5 Things You Need to Know About Insurance and Flooding
Flood can cause a lot of damage to your Reading, PA home
When there is a flood in your home in Reading, PA, one of the first things you should do is call your insurance provider. Making this call can help you figure out if the damage done to your house is covered by your policy. Many water restoration professionals work side-by-side with insurance providers to help you through your claim when you can make one. While every policy may be different, here are a few flooding insurance basics that you should know.
1. Damaged caused by broken pipes is usually covered.
If you wake up to a burst pipe in your master bathroom, chances are the water damaged caused will be covered by your normal homeowner's policy. When an unforeseen event results in a burst pipe, you're covered.
2. Subsequent damage is covered
Initially, a flood may damage your walls and insulation, but as the water spreads it starts to ruin carpet, paint and furnishings. If you have coverage, it will help pay for much of the subsequent damage to ensure you can return your house to normal.
3. The plumbing bill may come to you
Even though your insurance is going to help pay for the restoration, it may not cover the fees to fix the actual leaking pipe. Because plumbing falls under normal home maintenance, your plan may not cover it.
4. Leaking pipes need to be addressed right away
If, however, you knew there was a small leak in your plumbing, but you chose to ignore it, the damage caused may not be covered. You're expected to fix a broken pipe if you know about it.
5. Rising water requires a special policy. If heavy rains send water surging into your basement, you may need to look closely at your insurance coverage. Most homeowner's policies won't cover this type of damage.
A flood can cause a lot of damage to your house. Thankfully, your homeowner's policy and other insurance plans can help you pay for the restoration process.
Berks County Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Smoke and soot damage can cause a pervasive odor in you home.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Reading will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – (610)779-8189
A Pipe Broke! What Now?
Water loss due to broken pipe in Boyertown, PA
Bursting pipes are not something that any business owner wants to think about. Unfortunately, if you are currently facing such an incident, you will need to take action to prevent as much loss as possible. Read on for information on what to do after such an occurrence to prevent commercial water damage in Boyertown, PA.
Reasons To Get Help
After a water emergency at your company, you may be tempted to try to ignore the situation or fix broken pipe problems yourself. This is not a good idea for the following reasons:
- Waiting to get help from professionals can lead to mold growth or secondary damage.
- Cleanup services are better prepared to perform cleaning, drying and remediation procedures than you are, and trained technicians are knowledgeable about current or potential mold issues.
- Attempting to clean or fix anything in your building after a water-related incident takes away time from your schedule that should be spent focusing on your business and getting it back in running order.
- Ignoring destruction can lead to structural issues that affect your company down the road.
Water damage specialists are used to bursting pipes and other moisture issues. They are also typically able to arrive on the scene quickly and work in an urgent matter to mitigate the issue at hand as thoroughly as possible in a fairly short amount of time.
Do Not Go It Alone!
Business owners tend to feel very proud of their commercial property, and with that pride comes a feeling of personal responsibility for anything that happens to their investment. Bursting pipes may be something that you want to handle yourself or that you consider to be less important than keeping your workplace running smoothly. However, getting help from the right source as quickly as you can will do nothing but improve your chances of recovering from any damages to your structure and getting back to business as usual.
What Not To Do After a Flood
Water loss due to storm in Exeter, PA
Water damage is typically extensive in a flooded home, leaving many items destroyed. Flood water contaminates everything it touches, making surviving the aftermath almost as dangerous as the storm. Staying safe after a flood doesn’t have to be challenging, but there are a few things that you should not do.
1. Don’t Go Out in Regular Clothing
As flooding water is contaminated and it is likely hiding additional dangers, like downed power lines and submerged electrical outlets, it is essential to wear protective clothing such as rubber boots and rubber gloves. Additionally, you should avoid wearing anything that will allow your skin to come into direct contact with the water.
2. Don’t Touch the Water
You should avoid direct contact with any standing flood water because most of this water will be considered category three black water. Black water is a mix of sewage and other contaminants that are highly toxic to humans and animals, and this water does not need to be ingested to inflict harm.
3. Don’t Let Your Cell Phone Die
Try to maintain a full battery on your cell phone, if at all possible. As many areas will still be covered in water, a cell phone may be your only way of contacting friends and family or emergency services.
4. Don’t Buy New Furniture
While it is tempting to purchase replacement furniture for your home, buying new furniture so soon after flooding can be a bad decision. The cleanup process takes a lot longer than most homeowners expect, and you don’t want to bring new furniture into a contaminated space because you risk further contamination.
5. Don’t Go It Alone
You should check the Exeter,PA, area for local restoration specialists because they can offer the expertise, equipment, and personnel to ensure that your cleanup process goes as quickly and as smoothly as possible, allowing you to get back in your home.
Flood water is a dangerous substance that should not be taken lightly. Be sure to protect yourself by remembering the five steps above and recognizing the need to ask for help.
Know the Differences Between Mold and Mildew
Mold damage after a pipe break on the wall in Reading, PA
If you own a home in Reading, PA, chances are you have experience with mold damage or mildew growth. You might have found some mold growth on an old rug in the basement, or some mildew on clothes or rags left in a damp area. But are mold and mildew the same?
Mold and mildew are somewhat similar, in that they both:
- Thrive in moist areas
- Like warm environments
- Are fungi that spread through spores
- Can grow on a wide variety of surfaces
But despite the similarities, mold and mildew have very distinct differences.
Mildew is a specific form of fungus that generally forms on damp surfaces, and is powdery or fluffy in appearance. It's usually found in the home on moist surfaces, fabrics, paper, and on other organic materials. Outside of the home, mildew often causes a great deal of damage to agricultural products such as potatoes and grapes. There are two main types: downy mildew and powdery mildew. Downy mildew can vary in appearance but generally starts out with yellowish spots that turn brown after a time. Powdery mildew starts out as gray or white blotches that eventually become yellow-brown. Unlike mold, mildew can be removed fairly easily with a specialized cleaner and a scrubbing brush.
Mold is usually green or black with a fuzzy or slimy appearance. It is much more invasive than mildew, as it thrives under surfaces like the interiors of walls or under floorboards. Unlike mildew, mold damage can be far more harmful and much harder to get rid of once it's established. Also, there are a much wider variety of molds, the five most prevalent being penicillium, cladosporium, aspergillus, alternaria, and stachybotrys chartarum, or black mold. Unlike mildew, a mold problem is usually much more difficult to get rid of.
Mildew can be fully eliminated with a little effort on your part, but mold damage may require the skills of a professional mold mitigation company. Eradicating mold and mildew in your home is easy if you act promptly to get rid of it.
How To Drain Your Flooded Basement
It’s inevitable that some of your possessions may have been damaged in the basement flood.
A flooded basement can be a homeowner’s nightmare, especially when you live in Reading, PA. Whether your home was subject to a natural disaster or there’s been a break in your water line, standing water in your basement can lead to an array of issues:
• Foundation damage
• Ruined possessions
• Water heater and HVAC system damage
• Mold growth
It’s vital to battle your basement flood as quickly as possible to minimize the damage. If you’re not sure how to remove the water on your own, local restoration specialists can do that for you. Otherwise, you can use a submersible pump and sump hose combination to efficiently remove as much water as possible.
Prepare Your House for Pumping
Before you start the process of water removal, turn off your electricity. It’s also important to make sure the source of water has been stopped. If the cause was a burst pipe, make sure it’s been plugged, whereas if your basement flood is from regional flooding, wait until any outside water (in your yard or street) starts receding before pumping.
Begin Pumping Out the Water
Use an extension cord to connect the pump prior to putting it in the basement. Take all measures to keep the cord connection from getting wet; hanging it is highly recommended. Fit a hose to your pump – a garden hose can work, but a sump hose will be much more efficient due to its wider diameter. If flooding is in your insurance coverage, you may be covered for both the pump and hose rentals.
Place the end of the hose facing away from the house and, preferably, on a gradient that leads to a drain or sewer. Carefully lower the pump into the water and begin pumping. Reposition the pump to the lowest level of the basement once the water is only a couple inches high.
Take Small but Important Steps
It’s inevitable that some of your possessions may have been damaged in the basement flood. Likewise, carpet and drywall can need replacing or a very thorough cleaning. Check with restoration specialists in Reading, PA, to help repair damages and assess for further risks. You and your home will be grateful you did. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com/.
Prevent Mold Growth After Flooding
Mold growth at some level is normal in every indoor area, but too much can be a real problem.
If your Reading, PA, business should be subjected to flood conditions after a storm, mold could quickly become a problem. Without proper mitigation, mold can grow as early as 24 to 48 hours after a flood. By following these three tips, you can reduce the chances of mold growth turning into a complicated mess for you and your employees.
1. Remove Standing Flood Water
Standing water is one of the top causes of bacteria growth that leads to mold. Make sure to reduce humidity as much as possible before even considering taking care of any current or future mold issues. This includes water removal as well as keeping your building’s indoor temperature at a level that will reduce humidity.
2. Contact Mold Remediation Specialists
A professional mold remediation company can help you find sources of mold that already exist in your building. Trained technicians will know what to look for and how to eradicate it to halt the growth of mold and further damage to your building. These workers will also know how to reduce or eliminate odors caused by mold. If you even suspect that mold may be a problem, a storm cleanup crew of this kind can help you figure out what to do.
3. Understand Sources of Mold Growth
Even after your mold situation is taken care of, it is a good idea to stay aware of the different ways that mold can enter your building. The last thing you want to do is have a new mold problem on your hands after clearing up the last mess. Understanding that open windows, air conditioner units and other sources of outdoor air can lead to increased mold will help you to be armed against future nightmares.
Mold growth at some level is normal in every indoor area, but too much can be a real problem. Since growth occurs so quickly and may do real damage in only a couple of days, being prepared ahead of time will allow you to save your property sooner rather than later. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com/.
Fire Evacuation Steps You Can’t Do Without
Your contingency plan and fire escape strategy are essential elements of your emergency preparation.
As a business leader, you understand how important it is to be prepared in your work duties. But do you place the same priority on emergency preparation? Do you have a contingency plan if a fire starts in your Reading, PA, office and threatens everyone’s safety? Today is the perfect day to develop an escape plan. This will give you peace of mind if disaster strikes.
Time to Get Out!
If you smell smoke or see flames in your office, your first priority is quickly getting everyone out. But this shouldn’t be a free-for-all mad dash. It’s critical that your evacuation plan has order and design to it. Here are some initial steps:
• Identify nearest exits on all floors and within all parts of the building.
• Make sure your staff exists quickly but remains calm.
• Assign one or two people on each floor to sweep the area (if safe) and ensure that everyone has exited.
• Choose a designated spot near your office where everyone will gather once they exit.
Practice Makes Perfect
Telling your staff about this plan isn’t enough. You must practice it. Your company should have an annual fire drill. After the drill, it may be helpful to discuss ways you can improve. Ensure that all employees participate. You can even tell them ahead of time that you will be holding the drill.
Emergency Plan Prevention
If the fire or smoke damage makes it impossible for you to return to work for more than a few days, you need a contingency plan to keep your business running. Fire cleanup can take weeks, so make sure employees have laptops available so they can work from home. Have cloud-based backups of all data. Ensure that appropriate employees have off-site access to systems.
Your contingency plan and fire escape strategy are essential elements of your emergency preparation. Don’t find yourself in harm’s way or unable to function after disaster hits. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROreading.com/.
Mitigating Roof Damage
As a resident of Reading, PA, the potential for roof damage to your home from high winds, hail, or fallen tree limbs is evident. Strong storms can cover an area with more than just rainfall; they can bring disaster and chaos to homeowners living through them. If you find your home in need of roofing restoration experts but need to take action before they arrive, here are three reasons for using tarps and boards to mitigate further loss.
1. Reduce Water Damage.
Waiting for an insurance adjuster or for restoration to start might continually expose your home to one of the more damaging elements of nature. Water damage can occur both during and after heavy rainfall, creating secondary structural issues or an environment for mold growth. Tarps and boards can repel and divert water away from weak areas in the roof, taking both an offensive and defensive position against secondary damage.
2. Comprehensive Coverage.
Should wind damage leave your roof with pockets of dislocated tiles or shingles, boards can be used to span the distance. For areas where a fallen tree or limbs created large and less-than-symmetrical patterns of roof damage, tarps provide flexibility and temporary durability. Using a combination of both adds extra support and protection.
3. Efficient and Accessible Protection.
Although leaving the restoration for the experts is preferred, homeowners have the ability to secure their roofs and homes from additional damage by using these items. Remember to keep safety as your priority, but the safety of your family and home might require the immediate response of tarping or boards. Supplies are easily found at local hardware stores, making it a quick response option.
Experiencing the aftermath of a severe storm can be emotionally and physically devastating, but you are fortunate to have skilled restoration experts on hand in Reading, PA. Should you find yourself faced with roof damage, remember to call the experts first, but quickly take the next steps to reduce further problems.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROreading.com.
House Fire Cleanup
A house fire in Reading, PA, or any other small town, big city or sprawling suburb, could range from a nuisance to a nightmare, depending on the severity of the blaze. A fire of any size is likely to cause smoke damage, but it is reassuring to know that professionals can work quickly to get you back to your comfortable routines more quickly than you might expect.
Remediating Smoke and Soot.
Fires can cause many kinds of damage to a house. After seeing to everyone’s safety, the next priority is to assess the type and extent of the damage and to secure the structure, all of which can be handled at any time of day or night by professionals.
• Repairing structural damage to the house may require partial demolition.
• Water removal will usually begin quickly and progress to the use of air movers and dehumidifiers to completely dry the environment.
• Smoke damage and soot damage require the specialized equipment and techniques that professionals use to treat walls, ceilings and any other surfaces that have been compromised.
• Structures and items that are restorable will usually receive special cleaning, such as steam cleaning of carpets and upholstery and dry cleaning of other fabrics such as window treatments. Fogging equipment is highly effective in smoke cleaning and can be part of the remediation process.
• Restoration work may entail replacement of drywall and carpets or other types of flooring, depending on the extent and type of damage.
• Painting walls and ceilings can restore the beauty of your home and prepare for the return of your furnishings and treasured belongings.
A home is a sanctuary for you and your loved ones, and the thought of being displaced by fire can certainly be nerve-wracking. But with today’s technological expertise, reclaiming your home from smoke damage and soot is more easily achievable than it has ever been.
For more information, please visit us at http://www.SERVPROreading.com.