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Tips for Fixing a Leaky Faucet

10/14/2021 (Permalink)

Leaking Faucet. Fix the leaking faucet in your New Bern, NC home and avoid water damage.

A leaking faucet isn't necessarily an emergency, but if the problem persists, it can cause a lot of damage to the cabinets and floors underneath it. Claims may be filed with your company for remediation of the damage. Whether or not the policy covers it, it's still good customer service to have water damage remediation experts in New Bern, NC, you can trust to mitigate the damage thoroughly and restore the structure. Many insurance providers trust SERVPRO as a preferred vendor due to the fast, superior service that its team members offer.

How To Deal With a Leaky Faucet

Call the Plumber

Homeowners who don't have a lot of maintenance experience probably shouldn't begin with trying to fix a dripping faucet. It's better to call in the professionals in this case. The first thing the plumber will probably want to know is the type of faucet:

  • Compression faucet
  • Ball faucet
  • Ceramic-disk faucet
  • Cartridge faucet

Chances are that the problem can be fixed by replacing an old washer or tightening the connection somewhere within the apparatus. A qualified plumber can get the problem fixed properly so that it doesn't keep happening.

Assess the Damage

Once the leaking faucet is fixed, the mitigation team can get a clear picture of the extent of the damage. They check the cabinet in which the sink is housed for any signs of decomposition or weakness. If the wood has deteriorated due to the leak, they may use infrared cameras to inspect the floor beneath it or the wall behind it. This allows them to see how much of the structure the water has saturated. If the room is upstairs, they may need to inspect the ceiling and walls in the space below it, too.

Another benefit of partnering with SERVPRO is the Claims Information Center. The initial assessment and estimate are uploaded to the client's work order where it is available for viewing 24 hours a day. Any changes made to the mitigation plan after the assessment are also added through the CIC so that both you and the client can stay informed on the progress of the work.

Complete Mitigation and Restoration

There are two processes that must occur to fully repair your client's home. The first stage is mitigation. Technicians tear out material that cannot be salvaged and make sure the remaining structure is dry. If the water has been soaking into the walls for a long time or if it has seeped into the floor below the fixed leak, they must also disinfect the area because chances are that bacteria or mold has started to grow.

The final stage is restoration. SERVPRO stands out among the competition because its teams handle both stages. That is, the same company that completes mitigation also rebuilds and matches new materials to the existing structure, resulting in fewer delays and better communication throughout the overall process.

When you choose SERVPRO as a preferred vendor, you can rest assured that your clients are getting high-quality, efficient service when they need cleanup after fixing a leaking faucet. Certified technicians can get their homes back to normal in no time.

The Potential Risks Associated With Contaminated Flood Water

10/12/2021 (Permalink)

Contaminated water. Contaminated floodwater must be cleaned by a professional.

Whether flood water gushes from an over-flowing toilet or rushes inside from exterior flooding, that water may carry raw sewage, unpleasant microbes, bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants. While you may successfully dry up clean minor leaks and spills on your New Bern, NC, property, any category 3 water damage should be handled by professionals.

The Categories of Flood Water

There are several factors that experts use to categorize water damage:

  • The water's source
  • How contaminated the water is
  • The risk involved with exposure to the water

The classification of contaminated floodwater is important because it helps professionals and property owners determine the best course of action for the cleanup.

Category 1 Water

Water that comes from a sanitary source, such as the water dripping from a kitchen faucet or a from a burst pipe along the supply line, is "clean water." This water has minimal contamination and is relatively safe to encounter. However, if clean water is allowed to sit for an extended period, if it's exposed to high temperatures, or if it is allowed to come into contact with contaminants, the water could worsen to a more dangerous degree of uncleanliness. Although this water has a fairly positive classification, it can still cause damage and deterioration, so your quick response is crucial.

Category 2 Water

This classification of tainted water is referred to as "gray water." It could come from a dishwasher, washing machine, sink of dirty dishes, or a toilet overflow. This water may not carry feces, but it could have been exposed to urine. Detergents, chemicals, bacteria, and viruses could be present in category 2 situations. In addition to the harm caused by the contaminants, category 2 water causes primary and secondary damage when left to sit for more than a couple of minutes.

Category 3 Water

This water is dangerously contaminated and could lead to significant problems. If you have Category 3 floodwater in your building, avoid all contact with the water, including standing close enough to inhale aerosolized water. This water has higher levels of category 2 contaminants and includes other pollutants, such as stronger chemicals, heavy metals, and more dangerous microbes. This water may come directly from the sewer system or from natural bodies of water.

Cleanup and Remediation

When water damage cleanup and remediation experts arrive at your property, they may take air samples to look for mold spores, swab surfaces to measure bacterial contamination, and run lab analyses to test for E. coli and other potential infections. With this information, professionals determine the next steps, such as removing water, de-humidifying the property, and treating all affected materials, furnishings, and appliances. Once the plan is in place, you and the professionals can decide how to split the labor. Bear in mind the fact that technicians often have access to specialized equipment and supplies to improve lasting sanitization and decrease the risk of secondary damage.

When you first notice water where it doesn't belong, you may not know to extent of the contamination. If you have any reason to believe that flood water is unsanitary, contact cleanup and mitigation professionals.

Will Filing an Insurance Claim Raise My Rates?

9/23/2021 (Permalink)

Insurance claim. Maintain your property in New Bern, NC, to reduce the rate increases of the insurance claim.

Homeowners purchase insurance to cover damage caused by natural disasters and other catastrophes. However, many homeowners fear that filing an insurance claim may cause their rates to go up. This guide covers some of the basics about how filing a claim may affect your insurance premiums.

How Filing Claims Affects Your Rates

An insurance policy is a contract between you and an insurance company. The insurance company promises to pay for damages caused by covered perils in exchange for your premium payment. Most insurance contracts are for a specific period of time, such as six months or one year. Insurance companies may choose to charge a different rate or refuse to renew the contract at the end of the term. Several factors can affect whether your rates may go up:

  • Number of claims filed
  • Dollar amount of the claims filed
  • Type of claim

Types of Claims That May Lead to Rate Increases

Unlike auto insurance, whether or not the homeowner is at fault does not play a large role in rate increases. This is because a home flood caused by a hurricane is not anyone's fault. However, some aspects of homeowner's insurance are more in the control of the policyholder. For example, the water damage that is caused by failing pipes that the homeowner didn't properly maintain may be a red flag to an insurance company. In addition to water damage, claims for mold, slip-and-fall personal injury claims, and dog bites frequently result in rate increases.

Typical Amount of Rate Increases

A typical insurance claim may result in a rate increase between 20% and 40% that may last between two and five years. If your insurance company opts to non-renew your policy, you may be charged higher rates from other insurance companies or have to seek insurance in a high-risk market.

Deciding When To File a Claim

Because not all insurance companies are the same, it is a good idea to talk to your insurance agent before you file a claim. Small claims are less likely to affect your rates, but may not be worthwhile because of your deductible. Have this discussion before you need to file a claim. Otherwise, your agent may report it to the insurance company, even if you decide not to file. The safest strategy may be to only file claims when catastrophic losses occur. If a couple of shingles blow off your roof, you may want to fix that yourself. However, if your entire roof needs replaced, it may make more sense to file a claim.

Saving Money on Your Policy

If you plan to only file claims when you have a large loss, you can save money by choosing a higher deductible. You can reduce the chance of rate increases by keeping your property maintained, calling a remediation company in New Bern, NC, to address issues that can lead to mold growth, and removing hazards that could lead to liability claims.

You do not need to be afraid to file an insurance claim; however, it can be wise to choose a strategy that minimizes your chances of rate increases. Your insurance professional can help you make decisions about your policy that can save you money.

A Professional Mold Cleanup Response Is Crucial

9/21/2021 (Permalink)

Cleanup of black mold. Fast mold cleanup is essential to avoid further damage in your New Bern, NC, property.

Containing mold spores is a big problem facing property owners who consider DIYing mold cleanup, and mistakes made at any point during the cleanup and remediation process could lead to more significant damage and increased damage control costs. Hiring New Bern, NC, professionals is the best way to put a stop to further growth and to avoid more repairs in the future.

Facts About Mold Cleanup

Mold containment is a vital part of the cleanup process because of the nature of mold. Microscopic spores are found in almost every natural environment and are easily transported indoors:

  • Floating on air currents
  • Carried on shoes and clothing
  • Tracking in on pets
  • Moving through doors and windows
  • Pulled through heating and cooling systems

Once spores make their way into a new location, a little bit of moisture and organic food source (including fabric, cement, and dust) are all that's necessary to establish a new colony. Professionals take significant measures to avoid spreading mold contamination.

Mold Remediation

There are several steps involved in cleaning up existing mold growth and preventing new growth. Although each situation is unique and the cleanup details must be adapted, the cleanup process remains much the same:

  • Inspection and damage assessment determines the extent and depth of the problem and to find damage that's out of sight.
  • Containment often involves the use of plastic sheeting to seal off doors, windows, and hallways or negative air chambers.
  • Removal of mold-damaged materials requires antifungal and antimicrobial supplies and treatments
  • Proper disposal of affected materials is crucial to avoid further mold contamination.
  • Air filtration requires powerful equipment, such as "air scrubbers," for both cleaning and containment.
  • Cleanup involves the use of many techniques because of the variety of materials used in the contents and belongings of a commercial property. Carpets, furniture, and appliances must be cleaned. sanitized, and deodorized.
  • Restoration could be a simple process or require a lot of new buildings depending on the level of damage.

Within each of these steps, professionals make adjustments to appropriately deal with the type of mold, the extent of the spread, and the severity of the damage.

A Closer Look at Personal Protection and Containment

Property cleanup, repair, and restoration professionals have access to specialized training, as well as equipment and supplies. Without these products, it is hard to be sure that mold cleanup has been thorough.

Hidden mold is a huge threat to commercial properties. If you've noticed a musty smell, but you can't find the mold, you could end up with very expensive damage. Experts may test surfaces and the air to determine whether there's an unseen colony and to measure how far the colony has spread.

Cleanup technicians understand how easily mold spores can travel from one location to another. Technicians protect themselves with personal protective equipment such as boots, gloves, goggles, and other clothing.

From identifying the source of the problem to preventing new growth, the right tools are crucial. Mold cleanup requires a professional response with specialized tools, thorough training, a deep understanding of mold, and plenty of containment and disinfection supplies.

Faster to your New Bern Water Damage

9/13/2021 (Permalink)

Roof damaged by water. SERVPRO of New Bern provides 24 Hour fire and water damage restoration service.

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of New Bern, NC, provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage are very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of New Bern

SERVPRO specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training at SERVPRO’s corporate training facility to regular IICRC-industry certification, rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore your property.

Remediation Tips for Floodwater Damage

8/26/2021 (Permalink)

Flooded bathroom. Floodwater damage in your New Bern, NC home can lead to other further damages if it is not remediated as it should.

It is not uncommon for a heavy storm to flood homes in New Bern, NC. If this happens to your house, water damage from the excess moisture is only part of the problem you must resolve. Your home must be dried and disinfected before the structure can be repaired and rebuilt. Floodwater from storms is contaminated, so extra precautions must be taken to ensure that everything it brings into your home is dealt with appropriately. Here are some tips on how to handle it.

What Is Black Water?

Water that results from a storm is very different from the substance that flows out of your faucets. Black water is contaminated, potentially containing several substances you don't want in your home:

  • Sewage
  • Grease
  • Bacteria
  • Debris

Even if you remove all the water and get every surface completely dry, you may still notice an unpleasant odor in your home. That is the result of the contaminants that the floodwater left behind. The smell will not go away on its own, and it may even lead to bigger problems as the bacteria multiply and other remaining contaminants degrade surfaces. In order to get rid of the smell and the risk, you have to remove the substances that cause them.

What Measures Must be Taken?

After flood damage mitigation specialists assess the mess the storm made of your home, they tackle the problem. They start with removal. All standing water must be pumped out as quickly as possible to avoid further damage. Then the initial drying process starts to prevent mold growth. Meanwhile, any drywall, carpet, flooring, or other porous materials that have water damage from the floodwater must be torn out. Contaminated materials are typically unable to be salvaged; technicians must replace them later in the process.

Once all the water and ruined materials are gone, the entire affected area must be cleaned. Technicians use industrial cleaners and specialized equipment to ensure not only that the surfaces are free of toxins but also that any bacteria left in cracks and crevices are gone as well. If you want to salvage any of your belongings affected by the flood, they, too, must be thoroughly cleaned and dried before you bring them back into your home. Rely on the expertise of the mitigation specialists to determine whether something can be cleaned or needs to be replaced altogether.

Even though your home is clean and dry, the restoration process is not complete until it looks like it did before the storm. The remediation team rebuilds the structure, replacing walls, flooring, and ceiling tiles. Then the technicians match the look of the new materials to the remaining structure so that no one can tell where the damage was.

Taking care of water damage from a flood may be more complicated than you expect, but every step of the process is necessary. When contaminated water comes into your home, you want to make sure that every surface is disinfected and dried before you and your family move back in. With thorough mitigation, your home will be back to normal in no time.

7 Ways To Avoid Fires When Grilling

8/26/2021 (Permalink)

Barbeque. A barbeque can provoke a fire in your Craven County, NC, home. Be sure to know these ways to avoid a fire.

Family barbeques are one of the best things about summer. However, a grill fire can turn a fun family outing into a nightmare.

These fire safety tips can help you keep the fun times going.

1. Don't Place the Grill Near Your House

It can be tempting to place your grill on your patio, porch, or balcony, but this is not a good idea. A sudden flame-up or gust of wind could lead to your house catching on fire. Additionally, smoke from your grill may cause smoke damage to your home that you will need a fire restoration service in Craven County, NC, to clean. Place your grill in a safe location that isn't too near your home or other combustible structures.

2. Don't Use Your Grill Indoors

If a rainy, windy, or chilly day is cramping your grilling style, don't try to save it by moving your grill indoors. Grills need adequate ventilation. Grilling indoors can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, grilling inside your kitchen, sunroom or garage is a fire hazard. If the weather is preventing you from grilling outside, save your grilling plans for another day or use a grill that is designed for indoor use.

3. Trim the Fat

Fat adds flavor and moisture to meat; however, too much fat can lead to a grill fire. When meat is excessively fatty, the fat drips into the flames as the meat cooks where it can cause flareups. Not only can flareups ruin the flavor of your food, but they can lead to injuries and property damage. Trim off excess fat before you start cooking and keep a spray bottle filled with water near your grill for dousing flareups.

4. Always Supervise Your Grill

If you are cooking something that takes a while, it can be tempting to go do something else while your food cooks. However, a barbeque fire can start when an unsupervised grill is knocked over by wind, children, or pets. Keep an eye on your grill until all the flames are out and the heat has had time to dissipate.

5. Inspect Your Grill

If you are using a gas grill, always inspect the propane tank before you light it. Small holes or loosened hoses can cause gas leaks that could lead to a fire or explosion.

6. Clean Your Grill

Improper cleaning is another common cause of fires. Grease and fatty particles can stick to the grill. When allowed to accumulate, these particles can cause flareups. Use a wire brush to scrape them off while the grill is still hot.

7. Give Your Grill Time To Cool

Once the fun is over, it can be tempting to get in a hurry to clean up the grill and put it away. However, if you put the grill cover back on while the grill is still hot, it can catch on fire. When using charcoal grills, empty the ashes into a metal container and then hose them down before throwing them out.

Grill safety is important for avoiding injuries and property damage due to a grill fire. These tips are a good place to start.

Prevention and Maintenace Keep Commercial Bathrooms in Good Condition

8/26/2021 (Permalink)

Clogged toilet with paper. Maintenance in your commercial bathrooms will avoid clogged toilets and further damages.

The bathrooms in Pamlico County, NC, commercial buildings are often exposed to hazards that residential toilets don't see. Some of the most common concerns for property owners are the clogs that occur when people flush the wrong items down the toilet. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to avoid a clogged toilet and the resulting toilet overflow:

Use a thinner type of toilet paper. The people who visit commercial bathrooms are sometimes more likely to use wads and wads of paper. Thinner paper flushes more easily.

Hang up signs reminding people where to put their garbage. Items such as toilet paper tubes and feminine products are notorious for causing clogs down the pipes. Simple signs are effective at reminding customers where to put these items.

Make sure there are plenty of garbage cans placed in the area for tissues, paper towels, feminine products, and other trash. Choose cans that are large enough to handle the amount of trash in the room and have employees regularly empty the cans.

These quick steps may decrease the number of clogs in your bathrooms and limit the cost of damage and repairs.

Other Toilet Concerns

Other common concerns related to a clogged toilet include hard water deposits, a blocked trap, and the smell of sewage from the tank. Look for hard water deposits on the inside and outside of the bowl, tank, and pedestal. These unsightly stains may reduce the water efficiency and the life expectancy of the toilet. Blocked traps occur when tissues, hair, tampons, and medications are flushed down the toilet. Sewer smells may be a result of clogs or leaks. Contacting a professional with experience in repairing toilets or cleaning up water damage is one of the best ways to respond to these problems.

Other Issues Facing Commercial Bathrooms

In addition to toilet-related problems, you need to watch out for other common issues. Some of the problems that affect bathrooms in commercial buildings include:

  • Malfunctioning ventilation systems
  • Leaking faucets and pipes
  • Slow-moving drains
  • Weak water pressure
  • Running toilets
  • Mold growth

Once these problems become apparent, contact the appropriate professionals to complete repairs and cleanup. Don't postpone corrective actions because a leaky faucet or mold growth could grow from a small inconvenience to a much larger problem within a short amount of time.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Routine bathroom and toilet maintenance can prevent a lot of water damage and other bathroom concerns. Train your employees to complete daily tasks according to established requirements. Basic cleaning is the first place to start. For example, it's important to use an appropriate cleaner to keep surfaces clean, clear, and sanitized. The wrong tools or cleaning products could cause damage rather than preventing it. Refer to official rules, post them, and make sure you keep employees up to date on any changes to those requirements.

A clogged toilet can lead to a lot of inconvenience and possible expenses in your commercial building. Preventative action before damage occurs could protect your time and budget. When trouble does happen, a quick response is the best way to get your business back on track.

Reach Out to These Four Entities if You Don't Have Flood Insurance

7/17/2021 (Permalink)

Neighborhood flooded in New Bern, NC Floods are the root of many serious problems if it's not treated on time.

Unless you are located on a specific flood plane where having flood insurance is a requirement, you likely do not have coverage for any damage caused by a storm surge or flood. While that might not be the news you were hoping to hear, you might still have options. Before you dial your local storm restoration service in New Bern, NC, contact your insurance company to discuss the specifics of your policy. If you are not covered for external flooding, then reach out to four organizations for help.

1. FEMA

The Federal Emergency Management Association might offer some relief if your area is deemed a site of natural disaster. However, without a formal declaration from the president, FEMA cannot provide access to grants. If a major disaster is declared, you can apply for a grant only for your primary home; as it is a grant, you will not need to pay the money back.

2. State or Local Government

Those without flood insurance can also reach out to state and local governments for assistance. While local municipalities might not offer grants, your local emergency management department might be able to give information on other resources.

3. Nonprofit Organizations

You can also reach out to the different nonprofit organizations in the area. Many nonprofits step up after natural disasters. Some might offer food and water, and others might provide temporary shelter to those in need. You might even find organizations like United Way, which can assist with home repairs and cleanup.

4. SBA

Finally, if you cannot find help from the above resources, try the Small Business Administration. During times of crisis, the SBA often opens up low-cost loans to those in need. SBA disaster loans typically have low-interest rates, between 4% and 8%, with loan caps of $200,000, depending on your needs.

While flood insurance is not a requirement in every area, it is something worth considering. However, even with coverage, there are ways to find assistance.

3 Ways SERVPRO Helps With Claims

7/17/2021 (Permalink)

Hurricane hitting the city. Our team is ready when you need us.

SERVPRO is an industry leader in fire and water cleanup and restoration. Claim services help insurance agents reduce costs, while also providing superior service to their clients. These are three of the ways the company can help with your claims.

1. Fast Response

The priority of our team is to provide an immediate emergency response to customers. Our team acts quickly to assess the damage and begin taking steps to prevent future damage, such as mold growth. This helps you keep costs down and helps your clients restore their property as quickly as possible. Wherever your clients are located, there is probably a franchise professional in New Bern, NC, ready to assist them.

2. Emphasis on Restoration

Restoring property costs less than replacing it. Our claim services team works to restore property whenever possible. Pretesting is completed for every loss so that we can quickly identify which property can be restored and which needs to be replaced. Our professionals have the latest training and equipment needed to clean and restore valuable documents, photos, and other fragile contents. We can also deal with odor removal and sewage issues, in addition to cleaning and restoring carpets and upholstery.

3. Electronic Claims Service

Our electronic claims service makes it easy for you to access all of the information about your clients' claims. You will be provided with an Excel formatted report and photos of valuable items and an itemized loss inventory. The electronic job file includes the first notice of loss, loss photos, estimates, and scanned forms and paperwork. You can access all pending and completed jobs and new assignments online. Additionally, you have access to job cost data and performance comparisons to industry standards.

SERVPRO claim services are designed to meet the needs of adjusters and clients. Working with our team will make the claims process as hassle-free as possible for you and your clients.