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4 Types of Fire Damage Covered by Commercial Property Policies

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage After a fire broke out in this restaurant, there were significant smoke and soot stains. SERVPRO responded immediately to this emergency.

Commercial Property Insurance Policies Cover Four Different Types Of Fire Damage.

Most commercial property policies include coverage for fire. Fire is the fourth most common claim filed by small businesses, and is the third most costly. The average fire damage claim amount is $35,000. Commercial insurance policies should cover most damage caused by a fire. Here are four major types of damage covered by these policies.

1. Building Materials

Fire can char or warp building materials. Combustible materials, such as wood, can be destroyed. Metal or other components may no longer be structurally sound. Porous materials, such as drywall or insulation, can be damaged by heat or exposure to water during fire suppression efforts. Commercial property insurance policies should cover the costs of rebuilding or restoring a structure.

2. Contents

Items in a fire-damaged building may be ruined by exposure to excessive heat or damaged by soot and smoke. Commercial insurance policies should cover the cleaning or replacement of contents. Obtain photographic or video evidence of damage, make a list of items, and provide proof of purchase if possible.

3. Electronics

Electronics are among the contents of commercial properties. These items often call for more specialized restoration methods and may be more expensive to replace than other contents. Most commercial property insurance policies will cover the costs of cleaning or replacement.

4. Smoke Damage

Smoke stains surfaces and contents and can cause a black film to develop on internal electronic components. In addition to restoring or replacing materials or items with smoke damage, a restoration service may also perform odor elimination treatments. Air filtration and the use of ozone machines, thermal foggers, or other methods can get rid of every trace of smoke odor.

Most commercial insurance policies cover these types of fire damage. Make sure your business has adequate coverage. After a fire occurs, provide your insurer with an estimate from a damage mitigation and restoration company in Charlotte, NC.

Readying for Storm Season – Tips for Inspecting Your Building

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

Trucks from a restoration company If your building is flooded you need a professional company that can respond quickly and provide cleanup services efficiently. Contact SERVPRO!

Tips For Inspecting Your Building In Advance Of Storm Season

Finding and repairing vulnerabilities in your Berryhill, NC, building before a storm offers the best chance at seeing minimal damage. Fortunately, small things like proper exterior maintenance can dramatically improve your chances of getting through unscathed. Here are tips you can follow for inspecting your building before a storm hits.

Understand the Risks

Each storm brings its own unique threats. Some of the most common threats of all storms include:

  • High winds
  • Hail
  • Power loss

While you can’t eliminate all risk, preparing with basic exterior maintenance can minimize some of the impact. The tips below can help you keep your building maintained and know what to look for as you prepare for storm season.

Secure Loose Objects

Wind is one of the biggest risks during any storm. As you examine your building exterior, look for loose shutters, fences, doors and even windows. Any of these can break off, creating dangerous projectiles during a storm. Secure these with locks, window shutters or plywood.

Monitor Hanging Icicles

Icicles may seem attractive, but they’re typically a sign of a poorly insulated roof. Too much heat in the attic can melt snow, leading to water runoff into gutters. The liquid refreezes and creates a dam of ice that can collapse. Inspect your roof eaves for icicles and target those areas for an interior roof inspection and possible repairs.

Clear Unsafe Tree Limbs

Trees can be a major threat to your building in a storm. Inspect your building’s exterior for overgrown branches as well as trees with shallow, rotting roots. Prepare to have branches trimmed or vulnerable trees removed to prevent damage to your roof or windows in a storm.

One of the best ways to get your building through a storm safely is by preparing in advance. Take time to do basic exterior maintenance and building inspection to minimize the need for storm damage cleanup and expense.

How to Keep Water Away While You’re Out of Town

1/5/2022 (Permalink)

water damage in a kitchen Water pipe repair needs, poor rain gutters, plumbing leaks, and other issues can invite flooding to your home. Call SERVPRO, we can help you!

How To Keep Water Out Of Your Home While You're Away

Everyone needs some rest and relaxation from time to time. A vacation is an ideal way for hard-working people to get away from the stress of work and everyday life. Imagine the horror of returning home to find a flood and needing water pipe repair in your West Charlotte, NC, house. This disaster could quickly ruin any enjoyment your vacation just provided. Fortunately, there are some effective steps you can take to help ensure you keep water at bay while you’re gone.

What You Can Do

Don’t wait for a flooded basement to prompt you to take action. Don’t let this mishap cause you heartache and take up your time and money. Make sure you put these items on your flood-prevention checklist:

  • Ask someone to watch over your home while you’re gone.
  • Turn off the water to your home.
  • Check for leaks before you leave.
  • Clean the gutters.

Let a Neighbor Help

If you plan to head out of town for several days, it’s a good idea to ask a trusted neighbor or family member to keep an eye on your home. This way, if there is a broken pipe or other cause of flooding, the person can catch it quickly and notify you so you can contact a professional cleanup crew.

Shut Off the Main Water

If no one is available to help, find the main shutoff valve to your home’s water supply. You should also drain the pipes as well.

Check for Any Leaks

Do a quick run-through in your home and inspect the faucets and pipes. If you detect that you need water pipe repair, address that before you leave.

Clean the Rain Gutters

If a large storm hits the area while you’re on vacation, clogged rain gutters and downspouts could collect water and send it through the foundation of your home. Make sure these areas are clear and free of debris.

Water pipe repair needs, poor rain gutters, plumbing leaks and other issues can invite flooding. Don’t leave home for a trip until you’re sure these issues aren’t present.

5 Steps of the Water Remediation Process

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage in a  home If you have water damage in your home, call SERVPRO. Our team has the right equipment for the job. Give us a call for your water damage, 24/7.

The Water Remediation Process Is Broken Down Into Five Distinct Steps.

When your home suffers water damage, you must clean it up quickly to avoid further problems. The best way to ensure that the cleanup process is done correctly is to hire water remediation specialists to guide the procedure. Professional technicians in Berryhill, NC,  have the training and equipment to handle each step of the process from start to finish. Here is what you can expect them to do when they arrive at your home.

1. Turn Off Water at the Source

Broken pipes can expel a lot of water in a short amount of time. The first thing technicians will ask you to do when you call, if you haven't done so already, is to stop the flow by turning off the water at the main line.

2. Turn Off Power in the Flooded Area

Electricity and water are not a safe combination. Shut off breakers to the area that has the water damage so that if you or technicians need to enter the water, you aren't putting yourselves in danger.

3. Extract Standing Water

Standing water causes more damage in your home every minute it remains where it's not supposed to be. It sinks into the floor and seeps into the walls. Professionals can use industrial equipment to remove water quickly and safely.

4. Remove Wet or Damaged Items

After the water clears, items can be removed from the area to be dried and cleaned. If they cannot be salvaged, technicians will dispose of them properly.

5. Dry the Area

The last step of the water cleanup process is drying the area. This prevents secondary damage, such as mold growth, from happening. Once the whole space is dry, it can be restored so that it is usable again.

Unless the water damage in your home is minor, you need to enlist professional help to clean it up. They can remove the water and restore your property to prevent further damage.

4 Tips To Prevent Toilets From Flooding

12/15/2021 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe A flooding toilet is a headache. SERVPRO knows this, which is why we're available to respond to your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

4 Ways To Keep Toilets From Overflowing

Once a toilet or drain line has become clogged, a toilet overflow is all but inevitable. A property owner or manager can take several measures to prevent a clogged toilet. These four tips can reduce the likelihood of sewage damage in a building located in Brookhill, NC.

1. Post Disposal Reminders

Occupants and guests of a building may be less likely to flush inappropriate materials if informative signage is visible. State simple rules regarding what should and should not be flushed. Discreet and sanitary alternative disposal methods for items such as diapers or feminine products should be available.

2. Install Waste Containers

Waste containers in bathroom stalls may reduce the frequency with which inappropriate items are flushed. This is particularly important in women's bathrooms. Be sure to regularly empty these containers to ensure that occupants do not end up flushing items due to the lack of another disposal method, leading to a clogged toilet.

3. Provide Thinner Toilet Paper

Thicker toilet paper is less likely to break down and is more likely to cause clogs when used in a commercial setting. Single-ply paper is better suited for bathrooms in large-occupancy facilities. Building owners or managers may also want to install toilet paper dispensers that restrict the number of sheets released at a time.

4. Schedule Drain Cleanings

Depending on the purpose of a commercial structure, it may be advisable to clean drain lines every month or several months. Frequent cleanings are particularly important for food service establishments, where grease may collect in drain lines even if most of this substance is disposed of properly. Greasy substances can block a drain line and result in a backup or overflow.

Following these tips can help property owners and managers prevent sewage backups. If a clogged toilet leads to a toilet overflow, contact a plumber and a cleaning and restoration firm in Brookhill, NC.

When Do You Need To Clean Your Dryer Vent?

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

Vacuum cleaning a flexible aluminum dryer vent hose, to remove lint and prevent fire hazard. A lint fire can be a dangerous situation and cause a great deal of damage, but you can prevent it with at least once year inspection of your dryer.

When Should Your Dryer Vent Be Cleaned?

As a homeowner in Charlotte, NC, you're probably very diligent about fire safety. You may have a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors on every floor, but have you checked your dryer vent lately? Many homes are damaged each year as the result of a lint fire. If the vent isn't cleaned out regularly, a dryer fire can result. So, what are the signs that your vent needs cleaning?

1. Clothes Are Taking Too Long To Dry

If your vent is blocked, your clothes can take up to two or three times as long to dry. You may find that clothes you put in for a regular drying time are still a little damp when the cycle is over. This is happening because the blocked vent isn't allowing the moisture to be released to the outside.

2. Hot Dryer and Clothes

A blocked vent can also cause excess heat. If your laundry feels unusually hot when you take it out, and the outside of the dryer feels very hot when you touch it, this could be the problem.

3. Burning Smell

If you smell something burning inside the dryer, that's a sure sign of trouble. The drum casing, exhaust tube and trap can get clogged, which makes it easy for a lint fire to start. If you're smelling smoke, turn off the dryer immediately and call a professional right away to inspect it.

4. No Regular Inspections

Your dryer vent should be inspected at least once a year by a vent cleaning specialist. A do-it-yourself job is certainly an option, but hiring a professional can ensure that the job is done thoroughly. These technicians are well acquainted with all the various brands of dryers and have the proper equipment to efficiently clean out the vent.

A lint fire can be a dangerous situation and cause a great deal of damage. But you can easily prevent a fire from happening by looking out for the signs outlined above.

Safety and the Smoke Alarm

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

smoke detector with white smoke and red warning light Even though it doesn't need to be replaced for several years, test your smoke alarm once a month.

The Smoke Detector And Safety

The correct use of a smoke alarm can be life-saving, and there are plenty of resources available to help you correctly install and maintain the detector. Take a look at some of the information that FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has made available to homeowners across the country.

• Your risk of dying in a residential fire can be reduced by 50 percent when a functioning smoke detector is nearby.

• Most residential fire deaths take place in homes without a working alarm.

• Smoke and fire detectors are affordably priced, and they are sometimes available for free from local fire departments.

It's not unusual for Charlotte, NC, homeowners to ignore their working fire alarms, even to the point that those alarms fall into disrepair. However, local fire departments and fire restoration professionals have some things they'd like you to know about the smoke alarm.

Replace the Alarm Every Ten Years

Many homeowners wonder how often they should swap out the batteries in their alarms (the answer is once or twice a year,) but they don't consider how long their alarm will last. Many devices actually use a flashing light to signal that it's time for a change, but those flashing lights get ignored, and many homeowners don't recognize the "replace the detector" signal from the "replace the batteries" flash. Even though it doesn't need to be replaced for several years, test your smoke alarm once a month.

Trust Your Alarm

You may have been frustrated to wake up at night because your smoke detector has been affected by dust and gone off when there's no flames in sight. Another common occurrence that frustrates homeowners is the alarm that goes off during meal prep. Don't let these situations convince you to be lazy when you hear the beep; head outside and use a cellphone or a neighbor's phone to call the fire department – even if you don't see flames. Your quick response may prevent injuries and fire damage.

Insurance Rates: Understanding Common Causes of Rate Hikes

11/19/2021 (Permalink)

Blue ballpoint pen, two antique brass keys and a home insurance claim from on a plywood clipboard. A blank form is waiting to When your home requires water damage repair and restoration, our crew is here to help! We're standing by 24/7 to respond to your emergency.

Understanding the Common Causes Of Rate Increases In Insurance

Homeowners assume that rate hikes are associated with every insurance claim, but that is not always the case. Several factors lead to rate hikes, and a claim is only one. Some of the leading causes of rate hikes are as follows:

1. Number of Claims

Rates reflect risks, and if you make repetitive claims on your policy, then that will signal your insurer that you are a liability and a risk, which will be reflected in your rates. While it is not always possible to avoid making claims, you should limit your claims to only issues you can’t handle on your own.

2. Type of Claims Made

Also, the type of insurance claim made can have varying effects on your rates. For instance, while water damage is one of the most common claims made by homeowners, the severity can differ depending on the cause and exposure. For example, a toilet backup that is contained in one small bathroom will not affect your rates as much as a pipe break that floods the entire lower level of your home.

3. Insurer Responsibility and Homeowner Liability

While a home flood will have an impact on your rates, the extent and value of those rate hikes come down to insurer responsibility and homeowner liability. Insurance companies have a responsibility to cover the costs stipulated in the policy agreement, but they also have the right to adjust their price based on a homeowner’s ability or inability to demonstrate responsible ownership. Constant claims or damages due to failed maintenance are red flags that result in higher rates.

4. Your Ability to Manage Your Property

Insurance companies want responsible clients. You can demonstrate this responsibility by performing routine maintenance and hiring professionals in Brookhill, NC to conduct inspections, keeping copies of receipts and invoices as proof. Clients who can prove responsibility will likely maintain low insurance rates because they are not a high risk for insurers.

Many homeowners try to avoid making any insurance claim because they fear the potential rate hikes. However, if you are a responsible homeowner and perform routine maintenance and inspections, rate hikes don’t have to be such an area of concern.

Prepare A Home Escape Plan in 4 Steps

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Living Room Fire Damage If you need help with fire damage in your home, you can count on SERVPRO, we are always ready to help you.

In Four Easy Steps, You Can Create A Home Escape Plan.

A fire escape plan is essential for any home. Follow these four steps to prepare an emergency escape plan.

1. Identify Escape Routes

Use an accurate floor plan to identify primary and secondary escape routes from every room, and keep these routes and exits clear. You should also make sure that these routes are practical given the ages and physical conditions of all occupants. In a two-story residence, use a non-combustible escape ladder to make secondary routes safer.

2. Perform Drills Twice a Year

Practice a fire escape plan at least twice a year. During these drills, you should demonstrate a safe way to crouch or crawl and avoid the worst smoke and heat. Show how to close doors to contain fire and smoke and test the temperature of closed doors on an escape route by feeling them with the back of the hand. Conclude by gathering at a predetermined location outside the house.

3. Practice Sealing In For Safety

In case an occupant cannot exit, practice sealing in. Close all doors and cover cracks and air vents with duct tape or towels. Open the windows as much as possible. Make sure the room you seal in has access to a phone to call the fire department and report your address and exact location in the home. Draw attention to your presence by waving a flashlight or light-colored cloth when firefighters arrive.

4. Post a Pet Safety Decal

Pet safety decals can notify firefighters of the presence of pets inside a home. Post these decals near the main entrances to a residence.

A fire escape plan can increase the safety of every occupant in the event of a fire. Refer to the Red Cross fire emergency guide for further guidance. If your residence is damaged by a fire, rely on a fire damage mitigation and restoration service in Charlotte, NC.

When Fire Damage Causes Water Damage

10/22/2021 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage SERVPRO is the leader in the fire and water restoration industry. During your time of need call us, and we will restore your property and efficiently.

When Water Damage Is Caused by Fire

When a fire breaks out at your Charlotte, NC property, you may be worried about fire damage – but when the smoke clears and the dust settles, you may have water damage to deal with, as well. But how is that possible, and how can you handle water cleanup?

Sources of Water Damage in a Fire

Water damage can come from multiple sources when a fire occurs on your property. Those sources include:

• Sprinklers. Smoke will trigger your sprinklers to activate, often preventing fires from spreading any farther, but those sprinklers can also cause water damage to anything uncovered in the room – such as your electronics. It’s not uncommon for sprinklers to save electronics from fire only to cause additional damage from water.

• Burst water pipes and mains. Fire damage throughout your property can cause extensive problems, including damaging your pipes. If your pipes burst, your property may flood even as it burns. Flooding can cause extensive damage at all levels, even if the floodwaters may also help mitigate the flames. Flooding can affect both your electronics and your inventory, as well as any furniture and display items.

• Firefighters. This is a tricky one. You rely on firefighters to save as much of your property as possible, but they do so by dousing it in gallons upon gallons of water ejected at high speeds. Not only can the volume of water do damage, but the impact of high-pressure water streams can cause damage.

Handling Water Cleanup

While you’re doing smoke cleanup and fire cleanup, you’ll need to handle water cleanup as well. Recovery specialists may be able to handle everything at once, but in the event you attempt cleanup yourself you should begin by clearing out any standing water and drying off your inventory. Even after the fire’s out, leaving waterlogged items and inventory can invite other problems that can impact the safety of your property.