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How Pretesting After a Home Disaster Can Reduce Insurance Claims

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How Pretesting After a Home Disaster Can Reduce Insurance Claims Flooded basement in a Bayside, NY home

A disaster such as a flood at your Bayside, NY, home can be devastating. Not only could is displace you and your family, but it can also severely damage or even completely ruin belongings, keepsakes, and even structural components of your house. You’re grateful to have insurance to help cover your losses. However, heavy claims can raise your premiums. To keep claims down, professional restoration teams can conduct extensive pretesting to determine what you can salvage and restore and what you must replace.

What is Pretesting?

This process works in tandem with the initial inspection, and it’s critical before you make an insurance claim. Your insurance provider expect you to make contact quickly after an incident so it knows what it can and will cover. Pretesting helps to accurately make claims by identifying the scope of the issues.

  • Crews will determine what materials and portions of your home were affected.
  • Crews will determine if any parts of your house were untouched by damage.
  • Crews will determine what it can restore and what it must replace.

Danger of not Pretesting

What would happen if you were to hire the wrong cleanup company—one that didn’t pretest and examine the scene following a flood or other disaster? In this case, you might report unnecessary losses to your insurance agent, which would result in higher claims and more long-term financial burden. A knowledgeable disaster restoration company carefully evaluates this entire scenario and helps limit the amount of claims you have to make.

Sometimes Replacement Is Inevitable

There are cases when the company will discover during pretesting that the damage was too great to salvage a portion of your home or a belonging inside. It may be more cost-effective in some instances to replace rather than restore. The team will also determine how long both the restoration and replacement process will take.

Working with an insurance company can be a smooth experience. If you want to minimize claims, it’s best to work with a disaster response company that believes in pretesting.

Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Queens Home

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Our Highly Trained Restoration Specialists can restore your Queens Home The IICRC provides training and certification to restoration companies

SERVPRO of Ozone Park / Jamaica Bay Is An IICRC Firm

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Ozone Park / Jamaica Bay

SERVPRO of Ozone Park / Jamaica Bay specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: from initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

CALL SERVPRO OF OZONE PARK/ JAMAICA BAY TODAY - 347-233-2305

Know What To Throw: Flood Damage and Contamination

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Know What To Throw: Flood Damage and Contamination Flooded home in Queens, NY

If major flood waters hit Queens, NY, residents have the unfortunate job of cleaning out their homes from damaged items. News videos of these flooded areas often show the contents of the homes piled on the curbs. Beds, dressers, couches, appliances, and more can be seen. You may be asking, “why does everything have to be thrown away?” The answer lies in the type of water that penetrated the house. Content cleaning should be done if gray water or black water is present. 

Determining What To Throw Away

If items sit in contaminated water, they can become contaminated, too. Trying to be frugal can be dangerous to your health. The difference, however, is in the types of material. Anything porous will likely have to be disposed of; anything nonporous can be cleaned or decontaminated and used. Some content cleaning may need to be done professionally. 

Dealing With Porous Materials

Anything that cannot be thoroughly disinfected should be discarded, or you risk keeping potential health hazards in your home. These are some examples:

  • Food 
  • Books and toys
  • Carpets and rugs
  • Couches and mattresses
  • Dry wall and insulation

Deciding on Nonporous Materials

If water is not able to penetrate the surface, then any contaminants may just sit and can be cleaned. These items should be thoroughly decontaminated with bleach, detergent, and hot water.

  • Canned goods (toss the label)
  • Working appliances
  • Countertops
  • Floors

Whole House Systems

Household systems such as the heating or air conditioning are the types of content cleaning that should be professionally done to prevent the growth of mold and other contaminants. These can then be spread into the home through the vents. 

The Centers for Disease Control warn that the time to try and save or be frugal is not after a major flood, especially with the potential for gray and black water. It’s often best to dispose of items or have professionals come in to clean and restore the home. 

Water Damage? Call SERVPRO

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage? Call SERVPRO Water damage? Call SERVPRO of Ozone Park/ Jamaica Bay

Water Damage? Call SERVPRO

Disasters don’t wait for regular business hours. SERVPRO is available 24/7, including holidays.

SERVPRO of Ozone Park/ Jamaica Bay is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We Answer the Phone Ready to Help
Call Today - 347-233-2305

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through this crisis. SERVPRO of Ozone Park/ Jamaica Bay has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Ozone Park/ Jamaica Bay

SERVPRO of Ozone Park/ Jamaica Bay specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Check out the Meet the Crew Page by clicking the link. http://www.SERVPROozoneparkjamaicabay.com/employee-photos

The Certifications that we hold are:

Certifications

  • AMRT - Applied Microbial Remediation Technician
  • ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician
  • SRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician
  • WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician
  • IICRC Certified Firm
  • OCT - Odor Control Technician

What You Need To Know About Business Interruption Insurance

2/13/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What You Need To Know About Business Interruption Insurance Business interruption insurance can be helpful for you

What You Need To Know About Business Interruption Insurance

When there is bad weather in Whitestone, NY, it can sometimes affect your business for a while after the storm has passed. If your place of business suffers damage, you might not be able to operate as usual while you rebuild. If this happens, it can be helpful to have business interruption insurance. Here are a few questions you can ask to see if this type of insurance is something that would benefit you.

1. When Do You Need It?

There are situations when you might need to temporarily close your business, which can result in loss of income. Incidents such as a fire or big storms can cause damage to the building in which you do your business, and you will likely be unable to use this location while it is undergoing emergency restoration. You won’t always be able to prepare for these types of incidents and having insurance can help you with the financial losses you could suffer.

2. What Does It Cover?

While property insurance usually covers physical damages, it cannot help you with any income that might be lost while you rebuild your business. That is where interruption insurance comes in. With this type of insurance, you can expect to be compensated for expenses such as rent and moving costs incurred by temporarily relocating your business, operating expenses and profits that you would have earned if you were able to operate as usual.

3. What Is Not Covered?

This type of insurance can be helpful, but it does have some limits. There are a few things that it won’t cover. These include closures caused by power outages, utilities and unaccounted income. You will also be unqualified for coverage if you have only a partially closed operation where access is limited, but you are still able to conduct business.

When you are considering the type of insurance you need, you probably won’t think twice about getting property insurance, but don’t forget about what happens after the property has been damaged. Business interruption insurance can help keep your company from suffering financially while you rebuild.

Embrace Fire Alarms in Your House, Even When They Are Annoying

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Embrace Fire Alarms in Your House, Even When They Are Annoying Fire alarms can detect fire and smoke damage, they can save lives

4 Things To Consider When Bashing A Chirping Alarm

Everyone knows the chirping sound of the battery dying in a fire alarm. That noise can drive people crazy, but the alarms in your home in Jamaica Bay, NY protect the lives of you and your family. Here are four things to consider next time you contemplate bashing a chirping alarm.

1. How much time do you have to escape a fire?

Smoke can arrive before fire damage, and with only 3-4 minutes to get out, an alarm can be the deciding factor in your escape. Individual units go off when fire reaches them whereas connected units go off as soon as one unit is triggered letting the whole house know to escape.

2. What is the right alarm for your house?

Smoke alarms come in two styles - photoelectric and ionization. Photoelectric units sense smoky fires while ionization units sense more flames with less smoke. Since all fires are different, installing both types of alarms can be a great decision.

3. How long does an alarm device last?

Everyone knows that the batteries should be changed twice a year, but not many people know when to change the actual fire alarm unit. Typical devices can last for 8-15 years, so check the date on your alarm the next time you change the batteries. If it was manufactured in the 1990s, it's definitely time to install a new one.

4. How expensive are alarms?

Installing an alarm in each bedroom, on every floor, and more outside of every sleeping area of the house can seem like a huge expense. However, standard units cost just $6-20 and bi-annual battery replacements can cost just a few bucks.

If you thought fire alarms were too annoying, too expensive, or not really necessary, think again. With limited time to escape a fire and unit options that can detect fire and smoke damage, these inexpensive devices can save lives.

How To Stop Mold From Growing and Spreading in Your Home

1/25/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation How To Stop Mold From Growing and Spreading in Your Home Mold loss in Jamaica Bay, NY

How To Stop Mold From Growing and Spreading in Your Home

If you notice mold in your home in Jamaica Bay, NY, you may worry about whether or not mold will spread. There are several things you can do to both reduce the likelihood of spreading mold and prevent additional mold from growing.

1. Reduce Air Movement

One of the primary ways mold spreads is by air movement. Many people think that using a fan will help to keep an area dry and will thus prevent more mold from growing. However, using a fan near mold can actually cause the mold to spread to other areas of your home. It’s often helpful to avoid touching the area affected by mold in order to decrease the likelihood of it spreading.

2. Eliminate Sources of Water

In order to reduce the chance of spreading mold and having black mold grow in an area, eliminating any sources of water near the location of the mold growth can be helpful. For example, if mold is growing due to a leaky pipe, it can help to turn off the water supply until the pipe is fixed. Since mold generally needs moisture to grow, keeping the affected area dry will be a good way to prevent mold from continuing to spread.

3. Decrease Humidity Levels

Although leaks are a common contributor of mold growth, high levels of humidity in the home can also contribute to the issue. Areas in the home such as bathrooms or kitchens are often particularly humid and using a dehumidifier in these rooms may be helpful. Opening windows can also help reduce the levels of humidity in a home, but you should avoid using fans so as not to disturb the mold spores.

Although there are often methods you can take to stop spreading mold, and you can take measurements to prevent mold, attempting to remove mold on your own can sometimes worsen the problem. If mold is widespread in your home, it may help to contact mold remediation experts.

Get Ready for a Water Heater Leak

1/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Get Ready for a Water Heater Leak Get ready for a water heater leak in your Flushing, NY home

Get Ready for a Water Heater Leak

A failed water heater can leave a large mess behind, especially if that water tank is tucked in a closet near your main living space. You can minimize damage to your home in Flushing, NY, by acting fast to clean up the water. Read this now, so you know what to do when the time comes.

1. Stop the Bleed

Stop the water from continually pouring out of your leaking water heater, and reduce the amount of water that leaks into your home.

  • Turn off the valve for the cold water pipe that leads into your tank.

  • Connect a hose to the drain valve at the bottom of your tank, and redirect the water to an external location to help minimize damage.

2. Call for Help

If your leaking water heater leaves you with a substantial water mess, then calling for help is a good step before you do anything else. Professional water restoration specialists are experienced in resolving floods quickly and efficiently. When it comes to water, a company that is Faster to Any Size Disaster can save you money by reducing the exposure that can cause subsequent damage.

3. Actively Wait

Who says waiting is a passive activity? Even though professionals will come to complete the cleanup and restoration, you can do your part to reduce the damage caused by the leaking water heater. While you wait, you can:

  • Remove standing water by absorbing the water with towels and rags or a mop.

  • Protect wooden furniture legs by placing foil or blocks underneath the feet.

  • Pick up any personal belongings out of the water and place them somewhere else to dry.

  • Crank up the airflow by opening windows and doors, using fans or by using your HVAC system to help start the drying process.

You can minimize your exposure to water damage by knowing what to do when you have a broken water heater. Stopping the flow, calling for help and starting some cleanup on your own will all help reduce the amount of time your home is exposed to water. Professional water mitigators will do a thorough job using specialized equipment such as pumps and commercial air movers to remove water fast.

3 Things To Know About Using a Fire Extinguisher

1/12/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial 3 Things To Know About Using a Fire Extinguisher If a fire starts at your building in Queens, NY it is possible to eliminate the flames on your own using a fire extinguisher

3 Things To Know About Using a Fire Extinguisher

No matter the size, fires are dangerous. Employees need to evacuate a building if a fire is out of control. However, if a fire at your building in Queens, NY, is small and contained to one area, it is possible to eliminate the flames on your own using a fire extinguisher.

1. Know Your Equipment Before Disaster Strikes

While the steps required to use an extinguisher aren't exceptionally complicated under normal circumstances, things can change when a fire starts. The best way to prevent damage as a result of a small fire is to be acquainted with the extinguisher before you ever need to use it. This means yearly training on how to operate it. The more familiar an employee is with this device, the easier it will be to use when the time comes.

2. Assess the Fire Before You Act

A commercial building fire can cause fear and panic, but it's important to remain calm. The first thing to do during a fire is to activate the fire alarm. If a fire is large or out of control, employees should follow the building's evacuation plan and leave intervention to the fire department. If the fire is small, however, it might be possible to use a fire extinguisher to eliminate it. For example, it's possible that a kitchen fire on a stove or a fire contained to a trashcan could be extinguished quickly by an employee.

3. Use the Extinguisher Correctly

When using an extinguisher, here are a few things to keep in mind — although you should always read and follow your specific device's instructions.

  • Pull the pin on the extinguisher; this will break the tamper seal.
  • Always aim low and point the nozzle at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle to release the firefighting agent.
    • Step from side to side while using the extinguisher. Continue this motion until the fire is extinguished.

Repeat the last three steps with the fire extinguisher until the flames are out. If there is any doubt that you have not successfully snuffed the fire, evacuate immediately. Leave the firefighting to the professionals and the fire damage assessment to restoration experts.

4 Steps To Make a Water Damage Claim

12/23/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 4 Steps To Make a Water Damage Claim Water damage in a Queens,NY home

4 Steps To Make a Water Damage Claim

A water damage claim is more likely to be approved if a policyholder takes measures to document damage and gather important information. These four steps will guide a homeowner through the process of filing an insurance claim.

1. Review the Policy

It is important to know what a homeowner's insurance policy does and does not cover. Keep in mind that standard home insurance policies only cover water damage due to a pipe burst or leak. An endorsement is usually necessary for sewer backup coverage, and an additional flood policy is needed for damage caused by heavy rains or rising bodies of water.

2. Call Your Agent

Call your insurance agent and let them know about the extent of the damage. It is a good idea to determine whether it is likely that you will file a claim before calling. If the damage is minor and you want to avoid a rate increase, you may want to obtain an estimate from a mitigation service first and pay out of pocket. Some insurance companies require agents and adjusters to report potential claims.

3. Document the Damage

If you plan to file an insurance claim, you will need proof of damage. Capture the extent of the damage in photos or on video. This documentation may be even more useful if you also have dated footage of the residence before the damage took place. It is also useful to gather receipts, dates of purchase, and the prices of damaged contents.

4. Get an Estimate

Contact a water damage cleanup company to obtain an estimate of the total cost of mitigation and restoration. Providing this information to an adjuster can expedite the filing process.

These steps will guide you from determining what your policy will cover to filing an insurance claim. Obtain an estimate from a water damage mitigation and restoration company in Queens, NY.