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Why SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is the First Choice for Water, Fire, Mold, and Storm Damage

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

Kid sitting on top of father's shoulders SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, a leader in the restoration industry.

After an unexpected catastrophe, restoring a home or business to its pre-disaster condition can be a stressful, tedious task. If you have ever experienced water, fire, mold, or storm damage within your Covington or Mandeville home or business, you know how important it is to hire a knowledgeable, reliable restoration company.

No matter what type of unforeseen loss you have experienced, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has the expertise and equipment needed to return your home to its preloss condition “Like it never even happened.”

We know there are many choices when it comes to restoration, so why choose SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville? What differentiates our team from other restoration companies?

Locally Owned and Operated

We have proudly served our fellow Northshore neighbors and business owners since 2009. As a member of many local organizations, our team is engaged in this community and always looking for ways to give back as well. We’re here to help 24/7/365.

Highly Trained Team

Our technicians undergo extensive training and learn the best practices for mitigation as taught through the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This organization is considered the highest standard of quality in the restoration sciences industry.

Unlimited Resources

With over 1,700 franchises in the U.S and Canada, SERVPRO is a leader in the restoration industry. With so many franchises, no size disaster is too big for us to handle. This means that when disaster strikes not only is the SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville team there, but we have resources within our network of franchises to get any job done. For major storms and disasters, we can call upon special Disaster Recovery Teams strategically located throughout the country to bring in more mitigation technicians, materials, and equipment.

Fast 24-Hour Service

It is very important to choose a restoration team that will arrive quickly when you call. Our emergency response team is available 24/7/365. Yes, this includes holidays, weekends, and even those midnight calls. One of our project managers is always on standby to help when you need us the most.

Rapid response times help to mitigate damages and prevent future damages. This preemptive effort helps to keep overall restoration costs down and limits the amount of time the process takes overall. One of our SERVPRO mottos is “Faster To Any Size Disaster”. And that is more than just a catchphrase. We pride ourselves on our speedy response times.

Why We are Different

At SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, we believe in treating every home or business we step into as if it were our own. We know that communication is key and make it our goal to have someone available to answer any question right away. We want you to know that as our customer, we work for you. Whether it is a small stain on your carpet or two feet of standing water, we will treat your loss with the utmost respect and professionalism. When you need help, you want to rely on a business you know and can trust. A company with a track record of doing the job right the first time. You want SERVPRO, a leader in the restoration industry. Call us today at (985) 871-5375.

Knowing the Risk of Electrical Fires in your Covington and Mandeville Home

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

House engulfed by flames in Houma, LA after an electrical fire House engulfed by flames in Houma, LA after an electrical fire

House fires are some of the biggest threats to homeowners because they can happen anywhere, at any time, and be caused by almost anything. Some of the most dangerous fire hazards in your home are completely unexpected and are things you might not think about on a daily basis.  

Electrical fires are common in both commercial and residential settings. According to the NFPA electrical failures or malfunctions are the second leading cause of US home fires. An electrical fire can start and spread due to issues such as overloaded circuits, aging, weathering, faulty installation, and materials, and more. By the time you see or smell the smoke, it may be too late, and an electrical fire may already be out of control. It is important to know the signs of electrical fire risks and what to do if the fire has already started. Here are some electrical safety tips:

-Have all electrical work done by a qualified electrician.

-When buying or remolding a home, have it inspected by a qualified inspector or in accordance with local requirements.

-Only use one heat-producing appliance plugged into a receptacle outlet at a time.

-Major appliances should be plugged into a wall receptacle outlet. Extension cords and plug strips should not be used.

-Check electrical cords to make sure they are not running across doorways or under carpets.

-Make sure electricals cords are not bent, damaged, or fraying.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville understands the stress and heartache that comes with experiencing an event like this which is why our trusted professional restoration technicians are highly trained and knowledgeable. Call us today at (985) 871-5375 for all your fire restoration needs.

How Soot Varies After a Fire

10/16/2020 (Permalink)

Stovetop covered in soot Call SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville today for all your fire clean up needs.

What is soot

After a fire has blazed, fine black particles known as soot start to accumulate. When organic, carbon-filled materials burn, some of it does not burn completely. The incomplete burning of materials such as wood, plastic, coal, and oil results in the formation of soot.

During a fire, soot can spread throughout the whole property, attaching too many surfaces, leaving a thin black layer of grime. Soot contains forms of acid, metals, soil, as well as dust. Not only is soot difficult to clean due to its stickiness, if not treated properly it can also be harmful to furniture and the building structure. The most common types of soot residues that we encounter when restoring fire damage events are wet soot, dry soot, oily soot, and protein soot.  

Types of soot

Wet soot- This occurs when low heat fires are oxygen-starved. It has high moisture content and can be composed of plastics, rubbers, and oils. It has a very strong smell and can be smeared very easily.

Dry soot- This type of soot is very oxygen-rich which means it occurs when there is a very hot fire. It is composed of natural materials and causes more damage to surfaces than other kinds of soot. The smell is not as harsh as compared to other kinds of soot.

Oily soot- Comes from puff backs and is known to attach to every surface. A puff back is a small explosion inside the burner chamber of your furnace when there is excess fuel that ignites. This causes smoke and soot to shoot into your home. If your gas or oil furnace is not properly maintained, you may be at risk.

Protein soot- When cooking, protein soot can occur and is virtually invisible to the naked eye. Since it is difficult to see, the pungent smell can be a good sign that you have protein soot in your home.

Benefits of mitigation

As fire restoration professionals, our goal is to mitigate damages and restore your home and contents to their original condition. We believe in restoring rather than replacing as much as possible. Our fire and soot cleaning technicians can help restore antiques, valuables, and many irreplaceable belongings.  Some items can be cleaned in your home, while others may need to be brought to our office for more extensive cleaning. We also work with many local specialty restoration professionals that have extensive knowledge in restoring artwork and other sensitive items.

Here is What to do Before We Arrive    

-Do not touch contaminated surfaces.

-Do not attempt to clean walls, carpets, contents, or other contaminated surfaces.

-Do not use affected appliances or electronics.

-Do not use food, cosmetics, or medications exposed to soot.

How we can help

When fire strikes, lives are turned upside down. Often, the hardest part for residents and business owners is knowing where to begin and who to contact.

After a fire has damaged your home or business, you do not have to struggle to clean up the affected areas. The professionals at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville can assist you to restore your home to preloss conditions. Our technicians have the specialized tools and expertise required to salvage as much as possible from the aftermath of a fire. Our professionals are also compassionate to ensure that you and your property are taken care of properly.  Call us today at 985-871-5375

Tropical Storm Sally Update

9/14/2020 (Permalink)

Tropical Storm Sally path prediction Tropical Storm Sally Update

The National Hurricane Center's latest update on Tropical Storm Sally predicts tropical storm conditions are likely to begin later today and hurricane conditions are expected to realize tonight. It is still too early to determine exactly where Sally's center will move onshore. TS Sally is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall. A flash flood watch is in effect for most of southeast Louisiana, including New Orleans and Baton Rouge, until Wednesday night.

A storm surge warning is in effect for:
• Port Fourchon, Louisiana to the Alabama/Florida border,
• Lake Pontchartrain
• Lake Maurepas
• Lake Borgne
• Mobile Bay
A hurricane warning is in effect for:
• Morgan City, Louisiana, to the Mississippi/Alabama border
• Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas
• Metro New Orleans
A tropical storm warning is in effect for:
• Mississippi/Alabama border to Indian, Pass Florida
• Intracoastal City, Louisiana to the west of Morgan City
A hurricane watch is in effect for:
• Mississippi/Alabama border to the Alabama/Florida border

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is here to help our fellow residents and businesses recover from all storm damages. Our restoration and rebuild teams will assist with tarping, board-up, flood restoration, roof repairs, and more. For assistance, please call our office by dialing 985-871-5375.

National Preparedness Month 2020

9/1/2020 (Permalink)

2020 National Preparedness logo 2020 National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month

If you knew a disaster would happen tomorrow what would you do today? National Preparedness Month, which is observed every year in September, provides us with an opportunity to identify risk and prepare for the unexpected.

This year’s theme is “Disaster Does Not Wait. Make Your Plan Today.”

Make A Plan

It is important to talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Put a plan together by discussing the following questions

  • How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  • What is my shelter plan?
  • What is my evacuation route?
  • What is my family/household communication plan?
  • Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?

Consider the specific needs of your household when preparing for emergencies such as responsibilities for assisting others, dietary needs, medical needs such as prescriptions/equipment, and pets or service animals. Include unique needs in your plan.

Build A Kit 

One of the easiest things to do to prepare for a disaster is to assemble an emergency kit ahead of time. Your kit should include several days’ worth of food, water, and supplies.

Here are some essential items to include:

  • Water- one gallon per person per day for at least three days
  • Food- at least a three-day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Battery-powered or hand-crank radios
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Moist towelettes and hand sanitizer
  • Cash to last for all members of your family for several days 
  • Masks  
  • Cell phone and portable power bank
  • Copies of important documents
  • Toiletries

You and your family may also need to include other items such as:

  • Prescription medicine
  • Pet food and extra water 
  • Sleeping bags and blankets
  • Activities for children

Prepare for Disasters 

Minimize the impact of disasters by knowing the risk in your area. It is important to check your insurance coverage, learn how to make your home stronger in the face of storms, and have a plan in place. Sign up for local alerts and monitor the St. Tammany Parish Government’s Office of Homeland Security for emergency information.

Save documents before disaster strikes by safely storing important financial documents in a waterproof and fireproof container. Important documents include mortgages or leases, bank/credit card statements, tax returns, and insurance information. 

Teach Youth About Preparedness

Emergency situations can occur at any time or place. When these situations do arise, people have the best chance at survival when everyone, including children, knows what to do to ensure their own safety. Ready kids has tools and information to help kids prepare before, during and after disasters. These resources are perfect for families and classrooms.

Water Damage Restoration: Moisture Detection and Drying Equipment

8/31/2020 (Permalink)

green fans, dehumidifiers, and drying equipment in warehouse SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has a wide variety of moisture measuring tools, air movers, and dehumidification equipment.

Professional water damage restoration includes proper damage assessment, water extraction, and drying techniques. Our water damage restoration technicians receive certifications from the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification, a non-profit organization focused on setting standards for the inspection, cleaning, and restoration industries. Certified, trained, and equipped with the following state-of-the-art restoration tools, our water damage restoration team makes any size disaster seem “Like it never even happened.”

Step 1: Damage Assessment- Utilize Moisture Detection Equipment

The initial steps in the water damage restoration process are to assess the damages and locate where water has traveled. Our water damage restoration technicians seek to understand which materials were affected and how saturated they are. During the investigation, the restoration professional notes all materials, building components, and contents affected by the water as well as saturation levels.

  1. Moisture meters- Used to measure the amount of water content in materials such as drywall, flooring, or baseboards. Moisture meters come in two main types: penetrating and non –penetrating.
    • Penetrating meters have surface-piercing prongs that work on the principle of electrical conductivity, which identifies trapped moisture on various surfaces. Penetrating meters like moisture probes determine the saturation on a percentage scale. By comparing non-affected materials to affected materials, our team determines the drying standards for specific materials.
    • Non-Penetrating meters are equipped with two sensors and use conductivity or radio frequencies to detect moisture. Thermal infrared cameras are non-penetrating tools our team uses to determine which materials are saturated. These cameras capture images in hard to reach locations and save images in a microSD card. Thermal imaging cameras are perfect for detecting water inside wall cavities and under cabinets. 
  2. Hygrometers- Used to measure both temperature and humidity concentration within the water-loss areas. Hygrometers help determine humidity levels which allow restoration professionals to determine how to stabilize the environment for adequate drying.

Once the extent of damages is determined and water class and category have been identified, our water damage restoration professionals will construct the water extraction plan.

Step 2: Water Extraction- Utilize Professional Extraction Equipment

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville has a variety of water extraction equipment. Variables such as type of flooring, water depth, and power availability will determine which pumps and extraction tools should be used. Our goal is to extract as much water as possible as quickly as possible to prevent secondary damages.

  1. Extraction units- Are portable or truck mounted. Portable units can be taken almost anywhere but require an electric power supply. Portable units can hold about a dozen gallons of water before needing to be dumped. For larger jobs or those without a power source, our restoration professionals will opt to use our truck-mounted extraction equipment. The truck’s tank can hold seventy-five gallons of water.  
  2. Carpet wands- Carpet wands attach to all extraction units.
  3. Pumps- Remove standing water that is more than 2 inches deep. Submersible pumps can be used to quickly remove standing water in hard to access areas like basements, crawl spaces, and construction sites.

After all loose water has been extracted, the drying process will commence.

Step 3: The Drying Process- Utilize Drying and Dehumidification Equipment

Water restoration professionals strategically place drying equipment throughout affected rooms. We adhere to IICRC drying standards and Xactimate, a restoration software used by all insurance industry professionals, to determine how many pieces of each equipment are necessary and how best to arrange them.

  1. Air movers- Air movers are positioned to create a vortex of airflow to promote faster drying. Increasing the rate of evaporation, rapid air movement reduces the chances of secondary damages like mold growth. The two main types of air movers are centrifugal air movers and axial air movers. 
  2. Dehumidifiers- Used to remove water vapor from the air. Dehumidifiers intake moist air, remove water, and exhausts warm, dry air. Two types of dehumidifiers are low grain refrigerants (LGRs) and desiccants.
    • LGRs work on the premise of condensation and work best in temperatures between 70 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Moist air moves across cold evaporator coils and is cooled below its dew point, condensing water on the cold coils and fins. Water is drained off the fins into a collection tank and pumped out into a sink or water barrel.
    • Desiccant dehumidifiers work on the premise of condensation and are most efficiently remove moisture in temperatures below 70 degrees. Desiccants use a silica gel to absorb moisture.

Each day during the drying process, our restoration technicians will return to monitor material moisture content, check the temperature, and calculate the humidity ratio. All equipment will be inspected and rearranged if necessary. Equipment will be removed as specific materials and areas are deemed dry. The drying process is typically complete within three days.

If your home or business has been affected by a water damage event, then please contact our office by dialing 985-871-5375. Our emergency water restoration team is available 24/7/365 to serve our friends and neighbors in Covington, Mandeville, Abita Springs, Madisonville, and Folsom.

Hurricane Laura Disaster Relief

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

As we begin to assess the damages from Hurricane Laura, know our team and numerous other SERVPRO disaster relief crews are prepared to help. Emergency responders and supplies are on their way. We will be sending a team to provide relief as soon as it is safe to do so.

Please be aware that south Louisiana is still under a tornado watch. The storm's outer bands continue to pose a threat of heavy rainfall and flooding. Please do not attempt to drive on streets with high water levels. Continue to monitor the weather and heed the advice of government officials.

Our team is here to help Louisiana recover. Please call our office for assistance. We can be reached 24/7/365 by dialing 985-871-5375.

Monitoring TS Marco and TS Laura

8/24/2020 (Permalink)

As of Monday, August 24th, Marco has weakened to a tropical storm again. The National Hurricane Center warns Marco could still cause life-threatening storm surges and dangerous winds along the Gulf Coast. If you live in an area prone to storm surge and flooding, you may be safe evacuating until later this week. Several Louisiana parishes are under mandatory evacuations. A flash flood warning will be in effect until Tuesday morning for south Louisiana. 

We are cautiously monitoring tropical storm Laura that is expected to make landfall Thursday as a Category 2 Hurricane. This morning, TS Laura is just south of the Cuban coastline and will move over Cuba tonight. Topical Storm Laura is expected to reach the Gulf of Mexico Tuesday. 

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is prepared and ready to respond in the case of an emergency. We offer board-up, emergency tarping, flood restoration, and other storm damage services. Our emergency response team is available 24/7/365. For assistance, please call our office by dialing 985-871-5375. 

Filing a Damage Claim With a Retail Store? The Process May be More Difficult Than You Think.

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

dishwasher in kitchen with green SERVPRO fan Faulty installation of dishwasher leads to water damages in Covington home

You will probably experience a water damage event at your home at least once in your lifetime. According to the Insurance Information Institute, “about one in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year”. The most common causes of water damage include broken pipes and malfunctioning appliances. Oftentimes, a water supply line to a refrigerator, dishwasher, or washing machine will disconnect and leak water throughout the home.

In the past month, our water damage restoration team has helped two homeowners who suffered a water damage loss due to the faulty installation of a dishwasher. Both homeowners had purchased their dishwashers from national retail stores and paid for installation. Typically, large box retail stores will subcontract the installation process to a local company. In each account, the dishwashers’ water supply lines were not connected correctly and caused water damages in each homeowners’ kitchen and dining room. The damages were not significant for either homeowner, but the claims process proved to be the most stressful.

So, what do you do when a subcontractor’s negligence leads to damages in your home? You can file a claim with the retail store’s claims department. The claims department will review the claim and determine if compensation will be rewarded. Keep in mind, regardless of if the claim is approved or not, you have the responsibility as a homeowner to begin mitigation as soon as possible. Homeowner’s insurance policies clearly state this, and future damages could be denied if you do not attempt to mitigate damages in a timely manner. Despite whom takes responsibility for the incident, the damages still need to be taken care of. Therefore, your first step should be to call our team to initiate mitigation promptly. Then, begin the claims process with the retail store.

National retail stores use third-party claims management companies like Sedgwick to manage their claims. And the subcontractors that install appliances often use third-party claims management companies as well. At the end of the day, you could end up with multiple claim numbers, adjusters, and little concrete information about your claim. Remember to take notes of each phone call with a claim representative or adjuster. Record the date, person’s name, and information discussed.

After the restoration process is complete, you will be required to send all documents, pictures, and mitigation invoices to the claims department for review. Our water damage restoration team documents every step of the restoration process for our customers. By choosing SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, you will have everything you need to prove losses to the retail store and third-party subcontractor. However, in our experience, each retail stores’ claims process is slow and troublesome. You may wait months for any resolution. We will help as best we can to walk with you through this process, reaching out to claims departments and following up with adjusters often.

Please call our office if you have any questions regarding our water restoration process or need assistance filing a claim. Our office phone number is 985-871-5375.

Insurance Agents- What You Should Know About the Claims Process

8/17/2020 (Permalink)

water restoration technician extracting water in commercial building As a leading restoration vendor in the insurance industry, our experts will guide agents and insureds through the claims process.

When an individual experiences serious water or fire damage to their home or business, they often do not know what to do. Feeling overwhelmed and unsure, they often rely on their insurance agent for answers. Their initial questions are who they should call for help and if the insurance company will cover the restoration costs.

As an insurance agent, it is important for you to provide clear answers about the restoration process and encourage them to begin mitigation as soon as possible to avoid future damages. Each individual loss and claim will have their own unique challenges and scope of work. However, general cleaning and restoration processes remain the same.

 The Water Restoration Process

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Our emergency restoration team is available 24/7/365. For assistance, please dial 985-871-5375.

Step 2: Water damage inspection and assessment

A water restoration project manager will assess the extent of damages and define the scope of work to be performed.

Step 3: Water removal and extraction

All standing water will be extracted, and any unsalvageable materials will be removed.

Step 4: Drying and dehumidification

Fans and dehumidifiers will be strategically placed to stabilize the environment and dry wet materials. The drying process is usually complete in three days.

Step 5: Cleaning and sanitizing

All the affected floors will be cleaned. When necessary, an antimicrobial agent will be applied to prevent future damages. SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is registered with the state to apply all chemicals used during the cleaning and restoration processes.

Step 6: Restoration

After mitigation, our rebuild team at Complete Restoration Services can replace the removed materials and make it “Like it never even happened.”

 The Fire Restoration Process

Step 1: Emergency Contact

Our emergency restoration team is available 24/7/365. For assistance, please dial 985-871-5375.

Step 2: Fire damage inspection and assessment

A fire project manager will assess the extent of damages and define the scope of work to be performed.

Step 3: Roof tarp and Board-up service

When necessary, our team will provide board-up and tarping services to prevent further damages from weather or vandals.

Step 4: Water removal and drying

Oftentimes, the water used to extinguish the fire causes more damages than the fire itself. Our water restoration team will extract loose water and initiate the drying process.

Step 5: Smoke and soot surface removal

Utilizing specialized equipment and techniques, our fire restoration team will remove smoke and soot damages from the building structure.

Step 6: Cleaning and repair

Our team will determine which contents can be cleaned and restored and which contents need to be replaced. We will clean what is determined salvageable and discard the rest. Nothing will be thrown away without our customer's approval.

Step 7: Restoration

Once our fire cleaning team has completed their scope of work, our reconstruction team, Complete Restoration Services, will begin the rebuild process.

Our Commitment to Insurance Agents

Insureds have the right to choose any contractor they like to perform mitigation and restoration services. By recommending SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville, insurance agents can rest assured knowing our team will provide the best customer experience. Locally owned and operated, our restoration team has served this community since 2009. Our technicians are highly trained and IICRC certified. Whether the loss is seemingly insignificant or a large disaster, SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville can make it seem “Like it never even happened.”

We work with all major insurance companies and are a preferred vendor for numerous third-party claims management companies. With extensive knowledge of the insurance industry, we can guide insurance agents and their insureds through the claims process. We work with adjusters to determine the best solution for the home or business owner.

SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville also offers no charge continuing education classes for insurance professionals to help educate them on the restoration and claims processes. For more information regarding claims, restoration, or continuing education classes, please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com