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SERVPRO Is Faster to Any Size Disaster

6/16/2020 (Permalink)

Three SERVPRO vehicles parked in the street Call the "Faster to any size Disaster" team at SERVPRO for immediate assistance

SERVPRO Can Respond Quickly

As an insurance agent, you know how important it is to quickly address any damage to property. A delay of even a few hours can increase the cost of the restoration. That is why SERVPRO is the preferred vendor of most agencies. The emergency restoration company is faster to any size disaster.
SERVPRO can respond quickly because it has a locally owned franchise in Philadelphia, PA. The cleanup professionals thus should not have to travel far to get to the damaged location.
Even though the franchise is local, that does not mean it has limited resources, however. Because the franchise is part of a larger company, it has the corporate reach necessary to handle even major disasters. SERVPRO can thus respond to all types of emergencies, including:

  • Floods
  • Fire
  • Storms

SERVPRO is not just faster to any size disaster. It also has qualified restoration professionals that will quickly and efficiently clean up the damaged property. Below is a brief description of the services the company provides.

Water Restoration
SERVPRO has water damage restoration technicians who know the best techniques for cleaning wet items. The fabric and upholstery cleaning technicians, meanwhile, will get the furniture back to the way it was prior to the flood. Meanwhile, the odor control experts will eliminate the smells that often accompany standing water.

Fire Restoration
SERVPRO realizes that fires do not just burn items. They can also produce soot and smoke damage. Sprinklers or firefighter hoses can cause additional harm, as well. SERVPRO experts are prepared to deal with all of these issues.

Storm Restoration
SERVPRO's Disaster Recovery Team responds to all types of storms, including blizzards, tornadoes, and hurricanes. In fact, the company has assisted with some of the largest natural disasters in the country, including Hurricane Katrina and the 2017 California wildfires.
SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster. This reduces the cost of the insurance claim and makes you and your customers happier. It is no wonder that so many agencies choose their local SERVPRO franchise as their preferred vendor.

Tips for Flushing Your Gas Water Heater

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Hand attaches hose to a home water heater to perform maintenance Flushing a water heater

It's easy to forget about your water heater until it doesn't function properly. Over time, sediment and mineral deposits can accumulate inside the heater, preventing it from working as it should. Replacing a heater can be a costly ordeal, so maintaining it is a smart idea. Performing a water heater flush periodically will keep your heater working properly for many years.

Steps for Flushing a Heater

Your water heater either runs on gas or electricity. Let's examine the steps to follow in flushing a gas model. First, have a large bucket, garden hose, and screwdriver at the ready. A pair of gloves is also a good idea to protect your hands from hot water.

Turn off the thermostat on the gas heater. The gas pipe that leads to the thermostat has a valve that must be turned to the “off” position. Then, turn off the cold water spigot, which is located near the top of the heater.
At the kitchen sink, turn the hot water on full. This will prevent a vacuum in the line as you drain the water from the tank. It will also increase the water flow as it drains.
Connect the hose to the drainage spigot and make sure the other end is either in the bucket or in an area outside away from the house.
Turn the spigot on and allow the water and sediment to drain completely.
Turn the drainage spigot off and disconnect the hose. Then turn the cold water spigot back on.
When the kitchen faucet water stream runs smoothly, the tank is full. Turn off the kitchen faucet, then turn the heater's thermostat back on.

To keep your home in Philadelphia, PA from running out of hot water, make sure to flush out your water heater every year. It could also save you from costly water damage repairs down the road.

The Specialized Equipment Needed To Remove Smoke Odors

6/3/2020 (Permalink)

Ozone generator Ozone machines are used to deodorize a home

The Specialized Equipment Needed To Remove Smoke Odors

After a fire, smoke cleaning is no picnic. It takes training and specialized equipment to rid a home of the persistent odors associated with smoke damage. A qualified fire remediation team has the resources to tackle the most challenging impacts of fire. Technicians may use the following machines to deodorize a home:

  • Air filtration devices
  • Thermal foggers
  • Ozone machines

The home is cleaned according to the highest industry standards. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification promotes voluntary guidelines for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industry. A company that is certified by the IICRC or follows its recommendations is likely to do a professional job.

Eliminate Offensive Odors
After a fire in Philadelphia, PA, smoke odor is likely to be present both inside and outside of the home. It may be difficult to pinpoint exactly where the smell is coming from without advanced equipment. Workers experienced in smoke cleaning can identify the location and the cause of the unpleasant smells and determine the best course of action to eliminate the smells. Improper methods or short cuts such as masking odors won't be successful. With the right methods, over time the odors can be removed without a trace.

Restore the Home
For smoke cleaning to be effective, it should treat all areas of the home and all of its belongings. This includes walls, carpeting, furniture, clothes, electronics, and documents. Different methods of cleaning and different equipment may be used depending upon the materials and how badly they are stained. In some cases, items may need to be thrown out. Where possible, though, a restore versus replace mentality saves time and money. The entire fire restoration process is designed to return a home to its original condition, even after a large fire. An odor control technician can do wonders with smells that pose a challenge to basic cleaning methods. A Professional job delivers quality results.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned – a defensive cleaning program

5/19/2020 (Permalink)

Table tent signs describing the Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned program on top of a wooden table. Our defensive cleaning program gives your business a way forward by providing your employees and customers ongoing safety and assuredness.

Let us help you get back to business

As our communities re-open, we’re all moving back toward a new kind of normal. The expectations of visitors, customers, and employees who come into our establishments have evolved, and staying safe and well is a top concern. The global COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, and we’ve developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to businesses and commercial locations to address the current COVID-19 pandemic. This proactive viral pathogen cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

Extensive training and specialized products

As the #1 choice in cleanup and restoration*, we stand on more than 50 years of experience and expertise to help your business become Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.  Beyond fire & water, SERVPRO professionals are trained and experienced in biohazard decontamination and chemical spills – always adhering to the cleaning and decontamination standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local authorities. 

From formulating and creating our proprietary cleaning products, like SERVPROXIDE, at our headquarters in Gallatin, TN, to taking the utmost care while disinfecting, we will ensure you and your business are set up to inspire consumer confidence as the economy continues to reopen.

3 C’s – Consult, Clean, and Certify

When the stakes are this high, you want a partner who has developed an industry leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes over decades. We’ve cleaned up some of the most challenging biohazards imaginable. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned reflects our unique experiences and capabilities. The program is grounded with our unique 3 C’s: Consult, Clean, and Certify.

  • Consult – Every business is different, which is why you’ll be assigned a Cleaning Protocol Consultant who understands your business and will create a cleaning program to meet your specific needs. This program will be developed based on your business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touchpoints, foot traffic and congestion points.
  • Clean – Based on your specific business needs, your location will undergo a thorough, deep clean, using exclusive cleaning products, according to protocols set forth by the CDC. Our employees have years of experience, and we will go beyond the scope of work that regular janitorial staff perform. Cleanup procedures generally include cleaning of porous and non-porous surfaces, disinfecting of non-porous surfaces, cleaning and disinfecting of equipment, tools, and/or supplies used for cleanup process, and disposal of hazardous materials.  In the event of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 event, we will be there cleaning within 24 hours to ensure you get back to business as quickly as possible. 
  • Certify - Once your business location has been Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you will gain access to proprietary signage, digital emblems, and other collateral that communicates that you’ve selected a higher standard of clean available to help protect your employees and customers. And because we add the day, month, and year to that proprietary stamp of clean, your guests will know that not only did you choose Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, but that your location is being cleaned regularly at this standard.

Call today for a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation

We’re Here to Help – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – until life is back to normal in the communities we all call home.

Call SERVPRO of South Philadelphia today at  215-243-0430 for your Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned consultation.

* #1 Choice in cleanup & restoration based Commercial Attitude & Usage Tracking study. Polling 816 commercial business decision makers on first choice for future needs related to cleanup & restoration work. Study conducted by C&R Research: October 2019

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned means professionally trained SERVPRO franchises perform the requested cleaning, sanitizing and disinfection services according to proprietary SERVPRO protocols and recognized industry and CDC standards with EPA approved cleaning products to deliver a SERVPRO certified cleaning experience.  Each SERVPRO franchise is independently owned and operated.

What Should You Do When the Upstairs Toilet Overflows?

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Basement ceiling damaged by toilet water Second Floor Bathroom Water Leak Damage

What Should You Do When the Upstairs Toilet Overflows?

For various reasons, pipes break or clog. Did someone use too much toilet paper? Did an employee continue to pour grease down a drain? In fact, sometimes it's no one's fault. It's simply defective piping. Whatever the cause, business owners end up facing the mess of sewer damage, an absolute physical, emotional, and financial drain. It's even harder when that break happens on the second story, allowing the polluted fluid to seep down below, ruining not just one floor but two. If this is the case, consider the following to get the building back to normal.

1. Have a Thorough Inspection
First, you can work with the sewage company to repair the source of the issue. After all, you don't want the situation to grow even worse. Then, contact a water restoration company. These experts in Philadelphia, PA, have specialized equipment and knowledge. When they arrive on scene, the staff should begin to survey the damage, section off the impacted zones, and prepare a plan to sanitize your space.

2. Discard Soaked Material
Unfortunately, sewer damage is highly contaminated with bacteria and other microorganisms. It's not something that is simply dried up. The safest decision is to eliminate anything that was heavily drenched. Therefore, the crew should begin removing the soaked flooring as well as the affected portions of the ceiling. If the liquid penetrated through, it may have harmed the downstairs. If that is the case, they could begin tearing out items from here as well.

3. Restore the Rooms
The flooded toilet and other fixtures may be replaced with newer items. The spaces are dried with dehumidifiers and then sprayed with antimicrobial spray. At this point, the restoration team begins construction, patching, painting, and replacing anything lost from the flooding. By the end, both floors should look like they did before.
Sometimes sewer damage is unavoidable. While you can't stop it, you can fix it. Seek the aid of experts who can lead and advise.

Tips for Navigating Mold Coverage in Your Commercial Insurance Plan

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

Black mold growth on roof Roof Leak Causing Mold

Tips for Navigating Mold Coverage in Your Commercial Insurance Plan

Mold is covered under most plans, but you'll need to know how to navigate the plans and make sure you're fully protected. If you are curious about what's covered with your commercial insurance, you'll need to look under the umbrella term of "fungus" on your policy. The fungus policy includes damage from things like

  • mildew
  • dry rot
  • mold

Each of these types of organisms is omitted from blanket insurance coverage under something called a fungus exclusion policy.

About Fungus Exclusion
Essentially this exclusion protects your commercial insurance from needing to cover the most common causes of mold. Some circumstances are excepted from this fungus exclusion. For example, they'll cover in the odd scenario that the mold was caused by a fire. There's also a list of risky events that commercial insurance has called "specified causes of loss". These specified causes are also unlikely to cause mold damage. However, if your mold was caused by something on that list (think hail and vandalism), they'll cover it.

Mold Protection Under Limited Fungus Coverage
This exclusion is what covers mold related to water damage (the most likely event to cause mold growth). A notable, possible exception to some mold insurance plans is a flood exclusion. Some plans make you purchase flood coverage separately. Make sure you have flood coverage as part of your plan - should a flood disaster strike in Philadelphia, PA, flooding is almost guaranteed to invite mold.

Simplifying Your Claims Process
If you find yourself facing mold in your building, it's best to contain it and take photos of the damage before doing anything else. Then, contact your insurance immediately and give them a detailed account of the mold damage. After that, get in touch with mold remediation specialists as soon as possible, to prevent the mold from spreading.
Maneuvering insurance policy details can be tricky. By knowing what to look out for, you can ensure that you're prepared and protected from mold threats to your building.

Determining the Category and Class of Water Damage

5/13/2020 (Permalink)

When handling a water loss, we have to identify the category and the class of the water that caused the damage.  

CATEGORY

  • Category 1: Water originated from a sanitary water source and does not pose substantial risk from dermal, ingestion, or inhalation exposure.
  • Category 2: Water contains significant contamination and has the potential to cause discomfort or sickness if contacted or consumed by humans.
  • Category 3: Water is grossly contaminated and can contain pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents.

CLASS

  • Class 1: Only part if a room or area is wet or larger areas conatining materials that have absorbed minimal moisture.  Little or not wet carpet and/or pad is present.
  • Class 2: An entire room or more is affected.  Carpet and pad may be wet.  Water has wicked up walls less than 24 inches.  There is significant moisture remaining in structural materials.
  • Class 3: Fully involved.  Water may have come from overhead.  Ceilings, walls, insulation, carpet, pad, and sub floor in virtually the entire area are saturated.
  • Class 4: Specialty drying situations - Wet materials with very low permanence/porosity i.e hardwood, concrete, brick.  Typically, there are deep pockets of saturation, which require very low specific humidity. 

Tips To Keep Your Sump Pump Running Smoothly

5/2/2020 (Permalink)

A sump pump installed in a basement of a home with a water powered backup system. Give your sump pump a little tender loving care so that it works when you need it most

During the average week, you probably don’t give your sump pump much thought. When a heavy rainstorm hits in Philadelphia, PA, however, it’s one of the first things you worry about. Since it is critical that your pump works when you need it, it’s a good idea to conduct some routine pump maintenance to keep it in tip-top condition.

How a Sump Works

The sump pump has a few main components that work together to pump water out of your home.

The groundwater collection system works by collecting the outside water through drain tiles and rocks placed under the soil along the house’s foundation. As the groundwater collects, it flows down through pipes to the basement and into the sump tank through an intake screen.
The sump tank is an appliance that is installed inside a specially-made pit placed in the lowest area of the basement. When water reaches a certain level in the tank, a float device will activate a pump.
The pump then forces the water out through a discharge pipe to the outlet drain outside, away from the house. When the water has been drained to a certain level in the tank, this triggers the device to shut off the pump.

What To Inspect
Since the sump mechanism can sit for a few weeks or even months without being activated, it should be inspected periodically. Every 2 or 3 months you should check to make sure the power cord is connected properly. Then dump a bucket of water into the tank to ensure the float device and pump do their job correctly.
At least once a year, you should conduct in-depth maintenance on the unit. Remove any debris from the discharge pipe and intake screen to prevent clogs. Also, clean out the pit area to ensure the unit will function properly. If applicable, replace the backup battery every 2 years.
Give your sump pump a little tender loving care so that it works when you need it most.

How To File a Commercial Insurance Claim

4/22/2020 (Permalink)

Applicant filling in business company application form document applying for job, or registering claim for health insurance Submitting a fire claim can help you get reimbursed for the damages your property has sustained

If your business in Philadelphia, PA has sustained damage from a fire, you will need to call your insurance company as soon as you can. Your agent will walk you through the process of submitting a fire claim so that you can be reimbursed for the damages your property has sustained. Listed below are some important steps to follow when filing a claim.

Steps to a Follow When Filing Claim

When you talk with your insurance agent, give them the policy number and exact location of the fire. Make sure they have your cell phone number and at least one backup person’s phone number in case you can’t be reached right away. The more information you can give them over the phone, the quicker you can get your fire claim processed.
Plan to meet the insurance adjuster at the premises to walk them through the fire damage, unless the building is unsafe.
Take pictures of any damaged items that need to be removed immediately for safety reasons. Otherwise, leave the damage as it is for the adjuster to evaluate.
Secure the building, if possible, as soon as you can. Putting a fence around the property and boarding up windows will keep out vagrants and wild animals.
Organize your business records and expenses. Gather all documents that show the value of any damaged equipment, building structures and furnishings. Lost inventory and raw materials should also be included in the tally. Keep receipts for any repairs that you have initiated in the fire restoration process.

Business Interruption Insurance
Your typical commercial insurance policy will cover your property, but if the damage is so extensive that you need to leave the premises for any length of time, it is wise to have a business interruption policy as well.
Make sure your insurance policy is up to date and keep a paper copy in a safe location so that you are prepared if you need to submit a fire claim.

What To Know About Storm Insurance and Your Business

4/13/2020 (Permalink)

a young man in suit in his office showing an insurance policy and pointing with a pen where the policyholder must to sign Having storm insurance for your business in Philadelphia, PA is one great way to protect the property

Things To Be Aware Of When Looking Over Your Coverage

When you have a business in Philadelphia, PA, having a storm insurance policy is one great way to help protect the property. When looking over your coverage there are a few things to be aware of.

1. What Terms Mean

It’s important to understand what the different terms used in your coverage mean. This will allow you to know what type of deductible you have if it’s a set amount or a percentage amount, what coverage is included in your plan, and what responsibilities you have as the property owner. Understanding your plan, and the terms used, will help you determine if everything you want coverage for is included, or if you will need any supplemental plans.

2. What May Be Covered

In many cases, storm insurance will cover the costs of repairing parts of the property harmed by storm damage. This may include heavy rain and wind damage, and can also include flood and hail depending on the policy. Your policy may also include the costs of hiring a preferred storm damage restoration service to help with cleanup and repairs. It’s important to know what is included in your policy beforehand to avoid any surprises.

3. What May Not Be Covered

It’s important to know which items may not be in your insurance coverage as you may want to purchase a supplemental plan for these items. In many cases, severe flooding may require additional protection as well as hail. You may also find that in the event the property was not properly protected from the elements some coverage doesn’t apply. Be sure to talk to your agent to ensure you know what steps you may be responsible for as the building owner.

When looking over the storm insurance policy for your business it’s important to be aware of a few things. Make sure you understand the terms used and how they affect your policy. It’s also important to know what is and is not included in your coverage and what you may want to get supplemental insurance for. If you have any questions your agent should be able to help.