Flood Damage Claims: A Step-By-Step Guide
If you have experienced a storm damage in Santa Maria, CA contact an adjuster
Did you recently experience a storm in Santa Maria, CA, that left your home with flood damage? If so, and you have insurance coverage for such an occurrence, you need to make a flood claim as soon as possible. How can you go about doing so? Follow these three steps to make sure that your insurance claim is properly reported.
1. Contact an Adjuster
The very first thing that you need to do is contact the adjuster for your flood policy to report the destruction. If you do not have flood coverage, this would be the time to contact any applicable government agencies for information on available assistance, as your homeowners’ policy will not likely cover anything related to flooding. If you are in a designated disaster area, there may be federal aid available.
2. Clean and Recover
You will want to begin cleaning and salvaging your house and items before the insurance representative arrives. This could be a good time to contact a restoration company to help you with any water damage or drying that is needed as a result of the flood. Just make sure to take pictures of damaged items and areas of your property to show as proof of loss. Cleaning the building and recording everything makes the adjuster’s job easier when assessing the situation.
3. Prepare for the Adjuster’s Arrival
In case the representative assessing damage related to your flood claim arrives when you are not at home, be sure to leave your contact information for him or her. Understand that you will likely sign a proof of loss statement before your claim is approved. If more damage is found later on, that will be added to the insurance company’s record.
Preparing for a flood claim when you are dealing with the emotional aftermath of a natural disaster is anything but easy. Having a plan in place and being educated about what your insurance company needs from you will help things go more smoothly at the time of the assessment.
How To Stop Black Mold in Its Tracks
Black mold damage in Santa Maria, CA
When mold strikes, the last thing you want to do is spread it throughout your Santa Maria, CA, home. Even though mold loves moisture and typically festers in wet, warm areas, spores from spreading mold can easily travel from one room to another via air movement. There are certain places and things in your home that should be frequently checked and thoroughly cleaned to keep mold at bay. These include the following:
- Moldings around windows and doors
- Musty basements
- Bathroom tiles
- Surfaces surrounding air conditioners
- Refrigerator door seals
- Shower stalls and curtains
Taking care of moisture issues is one of the best ways to prevent mold from starting and growing. If you’re past the prevention stage, it is vital that you stop spreading mold at the first sign of a problem with professional mold remediation.
Leave Black Mold to the Professionals
While DIY may be the way to go with some home projects, getting rid of a mold infestation isn’t one of them. Trying to take care of such a tricky substance by yourself often does more harm than good since the spores that move through the air are virtually undetectable by the naked eye. Mold remediation companies are thoroughly trained to prevent the spreading of black mold. They have both the tools and the skills to get your home back to normal from start to finish. Some of these steps include the following:
- Performing initial inspections
- Filtering the air in your home
- Containing the mold
- Removing damaged and diseased materials
- Repairing and restoring your home to its original condition
Because mold spores move quickly through the air and multiply on almost any surface they land on, it’s important that you squash the spreading mold in your Santa Maria, CA, home quickly and meticulously. Don’t let the thought of mold stop you in your tracks. With mold remediation, you can have your home and peace of mind back in no time.
Nipomo Fire Damage Restoration Company Explains Each Step For Cleaning Up Fire Damage
Entering a home or business and seeing the fire damage for the first time adds dismay to the shock of the fire. SERVPRO, the fire damage company serving Nipomo answers the question, “How is this mess every getting cleaned up?” by explaining how the company restores homes and commercial buildings after a fire.
“Fire damage is more than just burned walls and possessions,” said Mark Powers, owner of the SERVPRO franchise that serves Nipomo. “There is soot, ashes, water and smoke damage in the aftermath of any fire. Even a small kitchen fire that was put out before it spread can leave smoke residue that spread to other parts of the house. We work closely with people to help them through the process of restoring their homes and businesses after a fire.”
It can be very disheartening and discouraging the first time someone sees their home and possessions reduced to piles of burned rubble, but many times a surprising number of possessions can be saved. For some peace of mine, it’s good idea to enter your home or business for the first time in the company of a Nipomo fire damage professional who comes prepared with advice, recommendations and a plan based on experience.
The professionals from SERVPRO inspect and test the damage to determine the extent of fire, smoke, soot, and water damage then help you customize a plan of action. The plan includes things such as taking a inventory of everything that was damaged, sorting through possessions to save what can be saved, suggestions for renting storage, where to take clothing and linens for cleaning, demolition of components of a building that are too damaged to save, such as water soaked drywall and insulation, or vinyl flooring. SERVPRO works hand-in-hand with you and your insurance company at every step.
Other remediation actions SERVPRO performs include:
- Covering and protecting windows, walls, and roofs to maintain security and prevent further damage from the weather.
- Removing water, smoke and soot. SERVPRO uses dehumidifiers and air movers to remove water and dry out wet areas. The company has specialized equipment and techniques for removing smoke and soot from ceilings, walls and other surfaces.
- Cleaning everything that can be restored and all structures that were damaged by the fire using state-of-the-art techniques to restore belongings to pre-fire condition and removing odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment.
- The final step is restoring your home or business to its condition before the fire. This step can range from minor repairs such as replacing kitchen tile, drywall, painting and cleaning carpets to major repairs and reconstruction.
Smoke and fire damage situations are all different and each requires unique solutions for the specific conditions. No family or individual should have to take on the added burden of worrying about how to rebuild from a fire. Just getting the daily routine back to as normal as possible is enough strain. SERVPRO as a company specializes in taking a large part of the recovery off the shoulders of families, and the local Nipomo fire restoration franchise brings the added benefit of local experience.
For as much peace of mind under the circumstances, contact SERVPRO of Santa Maria for restoring fire damage in Nipomo or elsewhere on California’s Central Coast.
SERVPRO of Santa Maria
1279 W. Stowell Road, Suite C
Santa Maria, CA 93458
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Nipomo Water Damage Company SERVPRO Releases The Report ‘Small Things That Prevent Water Damage’
SERVPRO Nipomo, the company specializing in remediating water damage in Nipomo has released a report about the small things the can prevent water damage. Paying attention to things like leaky faucets, checking for roof leaks and even checking runoff from landscape watering can help prevent water damage.
Small things that prevent water damage
There are many small and seemingly harmless things that can lead to water damage if left unattended. Slow drips, undetected leaks, standing water around foundations, cracked and chipped grout and caulking can be small leaks that lead to long-term water damage.
Repair or preplace leaking faucets right away. Not only can a long-term leak raise a water bill, water can build up along the edges of the sink, onto the counter top and drip under the sink. Small leaks over time can cause mold and mildew, which are both health problems and expensive to remove. Sometimes entire areas of the effected structure need to be removed, such as the flooring and cabinetry under a sink.
Leaking toilets can contribute to black water contamination, one of the most serious kinds of problems. An old seal or a plumbing problem that causes a toilet to overflow, even a crack in a toilet, needs immediate attention. SERVPRO has the training and equipment to address black water damage in Nipomo and elsewhere on the Central Coast.
Dampness under sinks
Check under sinks regularly for damp spots. Cracked pipes, loose fittings, rusted fittings and leaks can cause moisture to build up and spread. When the leak is slow and small, standing water may never be present so what would otherwise be an obvious sign of a problem isn’t present.
Grout and caulking around sinks, tubs and showers
Water can seep through cracks in grout and caulking. Missing chunks of grout and caulking, no matter how small, create places for water to pool and seep through into the walls or floor. Repair damaged grout and caulking at once.
Water, dampness and mold that are detected in attics, basements and crawl spaces between the ceiling and roof and under a building need immediate attention. Check these areas regularly, especially after rain and storms.
Water that puddles and remains unchanged for more than a day when it is not raining needs to be checked. Certain types of soil drain slower than other types, but even then, standing pools of water should change and get smaller within 24 hours. If the puddle is not changing or is getting bigger, check for a broken pipe. Damp ground that is in contact with any structure long enough causes mold and other water damage.
Small changes to landscaping and how it is watered can help prevent water damage. Avoid planting anything requiring frequent watering close to the house. We all think flowers look wonderful planted right against the house, but if those flowers require a lot of watering to keep them alive, consider moving them to another part of the yard or using containers. Use drought tolerant plants closest to structures. Make sure that landscape water doesn’t hit the exterior walls or run under the house. Plant slopes with drought plants. Leaving a slope bare or planting it with something with heavy water needs causes water runoff that can contribute to damp ground around or under a structure. If you use automatic irrigation, plan it so that drip-watered plants are not too close to the house and consider using well-placed misting heads instead of drip heads.
Anyone experiencing or suspecting water damage can contact SERVPRO of Nipomo for an evaluation of the damage. SERVPRO is rusted leader in the restoration of water damage in Nipomo and California’s Central Coast. The staff has the training, equipment, and expertise to handle all restoration and cleaning needs and provides 24-hour emergency service.
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The Cost Difference Between Mitigation and Restoration During a Flood
Commercial Company flooded and needing Remediation
Floods continue to be the most prevalent and expensive natural disaster in America. While preventative measures provide quicker and less expensive alternatives to the cost of hiring a flood cleanup company, many property owners do not mitigate against flood damage. This results in high costs and a lengthy restoration process.
One of the best preventative recommendations for flood damage is flood insurance, which property owners may purchase through the National Flood Insurance Program, managed by the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA), for an average of $700 per year.
Some other preventative methods include the following:
- Sealing basement walls with compounds that are waterproof
- Installing reflux valves to prevent drains from backing up
- Moving heat and electrical sources to higher levels
- Backing up data to the cloud
- Making a flood plan, including work-from-home opportunities
Once in place, these measures offer protection, year after year. Even better, property owners can usually have the cost partially or fully covered by FIMA.
In contrast, property owners who did not take preventative measures must hire a flood cleanup company out of pocket. Every day the business is closed is a day of income lost, while the company may have salaried staff to pay.
Drying out the business may take the restoration company a few days, and this can only begin after the flood waters recede. Restoration to pre-flood conditions may only require an additional few days, but in worst case scenarios, it may take a business a while to completely rebuild. Not surprisingly, FEMA estimates that 40 percent of small businesses, many of which do not invest in preventative measures, fail to recover from natural disasters.
When it comes to flood damage, prevention is always better than a cure. Sure, a reputable flood cleanup company may restore your place of business in a matter of days, but investing in proactive measures is the best approach to natural disasters in Santa Maria, CA.
Understanding Secondary Damage
Mold in a Santa Maria building.
When you have a flood in your commercial building in Santa Maria, CA, it's hard to know what the extent of the damage will be until you get a remediation team in there for an inspection. This crew can help you do the following:
• Assess the damage.
• Create a repair plan.
• Initiate cleanup.
As the professionals are assessing your damage, you may hear them talk about primary and secondary damage. Here's what you need to know about damage that's caused indirectly by the waters.
What It Doesn't Include
This secondary form of destruction can include a wide range of damage, but it doesn't include everything done to your building. The primary damage is anything done when the pipe burst or the roof leaked. For example, black mold growth wasn't caused directly by the flooding, but damaged walls and ceilings may have been.
How It's Formed
Because this type of damage only includes the harm done after the flooding has ceased, how is the damage done? Often slow reaction time, improper cleanup and hidden problems cause what the professionals consider to be nonprimary damage. For example, black mold growth does not happen the instant a flood starts. Instead, it takes 24 to 48 hours to begin. High humidity may also be a secondary type of damage because it takes place when the water is allowed to sit for too long or is not completely removed from the building.
What It Does Include
Because it's caused by slow reactions, this damage can include mold growth, unsalvageable furnishings, water contamination and the spread of the flood. If a pipe bursts on the second floor, the water may start to travel to lower levels if it is not caught soon enough. The path of the water may be considered secondary or primary damage depending on what caused the travel.
Mold growth, including black mold, is often considered a type of secondary damage. However, your commercial space could by affected by other types of secondary destruction if you don't properly address water issues right away.
How Mold Remediation Works
How Mold Remediation Works
The discovery of black mold can be terrifying for any homeowner, as it carries significant consequences such as decreased property value. If you think you’ve developed a colony of spore growth in an area of your home in Santa Maria, California it’s crucial to get help from a professional mold remediation service before it spreads throughout the building. Here’s what you can expect to happen during a typical mold cleanup project.
The first step in the process is to have an experienced professional inspect the area and determine the type of growth. There are many different types of spores, and it takes a trained eye to figure out if it’s black mold or something else.
Once the technician makes a determination, the next step is to contain the growth so it doesn’t spread to other parts of the house. This can be accomplished in a few different ways:
Negative air chambers
Air filtration units
Removal of Untreatable Surfaces
While some surfaces can be cleaned, there are porous materials that will still harbor spores despite your best efforts. As part of the remediation process, technicians will likely remove the following:
Cleaning and Restoration
With permeable surfaces removed, efforts can transition to cleanup and restoration in the affected area. Depending on the type of mold, technicians will use a variety of different techniques to eradicate the infestation and remove unpleasant odors. Once cleaning is complete, your contractor will finish drying the area and replace the surfaces removed over the course of the project.
Prevention Is Key
Now that the project is complete, it’s important to take steps to prevent black mold from returning to your home. Even something as simple as the installation of a dehumidifier could be enough to keep you from having to endure the mold cleanup process again. While upgrades such as basement waterproofing and French drains might seem excessive, they’re much better than regular appointments for mold remediation. Visit http://www.SERVPROsantamaria.com for more information on mold.
Items You Should Throw Away After a Home Fire
Items You Should Throw Away After a Home Fire
A home fire in Santa Maria, California is a frightening event that can change your life. Standing in your home among your damaged belongings, you probably ask yourself which items you need to throw away. The fact is that high heat and fire damage render some of your personal belongings useless and can even cause them to be dangerous if used.
Food that got damaged by heat, smoke, water, toxic fumes or chemicals is not safe to use. Exercise caution and discard if in doubt.
It’s recommended to throw away these items:
Fresh food, such as produce, meat, poultry, cheese, eggs and milk
Food in cardboard boxes or foil wrap
Food in canisters, such as spices, flour, and seasonings
Check your refrigerator to see if it was able to keep your food cold and if soot was able to penetrate it. If your fridge was turned off for more than four hours or if you can detect soot, discard all food. Frozen food can be safe to use if it still has crystals on it; however, the safe bet is to toss it.
Medicine and Cosmetics
Inspect medicines and cosmetics that were near high heat for soot, dust, chemicals and signs of damage. If anything is warped due to the exposure to heat, don’t even think about keeping it. You’re on the safe side if you simply get rid of all medicine and cosmetic items.
Clothes and Textiles
Some of your clothes and textiles might be able to be cleaned and disinfected by an experienced fire restoration company that has the proper tools and knowledge. Anything that is burnt needs to be thrown away, though. Baby and children clothing need some extra care and attention as you don’t want to risk your little one’s health.
Exercise caution with the aforementioned items. It might be smart to just throw away food, medicine and cosmetics for the sake of your health. Always bear in mind that high heat and fire damage are dangerous, and even if any of these items seem to be in good condition, your eyes might be tricking you.
Visit http://www.SERVPROsantamaria.com for more information on fire damage.
How To Prepare for Flood Damage
How To Prepare for Flood Damage
Flooding can happen throughout the year and can be devastating to a commercial building, leaving damage that takes a significant amount of time and expense to undo. There are several steps you can take to prepare your Santa Maria, California building to survive and recover from storm damage. Preventative measures can reduce the amount of flood damage and make it easier to restore your building to operational use as soon as possible.
1. Clean the Gutters
Flooding doesn’t always mean there are several feet of water in a building. Even a few inches of water inside a commercial building can cause substantial damage. Floodwaters can build slowly over several days or may rise extremely quickly in the event of a flash flood.
No matter how much rain is falling, well-maintained gutter systems have a much better chance of diverting that water to proper drainage areas. If the gutters are clogged with leaves, dirt, and other debris, the water can overflow the sides and saturate the ground around the foundation, increasing the risk for damage. Make sure to check and clean the gutters on a regular schedule to ensure they work properly during a flood.
2. Maintain the Storm Drains
Like gutters, storm drains are designed to move water away from streets and buildings. While the local government or county is usually responsible for storm drain maintenance, you may be required to report issues with the drains on or near your property. If you see something amiss with a storm drain, report it to the authorities immediately.
3. Have a Response Plan
Make sure you’re ready to react quickly in the event of flooding. During a flood watch or warning, follow basic safety guidelines:
Listen to the TV or radio for weather updates
Gather an emergency preparedness kit
Move to higher ground
Avoid walking or driving through flood waters
Keep the number for restoration professionals handy so you can call them if your building sustains storm damage. You will want to do this as soon as possible to begin cleanup and repairs. Responding quickly to flood damage can help get your building back to normal operations. Visit http://www.SERVPROsantamaria.com for more information on flood damage.
When Storms or Floods hit Santa Maria SERVPRO is ready!
SERVPRO of Santa Maria specializes in storm and flood damage restoration. Our crews are highly trained and we use specialized equipment to restore your property to its pre-storm condition.
Since we are locally owned and operated, we are able to respond quicker with the right resources, which is extremely important. A fast response lessens the damage, limits further damage, and reduces the restoration cost.
Resources to Handle Floods and Storms
When storms hit Santa Maria, we can scale our resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. We can access equipment and personnel from a network of 1,650 Franchises across the country and elite Disaster Recovery Teams https://www.SERVPRO.com/disaster-recovery that are strategically located throughout the United States.
Have Storm or Flood Damage? Call Us Today 805-922-5457