How To File a Commercial Fire Claim
If a blaze tears through your commercial building, your insurance should help you pay for fire restoration services. First, however, you have to file a fire claim. To make that process as painless as possible, follow the below steps.
1. Call Your Insurer
First, you need to tell your insurer about the fire. You can typically notify the company via phone, the internet or a mobile application. Make sure the insurer has your contact information and the location of the loss.
While your insurance provider may send you a proof of loss form, you should still invite adjusters to visit your property and see the damage for themselves. Adjusters have the professional training necessary to assess the full extent of the harm.
2. Secure the Premises
You do not want any more damage to occur to your building as you wait for the adjuster to arrive. If it is safe to do so, secure any broken doors or window and put a tarp over the roof.
3. Make and Collect Records
The insurance company will need proof of your loss in order to approve your fire claim. That means you need to snap photos of the fire damage. Do not throw any items away without taking a picture or video of them.
You should also gather receipts or other documents that show the value of your harmed inventory and equipment. If you plan to make a business interruption claim, you will also need to demonstrate how much your company was making before the fire. You can do this by giving the adjuster financial statements and tax records.
If you have to spend extra money to keep your business running after the fire, document these expenses, as well. Do not forget to record any harm to your company vehicles, either.
When You Should Call Restoration Experts After a Water Disaster
After a water disaster in your commercial building, you may be tempted to perform the restoration on your own. After all, pipe burst cleanup services can be expensive. However, improper drying of your premises can be even more costly. If you do not completely remove all of the water, mold could grow and destroy your entire Lockport, Lemont, Homer Glen property.
That is why you need to hire commercial restoration professionals following a water disaster in your building. These experts will use their equipment and training to eliminate the mess and salvage your company's assets.
Knowing When To Call the Pros
Some emergency situations are obvious. It is easy to see if your property has a broken pipe, for instance.
However, some water leaks are hidden from plain sight. Keep an eye out for any of the following, as they could be signs of water damage that require professional restoration services.
- Musty odors
- Cracking, bubbling, or peeling walls
- Buckling floors
- Signs of mold growth
Finding the Right Pros
Not every pipe burst cleanup business is the same. You need to find experts who will do the job properly the first time. You also should look for professionals who can respond to your property right away. Any delay in the restoration process could cause further damage.
Preventing Future Disasters
You don't have to wait until your next disaster to contact a sewer cleanup company. Professionals can also help reduce the chances of a severe water emergency. If you notice corrosion or condensation on your pipes, have experts address the damage immediately before it causes a major flood. You can also ask restoration pros to inspect your property annually and address any red flags they discover.
Pipe burst cleanup should only be performed by professionals. Restoration experts can both dry your property following a disaster and help you prevent additional water losses going forward.
How to Make Sure Your Home or Business is Free of Mold
Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:
- Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
- Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
- Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
- Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
- Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
- Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation
Cleaning and restoring commercial properties require a unique blend of training, experience, and equipment. SERVPRO of Aurora has the resources and expertise to give you excellent results while minimizing the disruption to your clients. We can help make it “Like it never even happened.”
- Small Office Buildings
- Large Office/High-Rise Office Buildings
- Apartment Buildings
- Small Retail Stores
- Large Retail/Big-Box Stores
- High-Rise Residential
- Manufacturing & Industrial
SERVPRO of Aurora responds quickly to your Aurora fire, water, or mold damage emergency, 24 hours a day. Whether the damage occurs in a small business building or a big box store, we have the training, experience, and equipment to handle the situation. Our national network of 1,700 Franchises gives us access to personnel and resources to respond to any size restoration emergency.
How To Handle Water Damage To Your Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are stylish, durable, and timeless. A popular choice for kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms alike, hardwood floors enhance many homes and are excellent to clean, treat, and enjoy year-round. However, one danger to your hardwood floors is water damage. Although a quick water spill on your hardwood floor that is attended to and cleaned up after a moment shouldn’t cause any harm, water damage may occur if water gets spilled and unnoticed on your hardwood floors, soaking into the boards and absorbing into the wood.
When your hardwood floors experience water damage, these are the next steps you should take.
- Clean up the water if you can.
If the water damage seems minimal or you catch it before it’s been sitting for a while, grab some excess towels to soak up the water sitting on top of your hardwood. However, this is not always possible if, for example, a pipe bursts and you have gallons of water that have flooded your entire floor.
- Assess the visible physical damage.
Are you dealing with a white water stain or a black water stain? A white water stain indicates that the damage to your floor is only mild, and it may come out with proper treatment. White stains typically indicate a build-up of moisture in your hardwood floor. On the other hand, black water stains mean your hardwood has absorbed the water, which makes it significantly more difficult to repair. Other signs of water damage include cupping, when the edges of your hardwood flooring expand and become uneven with the sides sticking up; crowning, which consists of your wood permanently shrinking or wood planks sticking out; and buckling, which is when pieces of hardwood detach from your subfloor and stick out, indicating severe water damage.
- Call the experts.
Especially if the water damage appears severe, which is pretty much anything outside of white water stains, it’s probably wise to call the professionals like the water damage restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Aurora. Depending on the extent of your hardwood floor’s damage, it may not even be worth trying to repair your hardwood floor, and replacing it may be a more smart use of your time and money.
SERVPRO of Aurora Reconstruction Services
Rebuilding after a disaster.
After a disaster—whether it be a fire, water, or storm—damages your home you will need to rebuild and restore. For decades SERVPRO has been known for their ability to respond to a disaster and fix your home to make it "Like it never even happened.”
The first thing you must do after a disaster is take temporary protective measures such as placing roof tarps to prevent additional damage, and boarding up to secure the building and remove water and debris. Mold, smoke, fire, and water damage all have their own protocol for restoration and our experts know how to tackle each problem.
Once your home or building is secured and the hazards are removed you can start the rebuilding process; from the structure itself to preserving and restoring the treasured items inside your home—including heirlooms, art, and family photos. The professionals at SERVPRO of Aurora can simplify the restoration process by handling both the initial damage mitigation and rebuilding the affected areas. Having one qualified company for the entire process can save time and keeps costs low.
SERVPRO of Aurora can provide this continuity by supervising a full range of restoration services that will bring a building back to full functionality.
- Board Up
- Carpet Repair and Installation
- Document Drying
- Dry Cleaning
- Drywall Installation
- Drywall Removal
- Electronics Restoration
- Fine Art Restoration
- Furniture Restoration
- General Contracting
- Hardwood Floor Repair
- HVAC Services
- Move Out
- Roofing Services
Keeping Mold Out of Your Office Building
Whether you live and work in a humid climate, or just in a space that tends to be humid, such as those in older buildings, you or your staff may be experiencing problems from mold and/or mildew or dust mites. Limited ventilation in places such as basement office spaces, or small kitchens/break areas and bathrooms, can cause moisture to build up, even in the driest of climates. It will only take 24-48 hours for a mold colony to begin growing once the airborne spores discover an environment they find attractive.
Using a dehumidifier is one of the best ways you can protect your business from a mold growth invasion. Using a dehumidifier will:
- Reduce humidity levels, making your building less inviting to allergens, particularly mold spores.
- Reduce the possibility that mold will develop on furniture, clothing, and other materials.
- Help to reduce the unpleasant odors that accompany mold and mildew.
- Allow you to breathe easier by reducing irritation to your skin and respiratory system.
- Reduce dust, so you won’t be cleaning and dusting as much.
- Provides a less humid environment for your office and staff, keeping electronics and tools free from rust and corrosion.
- Lower energy costs, helping your HVAC to run more efficiently. When the air in the home is humid, the A/C must work doubly hard by cooling the air AND removing the moisture. Your unit will wear out sooner under that stress.
- Run quietly and efficiently in the background of daily life. You won’t even notice them.
Another way to protect your commercial investment is to have routine cleaning done in all areas where water is prevalent, and keeping these areas dry daily will be helpful here, as well.
The team of SERVPRO of Aurora is always available to help with your clean up issues in your home or office. Fire damage, water damage, and mold prevention are just some of our areas of expertise.
Immediate First Steps if an Appliance is Leaking
Have you ever come home to water pooling on your floor under your sink or by your refrigerator? You may have panicked. Immediate steps to take after a water leak aren’t really common knowledge, so it’s important to educate yourself beforehand so you know what to do if an appliance leaks on you!
1. After you’ve discovered a water leak, shut off the water to that appliance.
Depending on when you’ve caught the leak, you may be able to avoid the most costly damage. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. After identifying a leak, shut off water flow to that appliance so that you can find its source.
2. Unplug nearby electronics.
Any electronics near the leak should also be unplugged and shut off. If the water from the leak appears excessive, turn off the circuit breaker to your home. Give your local electrician a call as well as the restoration professionals to assess the damage and how to proceed. Your safety is paramount.
3. Note where the water appears to be coming from.
Appliance water leaks often can be categorized into three common problems: a drain line leak, a supply line leak, or a burst pipe. A drain line leak stems from a leaky drain that isn’t properly working. This may be fast or slow and can result in bacteria in the line. On the other hand, a supply line leak stems from leaks in your water supply piping that brings water to your appliance.
4. Take pictures for insurance claims.
Especially if extensive damage has occurred, take pictures of the leak and the subsequent water damage to file an insurance claim with. It’s important that you do this before cleaning up any of the mess so that you have accurate documentation of the leak.
5. Call the professionals at SERVPRO of Aurora 630-862-3930.
While there are ways you can attempt to identify the leak type and resolve it yourself, it’s always a smart investment to call the local plumbing professionals to assess the leak and fix it. If there is damage that needs to be cleaned up, you’ll probably need to contact your local restoration company, too.
What To Do If A Tree Falls In Your Yard
As time passes and weather wears away at trees, trees eventually die and fall. Sometimes, a strong storm and wind expedite the process. However, you’re generally not notified in advance when a tree falls in your yard, so we’ve gathered a list of actions you should take if a tree falls in your yard.
1) Think about safety first.
Are you inside a building that the tree fell on? Where is the tree in relation to you and your family? Is the tree at risk of falling even further and causing more damage? If the tree has come in contact with any part of your home or fallen through your roof, you should get everyone outside of your home as soon as possible. Take note of any wires that your tree has knocked down or is now touching as they may pose a fire hazard. Any injuries or structural damage should elicit a call to 911 for the fire department to come and help you out.
2) Assess the damage.
Did the tree hit any existing structures? What kind of damage did it cause? Take photos of the damage for insurance purposes later and stay a safe distance from the tree if it’s at risk of moving even more during a storm, etc. Figuring out what exactly has been damaged and how is an important step in the process of what to do after a tree falls in your yard.
3) Determine whose tree fell.
Did your tree fall in your yard? Or is it your neighbor’s tree? Even if a neighbor’s tree fell on your home or into your yard, it’s typically your homeowner’s policy that covers the damage. This might seem a bit backward, but it’s the way most policies work. However, you should take note of whose tree it is and double-check with your insurance policy and coverage to see what applies and if the tree falls into any of the exclusions.
4) Call the insurance company.
After determining whose tree fell and assessing the damage, give your homeowners’ insurance company a call. Describe the situation and provide them with photographic evidence of the damage. They’ll be able to tell you the next steps to take and what you should do next.
5) Arrange for tree removal.
Once you’ve gotten in contact with your insurance company and you know what is covered under your policy, it’s time to arrange for tree removal. Your insurance company may provide you with a list of disaster restoration specialists that they work with, but it may be smart to come to them with a name in mind to see if that will be covered under your policy. SERVPRO of Aurora is a great disaster restoration company that can take care of tree removal, structural restoration, and more in the aftermath of storms, incidents, and other disasters.
Severe Weather Preparedness
Severe weather can happen any time, anywhere. Being prepared to act quickly can be critical to staying safe during a weather event. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.
The first step to becoming weather-ready is to understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family. Check the weather forecast regularly, obtain a NOAA Weather Radio, and learn about Wireless Emergency Alerts. Severe weather comes in many forms and your shelter plan should include all types of local hazards.
Take the next step in severe weather preparedness by creating a communications plan for your family. Put together or purchase an emergency kit. Keep important papers and valuables in a safe place.
Once you have taken action to prepare for severe weather, share your story with family and friends on Facebook or Twitter. Your preparedness story will inspire others do the same.