Contents in Water?
Your home has been affected by water damage and so have your belongings. What should you do to help your contents? Moving wet contents out of the water into a safe dry spot. Now be cautious, you’re not just taking wet items and allowing the water to affect another area of the home. Best to store these wet belongings in concrete storage room, garage, patio and still dry those out with air movers.
If it’s wet, is it damaged and need replaced?
Just because an item is in contact with water means is damaged. If the water was not contaminated by sewage for example a plastic tote can be wiped off dry and will be salvageable. However, on a particle board bookshelf you may see the bottom swell and will not be able to be in the condition it was prior to the water damage.
Items we’ve seen some people claim as damage in water?
- Pool Noodle
- Beach Umbrella
These are often not justified as damaged. Because they are made to get wet. Even clothes can be washed.
What do you need for your insurance? It’s between the customer and the insurance to justify the contents as damaged. We will show you why we’d suggest its damaged and the customer can determine if they agree or if they find any other items that appear to be damaged. You’re normally looking for visible damage or proof that it was in the water. However high-ticket items may be justified for repair instead of replacement such as a washing machine. Your insurance will want a photo, a description of the item and the replacement cost of what you can go buy the item at the store today for cost.
Spring Showers Bring Floods In PA
As the winter season begins to fade and the spring season approaches it brings happiness to many. However with the transition of seasons spring is also known to have an increase amount of rain in the South Central Pennsylvania region that will cause flood damage. When the weather calls for several inches of rain over a few days the water tables in the ground begin to rise and the water has nowhere to run to but to lay on the surface and flood out the basement.
What can you do to be prepared:
- Clean out your gutters and downspouts.
- Test your sump pumps.
- Secure basement below grade window wells.
- Inspect basement walls for leaking water, and repair.
If your home becomes affected by water damaged from a rain event/storm here’s what to do next.
- Prevent further damage:
- Move items away from the water damage area, elevate items, stop the water or repair the broken item causing water to enter.
- Take a handful of photos of the damage occurring.
- Contact your insurance to see if there is coverage for this damage, not all flooded basements have coverage.
- Contact your trusted restoration company, SERVPRO of Chambersburg 717-261-0310
How does SERVPRO Estimate?
SERVPRO of Chambersburg uses the industry estimating software for the insurance industry known as Xactimate. The price list is updated monthly to ensure the most current and fair pricing is provided. The items are entered in an itemized list per room for the required work to complete the services. Most items are billed in square feet or linear feet for items like removing wet drywall. The software is the same software that the majority of the insurance companies use to ensure no overages in billing.
When an insurance company is paying for the services SERVPRO follows that insurance company’s billing requirement. The customer and the insurance receive a copy of the itemized billed services along with the supporting documents and photos. Most insurance companies issue the payment of services to the customer address where the customer then can endorse the payment to pay for the completed work invoices.
How do the reconstruction/restoration repairs estimates compare? Most customers are under an assumption to go get 3 estimates to send the insurance for getting a payout of the repairs. However, this is not the best practice. Customers will consume a lot of time and have difficulty in verifying the different contractors/vendors are offering all the same services. Therefor by using the Xactimate software will use the fair pricing of wages for the skill listed. For example, to install sand and finish drywall is a different labor rate than a roofer. Xactimate takes into consideration what each skill level is required per task. If a customer were to hire a custom home builder for $100/hour to hang insulation that may be hiring an overqualified person to do that job and labor rates would not be fair.
SERVPRO of Chambersburg is able to help keep your project on track from start to finish by trusting them to provide a fair and good services estimate/cost.
Is my LVP waterproof? How much water?
LVP - Glue Down installed in a Kitchen
The new trending floor on the market is called LVP or Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring. This flooring is labeled everywhere as WATERPROOF! However how much water are we talking about. Due to how the material is constructed while the material is not going to change when in contact with water does not mean that it will not need to be removed in a home water damage.
Why may this waterproof flooring need to be removed or replaced? While it’s made to withstand everyday accidents like a pet accident, a spilled glass of water, kids getting out of the bathtub. It’s not 100 percent airtight meaning what can find a gap and affect the surrounding material that will need to be dried.
Can you remove and re-install this flooring. Short answer, yes. However it’s not easily done as pieces can break during remove/replacing, each piece would need to be cleaned down and installed in the same order it was removed to prevent from needing more material. Insurance companies most often will agree to pay for replacement of this flooring if it becomes wet and needs to dry the subfloor to prevent any headaches at trying to put a puzzle together.
Renter's Insurance? Do you Need it.
Did you know you need renters insurance to covered your personal property in the event of a home disaster. Regardless of how the damage occurred your landlord's policy will only cover the structure such as the walls, floor, cabinets not the items you moved in with. Contact a local insurance company to get a quote for your policy. We often recommended at least $50,000 in personal property for the average renter.
Carpet, Can it be saved in water damage?
This is an example of separation of the carpet backing making it difficult to property re-attach after drying.
A frequent question asked among the customer who experience water damage is can the carpet be saved? When the technician inspects the site they will evaluate several factors to judge all the materials restorability.
- How many days/hours has the water been in contact with the material?
- Is the water contaminated such as sewage?
- Is there mold growth in the area?
- Is the carpet showing signs of wear where will prohibit it to be re-attached after drying?
Upon these items being investigated the tech will document the necessary items of concern and discuss with insurance when needed to follow the specific insurance guidelines.
COVID Cleaning for Commercial Clients
An example of fogging while in PPE for Covid.
For the last two years SERVPRO of Chambersburg has been providing COVID 19 related cleaning services to our community. When a business has an employee who has been suspected or confirmed positive for Covid 19 they want to protect their other staff to ensure the cleaning has been done.
At SERVPRO of Chambersburg we are able to offer quick, efficient and highly trained cleaning staff to address those concerns. Providing the most common type of services which is a combination of fogging and high touch surfaces to be wiped with EPA registered product with staff who are fully in PPE.
SERVPRO of Chambersburg has been providing hazard cleaning services as a part of their services for year and this is something is apart of SERVPRO's specialty's.
Call 717-261-0310 to speak to a SERVPRO cleaning professional regards to your COVID 19 cleaning needs.
Tornado and Earthquakes, does my insurance cover these in PA?
In south central Pennsylvania when the word natural disaster is mention we commonly thing average heavy rain storm in the spring, winter blizzards, possibility high winds. It's what we don't experience often in the area to understand how our homeowners insurance would cover events less common such as tornado's or earthquakes.
Each insurance company offers different coverages and each policy has different options for customer to enroll in various coverage packages.
According to The Philadelphia Inquirer "So far in 2021, 19 tornadoes have touched down on Pennsylvania soil, three above the 30-year annual normal and eight more than what would be the average total through August, according to the government’s Storm Prediction Center."
Check with your local insurance provider today to understand if you have coverage for tornado's?
Fire Damage, Is it cleanable or Replaced?
Fire damage to a garage
During the winter there is an increase of fires in homes for various causes. Some fires can be cleanable will minor painting other can be so damaged that the rooms will need to be demolished and rebuilt over several months for large projects. Depending on the level of soot, burnt material, kind of material will determine what steps are needed to remediate the fire damaged to ensure no smell is present after all the steps have been completed. Also considering factors are water damage if used to put out the fire.
For those cleanable fires customer often try to be helpful and clean themselves before having a company come in. What they don’t know is they can cause damage such as staining material that will need to be replaced or painted. It’s best to consult with a professional before attempting any DIY fire cleanup.
For the fire damaged in this photo due to electrical issues in a garage the drywall, insulation, electrical windows are doors were removed/replaced. Prior to any material being installed cleaning was done to the framing/joist and smoke sealing
Winter storms are here in south central Pennsylvania consisting of snow, freezing rain and extreme freezing temperatures. Most customers will experience frozen pipes during several days of below freezing temperatures in January or February. To prevent these damages, follow these steps:
- Properly heat all areas of your home well above 32 degrees. Often on days with windchills in the single digits consider at least 55 degrees.
- Detach the outside garden hose before freezing temperatures begin.
- Open cabinet doors under sinks to allow warm air to reach it.
- Have someone check on your un-occupied homes or winterize them with your plumber. Home that hasn’t been checked on for a period of time can cause insurance coverage issues in an event of a claim.
If you find that your pipe has frozen shut off the water immediately. Next contact SERVPRO of Chambersburg at 717-261-0310. Also contact a plumber to fix the damaged pipe, save the broken piece for insurance evidence. Finally follow up with your homeowner insurance to understand what your coverage is including your deductible.