Not Normal

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage No, Your Leaky Toilet Is Not Normal Air mover on a water loss in a Vancouver,WA bathroom

To get the most out of your Vancouver, WA, home, you need a functional, attractive and comfortable bathroom. Few things can ruin its condition faster than a leaking toilet. If your commode leaks every time you flush, you may have a bigger problem than you think.

Water Leaks Cause Significant Damage

A bathroom leak is not something you can take lightly. In fact, even a small leak can cause serious damage. If you have a leaky toilet, you may find damage to the following:

  • Toilet
  • Tile
  • Carpeting
  • Subfloor
  • Baseboard

Toilet Leaks Are Common

Leaky toilets are a common occurrence. Generally, assigning blame for a leaking toilet is not difficult. In many cases, a dry wax ring is the culprit. To seal properly, rings must remain moist and pliable. As the ring ages, cracks and brittleness can encourage a leak to form. On the other hand, improper installation may be the reason your toilet leaks. Either way, you should not ignore the problem.

Leaks Often Require Remediation

When you have a leak in your bathroom, you must take certain steps to deal with it. While repairing the toilet may stop the leak, it is still possible that you have serious secondary damage. Specifically, you may need to remove and replace damaged fixtures, flooring and other items. You may also need to address mold and mildew growth. Since containing mold requires specific equipment, knowledge and skill, it’s often a good idea to leave the job to a reputable mold remediation service.

If your commode leaks when flushing, you may think a leaking toilet is normal. It isn’t. Your toilet should not spill water onto the floor, but a leak can also cause significant damage. By understanding the typical causes of toilet leaks and knowing how to prevent them, you can keep your bathroom in tip-top shape.

Best Ways To Remove Smoke Odor From Your Home

12/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Best Ways To Remove Smoke Odor From Your Home If you have smoke damage in your Hazel Dell, WA home get in contact with a professional cleaning company

A lot can go wrong if a fire starts in your Hazel Dell, WA, home. At the very least, you will deal with inconvenience and hassle. No matter how large or small the fire may be, you’ll probably encounter the need for smoke cleaning. The nasty odor smoke leaves behind can overwhelm anyone and make it difficult to remain in your house. Fortunately, there are some effective methods the professionals use that can help get rid of this nuisance.

Whom Should You Call?

Cleaning up after smoke damage isn’t an ordeal you should tackle alone. There are some outstanding professional cleanup companies that boast the expertise to get your home back in shape. Here are some reasons why trained professionals are your best source of help:

  • They have years of experience cleaning up after residential fires.
  • They have the right equipment and techniques to thoroughly remove traces of smoke.
  • They work quickly and efficiently.
  • They have excellent customer service.

Air Filtration Devices

One of the most common ways a professional will help restore your home and rid it of smoke odor is by using air filtration devices. An experienced company will use heavy-duty equipment to remove toxins and other harmful materials from the air in your home. This will give you peace of mind that you can once again breathe clean air and not worry about illness or other health concerns.

Ozone Machines

In small doses, ozone is effective in removing the particles in smoke that cause odor. Only a professional should administer this form of smoke cleaning, as it can be toxic in large amounts. Ozone breaks down the bacteria and other materials so they will no longer smell.

Thermal Foggers

Another way to eliminate unappealing smoke odor is through a thermal fogger. This method is best used in conjunction with other steps such as the use of baking soda. The fogger takes in a deodorizing solution and then blows it out into the affected area.

When you need deep smoke cleaning, get in touch with the pros. A reliable technician will use these steps to help remove terrible odors from your house.

The Right Personal Protective Equipment for Mold

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Personal protective equipment keeps mold remediation specialists safe as they eradicate mold growth. There are several types of equipment that are commonly used to protect the respiratory system and skin from mold while preventing cross-contamination.

Respirators

Mold calls for the use of a respirator with a rating of N95 or better, particularly if the fungus is toxigenic. Several degrees of respirators are available:

  • Basic respirators for non-chemical substances
  • Premium respirators for cleaning chemicals
  • Half-face or full-face respirators for severe mold

Respirators may be reused if professionals carefully clean this equipment after each work session. Filtration cartridges should be replaced every day.

Coveralls

Tyvec coveralls protect clothing and skin from exposure to mold. Several features distinguish this protective equipment:

  • Full-body design
  • Attached hood and booties
  • Non-porous material

Not every infestation requires the use of coveralls. This protective suit is desirable when dealing with toxigenic mold growth or working in areas with poor ventilation. Workers may also wear long sleeves and pants to protect their arms and legs. Porous clothing should be bagged and discarded at the end of each cleaning sessions. Do not attempt to clean and reuse clothing contaminated with mold. Workers that do not wear full-body coveralls may want to put on shoe covers to avoid spreading spores to unaffected areas of a structure.

Gloves

Gloves are another critical piece of protective equipment. Experts recommend the use of gloves made out of:

  • Latex
  • Nitrile
  • Rubber

Gloves should be thick enough to resist tearing. It is important to dispose of gloves after each work session.

In addition to all of these types of personal equipment, mold remediation professionals may also use containment methods such as plastic sheeting or creating a negative air chamber to prevent cross-contamination. Even though non-professionals can put on personal protective equipment and attempt to remove mold from a commercial building in Salmon Creek,WA, remediation professionals will get the job done quickly and safely.