Water Damage; Questions and Answers
Water damage can be a traumatic experience for home and business owners. Understanding why it happened, what happens if not handled properly can help overcome the fear and be able to make rational well-informed decisions about the loss. Here are the most frequently asked questions and answers about water:
What can cause water damage to my home or business?
Water damage can be caused by various situations. Natural disasters such as thunderstorms or hurricanes that cause flooding as well as burst water pipes and appliance malfunctions are some of the most common water damage issues. Roof leaks, foundation leaks, septic tank overflows, poor drainage, etc. are some additional ways water damage can occur. Flash flooding, pipe bursts, and sewage backups are especially dangerous as they can produce several inches of water in less than a day.
Why is water damage dangerous?
Sewage backups and flood water are to be considered dangerous due to the dangerous contaminants like viruses and bacteria as well as other unknown chemicals. If the water isn’t drained and drying steps taken within 24-48 hours, mold growth and structural damage can begin to ensue. Even water leaks that infiltrate your home more slowly such as a leaky pipe can cause damage to the structure and lead to mold growth.
What should I do if I have water damage?
Firstly, contact the professionals of SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville as quickly as possible. By waiting to start the cleanup process secondary damage can occur. The next step is to contact your insurance company and let them know you have had a water loss and have contacted SERVPRO. Your agent will ask questions about the type of loss as well as areas of the property affected to begin the claims process.
How do water certified technicians typically handle water damage?
The first thing our certified water techs will do after removing any standing water present is ‘set equipment’. They then will begin placing industrial air movers and dehumidifiers to begin the drying process. They may even ‘float the carpet’ which means removed the water-soaked padding and place air movers so the carpet will have blowing under the carpet to help it dry. Our team will then begin to move /remove property to be restored or discarded. Depending of the severity and type of loss drywall, baseboard, carpet and padding may need to be removed. The SERVPRO technicians will also be any mold remediation needed and spray antimicrobials to help prevent mold growth
Will my insurance cover water damage?
Generally speaking, most property insurance provides coverage for sudden or accidental water damage property owners may experience such as a burst pipe. Damage due to poor maintenance of the property will typically not be covered. Flooding, which is classified as outside water entering a property will Not be covered unless the property owner has flood insurance. This information is in generalities and for specific coverage you must contact your carrier for information about your property.
If you suspect you have water damage call the experts of SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville at 336-224-2565.
Lexington Homeowner Thankful For Professionalism
Homeowner bakes the SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville a cake to thank them for their service.
During the winter a Lexington homeowner was shocked to find icicles handing from the back of the property. During the cold a water supply line in the attic burst and flooded the all three floors of the property. The difficult part of this equation is the property owner was selling the Lexington home and living in Boone. She was overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to handle the restoration of the property while living two hours away but she trusted the professionals of SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville to get her property back to preloss condition and was thrilled with the results. Our team of trained professionals walked her through the process and kept her up-to-date on everything going on with her property. At each step of the process our homeowner was grateful she had chosen the right team for the job and in return she baked our team a cake to show her gratitude.
SERVPRO Removes Water in Your Thomasville Commercial Property Fast to Prevent Secondary Damage
Water leaking inside your Downtown Thomasville restaurant is a nightmare on many fronts. The most obvious is the loss of revenue. And while lost revenue is a critical problem to your bottom line secondary damage to your business due to standing water can be even more costly.
If water damage is not responded to quickly and by a qualified professional such at the team of SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville the water can begin quickly damaging, walls, furniture and even begin to cause odors due to mold and mildew. Our team of experts work hard to mitigate your damage without hindering your business’s day operations helping to continue your revenue stream giving you one less thing to worry about.
Once the water has been removed from your business SERVPRO’s techs are trained to restore the property to preloss conditions. Our restore vs. replace philosophy will save you and your insurance both time and money so you can get your doors open and resume normal operations. The restoration process will include checking to make sure all the structure has been completely dried, the removal and replacement of any property that could not be restored and the application of antimicrobials to prevent mold growth.
With our 24-hour emergency services your business is in expert hands when you experience a water loss. Give us a call at 336-224-2565 to learn more about our services.
Pet Fire Safety: Protecting your Pets in an Emergency
Pets bring joy and companionship to many homes but according to the United States Fire Administration nearly 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires. How can a pet owner help prevent injury and death in the event of a fire?
First and foremost, include your pet in your families’ emergency plan and when you practice your plan include your pet.
When creating your families ‘disaster supply kit don’t forget to create one for your pet and have a safe secure location arranged in advance if you have to leave your home
Train them to come when you call so in the event of a disaster they will come to you
The easiest way to protect your pet in the event of a fire or other disaster take you pet with you when you evacuate. But remember: never delay escape or endanger yourself or family to rescue a family pet.
Keep a collar on your pet and leashes near the front door in the event the fire department has to rescue your pet
Finally, attached a Pet Alert Window cling to your home so first responders will know the number of pets in your home. The will help firefighters by saving them critical time when locating your pets.
With a little planning, you can ensure that everyone on two and four legs will be safe in case there is a fire in your home.
Remove Pet Stains and Odors
Pet accidents can be challenging to treat and require patience.
Pet owners sometimes must contend with stains and odors. Some of these stains may be normal, while others might result from accidents. Individuals may experience a trial-and-error period as new pets become acclimated to litter boxes or grow accustomed to relieving themselves outdoors. Pet owners must remain patient as young animals learn where and where not to relieve themselves. Pets that are already trained may also suffer accidents as they grow older. PetMD says that urinary and fecal incontinence can afflict dogs of any age, but is most often experienced by middle-aged or senior dogs. Cats, too, can experience incontinence, which is most common in older cats and large cats, as age and size can make it challenging for cats to reach the litter box in time. Accidents can be troubling, as they often result in stains and smells. Treating these issues to prevent damage to flooring and deter pets from thinking a particular area of the rug is their personal bathroom requires patience and trial and error. Upon discovering an accident, pet owners should blot up as much of the liquid as possible. The carpet cleaning experts at Chem-Dry advise putting a few drops of dish detergent and a little water on the area to absorb as much moisture as possible. To treat old stains, sprinkle baking soda on the affected areas and allow it to sit overnight. Then spray the areas with white vinegar and let the two substances bubble to clean the area. Baking soda and vinegar can be an effective, homemade cleaning mixture if accidents are a frequent occurrence. Pet owners also can purchase commercially produced enzymatic cleaners. Enzymes are proteins that help spark natural chemical reactions at the molecular level, and the enzymes in pet carpet care products attach themselves to the molecules that make up the urine and bacteria that feed on it (producing the foul odors), serving as a catalyst for their breakdown. Stains from feces may take some more effort. Try to remove as much as possible without pushing the stain further into the carpet fibers. Use a stain removal product to help lift out the stain. This may take a few applications. Pet owners also may want to invest in carpet cleaners if accidents continue throughout training periods. If urine has seeped into the floorboards or padding under the carpeting, carpeting may need to be replaced, particularly if the animal repeatedly visits the same spot to urinate. This is the best way to remove the scent and prevent future trouble.
Mold: The Facts
Mold is most common in moisture-prone areas such as crawl spaces and basements as seen in this Lexington Basement.
When talking to some mold remidation specialists you may hear unfamiliar phrases such as microbial contamination; containment and establishing negative air environment. While all this are accurate phrases they can sound terrifying and confusing to someone who has never experienced a mold problem. The experts at SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville are trained to walk homeowners and business owners through the process of mold removal in easy to understand phrases and answer any questions they may have. In this article we will discuss some mold facts to help you understand what mold is and how to best to prevent it’s spread.
Microbial contamination is a fancy way to say mold, mildew, bacteria and other microorganisms that have impacted our home in a negative fashion. Mold is one of the most common problems that property owners face. Mold can develop in as little at 24 to 48 hours and needs only two things to thrive; a food source such as drywall and moisture. That is why mold is such a common problem after a water leak.
Many people believe that bleach is an effective tool in mold removal. The truth is in a well-established colony the only thing bleach will do is kill the surface mold and feed the mold below the surface since bleach is made up of 90% water. The best way to eliminate mold from returning is to solve the moisture or water problem that caused the mold to grow in the first place and contact an expert in mold remediation.
That’s why SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville follows the IICRC S520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation. If you think your property has a mold problem give us a call at 336-224-2565 and schedule your free assessment today.
The Benefits of Umbrella Insurance
Umbrella insurance offers an excess of liability coverage in the event of lawsuits.
Insurance policies come in various forms. There is a type of insurance to cover everything from motor vehicles to personal health to apartment dwellings. While the majority of people understand the importance of insuring their homes and cars, many may not explore the benefits of a different type of insurance: umbrella coverage. Unlike other types of insurance that only offer one specific coverage, umbrella insurance is a single policy that covers various aspects of a person's life. An umbrella policy can fill in the gaps where liability limits come into play with other insurance policies, keeping a person protected regardless of deductibles and other assets. According to the financial resource Money Crashers, umbrella insurance is a type of liability insurance. Its main purpose is to protect policy holders in the event of lawsuits. The umbrella policy will provide additional coverage against bodily injury liability claims and property damage liability claims. These policies also provide broader forms of coverage and can help cover some legal fees, if necessary. Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agents says umbrella insurance is important because it can prevent financial ruin in the case of an accident. The amount of umbrella coverage a person may need depends on how much that person is worth. Prospective policy holders can calculate their total assets and then take out policies in that amount or more to protect their net worth. Depending on the insurance company, umbrella policies range anywhere from $1 to $10 million. Coverage typically starts in the range of $150 to $200 for a $1 million policy. WhatÕs more, some insurance companies will not issue an umbrella policy unless the insured already has an automotive or home policy with them Ñ and one that maintains the standard amount of liability in those other policies. When reviewing umbrella policies, it's also wise to think ahead to future income and how one's assets may grow. Adjust policies to account for inferred earnings or other expected assets. Learn more about umbrella policies that can offer above-and-beyond protection by speaking with a trusted insurance agent.
‘I’ve Have Water Damage In My Home, What Does Insurance Cover?’
There is no such thig as a small disaster when it comes to your home. Most homeowners and businesses have never considered the possibility of water damage affecting your property and if it happens it can be overwhelming. While each loss is unique and homeowners and businesses need to consult their insurance policy or agent for actual coverage guidelines these scenarios are a guide to help property owners know what questions to ask.
- Roof/Water Damage Due to Storms
The critical thing to remember for most insurance policies is maintenance. If your roof has been well maintained and does not show neglect generally your policy should cover all damage incurred by the storm.
Normally you homeowner’s policy should cover the loss in the event of an appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine overflowing. Again, if the appliance shows signs of obvious neglect you may have issues with your insurance company. Inspect all cords and hoses on your appliances regularly and if they show signs of wear have them replaced.
- Flooding from Natural Disasters
Flood damage can be the most confusing of all water damage in your home. Flood damage is not covered by your standard homeowners policy and a separate policy needs to be purchased. A general rule of thumb is if any water touches the outside/ground before entering the property it will be considered flooding and not covered unless you have purchased flood insurance. Please remember just because your home is not in a flood plain does not mean you can not experience flooding. Flood damage can occur not only from hurricanes or overflowing rivers but over-saturated grounds from heavy rains.
If a pipe bursts in your home due to freezing temperatures cause water to leak into your home most polices cover this type of loss. Again, if the loss is due to negligence such as as property that is unoccupied without heat. The insurance company may not cover.
Again, this is just a guideline and each homeowners policy is different so if you have questions please contact your insurance agent. If you have experienced a loss, please call the experts at SERVPRO of Lexington/Thomasville. With national agreements with hundreds of insurance carriers SERVPRO is a trusted leader in water cleanup and restoration.
What is that Smell?
A couple of days ago you noticed a little water in your basement. You cleaned up the water and went on with your day. But now you walk into your basement and are hit with a musty smell and you wonder where is that smell coming from? Did you know one of the easiest ways to determine if a home or business has a mold problem is by smell? The odors released by a microbial contamination problem is a musty or earthy smell. And mold growth can happen in as little as 48 hours after water damage has occurred.
If you are experiencing a musty smell in your home or business it could be a sign of undetected water damage causing mold to growth. If you think your home or business might have an issue with mold contact the experts at SERVPRO of Lexington / Thomasville. Our certified mold experts will come to your home or businesses and we will examine your structure for any visible signs of mold. And in the event mold is found techs are ready to clean the affected area and get your home or business back to preloss conditions.
We care about your home, health and safety so let the experts at SERVPRO assist you in make your home or business loss “Like it never even happened.”
Staying Safe During Thunderstorms
Watching a good storm can be an entertaining summertime activity.
Few things grab our attention like a thunderstorm. Steamy temperatures and turbulent atmospheric conditions often conspire to produce amazing visual pyrotechnics and house-shaking booms. Thunderstorms occur when cold upper air descends and warm, moist air rises. When these air masses collide, they form thick cumulonimbus clouds, often referred to as 'thunderheads.' Thunderstorms may begin and end in an instant, or several storms may string together to make thunder and lighting clusters. While thunderstorms can occur during any time of the year, they're more likely to occur in spring and summer. According to a NASA study, the most intense and powerful thunderstorms occur in the eastern part of the Andes mountains in Argentina. But strong thunderstorms can occur just about anywhere moisture, unstable air and lift (from sea breezes or mountains) causes air to rise up. Thunderstorms have the potential to cause significant damage and injuries, most notably from lightning strikes. It's always wise to seek shelter during a thunderstorm so you are protected from lightning, falling limbs from trees and hail, which often accompanies thunderstorms. Despite thunderstorms' harmful potential, they can be very enjoyable to watch or chase. But storm spectators should keep these tips in mind.
Watch thunderstorms from the safety of indoors. It may be tempting to be out in the storm, but if you head outside during a storm, you are risking injury or even death. Consider watching a storm from the comfort of inside a garage, where you can leave the door open and see, hear and smell the storm while it comes through.
Keep flashlights or candles handy. Strong storms can knock out power. Always have a backup light source readily available in case the power goes out. Also, you may need a battery-powered radio or a charged mobile phone at the ready to keep up on storm alerts.
Keep pets in an interior room so they do not get too spooked. Thunderstorms frighten many animals, so pets should not share in your storm-watching endeavors. They may injure themselves trying to escape the noise. It's best if pets are kept in a quiet, dark space until the storm has ended.
Steer clear of standing bodies of water. Downed power lines may leach electricity through puddles, potentially causing electrocution if people are standing in puddles. Do not touch any wires that seem suspicious. Water is an easy conduit for lightning, so avoid any bodies of water during a thunderstorm.
If you're caught in a thunderstorm and don't have indoor shelter, do not seek shelter under trees, which can attract lightning strikes. Accuweather.com advises that people who cannot find reasonable shelter after a storm should take steps to minimize their risk of being struck or injured. Crouch as low to the ground as you can, but do not lie down on the ground or put your hands down. Stay on just your feet to cover as little ground as possible. You also want to be as low as you can to reduce your risks of being a lightning target. Keep anything that is a good electrical conductor away from you. Summer weather is bound to include some thunderstorms. Where there is thunder, there's lightning, and remember to stay safe by watching these storms from a distance and making smart choices.