Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Water Damage
Water Damage Restoration Technician Extracts Water from Covington Business
Water damage claims are one of the most frequent types of insurance claims in the United States, only second to wind and hail damage claims. Water damage claims are commonly caused by sudden or accidental damages, sewer system backups, overflow, and flooding events. Sudden damages are usually attributed to either a water pipe breaking, a water heater exploding, a water supply line to an appliance disconnecting, or other similar accidents. Please note that flooding events are not covered by homeowner’s insurance policies and claims must be made through flood insurance carriers. Water damages caused by sudden damages will more than likely be paid for buy your insurance company. However, gradual damages caused by slowly accrued water problems may not be covered by your homeowner’s policy. For instance, if you neglected repairing a hole in your roof and water is slowly leaking inside your home causing damages, then your insurance company may deny your claim. To learn more about your specific insurance coverage please speak with your local insurance agent.
Below are a few frequently asked questions homeowners have for our water damage restoration technicians. Please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com if you would like additional information regarding water damage claims.
Who is responsible for making repairs to the cause of the water damage?
Under most circumstances, the homeowner or policyholder is responsible for repairing the cause of the water damage. Most insurance policies only cover damages, not repairs to broken appliances or parts of the home's structure. For example, in the case of a water heater exploding thus causing a water damage event, the homeowner or policyholder would be responsible for repairing or replacing the water heater.
How much will this cost?
Each water damage claim varies in cost depending on the extent of damages and type of materials affected. The average water damage claims cost $2,500. Our job as your restoration heroes is to restore rather than replace as much as possible. To the best of our ability and in the most efficiently, timely manner, we will work to prevent further damage and salvage as much as we can. However, sometimes materials can not be restored and we will need to remove them. Once we have completed work, we will send an invoice with documentation to your insurance company.
Can you salvage wood flooring or carpet following a water damage event?
As previously stated, our goal is to salvage as much as possible instead of removing materials. We want to save you both time and money. However, in some instances we may need to remove wood flooring or carpet. We act to return your property back to “preloss” condition. For instance, if due to the water damage your furniture has left stain marks on the carpet, then we will speak with your insurance company or adjuster about removing the carpet. Wood flooring may or may not be able to be restored depending on how badly affected the flooring was. When a large amount of wood flooring begins to pop out of place it usually must be removed. Our team will attempt to dry wood flooring that seems to be salvageable utilizing our state-of-the-art Injectidry rescue mat equipment. If the property has been affected by grossly contaminated water from a sewage system or toilet overflow, we will follow IICRC standard cleaning protocol and remove items considered unsafe.
How long will it take to dry everything?
After our water damage restoration technicians have extracted all loose water, they will strategically place fans and dehumidifiers throughout affected rooms. The drying process is typically completed within three days. The drying equipment will be noisy, but turning off the equipment will only prolong the process.
Who can help if I need any rebuild or construction services?
We recommend our partner company Complete Restoration Services for all rebuild and construction services. The Complete Restoration Services team specializes in insurance claims projects and understands how to help you navigate your claim. Complete Restoration Services is also locally owned and operated, and works with all major insurance companies. To inquire about rebuild services please call their office by dialing 985-377-1877.
5 Fall Home Maintenance and Cleaning Tips
It might still be ninety degrees in Louisiana, but the season is indeed changing. As cooler temps start to start greet us, take an hour or so to ensure your home is properly functioning, to help prevent damages, and to increase your energy efficiency. Below are a few maintenance and cleaning tips to help you get started.
- Tis’ the season to replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. As you know, twice a year the batteries should be replaced and alarms tested. Alarms should also be replaced every ten years. To learn more about how to test your smoke alarms or to request an alarm from a nearby fire department click here.
- Clean leaves and debris from gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage. Clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to water damages, especially in colder months.
- Inspect windows and doors for any holes or cracks. Make necessary repairs to ensure an energy efficient home.
- Freshen up your sink and faucet aerator. To clean your aerator remove it from your faucet and place in a solution of three parts water to one part vinegar overnight. To remove odor and sanitize your sink, pour one cup on baking soda down the drain and flush with boiling water. Then, throw a few citrus rinds in and turn on the garbage disposal for a few seconds.
- Check your heating and air conditioning filter to determine if it needs to be replaced. Air filters should be replaced at least once every three months. Vacuum area around air filter to prevent fires. Also, take a few minutes to vacuum dryer vent and hose. This is common cause of home fires that is easily preventable.
October Calendar of Events for the Northshore
Northshore PIA Meeting
October 2nd- 6th
St. Tammany Parish Fair
Rockin’ the Rails Concert @ the Covington Trailhead
STPH Foundation The Gala
Mandeville Live! News with a Twist Featuring Soul Revival
NHBA Fishing Rodeo
Old Towne Slidell Zombie Crawl
Covington Art Market
Octoberfest in Old Towne Slidell
Wicked Wine Run
Work/Play Day at Big Branch Marsh
October 5th – 6th
Louisiana Wildflower Festival
Rockin’ the Rails Concert @ the Covington Trailhead
Fall Festival Arts and Crafts Show @ Coquille Park
Field of Screams
Jazz’n the Vines
Dew Drop Jazz Hall Concert
Fall for Art
October 12th – 13th
Madisonville Wooden Boat Fesitval
Live @ Chenier Concert
Rockin’ the Rails @ Covington Trailhead
Sunset at the Landing Concert
October 18th – 19th
Festival of the Lake
Coquille Parks & Rec Movie in the Park
October 19th – 20th
Ozone Songwriter Festival
Abita Springs Water Festival
Rockin’ the Rails @ the Covington Trailhead
Columbia Street Halloween Block Party
Jazz’n the Vine
Lagniappe @ the Landing: Final Concert
Madisonville Battle for the Paddle Gumbo Cookoff
Nightmare on Columbia Street Stroll & Costume Contest
October 26th – 29th
Fall’n for Madisonville Fall Fest
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Celebrates 10 Years of Serving the Community
SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville is celebrating 10 YEARS of being the trusted, leading restoration company in our community. Our number one goal continues to be making any size disaster seem "Like it never even happened." so that your life can go back to normal as quickly and efficiently as possible. Our team is here to help before, during, and after a disaster. And we're going to be here for a long time.
Over the past decade, we have helped thousands of homeowners and business owners not only clean and restore their properties following a disaster, but we have also built partnerships with many other locally owned and operated businesses in St. Tammany and Orleans parishes. We want to thank everyone who has supported us throughout this past decade. We're looking forward to many more decades of working together!
The 3 other disturbances in the Atlantic to keep an eye on
Dorian, which made landfall in North Carolina on September 6th, isn't the only thing forecasters are watching.
According to CNN, there are three other disturbances in the Atlantic:
- Gabrielle is a post-tropical cyclone in the middle of the ocean.
- Off the coast of Africa, there's a disturbance that has a 20% chance of a cyclone forming in the next 48 hours.
- There's another could-be cyclone closer the Caribbean. That one has only a 10% chance of forming in the next two days.
Generally, the Atlantic hurricane season reaches a peak in the eight weeks surrounding September 10th.
Two-thirds of all the storms produced in a typical season occur during this period.
Conditions in the tropics become ideal for storm development during this time. By the end of August, water has typically warmed to the mid-80s in many parts of the region.
For those affected by Hurricane Dorian seeking assistance please visit https://www.fema.gov/hurricane-dorian.
National Preparedness Month 2019
2019 National Preparedness Month
National Preparedness Month, recognized each September, provides an opportunity to remind us all to prepare ourselves, our families, and our businesses for each kind of disastrous situation we may have to endure. The overarching theme for this year is “Prepared, Not Scared" and each week we are encouraged to focus on specific emergency preparedness tasks.
Week 1: September 1st - 7th
Save early for disaster costs.
- Review your insurance documents to make sure you’re properly protected following a disaster. If you do not have flood insurance, then make an appointment with your insurance agent to discuss your options. Remember, many who believed their home would never experience flooding were surprised in 2016 when massive amounts of rain caused heavy flooding in Baton Rouge, Covington, and other cities throughout Louisiana.
- According to the Federal Reserve, 40% of Americans do not have $400 in savings. Are you financially prepared in case of an emergency? Visit https://www.ready.gov/financial-preparedness to learn helpful disaster financial planning tips. It is also a good practice to keep some cash on hand during an emergency in case ATMs or your local bank are affected by the storm.
Week 2: September 8th – 14th
Make a plan to prepare for disasters.
Write down your emergency plans. Create one emergency plan for your family that is inclusive of their specific needs. Families with special needs may require additional planning. Discuss and practice the plan with your family members.
Your family emergency plan should answer the following four questions:
- How will I receive my emergency alerts and warnings?
- What is my shelter plan?
- What is my evacuation route?
- What is family/household communication plan?
Also, part of your home plan should include making an emergency supplies kit. Be prepared for a power outage by having at least three days’ worth of food and water for each person.
Create an additional plan for your office and practice it with your employees. As a business owner or an office manager, your plan should include contact information for each employee and identify whether the employee plans on evacuating during a storm.
Week 3: September 15th – 21st
Teach youth to prepare for disasters.
Discuss ways your children can be prepared for an emergency while at home and when away from home. If your child has a cell phone, then make sure they are signed up for local emergency alerts. Visit https://www.ready.gov/youth-preparedness for more information regarding youth preparedness.
Week 4: September 22nd – 30th
Get involved in your community’s preparedness.
Every community and major city have volunteer organizations focused on disaster response and emergency planning. To locate an organization in your community visit the websites:
Frequently Asked Questions Following a Home Fire
We understand the stress and worry a homeowner may feel following a fire event in their home. Our fire damage restoration team has the knowledge and experience to help ease your worries during the restoration process. We do this every day and our purpose is to not only make it "like it never even happened", but also to be a resource for your during the claims process. Below are some frequently asked questions during the beginning of the claims process.
How long will this take?
A complete recovery from a fire event at your home or business can take weeks or months depending on how extensive the damage is. How badly was the property’s structure affected? Does the roof need to be repaired? How much of the structure needs to be removed and replaced? The answers to these questions and several others will determine a clearer project timeline. Before beginning the restoration process, we will give you an estimated project completion date and update you along the way if any changes need to be addressed.
How do you determine what was affected by the fire?
The fire may have been contained to one room in your home or business, but soot can travel via your air conditioning system to several other areas throughout the property. Soot is often hard to detect with the naked eye, but with time acidic soot will lead to discoloration and erosion of materials. Our fire project manager will utilize dry sponges to test areas in your home or business for hard to see soot. Therefore, if soot is discovered in a certain room, then the structure and contents of that room must be cleaned.
How much will this cost? How do you write the estimate?
We use Xactimate to create our estimates. Xactimate is a software program used by all insurance companies for restoration project estimation. The prices for each line item are set within the program and accepted by insurance companies. All estimates include labor, time, and materials required. Again, we will send final estimate and any required supplements directly to your insurance company. The estimation process is exceptionally detailed, tedious, and dependent upon services rendered. That being said, a conclusive estimate can only be completed once the project is finished due to the nature of the restoration process.
What is subrogation?
Subrogation occurs when the insurance company believes a third-party is responsible for the damages and seeks legal action to recover costs for the claim. When subrogation is necessary, the insurance company may not allow anyone to work in the affected area while the investigation is pending. The investigation process may greatly affect our ability to perform services and extend the projected completion date. Our team will have no control over this. Please refer to your insurance company for any questions regarding subrogation.
What should I do now?
If an insurance claim has not already been opened, then calling your insurance company and doing so is the first step. Request a copy of your insurance policy declaration page from your insurance agent or claims specialist to review your coverage. Learn how much coverage you have for structure (labeled dwelling) and for contents. You may need to find another place to stay during the cleaning process. Read your policy or ask your insurance agent to help you understand what is covered under the additional living expenses (ALE) or “loss of use” section in your policy. Ask your insurance company to give you a list in writing of what is commonly covered under these sections. We are not your insurance company and do have any control over your policy limits.
How do I know which items can or cannot be cleaned?
Our fire project manager will help you understand which items are generally able to be cleaned after a fire and which items we suggest discarding of. Some insurance companies may not be willing to pay for our team to create an inventory list of your contents. If your insurance company will not cover the expense of our team inventorying your contents, then we will help instruct you as best as we can. You will want to create a list of all items that need to be discarded and take pictures of each item. Depending on your policy, your insurance company will either pay for the replacement cost of the items or an actual cash value. It will be your responsibility to negotiate an amount for your contents with your insurance company. One tip is to take the list of items needing to be replaced to a large box store and create a registry to show the total of those items.
What is the adjuster’s role in this process?
The adjuster assigned to your claim is working for the insurance company either as an employee or a hired contractor through a third-party claim management company. The adjuster will create an estimate of the needed repairs and your claim will be awarded that amount. We will communicate our restoration plan and share any suggestions or necessary supplements with the adjuster.
Who can help with the rebuild portion of my claim?
Our purpose as your trusted restoration vendor is to clean and/or remove materials affected by the claimed event. We work to mitigate damages to prevent any further damages from occurring in a timely and cost-efficient manner. We are only allowed to remove what is necessary for proper mitigation. Restoration and rebuild are two separate portions of your claim. Following our cleaning process, you will need to hire a contractor to finish repairs. We recommend our partner company Complete Restoration Services and would be happy to have someone contact you with more information.
To learn more about our fire restoration process or for assistance with your home, please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com.
3 Home Maintenance Tips to Help Prevent Water Damage
Wood flooring buckling following a water damage event.
While sometimes water damages are caused by an accident, like a water supply line break or a water heater malfunctioning, some water damage is due to improper home maintenance. Follow these tips below to help protect your home from incurring water damages:
- Make sure gutters are cleared of debris and properly working to divert water away from your home. When gutters are clogged rainwater can accumulate around the foundation of your home and cause water damage. You should clean your gutters at least twice a year. The best times to do this are right before hurricane season begins in June and one day in November as fall is ending. Downspouts should be positioned 5”-10” from house.
- Hire a roofing professional to examine the condition of your roof once a year and after each major storm. You may be able to notice some major damages yourself without the help of a professional. However, a roofing specialist will be able to detect issues only a trained eye will notice, like shingles that should be replaced or faulty flashing around your chimney. Immediately repair any damages you may find. Often a roof leak may go unnoticed for a significant amount of time and lead to mold or mildew growth inside of the home.
- Check for water leaks underneath sinks, around window casings, and behind your refrigerator. Again, slow, persistent leaks can lead to mold and mildew issues. Water damages also attract termites and carpenter ants. If you notice any leaks, then find the source and correct the issue immediately. After, dry the wet materials or remove all materials that are damaged beyond repair. Our water damage restoration team is available 24/7 for any water damage emergencies.
Ethics Continuing Education Class
Attention all local insurance agents and insurance adjusters:
By popular demand, the next continuing education class we will be teaching will be Ethics on September 12, 2019. This is a three hour class that will be taught at our office located at 68424 James Street in Mandeville. Registration will begin at 8:00 am. The class will begin promptly at 8:30 am and end at 11:30 am. There is no charge to attend the class. We are also happy to provide breakfast and coffee for attendees. After the class, your credits will be filed with the state within the week.
This class is limited to thirty insurance professionals. To reserve your spot or for more information, please send an email to kayla@SERVPROofcovington.com.
Blood Drive at SERVPRO of Greater Covington and Mandeville Office
Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and just one donation can potentially save up to 3 people. Did you know our community is currently in dire need of blood donations? If you're able to donate blood, then please swing by our office on August 23rd to do so. The Blood Center's Bloodmobile will be parked in our parking lot from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm taking donations. We will provide snacks and drinks for those donating.