What To Do When Filing A Flood Insurance Claim
Don't wait to file a claim! Call your Insurance Agent and our SERVPRO Team!
Most homeowners’ insurance does not offer flood coverage. However, if you have a separate flood policy for your home, then you will want to file an insurance claim if your home has been damaged. The process can sometimes be frustrating or confusing, so use the following tips to help your claim go smoothly.
1. Call Your Insurance Agent
The first step in filing a flood claim is calling your insurance agent. In some cases, the company can deny your claim if you have waited too long to contact them. Getting the process started right away will prevent this.
2. Take Pictures
After you have contacted your agent to begin the process, you should take photos of any areas of the house that have been flooded. Be sure to photograph any affected items as well. This will help the insurance company determine the extent of the damage. Keeping a list can be helpful as well.
3. Set Aside Affected Belongings
Once you have taken pictures and documented the damage, you don’t need to wait for the insurance adjuster to arrive to begin moving your items. If you allow them to sit in the water, the damage will only worsen, so you should relocate them to a dry area quickly.
4. Prevent Additional Damage
If the insurance company does not believe that you have taken the necessary steps to prevent further damage, this can affect your flood claim. It is a good idea to call a water damage restoration company, like SERVPRO to do repairs, but you can start on remediation before they arrive. Along with moving affected items, you can board up areas and place tarps to prevent the water from spreading.
Making a flood claim may not always be the simplest process, but there are things you can do to make it easier on yourself. Following this advice will help move it along more quickly and ensure you get the most that you can from your policy.
What You Need To Know About Fires
Timing is everything. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.
- Fire is FAST! In less than 30 seconds a small flame can turn into a serious fire. It only takes minutes for thick black smoke to fill a house or for it to be engulfed in flames - impairing vision and breathing.
- Fire is HOT! Room temperatures in a fire can be 100 degrees at floor level and rise to 600 degrees at eye level. Inhaling this super-hot air will scorch your lungs and melt clothes on your skin. Always crawl on the floor!
- Fire is DARK! Fires start bright but quickly produce black smoke and complete darkness.
- Smoke is DEADLY! Smoke and toxic gases kill more people than flames do. Fire produces poisonous gases that disorient you. Asphyxiation (suffocation) is the leading cause of death from home-related fires.
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a bit different, each one requires a customized solution tailored to the specific conditions. Our SERVPRO Team has the necessary equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire or smoke-damaged property. Most importantly, we will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
The Aftermath Of A Commercial Fire
Once the fire department has doused all of the flames, be sure to call SERVPRO, the fire remediation experts.
When a fire strikes on your commercial property, it's quite likely that you feel yourself start to panic. This immediate reaction makes sense given all of the economic turmoil and property destruction that a fire can cause. However, knowing which steps to take in the face of a Columbus commercial fire can help prevent you from becoming anxious, losing money, and undergoing extensive property damages. To handle a commercial fire successfully, follow the tips below:
1. Contact A Fire Remediation Expert.
Once the fire department has put out all of the flames, be sure to call a fire remediation expert. This individual will be able to equip you with a thorough assessment indicating the extent of the damages. Don't ever attempt to handle any of the cleanups, drying, or restoration processes on your own. Doing so could put you in peril of injury and illness.
2. Assemble Your Records.
In addition to contacting a fire remediation expert, make sure that you assemble your business' essential records. You'll want to have this information with you when you start working with your insurance company. To guarantee that you can have all of your files ready in a safe place, make a point to buy a fireproof safe where they can be stored.
3. Call The Insurance Company Immediately.
Be sure that you call your insurance company once the fire is put out. This step is important because your insurance agent will work with you to file a claim and determine how much coverage you'll attain for the commercial damages.
4. Get Permission To Re-enter The Building.
Always ask the fire department or another local authority whether you can re-enter your building. In some cases, a fire can weaken the structural integrity of the commercial property and make it subject to collapse. This is why you need to assure that re-entry is safe for you and your tenants.
If you experience a fire at your commercial property, call our experts at SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus today at (614) 261-6666!
Why Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
Our technician in PPE while sanitizing a commercial building.
Personal protective equipment, commonly referred to as "PPE", is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. These injuries and illnesses may result from contact with chemical, radiological, physical, electrical, mechanical, or other workplace hazards. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses and shoes, earplugs or muffs, hard hats, respirators, or coveralls, vests and full body suits.
It is important at SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus that our technicians are as safe as possible while working for our wonderful customers so we can get the job done right and efficiently.
Although it isn't the most fashionable outfit of the season, it is absolutely necessary in some situations!
Our SERVPRO Team protects ourselves so we can better serve you!
Preventing Fires At Your Commercial Property
Call the trusted experts at SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus for all of your fire restoration needs.
Fire damage to your business is a serious concern. Even moderate damage can result in your facility being closed for repairs for weeks on end, and this can be financially devastating.
The unfortunate reality is that no business is immune to the risk of fire. Some facilities may be more likely to endure damage from a fire, such as a restaurant that uses open flames throughout the day. However, there are many fire hazards that are present in most workplaces on a daily basis regardless of the type of activities that take place in the building. When you know what these hazards are, you can take proper steps to address and mitigate those risks and prevent possible fire damage and smoke damage.
Damage to electrical wiring can result in sparks that quickly lead to damaging fires. Electrical wiring damage may include frayed cords, such as those connecting desktop computers to the wall power outlets. It may also include damage to internal wiring inside the walls, and these may be damaged by pests and other forces. Electrical fires may also start when power sockets are overloaded or when equipment gets too hot. Periodically review your company's wiring to identify areas of concern that need to be addressed.
Poor Equipment Maintenance
Other hazards in workplaces are related to poor equipment maintenance. For example, failing to service your furnace regularly may result in the accumulation of dust and other flammable debris. A gas leak in the furnace could result in a fire or an explosion. Fire hazards related to poor maintenance may also include dusty, dirty or greasy components, such as air ducts and vents, kitchen exhaust vents and many other features that are used throughout your facility. Scheduling necessary maintenance can decrease fire risk in these areas.
Flammable or Combustible Materials
Flammable and combustible materials are most commonly associated with industrial and warehouse environments, but even restaurants, hotels, dry cleaners and many other types of business may store combustible materials on-site. These materials should remain properly sealed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations at all times.
As you can see, there are numerous fire hazards that could result in serious damage to your business. If your business has already experienced fire damage, it is essential that repair work is completed as soon as possible. SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus is your trusted leader in the restoration industry. We can quickly restore your building to its previous condition so that operations can resume in your place of business. Call us today!
SERVPRO Fire Restorations
Trust the professional at SERVPRO for all of your fire restoration needs!
A fire in your home can be devastating causing severe damage to your structure and contents. The restoration process is complex and requires expertise in fire restoration to restore your home to preloss condition. SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus specializes in fire and water damage restoration and have highly trained professional fire restoration technicians and a full construction department to restore your home.
The restoration process will begin when you call SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus for your fire damage:
- Contact SERVPRO 24 Hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Our professional office personnel will schedule an estimator to your home to evaluate your loss and provide you with a detailed estimate.
- If any structure is compromised, we will schedule a crew to board-up or tarp your windows, roof or walls to protect against further damage and protect your home.
- When there is minimal or no structure damage, we will schedule a fire restoration technician to clean the soot from the structure and contents. Some items such as electronics and clothes will be removed and cleaned off site.
- When your fire loss is extensive and involves structure damage, you will not be able to stay in your home during the repairs and restoration. SERVPRO will pack, tag and inventory your contents and store them in our warehouse until your home is restored. Our professionally trained contents specialist will clean and re-box the contents in our warehouse.
- SERVPRO has a variety of cleaning techniques and equipment to restore your belongings to pre-fire loss condition.
- Once the soot is removed, and the demolition of affected structure is completed we will schedule our professional construction team to repair or rebuild the damaged structure.
- Your cleaned contents will be moved back to your home once the construction department has completed the rebuild.
Call SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus at 614-261-6666 with your fire restoration needs.
Your One Stop Shop!
SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus offers a full line of reconstruction services!
SERVPRO is known as a leader in the Cleanup & Restoration industry, but did you know that SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus also offers a full line of reconstruction options? As a licensed general contractor, our team can provide a wide array of building services, both commercial and residential, to help restore your property to its preloss condition. Some of these services include:
- Electrical and Portable Power Needs
- Roof Tarping and Repair
- Tile, Hardwood, and Linoleum Flooring Repair
- Drywall Removal or Installation
By utilizing one company for both your damage mitigation and building reconstruction needs, you can save both time and money for your repairs. Serving central Columbus and the surrounding areas, SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus is Here to Help. For more information about our Reconstruction Division, give us a call at 614-261-6666.
Is Water Damage An Emergency?
Don't let water damage ruin your home!
Having a water damage in your home or business is a very stressful situation. Many things can go through your mind, but how do you know if it is an emergency? If no one is injured, then by definition it is not considered a "true" emergency and 911 usually does not need to be called.
However, it could still be an emergency in regards to your property. The longer that water sits on the building materials, the more possibility there is that secondary damage will occur. Water can seep into wall crevices and down through the floors below. If it is not cleaned up and dried out properly, then the potential for mold growth is high.
If you walk in and see water pouring into your home or business, step 1 is to find the main water shutoff, and to shut off the water.
Also be very aware of these other things that may be affected and could be a potential hazard, such as the electricity supply, gas supply, water damaged electrical appliances, contaminated water (gasoline, chemicals, etc.) or structural damage.
So if you don't call 911, who do you call?
- Local SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus Restoration professionals
- Insurance Agent
- Insurance Company
We work hand in hand with your insurance company to act fast, so we can get your home or business back to normal. We are available 24 hours a day to address these water emergencies. When it comes to water damage, don't take chances. Call us today and get the damage taken care of, the right way!
Why Is My Washing Machine Leaking?
If you experience water damage in your home from a washing machine, call SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus.
Over time, wear and tear on your washing machine can leak to internal problems that can result in water leaks. Here are some common reasons why your washing machine is leaking.
- Overloaded washing machine. Overloading a washing machine is the most common cause for it to leak water. Take a look at your user’s guide for load limits and make sure you’re not putting too much laundry in.
- Excessive suds. Putting in too much detergent can lead to excessive suds that can find their way out of your machine and lead to water damage. Water softeners can sometimes increase your detergent’s ability to produce suds.
- Worn out hose gaskets. If you have an old washing machine, or if you have relocated the machine but used the same hoses, the gaskets in those hoses can become brittle over time and leak.
- Problem with the air gap device. The air gap device stops water from back flowing into your home’s water supply. It can crack causing it to leak.
- The fill hoses to the machine are leaking. Be sure that the hot and cold water fill hoses are tightly connected at both sides of the incoming water lines. After a few years, they will become worn out and crack, likely needing to be replaced.
- Damaged incoming water tube. Once the water makes its way inside the washing machine, it is routed through the air gap device by an internal tube can crack and leak.
- Damaged inlet spout. A significant amount of water can leak out of the machine if the inlet spout is damaged or broken free from the mount.
- Blocked or leaking main drain hose. Inspect the hose leading water into the tub or receiving area. Be sure the hose’s connection to the back of the washing machine is properly secured. Ensure the drain hose is not clogged by disconnecting it and running a long wire through it.
- Cracked utility sink or the pipes are leaking. Check near the gooseneck pipes for punctures, cracks or leaks. If you discover rust or corrosion, that could mean trouble.
- Faulty main tub seal. This is the primary water seal between you washing machine’s outer tub and the transmission that turns the tub. The main seal can sometimes leak directly under the tub.
- Broken water pump. The water pump pushes water from the washing machine’s internal tube out. Inspect the drain hose to ensure it is secured to the pump and look out for signs of a loose hose clamp.
- Faulty water supply valves. Inspect the water supply valves connected to the hot and cold lines to ensure they are working. If you will be away from your home for an extended period of time, turn them off to be safe.
- Back-flow from the sewer. Your washing machine drains directly into the sewer if you don’t have a utility sink. When backflow is an issue, call a professional plumber to look at the issue.
Preventing Grease Fires In Your Kitchen
Call our SERVPRO Team for your fire restoration needs!
Whether you are cooking in a restaurant or in your own home, a grease fire can quickly become a big disaster. Grease fires can present themselves as a difficult issue since they are notorious for being difficult to put out.
The first reaction to a fire is to pour water on it, which for grease fires, can actually spread the fire and make it worse!! Follow the correct steps below on putting out a grease fire.
How do I put out a Grease Fire?
- Turn off the heat. Make sure to not pick up the pan. Picking up the pan can cause the fire to quickly spread to you or spill onto other surfaces in the kitchen.
- Put a lid on the pan to cut off oxygen to the fire. Once it has sufficiently cooled down, you will be to move and clean it.
- If the fire gets out of hand, make sure to call 911 to get assistance right away from the Columbus Fire Department.
- NEVER pour water on an active grease fire or fan the fire. Both of these actions will only spread the fire.
- Do NOT fan the fire with a dry or wet cloth, it can make it worse and spread the fire.
- If all else fails, use a fire extinguisher to put out the flame.
How to Prevent A Grease Fire
- Never leave your cooking unattended, always keep an eye on any pots or pans.
- Make sure that you have a sufficiently sized lid for all of your cooking ware.
- Heat the oils in your pans slowly, don't put your stove on the highest setting right off the bat.
- Turn the heat off if you think your pans are getting too hot.
Due to the nature of a grease fire, it is highly recommended that you seek out the help of a professional like SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus for fire restoration help. In addition to cleaning up any damage such as burned materials, soot, or grease, a professional can help your kitchen rid itself of the smoke scent.
Our SERVPRO of Northwest Columbus Team has the knowledge and decades of experience to help you quickly and effectively repair damage from a grease fire.