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Flood Precautions

4/3/2020 (Permalink)

Flood Precautions

Flood damage to your Arlington, LA, business can be a major headache. Fortunately, there are some precautions you can take to minimize the damage caused by heavy rains.

Before the Flood

Long before flooding is on the horizon, it is important to make an emergency plan for your business. This plan should include the following information:

  • Location of emergency supplies
  • Evacuation routes
  • Communication protocols
  • Higher elevation sheltering locations for employees and customers

When severe weather is imminent, there are some additional steps you can take to mitigate the storm damage. Use sand bags or inflatable dams to form a barrier around your building. If possible, move important items to higher ground.

During the Flood

While the heavy rains are falling, it is important to keep yourself and your employees safe. Make sure to stay informed. If the power is still on, you can get alerts on your phone or computer, and you can watch the local news. If the power is out, listen to your battery-operated radio. Avoid driving and walking through flooded areas.

After the Flood

When the rain has stopped, it is time to begin cleaning up the flood damage. Every situation is different, so the remediation process will vary. The most important thing is your and your employees' safety, so do not begin working until you are sure it is safe. Turn off the power and gas, and wear protective clothing. Then you can begin the cleanup process. First, remove standing water using buckets or pumps. Dry out remaining water using fans and dehumidifiers. Next, begin cleaning all affected items using a disinfectant cleaner. Everything that cannot be sanitized and dried, including fiberglass insulation, should be thrown away. When everything is clean and dry, you can begin making repairs to the damaged items.
Safety should always come first during a flood or other emergency. However, after the danger has passed, you will want to begin cleaning up the flood damage as soon as possible to prevent further problems. An experienced restoration team can help you get your business back to normal quickly and safely.

The Role Standards Play in Mold Cleaning

3/25/2020 (Permalink)

Green mold growth on wall Mold found in a Gardere, LA home

When you find mold in your home in Gardere, LA, you want the problem taken care of once and for all. A certified mold cleaning company is in a good position to do the job right the first time. Standards for industrial cleaning of homes and businesses are set in part by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification organization. This group works in concert with the American National Standards Institute. Together, the two organizations work to improve, elevate and discuss standards for cleaning, restoration, and inspection of properties. What does this mean for you? If you are dealing with a mold issue, it may be in your best interest to contract with a company who has mold certification specialists on the payroll.

The Insurance Connection

Insurance companies that could have to pay out claims for mold damage and water damage, want to work with a mold remediation company that follows the highest standards for cleaning. The advantage of this approach include the following benefits:

  • A local company will be on the scene faster to limit damages
  • An ethical company will work in the best interests of the clients
  • A smart company will favor a restore versus replace mentality
  • The company will follow the guidelines and standards for professional mold remediation

A certified mold technician will have access to specialized equipment to address the problem. Proven techniques result in a more effective cleanup. The best chance of getting mold growth under control is a plan with certified mold remediation.

The Certification Advantage

While standards are considered by many professionals to represent the best cleaning practices, they are mostly voluntary. In some cases, recommended codes and regulations have been adopted by municipalities and regulatory agencies. However, it is possible to encounter workers who do not follow or who are unaware of the current suggested standards. To protect your home and the health of your family, consider hiring a certified mold professional.

There Are New Ways to Stay Informed About Severe Winter Weather

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

Women watching tv and use remote controller Television news

Running a business is complicated enough without worrying about the weather. Yet, a winter storm is part of life around Gardere, LA, so having the latest information about what’s likely to hit – and approximately when – is key to keeping your company safe. Fortunately, there are new ways to get up-to-the-minute information about severe weather threats.

The National Weather Service Wants You to Stay Informed

The internet has become the most effective method of broadcasting important information to the widest audience. However, today’s NWS uses many popular forms of communication to spread the word, including

  • Weather radio
  • Television news and weather
  • Newspapers
  • Social media
  • Smart device apps

Of these, social media – for all its faults – offers the greatest opportunity to keep Americans informed about weather trends and severe threats.

Weather Radio Is Still an Excellent Backup Source
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, of which NWS is a part, maintains weather radio stations across the country. Except for very remote areas, they cover most of the continental United States. They are also the official source of weather forecasts and winter storm warnings from the NWS and are particularly useful when other sources aren’t available.

Twitter Is Especially Effective for Weather Information Dissemination
Social media offers a chance to use multiple media methods for a greater understanding of the weather and climate information. You can find charts showing how much snow is expected, when storms are likely to hit specific areas and the hazardous outlook for severe thunderstorms. It’s a great way to stay informed and avoid unnecessary storm damage.
Of course, weather forecasting is mostly science, but it’s still partly an art – and it isn’t perfect. A winter storm can surprise everyone with extra intensity, and no one can forecast a tornado for a specific area until minutes before it happens.
If winter weather or a surprise freeze causes a pipe break – or any other storm damage – to your business, you should immediately call a storm cleanup company to tarp and board the exposed areas. They can then work with your commercial insurance agent to start the restoration process as soon as possible. SERVPRO is faster to any size disaster!

Will Filing a Claim Raise Your Homeowners Insurance Rates?

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

Document of Homeowners Insurance Policy The primary purpose of homeowners insurance is to protect homeowners against catastrophic losses

Will Filing a Claim Raise Your Homeowners Insurance Rates?

The primary purpose of homeowners insurance is to protect homeowners against catastrophic losses, however, most insurance policies also offer coverage for smaller claims. Filing an insurance claim can sometimes result in your insurance company charging you a higher rate or declining to renew your policy. For these reasons, it is important to know when a claim might cause your rates to increase.

1. You Have Filed Previous Claims on Your Current Policy
The number of claims you have filed can have a big impact on if your rates will increase and by how much. According to a CNN report, filing a single homeowner's claim can cause an average rate increase of 9%, however, that figure can increase to as much as 20% if you file a second claim too close to the first. You may want to speak with your insurance professional in Baton Rouge, LA, to find out what your insurance company's policy is.

2. You Have Filed Claims on Your Prior Policy
Filing an insurance claim too many times can cause an insurance company to decline to renew your policy. It can also cost you more money when you get insurance with someone else. Customers who file a lot of claims are considered higher risk by underwriters and if they will write your coverage at all, they might charge you a higher rate.

3. You Have Filed Previous High-Risk Claims
Certain types of claims tend to have a more dramatic effect on your rates when you file more than one. Fire, liability, theft and water damage claims tend to result in the highest rate increases.
If a home flood or other event has caused damage to your home, you may be wondering if filing an insurance claim will raise your rates. The answer depends on the policies of your insurance company, but in general, it can be best to only use your insurance to cover large losses and to handle the small stuff yourself. Whether you use your insurance or not, failing to repair water damage promptly can lead to more damage, so you may want to contact a water remediation professional.

Post Fire Cleanup: 3 Things You Should Toss

2/28/2020 (Permalink)

Plastic bottles of body care and beauty products in the bathroom. Throw away items that you usually would use on your skin

3 Things You Should Toss

After a fire is anything safe? Homeowners may not really know what poses hazards; therefore, when disaster strikes contact a fire restoration company in Gardere, LA. The experts can offer you advice and provide guidance for what may be salvaged and what needs to go. One thing to keep in mind is this: Throw away products found in the refrigerator as well as the bathroom shelves.

1. Food and Beverage
Yes, groceries and medicine cost money, but they are also vulnerable to high heat. During the blaze, the intensity may have expanded the cans, bags, and boxes, allowing smoke into the products. There is no sure way to feel good about the products. It's best to get rid of them, especially if you notice any issues with bulges or dents. Also, freezer food should be inspected, especially if it never lost power. You may be able to wrap it up and put it in another location. Avoid anything you think may have defrosted.

2. Personal Hygiene Products
Throw away items that you usually would use on your skin, especially cosmetics. The compounds may have changed during the event, perhaps making them dangerous for application. You want to feel comfortable with these materials. Remove anything questionable from the shelves.

3. Medical Supplies
As you evaluate fire damage, think about whether the flames came near your medicines. The temperatures could impact the effectiveness, so this may be something to discard. Make a list of all potential contaminated medicine. Take pictures of its location, and then speak with your pharmacist and doctor about whether you can continue to take it. It's may simply be best to get rid of it and request a new supply. Work with your insurance companies to discuss coverage.
Remember, you've been through enough. You don't need to consume or use anything that might hurt you more. Throw away anything that may pose harm.

The Facts About Black Mold

2/21/2020 (Permalink)

Mold growth up close. Black mold is nothing to take lightly.

Mold: It's always around you, but you probably don't think much about it until you see it in your Baton Rouge, LA, house. You may not worry much about it until you notice it growing and spreading rapidly. Black mold is one of the most common forms, and it's important to clean it up as soon as possible.

This type of mold is no stranger to residences. It will thrive when areas of the home have moisture or high levels of humidity. It will feed on areas of the home such as carpet, drywall and sub-flooring.

How and Where it Grows
Black mold loves wet and cool areas. Mold spores are always in the air, but they will only grow and spread under ideal circumstances. You will notice it in areas such as basements, behind washers and dishwashers, underneath sinks and refrigerators, and on shower walls. Typical ways it appears include:

Toilet backups
Broken pipes under sinks and inside walls
Slow leaks in appliances
Water coming into the home and causing flooding

Cleaning up
It's important to address mold issues quickly. If you spot this fungus growing in your house, contact a professional mold cleanup time right away. The pros have the right tools and equipment to clean up the mold. The team will also sanitize the affected areas.

Keeping it Out
As a homeowner, you can't eliminate the presence of mold from your house. However, there are steps you can take to minimize its growth and effects. You should regularly check your HVAC and plumbing systems for leaks. Also, inspect your roof and foundation for damage at least once a year. Mold remediation specialists do an excellent job of cleaning mold from your property, but if you clean up water immediately after you see it, you reduce the chances of ever seeing mold.

Black mold is nothing to take lightly. You can put your mind at rest, however, by getting the right help and keeping up with home maintenance.

When Is Your Basement Flood Covered by Insurance?

2/19/2020 (Permalink)

Flooded room. A basement flood that results from sudden and accidental discharge of water may be covered by your homeowners or dwelling policy.

Basements are a very useful addition to a home, but because of their location, they can also be prone to a basement flood. If you have a basement, it is a good idea to be familiar with your insurance coverage, so that you know whether your damage will be covered if your basement floods.

Types of Damage Usually Covered by Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners or dwelling policies typically cover water damage that results from a sudden and accidental discharge of water. These are examples of sudden and accidental water discharges:

Ruptured water heater
Burst pipe
Overflow from a bathtub or toilet
A sudden leak from a washing machine

If you have a washing machine in your basement and the supply line suddenly bursts, that is the type of damage that would usually be covered by homeowners or dwelling insurance.

Types of Damage Usually Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners and dwelling insurance typically does not cover basement flood damage that is not the result of a sudden and accidental event, such as damage that occurs due to poor maintenance. For example, if you fail to maintain your washing machine and it develops a chronic leak that causes damage to your basement, that would not be a sudden discharge of water and probably would not be covered. Additionally, homeowners and dwelling policies typically do not cover water damage from backup from an outside sewer or drain or a basement that is flooded by rising waters, saturated ground or storms. If you need coverage for flood damage from weather-related events, you may wish to purchase a separate flood policy.

A basement flood that results from sudden and accidental discharge of water may be covered by your homeowners or dwelling policy, while water damage from poor maintenance and weather-related flooding typically will not be. Water that is left standing can cause additional damage and mold, so if you have water in your basement, it may be wise to contact a water remediation specialist in Baton Rouge, LA, to dry out your basement.

What To Know About Crawlspace Water

2/14/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo. Start by contacting a restoration professional who can identify the source of the water.

If you have a wet crawl space in your Baton Rouge, LA, home, you may be wondering how the water got there and what to do about it. Here are a few things you may wish to know.

1. How Water Gets in the Crawlspace

Water can get into a crawlspace a number of ways. There may be storm flooding, landscaping sloped in such a way that water flows toward the house, a leaking water line, a downspout issue, or even subterranean water. Any of these issues can lead to water pooling in the crawlspace and causing issues.

2. How this Can Affect Your Home

One of the main problems caused by a continuously wet crawl space is the possibility of mold problems. When flood water or other moisture problems are left unattended it creates the humidity that mold spores need to grow. Add this to dark conditions and plenty of organic material frequently available under a home, and mold has exactly the type of environment it needs to grow. Fortunately, a restoration service can help with this problem as well as the water damage.

3. How This Problem Can Be Fixed

One of the first steps when dealing with crawlspace water is to contact a local water damage restoration service. These professionals can help identify the source of the water problem, remove the water, address any related issues such as mold, and dry the area. They may also be able to help you take mitigation steps around your home to avoid any future water issues.

It’s important to take care of a wet crawl space as quickly as possible to help avoid potential mold problems. Start by contacting a restoration professional who can identify the source of the water. Once the water source is identified it can be fixed and the area dried. If you have any questions a professional should be able to help.

Keep your home protected against floods

12/18/2019 (Permalink)

flood damage home Water damage from floods can cause major problems. Stay educated with current information.

Keep Your Home Secure Against Flood Damage

Flooding of your Baton Rouge, LA., home can cause major problems. Fortunately, there are ways to protect your home from heavy rains.
Maintain Existing Flood Prevention Structures
Many homes have common flood prevention features, such as gutters and sump pumps, already installed. It is important to maintain this equipment. The following are some routine maintenance activities that will help keep your home secure against water damage:

  • Clean and inspect gutters (fall and spring)
  • Clean storm drains (at least once a year)
  • Test sump pump and clean screen (every season)
  • Inspect roof (every year)

When completing the above tasks, be sure to check for damage such as loose gutters or missing shingles. The suggested frequency for each task will vary depending on your specific situation. For example, if you have trees near your home, you will likely need to clean your gutters more often. If you suspect that you will be unable to do any of these jobs, you may wish to hire a professional contractor for some or all of your home's routine maintenance tasks.

Consider Home Improvement Projects

In addition to maintaining whatever flood-proofing systems your home already has, you may decide to do some home improvement projects to further protect your home from flooding. The following are some common improvements that you can make to keep your house safe in heavy rains:

  • Install any of the above items (gutters, storm drain, sump pump) that you do not already have
  • Grade your lawn so that it slopes away from house
  • Upgrade seals around windows and doors

Employ Temporary Solutions

Even well-prepared homes may need additional protection during very heavy rains. If a severe storm is headed your way, you may want to install sandbags or other flood protection devices such as inflatable dams.
The above suggestions will help protect your home from flooding. However, even the most well-prepared homes can suffer storm damage. You may need to enlist the help of experienced restoration professionals to get your home back to normal quickly and safely.

Commercial Large Loss

12/12/2019 (Permalink)

work trucks in a parking lot Call SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge if your business suffers from water damage, fire damage or needs mold remediation.

Whether your business suffers from water damage, fire damage or needs mold remediation SERVPRO of South Baton Rouge understands that disaster relief is no easy job. It takes a team of dedicated individuals willing to go the extra mile at a moments notice. 

Our commercial division is a segment of our team dedicated to large loss recovery. Many times when these types of losses occur we know we will be on the job for weeks or even months and so our chain of command needs to be prepared and ready to dedicate themselves solely to the job for the duration.

This is what sets us apart from the competition, we have cultivated a workplace atmosphere and energy that inspires our team to always give their best effort. We are consistently training and learning from our experiences and passing this knowledge onto our new team members and to other recovery teams that we may work with when a large-loss is on the line.

In a large-loss nothing is more important than the client and the job at hand, we are here to lead the way to recovery.