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Take These Actions if You Suspect a Gas Leak

12/7/2022 (Permalink)

Smoke under door bedroom A gas leak can be a dangerous situation that can have serious repercussions for everyone involved.

Take These Actions if You Suspect a Gas Leak

A gas leak can be a frightening situation and is one that needs to be addressed immediately. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to identify and address the problem, as well as ensure your own safety and that of others around you. Here’s what you need to know about gas leaks:

Knowing the Signs

In the event that you suspect a gas leak, it is important to know what to do next. A gas leak can happen for many reasons, including:

  • A hole in the pipe or tank
  • Damage from an earthquake
  • An old pipe that has not been properly maintained or replaced over time. 

While it might be difficult to determine if there is actually a gas leak based on your senses alone, especially if you don't have experience with smelling natural gas, there are certain signs that can help alert you that one may be present. These include:

  • A strong odor not normally associated with your Glendale, AZ home 
  • Fumes escaping under doors or windows  
  • A whistling noise coming from vents on appliances

If you've had any recent repairs done on your plumbing system, it might be worth looking into whether those repairs were done correctly; if they weren't properly completed, this could have caused your pipes to become damaged over time and led to them leaking natural gas into your home—a very serious concern!

Monitoring for Airborne Poison and Other Dangerous Gas Leaks

If you suspect a gas leak, call 911 immediately. Next, find the building's utility shutoff valve and turn it off. This will stop the flow of gas from your building to the main pipe and ensure that no more carbon monoxide enters your home or business until repairs can be made.

If another person is exposed to the leak, bring them inside as quickly as possible and call 911 immediately after doing so. If necessary, give them fresh air until help arrives. Do not leave them alone at any point during this process: they may require medical attention afterwards!

The purpose of this article is to help you learn the signs of a gas leak and understand the dangers associated with one gas leaks. A gas leak can be a dangerous situation that can have serious repercussions for everyone involved. Hopefully, with these tips and information on how you should react in an emergency situation, you will feel more confident knowing what actions to take next time something like this happens.

Is a Leaking Pipe Considered an Emergency?

11/2/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe If your pipes fail and you need help, our SERVPRO of Northwest Phoenix team is always available.

Is a Leaking Pipe Considered an Emergency?

If you live in a house or apartment, then you know that sometimes things can go wrong with your plumbing and you need to call a professional. There are many situations where the problem is so severe that it becomes an emergency. You may notice water leaking from somewhere or even see water flooding out of your Phoenix, AZ, home. 

When your pipes fail, it's usually always an emergency.

Water damage is one of the most common types of home repair emergencies, and it can happen unexpectedly. If your pipe breaks or burst, it’s not something that you want to take a chance with. A leaky pipe will not only cause major damage to your home and belongings but also lead to mold growth, which can cause extensive structural damage.

A water leak or burst pipe is something no homeowner wants to deal with—and fortunately, there are steps you can take right now that will help prevent future leaks from occurring in your home:

  • Turn off any utilities associated with the area affected by the leak (such as water supply lines).
  • Remove any standing water immediately using towels or rags (do not use paper towels).
  • Call a professional plumber right away!

Call a professional right away.

When your pipe leaks inside your home, you need to call a professional right away. Leaking pipes can cause serious damage to the structure of the house and even mold growth. Depending on where the leak is coming from and how much water is flowing out every day, it could be putting cracks into walls and floors that could lead to structural damage. 

Look for the source of the leak.

If you notice that water is leaking from somewhere, the first thing to do is look for the source of the leak. If it’s coming from pipes or faucets that are connected to an appliance such as a washing machine, dishwasher, or toilet, then you can usually turn off those appliances and they should stop leaking.

If it appears that there are leaks coming from within walls or ceilings, then you need to find out where exactly in your home these leaks are taking place. Sometimes this requires tearing up part of your flooring or walling so that you can identify where exactly any problems may lie. This should be done by professionals in order to minimize potential damage.

A clogged drain can be an emergency.

When your sink, tub, or toilet won't drain, it may seem like an inconvenience at first. But if the problem isn't fixed in a timely manner, clogged drains can cause water damage to your home and even lead to backups that flood your house.

If the issue with your drain involves sewage backing up into your house, then yes! You need to call a professional immediately. The problem could be caused by tree roots growing through the pipe or damaged pipes that are leaking water into other areas of your home. Either way, this is definitely an emergency situation and should be handled right away.

If your pipes fail and you need help, our SERVPRO of Northwest Phoenix team is always available. We know that when your water line leaks it can be stressful. That's why our team of experts is ready to take care of your water cleanup needs 24/7!

How Do You EstimateThe Cost Of Cleanup And Restoration After A Fire?

10/26/2022 (Permalink)

Severe fire damage in a restaurant If your business has been affected by a fire, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local SERVPRO.

How Do You Calculate The Cost Of Fire Cleanup And Restoration?

Estimating the damage done by a fire in your home or business in Phoenix, AZ, is never easy. It's not just about getting rid of the smoke, soot, and water—it's about restoring your property to its pre-fire condition. So, how do you estimate the cost of fire damage?

What is a fire damage estimate?

A fire damage estimate is a written document that estimates the cost of repairing a home after a fire. When you receive your Fire Claim from your insurance company, they will send an adjuster to inspect the property. This person will take photographs and measurements so that he or she can prepare an accurate estimate for you. The adjuster may ask you questions about your belongings so that all your possessions are accounted for in their report (for example: “How many pairs of jeans do you have?”).

How does it work?

Once the adjuster has finished collecting all necessary evidence and information about what happened at your residence, he or she will begin calculating how much each item would cost if he or she had to replace it with new items. This process is called replacement value. If something was irreplaceable—like family heirlooms—and cannot be replaced by purchasing another exact replica, then its value will be determined based on what someone might pay for it at auction or other means.

The Steps of Fire Damage Cleanup and Restoration

Assessing the Fire and Smoke Damage

Fire damage is a complex and multi-faceted process. The first step to assessing the fire and smoke damage is to determine what’s salvageable, which can be done by looking at each item individually. Next, you should tarp and board up your property so that outside factors don’t damage your property. After that, the damage needs to be cleaned up before the restoration can begin. 

Tarping and Boarding Up Your Property

If you have a residential property, it’s important to begin tarping and boarding up windows, doors, and other openings on your house. This can help prevent damage from rainwater and wind erosion. The most effective way to board up your windows is going to be with plywood. 

Usually, a fire cleanup and restoration specialist will offer tarping and board-up services!

Fire Cleanup Services

After the fire, your property will be a mess. The fire department will have left it in shambles, soaked and charred. You need to hire a company that specializes in cleaning up after fires to restore your home back to its pre-fire condition as soon as possible.

Fire restoration specialists will remove all the debris and contaminants from your property, including ash and soot stains that may not be visible at first glance. They'll also clean and disinfect the premises so there's no chance of bacteria or mold spreading around through air or dust particles left behind after cleanup efforts are complete.

Once everything has been removed from inside your house (including furniture), they can begin repairing affected areas such your floors, walls, and ceilings. Some companies, like SERVPRO of Northwest Phoenix, also offer content restoration services as well.

The Fire Restoration Phase

The final step in the process is known as the fire restoration phase. This is when the property is cleaned and restored to its pre-fire condition. Depending on how much damage was caused by a fire, and how long it takes for your insurance company to process your claim, this can take several weeks. In some cases, you may need to stay at another home or hotel until repairs are completed.

If your home or business has been affected by a fire, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We can help you through every step of the process. Our team has years of experience in assessing and repairing damaged properties, and we always treat our customers with respect, compassion, and honesty.

Required PPE for Mold Remediation

8/28/2022 (Permalink)

Moisture meter SERVPRO professional checking for moisture

Required PPE for Mold Remediation

When you discover mold damage at your home in Phoenix, AZ, it’s not something to take lightly. Mold is sneaky and can quickly spread throughout your home before you realize it’s there. This is why it’s critical that the proper personal protective equipment, such as face masks and coveralls, is worn during the remediation. It not only protects the cleanup crew, but it also helps to avoid cross-contamination into unaffected areas.

1. Hair Covers

During mold remediation job, everyone in the affected area should cover their hair with disposable hair covers. Mold spores will be floating through the air throughout the process, getting trapped in workers’ hair. This is a significant risk for cross-contamination of mold to other areas of the home.

2. Eye Protection

Safety glasses or goggles must be worn to protect the eyes during mold cleanup. Not only will mold spores be traveling through the air, but also dust and debris. For a smaller cleaning job, workers might wear safety glasses. However, for a larger job, they’ll wear safety goggles that provide additional protection.

3. Masks

Face masks are the most essential article of PPE for restoration professionals. Different levels of protection are available. N-95 is the minimum level appropriate for mold, filtering at least 95% of airborne particles. N-99 and N-100 respirator masks will filter at least 99% and 99.97% of airborne particles, respectively.

4. Coveralls

Disposable coveralls are typically worn over clothes to avoid cross-contamination. They can be removed and disposed of before going into the unaffected areas of the house.

5. Gloves

Disposable gloves (e.g., latex gloves) are used for cleaning mold damage. Just as with the other disposable PPE, they need to be removed and thrown away before leaving the scene. They’ll be replaced by new gloves upon return.

6. Shoe Covers

Disposable shoe covers will be worn during the remediation process to keep from tracking mold and other debris from the affected area to unaffected areas.

Mold remediation can be complicated and requires specialized equipment. Face masks and other PPE are a vital part of this process.

How Leaky Toilets Can Cause Bigger Problems

8/23/2022 (Permalink)

Leaking Toilet Pay close attention to determine from where the water is leaking

A leaking toilet is a common household problem, so you might think it is an easy fix. In some cases, you are right, but in other situations, you might need some help. Here are some common reasons toilets leak and how they can lead to bigger issues that require a professional.

Reasons Toilets Leak

The way to inspect a leaky commode is to flush it. Pay close attention to determine from where the water is leaking. Where the water comes from and pools can lead you to diagnose some of these common problems:

  • Cracks in the tank
  • Loose tank bolts
  • Loose or damaged supply lines
  • A dry wax ring
  • A broken flange

These are just a few issues that can lead to water on your bathroom floor.

Deciding If You Can Fix It Yourself

Starting from the top of your toilet and working your way down is an easy, systematic way to check for leaks. Some fixes only require a wrench and a few new parts. Water lines, wax rings and other toilet components are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace. However, if you get to the bottom and only just discovered where the water is coming from, there could be more serious issues than just a leaking toilet.

Dealing With Water Damage

Until you have the toilet unbolted from the floor and see what is going on underneath it, you won’t be sure just how bad the situation is. If a commode has been leaking for a long time, there could be severe water damage to your floor and the subfloor underneath. Evidence of soft floors and rot is serious, and it is best to call water damage professionals in cases where the structure of your home might be compromised by a bathroom leak.
If you find yourself with a leaking toilet, assess the severity of the situation, and decide if you need to call a local water damage company in Phoenix, AZ to check it out.

How To Lower Business Interruption Insurance Loss

8/11/2022 (Permalink)

Business Interruption Insurance Application Form Business interruption insurance can help your business and your employees during a shutdown due to an emergency or disaster

Know How To Lower Your Business Interruption Insurance Loss

In the event your business in Phoenix, AZ, suffers water damage from flooding due to a broken pipe or other unexpected disaster, your business may not be functional until things are repaired and restored. Business owners often plan ahead with insurance to physically repair their business in case of disaster, but don't plan for how to financially stay afloat while the business is closed down. Business interruption insurance can help with operating expenses while you are focused on recovery.

What Is Covered

Business interruption insurance can help your business and your employees during a shutdown due to an emergency or disaster. It provides for the following financial necessities during a temporary closure:

  • Lost net income based on your financial records
  • Mortgage, rent, and lease payments
  • Loan payments
  • Taxes
  • Employee payroll

What Is Not Covered

Business insurance does not cover everything. The primary purpose is to keep the business financially above water during a temporary closure. Items and damages covered by other types of insurance policies will not be covered on a business interruption claim. In light of recent events, it is important to note that business interruption insurance does not apply to shutdowns due to pandemics, viruses, or communicable diseases. The following damages are not covered:

  • Broken items resulting from a covered event or loss
  • Damages caused by flooding or earthquakes, which are covered by a separate policy
  • Undocumented income not listed in your business' financial records
  • Utilities

Lower Your Loss

While business interruption insurance doesn't cover the actual physical damages caused by flooding, those damages are often covered by other insurance. Large water damage often requires extensive cleanup and repairs. The best way to lower your business interruption insurance loss is to get your business back up and running as soon as safely possible. A quick recovery aided by a restoration specialist will lower the claim on your business interruption insurance. They can often work with you and your insurance company to get started on recovery without much delay.

How to Estimate Fire Damage to a Business

7/23/2022 (Permalink)

Fire damage in a restaurant Fire damage to a restaurant in Phoenix, AZ.

How to Estimate Fire Damage to a Business

Fires are one of the most common disasters to strike businesses. Fortunately, most fires in Phoenix, AZ, are small and easily dealt with. However, every year in the U.S., there are over 100,000 fires, with fire damage losses to commercial properties exceeding $2.4 billion annually.
Generally, the damage estimate is done by either the insurance adjuster or a qualified Preferred Vendor. In most cases, it’s in your interest to choose a restoration expert to make a solid appraisal based on the damage and circumstances.

The Factors in the Assessment

By far the largest factor in your estimate is the amount of damage. Three areas of damage are examined:

If the commercial fire was tiny, put out immediately and the soot is contained in a small area, you may be able to clean it yourself. If you need a restoration specialist for very small jobs, the cost may not exceed your insurance deductible.

A Good Time To Have Fire Insurance

If the fire damage is widespread, you’ll need to make an insurance claim. If you don’t have insurance, your restoration expert may find you low-cost options to reduce the sting. In widespread fires like wildfires, there may be disaster grants available, too.

Insurance Adjusters and Restoration Specialists

Insurance companies and restoration experts work closely together to ensure high-quality standards, but each may have different goals. When you choose an experienced commercial fire damage restoration company to do the assessment, their goal will be to get you the highest-quality restoration.

In many cases, items can be restored instead of replaced. This can help keep a place looking more authentic, along with saving items that you’d prefer to keep. The fire mitigation company will have a much better idea about what their custom soot and smoke cleanup solvents will be able to save and what must be replaced.

The estimate process should be transparent, and you should ask any questions that arise as it’s explained to you. With reputable companies, you’ll get a rock-solid estimation and can quickly start to rebuild your business.

Why a Mold Inspection Is Necessary Before You Purchase a Building

7/14/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment set to remove moisture in a home A mold inspection is necessary for your building

Why Is a Mold Inspection Required Before Purchasing a Building?

Smart investors know that their decision to purchase a commercial building hinges upon its inspection results. A mold inspection is necessary when considering buying a building near a flood zone in Phoenix, AZ.

Where Can Mold Grow?

After a flood, immediate water extraction is critical for preventing mold formation, but it may not be enough to prevent a mold problem. Although it is not always possible to detect mold with the naked eye, visible mold is usually an indication that mold exists in the following areas:

  • Behind drywall
  • Under floorboards
  • Behind ceiling tile
  • In the air

If the building you consider purchasing has experienced a flood, the chance of mold existing in these areas rises.

How Can an Inspection Help?

If you have a sound rationale for purchasing a building based upon location, price, and future profits, investing in a mold inspection might make sense. If mold exists, you may find that a mold remediation specialist can contain it to make your intended use for the property feasible and eliminate future problems. On the other hand, if the inspection substantially raises the amount you are willing to invest in the property, you might choose to forfeit its purchase.

How To Prevent Future Mold Growth?

Every commercial property has some degree of mold, and it is impossible to eliminate it; however, this doesn't mean that a building you purchase will always have a mold problem. You can take measures to reduce the humidity levels including, running dehumidifiers, avoiding and repairing leaky pipes, promptly repairing roof damage and cleaning HVAC coils and drip pans. It is also helpful to schedule periodic property walk-throughs to help detect potential problems before they become large issues that are costly to resolve.

When a mold inspection reveals mold in a building you are planning to purchase, managing it through minor repairs or costly reconstruction can affect your purchase decision.

Storm Preparation Tips for Property Managers

7/7/2022 (Permalink)

SERVPRO box truck filled with items If the damage is bad, call SERVPRO.

How Do You Prepare For A Storm?

Management of commercial property in Phoenix, AZ comes with quite a few responsibilities. One of the most important of those tasks is storm preparedness, particularly if you live in an area that experiences frequent hurricanes or other storms. It is your duty as a manager to make sure your information, property, and people are all protected in an emergency situation.

Protecting Your Information

While it's a smart idea to back up all your files in a remote location on a regular basis anyway, doing so has extra benefits during storm season. There are several key pieces of information that you will need to be able to access when disaster strikes:

  • List of emergency phone numbers
  • Contact information for trusted storm restoration specialists
  • Storm preparation plan of action
  • Emergency contact list for all employees and residents, including information about children and pets
  • Business continuity plan outline
  • Essential financial information, such as bank routing numbers

Your storm preparedness plan should include access to all the files you need to continue operations. Don't let damage to your building get in the way of your business.

Protecting Your Property

One of the first calls you should make after your building suffers storm damage is to your insurance company. The more quickly you report a problem, the more quickly an adjuster can come out and survey the damage done. Key members of the property management team should accompany the adjuster to point out issues discovered during their own inspection so that nothing gets overlooked.

Protecting Your People

When you manage a residential property, your primary concern after a storm is the safety and security of your residents. They have been through an ordeal and are likely going to need your support. As the property manager, it is important for you to have a system in place to communicate consistently with all parties affected by the displacement. Having a plan in mind for evacuation and temporary housing can help improve a bad situation.

Having a storm preparedness plan is essential. It's not enough to protect your commercial property. You also must protect the people it serves.

What You Should Know About Water Damage and Your Insurance Policy

6/23/2022 (Permalink)

Person building a house with wood and one reads insurance While a flood in your home can cause a lot of worry, the claims process can go more smoothly if you take the appropriate actions.

Water Damage And Your Insurance Policy: What You Should Know

If a pipe breaks in your Peoria, AZ home and causes water to flood your home, the good news is that this will most likely be covered by your homeowners insurance. While this is usually a covered peril, however, there are some exceptions. The following are a few questions that you might have regarding your policy.

1. When is Damage Covered by Insurance?

When you experience water damage from a broken or leaky pipe, the cost of resulting damage will likely be covered. If the flood is the result of a broken pipe caused by freezing weather or a sudden accident, this will usually be included in your policy. However, you will often be required to pay for any costs related to repairing and replacing the pipe.

2. When is Damage Not Covered by Insurance?

If the insurance company believes that the pipe has broken as a result of your own negligence, then you will likely be denied insurance coverage. This can happen if you have not taken proper precautions to prevent freezing pipes during cold weather or if you have failed to maintain your home. You may also be required to pay for damages if you wait too long to contact your insurance company and the damage has worsened in the meantime.

3. What Should You Do When You Discover the Damage?

To prevent your insurance company from denying your claim, you should be sure to contact them as soon as possible. You should also hire a water damage remediation company to fix the broken pipe and do any necessary repairs in your home. While you wait for workers to arrive, you can begin documenting the damage and making temporary repairs to prevent water from spreading.

While a flood in your home can cause a lot of worry, the claims process can go more smoothly if you take the appropriate actions. Performing regular maintenance on your home can prevent problems and will make it easier to be approved for coverage if an accident does happen.