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What Insurance Covers After a Fire Affects Your Business

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial What Insurance Covers After a Fire Affects Your Business Smoke and fire damage in a Renton, WA building

What Insurance Covers After a Fire Affects Your Business

Smoke damage from a fire can affect your business in Renton,WA, in many ways, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you’re unsure what costs your insurance company will cover. Understanding what expenditures your insurance is likely to pay can help you eliminate stress throughout the cleanup process.

1. Property Damage

After a fire, many items in your business may be destroyed, and insurance should be able to compensate you for your losses. Even if some things in your building were left untouched by the fire itself, water from hoses or sprinklers can damage articles within them. Often, a cleanup and restoration company can assist you in taking inventory and provide you with an estimate of what items have been harmed and what can be repaired.

2. Smoke and Soot

In addition to causing destruction to articles within your building, a fire can leave behind smoke and soot damage. They can affect the structure of your property, and it’s often necessary to thoroughly clean and restore a business that has been rampaged by a fire. In some instances, major soot and smoke damage may require you to replace structures in your building. Luckily, fire insurance should cover the costs of smoke cleaning.

3. Business Interruption

If a business needs to temporarily close in order to make repairs, the costs of lost revenue can quickly add up over time. However, cleaning a building and making important renovations can be time-consuming, and complex repairs should not be rushed. Insurance companies will generally cover the costs of this interruption, allowing you to focus on restoring your establishment to its original state.

When a fire results in property damage, smoke damage and a temporary business shutdown, your insurance company will generally cover the cost of those expenses. If your enterprise requires renovation, it can be helpful to contact the experts in commercial fire damage restoration.

My Pipes Burst! Now What?

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage My Pipes Burst! Now What? When you have a pipe burst you should call SERVPRO of Renton

As a homeowner, you love the benefits and joys of owning a house; however, you also know that a long list of things could go wrong. Any one of these will require your time, effort and money to remedy. Bursting pipes, for example, can lead to a host of troubling issues. If you encounter this situation, it’s important to know what to do next.

The Causes

Other residents in Newcastle,WA, can attest that it’s not pleasant to deal with bursting pipes. It’s critical that you act quickly and that you understand how this ordeal can occur.

  • Low temperatures
  • Water movement/water hammer (occurs when pipes aren’t properly secured)
  • Irregular water pressure
  • Corrosion

Shut Off the Water

When a pipe burst, it can lead to excessive water damage. If this happens while you’re not at home, the results can be disastrous. Hopefully, you’ll be able to spot this problem quickly. As soon as you notice that a pipe has burst, shut off the water to the pipe in question. If you’re not sure where it’s coming from, turn off the main water to the house.

Evaluate the Damage

Once you shut off the water, drain excess water left in the pipes and figure out exactly where the broken pipe is located. Take note of the extent of the damage. It might be easy enough for you to fix a broken pipe if the damage is minimal. However, in more complicated, widespread cases, you should contact a plumber. You should also get in touch with an expert cleanup team to help get standing water out of your home.

Get the Right Help

If you’re not confident in your skills to repair the problem, it’s important to call a professional immediately. The broken pipe could be the result of a larger issue that you can’t detect on your own.

Understand the causes of bursting pipes and take these steps. These will help you reduce the risk of extensive flooding at home.

Keep Water Flowing in the Winter: 6 Tips To Prevent Frozen Pipes

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Keep Water Flowing in the Winter: 6 Tips To Prevent Frozen Pipes Frozen pipes are a concern in every home, no matter the climate

6 Tips To Prevent Frozen Pipes

Frozen pipes are a concern in every home, no matter the climate. When frigid temperatures cause you to bundle up, you best believe your pipes may be in danger. While the concern is that colder temperature will cause burst water lines, requiring the attention of emergency restoration services in the Renton,WA, area, there are plenty of ways to prevent that possibility.

1. Allow Air to Circulate

Most water lines are hidden in cabinets and behind closed doors. If you know that the temperatures are going to drop during the night or even through the week, you should keep these doors open, allowing the cold air of the cabinet to circulate with the warm air of your home.

2. Let the Water Drip

Another easy tip is to let the water from the faucet drip. It is hard for water in motion to freeze, so even a subtle drip can help to prevent frozen pipes from forming.

3. Stay Toasty

Obviously, frozen water lines require cold to actually freeze. Therefore, if you keep the areas where your pipes are located warm, then they will not freeze.

4. Seal Drafty Areas

Another way to prevent freezing is to seal any holes, cracks or drafty areas. The less exposure to outside temperature fluctuations the better, when it comes to your water lines.

5. Use Extra Insulation

For pipes that are located in crawlspaces or along exterior walls, you can add extra insulation. Most insulation is designed to protect elements from various degrees of temperature and climate changes.

6. Apply Heating Tape

Other tools can prevent pipe freeze, like heating tape. This tape is an electrical tape that is applied directly to the pipes, protecting them from colder temperatures.

Frozen pipes are a nightmare for most homeowners, but they don’t have to be. There are several methods to prevent freezing and protect against potential ice pressure causing a burst pipe.

Can You Avoid a Clothes Dryer Fire?

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Can You Avoid a Clothes Dryer Fire? Clean the lint filter of your dryer

As dryer lint builds up in your clothes dryer, you'll have to deal with more than pesky bits of fluff falling out of the appliance. The lint invariably works its way deep inside the metal shell and negatively impacts the efficiency of the dryer. Your increased power and maintenance bills in Newcastle,WA, aren't the last things to worry about either. Perhaps the situation that should cause you the most concern is the growing possibility of a lint fire.

Did You Know?

There are many startling facts about home fires and clothes dryers from the United States Fire Administration.

  • Nearly 3,000 home clothes dryer fires are reported every year.
  • Failing to clean the dryer is the leading cause of those fires.
  • The fires happen most often during the fall and winter.
  • Each year these fires cause $35 million in property loss.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency offers several suggestions for preventing a lint fire. The first recommendation is to have your appliance installed and serviced by a professional. Don't run the dryer without a clean lint filter. Keep the back of the dryer clean and regularly check the venting system to be sure it is open and not damaged or restricted. Finally, make sure the outside vent covering opens when the dryer is running.

Cleaning the Lint Filter

How can you clean lint from the dryer? Of course, pulling the lint filter out and removing lint by hand is a convenient and simple task. If it's been awhile since you cleaned the back panel and the exhaust hose, you should unplug the dryer and use a vacuum or cloth to clean the interior and exhaust areas. This deeper clean should be completed every six months or more to avoid a dryer fire. From time to time, you should rinse the dryer screen and vacuum out the lint trap.

If you aren't sure how long it's been or how to proceed, you may want to contact a fire damage professional in your area for more tips and pointers. Ultimately, regular maintenance is one of the best steps toward avoiding a lint fire.

How To Care For Water-Damaged Contents

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial How To Care For Water-Damaged Contents Water damaged contents in East Renton Highlands, WA

Some water-damaged contents can be cleaned, while others should be disposed of and replaced. Restoration professionals can recommend the right content cleaning methods. However, you can learn more about caring for contents with water damage at a flooded company or commercial structure in East Renton Highlands,WA, by reviewing these important steps.

Assess the Condition

It is important to consider the condition of items to determine the best restoration methods. Owners or facility managers should keep in mind certain factors:

  • Category of water damage
  • Extent of the deterioration
  • Porosity of contents

Category One water damage involves clean, treated water from a broken pipe. Category Two gray water is polluted but does not contain solid waste. Category Three black water is highly contaminated. A flooded company with a classification of Category Two or Three is likely to require disinfection and the disposal of some porous contents and building materials.

Clean or Replace Contents

Several cleaning methods can be used to handle water damage. These methods may include the following:

  • Abrasion
  • Dry cleaning
  • Foam
  • Immersion
  • Spraying and wiping
  • Wet cleaning

Delicate items may benefit from being dry cleaned, treated with foam, or sprayed and wiped. Delicate non-porous items made of ceramic or glass can be safely immersed in cleaning solution. If a porous item is saturated with contaminated water, it may be advisable to throw it away and obtain a replacement.

Restore Contents

Contents should be cleaned and allowed to air dry. These items can be restored after water is removed and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected, if necessary. Do not attempt to repair building materials or restore contents until the affected area is completely dry. Restoration professionals can provide a helpful timeline for completion.

All of these methods can help a facility manager or the owner of a flooded company care for contents after water damage to a building in East Renton Highlands,WA. Consulting with mitigation and restoration specialists is recommended to make the best choices about cleaning or replacing contents.

Containment: Keeping Your Employees Safe During Mold Removal

11/28/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Containment: Keeping Your Employees Safe During Mold Removal Mold damage in a Cedar Grove,WA bathroom

Mold is dangerous and perhaps no more so than during mold removal when spores get released into the air. Choosing a Cedar Grove,WA, mold cleanup company with a strong containment strategy is the answer to making remediation safe. Learn more about what containment means and how it can keep your employees safe during mold remediation.

Mold grows where there is moisture, which includes:

  • Under sinks.
  • Behind walls.
  • Under carpets.
  • In bathrooms.

and anywhere there’s regular moisture, or there’s been a major water event, such as a flood.

Why Containment?

Containment refers to efforts a mold remover takes to limit the spread of potentially harmful black mold spores and contaminants that can lead to future mold growth long after mold remediation. Containment is meant to limit the spread of mold throughout the building.

What Is Containment?

The Environmental Protection Agency lays out two specific types of containment. Those are limited and full containment. The former is mostly used for cases of small mold removal, typically involving between 10 and 100 square feet of mold contamination, such as one might find in a single room.

Full containment applies to large areas of mold infestation. These are usually areas larger than 100 square feet.

Limited containment typically involves wrapping the contaminated work area in a single layer of 6-mil fire-retardant polyethylene sheeting that is accessed through a slit entry covered by a flap. Air vents and doors should be securely sealed with sheeting to minimize the spread of spores to other areas of the building.

Full containment during mold removal requires double layers of polyethylene with a similar slit opening. But this time a decontamination chamber between the contaminated area and the clean area is required to limit mold spread.

Your employees are one of your biggest assets. Keep them safe by choosing a mold remediation company with a strong containment strategy and a commitment to your safety.

3 Ways To Mitigate Roof Damage After a Fire

11/20/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Ways To Mitigate Roof Damage After a Fire Fire damage to the roof in a Newcastle,WA home

Three Ways to Prevent Fire Damage from Increasing Prior to Repairs

A fire can cause extensive damage to the roof of a building in Newcastle,WA. A commercial property insurance policy should cover the cost of fire cleanup and roof repair. Insurers are more likely to cover restoration costs if owners take measures to mitigate damage as soon as possible after a fire. Here are three ways to prevent fire damage from increasing prior to repairs.

1. Document Damage

Take photographs or video footage of damage before taking any steps toward mitigation. If the roof is not structurally sound, capture what you can from a safe location. A company that provides boarding up or tarping services may be able to obtain further proof of the extent of the damage. When given to your insurance company, this documentation can provide support for a fire claim.

2. Cover Damage

A building owner can work with at least one other person to tarp a roof, or they can seek the help of tarp services. These professionals will use plywood boards or tarp to prevent debris or precipitation from getting into holes in the roof and introducing new damage to the fire cleanup process. It is important that a roof be properly tarped, especially if heavy rainfall is expected before repairs can be completed. Make sure that water cannot work its way under the tarp and leak into the structure.

3. Contact a Roofer

Schedule a consultation with a commercial roofer as soon as possible. Repairing roof damage is the best way to prevent it from intensifying or leading to leaks that exacerbate fire damage and increase the possibility of mold growth.

Property owners should save receipts and other documentation of money spent on tarp services or roof repair. A commercial insurance policy may cover the costs of repairing or replacing the roof on a commercial building in addition to fire cleanup and damage restoration services in Newcastle,WA.

How Do Cleaning Experts Remove Flood Odors?

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How Do Cleaning Experts Remove Flood Odors? If you smell a strong musty odor in your Landing,WA home you may have a mold problem due to flooding

Four Methods To Get Rid of Flood Odors

Flood odors can linger long after flood water has been removed and the affected area in a home has dried out. Some of the most common sources of smells include bacteria, mildew or mold growth, and the presence of sewage residue. These four methods can help to get rid of unwanted odors that may result from flooding.

1. Remove All Water

Start the mitigation process by getting rid of standing water and cleaning, disinfecting, and drying the affected area. Homeowners can start this procedure with brooms and buckets, but professionals can quickly pump out water to limit the extent of primary and secondary damage.

2. Clean and Disinfect

Cleaning and disinfecting the affected area can help to eliminate flood odors at the source. Keep in mind that porous building materials and contents may need to be removed and replaced. This is a common type of sewage loss, but one that is necessary to stop smells and mold growth.

3. Dry the Affected Area

Make sure the flooded portion of a home is dried as soon as possible. This can prevent mildew and mold from starting to multiply. Professionals may rely on commercial-grade air movers and dehumidifiers to increase airflow, draw out moisture, and promote faster drying.

4. Use Odor Reduction Methods

Restoration experts may recommend the use of specialized machines to eliminate every trace of odor. A HEPA air scrubber will remove small odor particles from the air. Specialists may rely on an ozone or hydroxyl generator, thermal fogger, or vapor modification system to neutralize stubborn odors. Homeowners will need to make plans to evacuate during ozone or fogging treatments.

Cleaning experts can recommend solutions for persistent odors resulting from flood water or mold growth. Homeowners can count on the specialized training and experience of water damage and odor mitigation professionals in The Landing,WA, throughout the cleanup and restoration process.

3 Tips for Deducting Commercial Storm Damage On Your Taxes

11/1/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 3 Tips for Deducting Commercial Storm Damage On Your Taxes It is important to know what deductions can be helpful when you have damage to your business.

Property owners can deduct commercial storm damage on taxes for damage and losses directly caused by adverse weather.

Deducting damage can help to compensate owners for losses that are not covered by insurance. Owners cannot deduct  damage resulting from storms if the property is insured but you do not file a claim.

  1. Report losses caused by storm damage under casualty loss. This type of loss describes items damaged or lost due to accidents, theft, or acts of nature. This tax deduction is based on the value of the property not covered business insurance policies and additional endorsements or riders. Keep in mind that only losses due to primary damage are tax deductible, not secondary damage or progressive deterioration.
  2. Business losses are not subject to the same requirements as personal losses. Individual itemizers need to reduce the amount of the loss by $100 and deduct the balance to the extent that it exceeds 10% of their adjusted gross income. When it comes to losses involving commercial property, non-itemizers can also claim losses.
  3. Check to see if your region is a presidentially-declared disaster area. Unique filing opportunities are available to business owners in disaster areas. You may be able to deduct casualty losses on the current or past year's tax return to save the most money. Amend the tax return for the last year or factor in these losses in your next return.

Look over the list of declared disaster areas to see if Renton, Washington is listed. This may provide you greater flexibility in deducting storm damage. Refer to IRS publication 547 on Casualties, Disasters, and Thefts for guidelines on tax deductible types of damage and how to write off losses resulting from storms or natural disasters. Between your insurance and any deductions you obtain, you should be able to offset the cost of commercial damage restoration services.

Burst Pipes and Paperwork: The Basics of the Water Damage Claim

10/26/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Burst Pipes and Paperwork: The Basics of the Water Damage Claim Water damage due to burst pipe in Renton,WA

The Basics of a Water Damage Claim

An insurance claim, especially for burst pipes, is often a dreaded piece of paperwork, not only for the damage it represents but for the somewhat mysterious process involved. The basics have been broken down for you below to help demystify the process.

1. Request and Submit Claim Forms

After broken pipes cause a flood, call your insurance provider immediately and request any claim forms. During your initial conversation, it is appropriate to ask any coverage questions you may have. Understanding your policy now will mean fewer errors on the forms later and less likelihood of your form’s rejection after submission.

2. Mitigate Further Damage

While the insurance claim process can take several weeks to complete, you do not have to allow your home to sustain further damage. In fact, most insurers require homeowners take mitigative action to reduce the risk of continued loss. Therefore, you should remove excess water, board up any broken windows, shut off problematic water lines and clean out the affected areas.

3. Itemize Damages and Losses

After making a claim, your insurance company may send out an adjuster to assess the extent of the damage and any potential liabilities. You can make this process more efficient by itemizing any structural damages and property losses. Additionally, an adjuster may want a record of any acquired expenses because of the pipe burst damage, such as cleanup and mitigation costs. Keep Receipts for cleaning materials and pictures of losses as proof.

4. Ask Questions and Seek Assistance

While your insurance company can offer you the most significant insight into your coverage, you may want to search the Renton,WA, area for a restoration specialist who can answer your mitigation concerns. Mitigation professionals have the expertise to either help you understand the process or to complete the cleanup process for you. As most insurance companies prefer you work with a professional, it may be beneficial to secure several cleanup bids to show the adjuster when they come.

The insurance claim process may seem a bit daunting, but it really comes down to paperwork, mitigation, itemization and cleanup. The process, while intimidating, is manageable when you understand the basics above.