THE INSURANCE CLAIMS PROCESS - WATER DAMAGE
THE INSURANCE CLAIMS PROCESS - WATER DAMAGE
It’s important to know what to do after you experience flood damage so that you can get your life back to normal, come back to your property, and receive speedy payment from your flood insurance claim. This article contains important steps to help you make sure the process is as quick and painless as possible.
After you’ve experienced flood damage, a flood claim has to be filed. You should expect to hear from an insurance adjuster.
Before the adjuster visits your property (before your flood claim payment can be issued), you’ll need to take important steps to prepare for the insurance claim.
TAKE THESE IMPORTANT STEPS:
1. Separate damaged property from undamaged property so it’s quicker to assess what you need coverage to repair.
2. Take photographs of all damaged property, including discarded objects, structural damage, and standing floodwater levels. Be careful!
3. Make a list of damaged and lost items including the date of purchases, values and receipts for each item, if possible.
4. Place flooded items outside the home. Officials may require disposal of damaged items, but wait for instruction to throw anything in your insurance claim away.
DURING THE VISIT, THE INSURANCE ADJUSTER WILL:
• Examine your damaged goods and property.
• Help determine your final estimate for flood damages.
• Give you a Proof of Loss form. This document is your official claim for damages. It substantiates the insurance claim and is required before the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can compensate you for flood damage.
• Complete, sign and return the Proof of Loss form to your insurance company within
60 days of the flood.
• Once insurance received the form, you and your insurance company agree on the amount of damages, then they will issue payment.
Steps to Take Immediately After Storm Damage!
Steps to Take Immediately After Storm Damage, SERVPRO of Meriden.
Storm damage can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of harm to your home. Heavy rains can cause flooding, and powerful winds can cause roof damage plus downed trees on your property. Some post-storm damage can create safety and health hazards as well, so having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready immediately after the storm.
Take Safety Precautions
Heavy winds and rain can create physical hazards such as collapsed roof materials, window damage, collapsed walls or standing water in the basement or home interior. In addition, moisture can soak into furniture, carpeting, and building materials making the perfect environment for mold growth that can cause health issues. Shut off the main gas line if you smell gas. Beware of broken glass, exposed nails, and other sharp objects on the property. Contact a reputable property restoration company to help secure your property and make it safe for your family’s use. If necessary, arrange for an alternative place for you and your family to live while your property is being restored to safe living conditions.
Photograph the Damage
If it is safe to move around your property, photograph the damage so that you have a record for your insurance company. This action will ensure that you are fully compensated.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Contact your insurance agent to notify them about the damage to your home immediately. The company will send out an adjustor to determine the extent of the damage so that payment for repairs can be made.
Look Into Federal Disaster Assistance
The federal government may have declared the area affected by the storm as a disaster area that is eligible for low-cost loans to help restore your property to back to pre-storm condition or better. You will be required to file documents to receive these loans.
When a storm-related disaster strikes, it may seem overwhelming, but these steps can help you to begin the process of restoring your home, and your life, back to normal.
At SERVPRO of Meriden, CT Storm Damage Restoration, we provide 24-hour emergency disaster service. We specialize in the stabilization and restoration of homes and businesses that have suffered a small or large loss from water, flood, wind, storm, fire damage, and smoke disaster.
Why Hire an IICRC Certified Company?
IICRC Certified Company, SERVPRO of Meriden, CT
IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certificate) Benefit:
The IICRC is a non-profit certification and Standards Developing Organization (SDO) for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries. In partnership with regional and international trade associations, the IICRC represents the entire industry. The IICRC is recognized internationally as a knowledgeable industry voice and resource.
Why use a certified technician?
Professional restoration technicians understand the need for quick response. Immediate remediation is key to controlling escalating costs. The longer the remediation is delayed, the higher the cost of restoration. Certified restorers have the knowledge to test materials and apply the restoration techniques required in order to return the items to their preloss condition.
If you’re looking to hire a restoration company, look for the IICRC logo.
IICRC Certified Firms have earned the right to display the IICRC logo as a symbol of quality. In order to achieve IICRC-certified status, firms must meet a rigorous list of standards in business ethics and expertise, and continue to, in order to maintain their certification status.
All IICRC Certified Firms must:
- Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
- Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
- Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
- Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
- Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.
The IICRC actively has relationships with fiber producers, carpet and fabric mills, furnishing manufacturers and retailers, and others affiliated with the industry. The use of IICRC service professionals is specified in leading manufacturers’ maintenance brochures and warranties.
SERVPRO of Meriden, CT is an IICRC Certified Firm. We follow all IICRC standards in our water, fire and smoke cleanup and restoration as well as our mold mitigation work.
IICRC Certified Firm
SERVPRO of Meriden, CT is an IICRC Certified firm. This designation from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration dictates that we are a professional restoring company known for our professional attitude and for providing the consumer with the highest degree of customer service.
If you have experienced smoke, fire or water damage and need a professional restoration company call us 24/7 at (800) 734-3213.
Everything You Need to Know About Mold !
Everything You Need to Know About Mold
How do you know if you have mold and how should you proceed if you do? We talked to SERVPRO of Meriden, CT, a highly-rated mold prevention and removal company, to get the answers you need...
What causes mold?
Mold is a fungus that is an integral part of the earth’s bio-mass. It consumes and breaks down organic material, like leaves, wood, and plants. The problem is when mold colonizes in our buildings, consumes our building materials, and puts spores into our indoor air. This happens when there is a moisture problem since mold cannot grow without water. When there is enough moisture or humidity for colonization, humans may begin to have problems.
Why is it important to get mold removed?
For the majority of people, exposure to very low concentrations of mold won’t be an issue. However, some spores can create allergies and respiratory-related health problems, and mold growth can also adversely affect property value. Nobody wants to purchase a mold issue. Basement and attic mold may not affect your indoor air quality all the time in the living spaces of your home, but it sure does threaten real estate deals.
That is because the idea of mold can cause panic for a homeowner since "Mold can cause health effects" create structural issues, and seriously affect property value.
What are common causes of mold in homes?
The unfortunate reality is that problematic mold can really pop up anywhere that isn’t dry. Most often mold grows in attics due to roof leaks and poor air circulation, bathrooms that ventilate into the attic rather than outdoors, within crawl spaces because earth or gravel allows moisture and mold spores to move up from the soil, basements flooding from foundation leaks or plumbing leaks, and interior living spaces with leaks, bad windows, and high humidity.
Is there a chance that I have mold and don’t even know it?
Yes. There are four criteria that you should be aware of:
- A musty odor that is caused during the colonization of some fungal species, but can come and go depending on moisture levels and air flow changes.
- Water staining or building materials that have discoloration, which is spreading over time, may be a sign of mold.
- Mold spores that were already present will begin to colonize just 48 hours after a water event.
- If you have allergies or respiratory symptoms that begin to worsen or if you feel worse in certain indoor environments, but better when you leave that space, you may have mold.
What is the removal process like?
The mold remediation process (providing a remedy to a known mold issue) involves four things...
1) Finding the source of the water leak, the moisture problem that is creating a hospitable environment for mold growth,
2) Killing the fungi,
3) Removing dead mold,
4) Then protecting against future mold growth/colonization.
In order to do this, mold specialists have a multi-step process to:
- Contain the work area and apply multiple negative air pressure HEPA air purifiers to prevent cross-contamination.
- Spray professional quality EPA registered anti-microbial to suspend and kill mold spores.
- Remove affected building surfaces.
- Bag and dispose of all mold infected items properly.
- Treat cavities / underlayment, and dehumidify.
- Abrasively remove dead loose mold.
- Apply professional quality EPA registered protective sealer.
- Perform clearance testing.
- Remove containment materials.
Why is it important to hire a professional?
It is always a good idea to consult with a mold professional. If there’s an issue you can tackle yourself, a professional will give you recommendations about how to do so. It may be too much for a homeowner to keep safe while preventing cross contamination, killing mold, removing it and preventing new mold from growing, so that is why a professional is highly suggested, to that you can get things done properly and prevent future problems from making your current mold issue into an ongoing mold problem.
When treating attics and crawl spaces needing mold remediation, it is important to treat ALL decking, joists and attic trusses. Mold removal may also involve demolition of drywall, paneling, flooring, ceiling tile, cabinets, disposal containers, cleaning and sanitizing HVAC ducts, etc.
Get A Mold Removal FREE Quote From SERVPRO of Meriden, CT by calling 1-800-734-3213.
This article was adapted from: https://www.thumbtack.com/blog/mold-removal
Escape From A Home Fire In 2 Minutes!
Escape From A Home Fire In 2 Minutes!
Did you know that if a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape? During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. Learn what else to do to keep your loved ones safe!
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
Test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries.
Talk with all family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL FOR HELP. Never go back inside for anything or anyone.
Fire safety at homes
Fire safety at homes - SERVPRO of Meriden
Spring is when many people decide to open up their seasonal houses, cabins, and cottages. An important part of the preparation is gearing up for fire safety. Just like permanent housing, vacation homes are vulnerable to unsafe conditions.
By the time vacationers arrive at their seasonal homes, the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms may no longer work and chimneys could be blocked.
Here are some safety tips:
- Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.
- Install CO alarms outside each separate sleeping area, on every level of the home, and in other locations as required by laws, codes, or standards.
- Test CO alarms at least once a month.
- Pack extra batteries for smoke alarms and CO alarms in case they need replacing.
- Make a home escape plan. Practice the plan with everyone in the household, including visitors.
- Know the telephone number of the local fire department and the address and phone number of the vacation home.
- Chimneys and vents need to be cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional at least once a year.
- If you smoke, smoke outside. Use deep, sturdy ashtrays.
- If you are renting, contact the property manager, landlord, or fire department to be sure that smoke alarms and CO alarms are installed and properly working.
NFPA’s tip sheets provide further information on how to be safe while at your “home away from home.”
Fire Damage Restoration in Meriden CT
Fire Damage restoration in Connecticut
Fire Damage Restoration in CT
Fire damage can be very devastating for a residential or commercial property. In addition to fire, smoke, and soot damage, water damage caused by firefighting efforts and fire suppression systems may occur. Every hour spent restoring your business back to pre-fire condition is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. If you have a fire emergency, call SERVPRO because we have the training, experience, and equipment to manage your commercial fire damage emergency. We will respond quickly and manage the fire restoration project through to its completion—getting your property business-ready.
Whether your need is removing an odor problem or deep cleaning flooring or carpets, you can depend on SERVPRO of Meriden, CT to get the job done right the first time. We’ll respond promptly and make your workspace look its very best. Learn more about our Commercial Cleaning Services.
Your commercial property’s appearance speaks volumes to your clients. So when the need arises for professional cleaning or emergency restoration services, SERVPRO of Meriden, CT has the training and expertise to help make it “Like it never even happened.”
We are available throughout Connecticut 24 hours a day to get your business back up and running. Our expertise includes restoration services for fire and water damage, including electronics restoration and document drying.
Fire damage? Call us today!
No Job Is Too Large
Call SERVPRO of Meriden, CT at 1-800-734-3213
Tips for fire victims facing clean up!!
Fire and Smoke Restoration in Connecticut
Fire and Smoke Restoration in Connecticut
In the wake of a fire that has covered homes with smoke and ash, it’s important to begin clean up as soon as possible in order to prevent permanent damage or discoloration from soot residue. The IICRC provides the following tips for fire victims facing clean up:
- Practice safety first. Use a dust mask (like painters use) and gloves as you work.
- Ventilate the home. Place a box fan in an open window to draw the air and dust out.
- Clean from top to bottom. Start with the ceilings, walls and fixtures, and work your way down to the contents of the room, then to the floor.
- Vacuum floors and upholstery. Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a high efficiency filter. Otherwise, you risk blowing soot back into the air.
- Some draperies, clothing and machine-washable items may be laundered. Use a mild alkaline cleaner to neutralize the acid in the soot. Fine clothing should be dry cleaned.
- Most exterior walls (brick, stone, wood, paint, siding) and eaves can be cleaned by spraying with a detergent, agitating soot with a soft-bristled brush, pressure washing from bottom to top, then rinsing from top to bottom.
- If the damage and residue are heavy, it may be best to hire a professional to thoroughly restore your home and belongings.
- Check with your insurance company to see if smoke damage from outdoor sources is covered by your policy.
- If the fire has warped or distorted the structure, consult a licensed general contractor.
Professional restoration technicians know that damage increases and restoration costs escalate the longer neutralization, corrosion control and cleaning is delayed. When homeowners prolong the restoration of their home, they extend the effects brought on by the smoke exposure. The following is a timeline of the effects of fire and smoke on a home.
Within Minutes: Acid soot residues cause plastics to yellow; small appliances located close to the source of combustion discolor; highly porous materials (marble, alabaster) discolor permanently.
Within Hours: Acid residues stain grout in bathrooms; fiberglass bath fixtures may yellow; uncoated metals tarnish, counter tops may yellow; finishes on appliances, particularly refrigerators, may yellow; furniture finishes may discolor.
Within Days: In time, acid residues cause painted walls to yellow permanently; metal corrodes, pits and rusts; wood furniture requires refinishing; vinyl flooring requires refinishing or replacement; clothing becomes soot stained; upholstery stains permanently.
Within Weeks: Restoration costs escalate tremendously. Synthetic carpet fibers may yellow or discolor permanently; silver plate is corroded permanently; glass, crystal, china may require replacement due to severe etching and pitting caused by prolonged exposure to acid soot residues.
Cleaning up soot residue must be done as quickly as possible. During combustion, soot residue and volatile vapors are carried by rising and expanding air to surfaces throughout a structure, and are deposited. This process occurs repeatedly until combustion ends, with soot residue building up on surfaces layer by layer. By the time restoration technicians arrive, lacquer-like soot residue may be quite difficult to dissolve and remove.
In addition to removing residue, ridding your home of its smoky odor is necessary. Professionals use this four-step process to remove odors:
- Remove the source of the odor, as possible, including unsalvageable debris that contributes to odor generation and recontamination of cleaned and deodorized areas.
- Clean salvageable surfaces and items to physically remove odor-causing residue.
- Chase remaining odor with an odor counteractant. In the case of smoke, create a deodorizing fog or gas that seeks out and combines with odor-causing substances.
- Seal salvageable surfaces that are inaccessible or slightly scorched, not only for aesthetic purposes, but primarily to encapsulate odor and prevent progressive recontamination.
Understanding the effects of a fire can help homeowners evaluate the damage to their home. By learning more about residue clean-up and deodorization after a fire, you can minimize the need for costly repair. Fire and smoke restoration experts can help you return your home and furnishings to a “preloss” condition.
References : http://www.IICRC.org/consumers/
How Fire Can Lead to Water Damage?
Fire Damage restoration, Fire Can Lead to Water Damage
When your home or office experiences fire damage in Connecticut, you may also find yourself scheduling water damage repair and mold removal. In fact, water damage is a very common side effect of a household and business fire. There are several ways that a fire can lead to water damage in your home or busine. First, your firefighters may use water-based extinguishers to put out the flames. As gallons and gallons of water are pumped into your indoor spaces, water damage will naturally occur. During a fire, your pipes and other plumbing fixtures may also burst and lead to water damage throughout your home.
To ensure that your fire damage and water damage problems are properly remediated, be sure to contact an insurance restoration company that services your local area. A team of remediation professionals will have all of the tools that are needed to fully remove both water and fire damage from your indoor spaces. Your restoration company SERVPRO will work closely with you to return your home to the condition that it was in before the fire.
Are you looking for assistance to help your business or community recover?
looking for assistance to help your business or community recover?
If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, this page may be able to help you. Here we offer a list of resources that are not just for individuals. You can find links to sites that also offer assistance for businesses, local governments, and communities for different types of situations.
Visit some of the sites below to see what you can find. Your path to disaster recovery may be able to start here.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance – This site offers a list of all federal assistance programs open to the public. Search programs offered for any of the following by type, agency, or number:
- State (and the District of Columbia), local, tribal, and U.S. territory governments
- Profit and non-profit entities
- Special groups
(General Services Administration)
Grants.gov – Do you want to seek a grant? If so, this site is the place to go to find and apply for federal grants from over 26 agencies. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
Benefits.gov – Are you looking for assistance that fits your unique situation? Just answer some questions in the “Benefit Finder” to find programs with federal partners that may be right for you. (U.S. Department of Labor)
National Resource Network – The Network is a diverse group of private and public sector organizations. Its purpose is to help distressed cities find and apply solutions to aid their economic recovery and growth. The Network offers their assistance through three core services:
- Support for Implementing Solutions,
- Access to Peer Networks and New Ideas, and
- On-line, On-demand Access to Expertise.
(U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)
Community Recovery Management Toolkit – The toolkit is a resource for local officials and community leaders. It aims to provide resources to help manage the complex issues of long-term, post-disaster recovery. The toolkit compiles guidance, case studies, tools, and training. The information is grouped in four sections as follows:
- Recovery Planning
- Managing Recovery
- Core Capability-Specific Resources
(U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
Are You Ready? Guide - FEMA designed this guide to teach and empower Americans to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. Anyone, including communities, can use the guide to learn more about preparedness. (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
U.S. Government Services and Information - View a list of government services and information that can guide you to the help you need. You can find help online, in your local community, or in your state. (USA.gov)
Local Governments - Search for information about each city and town in the U.S. by state. You can use this information to find help after a disaster. (USA.gov)
State Governments - Find your state or U.S. territory government website so you can search for services or information. You can also search the websites of Tribal Governments. (USA.gov)
U.S. Postal Service Alerts - Find out if there are any postal service problems in your area after a weather-related or other event:
- Is your post office open?
- Is there mail delivery?
You can view residential as well as business alerts. If you need to relocate, you can also do your change of address online. (U.S. Postal Service)
Alternative Fueling Station Locator - Do you have a diesel, hybrid, flexible fuel (FFV), or other vehicle that uses alternative fuel? Use this interactive map to help you find fueling stations near you. (U.S. Department of Energy)
Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program - This program helps to conserve natural resources and aid watershed recovery after natural disasters. Both public and private landowners may qualify. You can find details for both EWP and the EWP Floodplain Easement Program (FPE) on the site. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
Community Development Resources - Get information about community development by subject. Subjects include the following:
- Downtown Revitalization
- Economic and Rural Development
- Rural Tourism
- Tribal Communities
- Rural Libraries