How to Estimate Fire Damage to a Business
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
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
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
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.
Vulnerable Areas of Your Property in a Winter Storm
Storms can happen when you least expect it. SERVPRO has teams ready to respond 24/7/365. Contact us about your storm restoration emergency.
During A Winter Storm, Look For Vulnerable Areas On Your Property.
The damage that can occur due to a winter storm can be obvious at times, but at other times, it can be subtle. You may not notice it at first unless you are specifically looking for it. If you do have storm damage, you have only a limited time to file an insurance claim, so it is best to inspect your residential property in Anthem, AZ , and file any necessary claims as soon as you can.
Specific areas of vulnerability around your property include the following:
- Gutters and siding
You should inspect these areas carefully as soon as possible after a storm.
Overgrown tree limbs can break due to the high winds, heavy snows, and ice buildup that often accompany a blizzard. A fallen tree limb can cause damage to your roof, your vehicle, and anyone who happens to be standing underneath at the time that it falls. Keep in mind, however, that a tree limb may break off during a storm but not fall for some months afterward. Therefore, it is best to be proactive in inspecting trees for damage and having broken limbs removed.
Gutters and Siding
The exterior of your home is built to stand up to a lot of punishment from the weather. Nevertheless, factors present during a winter storm, such as ice, moisture, and high winds, can strip the siding or gutters from your home. Be sure to inspect any possible damage, and be sure to have any missing structures replaced as soon as possible. Missing gutters or siding leave your home vulnerable to water damage.
Roof damage from a storm can be dramatic, such as a cave-in from a broken tree limb, or subtle, such as missing shingles or roof tiles. Either way, the damage needs to be assessed and repaired as soon as possible.
It can be tempting to put off dealing with damage from a winter storm until spring, but that may only make matters worse. If you feel overwhelmed, don't hesitate to enlist the help of a storm damage restoration company.
Cleaning Up After a Leaking Roof
When storm or water damage occurs in your business, call our SERVPRO team. Our crew is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
After A Roof Has Leaked, How Do You Clean Up?
Water stains in dropped ceilings, tracking down the wall or dripping in a hallway are all signs that your commercial building has a roof leak. Even minor exposure can be a major inconvenience. It can disrupt daily business operations in New River, AZ, and if not taken care of quickly, it can become a costly repair.
What Causes Roofing Leaks
As water flows outward from the leak point, its exact location can be challenging to identify. Some common causes include:
- Age of the roof
- Debris building up and trapping water against the roof
- Gutter backup slowing water flows off the roof
- Missing shingles that may have been ripped off in high winds
Water Damage Cleanup
Once the location of roof leak has been identified and the damaged roof fixed, it’s time to begin water damage cleanup. Depending on the site and severity of the leak, this can be extensive. Although each situation may be a bit different, some common steps must be taken.
1. Remove water-damaged materials.
• From the exterior: Shingles, tarpaper, plywood, flashing, etc.
• From the interior: Fiberglass insulation, drywall, dropped ceilings, carpeting/flooring, etc.
2. Dry water affected areas.
• If appliances or equipment were exposed to water, unplug them and let them air dry.
• Open windows if it’s less humid outside than inside.
• Use fans to speed the drying process.
• Check for mold growth.
3. Disinfect areas exposed to the water
• Wash nonporous hard surfaces such as glass, plastic, and metal with hot water and a nonammonia soap
• Disinfect all exposed surfaces including wood beams and studs with a bleach solution.
• Clean soft surfaces such as furniture, window coverings and carpeting with a disinfecting cleaner
Recovering from a roof leak and restoring roof and ceilings can be a time-consuming, complex process. Water damage restoration specialists in New River, AZ, can ensure the process is done quickly and thoroughly, allowing you to get back to business.
Beautiful Candle Alternatives Without the Risk of Fire
Choose candle alternatives to avoid a fire threat in your Phoenix, Arizona, house.
Beautiful Candle Alternatives That Aren't Fire Hazardous
The gentle flicker and dance of a lit candle set a tone that is hard to capture any other way, but this seemingly insignificant little flame is a leading cause of house fires. Fire departments across the country respond to more than 7000 residential blazes caused by candle fire. Even acknowledging the beauty and allure of an array of pillars and tapers, there are several reasons to choose candle alternatives:
Candle smoke causes property damage, such as stains on walls and ceilings.
As wicks and wax heat and burn in glass containers, explosions become a risk.
Children and pets often knock over decorative flames.
Fluttering curtains, hanging linens, and other combustible materials catch fire easily when exposed to a flame.
A Variety of Attractive Candle Alternatives
The good news is that there are several alternatives for gentle light. Whether you're looking for romance or calm, you have many options.
A paper lantern traditional form of light that offers comfort and ambiance similar to a gentle flicker. Whether powered by batteries or an electric outlet, these muted lights are available in many shapes, sizes, and colors.
Fairy and string lights are extremely popular as a replacement with a very low risk of fire, especially when LED lights are involved. Lava lamps and tabletop night lights are similar replacements that bring charm and interest to your décor.
Many homeowners enjoy the soft glow of flameless candles. These are available in different sizes and shapes, and many feature a flicker that mimics the dance of fire. You don't have to worry about curtains brushing across the top of these alternatives.
If you're attracted to the pleasant smells of burning candles, you may want to check out many of the available flameless options, such as oil diffusers, wax warmers, reed diffusers, and room sprays. Some flameless candles also provide mild aromas during use.
Property damage cleanup and recovery professionals are familiar with the devastation and property damage that a single candle can cause. Choose candle alternatives to keep your Phoenix, AZ, home safe from this fire hazard.
Flooded Basement: What is and Isn't Covered by Insurance
When you identify the source of the water in the basement, you might expect the insurance company to cover the repairs, but you can be wrong.
What Is And Isn't Covered By Insurance In The Case Of A Flooded Basement
If you come home to find your Anthem, AZ, basement full of water, you know that your first call should be to your insurance agent. However, you might be surprised that not everything is covered by your policy. Here is a breakdown of what kind of damage is and isn't covered by insurance.
Replacing or Repairing the Cause of the Basement Flood
When you identify the source of the water in the basement, you might expect the insurance company to cover the repairs. However, most policies won't cover the cost of repairs for whatever caused the flood. For example, insurance policies won't cover:
- Broken pipes
- Washing machine supply hose leak
- Damaged water heater
- Leaking dishwasher
- Leaking roofing system
You may be able to purchase additional insurance coverage to cover a leaking sewer main and have that repaired at no cost to you.
Damage Caused by Flood Waters
Most standard homeowners policies don't come with flood insurance. So, regardless of whether your basement flood happened because of an intense rainstorm or an overflowing body of water, such as a river or lake, you won't be covered unless you purchase additional coverage.
A simple online search will tell you your risk factor for your home flooding. If you're at a moderate to high risk, you'll want to ensure that you always carry additional flood insurance.
Removing and Repairing Damaged Personal Property
Your insurance policy will replace and repair any personal property damaged in a basement flood. They will also pay to have a water damage repair service come in and make any repairs to the structure of your home so that it is safe to live in. Depending on your coverage, you might have a deductible and coverage limits to consider when organizing the repairs.
A flooded basement can be a major hassle but ensuring you have additional coverage and relying on the pros for clean up will have your space back to normal before you know it.
5 Ways To Prepare a Home for Flooding
Just like the storm damaged home in this picture, we are ready at any time to help you get your home back after disaster strikes.
5 Steps To Flood-Proofing Your Home
With flood risks on the rise, your home in Peoria, AZ, may be at risk. Although preventing flooding may not be possible, there are ways to prepare your home and minimize the damage that a professional water and storm damage restoration company will have to repair.
1. Ensure Proper Drainage
An essential way to minimize flood damage is to ensure that the grading around your home is at the right angle. There should be a slope away from the foundation. If you have noticed pools after a rain shower, it is time to bring in some dirt. To further enhance drainage, consider doing some landscaping with mulch and plants known to have high water needs.
2. Inspect the Foundation and Basement
Even the smallest crack in the foundation may lead to big problems. Inspecting the foundation and basement windows should be on the annual to-do list. Check for any signs of leaks, cracks, broken seals, missing caulk or broken masonry.
3. Install Flooding Prevention Systems
If your home is in a high-risk area, there are different systems on the market that detect unwanted water. These are electronic devices that alert the homeowner of excess water before it becomes a major problem. Many of these can also be tied to other smart-home devices.
4. Clean Gutters and Drains
If the gutters are dirty, the rain won’t drain properly. Instead, it will push out of the sides and straight down to the foundation. For homes in areas with many trees, the gutters should be cleaned at least twice a year. Ditches and drains should also be inspected to ensure there is no blockage.
5. Keep Barriers Accessible
Once the rain starts to pour down, you may not be able to keep it out. You can slow the flow by having sandbags on-site. There are also other innovative barrier systems designed for flood prevention that are easy to use and help divert water.
While flooding may not be totally avoidable, there are ways to minimize the risk and prepare your home to battle the storm.
5 Steps To Take After Storm Damage
SERVPRO of Northwest Phoenix / Anthem has experience restoring Phoenix homes affected by storms and flooding. Call us!
5 Things To Do After A Storm
Severe storms are no surprise in Norterra, AZ. While, hopefully, your home will be able to weather the storm, that isn’t always the case. If it has sustained damage, below are five storm tips to take to get your back to normal faster.
1. Assess the Damage
Once it is safe to do so, inspect the exterior and interior of the home, especially the basement and attic, for damage. Damage to look for include roof holes, missing shingles, ceiling leaks, dented gutters and broken windows.
2. File a Claim
When it comes to storm tips, contacting your insurance provider ranks high. That is especially important after a storm considering that many other homes are likely damaged. The faster you get the claim process going, the sooner an adjuster will arrive and cleanup can begin. The insurance company will also help you determine what steps should be taken next, including whether or not items can or can’t be removed from the home.
3. Document the Damage
While waiting for the adjuster to arrive, it is important to document all the damage. It is recommended to take videos and photographs of any damage. This will help reinforce your claim and may make the process move along faster.
4. Prevent Secondary Storm Damage
While your insurance will likely cover most of the damage caused by the storm, it won’t cover damage that happens after the event. If the damage sustained includes holes or broken windows, they must be tarped or boarded up to prevent additional water or other damage.
5. Contact a Restoration Company
Depending on the severity of the damage, the next call should be to a professional storm and water damage restoration company. Along with being able to assist with cleanup and restoration required from the water issue, a certified professional will also be able to mitigate the risk of mold growth and other hidden issues, ensuring your home is returned to being a safe and healthy environment.
Severe weather has a way of creating havoc. If your home sustains damage, the above storm tips may help you get back to normal faster.