Recent Posts

Where Do Different Types of Flood Damage Come From?

6/22/2022 (Permalink)

Flooded basement A flooded basement in River Falls, WI.

What Causes Water Damage?

Heavy flooding can cause serious damage to your River Falls, WI, home, but did you know there are different types of issues it can cause? Depending on the source of the water, your home and its contents may experience a wide variety of problems. Learning what causes water damage and why may help you call for the right type of assistance when these floods happen.

Outdoor Floods
When outdoor floods occur, the water source is usually from a variety of sources, such as:

  • Local creeks
  • Ponds
  • Clogged sewers

These floodwaters usually carry dangerous bacteria, animal offal and sewer contents. Because of its contents, professionals mark this water as Category 3 or black water. You should avoid handling this type of water if it enters your home and call a professional flood restoration service for assistance.

Indoor Sink and Toilet Floods
Flooding that occurs from an indoor source, such as a sink, washing machine, or toilet, may have different grades of cleanliness. For example, if the flood comes from a broken refrigerator line that is used to make ice, this is a Category 1 flood situation that should not be harmful. However, if standing water from a clean source sits for more than 24 hours, it can break down rapidly and grow bacteria. This can cause it to become dangerous to handle. Toilet water is usually considered a Category 3 flood and typically requires the assistance of a flood mitigation and restoration service.

Flood Damage In Basements
When spring thaws occur, they can affect your home's gutters and cause ice dams, which may result in serious water leaks inside your home from the gutters not draining water away properly. Basement leaks and floods are quite common, and depending on how long the water stands in the room, it may be either a Category 2 or Category 3 flood.

Different types of flooding in River Falls, WI, can affect your home in a variety of ways. Generally, avoiding the water until you can call for assistance regarding its removal is usually the wisest course of action.

Common Places Mold Grows in Commercial Buildings

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth in the corner of a wall Mold damage in a commercial building in Hudson, WI.

Common Places Mold Grows in Commercial Buildings

It does not take much for mold growth to occur. Mold is often found in dark, isolated spaces plagued by moisture. Mold can be costly and time-consuming to clean. The best defense against mold is to do everything possible to prevent it from ever happening. Here are a few places to check for mold in your building in Hudson, WI.

Common Places You Expect To Find Mold

Moisture, a surface, darkness, and organic nutrients from dust are all that is needed for mold to grow. Any area that has frequent exposure to water or high humidity can easily become infested with mold. Places you might expect to find mold include:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Carpets
  • Windows
  • Water heaters
  • Air conditioners

Mold may not be out in the open in these areas. Remember that it thrives on darkness. Look under carpets, behind doors, inside devices, and within any cracks and crevices if you smell or otherwise suspect mold.

Places You May Not Think To Look For Mold

The common places you expect to find mold are the places you expect to find water and moisture. The places you may not think to look for mold are the areas of your building you do not associate with water at all. Areas that are rarely seen and are only occasionally inspected are common spots for overlooked mold growth. As these areas are left unchecked for long periods of time, unknown water damage can quickly turn into mold. Ceiling tiles, wall cavities, and wallboard damaged by leaks can easily become infested with mold. They are rarely explored and provide dark, enclosed environments. Ductwork and electrical equipment exposed to moisture or humidity can provide ample places for mold to grow.
Mold growth is pervasive and silent. It can spread before you realize that it exists. Conduct regular inspections of your building to keep mold at bay. A mold restoration specialist can help with cleaning and mitigation of the problem, but once mold is found, it is virtually impossible to eradicate.

Why You Need Fire Insurance for Your Business

6/6/2022 (Permalink)

Visible damage to a commercial building following a structure fire Commercial fire damage in Star Prairie, WI.

Why Does Your Company Need Fire Insurance?

In order to keep your Star Prairie, WI, business running smoothly, your commercial building and property must consistently be in good condition. Factors such as fire damage can wreak havoc on your building and prevent your business from functioning at its best. Investing in fire insurance can help comfort you during a difficult situation and provide your business with an extra layer of security. Here are some of the major benefits of buying insurance to protect your business from fire loss.

Covers Damage

A key advantage of having insurance for your commercial building is that it provides coverage for various types of fire damage. Property damage and loss may be caused by factors such as:

  • Flames
  • Smoke
  • Water
  • Powders (from firefighting efforts)

The damage from these sources and others can add up and make fire restoration a more difficult job. Being insured helps to ease part of the process.

Takes Care of Costs

Without fire insurance, the many costs of fire repairs and smoke cleanup may become overwhelming. In addition to repairs, you will have the responsibility of paying for fire department service fees on your own if you aren’t insured. This responsibility can seriously harm your business if you aren’t able to pay for all the costs that are included. Having insurance takes this financial burden off your shoulders.

Gives You Peace of Mind

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire can be an incredibly stressful situation. The last thing you need to worry about is how to cope with the costs of loss and damage to your commercial building. When you have insurance to carry the financial weight of your fire damage, the process of fire restoration can go much more smoothly.
Investing in fire insurance is only the first step towards recovering from a fire in Star Prairie, WI. Be sure to call a professional for a fire damage assessment in order to have your business restored as soon as possible.

You Should Not Wait for the Insurance Adjuster if You Have Storm Damage

5/24/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment in a room Restoration services in Hudson, WI.

If you are dealing with storm damage in Hudson, WI, one of the first things you should do is call your insurance company. Depending on the type of damage, ask if you have flood insurance or the type of coverage necessary for repair and restoration. After filing a claim, you will be assigned an adjuster to come and estimate the damages. However, you should not wait for the adjuster, as he or she is probably busy dealing with other homeowners and their storm damage, and the longer you wait, the more damage your house will take on.

Types of Damage that Can Occur If Too Much Time Passes

A number of unwanted consequences can occur if you wait too long to start the restoration process. Depending on the type of storm, these may include:

  • Mold damage from standing water
  • Multiplication of contaminants like bacteria or chemicals
  • Further structural damage
  • Swelling of furniture and drywall
  • Odor buildup

To start the process right away, call a professional storm and flood damage restoration company. These professionals know exactly what steps to take to minimize damage and prevent future issues.

Document Losses and Costs for Flood Insurance Reimbursement

Even if you get the restoration process started before you meet with the adjuster, you can still do things to improve your chances of reimbursement. Document and take pictures and videos of damaged structures and personal items. Keep all receipts related to the repair and restoration of the damage as well as the estimation from the restoration company.
When you are dealing with flood insurance or other storm damage coverage, the adjuster may not always be able to get to you right away. Even when this is the case, do not wait to begin the restoration process, as the quicker you get started to clean up water and other hazards, the better the outcome.

3 Ways That SERVPRO Serves Adjusters and Their Clients

5/12/2022 (Permalink)

Air movers placed in a hallway of a building SERVPRO of The Saint Croix Valley offers a response service that is available 24/7.

SERVPRO Helps Adjusters and Their Clients in Three Ways

An insurance adjuster for business owners in Hammond, WI, collaborates with a variety of professionals to assist clients, including commercial remediation specialists. These companies work with the owners and the adjuster to effectively repair properties after a disaster. However, one of these organizations stands out among the rest. SERVPRO goes above and beyond in serving agents and their clients through various methods.

1. Fast Response

Disasters can occur or manifest at inconvenient times. The insurance client might notice a leak right before the weekend or a fire could ravage a building in the middle of the night. A strong restoration company offers a response service that is available to business owners 24/7 and deploys experts in a matter of hours. Fast emergency repair helps the business recover fast and it reduces the insurance claim expenses, benefitting both the adjuster and the client.

2. Detailed Information

The information regarding commercial damage is important since it helps both the client and the insurance adjuster make the best decision regarding the case. SERVPRO has a claims information center that collects and organizes information in a way that is useful to the insurance agent. It provides a job file that includes photos, detailed descriptions and paperwork, as well as job costs and industry-standard comparisons. Agents can request this information in both physical and electronic copies.

3. Pretesting Process

Adjusters prefer to restore property and objects instead of replacing them, as the latter is more expensive. The best way to measure restorability is to have a remediation company run pretesting on the affected area and belongings. In addition to determining what can be salvaged or replaced, the process provides information to both the technicians and the adjusters. They can see what equipment and methods they need for the best results and the estimated costs of the procedure.
The right remediation company can make the repair process beneficial to both the insurance adjuster and the establishment owner. SERVPRO provides these services and more to successfully help both parties.

Commercial Storm Insurance: What Does It Cover?

5/4/2022 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Wind cause missing shingles in this roof.

What Commercial Storm Insurance Covers?

Are you a Glenwood City, WI  business owner who wonders what commercial storm insurance actually covers? It is important to understand your coverage in order to be prepared for an emergency if it should occur. Here are three things that are covered by most policies in addition to damage to your actual building itself.

1. Wind damage. If your area is particularly prone to windstorm issues, you will be happy to learn that most wind-related storm damage is covered by commercial insurance. Remember to keep records of any damage directly caused by wind, such as pictures and receipts from repair work.

2. Theft and Vandalism. Unfortunately, criminal acts can become a concern when dealing with storms and similar disasters, so most policies will cover both vandalism and theft that can affect your building as a result of a storm.

3. Business equipment. If your supplies, furnishings, office fixtures and other equipment are damaged during bad weather, most storm insurance policies will cover it.

Keep in mind that damage from floods, earthquakes and hurricanes may not be a part of your standard insurance coverage without an added rider. Talk to your insurance agent about including these coverages to better protect your business and your investments.

Getting Help After a Storm

If you ever find yourself facing storm-related damage at your business, wait until the weather dies down to seek help. Then, call a trusted commercial storm damage company in the Glenwood City, WI, area for assistance with cleanup and remediation. While you may feel the urge to take matters into your own hands, it is better for you, your business and your insurance claims to get help from trained technicians who know what to do in such a situation.

Storm insurance and storm damage, in general, can be hard to navigate for even the savviest of business owners. Talking to your insurance agent and other knowledgeable professionals can help take some of the burdens off of you and put you in a position to take control after a storm.

How To Prepare Your Business For Hail Damage

4/23/2022 (Permalink)

Circles on a roof with chalk, hail damage on a roof Regular maintenance can help prevent severe roof damage.

Owning a business comes with many responsibilities, not the least of which is maintaining your commercial property. Along with regular building maintenance, have a plan in place in case of natural disasters, such as hail storms. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for possible hail damage.

Know the Common Types of Hail Damage

Think through potential types of damage so you can make sure you have each one covered. Here are a few common types:

Roof Damage: This is a very common area of hail damage. Be sure to have your roof regularly inspected and repaired, especially after a hail storm. Regular maintenance can help prevent severe roof damage.

Glass Damage: If you have skylights, be sure that they are impact-resistant. Windows can be at risk too, depending on the angle of the hail coming down. Consider using impact-resistant glass here as well.

Property Damage: Hail can also cause damage to the property surrounding your building. This could include trees, HVAC units, or even commercial vehicles kept on your property.

Make Sure You are Covered
Once you have reviewed potential sources of storm damage, make sure that you have adequate commercial property insurance. This type of insurance will cover the financial impact of storm-related damage, which is an important protection for the financial health of your company. In the event of storm damage, initiate a claim with your insurance company and request authorization for a Roberts, WI, storm damage company to come in to do repairs. You don't want to be left with roof damage or other property damage impeding your ability to get back to business.

Protect Employees
Have an emergency plan in place to make sure employees stay safe in the event of a hail storm. Designate a gathering area safely away from windows, and communicate a procedure to follow with your employees. Consider practicing emergency drills.
No one wants to think about their business suffering storm damage, but early preparation can save a lot of hassle in the event of damaging hail. Make sure you have your bases covered to protect your property, your employees and your hard work.

What Is a Preferred Vendor?

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

Drying equipment, air movers and dehumidifiers drying a wet carpet. Office drying in Bay City, WI.

With a big commercial disaster claim, there’s often a lot on the line. Everyone involved, from the property manager to the business owner to the commercial property insurance agent, has an interest in making sure that the restoration work is completed competently, on schedule, and at a fair price. In many cases, this is most easily accomplished by using the insurance company’s preferred vendors.

What Is a Preferred Vendor?

Insurance companies have extensive experience handling disaster-based claims and working with various disaster recovery companies. Over time, some restoration companies begin to stand out as consistently delivering quality work and reasonable estimates on time. Insurance providers often designate such restoration companies as “preferred” vendors.

How Does a Preferred Vendor Program Work?

Most commercial insurance companies have some sort of process for selecting vendors for preferred status. Typically, these vendors must meet exacting guidelines for quality and performance to be selected as preferred vendors. Insurance companies ordinarily monitor these vendors to ensure that they continue to consistently meet these standards and maintain compliance with all requirements. For an insurance agent, working with a preferred vendor usually means a shorter turnaround time for approving estimates, since the vendor’s billing practices have already been approved by the insurance provider.

How Does SERVPRO Ensure Compliance?

SERVPRO is not only one of America’s largest restoration companies, but also has some of the industry’s highest internal performance standards. Every franchise must comply with 21 different performance guidelines, covering such matters as:

  • minimum insurance requirements
  • employee background checks
  • bookkeeping and data reporting procedures
  • equipment training and maintenance

These extensive requirements help ensure that every franchise continues to live up to the company’s high standards for quality and professionalism.

In the aftermath of a disaster in Bay City, WI, working with a respected and reliable preferred vendor typically makes things easier for the assigned insurance agent. The result is that restoration begins sooner, which is good news for the property owner as well.

Buying in a Flood Zone: What To Do

4/6/2022 (Permalink)

Sandbag pile protection from flood Remember that even homes outside of a flood zone can suffer from floods.

Flood Zones

Are you planning to buy a home in the Prescott, WI, area that falls within a flood zone? There are a few things you should do to prepare so you can better protect your finances and potentially your future property. Here are four steps to take to better inform yourself about flood zones and figure out if you really want to live in a high-risk area.

1. Estimate flood insurance costs. When you live at a location that has a high risk of flooding, it is very common for flood insurance to be required - sometimes by the federal government. Get a few quotes before you buy the home, and make sure to ask for any discounts that you may be eligible for. You will also want to ensure that federal coverage is not required.

2. Learn the home’s exact zone. Some areas of a flood zone are considered lower risk than others. Make sure to find the FEMA map for your area to know exactly what kind of risk you are dealing with. Additionally, your home may need to be re-categorized if it was mapped out a long time ago.

3. Get an elevation certificate. It is possible that an elevation certificate will be required if you purchase a home within a high-risk zone. Such a certificate can also help you further gauge the probability of a bad flood at or near your house.

4. Know your local remediation service. If you should suffer from a damaging flood, you will want professional help to have the best chance of restoring your property. Find out what your most trustworthy local storm damage service is so you have reliable cleanup aid in the event of a disaster.

If you are getting discouraged by the prospect of living in a high-risk area, remember that even homes outside of a flood zone can suffer from floods. After following the steps above, you will be better able to understand what you are getting into before making the serious commitment of home ownership.

3 Ways To Fix a Toilet That Keeps Flushing

3/30/2022 (Permalink)

Flushometer Toilets that are not connected to flushometers may keep running for different reasons.

Three Ways To Fix Toilet Overflow

Commercial toilets run the risk of problems that may cause continued flushing. The underlying cause of this problem may be determined by the setup of the bathroom facilities at a building in Baldwin, WI. Here are three ways to fix toilet overflow problems and reduce the added cost and risk of a toilet flood associated with this plumbing issue.

1. Fix the Flushometer

A commercial structure may rely on a flushometer to eliminate waste from toilets or urinals. These systems are either manual or automatic. If facilities equipped with this technology start running continuously, it may be necessary to clean or replace the gasket of a manual flushometer or the diaphragm kit of an automatic model.

2. Check the Internal Components

Toilets that are not connected to flushometers may keep running for different reasons. A flapper may not seal properly and could require replacement or fill tube adjustments. A fill valve leak might also be the cause of the problem. These repairs are relatively easy for amateurs to complete, but a building owner or manager can also schedule expert repair and water damage restoration.

3. Call a Plumber

If the owner or manager of a commercial building cannot stop a toilet, it is time to contact a plumber. Repairs should ideally take place prior to a toilet overflow. If a facility has already become flooded, shut off the water supply and try to extract as much standing water as possible with a mop or wet-dry vacuum.
Whether the bathrooms in a commercial building are equipped with flushometers or have standard designs, these measures can stop water from continuously running through a toilet and reduce the risk of a toilet overflow. These fixes may be done by the owner or manager of a building in Baldwin, WI, or it may be worthwhile to rely on a plumber to prevent water damage.