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Preparation Tips for Winter Storm Season

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

House Covered by Snow Be ready for Winter Storms by Following our Tips.

Caring for your home in Clearfield, UT, is a year-round job. You probably have an ongoing list of tasks to keep up with regular maintenance as well as specific projects and upgrades you want to make. As winter storm season approaches, there are a few things you need to add to your checklist to make sure your house is ready to brace itself against the changes in the weather.

Be ready for Winter Storms

Roof Damage Prevention

Your roof is one of the main protections your home has against the elements. It is a fundamental part of the building envelope that keeps your interiors dry. While it's important to keep the roof in good shape throughout the year, it's especially vital to ensure there are no weak spots or unnecessary pressure on it during the winter.

There are several ways to prevent roof damage during the winter:

  • Clean debris out of gutters and downspouts
  • Have the roof inspected for loose shingles or joints
  • Test for air leaks that can lead to ice buildup
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to minimize the threat of damage during a storm

Pipe Protection

One of the most common causes of water loss in residential properties, particularly during a winter storm, is a pipe break. If your plumbing isn't properly insulated, the pipes can freeze and burst. Any water that is in them then gushes into the surrounding space.

To prevent this from happening, water damage mitigation experts recommend that you insulate your pipes and maintain a constant warm temperature in your home. It's also a good idea to keep cabinets open during a hard freeze so that warm air can flow more freely to the pipes inside them.

Energy Conservation

Higher utility costs are often a challenge for homeowners during colder months. At first glance, the spike may seem normal, as the heating system must work harder to combat the freezing temperatures of the latest blizzard and keep your home's interior warm. The change in weather may not be the only thing driving up the electric and gas bills, though.

Warm air escapes to the outside by any means necessary. Check the seals around your windows and doors to ensure that there are no leaks. The more you can keep the warmer air inside where it belongs, the lower your utility costs are likely to be.

Emergency Preparation

Finally, you need to plan for dire emergencies. No matter how well you maintain your home, a blackout may occur at some point during the winter. A backup generator can keep your lights on and the heater running, and a sump pump in the basement can get rid of standing water if a pipe break or groundwater incident occurs. Always keep shelf-stable food, first aid kits, batteries, flashlights, bottled water and sanitation supplies stocked and easy to access.

Your home maintenance checklist is something you need to pay attention to all year. If a winter storm is on its way, though, there are a few extra tasks you may need to add to it. Staying weather aware and prepared protects your home and everyone in it.

How SERVPRO's Claims Inventory System Helps Insurance Agents and Their Clients

5/23/2022 (Permalink)

An Insurance Claim Form Learn More about our Claims Inventory System. For more information, just contact us.

As an insurance agent in Clearfield, UT, you often deal with customers who are stressed. They may fear that some of their valuable documents have been destroyed by a flood or fire. They may also wonder if they will be able to re-open their businesses.

Filing an insurance claim can be a great hassle, as well. It is your job to alleviate this stress. You can do that by choosing a vendor such as SERVPRO that has a claims inventory system. This system allows you to easily track various claims.

Benefits of the SERVPRO Claims Inventory Service

1. Information Access

When processing a client’s claim, you will need quick access to relevant information, such as the costs of certain items. The claims inventory system allows you and your client to find important documents promptly. This will make it easier for you and your client to work together during the restoration.

2. Organization

Your client will have to provide a lot of paperwork when he files his claim. There will be numerous receipts and photographs that can easily get lost. The claims inventory service keeps all these documents in one place for better organization.

3. Expedited Process

The longer you take to process the insurance claim, the more frustrated your client will be. The property may also suffer additional damage during the delay, which will make the restoration last longer and the claim more expensive. However, if all the important information is accessible and organized, you will be able to finalize the claim more quickly. This should lead to more satisfied customers.

Other Benefits

It is not just the claims inventory system that sets this company apart from the rest. The company also has a separate National Accounts Division that manages relationships with insurance providers. This ensures that the cleanup experts and the insurers are all on the same page. There should be communication and transparency throughout the restoration process.

You and your clients can also trust that the remediation will be done promptly and according to Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification standards. This reduces each claim’s costs and makes your customers happier.

The company additionally uses internal audits to check for quality. It also hires workers who are trustworthy. Even temporary employees are subjected to background checks.

Employees are given the opportunity for continued training, as well. In fact, the business opened its own training facility in 1992. The company offers training for new franchisees and an employee certification program. The company is also an approved training school for the IICRC that provides classes on a variety of topics, including applied structural drying. There are even continuing education courses for real estate and insurance professionals. These classes cover emergency mitigation procedures.

When a client files an insurance claim, it should be easy for you to access the information about the property. Your client, meanwhile, will want the claim to be processed as quickly as possible. A claims inventory system can expedite the claim and keep all the required documents organized. When choosing an emergency restoration vendor, you should thus look for one that offers this service.

5 Key Components of a Fire Escape Plan

5/12/2022 (Permalink)

A Fire Escape Plan. Develop a Good Fire Escape Plan by Following our Tips.

Knowing that there are an estimated 100,000 commercial property fires a year, it’s vital that businesses in Clearfield, UT, plan for the unexpected. While a commercial fire restoration company will be able to take care of the property, business owners need a well-thought-out fire escape plan to ensure everyone on the property is safe. When developing a plan, below are five steps to take.

Key Components of a Fire Escape Plan

1. Identify Potential Hazards

The first step is determining the potential risks to your business. Is there a kitchen? Are portable space heaters used? Are extension cords over their limit? Take a tour of the facility and look for areas that may create added risk. Once those are discovered, come up with a solution for each and communicate any cooking or heating rules to everyone onsite.

2. Map Escape Routes

A fire escape plan is essential to a successful evacuation. A map should be created of the facility, including primary and alternate escape routes. When creating the map, ensure you take into consideration any employees who may have special needs. Once the best route is determined, ensure that the path is always clear of any obstacles, such as furniture. The mapped plan should be posted throughout the facility to ensure that it is easy to see if a fire does break out.

3. Assign Roles

Dealing with a fire is a chaotic situation. Even if people know where to go, there may easily be confusion and added stress. As part of the evacuation plan, specific roles should be assigned to specific individuals to assist in an emergency situation. This may include a chief fire warden, who holds responsibility for the overall event and planning, as well as an assistant to help alert employees.

For larger businesses, consider assigning people as route guides to assist people as they exit via the designated escape route and others as point personnel for using the fire extinguishers.

4. Develop a Communication Plan

While the first thoughts may be on the fire itself, it has the potential to affect other people. Staying in communication with clients and employees’ relatives is essential. Prepare a list of essential contacts, including local hospitals, clients, suppliers and employee contacts. This list should be easily accessible to the fire warden or assistant to help deal with the aftermath of the fire.

5. Practice the Emergency Escape Plan

Even if you have the best plan of action, you still need to ensure it works by having regular drills. Along with reinforcing confidence in your designated fire team, it provides everyone onsite with added peace of mind that they have practiced evacuating the building and will be ready for the real situation. After each drill, the team is more easily able to address potential issues that may arise or make changes to the overall plan for added safety measures. These drills also reinforce how important employees are to the business.

No matter how small a business is, it should always have a fire escape plan. Ensuring that everyone knows what to do and where to go increases the chances of a safe evacuation.

When Is a Flooded Basement Covered by Insurance

4/21/2022 (Permalink)

Property destroyed by Water Learn when your Flooded Basement is Covered by Insurance by following these tips.

Did you walk downstairs to find a basement flood? You may stare in wonderment, questioning what your next move should be and whether insurance can help you recover from this damp, extensive situation. Your insurer may assist. However, rest assured there is someone to stand by your side. SERVO restoration professionals in Clearfield, UT, react swiftly within 24 hours to deliver prompt attention and aid.

Our team cleans up and informs while you work with insurance to determine if the basement's damage is covered. That leaves you time to work through a claim. The following are times when your insurer may or may not deem the flood under the policy.

1. How Did the Basement Flood?

Most insurance policies do not cover floods. This coverage requires a separate policy or add-on clause, especially for those living within flood-prone zones. General liability and property insurance claim does not handle it. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Insurers focus on water sources and maintenance.

For instance, a flood centers on water masses, leaving a larger body such as an ocean, lake or river. When these overflow and push water into a residence, the insurer will likely deny the claim. In these circumstances, the water enters from the ground level.

However, insurance agents can view basement flooding as secondary damage, harm caused by something else. For instance, did the puddles appear because of a bad septic tank, broken pipe or leaking water heater? These events triggered water damage. The water came from above the floor, saturating it because of a faulty part or device. In these cases, the agent may approve a claim.

A water remediation team can assess the source, documenting the origin and secondary effects. This information may prove helpful in conversations with the agency, determining approval for insurance coverage.

2. Homeowners Were Not Aware of a Problem

Did you know the source existed? For instance, some owners may consider a leak minor, choosing to handle it down the road. However, this choice could jeopardize the claim. The agent needs to know that it has happened quickly and without the owner knowing the potential for trouble.

Water heaters can face buildup and corrosion, eventually leading to significant breaks and flooded rooms. This negligence could open questions about whether homeowners knew the device's weakness. It's essential to prove through an inspection that the breach could not have been prevented and that the owners had no knowledge of its existence.

3. You Continue To Maintain Inspections and Repairs

Ready yourself to validate your attention to plumbing maintenance and repairs. The insurer may ask when you last had it inspected or repaired. It's best to continue regular checkups on water lines and units. If something goes wrong, owners may show the receipts and invoices as documentation of routine care. This reasonable faith effort could help gain approval.

Insurance might help with your basement flood. It depends on where the water came from and how well owners can prove it was accidental and quick. Throughout this process, rely on SERVO franchise experts to assist in the cleanup and document the event for you.

7 Reasons To Use Security Fencing After a Fire

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

A security fence. Security Fences can be really useful To Avoid Damage in your Property.

Many businesses use a security fence to protect employees and property from intruders. A fire-damaged building may be a particularly attractive target to thieves or vandals because some of the normal defenses may be gone and the building may be unoccupied. There are multiple benefits to using a fence to protect your fire-damaged building.

Benefits of Damage Security for Fire-Damaged Buildings

Unfortunately, looting can often be a problem in the wake of a fire. It is important to take steps to protect your property from looters, thieves and vandals.

1. Deters Crime

Most thieves and vandals prefer an easy target. A building that is surrounded by a strong, difficult-to-climb fence does not look like an easy target.

2. Is Customizable

Different types of businesses require different types of fences. You can choose from chain link, palisade or wire mesh. Chain link is attached to sturdy posts and is difficult to cut. You have the option of adding barbed wire to the top to make it more difficult to climb. Palisade fencing is made from rigid, steel posts with pointed tips at the top. This type of fencing is very sturdy and difficult to climb and may be more attractive than chain link. However, it is usually more expensive. Garrison fencing is constructed from welded tubular panels.

It is more attractive than chain link, but not as strong as palisade. Wire mesh is less expensive and easier to install than chain link, but more easily cut. It may be a good option for temporary fencing because of its lower cost.

3. Controls Access

Putting up a security fence makes it easier to control who is coming on your property. This can be particularly useful while cleanup and repairs are ongoing. You may have a variety of people, such as a fire remediation company crew, on your property who normally wouldn't be there. A fence helps you make sure criminals don't slip in undetected amongst the cleanup and repair workers.

4. Saves Money

There are other ways to protect your property, such as installing security cameras, alarms and entry control systems. However, these methods can be expensive. Fences are a relatively low-cost way to protect your property.

5. Is Easy To Maintain

Professionally installed fencing does not need regular maintenance and should last for years. Other types of security technology must be updated regularly and replaced as it becomes obsolete.

6. Provides Proactive Protection

Many types of security equipment, such as alarms, work by alerting you when an intruder is already on your property. A fence can keep an intruder from getting on your property in the first place.

7. Improves Your Security Permanently

A high-quality fence can last you many years. Having a professional installer in Clearfield, UT, put up a fence on your property not only provides protection while you are repairing your building but improves your security once the building is restored.

Adding a security fence to your fire-damaged property provides many benefits. It helps keep looters, thieves and vandals away from your building during the repair process and can be a permanent improvement to your building security.

Working To Save Your Carpet After a Pipe Break

4/9/2022 (Permalink)

A father with his daughter in a clean Carpet. Follow these Tips and Save Your Carpet After a Pipe Break.

If your home in Clearfield, UT, experiences a pipe break, you will have a lot to think about. Among your first concerns will be what in the home is salvageable and what will need to be thrown out. This often means worrying about your carpeting since it is on the floor and is more likely to get wet than anything else. At this time, you will also need to consider the condition of the materials beneath the carpeting, namely the padding.

In a few cases, you will be fortunate and will be able to save your carpeting. If the following conditions exist, your carpet is likely to be clean enough to keep in your home:

  • The leaked water is from a clean source
  • The leak was discovered quickly
  • The carpeting and underlying pad can be dried professionally
  • The carpeting is relatively new and in good shape

It is important to understand that each water leak is unique and situational. An experienced water damage repair company is often your best source of information in these circumstances, especially if you wish to keep your expenses to a minimum.

A More Complicated Pipe Break

A Category 1 water leak involves water from a clean source such as drinking water or unused cleaning water. Even with this situation to save many items you have only 24-48 hours to remove the water and dry out items such as clothing and furniture. The most effective water restoration plan is quick and accomplished with industrial vacuums and dryers.

A Category 2 water leak is a bit more serious and usually involves water that is mildly tainted with non-hazardous debris. This is something like the overflow from dishwashers or washing machines. If caught early enough, your carpeting might be salvageable with this leak, but the padding will likely have to be replaced.

A Category 3 leak is anything that involves hazardous materials, black water or water that has been standing for more than two or three days. Some examples of this category of water include the following:

  • Overflowing toilets with solid matter
  • Floods from exterior sources
  • Sewage water
  • Stagnant water from any source

Almost anything that comes in touch with the dirtiest water will need to be replaced. Even if an item seems as though it has been cleaned well enough, it still could contain pathogens and other nasty elements, making it safer and healthier to replace.

A Smart Course of Action

If you experience water in your home, it is important to keep safety first and foremost. If you are unsure of the cleanliness of the water, keep children, small pets and anyone else away from the water.

Make sure there are no electrical wires or outlets that could pose a danger to anyone. Watch out for hidden dangers if the water is opaque as it could be hiding obstacles or even small animals such as snakes or rats.

A pipe break in your home is never fun. With the right course of action, you can keep your expenses down and make sure your home remains a healthy place.

Insurance Coverage Tips for Mold Remediation

3/21/2022 (Permalink)

Owner runs a finger over a Moldy Ceiling Know more about Mold Insurance Coverage by Following These Tips.

If you smell a musty odor as you walk through the front door of your home in Clearfield, UT, it may be a sign that you have a mold problem. Fungus growth not only can be difficult to get rid of but also may cost you a lot of money by the time mitigation is done.

To further complicate matters, many homeowners' insurance policies don't fully cover mold remediation. Here are some tips on how to proceed if you suspect you have a problem.

Know Your Homeowners' Insurance Limits on Fungus Growth

One reason that it is so difficult to find a home insurance policy with mold coverage is that most growth stems from long-term water damage that has not been mitigated. To your provider, this comes across as negligence, because regular inspections and maintenance can help you avoid such a problem. Most homeowners' insurance policies only cover mold that directly results from a covered peril:

  • Fire prevention measures
  • Sudden and hidden attic leaks
  • Extensive flooding from a pipe break

Some homeowners' policies specifically exclude mold in their coverage. This is especially common for those who live in humid areas or who have homes made from materials that are particularly vulnerable to fungus growth. If either of those factors applies to your home, it may be very difficult to file a successful claim to cover any mold remediation.

Use Detailed Reporting To Maximize Your Policy's Limits

A mold provision in your policy may only cover mitigation up to a certain dollar amount. To ensure that you are getting the most out of your coverage, be careful how you list the specific mitigation steps on your claim. Even if you have mold insurance, vague reports can use up your mold damage remediation limit in a hurry.

For example, waterlogged drywall will need to be removed and replaced regardless of whether it has mold growth on it. There may be an additional surcharge if fungus remediation is included in that process, but only the additional amount should be included under the mold clause of your policy. Make sure your claim reflects not only the tasks you're being charged for but also the specific reason for each itemized expense.

Take the Appropriate Steps To Remedy the Problem

Upon discovery of a fungus issue in your home, you should take a few immediate steps. First, call mold damage mitigation experts to get the cleanup process started as quickly as possible. Next, try to contain the affected area so that the spores don't spread. Close doors and other airways to block it off from the rest of the house. Turn off your HVAC unit or close the vents to the room to further seal it off.

It may be tempting to try to clean the moldy area yourself, but it's better to wait for the professionals. If you do anything to disturb the patch of fungus growth, you may make the problem worse. Leave it alone and wait for the technicians to arrive and assess the damage.

Mold damage to your home can be expensive to mitigate, and there's no guarantee that your homeowners' insurance will cover it. Understanding your policy and knowing the best way to deal with damage will help you minimize your out-of-pocket costs.

5 Factors To Consider When Installing Fire Alarms In Your Home

3/14/2022 (Permalink)

Man Repairing a Fire Alarm Installing Fire Alarms In Your Home can be Easier if you Follow These 5 Tips.

When you move into a new home in Clearfield, UT, there is so much to think about. How will each room be set up? What paint colors will you choose? One thing many new home owners forget to do is install a fire alarm. While you might not be thinking about your safety plan in the first few weeks of homeownership, it's an important step to take to keep your family safe.

Here are five factors to consider when installing fire alarms in your home.

5 Key Factors to Consider as regards Fire Alarms

1. Why Should I Install Fire Alarms?

Some people think that they don't need alarms in their homes. Maybe because the home is small, they think they'll notice any emergency. Some think that because they are light sleepers, they would smell smoke and have time to evacuate. Home fires can occur when you're not home, and even the most safety conscious person can have an accident.

Fire alarms save lives and prevent smoke damage to your belongings. If a fire does occur, an emergency restoration service can help repair your home.

2. How Many Floors Does My Home Have?

At an absolute minimum, you need to have one smoke detector on each floor of your home. If you have a basement, a main floor, and an upstairs, you need at least three alarms. The more square feet you have, the more alarms you need. In a small home, like an apartment, it may be sufficient to have one alarm near the bedrooms and one in the kitchen.

In a larger home, you want to be sure that an alarm can be heard not matter where a person is, so it would be important to put multiple alarms on each floor to keep everyone safe.

3. Where Should I Install a Fire Alarm?

The National Fire Protection Association recommends a fire alarm in each sleeping room and one outside the room. If you have two bedrooms upstairs, two on the main floor, and one in the basement, you should have at least eight alarms in your home.

4. What Type of Alarm Should I Install?

There are many brands of fire alarms to choose from. An alarm should detect smoke and carbon monoxide, but many can alert you to other problems too, like increased temperature. Alarms can be battery-operated or wired into the home.

Ideally, all alarms should be connected to one another so that when one sounds, all alarms sound. That ensures that everyone will know that there is an emergency.

5. How Often Do I Need to Check My Alarms?

Test your smoke alarms once a month. You're more likely to notice a low battery indicator or a problem in wiring when you check them often. Change the batteries when you change your clocks. When you move into a new home, replace the smoke detectors unless the seller told you when they did it. Otherwise, replace the alarms every ten years.

Moving to a new home is exciting and stressful. Take one stress off your plate and install smoke detectors all around your home to prevent fire damage and to keep your family safe.

Keep Business, Employees Before and After a Severe Storm

3/9/2022 (Permalink)

Thunder Storm Ahead Sign. Be ready for Severe Storms by Following These Tips. If you have more questions, just contact us.

Severe weather may happen anytime in Clearfield, UT. For businesses, protecting assets and employees means being prepared prior to the rain storm arriving. Once the bad weather hits, it's vital to follow recommended safety precautions to minimize risk.

Building Maintenance Before a Storm

From high winds to lightning strikes, a building takes a beating during harsh weather. While it may be easy to forget when the weather is nice, regular maintenance and repairs are vital to the structure withstanding Mother Nature’s wrath. Below are a few tips to help reinforce your property.

Roof Maintenance:

Regular inspections are needed regardless of what type of roof your building has. Even less severe weather may begin to cause damage that will quickly become much worse during a severe rain storm. If any leaks or visible damage is detected, get it repaired immediately to avoid the need for costly repairs.

Secure Windows and Doors:

One broken seal may mean excessive water getting into places it shouldn’t. Regularly inspect seals, caulking, hinges and other hardware to ensure that the building is secure. Any signs of warping or rusting are indicators that these features may be compromised.

Landscaping:

If your property has any trees, ensure they are trimmed to avoid a branch falling on the roof or bursting into a window. Regularly check that gutters are free of debris and properly draining. Along with adding an aesthetic, planting bushes and plants may help absorb some of the excess water from a storm.

Lightning Protection System:

If a bolt of lightning hits your structure, or even nearby, it may produce a surge of power that may turn into a power outage or cause a fire. Strong winds may also cut the power. A protection system is designed to help handle those surges, helping to keep business running as usual and preventing a fire from breaking out.

HVAC Protection:

Hail is a common product of a storm, which means your HVAC system may get damaged. There are hail mesh, shields and guards that can be installed to prevent that from happening. These added layers should also be regularly checked. Also, ensure that whichever you choose is properly installed to resist wind.

Follow Safety Guidelines During a Thunderstorm

As secure as the structure may be, severe weather still requires making the safety of everyone around a priority. To help protect employees and anyone else on-site, staying inside is essential. It is recommended that people stay indoors for a minimum of 30 minutes after thunder is heard.

Additional safety tips include:

  • Ensure windows and doors are tightly shut.
  • Do not use ungrounded electrical equipment, including televisions and radios that are not battery powered.
  • Try staying in an area away from windows.
  • Since lightning is able to travel through pipes, stay away from water.
  • Minimize contact with concrete, which is reinforced with metal bars or wires.

A rain storm comes with much more than excessive moisture, all of which can cause damage to a building. By taking steps to ensure your building is secure, it makes weathering the bad weather easier and safer.

What To Expect During a Pipe Burst Cleanup Procedure

3/7/2022 (Permalink)

A Broken Pipe Learn more about what to expect during a Pipe Burst Cleanup by following these Tips.

A leaking supply line or broken pipe can cause massive damage in a short amount of time. If you have never seen it before, you may wonder what happens during a pipe burst cleanup and repair.

Repair Pipe

The first thing any water mitigation company in Clearfield, UT, should do is repair any broken pipes or supply lines. No matter what, stopping the water is one of the most important things that they do. If you still have a pipe or supply line leaking, the damage will continue to grow. Make sure they repair the actual problem before they do any cleaning or rebuilding.

Extract Water

When your pipes are leaking, you can bet that there is water to be extracted. Even if you can't see it, there could be water behind or in your drywall, flooring or crawlspace. When the water gets into your carpet, it can start to smell bad. No one wants a musty-smelling business. Water extraction is a big part of any pipe burst cleanup.

Remove Damaged Items

Depending on what is damaged, sometimes a cleanup company will do this before they extract the water. They take out and dispose of all of the items that cannot be cleaned. The cleanup company should know the disposal rules for your area.

Dry the Area

They will then dry the area with chemicals or with fans. This process is time-consuming and should be done carefully. Leaving an area damp will cause more damage like mold and mildew. Developing mold or mildew can cause bad odors, among other things. A good water cleanup company will dry the affected areas thoroughly.

Sanitize and Deodorize

After the area is dry, it is time to sanitize everything and deodorize it. Your cleanup company will make sure that everything is prepped and ready for the repairs to begin.

When you are dealing with a pipe burst cleanup, it is helpful to know what will happen during the process. This helps you plan your business activities around the cleanup and repair process.