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How To Make an Effective Flood Insurance Claim

10/21/2020 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement. There is a visible line showing maximum water level higher than 7 feet. Flood damage in Lafayette, LA

When floodwaters unexpectedly come rushing down your street in Lafayette, LA, the likelihood of your home suffering significant destruction virtually assures the need for an experienced water damage restoration service. Would you know what to look for when compiling a list of everything that requires rehabilitation as part of your flood claim?

How To Complete the Insurance Process

To become whole again, take the following steps:

1. Reach Out
Immediately contact your carrier to let them know they should expect an insurance claim.

2. Prepare
Once your space is safe to do so, make a list of everything needing attention and photograph or film all relevant observations.

3. Work With Your Adjuster
The individual handling your claim will need to confirm everything that has been inventoried. Promptly fulfill requests for additional information and never hesitate to ask questions.
You will receive payment and can begin the recovery process once these stages have concluded and a review has been completed.


What To Include in a Flood Claim
It is impossible to receive reimbursement for anything that is undeclared, so know what needs to be assessed before recording your situation.
Intense flooding can warp wooden floors or crack foundations, so keep an eye open for these conditions. Frayed electrical wires should also be on your radar, as repairing compromised energy grids remains mandatory.
Major appliances are prone to ruin. Your air conditioning, water heater and refrigerator must be checked. You may wish to have an expert confirm your suspicion that a replacement is warranted.
Mold is another common post-flood development. When fungal invasions arise, costly removals become necessary. Follow your nose for unusual odors and seek out signs of discoloration on drywall, within basement corners and inhabiting your crawlspace.
Once you have determined what aspects of your residence require servicing, provide comprehensive documentation of your inspection to get the most from your flood claim. The greater your attention to detail, the bigger the check you are eligible to receive.

5 Culprits of Commercial Water Damage

10/13/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded commercial space. Whether it is a broken pipe, flash flood, or another common culprit, taking fast action is key to minimizing excess water turning into severe damage.

When faced with water damage to your Lafayette, LA, business, even a small amount can lead to downtime while a water remediation and restoration company return the structure to normal. Although unexpected flooding or a broken pipe may be unavoidable, there are five common culprits that business owners should keep an eye on.

1. Mother Nature
The impact of an extreme natural disaster may be out of your hands, but being prepared for the next big storm or potential flash flooding can help minimize water issues. Simple maintenance procedures, such as cleaning gutters, installing flood barriers, or keeping sandbags on-site, can help guide the flow of water away from the building or reduce how much enters.

2. Roof
While it can be easy to forget about the structural component that is protecting the inside of the building, the roof is a top contender for leaks. Regular inspections are needed to ensure it is free of damage and properly draining. Any missing shingles, dips, damaged flashing or penetrable fixtures, such as skylights or drainpipes, can allow water in to easily degrade the roof.

3. Plumbing
Along with broken pipes, clogs, cracks, and backups are the main reasons a water repair is needed. That is especially true for older buildings. Regularly checking for signs of moisture, rust or leaks is vital to the system working. If frequently faced with plumping issues, a leak detection system can be installed that allows for quicker action to be taken.

4. Equipment
From the water heater to the HVAC system and other equipment, small leaks left unchecked can turn into big problems. Check for signs of leaks and inspect parts that are frequently replaced, such as hoses, gaskets, and filters.

5. Sprinklers
Business owners lucky enough to have a sprinkler system have peace of mind in case of a fire, but improper maintenance can lead to it being accidentally triggered or leaking. These systems should be checked monthly and quarterly as well as inspected by a professional once a year.

Whether it is a broken pipe, flash flood, or another common culprit, taking fast action is key to minimizing excess water turning into severe damage.

How to Clean a Moldy Shower

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growing on shower grouted joints tile in bathroom wall corner Mold growth on shower

Residential bathrooms are one of the most common places to find mold. The warm, wet, humid environment creates a perfect fungal breeding ground. Shower mold is especially common due to the excessive moisture that tends to get left behind. Follow the steps below if your shower in Lafayette, LA, is affected by unwanted mold growth.

Cleaning Shower Mold

Black mold is a common occurrence for many showers, so there are plenty of tried and true cleaning methods available. Here's one of the most effective techniques:

  • Create a safe, non-toxic mold cleaning solution using equal parts water and white vinegar. Pour this mixture into a clean spray bottle.
  • Mist down the moldy areas with the cleaning solution. Create a generous, even layer, but make sure you don't oversaturate the area. If puddles are forming in the shower basin, you're using too much solution. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Use a clean cloth to wipe down the solution. The mold should easily come off with it. You may need to use multiple cleaning rags, depending on how large the affected area is.
  • If some mold still remains, use a kitchen sponge or scrub brush to scrub it off. Mold growing in the shower grout or caulking can be removed using a spare toothbrush.
    Completely dry the area using a clean rag or cloth. Make sure you remove all of the excess moisture to prevent further mold growth.

Preventing Bathroom Mold
Keeping your bathroom clean and dry is the best way to prevent mold growth. Prevent condensation from building up by opening a window or cracking the bathroom door open next time you shower. After each shower, make sure you wipe down the shower tiles and tub edge (when applicable). Mop up any puddles that are left on the floor. Spread the shower curtain out to help aid in the drying process.
Shower mold is extremely common, but it's also relatively easy to remedy using the above technique. If you find that your mold situation has spread out of your control, or the method above isn't working for you, you need to contact mold remediation experts immediately.

Take These 3 Key Steps When Confronting Kitchen Sink Leaks

10/7/2020 (Permalink)

Leak under kitchen sink Leaking kitchen sink

Steps To Protect Your Kitchen Sink During A Leak

Flooding can drastically impact every room inside your home, but perhaps the most debilitating target is the kitchen. This place allows inhabitants to prepare food and socialize. A great kitchen can also raise the market value compared to other houses in your Lafayette, LA, neighborhood. Prioritize the protection of your kitchen during a sink leak by following these steps.

1. Cut Off the Water Flow
The first thing you should do after discovering the leak is cut off the main water supply. The more water in home you have, the more the damage increases and becomes difficult to control. Locate the stop valves underneath the sink and turn them off. If this does not work, you will have to shut off the main water supply. Ensure it is safe to reach the valves. If there are electrical hazards, shut off power with an electrician's assistance.

2. Contact the Insurance Company
Just like with most cases of flooding and other property damage, you should contact your insurance agent to determine the next steps and file a claim. You will need to prove you are not at fault and that it is a temporary issue to receive compensation. Record and photograph the extent of the water damage as much as possible. Potential damage targets during a sink leak include floors, walls, and cabinets.

3. Bring In the Professionals
After stopping the water flow and filing the claim, it is time to call professional kitchen repair. A licensed and certified plumber can take care of the issue causing the leak in the first place. You will also need an emergency remediation company that will send experienced staff to restore the kitchen. The specialists will need to remove water, dry the location, and disinfect all affected surfaces.
Your kitchen is a valuable part of your Lafayette, LA, home. Protect it from flooding and leaks by enacting these key steps as soon as you see excess water.

3 Steps for Cleaning Dryer Lint

9/25/2020 (Permalink)

Horizontal photo of female hand taking the lint out from dirty air filter of the dyer machine Clean the lint screen of your dryer

Three Steps To Avoid Calling a Fire Restoration Company

Did you know that your clothes dryer can be a cause of a home lint fire? According to the United States Fire Administration, there are about 2,900 clothes dryer fires reported each year. The USFA also states that almost 35% of those fires could have been prevented if the dryer had been cleaned. Ensure that your Lafayette, LA, home doesn’t suffer the devastating effects of fire damage by cleaning your dryer regularly. Here are three steps to follow to avoid needing to call a fire restoration company.

1. Clean the Screen
The first part to clean is the lint screen. Every clothes dryer has a lint screen located on top or inside the bottom of the door. There are three ways to remove lint from the screen:

  • Run your fingers gently across the screen
  • Wipe a used dryer sheet on the screen
  • Use a vacuum brush attachment

It’s important to clean the lint screen before each new load to prevent a lint fire. If you use dryer sheets, remove the screen every month and run it under water to remove any residue.

2. Deep Clean the Vents
In addition to cleaning the screen, it’s necessary to deep-clean the vents at least once a year. Lint can get trapped and accumulate inside the vent, which leads to inefficient drying and possible combustion. Fortunately, cleaning the vent isn’t difficult.
First, unplug the dryer and shut off the power to the machine. Next, move the dryer away from the wall and remove the hose. Third, gently wipe the interior or put a vacuum attachment inside to pull out the lint. Finally, use a dryer cleaning kit and follow the instructions to clean the wall vent.

3. Clean the Exterior and Interior
Cleaning the outside and inside of the appliance prevents a dryer fire. Remove the back panel off your dryer with a screwdriver and gently wipe all areas with a soft cloth. Check inside as well to remove any lint in the drum.
Removing lint from the screen before each load and thoroughly cleaning the vents and dryer can prevent a lint fire.

Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Mold spores Mold spores need moisture. When water is introduced a spore can grow into a colony very quickly

You found mold and did what you were supposed to do, called a remediation company in Lafayette, LA. The company sent a crew out, and they removed the contaminated surface and repaired the damage, restoring the facility to pre-disaster conditions. Unfortunately, upon later inspection, you are now finding a recurrence of mold growth.

Why Is It Coming Back?

Unresolved plumbing issue
Air-moisture content
Spore transportation

Unresolved Plumbing Issue
In most instances of mold growth and regrowth, there is some water damage issue that has not been resolved. It is possible that the remediation crew repaired one problem and did not see or find the other leak sitting somewhere else in the wall or ceiling. To resolve the issue, you will need to call the same company back to the scene so they can reassess the problem.

Air-Moisture Content
It is also possible that the regrowth is new growth caused by a continued high humidity problem. The air-moisture content in your facility should not exceed 50%. If you find that humidity levels are continuously reaching above that threshold, then consider installing fans, ventilation systems and dehumidifiers in the most humid areas of the building, like kitchens and washrooms.

Spore Transportation
Mold spores are microscopic organisms, which may be hard to believe based on the size of your previous infestation. Unfortunately, due to the small size of spores, it is nearly impossible to control every spec from contaminating another surface during cleaning. The removal company will do their best by wetting down surfaces and being careful not to disturb the existing growth, but sometimes spores catch a breeze and land somewhere else. If they get the same nourishment in that new area, the spores will likely grow.
Are you currently seeing new mold growth in your facility? If so, contact a local remediation company to discuss the removal of the infestation and restoration of your facility.

How to Protect Your Business From Water Leaks

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

ladder and wet floor One tiny water leak can greatly impact your property

Though they often start small and look insignificant, leaks can cause extensive damage to your property and raise your water bills. If your business in Lafayette, LA has a water leak, it is important to address the situation immediately, before the problem gets out of hand and causes long-term harm to your business.

What Causes Leaks?

A water leak can occur anywhere in the office and could be the result of several different causes, including:

  • Degradation of roofing materials
  • Water permeation through cracks, broken joints, and holes
  • Insufficient drainage
  • Blocked or backed-up pipes
  • Leaky air vents and ducts
  • Seepage from malfunctioning sewage system

Piping runs throughout the entirety of your property, so leaks can occur in the ceiling, floors, and walls of the building. If water damage is detected in your business, it is critical to thoroughly investigate the problem to determine the source.

How Much Damage Can a Leak Cause?
Even a crack that extends only a few centimeters can cause gallons of water loss in a day. Not only can this lead to severe structural damage to a property, but small cracks can greatly increase your monthly water bill. The longer the leak is ignored, the more extensive it will become and the more water will be lost. This can lead to even greater issues, including mold damage. Though the problem may seem small initially, it is essential that you shore up any holes or cracks the moment they are noticed.

How Do You Fix a Leak?
There are professional services that can be used to identify and repair a pipe break at your company. If the break has already caused extensive damage, then it is recommended that you seek out a water restoration team for assistance. One tiny water leak can greatly impact your property, but in identifying problems the moment they arise, you can protect your company from long-lasting damage.

How To Create an Effective Business Continuity Plan

9/15/2020 (Permalink)

Business Continuity Plan Concept A well-crafted continuity plan is one tool that can help you cope with unexpected events

The continued success of your business in Lafayette, LA, depends on many factors. Not only must you consider market conditions and the changing habits of consumers, you also need to prepare for potential disasters such as storms and earthquakes. A well-crafted continuity plan is one tool that can help you cope with unexpected events. Depending upon the size and complexity of your company, the plan can be exceedingly detailed or more general in nature. Simply put, any plan is better than no plan. A good plan, though, can help you withstand a business interruption caused by storm damage and put you more quickly on the path to recovery.

The Elements of a Sound Continuity Plan

The building blocks of your plan begin simply enough: a discussion of your critical systems and how to mitigate consequences should they fail. Your critical systems are likely to include the following:

  • Communication networks
  • Power sources
  • Management personnel
  • Information technology
  • Equipment

From there, you can flesh out in more detail what resources will be available to help your company function during a disaster. This might include manual workarounds, a relocation to another business or even relying on a strong insurance policy. Each situation is different, and the response to a major flooding event will necessitate different actions than the response to an extended power outage. Click here for a more detailed look at continuity plans.

The Actions for Recovery
It makes sense that your continuity plan will concentrate on recovery strategies. One valuable resource during this time will be a storm remediation company. An experienced team of technicians has the expertise to get your company back on track quickly. They will devote the necessary resources to your business and work efficiently. They understand that every day your company is down means lost revenue. A professional response will give you confidence that your company will be back in business soon.

We Have The Proper Equipment To Restore Your Lafayette Home After A Fire Disaster

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Applications for Mechanical Cleaning Equipment after Fire Damage in Lafayette

Home environments are dry with many combustible materials inside. A faulty electrical appliance, or blocked up oven hood can act as an ignition switch for a house fire resulting in moderate to severe smoke damages throughout the property. First responder units can contain, or confine, flames using water or foam because fires require fuel sources. Smoke, on the other hand, can spread throughout a property moving into clean air pockets and depositing residues onto surfaces. When smoke cools, soots can drop onto floors or furnishing, but the vast majority of smoke deposits are concentrated on ceilings and walls. 

Restoration services for fire damage in your Lafayette home need to be qualified smoke restoration technicians to remove residues properly. There is a risk of spreading soiling around or worse pushing smoke particles into materials which can cause staining and persistent odor problems. SERVPRO technicians tackle this issue by using mechanical cleaning methods. 

Mechanical cleaning methods use equipment to agitate surfaces to remove smoke particles rapidly. Air whips can be used inside cavities to dislodge soot deposits alongside soda or sandblasting equipment to clear smoke particles without risking permanent damage. After mechanical equipment is used, negative air pressure can be applied to draw smoke particles from the surface safely. 

As a homeowner it is understandable to want to help with the fire damage remediation process. SERVPRO technicians can you advise you on the best method of assisting with the cleanup operation. When smoke cools, it drops small amounts of ash onto table surfaces which can be wiped off using wet cloths and sanitizer without causing damage. Most fabrics, however, should be left to the professional restorer, as these absorbent materials require a tailored approach for the best chances of restoring them to preloss condition. 

Soots and smoke residues can become permanent issues without the proper equipment to restore them. Contact SERVPRO of Lafayette at (337) 269-6332 today.

See more about Lafayette.

We Have Specialized Techniques To Get Rid Of Fire Damage In Lafayette

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

How Hydroxyl Generators Improve Fire Effects in Lafayette Homes

Many effects can result from a fire in your Lafayette home, and very few of these effects can get resolved by the homeowner. Without the appropriate equipment and training, recovery of fire effects can often make the situation worse, requiring even costlier restoration and cleaning efforts than you would have initially incurred. With a fast response to disasters like fires in your home, our team can put our leading equipment to work on restoring harmful lingering aspects of a recent fire such as harsh odors.

While we have many machines in our broad inventory of equipment to handle fire odor damage in your Lafayette home, a common choice is our hydroxyl generators. We have many units that can all cover large square footage areas to begin addressing indoor air quality concerns right away. Our SERVPRO professionals can install these machines strategically throughout the fire-damaged home during mitigation to continually work to improve the breathable air in the home and reduce the present smoke odors.

We have many machines that can exclusively work to eliminate odors in materials and open areas after a fire or similar emergency, and we also have exclusive equipment to address contaminants, dust, and debris present in the environment. The hydroxyl generator is one of the few machines in our vast inventory that can do both, and that is what makes them a popular choice for use after fire effects have taken hold in damaged homes.

With an onboard HEPA filter, this machine can continually filter out the air in the immediate area to reduce smoke and soot particles, dust and debris from demolition, volatile compounds, and other threats that might exist. It can also work to continually reduce the volume of harsh odor molecules in the air. For stubborn smoke odors, we can also use our thermal foggers or ozone machines if the hydroxyl generators are not getting the job done as quickly as it should.

While there are many solutions to address lingering odors in your home after fire damage, our SERVPRO of Lafayette can use a variety of machines and equipment to return your home to preloss condition. To make fire effects “Like it never even happened,” give us a call anytime at (337) 269-6332.