Recent Posts

My Basement Flooded - What Will Insurance Cover?

11/4/2022 (Permalink)

Sump pump If a sump pump failure caused the flood, your homeowner's insurance may cover it.

If My Basement Floods, Will Insurance Pay?

When you're dealing with a flooded basement, the last thing you want to do is call your insurance company and find out that they won't cover it. Flooding can be an expensive problem without any help from your insurer. So how do you find out what your policy covers?

If you don't have flood insurance, your home insurance likely won't cover it.

Homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding because the damage is caused by a gradual process that's not covered under most policies. However, if your home becomes flooded due to a sudden and accidental event—like an overflowing bathtub or burst pipe—your homeowners’ policy will pay for repairs up to its limit. This may be less than the cost of repair work required after a major storm or hurricane passes through an area and causes widespread flooding, which can cause significant property damage before moving on elsewhere.

If a sewer line backup caused the flood, your homeowner's insurance may cover it.

The key word here is "may."

A sewer line backup is considered an "insured peril" under most homeowner's policies, which means that if the cause of the flooding was not your fault and it occurred due to a covered incident (like rain or wind), then you should be able to file a claim for damages. However, this does not mean that your insurance will pay for all those costs; rather, the policy will reimburse you for certain expenses related to the damage caused by the flood.

If a sump pump failure caused the flood, your homeowner's insurance may cover it.

Sump pumps are designed to pump water away from the house and into a nearby drainage system or dry well. Sump pumps can fail for several reasons:

  • They may be clogged with dirt or other debris.
  • The battery may have worn out or died.
  • The motor of the sump pump might overheat and burn out.

If your sump pump failed because of any one of these problems, then you could be covered by your homeowner's insurance policy for damages related to flooding—but only if it was caused by circumstances beyond your control. To receive coverage from this type of damage, however, there are some important factors that must apply.

Your home insurance might cover some of the cost of removing flood water and cleaning and restoring the damaged area.

How much coverage depends on your policy, but many plans will pay for a portion of these costs if you meet certain criteria. For example, if you have a claim for a fire in your basement that was caused by faulty wiring, your insurance company may pay to have the water-damaged walls torn out and replaced with new drywall. But if you’re claiming damage from an overflowing toilet or washing machine overflow, they may not cover it under standard policies. If your home has been significantly damaged or destroyed by flooding, it could be worth buying extra protection through flood insurance if you don't already have it.

If you've had a sewer line backup or sump pump failure, your insurance may cover the damage. If you're unsure about what to do next, speak with an insurance professional who can help you file a claim.

Tips On How To Clean Your Electronics After a Fire

10/3/2022 (Permalink)

keyboard on fire Cleaning your electronics after a fire can be very difficult and, in many cases, requires professional help.

Tips On How To Clean Your Electronics After a Fire

A fire doesn’t discriminate, it will damage everything in its path, including your electronics. After a fire, what you should do is remove any electronics that may have been damaged by heat or smoke. This includes anything from computers to cell phones, laptops, and tablets. A device that has been exposed to extreme heat can become damaged internally as well as on the outside. Even if your equipment isn't showing signs of being affected by the fire (such as no visible burn marks or smoke damage), you should clean it with anti-corrosive agents before using it again. Here are a few tips on how to clean your electronics after a fire.

The first step to cleaning electronics after any fire is to dry them out.

Although there are many ways to dry out electronics, we recommend that the first step is to use a hair dryer in the lowest setting. Avoid using vacuums and heat guns as both can damage your electronics. You also don’t want to put them in an oven as this could damage sensitive components inside of them.

Using a soft brush, clean the outside of your equipment and remove soot.

Using a soft brush or non-abrasive cloth, gently clean the outside of your equipment. Do not use water or harsh chemicals. Be careful not to use electronic equipment with damaged circuitry. Remove any protective casing and covers from the damaged equipment before cleaning it so that you can get into all areas of the device more easily.

Use an anti-corrosive solution to clean the electrical parts while they are still wet.

After the fire, you should clean all the electrical parts using an anti-corrosive solution. This will prevent any corrosion from occurring in the future. The best way to clean these parts is by using a cotton swab dipped in a non-corrosive agent such as detergent or vinegar and baking soda solutions.

Clean the exposed circuit board, memory card, and drive heads.

Clean the exposed circuit board, memory card, and drive heads with a cotton swab dipped in a non-corrosive agent. You can use isopropyl alcohol or distilled water to wipe the surfaces, but make sure not to touch any components with your bare hands. Use a cotton swab, not a cotton ball; it will be easier to properly clean the small areas you need to reach without damaging them.

If you have experienced a fire in your home or business, we hope that this post has been helpful. Cleaning your electronics after a fire can be very difficult and, in many cases, requires professional help. If you are in need of fire damage cleanup and restoration services, including electronics cleaning, don’t hesitate and reach out to our SERVPRO of Pflugerville team today!

Please contact us if you have any questions about what to do after a fire or how our cleaning services could help.

3 Reasons Black Mold Keeps Invading Your Home

8/25/2022 (Permalink)

Mold damage on wall Mold remediation in Bayshore, FL.

If you found black mold growing in your home in Bayshore, FL, and thought you had it taken care of with proper mold cleanup, you may be upset to find the fungus invading your home again. You can never remove all the mold from your home, but there are several reasons that infestations might keep returning after cleanup.

You Don't Prevent the Spread

Microscopic mold spores can get into the air during the cleanup process and spread to nearby areas, where they can settle and start to multiply again. There are steps that should be taken to help stop mold from spreading during the cleaning process:

  • Installing physical barriers
  • Using air filtration systems
  • Turning off fans, air conditioners, and heating units

You Leave Mold on Porous Surfaces

With insufficient cleaning, black mold may be left on porous surfaces where it will start to grow again. Materials such as drywall and carpeting should be removed and disposed of properly. Decorative items such as furniture or curtains might also need to be thrown out or thoroughly cleaned. Professional mold remediation using antifungal and antimicrobial treatments should be applied to any infested areas that can’t be completely removed from the home.

You Don't Stop the Source of Moisture

It is important to find and remove or repair the source of moisture creating a damp environment that encourages mold growth. Mold spores naturally exist in the air, and when they are exposed to moisture, they can quickly multiply. Excess moisture can be coming from a water leak or simply from high indoor humidity levels. A mold infestation is likely to keep returning if steps are not taken to locate and cut off the moisture source.

It is always important to have any visible black mold in your home properly cleaned, but it is just as important that these mold remediation procedures are also used to stop the mold from returning and spreading.

How To Fix a Wet Crawl Space: 6 Things You Need To Do

8/24/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician under a crawl space No one wants to deal with a wet crawl space in their home.

Six Things That Need To Happen

When there is flooding under your home in North Fort Myers, FL, it can lead to costly and exhausting problems down the road. To prevent mold and other types of damage, you should act soon as you notice a wet crawl space. If you are unsure where to begin, a flood remediation expert can offer professional assistance. Regardless of who does the work, here are six things that need to happen.

1. Protect the Floors Inside Your Home

If the only way to access your crawl space is through the interior of your home, make sure you cover the floors to protect them from any damages that may occur during the work.

2. Identify Water Source

With the help of some reliable work clothes and a flashlight, someone needs to crawl around the wet crawl space to identify where the water is coming from.

3. Dig and Fill a Trench

Next, it is time to start digging. Dig a trench around the entire foundation of your home, with about 1 to 2 feet of spacing between the foundation and the trench. Fill the trench with gravel.

4. Invest in a GFCI Outlet

Do not forget about safety. If you are not particularly handy, this may be another job for a professional, but you need to ensure the space under your house is safe with a protected GFCI power source. Always remember: Electricity and water do not mix.

5. Install a Sump Pump

After prepping the area for the work, water removal is next on the list. Typically, people install a sump pump to do this.

6. Air Things Out

Finally, you want to make sure you install better ventilation. This can help you prevent mold in the future by keeping everything dry.

No one wants to deal with a wet crawl space, but sometimes having one is an inevitable part of seasonal changes or severe weather. Knowing what to do when it happens can help you keep your home protected.

Property Management: Preparing for the Worst-Case Scenario

8/17/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded building Damaged business by a flood

Planning For the Worst-Case Scenario in Property Management

Storm preparedness and emergency planning are both tools in the property managers arsenal. These tools can be the difference between maintained business operations or complete shutdown. The four points below can guide you through the steps and the significance of emergency preparation.

1. Preplan for Disaster

As an owner or a manager, you may find that a significant part of property management revolves around employee safety and disaster prevention. Businesses require this type of preparation to help ensure business continuity; therefore, you will likely want to accumulate a list of contacts and operational procedures in case of an emergency.

2. Prepare an Emergency Checklist

Storm preparedness can be as simple as creating an emergency checklist for employees and clients. You can post this checklist around the property and make sure that every employee has a copy, ensuring that everyone will know what to do during an emergency. These lists should include maps to exits and shelter areas along with an action plan.

3. Practice Emergency Procedures Regularly

While the creation of preparation materials and checklists are a good starting point, these tools are nothing without regular practice and guidance. Many municipalities suggest performing monthly emergency walk-throughs and safety meetings. These monthly meetings will allow employees to ask questions and practice the developed safety routines while allowing management to rectify any potential concerns before a legitimate emergency.

4. Consider Restoration Specialists

When you think of the term restoration specialists, you may not immediately think of emergency preparations, but some restoration companies in Punta Gorda, FL, provide a form of emergency planning for businesses. These companies may offer property evaluations to help pinpoint safety concerns as well as offer custom plans for your business in the event of an emergency or disaster.

An essential aspect of most business planning is storm preparedness, but it goes beyond the installation of storm shutters and backflow valves.

Storm readiness means preparing for emergencies, not only from a business operations perspective but a safety perspective as well. Creating procedures and checklists as well as performing monthly meetings can all benefit your business and employees, ensuring that everyone and everything is prepared in emergent situations.

Why a DIY Mold Testing Kit Can't Replace a Professional Inspection

7/25/2022 (Permalink)

Man looking at a mold on wall A professional will perform a complete home inspection

Here’s Why

There’s a lot of debate as to the accuracy of home mold testing kits, but even the most accurate DIY kit can’t match the benefits of a professional mold investigation. 

1. A Professional Will Conduct More Thorough Testing

The testing process for a typical mold kit consists of placing a Petri dish in a single location in your home and waiting for mold to accumulate. An environmental hygienist, on the other hand, will take samples from surfaces and from the air in multiple locations throughout your home. He or she will also collect control samples to establish the normal mold levels for a home in Fort Myers Shores, FL, which are likely different than what's "normal" for a home in another part of the country. The lab results from a DIY mold kit will tell you how many mold spores were found. However, these numbers are meaningless unless you understand what constitutes a “normal” count.

2. A Professional Will Perform a Complete Home Inspection

A mold expert will inspect your home to discover any visible signs of mold and to identify possible sources of excess moisture, like leaks, condensation, or humidity. Mold professionals have extensive knowledge of home plumbing and ventilation systems and can locate sources that most people would miss.

3. A Professional Will Create an Action Plan

An environmental hygienist will consider your mold testing results, together with his or her findings from the visual inspection, to determine what needs to happen next. If you’re working with a full-service mold remediation company, they will create and carry out a plan to eliminate the moisture source and remove the existing mold, if necessary. A mold expert can also advise you about how to avoid future mold outbreaks.

DIY mold testing kits may seem like an inexpensive alternative to professional mold inspections, but these kits offer only a fraction of the benefits when compared to the real deal.

Why Your Business Need a Security Fence

7/20/2022 (Permalink)

Security fence Security fencing can protect your business in many different ways

Why Your Business Need a Security Fence

If a fire breaks out at your business building in Cleveland, FL, your immediate concerns will be:

  • Employee safety
  • Property damage
  • Insurance reimbursement
  • Cleaning
  • Reopening

Did you know that erecting a security fence can protect your business in the following ways while it is vulnerable during cleaning and restoration?

Protects Against Theft and Vandalism
When you and your employees cannot enter your business environment after a disaster, you cannot keep a watchful eye on your property. A vacated business can tempt thieves and vandals to come and go freely without deterrents. Fencing creates a secure barrier that protects your valuable property.

Protects Against Liability
Disasters like fires can cause structures to collapse, scattering debris throughout a business's premises and creating various accident hazards before a disaster restoration company can start cleaning up. During this time, your business is vulnerable to potential lawsuits and damages from individuals who get hurt by walking near dangerous conditions.

Protects Against Animal Activity
When dealing with the existing fire damages, the last thing you want to worry about is additional liabilities that animals entering your abandoned building might cause. By erecting a security fence around your business's perimeter, you can prevent animals from using it for housing.

Protects Your Insurance Claim
Most commercial insurers will cover damages from disasters, including fires. In most cases, they will not cover secondary damage if it is preventable. For example, some commercial insurance policies require businesses to install mandatory fencing after a disaster to prevent losses unrelated to the primary cause. You must pay out of pocket for repairs or replacements that would not be necessary had you installed fencing.

After a fire at your business in Cleveland, FL, hiring a professional cleaning company and installing a security fence will ensure a full and uncomplicated cleanup and recovery so that you and your employees can resume your normal activities.

The special Techniques Needed for Cleaning Sewer Damage

7/9/2022 (Permalink)

Sewage backup Sewage backup in Salvista, FL

The Special Techniques Needed for Cleaning Sewer Damage

A sewer cleanup in Fort Myers, FL is a highly technical process that involves many factors. To begin with, sewage water is likely to contain pathogens and microbes that are harmful to human health. This necessitates a number of precautionary steps. Employees and customers of the building should be kept clear of the contaminated water. Cleanup workers should wear PPE such as gloves and masks when dealing with dirty water, and they also might want to consider the following vaccinations:

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Typhoid fever
  • Tetanus
  • Polio

Risk factors vary from location to location. Restoration workers who might encounter a sewer backup should consult with medical professionals as well as the company they work for to learn more.

The Principles of a Sewer Cleanup
It is important to understand that the presence of raw sewage in a commercial building is an emergency. A quick response is mandatory. A reputable water remediation company should be called right away. Certified workers will arrive in a matter of hours and immediately go to work to stop the spread of dirty water. A flooded toilet and a flood are handled in a similar manner, though one might contain more water. The technicians will stop the flow of water, contain the situation, remove the water from the building and then clean and restore the affected areas.

The Use of Specialized Equipment
A quality restoration company has many resources at its disposal when dealing with a sewer cleanup. This allows workers to safely remove water from the building and to dry out and clean walls and other building materials. They can also engage in advanced testing to make certain all standing water or excess moisture has been removed from areas that are hard to reach such as attics and behind walls. Restoration technicians have been trained in the proper use of a variety of specialized equipment. Sewer damage presents many complications, but a professional team is up to the challenge.

How to Maintain Your Furnace

6/20/2022 (Permalink)

Furnace Regular furnace maintenance can help you save money on heating bills and professional fire cleaning services.

Maintaining Your Furnace

Many people overlook furnace maintenance due to busy lives or a simple lack of knowledge. Cleaning your furnace keeps it running smoothly and prevents safety hazards requiring professional fire cleaning. Here are some helpful tips for when and how to maintain the furnace in your Fort Myers, FL, home.

1. Clean Regularly

Do not begin any cleaning until the furnace is completely turned off. Regularly clean away dust and dirt from the motor, blower, and filtration. If too much dirt builds up, it can reduce airflow.

2. Replace Filters

Furnace filters help trap dirt and contaminants. They need to be replaced every three months and before cold winter temperatures kick in. Some experts also recommend changing out filters once a month when the furnace is in regular use. If filters are not changed often enough, the furnace may overheat and cause a fire, requiring smoke cleaning and other damage repairs.

3. Check Carbon Monoxide Detector

If a furnace malfunctions, it can produce a deadly, odorless gas called carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide poisoning happens more in the winter when furnace use is highest. Take preventative measures by installing carbon monoxide detectors near the rooms you and your family sleep in. Check the detectors once a month to ensure they work and replace any dead batteries. 

4. Assess Wiring to Prevent Fire Cleaning Services

Ensure electric components are not broken or loose lest they may become a hazard requiring professional fire damage restoration. Call a professional if you suspect an electrical problem with the furnace. Do not try to repair it yourself.

5. Check the Thermostat

Make sure the thermostat is accurate and clean. Broken or dirty thermostats may cause the furnace to run more, leading to higher heating costs.

6. Hire Professional Services

Get your furnace professionally cleaned once a year. You can save money by arranging the maintenance appointment at the end of the high-use season in early to mid-spring.

Regular furnace maintenance can help you save money on heating bills and professional fire cleaning services. Follow these tips to keep your furnace functioning at optimum levels and prevent safety hazards.
 

How To Remove and Prevent Standing Water in a Crawlspace

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Sump pump Install a sump pump in your crawl space or have the space encapsulated by a water damage prevention service in your Fort Myers, FL home.

How to Get Rid of Standing Water in a Crawlspace and Prevent It

If you found standing water in your Fort Myers, FL, home's crawl space, you might want to ignore it. However, no matter how long it sits there, it's not going to go away on its own. Here is some equipment you can use to remove the water and ways to keep it from coming back.

Use a Trash Pump
If the water in your crawl space is from a flood, you likely have more than just water in your crawl space. Floodwaters pick up everything in their path, so your crawl space could be full of a number of things. Some items commonly found in floods are:

  • Clothes
  • Plants
  • Tree limbs
  • Garbage

If you tried to use a regular pump to remove the water, you'd likely find that it quickly gets clogged by these foreign objects. Instead, rely on a garbage pump. This type of equipment is designed to suck up water and small items without clogging.

Use a Truck-Mounted Pump
When flooding happens regularly in your crawl space, it could be happening because the water you're pumping out is going right back into the crawl space. When this happens, hire a company with a truck-mounted pump to remove the water for you. The company will pump the water and any debris in the crawl space into a tank on the back of their truck. They will then empty their tank in an approved location for disposal.

Install Preventative Measures
Instead of constantly hiring companies to pump the water out of your crawlspace, take measures to keep it from happening. Contact a water damage prevention service to install a sump pump in your crawl space or have them encapsulate the space. You never want to attempt to do the encapsulation yourself because it takes specialized equipment and training to ensure that it is done correctly.

Flooding in your crawl space is a hassle, but you can get the space clean and dry in no time with the proper hardware and help from the pros.