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Minimize the Chance for Business Insurance Claims

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

It's a good idea to have a life preserver and lifeboat when you are on a cruise, but you probably don't want to use them. The same is true of commercial property insurance for your company in Vinings, GA. If you need it, it is there to pay out a business claim for such things as water damage, but it is worthwhile to take action to prevent damage in the first place. One area that has the potential to cause problems is your plumbing system. Even a small business is likely to have hundreds of feet of pipes. Some of these pipes are accessible, while others are underground or behind walls.

Ways To Avoid a Business Claim

A few precautions with your plumbing system can reduce your likelihood of having to file a claim in this area. These basic steps can go a long way toward protecting the integrity of your plumbing system:

  • Insulate your exposed pipes with materials to prevent freezing and thawing cycles
  • Maintain a warm building temperature to prevent freezing
  • Educate employees on where, how and when to turn off the water supply
  • Maintain plumbing systems to prevent a pipe break

It is always easier and less expensive to avoid a problem in the first place. You won't have to deal with wet carpeting, contaminated water, mold issues, and other water damage concerns.

Ways To Minimize a Business Claim
If your company does experience water problems, immediate action by a storm remediation franchise is your best source to limit damage and shorten a business interruption. A local company that works 24/7 and 365 days a year can get to work before mold growth or other problems have time to increase. Fast water removal and extraction limit the corrosive power of water to break down materials and cause lasting damage. By using the highest standards of the cleaning and restoration industry, a professional company reduces your exposure to expensive claims.

Will Your Insurance Policy Cover Mold Damage?

5/14/2020 (Permalink)

Will Your Insurance Policy Cover Mold Damage?

As a building owner in Sandy Springs, GA, you likely have a commercial insurance policy that covers fire or wind damage. Yet mold can be just as destructive to property. It can grow on various parts of the premises, including:

  • Drywall
  • Paper
  • Wood
  • Carpet

As mold grows, it destroys these materials and uses them as food. Worst of all, mold often builds up in dark places such as air ducts and carpet pads. By the time you discover the mold, it may have already caused excessive damage. Luckily, mold coverage is included in typical commercial policies.

Fungus Coverage
The standard Insurance Services Office policy covers damage that results from fungi, including mold. The harm must be the result of a specific cause of loss besides lightning or fire. Thankfully, fire and lighting typically do not lead to mold growth. That is because mold usually thrives in wet areas.
Floods are thus a common source of mold damage. Your commercial insurance should cover any mold that results from flooding, as long as your policy has a flood endorsement.

Cleanup Coverage
Your mold insurance should cover several aspects of the cleanup process. You can use the funds to pay for any direct physical loss to parts of your building. If mold remediation specialists have to tear out walls or ceilings in order to gain access to the damaged areas, your insurance can assist with the expense. You can even use the insurance money to pay for testing that ensures the mold is gone.
Keep in mind that mold coverage is only available if you take steps to prevent additional damage to the property once the fungus is discovered. Commercial insurance also typically has a limit of $15,000 per year for fungus coverage.
Your commercial policy likely includes some form of mold insurance. However, there are some limits to this coverage. You should thus take steps to prevent mold damage on your property. This will protect your building and save you money on repairs.

Sump Pump Maintenance

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Installation of a new sump pump and the removal of the old obsolete rusty one with a high angle view of the pumps A sump pump is an excellent way to prevent water damage in crawlspaces and basements

A wet basement or crawlspace is something many homeowners deal with. Even though these areas are often out of sight, water damage to them can lead to problems throughout the rest of the home. Fortunately, a properly working sump pump can keep the below-ground levels of your home dry.

Maintenance

Pump maintenance is the key to an efficient, long-lasting pump. At least once a year, but preferably every three months, you should perform routine cleaning and maintenance on your pump. The following are some important maintenance tasks:

  • Check the electrical connection.
  • Clean the screen.
  • Remove any debris in the discharge pipe.
  • Make sure the pump is properly situated in the pit.

Sump pumps use ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. Occasionally, the GFCI will turn off, so it is important to check that the power is on to your pump so it can begin working as soon as the water starts to rise. Also, remember to change the backup battery according to the manufacturer's instructions. For these pumps to work properly, they need to have clear inlet screens and outlet drains. Check for and remove any debris that you see. Once a year, remove the pump from the sump pit and fully clean both the pump and the pit. Finally, make sure the pump is upright. The pumps occasionally tilt to the side due to natural ground vibrations. To work properly, the sump pump should be completely upright and the float ball should be free of any obstructions.

Testing
Even with proper maintenance, the only way to know for sure that your pump works is to test it. To do this, pour a bucket of water into the sump pit. Make sure the pump activates and properly drains the water.
A sump pump is an excellent way to prevent water damage in crawlspaces and basements. Unfortunately, there are cases when the pump fails or cannot handle the amount of water present. If your Atlanta, GA, home suffers water damage, a certified restoration company can help you get it back to normal quickly and safely.

Partial Fire Loss Can Leave Lingering Damage

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

Fire loss in a warehouse Fire loss in a warehouse in Morningside, GA

Partial Fire Loss Can Leave Lingering Damage

If a fire breaks out in your Morningside, GA, business, the aftermath can be overwhelming. Even if there is only a partial fire loss, the lingering effects of the fire and smoke damage can create long-term issues.

Seek Hidden Damage
Whether small or big, smoke, soot, and flames can quickly become absorbed into the materials of a building, even in areas not affected by the fire. If a fire breaks out in a neighboring establishment, its residual impact may also affect your building. Calling a fire restoration specialist is the best bet to ensure the building is properly cleaned and inspected. During the inspection, they will check areas of the structure that may be overlooked, including:

HVAC System – Soot can easily begin to circulate through the vents. If not properly cleaned, it creates a long-term odor and affects air quality.
Attics – As smoke rises, any levels above the fire will be affected. Not addressing soot buildup can reduce air quality.
Electric and Plumbing – The accumulation of soot can also involve plumbing and electrical systems. The heat from a fire can impact pipes, potentially resulting in a pipe burst. If the fire was due to an electrical issue, it might be best to contact an electrician to update the wiring.
Mold – If a sprinkler system was set off or water hoses were used to put out a fire, it has the potential to create the right environment for mold. As the water absorbs into porous materials, mold can quickly grow and spread.

Address the Issue
Fire loss can feel overwhelming. Once the smoke settles, filing a claim as quickly as possible is key to getting your business back up and running. For partial losses, the process may be a little different. It is important to document all damaged items. This will help the process go more smoothly and may help the restoration experts better salvage some of the losses.
While fire loss can seem devastating, help is only a phone call away. The right professional will work to reduce losses and make the proper repairs to get your business back to normal.

Why You Want a Flood Cut

4/12/2020 (Permalink)

Flood cut Flood cut performed in Lenox Square, GA

Why You Want a Flood Cut

It's just a bit of water. It's harmless. Isn't that what business owners in Lenox Square, GA, want to think when flooding hits the property? It's hard to fathom that something so simple could be quite hazardous. In actuality, though, the premises have been invaded by very dirty water, and proprietors need the assistance of a water restoration company to sanitize and remove problematic parts. A flood cut is often part of the necessity, and it's meant to help you, not hurt your place. Hopefully, the following three points help ease your mind about the unwanted structural departure.

1. Why Is Flood Water Harmful?

When fluid rises from streams, rivers, and oceans, it contains microbes and bacteria, more than you want anywhere around you. It is their natural habitat; thus, they float on inside, making themselves comfortable in the new home. While some materials are not as easy for them, porous items such as carpet and drywall are welcome spots. There they can thrive and cultivate, creating a mold or bacterial growth. To get rid of it all, you want to tear out moist sections, decontaminating the space.

2. What Does the Flood Cut Do?

The experts should inspect the premises, evaluating the flooding zones. Then, they'll recommend removing anything problematic. It's not enough go with the initial zone, this special cut goes 12 inches about the flood line, trying to avoid leaving anything behind. This is simply an extra precaution to make your company safer.

3. How Is the Place Sanitized?

With those pieces gone, dehumidifiers can dry out the rooms, saving the other valuables and effects. Then, antimicrobial spray can be applied, to further reduce contamination. Once that is out of the way, the walls can be repaired and painted, getting everything back to normal.
If a specialist recommends cutting out flooding-impacted drywall, it's not meant to scare you or drive up the bill. It's a protective measure, decreasing pollutants and improving your structure's overall quality.

How To Prevent Mold From Growing in Your Bathroom

3/27/2020 (Permalink)

Bathroom fan An excellent way to prevent this haven for mold spores is by ensuring your bathroom stays dry

How To Prevent Mold From Growing in Your Bathroom

While it is true that mold growth can be found just about anywhere, particularly after any sort of water damage, your bathroom is especially prone to mold spores. If you're concerned about mold infiltrating your home in Peachtree Battle, GA, these three preventative measures can help.

1. Make Use of Your Bathroom Fan

Bathrooms are humid by default. Unwanted water, both in the air and on porous surfaces, can be detrimental to the state of your home. For example, broken or cracked bathroom tiles, either in the shower or part of the flooring, can lead to mold growth if neglected. An excellent way to prevent this haven for mold spores is by ensuring your bathroom stays dry.
Keep the fan running while you bathe and for at least 30 minutes after. This will help rid the bathroom of abundant moisture, which is prone to lingering in confined areas and causing water damage. Left unattended, this excess moisture can even lead to black mold, which will require remediation experts to rectify.

2. Remove Excess Water After Showers and Baths

This step is relatively self-explanatory but extremely important. In fact, removing the moisture clinging to your tiles can rid your bathroom of up to 75% of surplus condensation. Utilizing a squeegee is one of the simplest ways to eliminate remaining water from your shower walls.

3. Annually Reseal Your Shower To Ensure Your Tiles Are in Good Repair

Standard grout sealer is your best friend when it comes to mold prevention. This mixture of sand, cement, and lime is used as a filler between tiles after setting. Adding a grout sealer prevents your bathroom tiles from absorbing stains, bacteria, and excess water, decreasing your chances of a mold infestation.
Undoubtedly, the best way to avoid water damage and the potential for mold growth is by preventing it. Utilizing your bathroom fan, keeping tiles free of lingering moisture, and resealing those tiles as needed can all contribute to the current, mold-free state of your home.

We are Cleaning Experts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Hand with glove spraying cleaner We will sanitize any commercial or residential property.

SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need 

During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards. 

Specialized Training 

We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis. 

The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include: 

  • Kitchen/Food Areas 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Schools/Classrooms 
  • Offices 
  • Retail Spaces 
  • Water Fountains 
  • Shelving/Racks 
  • Sales Counters 
  • Carpets and Rugs 
  • Stair Handrails 
  • Elevator Cars 
  • Playground Equipment 
  • Fitness Equipment 

Specialized Products 

The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities. 

Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning 

If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of North Atlanta/Buckhead, (404) 261-2925

What To Know About Flood Cuts

3/20/2020 (Permalink)

Flood cut Flood cut performed in Paces Ferry, GA

What To Know About Flood Cuts

When your Paces Ferry, GA, business experiences storm flooding you may choose to contact a local storm damage restoration service. These professionals can help with clean up, but can also make the repairs necessary to restore your company property. One of the methods used may be a flood cut. Here’s what you may want to know about this process.

1. What A Flood Cut Is

A flood cut is when the material of a wall is damaged by flood contamination is removed from the property and replaced with new material. Typically the cut is made about a foot above the water line to help ensure all the damage is removed. The new material is then installed, and prepared in a way to match the rest of the interior so the damaged space looks “Like it Never Even Happened.”

2. Why It May Be Necessary

In many cases, flooding can occur in areas where it may come in contact with sewage material. This means that there is a risk of contamination in any area where flood damage may have occurred. Removing flood damaged material helps prevent the spread of this contamination, as well as other potential problems like mold growth.

3. How It Affects the Property

You may be concerned that a cut or tear out may leave the property devalued or facing additional damage. However, the opposite is true. The replacement of damaged material prevents problems in the future, and the restoration team has the ability to restore the property to pre-damaged conditions. In some cases replacing these portions of damage may even help to strengthen the structure depending on the methods and materials used.

When faced with damage from flooding, a restoration service may perform a flood cut to help remove contaminated material from the structure. This can help your business by preventing future damage and mold issues, and after the restoration is complete the affected area should look “Like it never even happened.”

Examples of Fires That Your Insurance Will Not Cover

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen wrecked by fire Kitchen fire damage in Buckhead, GA

From a young age, you're told that fire can be dangerous. Parents and teachers urge you to not play with matches or do anything else that could start a fire in your house. Still, despite your best efforts, these incidents can occur. While your first thoughts will be about the safety of your loved ones, you'll also worry about the condition of your property and possessions. Fortunately, your homeowner's insurance should cover a home fire in most cases. You should be aware of the times when your claim would be denied.

When You Can Get Coverage

Your homeowner's insurance should give you the financial help you need following a home fire in Buckhead, GA. Your policy can cover losses to your dwelling and possessions you lost in the fire. Your policy may even cover any expenses you had while staying somewhere else temporarily. Insurance will cover fires started by the following causes:

  • A vandal who intentionally started the fire in your home.
  • A fire that you started by accident.
  • A fire that started due to faulty equipment such as wiring or appliances.

Insurance Fraud
Some people make the catastrophic mistakes of resorting to arson to get the insurance company to pay a settlement. Anytime arson is suspected in a fire, the insurance company will investigate before professional fire restoration crews arrive to clean up. Homeowners guilty of this are subject to criminal punishment and will have their claim denied.

Empty House
If you own a vacant home, the insurance company will not pay for damages it suffered in a fire. A vacant home fire does not fall under a homeowner's insurance policy, so you will be left with the repair and restoration bills unless you buy supplemental coverage on the property.
Understanding how your homeowner's insurance policy works is critical. If you have a home fire, you need to know when your policy would go into effect and when it would not.

Help! There's Water Leaking From My Lights!

2/20/2020 (Permalink)

Water in a light fixture Water in a light fixture in a Virginia Highlands, GA home

Help! There's Water Leaking From My Lights!

Leaky pipes are rarely convenient, but when damage has been going on while hidden from sight, the repairs and results costs can mean real trouble. Sometimes, the first sign of damage is water light fixtures, either pooling or dripping slowing from the ceiling. When you do notice this trouble,

  • Don't attempt to let the water out.
  • Use the breaker box to turn off the electricity.
  • Shut down the water to your home.

Water and electricity are a dangerous combination. Water, full of tiny particles and contaminants, is an excellent conductor. Even if you just touch the light switch, you could get a powerful shock.

Shut Off the Electricity

Maybe you see a suspicious bulge in the ceiling or suspect some water in light fixtures. Rather than poking at the ceiling damage, go directly to the breaker box and turn off all the electricity. After shutting off the power supply, use a voltage tester to check an electrical source. Choose a spot that is removed from the leak and dry to test. When you're sure there's no power running through your home, contact a plumber, your insurance company, and a cleanup and restoration professional.

Contact Professionals for Repairs

Once you've turned off the water, you may be tempted to push on the bulge or tip the pooled water out of your lights. Resist that impulse! You could cause further damage by releasing water further into your home. Water damage cleanup and restoration experts have the training and equipment to safely address the leak without spilling water onto the floor below.

Don't Poke the Ceiling

When you find water dripping from light fixtures, resist the urge to correct the problem on your own. Even if you have a lot of experience with other home repairs, this combination of water and electricity can lead to serious injuries or worse. Instead of putting yourself in a dangerous situation, contact Virginia Highlands, GA, professionals to safely complete the necessary repairs.