Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

How Does Pretesting Affect Claims?

3/24/2019 (Permalink)

Pretesting can help to determine the full extent of damage to a property before mitigation starts. This preliminary step may increase the accuracy of an initial estimate and could ultimately reduce the total amount of an insurance claim. Learn more about how early testing can potentially impact a claim.

Improving Estimate Accuracy

Preliminary testing can determine the types and precise extent of damage at a property in Batavia, IL. This method goes beyond visual inspection. Mitigation experts may take any of the following measures:

  • Testing surfaces for damage
  • Searching for signs of secondary damage
  • Inspecting adjoining areas

Pretesting can identify the presence of additional damage that might otherwise be overlooked. Undetected damage could result in serious problems or significantly increase an estimate if it is discovered during mitigation or restoration.

Identifying Additional Damage

Preliminary testing can also determine whether other types of damage are present. In the case of a fire, this may involve additional smoke or soot damage that has traveled through ductwork to other parts of a structure or water damage from extinguishing efforts. In the event of water or storm damage, mold or other secondary damage could be identified through early testing. This damage can then be factored into an initial estimate and work schedule.

Keeping Work On Schedule

If any additional damage is discovered in the midst of mitigation or during restoration, it may add time to the duration of the process. This may result in higher claim amounts for property insurance and possibly also business interruption. Preliminary testing can account for all of the damage that is present at the start of the process.

All of these factors make pretesting well worth any additional expense or time. A property owner or insurance agent should insist on the importance of a thorough initial inspection, particularly when dealing with major damage caused by fire, water or storms.

Mold Remediation: Why Hiring a Professional Is Often Necessary

3/6/2019 (Permalink)

Mold damage in a ceiling after water damage.

Is It Necessary To Hire A Professional?

Mold removal may sound like a simple job, but nothing could be further from the truth, especially when dealing with an infestation. Mold spores spread quickly and easily, which means that in a contaminated home it is necessary to seal off registers and doorways to prevent the movement and cross-contamination of the mold species. However, beyond taking the appropriate precautions, hiring a professional for removal has other perks.

1. Pretesting

Reputable remediation experts will perform what is known as pretesting. This involves taking samples of all contaminated surface areas of the home as well as air quality tests. These tests allow experts to determine the mold species and the level of contamination. This determination then informs the remediation team on how to best move forward.

2. Prevention

Mold removal is not only about removing contaminated items and materials, but it is also about preventing the spread of the mold spores to other areas of the home. While spores are everywhere and virtually impossible to remove 100 percent, they can be reduced and controlled to prevent further and future damage to your home.

3. Removal

While some molds can be removed using cautious DIY techniques, black mold removal is not one of those species. In fact, some states and insurers require professional remediation for a black mold infestation to ensure the safety of you and others.

4. Restoration

A bonus to hiring a disaster restoration specialist in the St. Charles, IL, area for your remediation needs is the restoration part. These companies are a one-stop shop for remediation and restoration, meaning that your home will be free of mold and repairs when you get it back.

Mold removal can be a complicated job, one requiring professional assistance. Don't think that because a problem appears small and manageable than it actually is. Hire a professional to perform pretesting and learn about what you are dealing with, and then, if the problem is bigger than expected, hire a remediation and restoration team to take on the work. Stay safe and think of your health.

Regional Disasters Require a National Response

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

Contact the cleaning and restoration company that is faster to any size disaster

Regional Disasters

Regional disasters occur more often than we would like. Damage is usually extensive, and the region cannot recover without outside help. Even before the disaster is complete, the road fills with response teams from:

  • Fire and rescue departments and agencies
  • Power companies
  • Cable TV and internet service providers
  • Grocery and restaurant chains
  • Hotels
  • Medical facilities
  • The cleaning and restoration company that is faster to any size disaster

There Are Many Different Ways To Respond to Disasters
The listed companies each respond to in their own way. Power, cable and emergency services have reciprocal agreements to send crews when needed. Grocery stores, restaurants and hotels take care of their own. Large hospitals and medical facilities assemble, equip and deliver teams of medical professionals.

One Company Takes a Unique Approach
The cleaning and restoration company takes a different approach. On a typical day, it looks like a group of over 1,700 independently owned and operated franchises. They deal with damage of all types including fire, water and storm. They perform cleanups and restorations in the nearby cities and towns. For the employees, it’s a peaceful day-to-day job.

Looks Are Deceiving
When disaster strikes, this company stands tall. Faster to any size disaster is not just a catchy phrase. Those home town franchises are part of a tightly connected network of providers. The central office of this network regulates all activity in the disaster area.

It begins with franchisees transferring teams and equipment to the disaster area. The company’s central office logs each insurance claim and assigns it to an appropriate team. In a disaster situation, the number and density of claims are high. Teams may find themselves working on multiple claims at the same time.

Make it Look “Like it never even happened.”
This is the ultimate goal of all cleaning and restoration projects. If you need this done in the North Aurora, IL, area, getting help is easy. Contact the cleaning and restoration company that is faster to any size disaster.

What You Need To Know About Commercial Mold-Removal Regulations

12/3/2018 (Permalink)

Mold containment in a North Aurora,IL building

Investing in commercial property is usually an effective way to make money in North Aurora,IL. Of course, your rental property can only bring in income if you can attract tenants. As you probably know, mold growth has a way of driving tenants away. If you notice mold in one of your units, you must prioritize its removal. You must also be sure you comply with federal, state and local mold standards.

A Few Agencies Regulate Commercial Mold Removal

While black mold has developed a nefarious reputation in recent years, it isn’t the only type of mold that can devalue your investment property. When you are removing mold from commercial property, you must be careful to follow the law. A few agencies regulate the mold clean process, including:

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • The Environmental Protection Agency
  • State and local environmental agencies

OSHA’s mission is to keep employees safe at work. For that reason, the agency has developed mold standards that protect employee health. By contrast, the goal of the EPA is to safeguard the environment. Therefore, regulations from that agency direct the removal and disposal of mold and cleaning products.

A Nonprofit Certifies Cleanup Technicians

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification certifies mold-mitigation specialists. Those who pursue certification from IICRC learn about mold-removal rules and regulations. If you choose to contract with a certified technician, you can be certain your cleanup strategy complies with both OSHA and EPA regulations. Even better, because skilled technicians have the equipment and expertise to effectively remove existing mold and prevent future mold growth, you achieve peace of mind by leaving your cleanup to the professionals.

Few things can jeopardize the income potential of commercial property faster than mold growth. If you don’t comply with mold standards, though, you could further devalue your commercial investment. Rather than leaving your property to chance, rely on the expertise of skilled technicians who know how to remove mold legally.

4 Things You Should Know About Cleaning Up Smoke After a Fire

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Soot damage in Geneva,IL

Dealing with Smoke Damage

The odor of smoke left behind after a fire can be irritating to skin and lungs, putrefying to your nose and stomach, and a sickening reminder of a traumatic event. But smoke damage and soot must be cleaned by someone trained to do so. Business owners in Geneva,IL, would be wise to call on professionals for help in dealing with smoke cleaning.

1. Damage from Smoke

Smoke damage alone may not mean the end of your belongings, but in some cases it may stain or saturate. For non-porous items, a thorough cleaning with an antiseptic may be all that is needed. Fabric items will need to be laundered, bleached or dry-cleaned to remove the residue.

2. Damage from Soot

Soot usually contains harmful compounds. It can be very sticky or greasy, making complete removal difficult. On hard-surfaces, soot damage might be scrubbed away with tri-sodium phosphate and detergent, while fragile or fabric items may be more difficult. A fire restoration company can be a great help in sorting it all out.

3. Chemical Residue from Electronics

The smoke from a fire, particularly at a business where plastics and electronics are used can have a high chemical content. Plastics give off an oily and irritating chemical when burned and smoke from burning electronics and wiring has a nasty, rancid fish odor.

4. Foul Odor

In addition to any stains and residue, smoke and soot can have a foul and lingering odor. Important papers and other porous, non-washable items may need to be placed in a tent with an ozone machine. Commercial ultrasonic purifiers may be necessary to help remove odor from furniture, walls, and floors. Air conditioning and filtration systems cleaned to prevent the residue and odor lurking there from causing problems.

Smoke cleaning is so much more than just dealing with the odor. Hiring someone in Geneva,IL, to perform a fire damage assessment and assist with the difficult cleanup issues that smoke damage causes can help restore your business and your peace of mind.

5 Tips for Preparing for a Storm

11/14/2018 (Permalink)

Flood damage in a Elburn, IL home

Protect Your Home From Water Damage

The storms in Elburn,IL, can bring flood water to you home. This can cause a number of problems for both the house and your family. However, there are a few things you can do to protect your home from water damage.

1. Know What to Expect

One of the first steps is to know what to expect when it comes to flooding in your area. Perhaps you get a lot of storms, or a local river swells with the spring thaw? Are you at the bottom of a watershed? These factors can help you predict the likelihood of a flood in your area, as well as the water patterns. Knowing this can help you plan accordingly.

2. Keep Your Insurance Up-to-date

In many cases insurance plans will cover water damage. It’s important to keep your policy up-to-date as well as make sure you’re covered for events like flooding or storm damage.

3. Have Supplies Ready

If you think you may be dealing with flood water in your area it’s important to have supplies ready just in case. Think of things like medication or your pet’s needs, as well as what you will need if the power goes out. Extra batteries, a first aid kit, and protective gear are all important supplies to have on hand.

4. Protect Your Home

There are several ways to help prevent a flooded building. Preparations beforehand may include sandbagging doors, boarding over windows, or tarping over vulnerable areas.

5. Have a Plan for Cleanup

Having a cleanup plan before a flood happens can help save valuable time after the storm. Make contingencies for water removal, sanitation, and even repairs common to such events. You may even want to have the contact information for a local water damage and restoration specialist in case you need extra help.

Taking these steps can help you protect your home against flood water. Being prepared beforehand can also help you have a plan in place in case flooding does breach your property next time a storm in Elburn,IL, heads your way.