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Preparing for the Insurance Adjuster's Visit After a Sudden Pipe Break or Flood

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

A man wearing a white helmet and writing on a clip board The insurance adjuster works closely with our team from start to finish

Preparing for the Insurance Adjuster's Visit After a Sudden Pipe Break or Flood

The first part of the insurance claim process is the home adjuster visit. These visits validate the claim and offer an estimate for restoration value. Therefore, to ensure you receive the funds you need following a water disaster like a pipe break, it is necessary to follow the appropriate steps.

  • Mitigate damage
  • Document loss
  • Organize and categorize

Mitigate Damage

The first step is to mitigate any further damage. You can do this, depending on the severity of the loss, through DIY methods or by calling a disaster restoration company in Leonard, OK. These companies will likely have mitigation services available around the clock.

Document Loss

Next, once you know that further loss is unlikely, you can begin documenting the damage. For example, take photos of water damage and property that was ruined in the incident. A home adjuster moves quickly from site to site, so having damaged or irrecoverable items photographed ensures that nothing is missed on their visit.

Organize and Categorize

Next, once you have photographic evidence, find any receipts or service bills to demonstrate the value and care of the items affected by the flood. Documenting and organizing this information is another way of making life easier for the adjuster and ensuring that you get the coverage you need to make your home and yourself whole again.
Many people view a home adjuster as an enemy, someone out to cancel payments and make sure that you cannot recover from a disaster. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, their job is to minimize costs to their company, but it is also to make sure that you get what you deserve. Therefore, when a disaster strikes, don't get angry with an adjuster who keeps asking questions. Instead, find a way to reduce their questions through well-documented scenes and show them how prepared you are for their visit.

Understanding Where Basement Flooding Can Come From

12/6/2019 (Permalink)

Leaking pipe. A basement flood is common and can be devastating.

Most homeowners understand that after a basement flood, they should contact a disaster restoration company in Tulsa, OK, to remedy the situation. However, how many owners consider preventative steps to avoid such disasters from happening in the first place. While no prevention is 100% fail-proof, it pays to understand how most water issues occur in the basement.

Pipe break
Sewage backup
Faulty sump pump
Failed seals

Pipe Break
A significant amount of water damage stems from broken or leaking pipes. Unfortunately, many property owners go on holiday without inspecting their pipes, increasing the risks of minor issues becoming major problems. Therefore, before any planned trip, consider calling a professional plumber to inspect your home's pipes.

Sewage Backup
Another common cause of a basement flood is a sewage backup. This type of flooding can stem from excessive exterior flooding or a clog in the main waste line. Again, an inspection will identify many of these problems before they become significant disasters.

Faulty Sump Pump
Unfortunately, sometimes, a flooded basement occurs even when the homeowners take appropriate preventative steps. For example, you might install a working sump pump only to realize that it has stopped during a massive rainstorm. Therefore, you should periodically perform maintenance checks on the device.

Failed Seals
Last, your basement might need to be resealed. Not all waterproofing methods are made equal, meaning that most seals age and fail. Most likely, you will begin to notice hairline cracks in the concrete with some water seepage. If you see this, then contact a restoration company immediately.

A basement flood is common and can be devastating. Be sure to keep an eye out for water seepage and to inspect plumbing regularly. If you find that any of the above issues have happened in your home, or if you want to make sure that they don’t, then contact a professional to assist you in both assessing and inspecting your home.

Don’t Wait for an Insurance Adjuster To Act After a Residential Flood

12/5/2019 (Permalink)

Water damage inside a house - words in green that say Flood damage? Flood damage in Tulsa, OK, is more common than you might think.

No one wants to go through a home flood. Still, flood damage in Tulsa, OK, is more common than you might think. As you probably know, the hours following such an event are critical. If you wait for an adjuster from your flood insurance company before taking action, you may inadvertently allow more damage to occur. Here are three important reasons you should not waste time following a flood.

1. Water Gets Everywhere

Because it is a liquid, water can seep into parts of your home you may not think about. Even worse, sealed portions of your basement, crawl space and walls often prevent air from naturally drying moisture. If you wait for your adjuster to arrive before beginning water remediation or damage repair, the processes may be both more expensive and more invasive.

2. Mold Grows Fast

Part of the reason for having comprehensive flood insurance is to cover the cost of repairing mold damage. Like water, mold can grow in hidden parts of your home. Remediation experts have the knowledge, skill, experience and tools to quickly locate and address mold and mildew. Rather than waiting for an adjuster to inspect your home, working with a reputable service in the days following a flood is often your best bet to restore your home’s comfort, appearance and value.

3. Adjusters Are Busy

If broken pipes or backed-up plumbing caused your flood, your adjuster may respond quickly. On the other hand, if your home was part of widespread flooding, the insurance company’s representative may have a full schedule. In fact, you may wait weeks before your adjuster arrives. Remember, acting quickly is important, and waiting may cause more damage.

As a diligent homeowner, you carry flood insurance. You also likely have a duty to mitigate damage caused by rising waters. Rather than waiting until your insurance adjuster can inspect your home, begin the remediation and restoration process as soon as you can.

Can Air Purifiers Eliminate Mold Spores?

11/28/2019 (Permalink)

Air purifier machine in a house Consider using an air purifier in your home to combat mold damage

Here Is What You Need To Know About Air Purifiers

If you’re looking for simple ways to combat mold damage in your Tulsa, OK, home, you may have considered using an air filtration system at some point. Before you make a purchase, though, it’s important to determine whether using this unit in your home is an effective solution for eliminating mold. Here is what you need to know about air purifiers and their ability to remove mold spores from your living space.

How Air Purifiers Work

To measure the effectiveness of air purifiers, it’s helpful to know exactly how they work. A typical air purifier uses a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to remove mold from your living space. These filters isolate airborne particles of mold and trap them inside the filter, preventing them from causing damage to your home. To get the most out of your purifier, be sure to place it in an area of your home where mold is often found. This can include the following places:

  • Bathrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Basements
  • Rooms that contain upholstered furniture

Installing your air filtration system in any part of your home that has been impacted by mold damage can ensure that the purifier does its job effectively.

The Effectiveness of Air Purifiers

While your air purifier can help to control a mold problem in the short term, it isn’t an appropriate solution for eliminating mold spores permanently. If you wish to get to the root of your mold problem, it’s best to contact a professional. Trusting experts to remove mold from your home can help assure you that your living space is free of damage.
Air purifiers can be effective units to install in your Tulsa, OK, home. However, you shouldn’t rely on air filtration systems alone to remove mold from your living space. Trust mold remediation services to help your home return to normal so that it can remain free of mold damage.

Tips for Cleaning Out Your Dryer

11/23/2019 (Permalink)

Vacuum cleaning a flexible aluminum dryer vent hose, to remove lint and prevent fire hazard. Clean out regularly the hose of your dryer

Ways To A Prevent A Lint Fire In Your Home

Not many people enjoy doing their laundry. Between the time it takes to wash, dry, and put away your clothes, it may seem like hours before it is all done. This is especially true if it takes a long time for your clothes to dry in the dryer. If it takes more than one cycle, then it's likely time to clean out your dryer and hose. This can help prevent a lint fire in your home in Glenpool, OK.

Clean the Lint Screen

You should clean the lint screen after every load, but sometimes, the lint screen can stop trapping the lint. This can happen because of buildup from several sources:

  • Dryer sheets
  • Fabric softeners
  • Laundry detergent

To find out if your lint screen is clogged, run some water over it. If the water collects on the screen instead of running through, then it needs to be cleaned. You should also vacuum underneath and around the lint screen.

Clean Out the Hose

The hose that connects the back of your dryer to the outside of your home can get clogged with lint too. To prevent a lint fire, clean it out regularly as well. You should be able to easily detach the hose from the back of the dryer and from the hole in the wall. You might be able to stick your arm through, or you can take a broom handle or something similar to push the lint through.

Inside of the Dryer

Every once in a while, you should have a professional come and vacuum out the inside of your dryer. The lint can build up around the drum and at the bottom. This leads to a high risk of a dryer fire. If you notice longer drying times and you have already cleaned out the hose and lint screen, then it may be time to have the dryer itself vacuumed out.
These things can help prevent a lint fire. If you do experience a dryer fire, you can count on your fire repair specialists to help repair the fire damage and get your home back to normal.

2 Ways FEMA Can Help You After a Storm

11/12/2019 (Permalink)

FEMA US Homeland Security Citizen and Immigration Services Flyer Closeup The Federal Emergency Management Association can also help you after a storm

2 Ways FEMA Can Help You After a Storm

Experiencing a major storm or flood in your Bixby, OK, home can be devastating. Your home and personal belongings have likely suffered significant damage and it can be stressful figuring out what steps to take to begin to recover. Fortunately, the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) can assist you with assessing the damage both outside and inside your home.

Assess the Damage Outside Your Home

In addition to offering shelters for people after a storm, FEMA can send an inspector to your home to evaluate the extent of damage. Here is an overview of the process:

Contact the organization and fill out the online application for disaster relief assistance.
Once you’ve been notified of acceptance, they will send an inspector to your home. These individuals have experience with various types of disasters and know what to look for.
The inspector will look for structural damage and identify areas that must be repaired in order to make the home inhabitable again.
Be sure to keep your scheduled appointment.

In addition to working with the Federal Emergency Management Association, you should also contact your insurance agent if applicable.

Assess the Damage Inside Your Home

Before allowing anyone to enter your home, verify that the inspector is wearing an official FEMA badge. The inspector will want to see proof of home ownership but they won’t ask you for any money or credit card information. After paperwork is completed, the inspector will go room by room taking pictures and documenting damage caused by flooding. You can ask to look at the documentation to make sure that details are complete and you’re satisfied with the thoroughness of the inspection.
Suffering through a residential storm is traumatic. While it may seem impossible to get your home back to normal again, a storm damage professional can assist with flood cleanup. The Federal Emergency Management Association can also help you after a storm.

Avoid Lingering Odors After the Flood

10/26/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded office Flooded office in Liberty, OK

After flooding in Liberty, OK, business owners want their properties back in shape as soon as possible. Even after the water subsides and the visual cleanup has happened, flood water damage can leave some hidden problems, such as mold, that may only present themselves as an odor.

Floods Aren’t Just Regular Water

Unless flooding has occurred from a main water pipe with clean water, there’s a high probability that the water contains sewage loss and other bacteria. Cleaning up this type of water damage requires more than a simple wipe down. A professional restoration company has the expertise to know where to look and how to clean up damage that could be overlooked. Places that can retain odors or result in mold growth include:

  • Air – The air itself contains mold spores that can easily spread to unaffected areas if not properly eradicated.
  • Furniture – Mold and bacteria love porous materials, especially fabric and wood. After a flooding, identifying and removing items that have come in contact with flood waters is important. After drying them out, the will need to be thoroughly cleaned.
  • Floors and Walls – Even if it doesn’t seem like the water reached a section of carpet or tiles or only went up an inch on the wall, water can sneakily travel without being noticed. Depending on the damage, sections may need to be replaced to completely ensure the damage doesn’t spread.

Why Mold Lingers

Mold growth happens fast and can be easy to visually overlook though easy to smell. Within 48 hours of flooding, mold spores can take root and begin to form. If their cycle goes unchecked, new mold spores will spread to unaffected areas and create new patches of growth. If this happens behind drywall, it may not be noticeable until the waste gases mold produces permeate your sense of smell with its musky, earthy odor.
If that odor persists, it’s likely that mold growth is still happening after the cleanup. Getting the right help from the beginning can ensure your flood experience doesn’t linger.

Tips for Handling Water Damage

10/18/2019 (Permalink)

Wet wooden floor Water damage in a Jenks, OK home

Tips for Handling Water Damage

If your home has been affected by water damage, you may feel in over your head. Whether the water came from a broken pipe or a natural disaster, it's crucial to have some basic water damage remediation knowledge on hand. You will need to take action as soon as possible to start the restoration process and to limit the damage as much as you can.

Do: Call a professional. Water damage can be a very serious issue to face. You will most likely need a water damage restoration expert to handle the situation most safely and effectively.

Do Not: Attempt to clean sewage water on your own. The water in your home can be unsanitary and unsafe if it is backup from a sewer system.

Do: Ventilate the space. If you can access it safely, turn on your home's ventilation system to air the area out. You can hang rugs up and lift curtains from the floors. To increase airflow, open doors and drawers throughout your home. Find a dry, safe place to relocate valuables.

Do Not: Use any electrical appliances while on a wet surface. Water and electricity do not mix, so take any flooding of your home seriously.

Do: Stop the water flow. If you find that the water is coming from a broken pipe, and water levels are low, shut off the main water line to your home. Do Not: Wait to address the problem. Time is of the essence in a water damage emergency. It's more important to make a remediation plan than it is to try to save all your belongings.

Keep these tips in mind as you set about drying and cleaning up, should you find water damage in your Jenks, OK home. Be it a broken pipe, a sewer backup, a hurricane, or any other water predicament, it's important to keep yourself calm and make a plan immediately.

What To Expect After a Fire in Your Home

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

A burned house inside House fire in Broken Arrow, OK

A home fire can cause tremendous upheaval for homeowners and family members. Once the emergency has subsided, the focus will begin to shift to fire damage cleanup and restoration. Before cleanup can begin, some safety concerns will be addressed. Here is what you can expect.

Safety Inspection

After the fire is extinguished, fire responders will inspect and assess the structure for safety. They will look at three primary areas to determine whether it is safe for cleanup crews to enter.

  • Safety Hazards – Hazards will be identified and may need to be removed from the structure.
  • Structural Integrity – The building’s main construction will be inspected for stability, and dangerous areas will likely be cordoned off until structural integrity is restored.
  • Electrical System – The electrical will likely be disconnected until the water from the firefight can be removed.

The Inspection phase of the process establishes that your home is stable enough for you to enter it with a fire official.

Fire and Smoke Damage Survey

If you are cleared to enter your home, you will have a walk-through to view the fire damage and ask questions about the fire damage restoration process. This important step can prepare you for working with the professionals that will assist you with next phase.
Helpful Professionals

With an overview of the damage, you can contact your insurance agent to inquire about your coverage. Your agent will likely be able to refer you to a local fire remediation service. Fire cleanup is a complex process and requires specialized training and methods so your property can be cleaned, dried and restored as safely as possible.

Experiencing a fire in your Broken Arrow, OK, home can bring significant disarray to your life. In the first few hours after a fire, you can rely on emergency responders, your insurance agent and your fire damage cleanup crews to help you move forward. One step at a time, they will ensure your home and your belongings—and ultimately your peace of mind—are restored “Like it never even happened.”

Remediation May Save Your Artwork

9/26/2019 (Permalink)

Professional restorer working at an ancient paintings representing religious scenes, inside a museum laboratory When it comes to delicate artwork, mold remediation in this sense often requires gentle diligent work

If your home in Burning Tree, OK shows signs of mold growth, your may think you will have to toss all your precious memorabilia, artwork and other personal treasures. While in some cases, such as flooding, that may be the best option, if caught quickly, mold cleaning may allow you to salvage your belongings.

Where Did the Mold Come From?

While it’s easy to figure out how the problem occurred if you have experienced some type of flooding and belongings are near the floodwaters, if your mold damage occurs on a painting hanging on the wall, you may be taken aback at how that is even possible. Mold requires moisture to grow, but sometimes that moisture isn’t always noticeable. Signs of potential hidden mold may include:

  • Lingering musky odors in areas with no visible water damage.
  • Wall paint is cracked, peeling, discolored or bulging.
  • Homes with previous water damage may still be harboring mold.

Can Paintings Be Cleaned?

A mold cleaning professional is the best place to start to access mold damage. If mold is caught quickly, you can eliminate its ability to spread. When it comes to delicate artwork, mold remediation in this sense often requires gentle diligent work.

It is important to remember that different types of paintings will require different approaches. Durable oil paintings may not react well with certain chemicals. Acrylics and watercolors are easier to damage. Whether it is on canvas, paper or hardboard also need to be considered. Tips to remember before the cleaning process include:

  • Plastic or cloth coverings should be immediately removed to allow the painting to dry and reduce mold growth.
  • If framed, remove the artwork and clean the frame and glass. For canvas prints, inspect and clean the stretcher while avoiding touching the actual painting.
  • Based on the type of painting, cleaning methods will differ. Dry mold can be carefully brushed off, but may leave spores. Some kind of cleaning agent will need to be used. Once you’ve determined the best solution, test an area to ensure no further damage occurs.

While mold cleaning on priceless treasures can be tedious, salvaging them is worth the effort. If you aren’t uncomfortable or unsure how to approach the task, there are experts that are Here to Help.