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How Cleanup Companies Estimate the Cost of Fire Damage Restoration

7/3/2020 (Permalink)

Servpro vehicles parked in front of a building that has had fire damage Fire damage in Leonard, OK

A commercial fire can destroy both equipment inside your property and the building itself. Thankfully, fire restoration professionals in Leonard, OK, are available to help with the cleanup.
How much you will pay for this service depends on the extent of the fire damage. When the restoration experts arrive at your property, they will probably give you an estimate for the cost of repairs.

Getting a Bid

There are several steps in the restoration process, each of which have their own related expenses. The cleanup company's bid should list the costs of these various services, including:

  • Smoke, debris and odor removal
  • Content cleaning and restoration
  • Reconstruction
  • Storage
  • Roof replacement
  • Window and door board-up
  • Security guards

You actually may get two separate estimates from the contractor. The restoration project manager will calculate the costs of emergency services such as cleaning and packing equipment. The reconstruction project manager, meanwhile, will assess how much of the property was damaged, and how much it will cost to reconstruct those areas.

Picking the Right Bid
After a fire, you may have several restoration companies competing for your services. Don't just pick the one with the lowest estimate, especially if that bid seems too good to be true. It's likely that this company's bid is so low because it outsources the bulk of the work to other companies. Once the costs of these subcontractors are added to your bill, it could quickly skyrocket.
Instead, choose a restoration business that keeps the entire process in-house. A one-stop-shop contractor will likely provide a more accurate bid from the start. The overall cost of the claim should be lower, as well. Using a full-service company also helps the claims process go more smoothly since your insurer won't have to talk to various sub-contractors.
A restoration company will calculate the cost of various services such as roof replacement, security, and storage before providing an estimate. Ideally, you should choose the professionals who promise to do all of the work themselves, even if their bid is a bit higher.

Avoiding Flooded Basements

6/20/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning gutters during the summer time. Ensure gutters are regularly cleaned, especially before a storm rolls in

If your Tulsa, OK, business has a basement, chances are that you will deal with unexpected water at some point. In some cases, a basement flood may turn into an ongoing problem. Addressing the issue, finding the culprit, and getting it fixed quickly are the keys to avoiding long-term problems and extensive repairs by a flood and water restoration expert. Depending on the culprit, and if quick action isn’t taken, insurance coverage may be denied.

Sources of Water Problems

If the building is normally dry and you come across a flooded basement, nature or piping are likely culprits. The top reasons for lower-level water problems include:

Plumbing: A leaking pipe, waste line or burst pipe can unexpectedly happen. This is especially so if they are older pipes that freeze. There could also be an issue with the main sewer line.
Windows: Rainwater or ice melt can easily find its way into improperly sealed windows.
Foundation: One of the most common causes of a basement flood, this can happen from weather, improper drainage, and sewer backups.

Fixing the Issues
Once you know the culprit, there are various solutions to keeping basements dry, from simple to more complex.

Ensure gutters are regularly cleaned, especially before a storm rolls in. Check that drains are free of debris for smooth water flow.
Landscaping is an easy way to flood-proof a property. Verify that the ground level slopes away from the building. Water-loving plants and mulch can help absorb or the water or lead it way from the building.
Have your foundation and windows inspected. Depending on the issue, additional caulking, patching, or adding a sump pump could ensure a dry property.
For more serious, ongoing issues, there are various waterproofing products on the market, such as a new drainage system or exterior waterproofing.

A basement flood can cause much more than water problems. Finding and fixing the cause can help keep your business better protected.

Team Jones Welcomes Dennis McKinley

6/9/2020 (Permalink)

Dennis McKinley Please join us in welcoming and celebrating Dennis McKinley to SERVPRO Team Jones.

Our team is excited to welcome Dennis McKinley to the SERVPRO Team Jones family. Dennis joins our team as the Vice President of Commercial Large Loss and comes with over 33 years of experience in the restoration industry.  Dennis is a leader and an innovator. Prior to joining Team Jones, Dennis owned and operated his own franchise which he later sold, he created a document drying system that disrupted the restoration industry and served at SERVPRO Industries developing guidelines and protocols for performing large commercial restoration projects. Dennis casts a long shadow in the restoration world and his fingerprints stretch far and wide throughout the entire industry.   “I could not be more excited about Dennis joining our team. As a highly sought after leader in the restoration industry, we are extremely blessed to have him with us,” says Dave Jones, owner of SERVPRO Team Jones. Jones continues, "He will be an instrumental asset to our organization as we continue to grow and expand our business across the United States.” Over the course of 33 years, Dennis has gained invaluable experience and developed a reputation as a knowledgeable professional. Dennis has overseen some of the largest commercial projects in the country and has gained the respect of consultants and adjusters nationwide. Dennis will work to expand the breadth and reach of Team Jones. He also has a strong passion for mentoring other franchisees to help them secure and produce large commercial restoration projects.  Dennis reflects on his transition to Team Jones this way, “It is important for me to work with good people who are dedicated and who have drive. Dave Jones wants to grow his company and I'm here to help him accomplish this.  After much consideration and after weighing opportunities for the next phase of my career, I determined this was the only team I could see myself with. Dave Jones has the integrity and reputation that matches up with my passion and core values.” Dennis joins the powerhouse leadership team of Will Kimbrough (VP of Business Development), Pam Donaldson (General Manager), and John Rowland (Director of Production) with over 80 years of combined experience in the restoration industry. This Fall, SERVPRO Team Jones will launch an interactive mentorship program that will help hundreds of operators grow and expand their businesses.  Please join us in welcoming and celebrating Dennis McKinley to SERVPRO Team Jones. 

How to Care for Wet Items After a Flood

6/4/2020 (Permalink)

Wooden floor clean after water damage Water Damage Cleanup in Bixby, OK

The effects of a flood can be catastrophic. It doesn't take much water to damage materials and items in your Bixby, OK, home. The most severe flooding can destroy these belongings. Fortunately, if you have water at home, you can still salvage some possessions. With the help of professionals and quick response on your part, you can dry out and restore many materials.

Clean Them First

Water at home can soak precious items and valuable possessions. Before you can worry about drying them, you need to make sure they're free of dirt and other debris. Carefully handle wet items and follow these steps:

  • Rinse them off with clear water.
  • Use a low-pressure valve or fine spray.
  • Gently dab the items with a cloth.
  • Be careful to not embed anything in the objects. 

Make Sure They Are Dry
A broken pipe, ruptured appliances, or sewer backup can bring excessive amounts of water into your home. To save your belongings and materials, you need to thoroughly dry them. Do not use heat to dry them, as this can crack or split some items. Instead, air dry wet possessions; however, be cautious to not leave them out in the sun. 

Reduce the Risk of Mold
You may take care of dry cleaning, but this alone may not be enough to stave off mold growth. Fungi thrive in damp, humid conditions. After cleaning the affected area in your house, you'll need to increase the airflow in the area. Open windows, turn on fans and air conditioners, and use a dehumidifier. You should next disinfect the area where there was water. This will kill mold and prevent future growth from occurring. 

Call the Pros
For your most delicate items, you should call a certified flood cleanup company. Technicians have the skills and tools to clean and dry documents, electronics, and valuables. 
If you discover water at home, don't panic. Following these tips can help you spare most materials in your house.

What To Expect When Fire Damages Your Home

6/4/2020 (Permalink)

Fire damage in a home Fire Damage in Glenpool, OK

It’s difficult to imagine your home being affected by a fire, yet over 400 thousand homes each year experience fire damage. A fire can cause devastation, not only from smoke and fire but also water from the pressurized fire hose. If you’ve had a home fire, it’s important to consult with a fire remediation service to begin the cleanup process. This discussion may prepare you for what to expect during this phase.

What Will Cleanup Entail?

Professional cleanup crews will work quickly to sort, clean, and restore your personal property. Your homeowner’s insurance policy is likely to cover a good portion of the cleanup and reimburse you for a percentage of your losses. The following are examples of how the crews will handle your belongings.

Carpets, upholstered furniture, and other porous items may not be salvageable if they are compromised by fire damage. If water-damaged, these items will undergo numerous processes intended to dry, sanitize, and restore them.
Your documents, books and other paper-based items are challenging to restore, but they may be able to be taken off-site for specialized drying, cleaning, and pressing.
Electronic items, such as computers, will be dehydrated and repaired if not compromised by heat.

Your input and supervision are important to the cleanup process and will generally be welcomed by the technicians.

Why Hire Experts?
If your damage from fire and water is minimal, you may feel hiring experts is unnecessary. It can still be helpful to have a consultation with an expert to help outline the process. If you have significant fire damage, hiring fire-cleanup experts is strongly recommended. They are specially trained to use safety measures that protect you and your property. Cleanup crews will work quickly to take care of your belongings before mold and other forms of secondary damage can occur. Hiring professionals is generally the quickest and most stress-free strategy.
If your Glenpool, OK, home has sustained smoke, fire, or water damage, you are likely experiencing a stressful time. Having a better understanding of the cleanup process may help you make good decisions about what will work best for restoring your beloved home to its previous condition.

Handling Water Damage After a Fire

5/18/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO logo. Water cleanup is simply part of the process.

As homeowners in Tulsa, OK, you understand that fire causes mass destruction. Is water cleanup something that really should be added to the list, though? Shouldn't you be more concerned with the smoke and blackened ceiling? While you may not place the wetness at the top of your list, it is a repercussion of the event. Yes, it does require proper attention. Neglecting it could only make the situation worse.

1. Why Is It Wet?
When the flames set, most likely you called 911, allowing the fire department to quench the blaze. To do that, those experts had to take certain actions such as break windows or make holes in the roof or walls. Why hurt something more? After all, smoke cleanup is enough to handle? It allows the smoke to escape and provides oxygen, slowing the fire's development. In addition, your sprinkler system should have gone off, mitigating the overall harm. Finally, the fire fighter's used hoses to spray it all down, ensuring the conflagration didn't start by up again. Hence, you now have walls that look a bit like Swiss cheese; plus, they're dripping wet. It's normal and necessary.

2. How Do You Fix Water Damage?
Washing away smoke is one thing. Dealing with water cleanup is also serious. If the moisture sits too long, fungal spores can react with it, establishing a new home within the charred drywall. For this reason, collaborate with a fire and water restoration company. They can secure the building, preventing further humidity and dry out the premises, evaluating for any suspected mold growth.

3. What About the Smoke and Odor?
With the dampness gone, the fire cleanup can begin. Crews sanitize the space, even deodorizing the rooms. The holes get patched back up, new paint is added and lost items are replaced.
Yes, water cleanup is simply part of the process. Don't overlook it, as it needs attention. With it completed and the right team on your side, your place can reopen.

Tips for Protecting Your Business From Water Damage

5/10/2020 (Permalink)

Emergency preparation equipment on wooden background Create an emergency kit for your business in Liberty, OK

Extreme storm activity can occur in any location, any time of the year. Severe weather is responsible for the bulk of water-related property damage. Broken pipes and other plumbing failures make up the balance of the claims. Prevention and preparation are your best defenses against water damage. This discussion about disaster preparedness may help you reduce your risk.

Preparing Your Staff

Engaging your staff in emergency preparedness activities increases your chances of a united response during an extreme weather event. Consider taking the following precautions:

  • Creating an emergency kit that includes first aid, water, flashlights and batteries
  • Posting a map of evacuation routes from your building
  • Registering for local emergency notification services
  • Providing an emergency preparedness training for your staff
  • Posting contact information for your local water remediation specialist

These precautions could mean the difference between total chaos and a measured, coordinated emergency response.

Preparing Your Facility
Shoring up your maintenance schedule can reduce your chances of water damage. Inspecting storm drains and gutters frequently, and keeping them free from debris, helps divert floodwater away from your building. Backflow-prevention valves on irrigation and plumbing lines can help protect your clean water system from contamination. If you have one or more sump pumps, it is important to attach each one to a battery backup to ensure you can prevent a flood during a power outage.

Assessing Your Risk
One of the best ways to protect your Liberty, OK, facility is to evaluate and address the risk your location bears for flooding. You can consult your local weather officials or city planning department to get an idea of past water damage in your area. Conventional insurance policies generally don’t cover flooding, so it’s important to consult your commercial insurance agent to discuss flood insurance coverage options.
If serious flooding threatens your area, you will appreciate having spent some time on research and preparation. A few simple preventive measures could minimize your risk for damage, prevent costly water cleanup, and protect your company’s bottom line.

Suing a Landlord for Mold Problems

5/10/2020 (Permalink)

Mold remediation specialist inspects walls Mold remediation specialist inspects walls

Black mold can cause problems for businesses. If it gets into the ventilation system, you may notice a musky smell when the unit is running. It can also form under sinks, carpet, or any place moisture is left to sit. Some landlords may be unaware there is a problem and will gladly remedy the situation once they are informed of the problem. Many tenants and landlords have been able to work through the mitigation process without resorting to court proceedings. However, if your landlord is unresponsive to your requests or you have experienced adverse effects from the mold, you may need to file a lawsuit to recover your damages.

Determine Whether You Have Mold

Mold can grow on just about any organic, pulpy surface. If you suspect you have it, you can begin your search by looking closely at some common areas where it is found.

  • Openings to ventilation systems
  • Underneath carpets
  • Below sinks and appliances
  • Drywall
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Wood paneling
  • Basements

Leaky plumbing or small roof leaks can lead to mold forming in places where you cannot see. You may need a mold inspector to search for mold underneath subfloors, behind walls, or inside of ventilation systems.

Know What Your Landlord Is Responsible For
Landlords are required by law to provide you a reasonably safe and healthy environment. The law prohibits them from knowingly renting out a unit with a black mold problem. This is known as the "implied warranty of habitability". If mold forms due to a problem with the building's plumbing or ventilation, they will most likely be responsible to pay for any cleaning, mold remediation, and restoration services. If you have experienced lost wages because of the situation, you may be entitled to compensation for this loss.
Finding black mold in Liberty, OK, is only the beginning. If you are dealing with a mold problem, an expert mold remediation company can rid your environment of the problem.

When Does a Sump Pump Require Maintenance?

4/28/2020 (Permalink)

Installation of a new sump pump and the removal of the old obsolete rusty one with a high angle view of the pumps, pit and pi Sump pump in an Arrow, OK home

Reasons a Pump Might Require Maintenance

Homeowners depend on sump pumps to eliminate water from the lowest level of residences in Broken Arrow, OK. If a sump pump fails to function for any reason, a basement or crawlspace may fill up with water and result in water damage. Here are several reasons a pump might require maintenance.

Clogged Components
Some of the most common pump maintenance tasks involve cleaning out critical components. Debris such as dirt, rocks or roots or even a frozen blockage can limit the functionality of the following components:

  • Intake screen
  • Discharge pipe
  • Pit
  • Vents

Check the condition of parts where buildup tends to form. The float should also rise and fall with water levels. Homeowners can run a vinegar solution through the pump and clear out these components, including any grates and the air relief hole in the discharge line.

Installation Issues
The quality of a sump pump installation often determines the efficacy of this flood prevention equipment. A pump should never be set up in gravel or dirt, as these substances will end up blocking essential components. The discharge line should also have a check valve to prevent back flow and an air relief hole to vent pressure.

Pump Burn-Out
Components on a pump that is overworked with insufficient power may burn out. Make sure to choose the right size of pump for a particular application. If you are not sure which pump is the right choice for a basement, plan to have experts install this flood prevention equipment. This expense is considerably less than water damage restoration.
A sump pump might require cleaning or service for any of these reasons. If none of these issues are present and a pump is still not working, it may be faulty or power might not be available. A backup power source elevated above the flood level can help to ensure a pump functions properly.

Cleaning Up After a Furnace Puffback Requires Professional Equipment

4/19/2020 (Permalink)

Puffback of an oil furnace Puffback damage in a Burning Tree, OK property

Cleaning Up After a Furnace Puffback Requires Professional Equipment

While heating oil is an excellent fuel, using it does require annual furnace or boiler maintenance in Burning Tree, OK, to function properly and efficiently. The nozzle through which oil is sprayed must be replaced and components inspected to locate damaged parts and ensure correct timing. Failure to do so can lead to serious consequences, including

  • Voiding the warranty
  • A drastic drop in efficiency
  • Puffback damage

A Furnace Puffback Is a Serious Event
There are a few different potential causes of a puffback event. Typically, it’s far more common in an oil furnace, but may also rarely happen in a gas furnace, where it can very severely damage the burner.
Probably the most common cause is where the spark electrodes fail to ignite the oil. This, combined with poor maintenance, may cause the oil to pool at the bottom, and an intermittently functioning electrode may suddenly ignite this excess fuel. With an oil furnace, usually, the worst puffback damage is the expulsion of soot through the vents, especially with forced air systems.

Soot Isn’t Like Smoke or Dust
Smoke damage is bad enough, but soot is a special kind of substance. When different hydrocarbons, such as heating oil, gasoline or natural gas, fail to fully combust, they create a sticky, carbon-rich residue. It’s highly toxic and is a known carcinogen, which is one reason annual maintenance on a furnace is so important. During a puffback, soot blows throughout the house, coating everything it touches with a nasty layer of black debris.

Soot Can’t Be Cleaned With Ordinary Equipment
Trying to remove soot with ordinary household cleaners is worse than pointless – it usually causes even more damage. Instead of removing soot, wiping it just smears the oil, pushing it into any porous surface.
Fabrics, such as carpet and clothing, usually require chemical cleaning. The house can be so contaminated from puffback damage that it has to be evacuated until cleaned. In all cases, soot will require a professional cleaning company to bring in special equipment that will strip the soot away from surfaces, furniture, and fabrics.