How Do You Know if Mold Is Growing in Your Business?
Mold can vary in color and may appear white, gray, green or black
Is Mold Growing in Your Business?
Mold is a common issue that can cause widespread problems. It’s often useful to know the signs that may indicate mold is present in your building in Macland, GA, and to know when to contact an indoor environmental specialist.
1. Visible Signs
There are often visible indicators that mold is present in a building. Though discoloration can occur on some items as a result of water damage, mold growth frequently occurs on surfaces that are damp and can also cause discoloration on walls, carpets, and ceilings. Mold can vary in color and may appear white, gray, green or black. The texture of mold also tends to vary depending on the type of mold and the material on which it is growing and can be either smooth or fuzzy.
2. Musty Odor
Discoloration isn’t the only sign that mold may be growing in your business. Mold often has a musty odor, a result of a compound called mycotoxin that occurs as a result of the growth. If there are no discolored areas noticeable near the area where the odor is present, it’s possible that the mold could be growing in areas that aren’t easy to see, such as in air ducts or on drywall.
3. Specialized Tests
Often, an indoor environmental specialist is needed when there are no noticeable signs of mold in a building. Specialists can assist in identifying the type and location of mold that is present. A mold test can provide professionals in mold remediation with information about the number of spores that are present. Additionally, these specialized tests are also useful after remediation has occurred, as the tests can tell experts if there are other potential sites of growth or if remediation was successful.
Though mold is sometimes visible or has a musty odor, there may be no initial indicators of its presence. An indoor environmental specialist can perform specific tests to check for the presence of mold. Overall, it can be incredibly beneficial to quickly identify the growth, since this can result in a timely, inexpensive remediation process.
What Claim Services Does SERVPRO Offer?
Leading restoration companies provide a variety of claim services to insurance company representatives and clients. These services make a company easier to work with and may result in faster settlement of claims. Find out more about some of the services SERVPRO offers.
Electronic Claim Information
Insurance agents and adjusters will appreciate the ability to access claim information online at any time. After a local franchise offers emergency response, issues a verbal briefing and generates an estimate, this information is made available online for insurers. Agents and adjusters can easily access all of the information that is necessary to process a claim:
- Reported damage and losses
- Data on other claims and jobs
A Claims Information Center enables agents and adjusters to access estimates and other claim services. Collected data on local, statewide, regional and national damage, claims and job performance makes it easier to do comparative research to make sure an estimate is reasonable.
The corporate headquarters at SERVPRO only assigns insurance jobs to franchises that meet the terms of the internal Participation Agreement. There are 21 requirements in total, such as the following:
• Employee background checks
• Job documentation
• Insurance coverage
This agreement assures clients and insurers that mitigation and restoration work will be done by professionals. These high standards can make it easier to settle claims.
An All-In-One Estimate
The insurance claim process can be expedited when only one estimate is involved. If a client or insurer seeks out mitigation and restoration services from two or more companies, the claim settlement process will have to factor in multiple estimates. A single estimate for mitigation and restoration work is another service that supports faster claim settlement.
These are only a few of the claim services that SERVPRO provides to clients and insurers. Either party can benefit from all of these services by contacting a franchise in Acworth, GA.
FAQs About Contaminated Water
if you have contaminated water, SERVPRO can help!
Contaminated water can cause a great amount of damage to homes in Lost Mountain, GA. However, understanding more about water contamination can be helpful to homeowners.
What Are the Types of Water Contamination?
Not all water contamination is the same, and the type of water contamination can often determine the amount of time and the cost a cleanup will take. The types of water contamination include:
- Category 1: damage under this category is also called clean water because the water itself is sanitary
- Category 2: called gray water, water in this category has some amount of debris and contamination
- Category 3: also known as black water, water is filled with hazardous contaminants and debris
What Causes Water Contamination?
Each category of water contamination has different common sources. Overall, there are various causes of contaminated water, including, but not limited to:
- A damaged supply line
- Broken or leaking pipes
- Sewer backups
- Broken or damaged appliances, such as washing machines or dishwashers
Can Water Contamination Be Prevented?
Though every situation is different, there are several steps you can take to decrease the likelihood of your home becoming affected by water contamination. If you notice a problem with any pipes, appliances or if you notice your water bill has suddenly increased for seemingly no reason, it’s often helpful to have an inspection. Fixing a small problem soon after noticing it can help to prevent leaks or flooding. Additionally, it’s often possible to prevent water contamination by quickly removing standing water, as clean water can turn into gray or black water if it is not quickly removed and the area isn’t sanitized.
Knowing the types and causes of contaminated water as well as knowing steps to take to prevent it can help homeowners prepare and protect homes. If your home has been affected by water contamination of any kind, you may want to call water damage restoration professionals
4 Ways To Prevent a Mold Problem
Avoid mold damage! Call SERVPRO right away.
Homeowners who want to avoid a mold problem should mitigate water damage as soon as possible. There are several other ways to manage factors that contribute to mold growth. Take these four mold prevention measures to avoid an infestation at a residence in Acworth, GA.
1. Quickly Mitigate Pipe Bursts or Leaks
It is important to take fast action to fix the cause of damage and extract standing water and residual moisture from a home interior. Mold may start growing within just 24 to 48 hours. Homeowners should contact a mitigation and restoration company immediately.
2. Filter Air and Ventilate Moist Areas
High humidity levels may increase the risk of a mold problem regardless of whether water damage has occurred. Ventilate warm and moist areas such as bathrooms and consider running an air filter to eliminate mold spores.
3. Run a Dehumidifier
It may be worthwhile to run a dehumidifier if high humidity persists in any part of a home. Mold is less likely to grow in the relative humidity range of 30 percent to 50 percent.
4. Use Mold-Resistant Materials
Homeowners in regions with high humidity or other mold risks may want to consider using building materials designed for mold prevention. This may include mold-resistant drywall, paint formulated with mildewcides, and cleaning products that contain fungicides. Non-porous glass, metal, and plastic are less likely to support the growth of mold than any materials that contain cellulose. Porous materials such as carpet, drywall, insulation or wood may pose a heightened mold risk.
These measures can go a long way toward preventing a mold problem. If water damage is left standing for longer than 24 hours or favorable conditions for mold growth persist, a mold problem may still occur. Homeowners should consult with experts who specialize in remediating mold damage about the best prevention methods for a residence in Acworth, GA.
Save Damaged Documents With SERVPRO
Please contact your agent in Kennesaw, GA to know if you are covered.
As an insurance agent, you always have to consider cost when working on residential damage claims. One issue that can lead to high expenditures is document restoration, especially where highly valuable items are concerned. Luckily, SERVPRO has a drying solution that can work for both you and your Kennesaw,GA, clients.
What It Is
The drying process is completed by restoration specialists who are trained in proper recovery techniques for both papers and photographs. The steps involved include the following:
- Drying - This is completed with a modern vacuum freeze-drying method, used by the Library of Congress to save important documents.
- Disinfection - This is accomplished through gamma radiation that helps to eliminate viruses, bacteria or other harmful contaminants.
- Digitizing services - These special services allow you to preserve documents in a digital form, where they can no longer be harmed by natural disasters or fires.
SERVPRO’s freeze-dry document restoration process is the only one that is approved by both the General Services Administration (GSA) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The company’s state-of-the-art facilities and highly trained technicians combine to ensure that each document is preserved and restored as thoroughly as possible.
What Is Covered
Besides important paperwork and treasured photographs, the drying process can be applied to the following types of documents:
There are very few limits on what kinds of homeowner documents can be dried and restored using the freeze-dry and decontamination process.
How It Helps
Insurance professionals like you know that restoration is always more cost-effective for an insurance company than replacement. This is especially true in a situation where something priceless is considered, such as a cherished photograph or a rare document. Document restoration from SERVPRO is one way that insurance providers, like the one you work with, can cut back on claims costs while keeping customers happy.
Business Management: Preparing for Disaster
Have a disaster plan ready for your business in Lost Mountain, GA
4 Elements of Disaster Preparation
Disaster preparedness is an often overlooked element of business. However, knowing how you will react in an emergency has a lot to do with survival and, essentially, business preparedness. Without a definitive and well-executed plan, you potentially risk losing your business in the weeks and possibly months following a disaster. To ensure the survival of your company, make sure you at least understand the four essential elements of disaster preparation.
1. Know Your Insurance Policy
It is not enough to know that you have insurance coverage. You need to understand the extent and limitations of that policy so that you can make more informed decisions in the event of a disaster. Being intimately aware of your policy’s restrictions means that you can be better prepared for your financial obligations if an emergency should occur.
2. Contact Critical Vendors
Disaster preparedness mandates that you keep a list of all contacts pertinent to business operations. This list should have the information of all vendors critical to your services so that you can keep them in the loop. You don’t want vendors restocking your inventory at a facility that doesn’t exist anymore.
3. Keep Backups of All Data
If your building experiences a fire, you don’t want your company’s critical files turning to ash. Backing up all critical data via secure cloud services or off-site facilities is a great way to protect data from fire or water damage. There are companies called managed service providers that specialize in protecting digital information.
4. Develop a Response and Communication Plan
While a disaster restoration specialist in the Lost Mountain, GA, area can help you create a response plan by assessing your business, you will need to create an effective communication plan with your managers and other critical staff. Response and mitigation are only part of the solution. As a manager, you must keep the business running even in the absence of a facility.
Disaster preparedness is a critical component of any business operation. When disaster strikes, your business cannot afford to halt altogether. Maintaining pivotal operations for your brand's survival is vital.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover in a Fire?
Find out with your insurance agent in Kennesaw, GA what type of coverage you have
While you might already know that homeowners insurance covers one’s home and belongings in a fire, you might wonder if the same is true if you rent your home in Kennesaw, GA. In short, the answer is yes. Renters insurance does offer coverage if a fire occurs. If a fire ever does hit your home, it is important to learn the specifics of what your insurance covers, so you know what to expect.
What Is Covered?
If a fire occurs, there are several different types of costs that can accrue. That’s why policies cover fire under several different coverage types:
- Personal property: After your deductible is met, your insurance may cover your personal items that were damaged up to a certain limit. Although you should check, most policies offer replacement cost instead of the actual cash value of the item.
- Liability: If a third-party experiences property damage due to a fire you accidentally caused, your renters insurance can cover it.
- Medical: If someone else is hurt in a fire you accidentally caused, a small amount of coverage can go towards the expense.
- Loss of Use: If your home is deemed uninhabitable after a fire occurs and is being repaired by a fire restoration company, your insurance may cover the cost of having to stay in a hotel and other living expenses.
What Isn’t Covered?
Almost every cause of a fire is typically covered by your policy. Of course, fires out of your control like those caused by extreme temperatures, storms, or some other external factor are generally covered. You’ll be glad to know that even a fire you accidentally start is generally covered as well. The only type of fire damage that probably isn’t covered by your insurance is arson or damage due to a fire that you caused on purpose.
Fortunately, renters insurance can be a huge help if a fire ever occurs on a property you’re renting. Every policy is different, so make sure to find out the details of yours right away.
Bread Mold: The How, Why and Dangers of Food Mold
Mold growth can lead to a variety of health problems
Potencial Risks Of Bread Mold
Many homeowners are familiar with bread mold, the fuzzy blotches of green and black that seem to show up on your loaf of bread overnight. It is a frustrating conundrum, but common enough that people accept it and move on, but why does it happen and what are the potential risks?
1. How and Why Mold Forms on Bread
While fungus does not enjoy frigid temperatures, it is not unusual to find moldy food in cupboards, and there are instances of fridge mold as well. Mold enjoys cool, dark and damp spaces, and while a bread drawer may be a dry space, bread does have a somewhat moist consistency that suits mold well. Additionally, bread is filled with food for this type of organism.
2. Dangers of Consumption
While many types of mold can be poisonous if ingested, bread mold is more likely to cause temporary discomfort and possibly nausea and vomiting. Some people may be allergic, however, which can create more problematic symptoms. Essentially, any type of mold should not be ingested if it can be avoided.
3. Safety Precautions
While moldy bread is not the most dangerous substance, it should still be handled with care because it still presents the risk of minor illness. Therefore, to protect yourself, you should follow four steps when discarding moldy food.
1. Do not smell the food item.
2. Seal the item and discard in a covered bin.
3. Scrub and disinfect the storage area.
4. Ensure that the mold did not spread.
4. Other Potential Mold Concerns
While moldy bread may just be moldy bread, it is possible that it is the result of a more substantial fungus growth problem. Truthfully, food mold is common and likely not the symptom of a more significant issue, but if you notice the spread of mold in addition to bread molding quickly, you may want to call a mold remediation specialist in the Acworth, GA , area to inspect your property.
Bread mold typically occurs because of the age of the bread. While it may not be harmful in the long term it is a fungus, and you should handle it with care.
4 Steps To Take To Begin a Water Damage Claim
Contact a water removal professional service in Kennesaw, GA
4 Steps To Take To Begin a Water Damage Claim
Filing an insurance claim after water damage hits your home in Kennesaw,GA, can be daunting. Stress from the water damage can linger while you try to figure out when to move quickly and when to wait for help; however, no matter what part of your home the flood water damaged, you probably want to begin the claim process as soon as possible after discovering the water. Here are some simple steps to get you started.
1. Contact Water Professionals
No matter what caused the water damage, the first step is typically to contact a water removal professional service. The team can quickly remove the water and help you prevent additional damage to your home that standing water can cause.
2. Telephone Your Agent
When you notify your insurance agent about the pipe burst, the overflowing toilet, or dishwasher eruption, the water damage claim begins. Be prepared to answer questions and send the company any photos you may have taken of the incident.
3. Request an Inspection
During your initial conversation with your agent about the insurance claim, don’t forget to request an inspection by a licensed insurance adjuster. Not only can he or she inspect the water damage, but the inspector can also interview you and collect any additional information you have gathered since the initial interview.
4. Process Claim Forms
Upon receiving the claim form, promptly fill it out and return the pages to your insurance company. If you fear you do not have all of the necessary information, contact your agent to stipulate that the company allows addendums. Request a letter stating the length of time any additional information will be accepted.
Water damage repairs and restoration can be a long process, but if you follow these four steps, you can be well on your way to moving through the insurance claim with a minimum of trouble. During the days, weeks, and sometimes months following the water fiasco, don’t forget to ask questions, keep receipts, and remain in contact with your insurance agent.
Processing Commercial Smoke Damage
SERVPRO of Northwest Cobb County in Acworth,GA is certified by IICRC
Tips: How to Manage Your Smoke Damage Claims
A fire in your place of business in Acworth, GA, can be a serious interruption even if the incident is comparatively minor. Learn how to manage your smoke damage claims and get assistance by reading the following tips.
1. Accreditation and Standards
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates and maintains standards and guidelines related to how various professional restoration services operate. By voluntarily complying with IICRC codes, these companies facilitate communication with their customers and other specialists. When you use an IICRC-certified business to examine and repair your soot damage and other fire-related issues, you can be sure that their work will follow established procedures.
2. Insurance and Documentation
Another reason to use an IICRC-certified company is the effect on the claims and liability process. Your insurer may require that your company use a restorer in compliance with BSR-IICRC S740, which is the section of code that determines the professional restoration of fire and smoke damage in personal items. After you have taken inventory of everything affected and have contacted your insurance adjuster, the smoke cleaning process can begin according to these standards. These guidelines serve as a guarantee of the safety of the client and the efficiency of the methods used.
3. How to Begin
The restoration service will likely begin by moving sensitive damaged materials away from the building. Here, vacuum freeze drying and dehydration can restore documents, electronics, and other affected assets without unnecessary side effects. Most restoration services will seek to repair your business equipment instead of replacing it in order to save the client money. Note that many types of smoke-related fire damage are covered on many policies, such as damage resulting from a fire on an adjacent property.
By understanding the relationship between smoke damage and your company’s insurance policies, you can better manage potential incidents and keep downtime to a minimum.