Making a Water Damage Claim
Water damage in a home in San Jose, CA
Dealing with Water Damage
The moment you realize that water is making its way into your home is a scary one. It doesn't matter if the flooding came from rain or burst pipes—the damage can be devastating and costly. Whether the water was caused by an accident or just bad luck, you'll need to act fast to get things under control. We've put together this guide to help you handle the situation and make sure your insurance company covers all of your losses.
Shut the Water Off
First, you'll want to shut off the water at the main. If you're not sure how, call a plumber—or look online for instructions on how to shut off your water supply.
The second thing is that you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. If possible, find a business in your area that specializes in repairing pipes and getting them back up and running again so that they don't burst again in the future (or worse).
While you wait for the repairman, call SERVPRO of Campbell and your insurance company, and follow these steps until help arrives:
Remove as much water as you can.
Use a wet-dry vacuum on any carpeted areas, and remove excess water with a mop. Never use a broom or brush, as they can damage the surface of your flooring. Never use towels to soak up water—they can leave lint behind that will attract dirt and bacteria in the future. Never leave fans running in your home after a flood event, because they may cause moisture damage to your ceiling or walls.
Remove the Items from Harm’s Way
When dealing with water damage, it's important to remember that your property can be replaced. Your home is not the only thing that needs to be protected; any valuable items in the area should be removed immediately and placed out of harm's way. This includes clothes, furniture, electronics, and anything else you may have in the vicinity.
If there is any damage done to your possessions - even if you aren't sure if there is or not - make sure to document as much as possible before removing them from the affected area. Take pictures of all areas where damage has occurred so that you have a visual record for insurance purposes later on when filing a claim. If there are any services required from companies like plumbers or electricians in order to fix those problems after taking out the damaged goods from their compromised areas (e.g., fixing water leaks), keep receipts for these purchases as well so that they can be added into your insurance claim if necessary
If your home in San Jose, CA is considered unlivable due to water damage, ask if your insurance will cover the cost to stay at a hotel while repairs are being made. This can be for up to 10 days if you live in an area that has been declared a disaster area by FEMA.
It's important because you don't want to return home only to see more damage happening because of lack of electricity from flooding or mold growth from not having proper ventilation and drying out time.
Don’t Wait to Call the Experts
Don't try to repair the damage yourself, and you don’t have to wait until the insurance company sends someone. You can call SERVPRO of Campbell the moment disaster strikes, and we will be out quickly to help clean up the mess and put your property back together.
The most important thing to remember is that every water damage claim is different. The process can take time and may require multiple phone calls or emails to your insurance company. If you have any questions, contact us today
What Should I Do If My Roof is Damaged in a Fire?
Tarping your roof after a fire will protect it from water damage
What Must I Do If a Fire Causes Damage to My Roof?
After a fire, it's common for your roof to sustain some kind of damage. While you may not need to replace the entire roof, there are certain steps that can be taken to ensure that your home in Los Gatos, CA is safe from further damage and that it will remain standing for years to come.
Tarp Your Roof After a Fire
Tarping the roof after a fire is one of the most important things you can do to protect your home. The tarp will keep water and other elements out of your house and prevent it from leaking, which could damage the structure of your home.
The tarping process should be done correctly by professionals who know how to properly protect your property from water damage during this delicate time.
Why Tarps are Necessary After a Fire
You should be aware that tarps are necessary for a number of reasons. First, and most obviously, tarping your roof after a fire will protect it from water damage. This is important because once the rain starts up again (and it will), any exposed wood on your home's exterior will begin to swell and warp in the wetness, eventually causing significant structural damage to your house's framework. Tarping also keeps out animals and debris like leaves or twigs that can cause additional problems with erosion over time; as well as keeping out heat or cold depending on when you choose to cover up your home's exterior after a fire has occurred.
It is Important to Have a Professional Tarp Your Roof
A professional will understand the best process for tarping your roof as well as the importance of doing it correctly:
- Roof tarps will keep the elements out and prevent further damage to your roof.
- Roof tarps are necessary to keep the roof watertight, which is important for preventing further damage to the interior of your house.
Tarping your roof after a fire can be an expensive and time-consuming process. However, it is an important one that should not be taken lightly. The last thing you want to happen is for water damage or mold to start growing because the tarps were not installed correctly or were left off for too long. If you are dealing with this situation, please contact us right away so we can help!
3 Tips For Reducing Candle Fires in Your Home
It is best to either avoid using candles while kids or pets are present
Three Ideas to Cut Down on Candle Fires in Your Home
Many people use candles in their Saratoga, CA, homes. They can help you achieve a certain atmosphere or add a pleasant aroma to a room. There are, however, some risks when you are using fire in your house. Following proper safety measures can reduce the chances of a candle fire.
1. Extinguish Unattended Flames to Avoid Candle Fire
If you are leaving the room for an extended period of time or you are going to bed, always extinguish your candles first. Even if it seems unlikely that something will catch fire, accidents are always possible. For example, a draft could cause the flame to grow or the candle could burn too low and shatter the container. To prevent this, never leave a lit candle unattended.
2. Keep Candles Out of Reach of Children and Animals
Children and pets often have a lot of energy and may not be aware of the dangers present in their surroundings. If they accidentally knock over a candle, it could quickly turn into a much larger candle fire. It is best to either avoid using candles while kids or pets are present or to keep a very close eye on them.
3. Remove Flammable Items From the Area
Your home is most likely full of items that could easily catch fire if they came into contact with a candle. Flammable liquids, bedding, curtains, paper and similar items should be kept out of the immediate area where the candle is in use. If you are using multiple candles, they should be spaced at least a few inches apart.
You don’t have to stop using candles, but you should be aware of how you use them. Fire and smoke cleanup and restoration can be a lengthy process. Using candles more safely can help you prevent fires and keep your home and family safe.
3 Kinds of Hidden Damage to Watch For After a Partial-Loss Fire
Commercial fire damage in Campbell, CA.
After a Fire with Partial Loss, There Are 3 Types of Hidden Damage to Look Out For
Any type of fire loss can cause a major disruption to your Campbell, CA, business. However, things can get particularly complicated in the event of a partial loss. In the insurance world, the term partial loss refers to a situation where a fire occurs but does not destroy the entire building. A partial loss fire often causes unseen damage, which results in insufficient insurance claims and, consequently, inadequate fire restoration work. Be wary of these three commonly overlooked sources of hidden property damage after a partial loss fire.
1. Smoke Damage
Where there's fire, there's smoke and in a business fire, smoke, soot, and ash usually spread much farther than the flames themselves. In most cases, nearly every interior surface will need to be cleaned and deodorized to eliminate soot stains and smoke odors. This type of cleanup should only be done by a professional remediation company, using specialized cleaning agents and techniques. Some items may be too damaged to restore and will need to be replaced. Porous surfaces, such as carpet and upholstery, are at a higher risk of total loss from soot and smoke damage.
2. Water Damage
A common side effect of fire loss is water damage, usually caused by the high pressure and large volume of water used to put out the fire. Mold growth often begins within the first 24 hours after a fire and can spread through the building's air ducts to areas beyond the fire-damaged zone. Unchecked mold growth can cause serious property damage to your building. A certified industrial hygienist should conduct a full mold inspection after any fire.
3. Heat Damage
The intense heat produced by a fire can cause significant damage to your building. At extreme temperatures, the glass may warp, and window or door frames may blister or melt. Iron or steel can transfer heat to other areas, causing structural instability. An engineer's inspection is often the best way to detect this damage.
A fire loss doesn't have to destroy your entire building to cause widespread property damage. Checking for these damage sources will ensure that your insurance claim and restoration measures are adequate.
Signs That You Need A Hot Water Heater Repair
It’s important to have your water heater repaired as soon as you see these signs.
What Are The Signs Of Hot Water Heater Going Bad?
Water heaters are essential elements of our home. We use them in daily activities such as taking a bath, using the dishwasher and using the washing machine. But because we use them frequently, it’s sometimes easy to take them for granted and forget that they need to be maintained. Failing to do so will result in malfunctions and problems and eventually, replacing your water heater. Taking notice of the first signs of a problem can help you repair your water heater before it becomes worse.
You don’t have to be an expert to spot the first signs of trouble. All you need to have is a keen sense of observation so that your water heater can be repaired.
1. Hot water has an off smell or off-color. The first instance that you notice your hot water has an off smell or has a rusty color, that’s something that you need to check out. The smell could be the result of a rusty anode rod in the water heater. There is no need to worry since the anode rod can be replaced which will then eliminate the bad odor. Bacteria growth also causes bad smells. This happens when the hot water has not been used or has been turned off for quite some time or when the thermostat is set at a very low level.
2. Corroded pipes can also cause an off-color in your water. This can be solved by installing a water softener or by replacing the plumbing. If you also see a lot of sediments in the water, it’s time to have the water heater repaired.
3. Water is not hot enough, too hot, not strong enough or there is none at all. When there is no water, check first that your water heater has power and is working fine. If it is, have it inspected by a plumber. If water is not enough, this could be due to an undersized water heater and is a common situation when a lot more people are using the water heater. This could also be caused by the presence of mineral deposits inside the water heater tank. When water is too hot or not hot enough, you may have to adjust the temperature dial of the water heater. If there is no change in temperature, have the water heater checked and repaired.
4. Strange noises and leaks. Leaks coming from your water heater could lead to flooding. In the same way, strange noises like pops, bangs, gurgles, and the like are clear indicators that something is wrong with your water heater. This is usually caused by a buildup of sediments inside the tank. A boiling sound, however, could mean the water heater is overheating or that pressure is building up inside the tank. All these have to be addressed immediately to prevent further problems.
It’s important to have your water heater repaired as soon as you see these signs. This will help you save on costs, prevent further damage, and avoid an untimely replacement of your unit.
What To Do After Flooding If You Don’t Have Flood Insurance
FEMA can provide four types of assistance.
What to Do If You Don't Have Flood Insurance After a Flood
Homeowners insurance policies typically exclude damage caused by flooding. Residents of flood-prone areas should obtain a separate flood insurance policy, otherwise they will have to pay for damage restoration out of pocket or obtain relief through a federal program. Here are four types of assistance that may be available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
1. Transitional Sheltering and Temporary Housing
After the president declares a federal disaster area, Transitional Sheltering Assistance can lower the cost of staying in a hotel during the days or weeks immediately following a disaster. Homeowners can also seek Temporary Housing Assistance for a period of one month up to 18 months.
2. Grants for Cleanup and Restoration
A homeowner may want to apply for a grant to fund the restoration of a residence located on a flood plane. Grants can be used for repairing structural damage or replacing other losses.
3. Repair and Replacement Assistance
If the location of your home is declared a federal disaster area, you may be eligible for a one-time payment for Repair and Replacement Assistance. This option will not cover the costs of flood damage, and is intended to supplement a flood insurance policy.
4. Low-Interest Loans
It may be possible to obtain loans that have low interest rates to finance residential flood damage repairs. These loans are usually capped at $200,000 for a primary residence and $40,000 for property including renters' losses. Annual interest rates may be as low as 1.75 percent for a 30-year period.
After a federal declaration of emergency, homeowners may benefit from these and other services administered by FEMA. If you obtain flood insurance, you should seek an estimate from storm and water damage restoration experts and make a claim. Professional cleanup and rebuilding services can reduce the likelihood that secondary damage will result from primary flood damage at a residence in San Jose, CA.
4 Steps for Writing a Business Continuity Plan
Business Continuity Plan
Planning for your business in Santana Row, CA, is always a good idea, especially in an emergency. Find out below how to make an emergency plan and why you need one.
How Do I Create a Business Continuity Plan?
It is like working on a giant puzzle: you already know some important details; the process will help you fill in the rest.
1. Make a Business Impact Analysis
A BIA shows how various scenarios will impact the essential functions of your business. Think about supply chain disruptions and other external consequences as much as internal ones like loss of revenue.
2. Decide on Recovery Options
You should know what it will take to recover and what is currently available. Strategize your recovery methods and select the best to implement.
3. Team Up
Create a team to help develop your plan. You will also have to create an emergency personnel structure showing roles and responsibilities. Also, think about running operations manually if your IT department is offline.
4. Test and Exercise Your Plans
You need to test your plans to know if they will work. Testing might mean running your fire alarms or tornado sirens. Full-scale exercises like tornado drills ensure everyone knows where to go and can include timing them to see how long it takes.
What Is a Business Continuity Plan?
It is a plan for what you and everyone that works for you need to do to keep the business running as normally as possible in case of an emergency.
Why Do I Need a Business Continuity Plan?
Without continuity plans, as many as 75% of companies fail within three years. Having a plan means your company is more likely to recover when a disaster strikes.
Having an emergency response plan is crucial for your business when disasters happen.
How To Minimize Water Damage After a Pipe Burst
A leaking pipe will become a burst pipe causing flooding and three to five days of cleanup.
Water Damage Tips
A burst pipe is a common way that water damage can negatively affect your business. Being aware of water damage tips can help you save important items. This guide can assist you in minimizing the damage and starting the cleaning process.
Signs of a Pipe Burst
Knowing the signs of a damaged pipe is crucial to neutralize the threat of water damage before it can begin. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for:
- Knocking pipes
- Cracked or displaced tiles
- Musty or humid smells
Water Damage Tips
If you can't avoid a burst pipe, there are ways to minimize water damage to a commercial building. Start by cutting power to the affected areas of the building. Contact a building manager or the utility company if the shutoff is near an affected area.
Next, you'll want to stop the water at its source, as doing so minimizes the impact of the emergency. Contact building management if the shutoff isn’t readily available. When the water has been shut off, there will be excess flow in the pipes. Open up faucets and place buckets and containers underneath them.
Finally, collect items that are not tolerant to water exposure. Place them in water-proof containers, move them to unaffected areas, or remove them from the building altogether.
The cleaning tips are designed to help minimize damage, but you’ll need to call in professionals to help with the aftermath, starting with your insurance company. You'll want to ensure they keep a record of the damage.
Depending on the severity of the damage, you may require a plumber's expertise for pipe repairs. A plumber can give you tips in case anything happens in the future.
If there has been extensive water damage, you may also need assistance from a West Valley, CA, water restoration company. These businesses assess the damage and restore the building to its pre-damaged state.
Water damage can be devastating to a business. Utilizing these damage tips and services will help to create a smooth recovery process.
3 Functions of an Electronic Claims Service
Choosing a provider with an electronic claims service allows for more transparency.
Three Functions of an Electronic Claims Service
In the event that disaster strikes a residential or commercial property in Monte Sereno, CA, the owner may need to make an insurance claim. Insurers prefer to work with restoration companies that maintain rigorous professional standards and digitize records. Here are three notable differences between a restoration company that still deals in paper documents and a nationwide service network with an electronic claims service.
1. Provide Authorized Access
An electronic claims service can restrict access to claim-related documents to authorized parties. Rather than processing paperwork that is only secure until it is not, and which can be damaged or misplaced, an electronic service requires authentication for access and backs up files.
2. Track an Insurance Claim
The SERVPRO electronic claims service can also improve the ability of a property owner or insurance agent to keep track of the materials involved in a property damage claim. While property owners should still retain copies of damage documentation, proof of loss and a restoration estimate, an electronic claims service provides peace of mind that critical documents cannot be accidentally destroyed or misplaced.
3. Support Instant Communication
The availability of up-to-date materials in an electronic claims service is essential for speedy claim settlement. A service that notifies users when new materials become available has clear advantages over disjointed analog workflows. While an electronic claims service may not yet support internal live communication, these materials are readily available to be referenced in calls between insurance providers, policyholders and a restoration service provider.
In the event that you need to make an insurance claim for a property located in Monte Sereno, CA, choosing a provider with an electronic claims service allows for more transparency. These services provide authorized parties with persistent access to claim materials, deliver updates and ensure that all stakeholders are working from the same up-to-date documentation.
What To Do If Your Bathtub or Toilet Overflows
Overflowing water in your bathroom can be the result of a sewer backup.
Sewer Backup In Your Bathroom
Plumbing issues can happen to any homeowner. There are several reasons that this can occur, including broken pipes, a clog or blockage, and severe weather in Los Gatos, CA. If you are experiencing a sewer backup in your bathroom, there are a few steps you should take.
1. Turn Off the Water
One of the first things you should do during a toilet or bathtub backup is turn off the water source to your house. This will help limit the amount of water that enters the building. Continuing to use the plumbing can contribute to the overflow.
2. Move Belongings to a Dry Space
Dry items that have not been touched by the overflowing water should be moved to another location to keep them safe. Do not move anything that has been contaminated into a clean area. If there is an excessive amount of water in the room, do not enter it without protective clothing. Water from a sewer backup is highly-contaminated and unsafe.
3. Contain the Flooding Area
Depending on how badly the plumbing fixtures are overflowing, the contaminated water could start to flow into other areas. To keep the water from moving into the rest of the house, block off the bathroom the best you can.
4. Contact a Professional
If you are struggling to take care of the issue on your own, don’t hesitate to contact a professional. A water damage remediation company will be much better equipped to handle sewage water than you are. They can clean it up safely, make necessary repairs and locate the source of the problem as well.
Overflowing water in your bathroom can be the result of a sewer backup, causing contaminated water to enter your home. There are steps that you can take to keep your belongings and home from additional damage, but these should only be done if it is safe for you to do so. Because this water is unsafe to handle without protective gear, contacting a professional is often a better approach than attempting to clean it on your own.