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Is it worth filing a claim?

2/12/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Is it worth filing a claim? Sometimes initial water damages can create secondary losses also!

The average cost for a homeowner to repair and/or restore water damage that has happened to their home is between $2,000 and $5,000.  There are several factors that weigh in on this cost, mostly the extent of damage and the cause or type of damage that has occurred.  Obviously, the faster the water is extracted and the area dried, the less damage and less cost incurred.  Preventative maintenance and general upkeep on a home reduces the chances of a water damage loss and is much less expensive. 

Other factors that affect the cost are the category and classifications of the water damage.  There are 3 categories:

  • Category 1- Clean Water – often comes from drinking sources, such as a leaky faucet, leaky toilet tank, rain and sprinklers, burst pipes or water heaters.
  • Category 2- Grey Water – can cause some health threats as it can contain harmful contaminants that may cause a minor illness. Grey water can quickly become a serious threat due to the potential for growth of mold and bacteria.  Sources include overflowing dishwashers and washing machines or toilets containing urine or cleaning agents.
  • Category 3- Black Water – Can cause serious health threats or possibly even death. Sources are sewage backups, flooding, or storm surges.

There are also 4 different classes the water loss will be assigned.  This classification is dependent upon how intense the cleanup is.  These classes are:

  • Class 1- The easiest and usually the most inexpensive to clean and repair, indicates only a section of a room is affected with very little wet carpeting. Often repairable by the homeowner themselves.
  • Class 2- This is when an entire room has been affected, including the walls up to 12 inches. Moisture remains in the structure and will need cleanup as well as some repairs.
  • Class 3- This class has saturated ceilings, walls, floors, and even the subfloor and insulation. Often times the moisture has come from above, like a burst pipe.
  • Class 4- This damage is often a result of a river flooding or storm surges. It has saturated materials like stone, brick and hardwood.  This is the most severe classification.

So as you can see the cost increases with the amount of damage incurred, the length of time since damage did occur and what caused the damage.  The average cost being a minimum of nearly $2,000.00 for a small water loss claim, and a maximum cost being unknown depending on significance of the damage. 

As a homeowner, you ask if your insurance company will cover the loss. Most insurance companies require you to purchase separate flood coverages.  Some other extra coverages that can be purchased are: additional replacement cost, debris removal, tree removal, trees, shrubs and other plants, fire department service charges, credit card-fund transfer card forgery- and counterfeit money, ordinance and law coverage, personal property endorsements, and water backup and sump pump overflow.

As a rule, most policies cover damage that is deemed to be sudden and internal.  This typically means damage from a burst pipe, faulty or frozen plumbing, accidental overflow of an appliance or fixture, water damage caused from extinguishing a fire, and seepage into the house from a leaking roof (however the roof itself is not likely to be included in the coverage), damage from rain or a snow storm, and from mold that results from damage from one of the above perils.  Water damage caused from vandalism is likely to be covered.

On the other side of this rule, even though rain damage is covered, a general rule is if it hits the ground first before causing damage to your home, it will not be covered.  This not only considers flooding, but also just a mere rise in the water table caused from rain.  Separate flood coverage is recommended.  Another general rule is that damage from water that enters the home through plumbing is not covered.  Aside from the considerations of additional coverages, if the insurance company deems the damage to be ultimately caused by negligence, then they will not cover it.  Preventative maintenance is crucial to not only preventing damage but also to ensuring it is covered in the event damage occurs. 

 In the event that you do suffer a water damage loss at your residence, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of North Calhoun County (269) 963-3033 for an immediate response to any size disaster at any hour of any day, even holidays.  We will make it “Like it never even happened.”

Spring Cleaning season is approaching... are you ready?

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Cleaning Spring Cleaning season is approaching... are you ready? We can clean your home or business and make it "Like it never even happened."

Every year in Michigan we endure our typical winters with snow, ice, winds and varying temperatures.  Then we embrace the loving signs of spring and are excited about the weather changing, but not so excited about the mess that comes with the mud and water from the incoming warmth.  Here at SERVPRO, we are prepared to help you with all of your restoration needs. 

We offer water extraction services, dehumidification, mold mitigation and/or remediation, we can dry your electronics and equipment as well as your documents.  We also offer cleaning services such as, carpets and upholstery cleaning, we clean walls and ceilings, identify and neutralize odors and deodorize your entire home or business.  

SERVPRO of North Calhoun County will make it look like winter never happened and spring cleaning was a breeze. 

Call us today @ (269) 963-3033.

Ways to Prevent Water Damage to your Property...

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ways to Prevent Water Damage to your Property... Any pipe can crack whether it is inside or outside of a building,

Water can and will find its way into any opening it can, sometimes even creating the opening itself.  Taking small preventative measures and properly maintaining your home can help save you money, time and irreplaceable heirlooms.  Here are some steps you can take to protect your home or business from unwanted water damages, repairs and insurance claims.

EXTERIOR PREVENTATIVE MEASURES:

  • Ensure proper drainage from your foundation. This includes ensuring your landscaping slopes away from the foundation of your home or building and any drainage pipes are set correctly and are not damaged.  It also means you need to keep your gutters cleaned out throughout the year and that the downspouts are at least five to ten feet away from the structure to ensure the water will flow away from it.  Installing gutter guards is often a good measure to help prevent the gutters from getting clogged with leaves and other debris.
  • Inspect your roof semi-annually. Checking the integrity of the roof’s structure itself and ensuring the shingles are all secure and check for algae, moss or lichen buildup, maybe even consider having your roof cleaned professionally.
  • Keep your crawlspace puddle free. If you have a crawlspace, it is important to ensure you do not have any water puddling underneath your floor so a damp environment that will lead to the development of mold, rot, mildew or insects doesn’t occur.
  • Maintain trees and vegetation. It is important to know where your utility lines and/or pipes run underground to ensure your trees and shrubs do not damage them with their roots. Some species are very invasive and will grow right into your sprinkler system, drainage fields, pipes and septic tanks.  A safe distance for invasive species in usually about 20 feet from the pipes or house, otherwise 10 feet is usually a safe distance for clearance.
  • Check Sprinkler and Irrigation systems. Check your irrigation or sprinkler systems to make sure they are not leaking and pooling water near the foundation or damaging the siding of your home. ALWAYS ensure you have disconnected and winterized your lines for states that have freezing winters.
  • Cracks in the foundation. Concrete cracks, it is inevitable. You should periodically check your foundation for cracks.  If it is a minor crack, concrete caulk, if it is a little bit larger crack, then a concrete patch should suffice.  You should also ensure it is not being caused by a more serious problem, such as invading roots, which can cause you to need professional help.

INTERIOR PREVENTATIVE MEASURES:

  • Always know where your water main is located! This can keep any interior flooding to a minimum as you can turn it off from the main source and allow yourself time to locate where the leak is coming from.
  • Maintain your appliances. Sometimes our appliances can malfunction or become old and have issues and if they use water, it can lead to a flooded room. Checking your appliances routinely will help reduce any undetected leaks and damage.
  • Install floor/drain pans. Using a floor or drain pan can help prevent a minor leak from causing significant damages. 
  • Upgrade your washing machine hoses. Washing machine leaks are among the most common causes for water damage losses in homes.  It is recommended to replace your washing machine hose every 5 years, even possibly consider getting a flood safe house.  If the hoses are old, bent, brittle, crimped or leaking then they should be replaced immediately.
  • Inspect your other appliances that may use water. Refrigerators that have ice makers or water dispensers can often have a leaking water line. Water Heaters can rust out and cause leaking as well as faulty water outlets and drain valves.  Ensuring these stay maintained will help prevent a water damage loss.
  • Air conditioner units are another main source. Usually A/C Units are out of sight, therefore out of mind.  It is important to perform regular maintenance and inspect them properly, especially in summer months when they are working overtime.
  • Seal all doors and windows. Ensuring the caulking is not cracked and dried out and that the weather stripping is in place will help prevent an avenue water, snow and ice can enter through and cause destruction.
  • Inspecting hoses, faucets, sinks and spigots. When checking for leaks it is recommended to check in the cabinets that lie under these areas for any leaks or water staining. Using 100% silicone caulking can help prevent these leaks.
  • Monitor your water bill. Keeping an eye on the amount of water you are being billed for use of is an excellent way to notice if there is an increase in fluctuation. An increase that you are not aware of will indicate there is water going somewhere and should prompt you to look for it.

SERVPRO of North Calhoun County is faster to any size disaster and will make it “Like it never even happened.”  Call us today for help with your water damage at (269) 963-3033.

What To Do If You Are Faced With A Bio-hazard Loss...

2/7/2019 (Permalink)

Tragedy and disaster can happen to anyone at any time and in any place... will you be prepared to confront a loss if it happens to you?

Bio-hazard losses are often the hardest type of loss  to endure and are caused by these events: decomposition/ unattended death, suicide or homicide, crime scenes, trauma situations, biohazard situations, home and/or industrial accidents, animal waste/ remains, hoarding services and forensic investigation chemicals, illegal drug labs and others not listed.  These types of losses should always be contained by professionals as they often require special training. 

Other factors that you should consider when choosing a restoration company or comparing your ability to perform the services needed opposed to contracting the work out.  Some of these other factors are:  Cost of professional labor and equipment, the training and knowledge the technicians posses to effectively and efficiently, there are three different categories of water that need to be understand prior to beginning any services.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

When your business has a loss, SERVPRO of North Calhoun County is here to help!

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial When your business has a loss, SERVPRO of North Calhoun County is here to help! Fire strikes local V.A., SERVPRO of North Calhoun County immediately responds!

A local V.A. hospital had a fire which after fire fighting efforts, resulted in fire and water damage.  They didn't hesitate to call SERVPRO of North Calhoun County for an immediate response to help get the situation under control and their business back up and running.  We were on sight within an hour and immediately began remediation of the damage.  Our professionals are quick and thorough when performing work, ensuring the business is able to get back up and running and minimize loss of productivity.  We were able to work quickly at this site, allowing them to get back to serving those that have dedicated their lives to serving our country.  SERVPRO of North Calhoun County strives to help our communities in any way possible.  

When Fire causes destruction of your home...

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage When Fire causes destruction of your home... Fire destroys Battle Creek Home!

A local Battle Creek resident had a house fire that caused severe destruction of his home.  He immediately called SERVPRO of North Calhoun County to assist him with the damage to his home.  We worked with his insurance company and provided them with necessary paperwork they needed for his claim.  We saved what items could be restore in an effort to minimize replacement costs.  We worked with him throughout the restoration process so that we could get his home back to its preloss condition and make it "Like it never even happened."  After the restoration was complete, we also helped set up an Emergency Ready Plan giving the homeowner and his family guidance if disaster strikes again!  SERVPRO of North Calhoun County professionals always step up to do what we can to keep our residents safe and get their lives back to normal as fast as possible!  

When disaster strikes, SERVPRO of North Calhoun will be here to help!

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO When disaster strikes, SERVPRO of North Calhoun will be here to help! Simple losses still need our help!

You cannot predict when a tragedy is going to happen to your home or business, such things don't revolve around time.  Fortunately SERVPRO of North Calhoun County is available 24/7/365, including holidays or even in the middle of the night!  We have an immediate response time and the most advanced equipment and technology with highly trained and certified experts in restoration.  No matter how BIG or SMALL your situation is or the time it occurs, SERVPRO of North Calhoun County is always ready to respond.  We will be there to help you every step of the way, including working with your insurance company, to make your home or business get back to its preloss condition so it's "Like it never even happened."

Mold inside the walls

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Mold inside the walls Mold is commonly found on the framing behind your drywall

SERVPRO of North Calhoun County will come to your home and offer a free evaluation to see if you have mold in your home.  This is extremely important as mold can be very dangerous to your health and can cause extreme damage to your homes structure as well as contents.  
Mold will spread throughout your entire home with the slightest movement of air.  This can literally cause your entire home to become infested with mold before you are even aware there is mold.  It is crucial for you to contact professional help to ensure that it is not behind the walls of your home affecting the integrity of your home's structure.  Call SERVPRO of North Calhoun County today if you smell a musky odor or see something that you think could be mold for a free inspection.  It never hurts to be on the safe side and make sure you and your family are breathing clean air and your health is not being imposed on by mold, as most molds are common sources of respiratory conditions.  

Why SERVPRO? This is why!

12/27/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Why SERVPRO?  This is why! SERVPRO of North Calhoun County takes pride in fast response times!

SERVPRO of North Calhoun County professionals make every effort to provide the fastest response possible regardless of the time or day.  SERVPRO technicians are IICRC certified and use the latest technology and equipment to re-mediate and restore your home or business to its preloss condition, focusing on restoring, not replacing your personal property in an effort to minimize loss and cost. 

We understand that our customers call us at a time they are most vulnerable, often in a desperate situation maybe even having just lost their homes and all of their possessions, or are losing revenue from their business as they have to close their doors until they have re-mediated their situation.  SERVPRO of North Calhoun County provides assistance with handling your insurance claim while immediately beginning mitigation of your loss so further damage does not occur, no matter how big or small it may be.  We will even help you coordinate the recruitment of subcontractors for services we may not offer. 

SERVPRO of North Calhoun County professionals live in the communities we service, and like you, we want them to be successful and prosper, giving us the motivation to ensure we provide the fastest, most thorough services possible so that you can either return you and your family to your home or reopen your business and restore productivity and revenue, making it, “Like it never even happened.”

When we have completed the services we are performing for you, we will take the time to set up a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan, whether it be with you and your family or for your business, to help prevent damage and loss if a disaster ever occurs again.  SERVPRO of North Calhoun County will help you with losses caused by fire, water or storms, mold remediation services or just overall general cleaning in the Greater Battle Creek areas.  We are also part of a network of resources with over 1,700 SERVPRO franchises allowing us to respond to large commercial losses or major storm events with the same ethics and principles we commit to each and every day.

Winter … a Time to Insulate Pipes So You Can Hibernate!

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Winter … a Time to Insulate Pipes So You Can Hibernate! Winter… a time to insulate so you can hibernate!

A seasonal guide to Michigan winters...

FROZEN OR BURST PIPES: 

There are preventative measures that can be taken to keep this winter woe away, some of these are…

  • Disconnect hoses and/or any other attachments you may have connected to your water/plumbing system.
  • Insulate pipes with any of these type of items: heat tape, wraps or Styrofoam.
  • If your pipes seem too cold to the touch, then turn the heat up in your home to allow the vents to provide more heat for them.
  • Open cabinets and enclosures to allow more heat exposure.
  • When leaving for extended periods of time, turn off water and drain pipes.
  • If your pipes have just frozen and are not yet damaged, try to heat them with a blow dryer or low heat setting along the area of pipe that is frozen.

KEEP THE COLD AIR OUT: 

  • ALWAYS ensure you have all of your windows and doorways/entryways sealed so there are no leaks.

HAVE YOUR SUMP PUMP INSPECTED AND CLEANED BEFORE WINTER COMES:

  • Inspect your sump pump, clean it out if it is clogged and consider wrapping it with insulation.  These precautions are necessary because when exposed to extreme cold these pumps can stop working and leave you with a mid-winter sewage back up in your home.

PROTECT YOUR HOT WATER HEATER:

  • Keep the housing area warm by sealing it off from any drafts and increasing the temperature.
  • Inspect your hot water heater for any damage or sediment build-up.
  • If your water is still running cold, try to turn up the water heater's thermostat by 5 to 10 degrees... ALWAYS remember not to turn it so hot it will scald you.

SECURE YOUR CRAWL SPACE:

  • Make sure all exposed pipes have been insulated as the heat coming from your home will not reach them.

Sometimes these measures are still not enough to prevent pipes from bursting or our homes from suffering water damage during the winter. 

SERVPRO of North Calhoun County is ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, even on holidays to assist you if a water disaster strikes your home or business. 

Call us @ (269) 963-3033 for an immediate response and professional technicians that will make it “Like it never even happened.”