Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

3 Ways Pretesting Can Reduce Commercial Insurance Claims

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicles inside a warehouse When water, fire, or mold disaster strikes your commercial property in Yucaipa, CA, it is important to know who to call

As an insurance agent, you can be constantly finding ways to satisfy your clients while also reducing the costs of their claims. An effective way to accomplish this task is by working together with a reliable damage recovery company to conduct pretesting on the client's commercial property. This practice can both maintain expenses down and assist your clients due to a variety of reasons.

Prevention of Further Damage

Most damage in a Yucaipa, CA, commercial property originates from a source and can spread throughout the entire property. A team of experienced technicians can safely enter the building to find and stop the source. Additionally, they can use their knowledge of the area to protect the furniture and move it to a safer spot. This measure prevents further damage and removes the expenses of furniture and equipment replacement.

Assessment of Damage and Hazards.

Damage recovery company employees can further help with the insurance claim by assessing the existing damage as well as any potential hazards. Pretesting allows the employees to observe what they are facing and prepare an efficient plan for the current situation. They can also find any hazards created or exacerbated by the incident, such as:

  • Asbestos
  • Loose or exposed wiring
  • Lead
  • Falling debris
  • Trip hazards
  • Dangerous chemicals

These elements can complicate the restoration process, harm people and lead to additional costs. Early examination prevents these dangers and lowers claims.

Identification of Water Type

If there is water damage at your client's commercial building, it is important to identify the type of water in the area. Different water categories mean different levels of contamination. For instance, a remediator crew would use greater protection with category three black water than with categories one or two, or white and gray water. Each classification determines the recovery and decontamination processes as well as their costs.
It is important to help your clients repair damage to their businesses while also making the process affordable for everyone.

Eradicating Smoke Damage

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

Craft paper with words on the top that say WOOD AND PAPER Sources of dry smoke residue are wood and paper

Any type of fire in your Mentone, CA, business means there will be some damage. Even if it is small and caught quickly or the aftermath of a neighboring business’s fire creeps over, it will likely result in some amount of smoke damage or soot damage. Although it may feel like your business may never be the same, restoration specialists have the expertise to clean and repair the damage.

Types of Damage

The amount of time and complexity of smoke cleaning depends on the type and extent of the damage. Smoke damage is often categorized into four areas:

Dry Smoke – Produced by extremely hot and fast-burning fires caused by paper or wood, it is a powdery residue that is easier to clean than other types. The downside is the small particles can easily become hidden in porous materials, resulting in a smoky smell without any visible signs.
Protein Residue – Commonly found with cooking fires, this residue is from a low-heat fire and is often not visible. Like dry smoke, it will continue to permeate areas with a smoky odor if not properly cleaned.
Fuel/Oil Residue – Typically the least common, it is a dense and sticky material often related to furnaces or petroleum-powered equipment. It can be very difficult to clean and has a much stronger odor.
Wet Smoke – Burning plastic and rubber create a black smoke that can quickly cover an entire room. This residue is sticky yet smears, which often requires special equipment to remove.

The Cleanup Process

While smoke damage may seem impossible to clean, the right professional has the tools to help you salvage as much as possible. Along with ventilation and wet and dry cleaning processes within the building, the restoration process includes removing smoke odors from furniture, documents, artwork and more. Within the structure, overly damaged items will need to be resurfaced, such as new paint, carpeting and upholstering.
Before giving up on items that have smoke damage, get a professional consultation. The right expert can get your business back to “Like it never even happened.”

What Types of Mold Can Grow in Your Home?

11/24/2019 (Permalink)

Black mold on wall on the top it says MOLD Stachybotrys Atra, also known as black mold

Four of the Most Common Strains of Household Mold

Mold growth is a serious concern for homeowners in Yucaipa,CA. If left untreated, it can lead to a variety of unsavory issues. Here are four of the most common strains of household mold, all of which should be removed by a professional mold remediation company ASAP.

1. Penicillium

Penicillium likes to set up shop inside water-damaged furniture and fixtures, ducts and insulation, and rugs and wallpaper. It doesn't stay confined to one place for very long, though. This type of mold is quick to spread through the entire home if left unchecked. It's also one of the easier mold strands to identify thanks to its velvety, blue-green appearance.

2. Trichoderma

Like many types of mold, Trichoderma thrives in damp areas, such as those that have endured water damage or that are prone to high humidity. It typically inhabits wet, porous surfaces, such as wallpaper, rugs, and other fabrics. If you see white spores with green spots, it might be Trichoderma.

3. Chaetomium

If you smell a musty odor, but can't see any evidence of mold, you might have a Chaetomium invasion. This type of mold growth most commonly occurs on wet drywall, but is also typically found in basements, around plumbing, and on leaking roofs. While initially cotton-like in appearance, it changes color over time, evolving from white to gray to brown to black if ignored.

4. Stachybotrys

Also known as "black mold," Stachybotrys is the granddaddy of household mold due to the level of hazard it can present to your home. It's slick and either dark green or black in color, hence the name, and it sticks primarily to fibrous surfaces, such as wood, paper, and cardboard.
These are merely four of several types of mold that are often found in homes. If you suspect you have mold growth on the premises, don't delay in contacting an experienced mold removal team to eliminate it safely and efficiently.

Commercial Mold Remediation

11/18/2019 (Permalink)

a man in protective equipment If you suspect that black mold is growing in your business, you need professional advice.

Like so many things, mold can be a benefit or a problem. The word itself sounds icky, but in fact mold is everywhere, and most of it is harmless. However, having a noticeable black mold infestation in your business can turn customers away and even reduce employee productivity. The good news is that mold cleanup in Redlands, CA has never been easier.

What Causes Mold?

Black mold outbreaks are caused by excess moisture. This can have multiple possible causes:

• Plumbing leak
• Roof leak
• Poor humidity control

What Is the Difference Between Mold Removal and Remediation?

Some companies advertise for complete mold removal, but that’s a load of baloney: There is no way to remove all mold. Legitimate companies know the science behind mold growth and focus on returning mold levels to an acceptable amount. A qualified restoration company has the training and knowledge to remediate mold in your business.

What Is the Mold Remediation Process?

It begins with an inspection and mold damage assessment. Remediation specialists will then contain the infestation and identify the source of the mold. Once the source has been eliminated, they will remove any mold and mold-damaged materials, like drywall and carpeting. Next, the professionals will clean up the mess and disinfect your business, and finally they will restore it to its former condition.

What Equipment Will They Use?

Top mold removal companies have specialized equipment to identify and fix all levels of infestation. They may use specialized air scrubbers, filters and HEPA vacuums to create negative air chambers that contain the microscopic mold spores. Antifungal and antimicrobial treatments can eliminate colonies and prevent new ones from forming. Fogging equipment can also be used to deodorize your business.

What’s the Bottom Line?

The entire procedure is tax deductible, so look for the most qualified mold cleanup company in Redlands, CA and cleanup should be a breeze. The longer you wait, the more difficult and expensive it will be. Visit http://www.SERVPROsouthredlandsyucaipa.com for more information on mold. 

Mold in Your Redlands, CA home

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

black growth on a yellow wall Mold is a fungus that is part of daily life.

It grows outdoors to help break down dead organic material, and it travels microscopically by way of spores. It requires moisture to grow in your home, and any organic surface allows it to spread. There are three types of materials on which you’re likely to find mold growth in your home in Redlands, CA.

1. Drywall

Drywall consists mainly of a substance called cellulose, which is an organic compound found in plant cell walls. It will naturally attract mildew growth if it’s been exposed to high humidity or dampness. One place where you might find mold on the walls is in the bathroom. If steam from a hot shower doesn’t have the proper ventilation to allow it to escape, it can settle on the walls’ surfaces. One way to prevent mold damage on drywall might be to install a fan in the ceiling of the bathroom.

2. Grout

Grout in between tiles is often found in bathrooms and kitchens in Redlands, CA. Its porous nature, when combined with moisture, can create a breeding ground for mold. Keeping the tiles and grout clean and dry goes a long way to preventing mold damage. Wiping the shower walls and floor down after each use and cleaning grease splatters and food debris from the kitchen backsplash are good deterrents.

3. Wood

Wood is a natural fiber that provides a food source for mold. If there’s been water damage from leaky pipes or poor ventilation, damage from mold can occur on the joists or within walls. Unless the mold has had a very long time to absorb into the wood and rot it, washing the surface layer down with the proper cleaning solution and drying it should be an effective protective action.

There are many potential areas for mold to grow within the home. The key to preventing mold damage, however, is to periodically inspect your home, particularly areas that are susceptible to moisture. Keeping spaces well ventilated and clean can help. If you have discovered a mold outbreak, it may be time to call in a professional service to inspect and clean it.

How To Replace a Toilet

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

Replacing old leaking toilets in Redlands,CA

Over time, a leaking toilet can cause problems and require help from a water damage specialist. Sometimes you can remedy the situation by replacing a faulty component. However, if your toilet repair is unsuccessful, replacing the entire unit may be your only option. Although the task may seem intimidating, the process is typically straightforward. Following a few essential guidelines can help you successfully accomplish this home improvement project.

Measure Before You Begin

Before installing a different commode, you should verify that the new device can fit into the allocated space. To accomplish this, complete a few important measurements:

  • Distance from the back wall to the floor bolts
  • Space between the current bowl and side walls
  • Distance from the tank to water supply lines

Remove Existing Toilet

Disconnecting a leaking toilet can be messy. To minimize water seepage, you should complete the following steps:

  • Turn off the water supply
  • Flush commode to remove fluid
  • Absorb remaining liquid with a sponge
  • Place a bucket under tank before removing supply line

To disassemble your old toilet, unscrew the tank from the bowl. Then, loosen and remove the nuts holding the unit to the floor and place the detached commode on a garbage bag. You should also remove the old wax ring and any excess wax remaining along the top of the drain.

Set up New Toilet

Before connecting your new unit, you should install new floor bolts and place a new wax ring on the base of the toilet outlet. Then, lower the bowl over the new bolts, pushing it straight down to prevent ring damage. Once the base is firmly in place, secure the nuts. To prevent cracks, avoid overtightening.

After installing the base, carefully attach the tank. You should ensure the unit is level, and then reconnect the water supply. Before finalizing the project, verify the absence of leaks and adjust components as necessary.
A Simple Project

Replacing an old, leaking toilet with a new model doesn’t have to be a hassle. Measuring before commencing the project and taking steps to minimize water seepage can help every homeowner in Redlands, CA, efficiently accomplish the task.

SERVPRO Resources for Insurance Companies

3/23/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO professionals focus on satisfying customers through top quality service and prompt results.

SERVPRO professionals focus on satisfying customers through top quality service and prompt results. An insurance adjuster often has similar goals but naturally plays a different role. As cleanup and restoration technicians work to return a Yucaipa,CA, property to its pre-disaster conditions, insurance agents and adjusters handle some of the financial arrangements to get storm victims back on their feet.

A Cooperative Effort

As part of the mitigation company's efforts to work with insurance companies, SERVPRO provides:

  • Access to a national call center
  • Annual compliance checks
  • Clear standards for the work of crews and vehicles
  • Strict file documentation guidelines
  • Quality assurance protocols

An atmosphere of cooperation helps each insurance adjuster reduce the amount of time it takes to complete a claim.

Access to Information

Several advantages have been put into place to make this happen. For example, easy access to electronic files are available through an itemized loss inventory and an electronic claims center. Within these files, insurance professionals have access to quick information, including the first notice of loss, detailed estimates, photos, scanned images of paperwork, job cost data, and all files relating to new jobs, pending assignments, and completed projects.

Restoration vs. Replacement

Cleanup and restoration professionals conduct pretesting to reduce the expense of each insurance claim. When possible, professionals restore property rather than replacing it because restoration tends to be less expensive than replacement. Pretesting gives the technicians that chance to create an effective plan of action that further decreases the costs of cleanup and mitigation.

Third-Party Certification

Finally, SERVPRO works closely with the IIRCR, an independent organization that sets the standards for cleanup and recovery professionals. The right training, ongoing education, and routine inspections improve the quality of the work offered by technicians.

Quick, Convenient Claims Completion

An insurance adjuster must work to keep the cost of claims down for Yucaipa,CA, customers without sacrificing the quality of work received by the customer. A cooperative relationship with cleanup professionals simplifies this process for insurance professionals.

What Is an Electronic Claims Service?

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO can assess the extent of damage at a residence in Yucaipa, CA

A service for storing and accessing claims electronically makes it easier to access data related to an insurance claim in progress. The following features of the SERVPRO Claims Information Center facilitate communication between mitigation and restoration professionals and insurers.

A Portal to Claim Information

An insurance agent can log onto a claim service to view an estimate for damage cleanup and restoration. This information will be based on an on-site visit to a residence and should account for several factors:

  • Type of damage
  • Extent of damage
  • Cleaning and restoration methods

All of this information is important for an agent processing an insurance claim. Other types of useful information are also available through this service.

A Resource for Comparing Claims

Agents may also find it useful to be able to compare the amount of a claim to other claims in a region or nationwide. The Claims Information Center also makes it easy for insurers to access other collected data:

  • Causes of loss
  • Claim types
  • Job costs
  • Response times

It may also be possible to compare these types of data and other metrics for franchises and companies. All of this information can help an agent or adjuster determine whether an estimate is accurate and reasonable.

A Communication Tool

One of the best features of an electronic claims service is that is can reduce communication-related delays. Rather than having to schedule calls, a mitigation and restoration franchise can simply upload estimate information and more data on the progress of a job for an agent or adjuster to review on his or her own schedule.

These features make the Claims Information Center and other electronic claims services a useful resource for insurers and restoration vendors. Shortly after SERVPRO experts assess the extent of damage at residence in Yucaipa,CA, an estimate will be posted on this service to expedite processing of an insurance claim.

Why Does Mold Grow on the Bread in Your Kitchen?

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Mold spores thrive on moisture

Few things are more frustrating than to buy groceries only to have them turn moldy in just a few days. If you keep bread on your counter, you may wonder why mold often grows quickly on it. To understand bread mold, you must know a few things about general mold growth.

Mold Reproduces Through Spores

Unlike plants that usually need seeds to spread, mold reproduces through tiny microscopic spores. For spores to take hold, though, they often need both humidity and a food source. As such, mold is often common in wet areas inside your Yucaipa,CA, home. Specifically, you may find mold in the following rooms:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry rooms
  • Attics
  • Crawlspaces

Kitchen Mold May Be in a Few Places

While you may notice bread mold on the food you leave on your counters, mold may be virtually anywhere in your kitchen. In fact, you may even notice mold in your refrigerator. Fridge mold often occurs inside appliances for a couple reasons. First, humidity levels can be high in refrigerators. Also, your refrigerator likely has ample food sources to support mold and fungus growth.

Removing Mold May Not Be Simple

The cleaning aisle of your grocery store has dozens of products that claim to kill mold. Unfortunately, these products often only mask the appearance of mold. That is, a cleaning product may bleach mold without actually killing it. While you assume mold is gone from your kitchen, spores continue to move around your home on air currents. As such, you may need to work with a reputable mold mitigation service to keep mold growth in check.

Seeing bread mold may cause you to lose your appetite. It could, though, indicate a larger mold problem in your home. By understanding how mold reproduces, you can develop a strategy for stopping mold. Nonetheless, you may need professional assistance to help you control mold in your kitchen.

5 Things To Understand About Mold

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

Mold damage in a Redlands,CA commercial building

How to Keep Your Company Mold Free

Keeping mold growth out of company property can be an area of concern for many Redlands,CA, business owners. Fortunately, the more that’s understood about this fungus the better the precautions that can be taken. Here’s what you may want to know to keep your company mold free.

1. Where it Grows

Mold grows best in areas of high humidity. It is also likely to grow where water damage has occurred. This is why it’s important to clean up flooding as quickly as possible. In most cases mold tends to prefer to grow on organic materials such as drywall or carpeting.

2. How it Spreads

Mold releases spores which can latch on to damp material and begin new growth. In damp or humid conditions it can spread quickly.

3. What it Looks Like

In many cases the appearance of mold growth can vary. The texture ranges from splotchy and fuzzy to long and threadlike. Colors may vary between brown, orange, white, grey, black, and green. The appearance of the mold may be determined by the growth location and the age of the mold.

4. Why it Smells

Mold is a fungus meaning it gives off mycotoxins as it grows. A mycotoxin is a toxic organic compound than can lead to a number of issues if the mold is left uninhibited. These compounds are the reason for the musty smell.

5. What to Do

In the event you have mold, it’s best to get it cleaned up as quickly as possible. A mold remediation specialist may be able to help. It’s best to contain the moldy area to prevent spreading, and thoroughly clean and sanitize anywhere where the mold has appeared.

Understanding mold growth can be the first step to preventing its growth. Mold should be dealt with quickly whenever it’s found. Remember, if you have any questions, a professional may be able to help.

3 Ways FEMA Can Help After a Storm

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding caused mold damage to this home in Redlands Yucaipa,CA

Three General Type of Assistance That FEMA Provides

After a severe storm, hurricane, or flood, the Federal Emergency Management Agency may offer assistance to residents of Redlands Yucaipa, CA. There are three general types of assistance that FEMA can provide to homeowners affected by storm damage or flooding.

1. Financial Assistance

Homeowners affected by floods may qualify for the Individuals and Households Program if the president declares their region a federal disaster area. Repair and Replacement Assistance is a one-time payment to support damage mitigation, but is not sufficient to restore a property. Complete mitigation and restoration require coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program or a homeowners policy for other types of storms or disasters.

The NFIP does not cover additional expenses associated with disaster recovery. FEMA also cannot duplicate benefits for any losses covered by insurance. Homeowners have up to 12 months from the application date to submit insurance settlement records or file a claim for an insufficient settlement.

2. Inspections

The Federal Emergency Management Agency also sends out inspectors and adjusters to assess the extent of damage caused by flooding. These experts can facilitate filing NFIP or homeowners insurance claims.

3. Temporary Shelters

Transitional Sheltering Assistance is available immediately after a disaster to reduce the cost of a hotel stay. Thereafter, Temporary Housing Assistance is issued for an initial period of one to three months. In order to qualify for extended assistance, residents must prove that they have spent any funding received in authorized ways. The maximum period for housing assistance is 18 months.

These are just a few ways that FEMA can help residents and homeowners who are affected by floods, storms, and other disasters. Many types of assistance and services fall under each of these broad categories. These measures are intended to supplement homeowners and NFIP coverage, and are not a replacement for insurance. Insurance coverage can offset the costs of residential damage restoration in Redlands Yucaipa, CA.

Key Information Every Tenant Should Know About Renters Insurance

11/12/2018 (Permalink)

Apartment fire in Mentone, CA

Every Tenant Should Purchase a Renter’s Insurance Policy

Renting a residence may be an ideal situation for many people in Mentone,CA. What many tenants may not realize, however, is that a landlord’s insurance policy only covers the rental property. The tenant’s personal possessions are typically only covered under a supplemental renters insurance policy. For example, the landlord’s insurance may cover fire damage restoration costs, but an uninsured tenant may have to pay out-of-pocket to replace belongings destroyed in an apartment fire.

For financial peace of mind, every tenant should purchase a renter’s insurance policy. Understanding key policy concepts can help you make the best decisions about your specific coverage.

1. Personal Property Protection

A key aspect of many policies is personal property protection. In the event of a fire, this coverage helps you replace damaged or destroyed possessions. This can be an extremely useful component of your policy because replacement costs can add up quickly.

2. Liability Coverage

Some leases may include a clause that requires the tenant to pay the landlord’s insurance deductible if the tenant’s actions cause damage. Liability coverage can help protect you financially if investigators determine you are responsible for igniting an apartment fire.

3. Temporary Living Expenses

If fire damage makes your apartment temporarily uninhabitable, renters insurance may cover the cost of temporary housing, sparing you additional out-of-pocket expenses.

4. Relatively Inexpensive

The cost of coverage varies depending on the insurance company and policy you choose. However, you may be able to find a policy that costs as little as $13 a month, a relatively inexpensive fee for enhanced financial security.

5. Review Policy Terms

It’s important to carefully review the terms of any renters insurance policy you are considering. Some policies may, for example, offer lower compensation limits, which may not provide adequate funding to replace expensive items such as televisions and computers.

An apartment fire can be a devastating and extremely destructive event. Every tenant should understand that their belongings are not protected under their landlord’s insurance policy. Because of this, purchasing renters insurance may be the best way to protect both your possessions and finances.

My Home Has Flooded - How Do I Prevent Mold?

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Flooding caused mold damage in a Yucaipa, CA home

If you have recently experienced flooding in your house after a Yucaipa, CA, storm, you may be worrying about mold. After all, most homeowners know that water damage can lead to other problems, including the appearance of fungus. Following these three tips will help you to be in a better position to prevent mold growth from becoming a problem.

1. Address Water Damage Quickly

Water damage after a flood can often lead to more problematic mold damage. Low levels of spores are not uncommon, but the kinds that can develop as a result of extensive moisture are cause for concern. A storm damage company can help you take care of any excessively wet areas and even prevent existing moldy spots from becoming a larger issue.

2. Turn off Air Conditioning

This may not be something you would naturally think of, but air conditioners are actually one of many sources that allow mold spores to spread through the air, especially if the equipment itself has become infected with moisture-related colonies. Simply turning the unit off as soon as you notice a water issue can stop mold growth before it starts.

3. Throw out Water Damaged Goods

It can be painful to throw away beloved objects and investment pieces, but if they are damaged beyond repair, you will do yourself a favor by disposing of them before they create a mold problem. The Yucaipa, CA, restoration specialists that help with your larger storm destruction matters should be able to help you with removal of this nature, as well.

Remember that mold growth is actually a natural process, and finding some in your home is normal. What you want to prevent is amounts that threaten your property’s structural stability or cause odors, and following the tips above will help you to avoid having to worry about such mold removal concerns in the future.