Two Types of Fires Not Covered by Insurance
No one wants to experience a home fire. Thankfully, homeowner’s insurance is there to help you through the cleaning and remediation process in most cases. There are, however, two circumstances in which insurance usually does not cover fire damage, and it is important to know what they are so that you can better prepare yourself. Read on to learn more.
When a home fire is started on purpose by the homeowner, it is defined as arson. Arson often occurs when a homeowner wants to commit arson insurance fraud, burning down his or her home to collect insurance money. Both arson and arson insurance fraud are serious criminal offenses that can result in fines and jail time.
In the case of insurance claims from house fires, investigators will come out to the property to determine the cause. If the fire is the result of arson, the claim will be denied.
2. Vacant Home Fire
Do you own a home that no one has lived in for more than 30 consecutive days? If so, your house might be classified as vacant. Every insurance company defines a vacant home differently, but the 30-day rule is the most typical guideline. If fire damage occurs in a vacant home, insurance companies will not provide coverage.
There are still opportunities for vacant home coverage, however. Homeowners can buy an add-on to their policies that allows them to seek protection for a vacation home, for example. Other companies specifically offer vacant home insurance that mirrors home insurance policies.
Homeowner’s insurance is vital for covering your Chattanooga, TN property against home fire, theft, wind and vandalism. Still, there are certain circumstances that will void your policy coverage. The best way to know what is covered and what is not is to review your policy carefully with your insurance agent and see if there are any options to keep your home covered. Visit http://www.SERVPROofsouthchattanooga.com for more information on fire damage.
How to Prevent Mold Growth in a Rental Home
Leaving a rental property behind in Chattanooga, TN can feel like a dance with fate over the threat of mold growth. Fortunately, mold prevention is the best bet against the fungal nuisance, and consists of steps you can take today to help your property stay fungal-free.
1. Control Moisture Levels
The key to mold prevention is moisture maintenance. Needing nothing more than a dark place and exposure to water to thrive, mold can be kept at bay by keeping strict control of moisture levels within the building. Without turning it off, lower the heat to keep humidity levels at the EPA recommended 30 – 50 percent range. Turning off the water supply can ensure no leaky pipes create a mold problem in your absence.
2. Check Insulation and Circulation
Improper insulation can allow condensation to build on interior walls or near HVAC units and piping. Inspect your property for signs of condensation buildup near windows or on ceiling tiles and interior walls and correct the problem immediately. Furthermore, ensure there is proper circulation and ventilation to keep air moving and moisture levels low. Fans and dehumidifiers can help maintain appropriate levels within the property.
3. Conduct Regular Maintenance
Mold spores feed on the material they land on, quickly leading to significant property damage. Regular dusting, vacuuming and cleaning can minimize the organic nutrients found in dirt that mold growth thrives on. Furthermore, conduct regular maintenance checks of HVAC drip pans to ensure they are clean and flowing properly. Checking the foundation can reveal if any groundwater is being led to the house, while an inspection of the roof and gutters can ensure there is no water damage being caused to the ceiling.
Sometimes mold prevention goes beyond what’s immediately visible. Mold restoration specialists have technology that can read for signs of mold growth beyond what is seen, ensuring your rental property is safe for all.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofsouthchattanooga.com for more information on mold.
Can Personal Belongings Be Salvaged After Water Damage?
Whether from storms, floods or a broken pipe, uninvited water in the home can quickly wreak havoc on your personal belongings. Fortunately, there are tactics to minimize water damage to your irreplaceable possessions, from artwork to furniture. Working with restoration specialists in Chattanooga, TN can increase the chances of your items being restored fully, however, there are simple tactics you may employ at home. Here are four methods you might utilize to ensure your belongings have the best chance of restoration:
1. Air Circulation
To inhibit the threat of mold growth, humidity should be repressed. Increase the airflow in your home by opening windows and turning on air conditioning, fans and dehumidifiers.
2. Dry Cleaning
Using a soft cloth or gentle brush, carefully dust off any dried debris or residue from your damaged items. Be cautious of rubbing dirt further into the material.
3. Wet Cleaning
If still wet, certain materials may take a light rinse of clean, clear water to wash off the silt left from water damage. Be careful in using this method with delicate items such as art.
4. Air Drying
Air drying is an important step in the restoration process. Direct sunlight can be too harsh and cause fading or breakage of the items. Using a well-ventilated area with ample airflow, try to air dry your items indoors as much as possible.
Restoration specialists are professionally trained to handle the cleanup process after water in the home has caused damage. Delicate items such as art and documents receive a special level of precision alongside electronics, that require unique attention for safety purposes.
While a broken pipe ideally remains a small issue, water damage can be a big issue made bigger without the appropriate tactics. A professional cleanup crew can provide the equipment and precision your personal belongings deserve after water in the home has wrought damage. Before the initial presumption to throw wet items out, contact your local restoration company in Chattanooga, TN and you may find just how much can be saved. Visit http://www.SERVPROofsouthchattanooga.com for more information on water damage.
Tips for Avoiding Flooded Toilets
Flooded toilets in a commercial setting.
A clogged toilet in your commercial property in Chattanooga, TN can cause a lot of problems. It can spill sewage onto the floor of the bathroom, creating a safety hazard. It can even back up your septic system if the problem persists over time, resulting in problems that can only be remedied by professional restoration experts. There are a few things you can do, however, to help prevent toilet overflow in your building.
1. Increased Signage
Many toilets overflow because try to flush items that are not meant to be flushed. Fortunately, there is a pretty simple way to make your expectations clear and curtail this problem. You can post signs in the bathroom detailing what can and cannot be flushed. Most people try to be compliant with management’s wishes, so this can cut down on your issues.
2. More Trash Receptacles
Sometimes, a clogged toilet is the result of a desire for convenience. One of the reasons people may attempt to flush items that cause clogs is that they are at a loss for another way to dispose of them. Without a discreet disposal option, the toilet is the next best thing. When you add more trash receptacles to the public restroom, you are offering alternatives to behavior that causes problems.
3. Thinner Toilet Paper
You cannot control how much toilet paper people use, but you can control how bulky the toilet paper is. Many commercial building owners use one-ply toilet paper in their public bathrooms. Not only does it tend to be less expensive, but it also is easier on your septic system. It dissolves more readily than thicker paper, making it less likely to cause a clog.
A clogged toilet can cause significant water damage to your commercial property in Chattanooga, TN but making a few minor changes can help minimize the occurrence of clogs. The fewer overflowing toilets you have, the cleaner and easier to maintain your public restrooms will be.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofsouthchattanooga.com for more information on commercial water damage.
Tips for Commercial Roof Maintenance
Roof damage on a commercial building.
Keeping your roof storm-proof is about more than just managing damage after it happens. Prevention is the best form of protection, which means taking careful precautions to help your Chattanooga, TN property weather even the worst storm. Roof damage happens for a number of reasons, with mother nature being the number one culprit. Let’s take a look at how you can prevent wind damage, storm damage, and other issues.
Get Your Roof Inspected
You should have your roof inspected at least twice a year to check for any existing roof damage that a natural disaster or other incident might exacerbate. Inspections check for:
• Cracked surfaces
• Worn finish
• Damage from wind or debris
• Other areas that might need repair
Roof inspections can catch problems before they happen, such as areas that might leak or that might collapse. For safety’s sake, inspections can prevent interior damage to inventory as well as potential injury from slips and falls in puddles, or from collapsing roof materials.
Get Your Roof Finished
Roof finishing might seem redundant to you, but you can actually protect your building further by adding a finishing layer that helps to seal and protect your roof from damage. Roof finishing can often mitigate problems with cracks or issues facing older buildings that may have more porous or aging materials easily damaged by wind, rain, and sun.
Get Your Roof Rebuilt
If worst comes to worst, you may need a complete rebuild if you’ve already sustained roof damage. This is particularly true of more historical buildings, or buildings that were neglected before your occupancy. Time and the elements can wear on a commercial roof until they no longer provide the same waterproof, reliable shelter they once did. Especially if your building uses older materials, a complete roof tear-down and rebuild can not only protect your building from the elements, but add a fresh new look.
Visit http://www.SERVPROofsouthchattanooga.com for more information on storm damage.
Rescuing Your Personal Items from Fire Damage in Chattanooga
Chattanooga Flooring Can Suffer from Fire Damage
SERVPRO's Experienced Techs and Equipment Can Salvage Many Damaged Belongings from Fires
Cleaning up after a fire is a very complex process, because there may be damage to a lot of different materials. Each substance requires its unique approach to cleaning and repairs, which is why restoration can be time-consuming.
Fortunately, the experts at SERVPRO can adapt their repairs to the scenario and situation. When handling fire damage in Chattanooga homes, they try to salvage as many personal items as possible. However, they may need advice from the homeowner as regards what is considered worthy of salvage.
Keep reading to learn more about the restoration process and how SERVPRO restores some of the most commonly damaged items.
It can be tricky to remove soot and smoke stains from hardwood without damaging the finish. Too much water can lead to cupping and warping. So, depending on the severity of the damage, we use dry chemicals (sometimes water) to lift blemishes gently. If the marks are too stubborn, we can apply a sealant to trap odors and reapply a new finish.
Many homeowners assume that fire damaged computers, televisions, and other items are not salvageable. Fortunately, this is not always the case. If there is no physical degradation (actual burning or melting), it may be possible to scrub the outsides and restore a nice appearance. Interior circuitry we can farm out to a partner that specializes it that.
If they are easy to remove from the fire damaged area, all fabric items are subject to a rapid extraction. It applies to drapes, cushions, rugs, and curtains. SERVPRO has access to a state of the art cleaning machine (Esporta), which kills bacteria and deep cleans smaller items. Everything gets logged and inventoried before it is removed and sent to the cleaning facility. We recommend stuffed toys, blankets, and clothes receive the same treatment.
The problem with china and glassware is that it contracts after heating. It can cause cracks and faults to appear. Where there are faults, it is best to seek a replacement (where possible). In some cases, ultrasonic cleaning can be used to gently renew china, crystal, or items with metal detailing. Do be aware that all open and fire exposed food items require disposal.
The SERVPRO team always inspects HVAC ducts for soot and smoke residues. The last thing you want is irritants circulating in the air from the A/C. Usually, fans are used to move debris and dirt to an accessible spot. Then, we can bring in detergents and tools for direct cleaning. All ductwork gets cleaned to NADCA standards. Fogging is also an option.
They are just some examples of the types of items which SERVPRO of South Chattanooga restores on a regular basis. We understand that fire damage can be stressful, but it does not have to be permanent. Call us 24/7 at (423) 785-3200 for emergency repairs.
Leaking Dishwasher in Your Chattanooga Home
Floor damage repair and dishwasher leaks many times go hand and hand.
Leaking Dishwasher Can Cause Water Damage
Sometimes, a dishwasher leak begins as a slow drip and is not noticed right away. Other times, the dishwasher starts leaking soap bubbles across the kitchen floor. Floor damage repair and dishwasher leaks many times go hand and hand. Stopping the leak before they create damage is the best scenario. However, depending upon the situation is not always possible.
You must move quickly when your dishwasher in your Chattanooga home is leaking. The faster your act, the less water damage you have with and the less costly the repairs are. Plus, if you call in professional water damage remediation specialists like SERVPRO as soon as you see the problem, you can avoid even further damage and have your repairs done quickly and expertly.
As soon as you see that your dishwasher is leaking a significant amount of water, shut off the dishwashing cycle. If possible, avoid the water pooling on your floor. It is easy for water to travel downwards and create damage to the structure of your home that is not visible. Use whatever you need to such as towels and bowls to capture the flow of water.
Soak up as much of the water as you can to minimize water damage while you are waiting for our SERVPRO technicians to arrive. When we arrive, we assess the damages, create a plan for remediation, and begin the process of cleanup and restoration. If you have not been able to, we determine the cause of the leak before starting any repairs. Each leak has its cause, so our course of action reflects this. There are several possible reasons for a dishwasher leak, and depending on the leak, it can be a simple thing such as a gasket needing to be replaced, to you needing a whole new dishwasher.
At SERVPRO, we bring industrial fans and dehumidifiers to dry your home thoroughly. These are positioned to get optimal drying, and if necessary we come in each day to reposition them to dry the area faster and prevent further damage. We also check for any mold growth if the area has been wet for any length of time. Mold can start growing in just 24 to 48 hours after water damage.
SERVPRO of South Chattanooga works quickly to restore your home back to its condition before the water damage happened. Give us a call at (423) 785-3200 as soon as you realize your dishwasher is leaking so we can help you fix it.
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How To Save the Contents of a Building After a Fire
Give SERVPRO a call after commercial fire damage.
Fires can cause a lot of damage to businesses. Not only is there usually structural damage to your building, there are also losses due to the business being shut down during the restoration process. If you’ve suffered a fire you may also be concerned about losing inventory, equipment and other supplies to smoke damage. The good news is that the smoke damaged contents of a building can usually undergo dry-cleaning and be restored to their original state, saving you thousands of dollars in replacement costs. A fire damage restoration company in Chattanooga, TN can handle the content cleaning for you.
What Can Be Cleaned and Restored
You may be surprised by the items that can be cleaned and restored after a fire. Resist the temptation to throw anything away until a fire remediation specialist has had a chance to assess the contents of your building. All of the following can potentially be salvaged after a fire.
• Drapes and curtains
• Television Sets
How Contents Are Cleaned
Dry-cleaning is just one method used to rid your belongings of smoke damage after a fire. For more seriously affected materials, a method of wet cleaning is used to remove heavier smoke residues. Some upholsteries may be damaged by wet cleaning so they are restored using specialized foam cleaners to prevent shrinking and bleeding. The cleaning of electronics is handled by specially trained technicians to get them back in good working order.
For non-porous materials like glass, rubber, metal, plastic and ceramics, a special ultra-sonic technique is used to remove soot and other residues from hard to reach places. High-frequency sound waves are sent through a cleaning solution in which the item is immersed. The pressure from the waves dislodges contaminants clinging to the material, penetrating holes and crevices.
Before you replace the contents of your building, talk to a fire damage specialist in Chattanooga, TN to determine what can be restored through dry-cleaning, ultrasonic cleaning or other methods. They can even provide content storage services until your property is fully restored. Visit http://www.SERVPROofsouthchattanooga.com for more information on commercial fire damage.
3 Reasons Why Mold Grows in Residential Homes
Give SERVPRO a call if you notice mold growing in your home.
Finding mold in your Chattanooga, TN home may both distress and surprise you. However, many types of fungi have the ability to grow indoors, including green and black mold. Most species do not require sunlight to grow and spread, which makes certain areas of your home the ideal environment for them. If you are currently battling an infestation with the help of a mold remediation and restoration service, understanding why fungi grow indoors may help you avoid future issues.
1. Leaky Plumbing
Leaking pipes under kitchen or bathroom cabinets can attract mold spores, where the moisture can contribute to their rapid growth. If you own an older home, it is a good idea to have your plumbing inspected at least once a year. Consider having corroded pipes replaced with PVC lines instead, as this material can last for decades without developing leaks or contributing to a moisture problem.
2. High Humidity
The humidity levels in your home can contribute to mold growth. Most species, including black mold, tend to thrive in damp, humid conditions; however, there are a few ways you can adjust and lower indoor humidity to discourage an infestation. For example, you can run your air conditioner for a few hours during hot afternoons and use oscillating or ceiling fans to keep the air cool at night. Avoid using your clothes dryer during the day and encourage family members to take shorter showers.
Minor indoor flooding from a broken water line or an overflowing washing machine can leave behind moisture that may leech into drywall and cause mold growth. If your home experiences this kind of flood, it is wise to have the room cleaned and dried by a professional flood damage and mold cleanup service to prevent any moisture issues.
Many types of fungi, including black mold, Chattanooga, TN can grow indoors if there is dampness and high humidity present. Knowing how to prevent these conditions and what might discourage mold growth might go a long way in keeping it at bay. Visit http://www.SERVPROofsouthchattanooga.com for more information on mold.
4 Flameless Alternatives to Candles
Unattended candles pose a major fire risk. Candle fire can ignite nearby combustibles or be accidentally knocked over. Whether you are looking for flameless alternatives for a special occasion or everyday use, there are several safer options that still capture the desirable look or scent of your favorite candles. Here are four candle alternatives to consider for decorating or lighting purposes.
1. Battery-operated candles: Candles that run on batteries flicker like real candles and some are made of scented wax. Choose from a variety of different shapes and sizes, ranging from tea lights to pillars.
2. Christmas lights or fairy lights: Create enchanting effects indoors or outdoors with strings of lights. Consider LED lights if you want to make these lighting methods more efficient.
3. Candle warmers: Choose from electric bases or larger lamp-style models that are designed to accommodate traditional wax candles that you buy or make. In addition to these candle alternatives, you can also spread a fragrance with oil warmers or wax warmers.
4. Reed diffusers: Placing reeds in oil is an elegant air freshening solution that spreads a scent without the use of battery-operated and electrical devices or fire.
Candle fires are most common during the holiday season, starting in Halloween and going through New Year's Day celebrations. You may prefer to replace candles in decorations with newer flameless alternatives. Battery-operated candles can also make safer centerpieces or place-settings at a weddings or any other formal event.
For day to day use, candle alternatives are perfect for places like bathrooms or bedrooms where they may be left unattended for long stretches of time. You should never leave a burning candle where you cannot observe it and ensure that a fire does not start. If you do experience a candle fire, contact a damage restoration company in Chattanooga, TN that specializes in fire and smoke odor remediation. Visit http://www.SERVPROofsouthchattanooga.com for more information on fire damage.