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3 Tips for Filing a Fire Insurance Claim

7/12/2020 (Permalink)

A businessman pressing an Insurance Claim button on a transparent screen. Contact your insurance agent for assistance in filing your claim

3 Tips for Filing a Fire Insurance Claim

One of the first things you should do after suffering a fire loss is to file a fire claim with your insurance company. These three tips can help you get your claim started.

1. Document everything that was damaged or destroyed. Your insurance company will normally send an adjuster out to inspect your fire damage. However, it can be helpful to have documentation in case they miss something. Make a list of everything that was damaged or destroyed. If it is safe to enter the building, take photographs of the damaged items. Try to match the items on your list with any records you have of when the property was purchased and for how much.

2. Verify the identity of anyone who claims to work for your insurance company. Unfortunately, disasters can sometimes attract scammers who pretend to be representatives of your insurance company or contractors working for them. These scammers may seek to steal your property or accept payment for inspections or repairs that they have no intention of performing. Always ask to see a photo ID and if you have any doubts, verify the person's identity with the adjuster handling your fire claim before allowing the person access to your property.

3. File your claim as soon as possible. The faster your claim is processed, the sooner you will be able to begin the process of fire restoration. Additionally, the terms of your policy likely require you to promptly report claims. Delaying in reporting your claim may also lower the value of your claim, because disputes may arise over whether the damage was caused by the fire or caused by other events that occurred between the time of the fire and the time you reported the loss.
Filing your fire claim promptly and properly will speed up the process of cleaning and restoring your property to preloss condition. If you need assistance filing your claim, contact your insurance professional in Spaulding Square, CA.

How a Restoration Service Can Help With Storm Damage

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed on wall after storm damage Severe storm damage in West Hollywood

How a Restoration Service Can Help With Storm Damage

After heavy weather at your West Hollywood, CA, place of business you may choose to contact a local storm restoration service. Doing so is highly recommended for a number of reasons.

1. Assessing the Damage

One of the first things you may see after a storm response team arrives, is that the restoration crew starts with assessing any damages. This can include looking for any hidden problem in addition to what the storm itself caused. Once they know what's damaged where, they can begin creating a plan that lets them gather everything they will need for restoration from the start, as well as give accurate estimates for repair costs and a time table.

2. Working With Your Insurance Agent

A local storm restoration service can work with your insurance agent to help document damage and make progress reports. A service such as SERVPRO can offer an electronic database which can store lists of damaged items, photographs of the affected area, and regular progress reports. All of this should be able to be accessed remotely by your insurance agent.

3. Making Repairs

After flood damage there may be a variety of clean up and repair needs. A restoration service should have the tools and training needed to help. They can remove the water and get it dry again, after which they can inspect the space for any secondary damages that may be present. This way repairs can progress quickly without risking missing any steps. With a little work your business can look “Like it never even happened.”

A local storm restoration service can help you in a number of ways after heavy weather damages your company property. They can assess the damage to formulate a plan, work with your insurance agent to document damages, and help provide info for your claim. They can also handle any clean up and repairs the space may need.

Fire Damage Should Not Be The End For Your West Hollywood Business

6/15/2020 (Permalink)

Modern restaurant interior Don't let fire damage be the end all for your coffee shop. Contact the professionals at SERVPRO today for remediation assistance.

Fire Damage is Not on Your Coffee Shop's Menu!

When you live in a place like West Hollywood, you find a sense of community and commonality with your neighbors. Imagine that you own a coffee shop where your patrons stop for their morning java, but also set up for extended periods, working and chatting while enjoying your service and locale. Now imagine that there is a fire that sets off the sprinkler system and leaves you with wet furniture and inventory as well as smoke residue and a lingering smell.

In a place that is always on the go, SERVPRO is your best ally when it comes to the restoration of your business. When there is fire damage to your coffee shop in West Hollywood, our team is ready to jump into action 24/7, putting our expertise to your service as soon as we receive the call. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies that our technicians have the knowledge to help restore your business and mitigate losses as much as possible.

Being mindful of any restrictions placed by the building or neighborhood regarding work in your storefront, our SERVPRO team develops a targeted plan to extract any remaining water and speed up the drying process. When time is of the essence, we incorporate advanced moisture sensors, such thermal imaging cameras with the goal of detecting even the most hidden water residue. We also have at our disposal industry-grade dehumidifiers and air circulators to aid with the drying process. Extraction and drying are both necessary in completing a thorough restoration job.

Our SERVPRO crew is well aware that there may be additional health requirements you need to comply with before reopening. Working together we focus on making the process as efficient as possible while protecting your inventory and investment.

SERVPRO of Bel Air/West Hollywood wants to protect your coffee shop as much as you do. Call us at (310) 572-6132 and let us leave it "Like it never even happened."

Click here to see more about West Hollywood.

Let Us Put The Flames Of Worry Out After Your West Hollywood Fire

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Crews From West Hollywood Discuss Potential Dilemmas After The Blaze

Fires are a reality, and they can happen to anyone one in West Hollywood when they least expect it. One minute you can just be cooking dinner like every other night and then the next you could be calling in a professional fire damage restoration company such as SERVPRO. Nobody ever plans on having something burn on their property, but it occurs more often than you may think. It may be surprising but, the statistics show that firemen in the country respond to a home fire about every one and a half minutes. This being known, it is wise to be prepared to handle a fire damage situation.

The number one cause of structural burns is that they start due to cooking inside your home. Therefore, one minute you could be preparing your dinner, and then the next you find yourself dealing with a fire damage situation in West Hollywood. There are over 350,000 house blazes in the U.S. every year, and they cause over $6 billion in property issues. When your dwelling sets ablaze, many different problems with your contents and building materials are likely to occur. Heat, flames, smoke, and possibly the water used to extinguish the inferno can create different types of complications to the components that make up the structure of your residence.

When things get torched inside a building, there are three main types of dilemmas that can occur. The first one is the heat that gets produced once a fire breaks out can burn and destroy your building materials and contents. Next, partially combusted particles, better known as smoke, get released into the air and can cause surfaces in your structure to get coated with soot residues. The third problem our SERVPRO technicians work to mitigate when arriving at your residence after the flames flare up and get put out, is the presence of unpleasant aromas as a result of fire damage.

Smoke can penetrate deep into items inside your home causing them to hold onto malodor particles. If you ever suffer from an inferno igniting anywhere on your property, call SERVPRO of Bel Air / West Hollywood at (310) 572-6132 seven days a week.

Learn more about the arts and culture of West Hollywood click here for more information.

Can You Save Your Carpet From Water Damage?

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Flood cut performed on a drywall, carpet damaged by water, certain parts of carpet removed Moderate amounts of water on the ground can damage flooring and carpet.

Water is an essential commodity. You rely on it for everyday use. You need clean water to drink and for cooking and washing. But you certainly don't want to see it on your floor or in other places in the house. Even moderate amounts of water on the ground can damage flooring and carpet. If you don't clean it up quickly, it can ruin materials and lead to mold growth. Carpet is susceptible to water damage from a pipe leak, but you may be able to save it in some instances.

When To Throw it Out

You need to know when it is safe and prudent to dispose of your carpet following water damage and when you can salvage it. In the following situations, you'll need to tear it out and replace it:

  • When there is a flood due to a sewer backup
  • When an overflowing toilet damages it
  • If water from an overflowing waterway (such as a river or canal) gets on it

When You Can Save It
If there's a flood in your Weho, CA, home, and water gets on the floor, all hope is not lost. You can safely clean it, dry it, and keep it in the home under some circumstances. If there is a pipe break in the home, and it spills water onto the ground, you should be able to keep the carpet. If the main supply water line breaks and floods the home, you can also keep these materials. As long as the water is clean, you shouldn't have to throw out the flooring.

Who Does the Work
You can take some preliminary steps to clean the floor, but it's best to call a certified professional restoration team. Experienced crews have the equipment and skill to extract the water and dry it thoroughly. Crews may first tear it out to remove water underneath before laying it back down. The technicians will also sanitize the ground to prevent mold growth.
A pipe break can cause widespread flooding in the house. Still, as long as the water isn't dirty, you can keep your carpet and other materials.

How To Properly Maintain Your Furnace

6/5/2020 (Permalink)

Performing furnace maintenance Furnaces do not require much maintenance

Furnace Maintenance

Fire cleaning can be a complex process. You may even have to temporarily leave your Bel Air, CA, home while the fire restoration professionals do their work. Thankfully, by performing regular furnace maintenance, you can reduce the chances of a blaze harming your property. Furnace maintenance includes:

  • Dirt removal
  • Lubrication
  • Belt replacement

Initial Steps
Before you do any work on your furnace, turn off the power source. You can do this by removing the fuse or tripping the circuit breaker that controls the unit. If the fuse blows, you likely have an issue with the electric system. To avoid the need for major smoke cleaning, have a technician fix the problem right away.

Dirt Removal
A dirty furnace is not just inefficient. In extreme cases, it could also spark a blaze that necessitates fire cleaning services. You should thus regularly clean the furnace blower, motor, and filter. The filter, in particular, should be replaced or cleaned each month the appliance is being continuously used.

Lubrication
Many furnace motors have permanent lubrication. However, motors with oil ports must be lubricated each year. Simply apply a few drops of 10-weight motor oil to each of the ports.

Belt Adjustment
If your furnace has a blower, you should inspect its belts when you lubricate and clean the heater. If the belts are frayed or worn, you should replace them immediately. Make sure that the replacement belts are the same size and type as the old ones are.

Professional Service
To truly make sure that your furnace is in top shape, you should get it professionally checked once a year. Try calling the heating expert early in the spring, at the end of the cold season. You should receive prompt service and may even get a discount.
Furnaces do not require much maintenance. By performing a few simple tasks each year, you can keep your furnace functioning properly. A working furnace will keep your house warm in the winter and prevent the need for fire cleaning services.

3 Ways To Reduce Commercial Water Use

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

watering lawn with sprinklers Irrigating landscaping is one of the primary ways water is used at commercial properties

3 Ways To Reduce Commercial Water Use

The average large commercial building uses 22,000 gallons of water per day, according to a 2012 survey by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Building and business owners can take several measures to manage water issues such as excessive use and waste. From regular system maintenance to a low-flow fixture water upgrade, here are three ways to use less water at commercial property in Melrose District, CA.

1. Efficient Irrigation
Irrigating landscaping is one of the primary ways water is used at commercial properties. Maintaining equipment, setting watering schedules, and using sensors that detect moisture levels in soil or a rain shutoff device can make it easier to avoid over-watering. It is easier to monitor usage by separately metering an irrigation system.
2. Low-Flow Fixtures
A commercial building is likely to have more than one toilet and sink. These fixtures are also likely to be used by numerous occupants. These factors make upgrading to toilets and urinals that use fewer gallons-per-flush and fitting sinks with lower-flow aerators or automated faucets worthwhile. These fixtures can reduce water issues and the installation process is a good opportunity for inspection and maintenance of a commercial plumbing system that could prevent water damage.
3. Concentrate Cooling Towers
Large air conditioning systems often rely on cooling towers to cool hot water for re-circulation. Adjusting the water chemistry or retrofitting a system to allow for more cycles of concentration can reduce water waste. Metering cooling tower water usage can identify potential problems and can allow building or business owners to apply for evaporative credit that lowers sewage charges.
Upgrading HVAC and irrigation systems and switching to lower-flow fixtures can significantly reduce water usage. It may be possible to solve a variety of water issues by pursuing separate metering or submetering. These measures can lower utility bills and reduce waste at a commercial building in Melrose District, CA.

How Mold Containment Prevents Further Contamination

5/5/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic covers, mold containment concept Mold containment prevents cross contamination of the rest of the building

How Mold Containment Prevents Further Contamination

If your Central Hollywood, CA, business experiences a mold problem, then the mold cleanup process performed by your local mold remediation service may include containment procedures. This is done for several reasons.

1. It Isolates the Space From Other Parts of the Business

The first part of containing mold contamination in a business is to isolate the area from the rest of the space. Once the mold locations are identified, plastic sheeting is often used to seal the area. This creates a barrier against possible further contamination, as plastic is an inorganic material that mold spores can’t grow on. Additional measures used in conjunction with this include lowering airflow and wearing protective gear in the isolated space.

2. It Prevents Airborne Spores

Containment also uses an exhaust fan that moves air to the outside of the property to help lower the air pressure in the containment zone. This helps reduce airflow that can blow spores to new areas. The use of this procedure in mold cleanup can help the remediation crew ensure than no mold spreads during the removal of any affected materials.

3. It Mitigates Carrier Spread

Another way mold spores spread is by getting stuck to the clothing or skin of anyone in the area, which can carry them to a new growth location. Containing the affected space can help prevent this from happening. Often, professionals will wear special protective gear while in the remediation zone that will then be removed before entering the rest of the business property. This is done to help prevent spore spread by carrier.

During the mold cleanup process, containment procedures will likely be used to prevent cross-contamination of the rest of the building. Containment isolates the mold from the rest of the space and helps to prevent any spores from getting airborne. Containment also prevents spores from hitching a ride on passers-by to a new location. If you have any questions, your remediation professional should be able to help.

3 Ways Landscaping Can Help Prevent Flooding

5/4/2020 (Permalink)

Garden flowers in rain A rain garden can help prevent flooding in your Spaulding Square, CA home

Three Ways Your Landscaping Can Be Used

If you’re concerned about outside flooding, at your Spaulding Square, CA, home, then you may want to consider the use of your landscaping as a prevention measure. Many storm damage restoration services recommend flood mitigation steps as a way to help reduce the possible damage to your home. Here are three ways your landscaping can be used to achieve this.

1. It Can Direct Water Flow

One of the first ways to utilize landscaping as a mitigation step is as rain drainage. Yards can be sloped away from the home to prevent pooling against the foundation.you can also install drainage ponds of ditches to give water a safe place to flow into. You can design your yard to creatively use these features while still maintaining the aesthetic you want for your home.

2. It Can Absorb Excess Moisture

Including a rain garden comprised of moisture friendly soil and deep-rooted plants can help absorbed the water from outside flooding before it becomes a problem. Use heavy soils that won’t wash away. Also, use plants that naturally need plenty of water as these will be able to handle large amounts of rain.

3. It Can Make Natural Water Barriers

Your yard can also be used to make natural flood barriers during a rain storm, including retaining walls or raised flower beds against the building can add an extra barrier against flooding. Strategically placed rain beds can help soak up water before it reaches your home’s foundation creating a different type of barrier. When combined with a sloped yard, as mentioned earlier, rain water can be directed away from the home.

Using your landscaping to direct water flow, absorb excess moisture, and create water barriers can help prevent outside flooding from reaching your home. A professional can help advise the best ways to do this on your property. Remember, if damage does occur a restoration service should be able to help.

The Connection Between Swamp Coolers and Mold

5/1/2020 (Permalink)

Leaking swamp cooler A leaking swamp cooler in West Hollywood, CA, should be fixed as soon as possible

In certain areas of the country, mostly in the southwestern states, swamp coolers are an efficient replacement for air conditioning. One drawback of these devices is that they have the potential to encourage mold growth, especially when a leaking swamp cooler or poor maintenance affects the operation. The components of the system include a central unit with a belt-driven fan and a cellulose pad moistened with water. The fan delivers moistened and cooled air to the rest of the house through ducts. Because mold likes high levels of moisture, the swamp cooler can create havens for mold growth in several areas of the unit.

The Importance of Regular Maintenance

A leaking swamp cooler in West Hollywood, CA, should be fixed as soon as possible since this creates standing water and excess moisture that permits mold growth. Other areas of the device call for the following attention:

  • The cellulose pad should be cleaned or replaced as scheduled
  • The central unit should be cleaned to remove any mold deposits
  • The air ducts should be cleaned by a professional mold remediation company

For those who live in a humid region of the country, it may be worth it to purchase a traditional air conditioning unit. This will cut down on humidity in the home and reduce the chance of mold.

The Importance of Mold Cleanup
Whether caused by a leaking swamp cooler or some other moisture problem, the appearance of mold in a home requires action. Left unchecked, mold will grow into bigger colonies and spread throughout the home. It reduces the value of a home. It causes damage to furniture, drywall, flooring, and contents while producing an unpleasant, musty odor. An inspection and damage assessment by trained technicians is a good way to ascertain the extent of mold in a home.