Recent Posts

3 Tips for Resolving Smoke Damage Claims

9/21/2020 (Permalink)

When your property is damaged by smoke from a neighboring building, the insurance claim process may be anything but clear. Fortunately, there are some things you can do as you work with your insurance company to improve the results of a smoke damage claim.

Keep Thorough Records

Written records and photographic evidence of smoke and soot damage is crucial to the successful resolution of a claim. Your records should include a lot of information:

  • The date of the fire
  • The type of damage and any related losses
  • Names and contact information of the involved parties
  • A description of all affected contents
  • Estimates for the cost of repairs and corrective action
  • Reports from the police and fire department

Contact your insurance agent to find out if you need any other information. Keep these records in a safe place, so you can provide copies as needed by various authorities.

Hire Professionals for Repairs

As smoke damage spreads throughout your building, soot settles on carpets, equipment, and furnishings. Professional smoke cleaning companies can help you avoid further damages, and they are likely to work with your insurance company. If you try to attempt repairs on your own, you could do additional damage and reduce the amount you could get from your insurance provider.

Call a Public Adjuster

Even if you are confident in your insurance company, a public adjuster provides an unbiased estimate of the cost of the damage. This information can help you develop a realistic understanding of how much money you may get from the claim. The participation of a public adjuster could influence your insurance company, particularly if the company is likely to minimize their estimate of damages.

Smoke damage losses are generally covered by insurance companies. Use these three tips to improve your chances of getting sufficient reimbursement when your Bartlett, IL, business has been affected by fires in adjacent buildings.

4 Things You Should Know About Mold

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Worker using protective equipment while holding a piece of drywall covered with mold Mold cleanup in Ontarioville, IL

Ways You Can Address Mold

If you own a commercial building in Ontarioville, IL, there are a number of problems that you might encounter over time. One of these is mold growth. The following is some information that might help you address this common issue.

1. What Is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that can be found in a wide variety of locations. It comes in a range of colors from black to green to white and often has a fuzzy or slimy texture.

2. How Does It Form?
Mold often begins to grow after you have experienced water damage in your building. This is because mold requires moisture. It travels and spreads via spores that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Because of this, it can be easy for an infestation to form before you have noticed a problem.

3. How Do You Know If You Have Mold Growth?
In some cases, it can be easy to tell if there is mold in the building. It will sometimes begin to show as a discoloration on walls or other surfaces. If the mold is growing behind walls, underneath floors or in another hidden location, the first sign might be a musty odor. An inspection should be done if you suspect mold is growing.

4. How Do You Get Rid Of It?
If you do have mold growth in your building, then the best course of action is to contact a professional. Attempting to remove mold on your own can result in the accidental spreading of spores. Mold will also continue to return if it is not removed thoroughly which can be difficult to do without the proper equipment and experience.
Reducing high humidity levels in your building and removing damage quickly can help prevent mold from growing. If you do find signs of the fungus, a mold remediation service can help remove it. They can perform cleanup and restoration on both the building and any affected belongings.

What Type of Water Leaks Will Your Insurance Cover?

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling panels damaged huge hole in roof from rainwater leakage. Water damaged ceiling. Ceiling panels damaged by water in Keeneyville, IL

The most common losses businesses in Keeneyville, IL, face are due to water leaks. Water can be very destructive, flooding buildings and causing the need for remediation professionals. While your commercial property insurance will cover many sources of water damage, you must know what most policies cover and what they do not.

What Is Excluded?

Many commercial property policies will contain water exclusions that specify certain types of water damage not included in your coverage. For starters, most insurance plans generally reject issues caused by water that accumulates due to a flood, waves, mudflow, and sewer backup. Additionally, your policy likely does not have to cover slow leaks from damaged pipes.
Your insurance plan may also refuse coverage for damage caused by condensation buildup over time. In other words, the seepage exclusion makes it so that your insurance policy does not have to cover damage due to poor maintenance. For example, you will not get coverage for damage that occurs from a clogged drain line.
Lastly, most insurance companies will not cover damage caused by frozen pipes. When a pipe freezes, the water turns to ice inside the pipe. The pressure of the expanding ice can cause pipes to burst. This can cause a lot of damage that is not covered under your insurance policy.

What Is Covered?
Anything that is not listed above is generally covered as long as it was not caused by the owner's actions. Here are some of the things you may be able to receive funds for if you encounter them:

  • Destruction from suddenly damaged pipes
  • Rip and tear repairs from leaking pipes
  • Damage to fire protective systems
  • Frozen pipes in a heated building
  • Pipes that were damaged in a winterized building

Since many businesses face damage due to water leaks, it is important to know what your insurance company will and will not cover. Most insurance companies will not cover any costs related to accumulated water, slow leaks from damaged pipes, and frozen pipes. However, they will generally cover damage caused by a variety of issues as long as they are not due to the building owner's negligence.

How To Deduct Storm Damage on Your Tax Return

9/2/2020 (Permalink)

How To Deduct Storm Damage on Your Tax Return

Storm damage is something no business owner wants to experience. One silver lining to the storm clouds is that some or all of your losses may be tax-deductible. Here are three tips to help you maximize your deduction:

1. Know What Counts
Section 165 of the Internal Revenue Code allows you to deduct storm-related damage to your business property. The deduction amount is equal to the property’s decline in fair market value (the value just before the storm, minus the value just after the storm). This amount can’t exceed the total adjusted basis of the property.
The easiest way to calculate the deduction is to have an appraisal immediately before and immediately after the loss. Of course, this isn’t always feasible, especially when a storm takes you by surprise. As an alternative, you may submit the cost of storm restoration and repairs (be sure to document these costs and keep your receipts).
Other expenses, such as storm damage to inventory, may also be deductible under other provisions (like Section 162 – business expenses).

2. Know What Doesn't Count
Intangible or future losses (such as lost earnings) are not tax deductible. In addition, you can’t deduct money for damage due to ordinary wear and tear, losses due to theft or looting, or expenses for preexisting damage.

3. Know the Role Insurance Plays
Insurance is not required to qualify for the tax deduction; however, if your business property was covered by insurance at the time of the storm, you must file an insurance claim in order for the loss to be tax-deductible. If some or all of your loss is reimbursed by insurance, you’ll need to subtract that from the amount of loss you’re claiming on your taxes.

4. Know When You're in a Disaster Area
If your business is within a federally declared disaster area, you may have additional options. You can check with FEMA to see whether Schick, IL, is included.
If your business has been hit with storm damage, you’re probably focused on cleanup — not taxes. It's still a good idea to take a moment and cover your tax bases now, so you don't leave money on the table at tax time.

4 Crucial Steps To Take After a Pipe Burst

8/15/2020 (Permalink)

4 Crucial Steps To Take After a Pipe Burst

Over time, your commercial building may be vulnerable to a variety of perils, including bursting pipes and water damage. In addition to making a mess, significant water seepage can threaten the integrity of your facility and business operations. To minimize downtime and preserve your property and financial investments, you should complete several crucial tasks when a pipe breaks.

1. Shut Off the Water Supply

If a pipe breaks inside your facility, you should promptly restrict flow to the damaged supply line by turning off the water main. Then, contact a licensed plumber to fix the broken pipe and restore your building's water supply.

2. Contact Your Insurance Company

Most commercial insurance policies cover a variety of incidents, including bursting pipes. You should contact your agent to verify specific coverage details and initiate a claim. To receive compensation, you may need to provide video or photographic evidence of the destruction as well as a list of damaged items and their value.

3. Commence Cleanup Efforts

If not promptly cleaned, extensive water infiltration can result in mold contamination. To prevent this, promptly soak up standing fluid and remove saturated items from the area. Because wet building materials, such as drywall, insulation and carpeting, can harbor mold spores, you should also discard these items.
Once damp objects are removed, commence drying efforts. To expedite the process, utilize fans and dehumidifiers. A professional water damage restoration company can help you manage the project and efficiently complete these important procedures.

4. Ensure the Space Is Dry

Finalizing repairs and resuming normal business operations are likely your next top priorities. However, replacing carpet and drywall before the space is fully dry may result in secondary damage requiring mold remediation. To minimize this risk, employ moisture meters to verify the absence of dampness before proceeding.
Bursting pipes can cause significant water damage inside any Schick, IL, building. A prompt response can minimize financial loses, protect your building from additional destruction and make it appear “Like it never even happened."

Keep Sewage Backups at Bay

8/13/2020 (Permalink)

Man crouching in trench with shovel showing an old terracotta sewer line broken open to reveal a solid tube of invasive tree Tree roots growing in the sewer line is a common reason for sewer backup problems

Keep Sewage Backups at Bay

A sewage backup in your Hanover Park, IL, home is not a fun task to have to deal with. Along with potential water damage, it also means black water has entered your home, which has potentially harmful contaminants. Understanding why it happens and taking some simple preventive measures can often keep the unexpected mess at bay.

Main Culprits
There are actually many reasons that a home can experience a backup, but the following top the list:

Improperly flushed items – Hair, grease, and solid debris can quickly clog pipes.
Structural issues – If your sewer line has cracks, holes, sags, or collapses, it can offset the joints and degrade the system.
Tree roots – Those beautiful and necessary trees have roots that love to find water. As they spread out, they can crack pipes or cause other damage to them.
Flooding – Heavy rains can fill up sewer lines faster than they can accommodate the water, which can eventually lead to sewage in the home.

Easy Tips
Instead of accepting that a backup is bound to happen, some simple actions can reduce the chances of unwanted water and the need to call a storm damage and restoration expert.

If you haven’t had a plumber at your home in a while, it might be time for a sewer cleaning. That is especially important if tree roots are the main reason for the problem.
Ensure everyone in the home knows what can and can’t be flushed, as well as the importance of properly dispose of grease or cooking oil. If that goes down the drain, it solidifies and builds up.
Have a backwater prevention valve installed in the basement. This helps ensure that water doesn’t come back in after exiting the home.

Sewage issues are a dirty, smelly business, as well as cause other issues. Whether it’s a one-time event or a recurring problem, getting some professional help and making a few changes can keep your home fresh and safe.

4 Things To Know About Dealing With Mold in Your Home

7/28/2020 (Permalink)

Technician wearing protective equipment while doing mold remediation Mold remediation in Bloomingdale, IL

Why Does Mold Keep Coming Back?

All mold is ugly and a nuisance, but black mold can cause greater problems. If left unchecked, it can become damaging to the structure of your home. Unfortunately, people often find that after cleaning or removing mold, it makes a swift return. Read on to discover why this fungus keeps coming back.

1. Mold Removal Is a False Promise
Mold spores are everywhere, so the fungus can never be completely removed. If you simply clean the existing, visible mold without addressing the source, it will continue to come back. That type of superficial mold cleanup focuses more on aesthetics than actual problem-solving.

2. The Source of the Mold Should Be Addressed
Mold thrives on moisture. Just about any water source, and even high indoor humidity, offers the perfect environment for fungus to grow. Laundry rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens are common problem areas. Without addressing collecting moisture in these areas, mold will return even after cleanup.

3. Mold Naturally Exists at Normal Levels
Microscopic mold spores exist both inside and outside your home. They are often invisible to the human eye. Restoration specialists focus on mold remediation, not removal, and strive to return the fungus growth to normal, natural levels.

4. Professional Help May Be Required
Mold, specifically black mold, often comes back because issues are overlooked. Damage may have spread into your walls and spores may have infested your furniture. Mold restoration specialists can help identify all the ways mold has affected your home and help to mitigate the damage. From replacing damaged drywall to cleaning or replacing affected furniture, professionals can help return your home to a normal environment.
While it is impossible to completely remove all fungal spores from a home, it is possible to get rid of mold growth and restore your home to its original state. If you find that your home in Bloomingdale, IL, is suffering from a persistent black mold problem, take these steps to resolve the issue.

3 Tips for Caring for a Roof After a Fire

7/8/2020 (Permalink)

A roofer uses a nail gun to apply tarp to a roof in preparations for shingling. Tarping roof over damage

3 Tips for Caring for a Roof After a Fire

After a fire at your Schaumburg, IL, place of business a fire cleanup may be necessary. Part of this cleanup process can involve looking over the roof and repairing any damages it may have sustained. Here are three tips you may want to consider if your business’s roof has been affected by a fire.

1. Tarp Over Damage

One job a local restoration company may offer is tarp services. This can be important to take advantage of as tarping over the affected area can help prevent additional damages to the room. A tarp can help protect the space from wind and rain, as well as help keep any loose roofing in place until a professional can begin the repair process.

2. Contact a Professional

It’s best to contact a professional any time a fire cleanup is necessary. A local fire damage restoration service should have the tools and training needed to access the damages to your business, inspect for secondary damages, and make repairs. They may also have access to large scale equipment if needed.

3. Thoroughly Inspect the Area

Another aspect of roof repair is the need for inspection. The professionals looking over your roof should look for water damage and mold as well as the damages caused by the fire. This is because these issues can often occur as secondary damage as a result of a fire. A thorough inspection will help ensure that all the problems are found and repaired in order to help prevent long term issues with the structure.

When conducting a fire cleanup for your business’s roof you may want to consider these three tips. Tarping over the affected area to protect it from further damage, contact a professional for help, and inspect the area for secondary damage. These three things can help ensure your restoration company protect the space and repair everything that may need attention.

How Insurance Adjusters and Businesses Benefit With Restoration Services

6/11/2020 (Permalink)

Many air movers placed inside a building SERVPRO has the latest equipment, ensures high-quality services and professionalism

For an insurance adjuster like yourself, the assistance of a restoration company like SERVPRO is a great advantage for both you and your client. Not only do these professionals satisfy the establishment's need to return to normal, but it also provides numerous benefits that simplify the process for all parties. Learn more about how a relationship with commercial remediation services boosts adjusters and their Bartlett, IL, clients.

Fast Response and Professionalism

No matter the type of damage, a quick response is crucial. It allows your clients to salvage as much of the property, while also keeping the insurance claim's costs low. Remediation companies have the resources and manpower to guarantee a speedy response. Their employees also have years of experience and detailed training in all types of incidents. The combination of these skills, as well as the latest equipment, ensures high-quality services and professionalism.

Easy Access to Information
As an insurance adjuster, you know that accessible and detailed information helps you make the best decisions. Restoration services provide the following important services:

  • Loss photos
  • Loss estimate
  • Scanned paperwork and other forms
  • First notice of loss
  • Performance comparison
  • Pending and completed tasks

Technology increases the accessibility of information, so you have the option to receive it digitally, usually via email. However, the specialists can also provide most of this content in physical form if you prefer it.

Cost-Efficient Pretesting
Both you and the businesses you work with want to keep costs as low as possible, which is where restoration experts can help. They understand that restoring property is much easier and less expensive than replacing it entirely. Therefore, they offer a pretesting service where they thoroughly inspect the damaged property to determine what can be repaired or replaced. This process also has additional advantages, such as identifying the type of damage and helping create a general restoration plan
SERVPRO restoration technicians benefit both the affected business and the insurance adjuster during any kind of property damage. Consider working with them for a streamlined and smooth procedure.

Why Your Water Heater Is Making Noises and What To Do About It

6/1/2020 (Permalink)

Man's hands unscrewing a screw-nut on a water heater with a wrench on a boiler With proper care and maintenance, your water heater should work well for more than 10 years

You probably hear odd noises in your home from time to time. Perhaps you think little of these sounds. However, if strange noises are coming from your water heater, you need to take this issue seriously. If you ignore heater problems, it could rupture, causing a flood in your home. Getting on top of little issues early can spare you a lot of stress and money later on.

Different Sounds You May Hear

With proper care and maintenance, your water heater should work well for more than 10 years. Different noises from this appliance indicate a variety of concerns. Some of these common sounds include:

  • Popping
  • Rumbling
  • Ticking
  • Sizzling

Why This Appliances "Pops"
The popping you may hear is perhaps the most common noise that this appliance makes. This is typical as it ages. The reason for this is that, over time, sediment will collect in the bottom of the tank. As the tank heats up, the water will bubble, making the sediment pop.

Flushing the Unit
Fortunately, the solution to this problem is not complicated. You can avoid the need to call a professional flood cleanup company by performing a water heater flush. This process cleans the appliances, removing the sediment. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, you can hire a plumber. However, by following some basic steps, you can manage this task. You first turn off the heater and connect a garden hose to the drain valve and open it. The pressure should also blow out much of the sediment.

Next Steps
You should then leave the valve open while flushing the appliance with water. Continue to do this until the water is clear. Take off the hose, close the drain valve, and fill the tank with water. Turn on the heater again.
Following these steps should stop the popping noise. Your water heater can function more effectively and be less likely to leak.