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3 Tips for Preventing Mold After a Flood

8/11/2020 (Permalink)

Woman opening curtains of her window After flooding or water damage, open windows and doors of the house to aid in the drying out process

Preventing Mold After Flood

Every homeowner hopes to escape the devastating effects of a flood. Whether you live near the coast or somewhere with torrential storms, flooding is a possibility for many residents. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prepare for catastrophic events. One of the most damaging effects of a flood is mold. Here are three tips for preventing mold growth after a flood.

1. Use Caution Upon Reentry
The most important point to remember before reentering your home after a flood is safety. Try your best to enter your home during the day so that you don’t have to turn on any power. Never try to turn on the electricity if you’re standing in water. Instead, contact an electrician to turn the power on. Once you enter your home, pay attention to smells, especially gas. If you do notice a gas smell, leave your home immediately and contact the gas company. If there is no gas smell, open the windows and doors to air out your Baton Rouge, LA, home.

2. Dry Your Home
To prevent mold growth, you need to dry out your home as fast as possible. Mold can grow and spread in as little as 48 hours; thus, it’s prudent to work quickly. Once an electrician has determined that it’s safe for you to use power, use a wet-dry vacuum to get rid of standing water. Open up your windows and doors to assist in the drying process. Fans are good to help remove moisture but be sure to point them near windows or doors so that air is blowing outside your home and not inward. You don’t want to spread mold by circulating the mold spores in your home.

3. Contact Professionals
Mold can cause significant damage to your home. In order to ensure a thorough and safe clean up, it’s wise to contact mold remediation specialists. These technicians have the training, equipment, and expertise to safely and effectively remediate any mold growth in your home.
While you hope to never experience flooding in your lifetime, it’s wise to know what to do in an emergency situation. Always remember safety is paramount upon reentering your home, dry out your home as quickly as possible and contact professionals to assist with mold removal.

When Are Landlords Liable for Mold Problems?

8/10/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth. Cleanup may involve the physical removal of black mold and air filtration or HVAC cleaning to keep spores from re-contaminating a structure.

Commercial landlords may have limited liability for mold problems. Mold caused by occupants or a problem that worsens through negligence on their part may result in tenants being held responsible for black mold cleaning and remediation costs. Residential landlords of apartment buildings, multifamily dwellings, and rental homes are held accountable to an implied warranty of habitability. Different standards apply to commercial buildings in Baton Rouge, LA.

Liability for Commercial Properties
Landlords of commercial properties tend to have limited liability for mold. A commercial tenant who can prove that a mold problem is due to a landlord’s negligence may be able to sue, particularly if proof of any of the following scenarios is present:

A landlord who refuses to remediate old mold
Mold due to systems the landlord maintains
Unremediated water damage prior to move-in

In these situations, tenants may be eligible for damages and be able to negotiate liability to clean up or remediate mold damage. The responsibility for cleanup is rarely clear cut.

The Cause of Mold
Property owners or landlords are generally responsible for the upkeep of the structural systems of rental properties. If mold occurs due to negligence in repairing pipes or cleaning air ducts, the terms of the lease will determine whether the landlord or tenant is responsible for black mold.
Commercial lease agreements determine the ground tenants have to stand on when bringing suit against landlords. Some property owners and managers assume responsibility for facility upkeep such plumbing and roof maintenance, while other contracts stipulate that tenants take on these responsibilities.

Responsibility for Mold Cleanup
The causes of mold, both in terms of primary water damage and secondary mold damage, are relevant for determining liability for mold remediation at a commercial building in Baton Rouge, LA. Cleanup may involve the physical removal of black mold and air filtration or HVAC cleaning to keep spores from re-contaminating a structure.

Business Interruption Coverage

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

The insurance world can be very confusion. Many times a business can have an a la carte' type of policy which gives them the ability to choose what is and is not covered. 

Business interruption coverage is insurance is intended to compensate for the losses that occur as a consequence of having to close your business after your commercial property is damaged by a covered loss.

Business interruption coverage is not standard on commercial insurance policies. It usually needs to be specifically added to your commercial property policy and always has a coverage limit (for example, $30,000 per incident).  However, to obtain Business Interruption insurance proceeds, your business must have sustained a physical loss that is covered under your commercial policy (like water damage or damage caused by fire, hurricane, tornado, etc.). Unfortunately, property damage covered under a flood policy does not usually include business interruption coverage.  For example, standard flood insurance policies issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (which is administered by FEMA) do not provide business interruption coverage.

Always be sure to check your policy and ask your agent to be sure you know your coverages and understand your rights.

Also, if you suffer fire damage or water damage please call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge.

How the Pros Take Care of Mold Problems

7/26/2020 (Permalink)

Moldy tiles in bathroom Mold growth on bathroom tiles in Arlington, LA

Spotting mold in your home may worry you, scare you or anger you. Regardless, you never want to come across this fungal growth. The good news is that professional mold remediation companies can detect it, remove it, and make your home mold-free once again. From small amounts to huge infestations of black mold, professional technicians use a thorough process to get rid of this unwanted guest.

How Mold Forms and Grows

Mold finds its way into your Arlington, LA, home through openings from outside or on the backs of people and pets. Black mold and other forms of this fungus love moisture. Once spores are inside your house, they will grow and spread under the following conditions:

  • High humidity
  • Poor airflow and ventilation
  • Water sources such as broken pipes or leaky appliances.

A mold removal team will first arrive and evaluate your needs and the extent of the damage. Technicians will note how large of a cleanup area there is and whether mold may be hiding in other areas.

Prevent Spreading
Technicians will contain the fungi before starting mold cleanup. To do this, the team will eliminate any leaks and correct humidity problems. The company will seal off rooms in your home where this is widespread growth.

The crew will wear the proper protective equipment and then tear out any badly damaged materials. Using powerful chemicals, technicians will then remove all traces of mold. It can grow on walls, carpet, furniture, ceiling tiles, and most other surfaces.

Dry and Disinfect
The company will finish by thoroughly drying the affected area using high-powered fans and dehumidifiers. Mold remediation also includes sanitizing all surfaces in your home where mold grew.
You can rest easy knowing professional cleanup technicians know how to eliminate black mold from your house. The team will use a tried and true process and also give you hints on how to avoid mold in the future.

Emergency planning for your Pets

7/22/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge understands how important your pets are. They are family!

Get Informed

  • Know what disasters could affect your area, which could call for an evacuation and when to shelter in place.
  • Keep a NOAA Weather Radio tuned to your local emergency station and monitor TV, radio, and follow mobile alert and mobile warnings about severe weather in your area.
  • Download the FEMA app, receive weather alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five different locations anywhere in the United States.

Make a Plan

Remember, during a disaster what’s good for you is good for your pet, so get them ready today.

If you leave your pets behind, they may be lost, injured – or worse. Never leave a pet chained outdoors. Plan options include:

  • Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor to check on your animals.
  • Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets.
    • Find pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route and keep a list in your pet’s emergency kit.
    • Locate boarding facilities or animal hospitals near your evacuation shelter.
    • Consider an out-of-town friend or relative
  • Locate a veterinarian or animal hospital in the area where you may be seeking temporary shelter, in case your pet needs medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit.
  • Have your pet microchipped and make sure that you not only keep your address and phone number up-to-date, but that you also include contact info for an emergency contact outside of your immediate area.
  • Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
  • If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located.
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current.
  • If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!

Saving your personal belongings post-flood

7/22/2020 (Permalink)

Cleanup after a flood is different than any other type of cleaning. If your home has been hit by a storm, hurricane, or levy break, you know it can be a nightmare. Sifting through personal possessions soaked in filthy black water can be difficult, and while the items may be filled with memories, they can also now carry contaminants. Once content cleaning begins, it can be difficult to know what can be saved and what needs to be discarded. Here are a few simple rules for cleaning up after a deluge.

1. If an item can soak up water, think of it like a sponge filled with potential toxins. This includes clothing, bedding, carpets, and couches.

2. Nonporous surfaces can often be cleaned with a disinfectant. Special care should be taken to remove any possibility of mold or mildew growth.

3. If two surfaces touch on a nonporous item, the possibility of mold or mildew rises astronomically. Think oil paintings in frames, handles on metal cabinets, and plastic drawer bins.

4. Textiles can often be salvaged if they can be washed and dried within 48 hours. There are exceptions to fabric content cleaning, however. It is not recommended that wool, leather, and silk items be washed. Often, wool can shrink, leather may crack or lose its shape, and silk can become brittle after being in a dryer.

5. If you have access to a working bathtub immediately after a flood, you can often save nonporous objects. Soak small items of metal, plastic, or other manufactured materials in a disinfecting solution until you have time to deal with them.

6. Freeze damaged heirloom books, framed pictures, or important papers in plastic bags. This may allow more time to contemplate conservation efforts such as photocopying.

Consider contacting a flood restoration specialist team in Baton Rouge, LA, to help with content cleaning and item removal after a saturating water disaster. Knowledgeable experts can provide drying and dehumidifying equipment and bring in a workforce to assist with cleanup efforts.

3 Reasons To Choose SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge for a Storm Restoration

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Logo. SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge can help with any disaster recovery need your business may encounter after a storm.

When your business is in need of a disaster recovery service, you may want to consider contacting your local Baton Rouge, LA, SERVPRO restoration team. These professionals have a number of ways they can help return your business property to pre-damage conditions. Here are three things you may not have known about this service's abilities.

1. They Have Access to Large Equipment

It may be comforting to know that a professional storm response crew like SERVPRO is locally owned, meaning they know the area and can arrive on the scene quickly, while still having access to corporate resources. This access means that they can request any equipment they may need for a large job.

2. They Have an Electronic Inventory System

The restoration teaches working on your business may also have disaster recovery tools available such as an electronic inventory system. This is a database that can store documents related to your claim and restoration such as itemized lists, photographs, progress reports, and cost estimates. Your insurance agent can access this remotely making it easy for them to get the information they may need for your claim.

3. They Can Handle Content Cleaning

The contents of your office may also have suffered some storm damage. Fortunately, your restoration crew may have several methods for cleaning and repairing these items. Documentation and electronics can receive professional attention, while furniture and other non-mechanical items can be cleaned with a solution. The exact cleaning method may vary by item type.

SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge can help with any disaster recovery need your business may encounter after a storm. Thanks to corporate connections they can access large equipment if needed for a large scale restoration. Your repair crew may also be able to offer an electronic inventory system for the storage of the documentation that may be needed for your claim. Additionally, they may also offer content cleaning services to restore office items.

Mold Removal from you House or Business

7/7/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge is the area's mold removal specialist. We specialize in working with mold inspectors to clean mold from your house or business. Mold treatment is a highly involved service which must be performed in accordance with industry standards. Your family's safety is our primary concern which is why we follow the steps for mold removal to the tee. 

Working with mold inspectors is a way in which SERVPRO of Baton Rouge has a level of oversight for the work we do. Their job is to be a check and balance for us before, during and after the remediation process is complete. Also, if reconstruction is required we got you covered.

If you would like more information regarding mold removal please give us a call.

How To File a Fire Claim for Your Business

7/5/2020 (Permalink)

Young handsome brunette man over isolated background making phone gesture and pointing front Contact a restoration company if you would like further clarification on the claims

Four Steps To File a Fire Claim

A fire is about the worst thing any business owner can experience. However, the important thing after any disaster is staying calm and restoring your business. In order to get back to business as usual, you may need to hire a fire restoration company in Gardere, LA, but before you do that, you will need to file a fire claim with your insurance company, which typically involves four steps:

1. Call Your Insurer
Before getting your fire restoration underway, call your insurer and report the disaster. While you may have millions of things going through your head after the disaster, contacting your insurance agent is crucial to getting the recovery process started.

2. Mitigate Further Loss
If you want your fire claim to be approved, then make sure you take efforts to mitigate any further loss. An insurer may cover the damage caused by the fire, but if any preventable damage occurs after the fire, then you are responsible.

3. Gather Proof of Loss
You can help move the recovery process along if you document any fire damage. An insurance adjuster will want evidence of lost or damaged property, so by photographing everything and labeling it, you can help the adjuster with a proof of loss statement.

4. Collect Receipts
Receipts help your insurance company determine the value of the claim. You want to prove the financial loss. If you have receipts from equipment purchases and repairs you made, make sure that those are organized and with the rest of the claim forms for review.
A fire claim is like any other insurance claim, but the process can feel a little direr depending on the level of devastation. By organizing receipts and documenting the scene, you can help move the claims process along. You can also contact a restoration company if you would like further clarification on the claims and recovery processes.

Document Restoration: How Using a Single Disaster Response Team Can Simplify the Process for Everyone

6/10/2020 (Permalink)

Wet documents Documents damaged by water

Document Restoration

Following a flood disaster in Baton Rouge, LA, there are many concerns surrounding a business's affected property. Important physical documents can be especially vulnerable to water damage. Floodwater always poses extra concerns for document restoration and its cost to insurance companies, such as:

  • Did the documents get infected with bacteria from the flooding?
  • Are the materials still legible?
  • Is the binding ruined beyond repair?

SERVPRO, an industry leader in disaster cleanup and restoration, has over 40 years of experience with water damage. At that time, they've honed their strategy for document restoration. With state-of-the-art facilities and careful processes, their document drying services can have flooded documents looking "Like it never even happened." Their disaster response team offers the following advantages when dealing with water-affected documents.

Transporting and Sanitizing
Flooded documents are carefully retrieved and frozen during transport to try to preserve everything possible. Documents are carefully dried, with safe and effective processes for deodorization if needed. Additionally, if sterilization is required, they have access to technology that uses gamma irradiation, to ensure no harmful bacteria remain on the documents.

Digitizing and Future Preservation
SERVPRO uses advanced digitization methods to back up affected documents; this offers an essential additional copy in case the original physical copy is beyond salvaging. Digital copies are held in an obsessively secure system, constantly under surveillance to ensure the utmost of protection. Their team of professionals is also skilled in re-jacketing documents held in book bindings and recovering many other types of documents with ruined bindings.

A Clean Solution
The all-in-one specializations make SERVPRO an easy go-to when it comes to seamless insurance claims. Their streamlined processes and reports make flooding insurance claims much simpler to file. Additionally, their franchise model and over 1,700 locations give them broad access to resources, speeding up the document restoration process.
When it comes to flooding, insurance costs over document damages and losses can get high. SERVPRO lightens the burden with their capable professionals and efficient systems, restoring documents sooner with minimal complications for everyone.