Document Recovery After Water Damage Can Save Your Business Thousands
Some documents are simply irreplaceable
Modern business in O'Fallon, MO, would be impossible without volumes of paperwork. These days, much of this can be stored digitally, and, increasingly, on remote servers in the cloud. Regardless, most companies still stand to lose a great deal of money if local paperwork is water damaged from a flood or fire. There’s good news, though: If you act quickly to save them, document restoration may be possible.
Many Types of Documents Can Be Saved
Some documents are simply irreplaceable. Businesses that could survive a devastating fire have nevertheless succumbed to financial stress from losing paperwork to firefighting efforts. There are often many items kept on location:
- Commercial paper accounts
- Receipts and payroll
- Employee records
- Financial and tax records
- Medical records
- Photographs, films, negatives and microfiche
Document Drying Is Possible Thanks to Specialized Equipment
SERVPRO has several advanced technologies that have revolutionized document restoration. A team of expert technicians can rush to the scene and quickly evaluate which strategy will work best.
Typically, this involves using the same vacuum freeze-drying process used by the National Archives and Records Administration for restoring documents to be stored in the Library of Congress.
The technology allows water to sublimate, bypassing the stage that causes the most harm to paper. This innovative process rescues far more documents than was ever possible before. It’s why SERVPRO is the preferred vendor for disaster mitigation for most insurance companies.
Sterilization and Digitization Provides Quick, Safe
After drying, the restored items are sterilized with gamma radiation. This removes microbes that are harmful to humans or that can digest paper. Next, all items are digitized and saved to a secure location for you to download.
During the entire document restoration process, your items are under 24/7 surveillance and managed by HIPPA-certified master technicians. The chain of custody is carefully controlled to avoid any questions of authenticity.
Not only is SERVPRO the preferred vendor, each franchise is owned locally to stay responsive to their communities yet also have access to all the corporate resources and knowledge needed for restoration. This advanced damage restoration technology has saved businesses — and insurers — many thousands of dollars.
Preparing for the Insurance Adjuster's Visit
A home adjuster is an important part of the insurance claims process
To Prepare For The Adjusters Arrival, Follow These Steps
You have probably heard that floods are not included in a typical homeowners' policy. Yet many other types of water damage are covered. For instance, if water enters your home through a hole in the roof caused by a storm, you can file an insurance claim to pay for the cost of repairs.
Before your claim is finalized, a home adjuster will visit your property to see how much damage there is. To prepare for the adjuster's arrival, follow the below steps.
1. Make an Inventory
If it is safe to do so, walk around your home to see which items were damaged. Make a list of these possessions that includes costs and dates of purchase. You can give this list to the adjuster when he or she arrives.
2. Check for Structural Damage
The adjuster will also want to look at structural issues on your property. This includes any harm that occurred to the shed or swimming pool. Identify this damage in advance so you can show it to the adjuster.
3. Get Electrical System Inspected
Find out if the house has any electrical problems before the home adjuster arrives. The insurance provider may even cover the cost of this inspection.
Keep in mind that if there is a major disaster in St. Charles, MO, the adjuster may have to visit numerous homes in your area within a short amount of time. As a result, the adjuster may initially only be able to provide an estimate of the damage. You can always set up a second appointment for a more thorough assessment.
After the adjuster has left, you can contact emergency restoration professionals. Your adjuster may even recommend a local company that he or she has worked with in the past. Make sure the adjuster has approved the cost of the cleanup before the work begins.
A home adjuster is an important part of the insurance claims process. If you properly prepare for his or her visit, you should get your money more quickly.
4 Things You Should Know About Cleaning Smoke Damage
Fire and smoke damage in a St. Peters, MO home
Four Things To Keep In Mind After A Fire Strikes
A home fire is one of the most common troubles to befall homeowners and renters. The extent of the fire determines the plan for recovery and restoration. Even a small fire, though, often results in a significant amount of damage to the home and to your belongings. The good news is that a qualified fire mitigation team has the resources to help no matter the situation. The technicians might recommend dry-cleaning of some items, particularly clothes, to get out smoke odors. Here are four things to keep in mind after a fire strikes your home in St. Peters, MO.
1. Content Cleaning Is Important. Many of your belongings will get damaged in a fire. This includes clothes, paintings, furniture, and even computers. A professional company has the equipment and skills needed to restore many items to good shape again, thus saving you money. In general, the technicians will use dry-cleaning for clothes and ultrasonic methods for non-porous items such as televisions and wooden desks and bookcases.
2. Content Storage May Be Needed. If the fire damage to your home is extensive, it is possible items will need to be moved to another area for protection. An orderly move-out and move-in process protects your valuable belongings from additional damage.
3. An Odor Control Technician Will Be Used. Smoke damage is often pervasive and persistent. To get your home clean, a highly-trained technician will use state-of-the-art equipment to remove smoke odors from walls, furniture, and belongings.
4. The Process Is Complex. A number of methods may be employed to get your home back in order again after a fire. The following cleaning methods are available from a professional team: dry-cleaning, immersive cleaning, foam cleaning, abrasive cleaning and spray and wipe options. All of these options allow for a better cleaning of your items as well as the option to restore many items instead of throwing them away.
What To Expect When Rebuilding After a Commercial Fire
Fire breaks out in a commercial building in St. Charles City
There is a lot to consider when a fire breaks out at your business in St. Charles City, and you are figuring out the process of rebuilding. A good first step is to get an estimate from a reputable fire restoration company. A full-service company will make several considerations when they send contractors to your property to make a bid.
When a commercial fire has caused damage to your property, the first job the contractors will do is prevent secondary damage. This will likely start with boarding up the doors, windows, and damaged walls to prevent intrusion, theft, or wandering critters. If there is damage to the roof, then a temporary roof tarp can be put in place to prevent further destruction from weather. If there is concern about theft in the area, then a surveillance system may be installed or a security guard may be dispatched to the property.
Before the restoration process can begin, there needs to be a good cleanup of the property. If the fire department was dispatched to the property, the logical first step is to clean out any remaining water and then estimate the level of water damage. The contractors can then assess how much smoke damage and fire odor is left behind and what procedures are needed to correct the problem. Any unsalvageable debris will most likely be removed, which can help eradicate a lot of the smoke smell.
Restoration of Salvageable Materials
Any items or materials that can be saved will likely be packed up and sent to cleaning facilities in order to remove any smoke or fire damage. The rest of the items can then be moved to storage facilities for the duration of the restoration process.
Calling a fire restoration company to provide an estimate is a smart first step when your business suffers a fire. The contractors can provide a good accounting for how much it will cost to fix your property and work with your insurance company to make sure you have the best experience getting back into business.
How Business Interruption Insurance Helps After a Fire
Business interruption insurance can help cover your costs during the restoration period
A fire to your O'Fallon, MO, business can cause major damage and disrupt your operations for a significant period of time. Fortunately, business interruption insurance can help cover your costs during the restoration period.
What Does Interruption Insurance Cover?
Every policy is unique, but interruption insurance usually covers regular operating expenses incurred as well as profits lost while your business is not fully operational. Some of the expenses covered include the following:
Fixed expenses, such as operating costs and loan payments
Other miscellaneous expenses the business incurs in order to remain operational
Many companies close permanently after a business fire due to lost income. The funds received from an interruption policy can help your business stay afloat without losing employees, falling behind on taxes or defaulting on loans. Make sure you maintain adequate records showing income, expenses, and profits for your business and keep these in a safe location, such as cloud storage so that you have access to them when filing a claim. Discuss the details of the policy with your insurance agent to make sure you have enough coverage to see you through a disaster.
How Long Does Coverage Last?
As the name implies, business interruption insurance covers the period of interruption due to a fire or other unforeseen event. Many insurance companies define this period as extending from the day the loss occurred, i.e., the date of the fire, to the day the business has been fully restored and is back to normal operations. This includes the time needed for fire cleaning, purchasing new equipment, etc.
If your company suffers a fire, business interruption insurance can help pay for your expenses while your property is being restored. Even so, it is important to get your business back in its regular building and operating at full capacity as soon as possible. An experienced restoration service can help with this process, giving you more time to focus on taking care of your employees and customers.
Benefits of Using a Certified Water Damage Expert
What is the IICRC certification?
Water damage to your commercial property from such things as flooding or a broken pipe should always be taken seriously. If left untreated, the damage can pose serious health risks to your employees in Weldon Spring, MO. It is important to call a certified expert as soon as possible after the trouble occurs to assess the situation and handle the water clean up. When searching for a qualified company, make sure it employs IICRC-certified professionals.
What Is IICRC Certification?
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is an organization that sets the industry standards and certification for cleaning, restoration, and inspection. A company has to pass a rigorous audit before obtaining certification. Each technician must also pass a strenuous written exam to ensure they are knowledgeable in their specific field.
What Are the Benefits of IICRC Certification?
Each individual that is certified by IICRC has been trained to handle water clean up in a safe and professional manner. Some of the benefits in choosing a certified professional include:
Works well under pressure - Certified technicians are trained to handle stressful emergencies with a level head. They are also excellent problem solvers.
Has specific knowledge to handle technical equipment - Trained professionals can safely and effectively operate all of the advanced drying, cleaning, and deodorizing equipment.
Can communicate well - A professional will be able to answer your questions with clear and concise responses so that you aren’t left in the dark.
Has the ability to handle large projects - A certified water restoration professional is trained to identify all problem areas and handle the water damage repair, especially on large commercial properties.
As you begin your search for a restoration company to take care of your water clean up, make sure you select an IICRC-certified company. This will give you the confidence you need to know that your property is in good hands.
3 Tips For Making a Mold Damage Claim
Mold growth on wall
3 Tips For Making a Mold Damage Claim
The average cost of mold damage remediation ranges from $15 to $30 per square foot. Fungus removal expenses for a commercial building can quickly add up, and some materials and contents may also need to be replaced. Commercial property policies often exclude mold damage that does not result from certain covered perils. Additional coverage in the form of an endorsement or thorough documentation of mitigation may be necessary to cover costs. These three tips can facilitate the process of making a mold claim.
1. Check Mold Coverage
General commercial insurance may have a limited amount of coverage for mold caused by covered perils. The standard Insurance Services Office commercial property policy caps this coverage at $15,000 for a single incident or policy year. A policyholder should review an insurance agreement, definitions, conditions, and endorsements to determine whether coverage is available. Confirm the terms of a policy before renewing and consider adding an endorsement for mold to cover more remediation costs.
2. Document Damage
A commercial property owner should put all communications with an insurance company in writing. Follow up a call to an agent with written communication. It is also important to take and date photos or videos that indicate the extent of damage or loss prior to fungus removal.
3. Provide Proof of Mitigation
The owner of a building should also maintain records demonstrating that any water damage has been mitigated in a timely manner and that industry-standard methods were used during restoration. An insurer may be more likely to cover mold cleanup costs if it is clear that negligence was not a factor.
Maintaining a sufficient level of insurance coverage is the responsibility of a commercial property owner in Portage Des Sioux, MO. Regularly check policy terms and fill in gaps in coverage with endorsements. If water damage occurs, gather proof of damage, mitigation, and restoration to support a fungus removal claim.
How To Identify the Type of Water Damage in Your Home
What are the three types of water categories?
Water damage is a very serious issue to deal with in your home in St. Peters, MO during a storm. It’s also important to realize that there are different classifications of water contamination. Listed below are the different categories, along with some storm tips for how best to handle them.
What Are the Three Types of Water Contamination?
Clean water: Category 1 - This is water that originated from a fresh water source, such as a burst water pipe or a leaky faucet. The water starts out clean, but if not removed quickly it can become contaminated by other materials and escalate into a more serious problem.
Gray water: Category 2 - Any water that has leaked or overflowed from a dishwasher, washing machine, or feces-free toilet would fall into this category. The water may potentially contain bacteria so it should be dealt with quickly or it could become a category 3 problem.
Black water: Category 3 - Flooding that originated from streams or rivers is considered black water. Sewer backup would also be included in this category. Since this storm damage is highly contaminated, you should avoid it and call a professional immediately to handle the water cleanup.
How Can You Mitigate the Water Damage?
If the living space is flooded, you should leave the house and not return until an expert has assessed the situation. If the water is limited to a small area and you’ve determined that the source was clean water, you can follow these storm tips:
- Use heavy towels or clean rags to soak up the water
- After the water is removed, turn on a dehumidifier or fan to aid in drying the carpet
- Call a professional to inspect for mold
The safest way to handle any kind of storm damage is to follow these storm tips in the interim while you wait for the experts to assess the situation. They will be able to find the best solution for your home.
How To Fix A Leaky Roof
Damaged ceiling panels in a St. Charles, MO building
Many business owners are too busy thinking about how to manage employees and maximize the efficiency of their operations to consider the roof of their commercial building. A nasty roof leak can derail an enterprise, however, especially during a storm. Fortunately, it’s possible to prevent the devastating consequences of a damaged roof with the right preparation.
Know the Signs of a Problem
People often don’t realize that their roof is leaking until they notice water dripping from their ceiling. There are several subtle indicators of a leaky roof, including:
- Ceiling stains
- Mold or algae growth
- Buckling, curling or missing shingles
Business owners don’t have to take care of these issues during storm cleanup. They can start early and inspect their property for a roof leak before a problem gets out of hand. A sturdy roof is one less problem to worry about in the aftermath of a vicious storm, especially since it’s common for property owners in St. Charles, MO, to deal with accompanying flood damage as well.
Trust the Professionals
Commercial building restoration professionals specialize in revitalizing properties from storm damage to make it “Like it never even happened.” They’re trained in a variety of cleaning techniques to eliminate moisture and bacteria in your roof as well as all the interior areas that suffered from unwanted water and debris.
Professionals can get to work in little time and complete every step from pumping away stagnant water, disinfecting and drying a damaged area, and replacing shingles, wallpaper and carpet. They collaborate with insurance to ensure that your costs are as low as possible. Once you see the level of quality that restoration professionals in your area bring to every project, then you can feel confident contacting them for future emergencies. If inclement weather is a yearly occurrence, then it’s a great way to obtain peace-of-mind over things that you cannot control.
A roof leak and the subsequent flood cleanup requires worries many business owners, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Early detection can prevent expensive damage to your property.
We are Cleaning Experts
We can help you today!
SERVPRO is Here to Help during this time of need
During this unprecedented time caused by the global pandemic of coronavirus, this is a reminder to our customers that we are specialists in cleaning services, and we adhere to the highest cleaning and sanitation standards.
We are prepared to clean and disinfect your home or business, according to protocols set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have years of experience in dealing with biological contaminants, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform on a daily basis.
The CDC encourages cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets and tables. Other spaces mentioned in the CDC’s guidance for commercial spaces include:
- Kitchen/Food Areas
- Retail Spaces
- Water Fountains
- Sales Counters
- Carpets and Rugs
- Stair Handrails
- Elevator Cars
- Playground Equipment
- Fitness Equipment
The CDC recommends usage of a labeled hospital-grade disinfectant with claims against similar pathogens to the coronavirus. Multiple products in the SERVPRO product line carry the EPA-approved emerging pathogens claims. While there is currently no product tested against this particular strain of the coronavirus, we are following all guidelines as provided by the CDC and local authorities.
Call Today for a Proactive Cleaning
If your home or business needs deep cleaning services, call the experts today – SERVPRO of St. Charles City, 636-926-0033