How Do Insurance Agents Use Claims Inventory Systems?
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A claims inventory system can help insurance agents keep track of claims in progress, estimates and data. There are several ways in which the SERVPRO Claims Information Center makes it easier to settle an insurance claim.
Accessing Individual and Aggregate Data
Whenever restoration professionals issue a new estimate, this information is uploaded to a corporate database and becomes available to insurance representatives. Resources such as the Claims Information Center make it easy to review individual files. Agents and adjusters can also access several types of data for the purpose of comparison:
- Causes of loss
- Job file costs
- Response times
- Types of claims
All of this data is available for counties, states, regions and nationwide. An insurance agent can also easily compare the performance of a company to other mitigation and restoration services in a region or across the country.
Managing Claim Information
As an insurance claim progresses, an online resource makes it easier to add to, complete or review data. This can help insurers and restoration professionals ensure that all of the necessary information is available to other parties. This may reduce the possibility of miscommunication, which can unnecessarily prolong the claim process.
Reducing Processing Times
An online resource that is easy to access can speed up the process of preparing, processing and settling claims. The availability of individual and collected data in one place can allow for less back-and-forth communication between agents, adjusters, insured parties and mitigation and restoration services.
All of these factors can make an electronic claims inventory system a useful feature for insurance agents and adjusters. Whether or not representatives have worked with similar systems in the past, the SERVPRO Claims Information Center makes it easier to ensure that accurate information is available about types of damage, restoration services and estimates related to an insurance claim for damage at a residence in Greenwood Village, CO.
3 Tips for Preventing Damage During a Flood
There are ways to prevent damage to your commercial building in Englewood, CO during a flood.
3 Tips For Preventing Damage During A Flood
Flood damage is possible in any building. While it’s certainly more common in a flood plain, any area that receives significant rainfall during a storm could experience some effects. There are ways, however, to prevent damage to your commercial building in Englewood, CO during a flood. Here are some tips for keeping your business safe and dry.
1. Build on High Ground
A great location is the best way to prevent flooding. When you are scouting for places to build, consider the relative elevation of your options. If the lowest level of your building is above flood level, it is unlikely to flood due to rising groundwater. Let gravity work in your favor whenever possible.
2. Maintain Your Property
You may not be able to choose a higher location, but you can choose to inspect your property and make timely repairs. Flood damage experts advise that you clean downspouts and gutters frequently, ridding them of debris that may cause water to pool on your roof. Check your roof, walls and foundation for cracks or other weak points where water could get in. Make sure your windows are sealed properly against outside elements.
3. Dry Proof the Building
In addition to making sure there are no vulnerable points where water can enter your building, you can prevent storm damage by actually setting up barriers to water that directs it away from your foundation. Make sure the grade around your building slopes away from its base. This helps storm water flow naturally in the other direction. You can build miniature dams to reroute the flow as well. Finally, install a sump pump in your basement to get rid of any water that does find its way in.
If you can choose the location of your building, higher ground can prevent a lot of flood damage. Even if your property is in the middle of a flood plain, however, you can still take measures to keep it from flooding.
Proper Care and Cleaning of Your Gas Range
Range cleaning and maintenance are important
A new gas range that is sparkling clean and working well is a joy to cook on. You wipe away every crumb and spill immediately and keep it looking pristine. As the novelty wears off and life happens, you may not worry so much about a spill or two. Things begin to bake onto the surface and accumulated gunk and goo no longer bother you as much. But there are some simple ways to restore your beautiful oven and some good reasons why range cleaning and maintenance are important.
Five Tips for Cleaning Your Range Top
- Make a mixture of half hot water and half white vinegar. Spray all surfaces, one area at a time and let it sit to soften dirt.
- Using a stiff toothbrush, scrub away all grease and buildup. You can scrape gently with a plastic knife if needed, then wipe clean.
- Remove the burner caps and heads. Wash them in the vinegar mixture and clean the grooves with a pin or toothpick. Dry thoroughly.
- Wipe everything down one last time and replace burner heads and caps and cooking grates.
- Wipe things down after each use to maintain a fresh, clean appearance for your gas range.
Why Range Cleaning is Important
Besides looking great and being a more inviting cooking surface, a clean range top can keep the burner heads working properly. Food and spills can build up in the cutout grooves, blocking the flow of gas, creating hot spots or making it unsafe to operate. Burning food near the burner head could also produce an unpleasant smoke smell that can get into everything in your house. If this happens, be sure to get help from odor removal specialists in Littleton, CO, to clean your home of both the smell and the residue that causes it.
You won’t have to spend your time wishing for a new gas range when yours is sparkling clean and in good order. You can just enjoy what it was made for – giving enjoyment and nourishment to your family.
5 Tips for Keeping Moisture Out of a Commercial Building During a Storm
Make sure you know how to keep moisture out!
Commercial property owners should do everything they can to limit the amount of moisture that gets into a building during a storm.
Here are five tips on preparing for a storm and responding to rain damage.
- Test exterior doors for wind strength. Make sure all exterior doors are rated to stand up to high wind speeds. The frames should be secured and the flashing, sealant, and tracks designed to limit the amount of water that can get into the building.
- Enhance the building envelope. Builders and retrofitters recommend strategically implementing air barriers, capillary breaks, and vapor barriers to prevent moisture from permeating through porous building materials. A moisture-resistant envelope can also help to prevent black mold from developing.
- Waterproof your roof. Waterproofing prolongs the life of a roof by preventing ambient moisture from permeating this part of the structure and leaks from forming.
- Clear the drainage system. An effective drainage system is very important for limiting the amount of moisture or water that can cause rain damage. Make sure that roof drains, downspouts, and gutters are clear and that the water drains away from the foundation of the building.
- Keep sandbags and plastic sheeting on hand. In case any part of a structure such as a door or window fails, owners should have sandbags and plastic sheeting available to limit the amount of water that gets into a commercial property.
These five tips can help property owners keep moisture and water out of a commercial property. When it comes to preventing rain damage and secondary damage such as black mold, following these steps and making sure that the building envelope is as waterproof as possible are the best ways to prepare your building for a storm. If your property admits too much moisture or sustains water damage, contact a commercial restoration firm in Denver, Colorado.
Is Mold Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Mold job in Englewood, CO
Discovering mold in your home can be stressful. Not only are there concerns about safety and unsightliness, there are quickly worries about the cost of mold removal. One of the most obvious concerns is how much of the cost will be covered by homeowner’s insurance - and how much you’ll have to foot yourself. If you’re a Englewood, CO, homeowner worried about whether insurance will help you combat fungus growth, read on for answers.
Costs of Mold Removal
Mold removal itself is no small task. There’s air quality testing, potential removal of damaged goods and even more to consider. In fact, experts suggest the cost of a visit from a mold remediation specialist alone at up to $6,000. Some of the expenses to consider when deal with mold are:
- Air quality tests
It’s a lot to consider and often a highly unexpected expense. Just how much of this will your homeowners policy cover?
What IS Covered
In general, the average homeowner’s policy will pay for mold damage caused by a “covered peril,” that is, any event that is already covered in the policy. Such perils typically include fire, lightning and in some cases vandalism.
What Is NOT Covered
Unfortunately, the list of circumstances in which fungus growth is not covered is long. If mold resulted from a preventable water leak, for instance, your policy won’t likely pay out. The same is true of high humidity or flooding, which is often covered only under separate flood insurance.
Moreover, if there’s proof that maintenance neglect triggered mold, insurance adjusters balk at paying out. That means if a room was left overly humid and mold grew, it would be on you to pay for it.
Don’t wait until you’re facing active fungus growth the learn whether you’ve got mold coverage. Call a mold specialist today to learn more about mold insurance.
Watch For the Hidden Signs of a Leaky Bathtub or Shower
Mold growth on bathroom wall
If you are like many citizens of Centennial, CO, you love to take a relaxing bath or shower. If you have a leak, however, your otherwise calming bath could turn into a nightmare. Fortunately, you do not have to wait for a shower or bathtub leak to sneak up on you.
Understanding the Consequences of a Bathroom Leak
As you probably know, bathroom leaks can cause a mess. You may not realize, though, that leaks often contribute to extensive damage inside your home. Specifically, following a bath or shower pan leak, you may notice damage to the following areas:
- HVAC systems
Finding Hidden Bathroom Leaks
When there is water on the bathroom floor, a leak can be easy to identify. Hidden leaks, however, often take weeks, months or longer to show themselves. As such, you must watch for some warning signs to know you may have water in place it isn’t supposed to be. Specifically, keep an eye out for the following:
- Mold growth
- Musty odors
- Floor weakness
You may also not realize you have a shower or bathtub leak until you open your monthly utility bills. If your water bill spikes despite normal usage, you could have a hidden water leak somewhere in your home.
Repairing Water Damage
If you catch a bathroom leak immediately, you may only need to stop the leak and wipe up excess water. For leaks that last more than a few hours, however, damage may be extensive. To be certain your bathroom returns to its pre-leak condition, consider working with an experienced flood-mitigation technician. Specialists have the knowledge and equipment to identify leaks, clean belongings and repair damage.
You don’t want to ignore a shower or bathtub leak. While finding hidden leaks can be challenging, watching for their warning signs is usually worth the effort. With a bit of work, you can likely repair leaking fixtures and mitigate water damage.
How Can a Business Prepare For a Fire?
It is important to have an evacuation plan in your Littleton, CO business in case of a fire
Fires are unexpected, but there is no reason why business owners and employees should not be prepared. Fire safety protocols can limit risk. A contingency plan may reduce expenses and enable a business to continue operating even if the primary location is damaged or undergoing restoration. Business and property owners may take the following measures to prevent and prepare for a fire.
Establish Fire Safety Protocols
Every business can have fire safety protocols. Priorities may vary based on the business, but there are several general requirements:
- Take measures to reduce fire risks
- Test fire alarms and smoke detection systems
- Ensure fire suppression equipment is functional
Employees should exercise caution when working with hot tools, open flames, or flammable substances. It may be helpful to schedule fire safety sessions at least once a year and train new employees.
Make an Evacuation Plan
A fire escape plan can promote safety and reduce risk. Create this strategy using an accurate floorplan and post maps near stairwells. Building occupants may follow several steps in the event of a fire:
- Use primary or secondary evacuation routes
- Gather at a designated location
- Reference a contact list
Business owners can obtain the addresses, phone numbers, and emergency contact methods for each employee. This can ensure that everyone has evacuated from a burning building.
Develop a Contingency Plan
In addition to taking safety measures, business owners may also plan ahead for contingencies. Factor in the risk of disasters and what to do if a location becomes unusable. Owners may want to obtain a business interruption rider on commercial coverage and account for temporary relocation costs. A mitigation and restoration firm can help owners make informed choices depending on the extent of fire damage.
These measures can help any business prepare for the risk of fire and make a contingency plan. If fire damages a commercial property in Littleton, CO, business owners can be ready to file an insurance claim or relocate to a temporary location.
Salvage Wet Building Materials by Following a Few Simple Steps
Residential pipe break in Littleton, CO
Salvage Wet Building Materials
You wouldn’t intentionally let building materials get wet, but it can happen. You could be in the process of remodeling your home with all your materials stored safely indoors. Overnight, the supply line to an upstairs bathroom fails and soaks everything. You can almost hear the swelling wood studs begin to warp.
The water pipe repair in the bathroom is a simple fix, but the building materials are not looking good. However, with a bit of work and a little luck, most of the materials can be rescued.
- Natural wood should dry like new but watch out for mold. If that swelling wood was straight when you bought it, it should return to that condition when it dries. The process might take a few days with a dehumidifier. Mold likes nothing better than a wet cellulose meal. Go to a hardware store in the Littleton, CO, area and ask for a mold suppression product.
- You can save drywall if it hasn’t been too wet for too long. It can lose its structural integrity if it’s wet for too long. It is also another favorite on mold’s menu. The product you spray on the natural wood should work nicely on drywall.
- Flakeboard and particleboard probably cannot be salvaged. Also, you cannot salvage cabinets and other items made from these products. Remove them from the area immediately to reduce the moisture content of the area.
- Uncompressed fiberglass insulation is salvageable. The paper facing on the insulation may be susceptible to mold growth and should get the same treatment as natural wood and drywall.
Your plan for rescuing the building materials is in place, but you have a bigger problem. That bathroom leak caused water damage in the rest of the house. Even you and your construction skills can’t handle all this all at once. It’s time to bring in local flood damage remediation experts to dry out your home. Perhaps they could even give you a hand with your swelling wood studs.
Preparing an Effective Family Fire Escape Plan
Putting into place a fire escape plan for your Centennial, CO home makes the difference in the event of an emergency
If a fire should occur in your home in Centennial, CO, your house and belongings can be a devastating loss. Can you imagine how much worse it would be to lose a family member? Discussing with your family and putting into place a fire escape plan make the difference in the event of an emergency situation. There are several things that should be taken into consideration when making an escape plan.
Things to Consider When Making an Emergency Escape Plan
- Take the family through the house and make sure each understands how to get out of every window or door, and have each person rehearse it
- Make sure every person knows your address and how to call 911 for help
- Have each family member practices touching the back of doors to test for heat
- Choose a place outside of the home to meet up after a fire
- Regularly practice drills from start to finish
More Ways to Stay Safe
When making your fire escape plan, check all doors and windows and make sure they are operational and can be unlocked and opened by each member of the family. If some windows are too high, make sure a ladder or chair is nearby to help reach the window. If there are elderly people or small children in the household, assign an able-bodied person to each to ensure they can get out. If any of the windows are barred, make sure they are fitted with an emergency release.
Even if you take preventive steps like making a Fire escape plan, the unthinkable can happen. Sorting through the contents of a burned home is an emotional heartbreak and making decisions about what can be salvaged can make a hard situation more difficult. Calling on emergency restoration services in Centennial, CO, for help will make it easier and will ensure that you eliminate any toxic residue and odor, and get you and your family back into your home where you belong.
4 Fire Sprinkler Maintenance Tips You Should Know
Sprinkler maintenance is an important step to protect your building in Englewood, CO from serious fire damage
Four Tips You Can Use To Make Inspections and Repairs Easier
Taking care of a commercial building in Englewood, CO consists of many small tasks such as preparing for storm damage, repairing appliances, and updating fixtures. Fire sprinklers are commonly used and may be a part of your repair checklist. Sprinkler maintenance is an important step to protecting your building from serious fire damage, and here are four tips you can use to make inspections and repairs easier.
1. Routine Inspections are Key
Over time, fixtures can wear down or malfunction, which is why the National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA) has set routine guidelines for checking a fire sprinkler system. Monthly, quarterly, and annual checks are required. You can see what is needed for each inspection on the NFPA website or other sources.
2. Keep Track of Sprinkler Checkups
Stay on top of your game by recording when sprinkler maintenance occurs. Check-ups, replacements, or repairs can be documented so that you can know when the next inspection or repair may be needed. Documentation will also be useful if you need proof of an inspection or examination.
3. Check for Build-Up on the Sprinkler Heads
In between inspections, it’s a good idea to watch for potential problems. Corrosion or build-up on the mouth of the sprinkler can prevent the system from working properly in the event of a fire. If you notice build-up, address it during the next inspection.
4. Replace Leaking or Damaged Sprinkler Heads
If you notice any water leakage from one of the sprinklers, don’t hesitate to replace it. Damaged sprinkler heads can prevent the system from working properly and can cause unnecessary water damage.
Sprinkler maintenance consists of periodical inspections and smart thinking. Avoid painting over sprinkler heads and avoid putting anything valuable directly under a sprinkler head. By taking care of your sprinkler system, you have a greater chance of minimizing fire damage and the work needed to restore your building.