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5 Advantages of Electronic Claims Systems

2/22/2021 (Permalink)

Electronic insurance claim form Filing an electronic insurance claim can result in earlier payments.

5 Advantages of Electronic Claims Systems

Today, technology has made sharing data and filing an insurance claim for your business in Delray Shores, FL, incredibly easy. This allows you to get your claim money quicker, so you can hire a disaster restoration company, such as SERVPRO, and get started rebuilding as soon as possible.

1. Earlier Payments
It can take a while for a traditional claim to receive a payout. However, filing an electronic insurance claim can result in earlier payments. This means you can start rebuilding your business sooner and reopen with minimal downtime.

2. Earlier Detection of Errors
Any information in your insurance claim that you submit electronically can be scanned for errors quicker. This means you can edit your claim as soon as possible and resubmit it if any errors are found. This drastically reduces the chance that your claim will be rejected or you will be denied payment.

3. Lower Administrative Costs
When you submit claims electronically, you lower the amount you have to pay to create paper copies and send them in. This is because you don't need to print documents and physically submit them to your agent. Instead, you can submit them all online through your customer portal.

4. Free Software Submissions
Most insurance companies now have their own electronic claims system. That means you no longer have to pay a third-party electronic claim submitter and submit your documents for free through a customer portal.

5. Available Support
Many insurance companies have a helpline for customers who are trying to submit their documents electronically. You can often find this number in the customer portal or on the company's website if you need it. In other words, even technophobes can submit their documents online.
Exchanging information with your insurance agent just became much easier with electronic claims systems. This lets you get connected faster and submit your critical documents for review. Many benefits come from a faster submission.

Fascinating Facts Information Mold

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

interior of drywall with mold growth Mold damage in Kings Point, FL.

When studied from afar, mold, a type of fungus, is a fascinating organism. When experienced up close in your place of business in Kings Point, FL, black mold and other varieties are more disturbing than anything else. To start with the interesting facets of mold, it is found just about everywhere. It can even be found in desert climates. More than likely, it is in your building at all times without causing any problems. It needs water to grow and proliferate into bothersome colonies. A moisture source such as high humidity in a room, a steady water leak or standing water is often enough to foster a fungal outbreak.

Mold Damage

Another interesting trait of black mold is that it forms roots and penetrates into porous materials. A mold outbreak brings a number of unpleasant consequences:

  • An ugly, slimy appearance
  • Musty odors
  • Poor indoor air quality
  • Extensive damage to a property

Mold can break down wood and paper materials as well as penetrate into furniture, clothing and carpeting. A mold cleanup is needed when the colonies are causing any of these negative problems. Allowing the mold to grow unchecked will result in the spread of mold throughout your building. This will significantly complicate the restoration of your property.

Mold Remediation

The removal of mold from a property cannot be done with regular cleaning methods. Special techniques and equipment are needed as well as the expertise of an experienced mold mitigation company. A SERVPRO franchise is always Here to Help. Certified technicians will use thermal imaging to locate a water source in your building. These highly-trained workers will employ containment barriers to stop the spread, and they will use vacuums to suck up mold spores killed by effective fungicides. A professional cleaning will ensure that the mold won't return again. Whether your building has black mold or another variety of mold, a proven process will rid your property of this fascinating but harmful organism.

What if Fire Sprinklers Cause Flooding in Your Business?

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Active fire sprinkler Flooding from an accidental fire sprinkler discharge is rare, but it can cause a mess.

Fire sprinklers are considered one of the best investments a business or building owner can make in Delray Shores, FL. They not only are by far the best way to prevent fire damage and lives; they also almost never fail on their own.
However, they can theoretically have accidental discharges, especially if they are struck or tampered with. Here’s how to deal with flooding and some tips on what to do afterward.

What Causes an Accidental Discharge?

In most cases, each fire sprinkler is activated on its own. There are four basic causes of an unwanted discharge:

  • Tampering
  • Being struck
  • Heat excursion
  • Sprinkler head failure

Bored or careless employees are the normal cause of an unexpected water release. Curiosity about how they work can be overpowering, and since most sprinklers are always on at the head, any tampering is likely to cause flooding.
Poor planning can also cause problems. For instance, if an area gets too much sun, it can melt the tab that holds the water back. Heat is what sets off the sprinklers normally, so the fire sprinkler installation must be done by experts.
The least likely is a sprinkler head failure. The odds of this happening is around 1 in 16 million, so it’s statistically insignificant.

What Should You Do First?
Shut off the water! Find the nearest valve, which may be at the fire sprinkler riser, and stop the flow. Every gallon of water you can save will help.

What Next?
If you have damage, you need to contact a water damage restoration professional immediately. As long as you have insurance, the damage should be covered. Insurance companies love it when buildings have sprinkler systems!
The water damage experts should show up quickly, but in the meantime, you should try to remove any water you can. You may also contact your insurance, or you can leave the paperwork to the water damage repair company.
Flooding from an accidental fire sprinkler discharge is rare, but it can cause a mess. The easiest way to avoid it is to educate your employees about why they should leave the system alone.

Tips for Safety After Major Flooding

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

Breaker box with the word CUT THE POWER! Make sure to turn off the electricity to avoid shocks or fires

One of the most important things to do when flood water affects your West Delray Beach, FL, home is finding alternative shelter for your family. There are many unseen risks in your flooded home over and above any potential damage to the home.

Reach Out for Professional Help

From your temporary shelter, you can work toward recovering from water damage by

  • Calling your insurance agent and mortgage holder
  • Researching local and federal resources, such as FEMA loans
  • Contacting licensed flood cleanup and restoration professionals

When it is safe for you to get back to your home, take the following precautions:

Shut Down Electricity
Before getting near any water in your home, shut off the electricity at your main circuit breaker. Even a moist carpet and a frayed cord can lead to serious electric shocks. Even after shutting off the power, avoid stepping into any standing water inside and outside your home.

Wear Personal Protective Gear
This includes rubber boots and gloves to protect you from electric shocks. A mask with an air filter and a pair of goggles are important for protecting you from any chemicals or fumes carried by the water. Avoid getting any water on your hands and face to limit contamination from dirty flood water.

Watch Out for Mold
It only takes a day or two for mold spores to settle into the warm, humid areas of your home, such as under wet carpet, in a basement corner, or around loose windowpanes. If you suspect or notice any evidence of mold, contact a professional immediately to prevent spread. It may be necessary for you to cut out lower sections of affected walls to stop moisture and mold from creeping up further.

Stay Calm
Flood water in your home can cause a lot of panic and frustration, so it's important to keep a level head while approaching cleanup and repairs. Work closely with those who've experienced flooding before to minimize damage as much as possible.

4 FAQs About Snaking a Drain

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

a new plumbers snake on a white background The main tool you will need is a snake

Snaking Your Drain Can Remedy The Situation

A clogged drain can be a pain. After all, some clogs can result in hours of plumbing work. However, snaking your drain is an option that can remedy your situation.

1. When Would You Need to Snake a Drain?
Snake your drain whenever it is clogged to prevent further plumbing emergencies. For instance, when a hairball is lodged in your drain, you will want to break it up to prevent a pipe break and hiring remediation professionals. Snaking is also good for toilet clogs that cannot be fixed with a plunger.

2. What Tools Do You Need?
The main tool you will need is a snake. These can be found at any hardware store in Highland Beach, FL. If you only have a small clog close to the pipe's surface, you may be able to form a makeshift tool from a clothes hanger. Take any metal clothes hanger and straighten it out. Leave the hook in the end so that you have something to pull out the clog with. If you have a smaller pipe, you will probably want to squeeze the hook, so it fits.

3. How Do You Use a Snake?
It isn't as simple as sticking the snake into the drain and pulling out a hairball. Instead, you will need to follow the instructions that come with the tool. This generally involves twisting the tip so you can snag the debris and pull it out.

4. Does Hot Water Really Help?
If your drain is still clogged after using the snake, hot water can help break it up. Heat water in a tea kettle or other stove safe pot. Just before it starts to boil, remove it from the heat and pour it down the drain. It may take a few minutes, but it should break up stubborn clogs.
Stopped drains can be unpleasant. The best thing to do is to try snaking them. You may have to follow up this process with some hot water. This can help get your drains working again.

3 Tips for Recovering After a Business Fire

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Inside of a building damaged by fire Smoke damage in a building in West Delray Beach, FL

Three Tips For Recovering From Smoke Damage At Your Business

You hope that you will never have a fire at your business in West Delray Beach, FL. You maintain your facility inside and out, you keep your fire alarms and sprinkler systems up to code, and you review your company fire safety plan regularly. However, some things can't be avoided, and fire damages your business. What now? 

1. Dealing with Smoke and Soot
Soot damage leaves tiny particles behind that can ruin delicate instruments such as computers and other machines. Soot that is mixed with oil or water creates a much larger mess. A fire damage mitigation company will help you to determine which items can be cleaned and salvaged and which will need to be replaced. Smoke damage can potentially create long-term problems because the smell can get into cracks and crevices and linger for months. Proper cleaning by professionals helps to prevent this problem.

2. Dealing with Water
Water damage is the element of fire cleanup most often forgotten. The firefighters will use large amounts of water to save your business, but this means water damage. When safe to do so, you can begin to clean up standing water as you would after a flood. You should remove furniture, rugs, and any merchandise or tools to allow the space to dry quickly.

3. Dealing with Structure
Depending on what the firefighters needed to do to contain the fire or rescue people, there may be damage to doors, windows, or walls. In addition to smoke and water remediation, your mitigation team will be able to assess the fire damage that occurred to the structure of your building, recommend repairs that need to be done, and conduct any smoke cleaning or other cleanup that needs to take place before construction begins.
Don't rush the cleanup process for smoke damage and water damage after a fire. Work with professionals to properly restore your property so that you can get back to business safely.

Does Your Business Need a Mold Management Plan?

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

Before and after picture of mold growth in a commercial building Commercial remediation services in Delray Beach, FL

Does Your Business Need a Mold Management Plan?

As a business owner, you have planned for every possible emergency. You purchased general liability insurance to deal with the unexpected, too. But a mold management plan? Is it necessary? Can it help with mold insurance claims?
It is, and it can. Get ready to add it to your emergency toolbox. By having a mold management plan, you are protecting the investment you have in your Delray Beach, FL, company. You are also demonstrating to your insurance carrier that you have been proactive in minimizing any mold-related insurance claims.

A Mold-Resistant Building Helps Your Claims
Part of your mold management plan should be making your business mold-resistant. Controlling moisture is the key:

  • Fix leaks promptly.
  • Regulate humidity.
  • Ventilate damp areas.
  • Limit the use of carpeting.
  • Clean up quickly after flooding.

Many mold insurance claims hinge on prevention and diligence. As such, you and your staff must stay ahead of mold by keeping things dry. If you find small areas of mold, mold remediation should begin immediately to prevent spores from spreading. Mold grows on common materials found in virtually any business: paper products, food, carpet and clothing.
Other areas to check are those that are not out in the open, such as above the ceiling tiles, inside drywalled areas and around pipes. Document your actions to control the moisture on your property. If necessary, hire a mold removal company to help. Your willingness to keep your property in good condition is important.

Does Commercial Liability Insurance Pay for Mold Damage?
The short answer is "maybe." That said, having such a policy should still be the first step in your mold management plan. Understanding that policy is next. Liability policies vary depending on many factors, so it's imperative to read your policy carefully and/or discuss it with your agent in detail before making a mold claim.
Having a mold management plan for your company — including both prevention and solid liability insurance in case of any loss — will strengthen any mold insurance claims you may have in the future. It strongly suggests that any damage isn't due to negligence on your part, which can be invaluable as you seek reimbursement.

4 Tips for Checking Your Sprinklers Before Turning Them On

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

sprinkler head watering the bush and grass in the garden Check the sprinklers regularly before you turn them on

Irrigation Maintenance Can Save You A Great Deal Of Time, Energy, And Money

An automatic sprinkler system is one of the most convenient tools to keep your business's landscaping healthy and well-maintained. However, though it’s automatic, it isn’t a good idea to just “set it and forget it.” Irrigation maintenance is vital to the longevity, efficiency and effectiveness of your system, so follow these steps:

1. Inspect Your Landscape
Does everything look like it’s getting enough water? Does the spray appear to be distributed evenly? If not, you may need to make adjustments to the spacing, either to increase or decrease the coverage. You should also inspect the sprinkler heads regularly for damage and clogging.

2. Keep Tabs on Your Water Bill
Though it’s normal to see a spike in water consumption during the growing season, there may be an issue with your irrigation system if your bill is abnormally high or shows a sudden jump in usage. It could be as simple as needing to readjust your watering schedule, but it also could signal a valve leak or sprinkler flooding.

3. Know Your Parts
Proper irrigation maintenance requires basic knowledge of the components of the sprinkler system so you know what to inspect and where to look. You may need a knowledgeable professional in Delray Beach, FL, to familiarize you with your system and how it works.

4. Check Your Foundation and Basement
Make sure the sprinkler heads aren't spraying too close to the foundation, and regularly inspect the area after heavy rain. Often, the ground may not be able to hold all that water, especially if your system has been running during the rain or shortly afterward. In the unfortunate event your property floods, a water remediation specialist can help you clean it up and repair any damage.
Irrigation maintenance takes a little effort upfront, but in the long run, it can save you a great deal of time, energy and money. Checking the sprinklers regularly before you turn them on not only protects your landscape but also prevents possible water damage to your commercial property.

The Effects of Lightning on Your Home

12/10/2020 (Permalink)

Thunderbolt over the house with dark stormy sky in the background and moon shining through the cloud Lightning fire, shockwaves and electrical surges are all very dangerous and damaging

The Effects of Lightning on Your Home

In your average storm, lightning discharges thousands of times. It can strike trees, ground, buildings and homes. These bolts are powerful, unpredictable forces of nature that have the potential to cause a tremendous amount of damage. When it strikes your home, it can result in a lightning fire, electrical failure and shockwave damage if you don't have some form of suppression.

Fire Damage
Fire is by far the biggest threat this powerful form of electricity poses. The electrical current produced can pass through and burn materials such as:

  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Drywall
  • Wiring

These materials are easy to ignite, creating the perfect conditions for a house fire. If you have a fire inside your home, you will need to make sure it is safe again. To do this, call a fire damage remediation company in Delray Beach, FL.

Electrical Failure
Lightning can also cause a very powerful surge of electricity. This surge seeks to find its way to the ground and will follow any path that is conductive. It will damage wiring, electronics and anything else in its way. It easily melts the conduit and can certainly fry most appliances, including air conditioners, water heaters and refrigerators.
This form of electricity is so powerful that a direct strike can leave scorch marks on interior and exterior walls where it followed the home's electrical system. It can also cause a lightning fire when the wiring heats up.

Shockwave Damage
When a bolt strikes the ground, it creates a shockwave, which we hear in the form of thunder. When a structure is close enough to this shockwave, it can be very dangerous. The shockwaves can easily crack concrete, wood, cinderblock, stone and other materials. It has also been known to shatter windows, blow out walls, crack foundations and throw shrapnel.
Lightning fire, shockwaves and electrical surges are all very dangerous and damaging. Your home can be subjected to all three during a direct lightning strike. If you live in an area that storms frequently, you might want to find some form of electrical suppression.

How Serious Is Mold in the Home?

11/25/2020 (Permalink)

Mold in bathroom Mold damage in a Delray Beach, FL bathroom

Many Delray Beach, FL, homeowners will, at some time or another, encounter mold in their homes. This is particularly true in buildings that suffered water damage, even if that damage occurred years earlier. Unfortunately, a small moisture problem can cause a wide-scale mold cleanup issue. The presence of black mold can be a particular cause for concern.

Why Is Mold So Persistent?

Long after moisture problems have been resolved, black mold will remain until professionals remove it.

Spores are microscopic organisms that float easily through the air.
Mold naturally exists in most environments.
Colonies thrive in damp, musty areas, such as basements and bathrooms.

Once a home has been affected by flooding or leaking pipes, it's easy for mold spores to attack organic and inorganic surfaces. As the colony attacks these surfaces, digestive enzymes dissolve the materials causing them to break down and decompose.

How Does Mold Show Up in Houses?
Once homeowners notice the presence of mold, they may take steps to control the initial source of moisture. These sources may include a leaky faucet, drainage backups, or damage to the roof or foundation. However, mold may also begin to develop in a kitchen that steams up when water boils or in a bathroom where hot showers are a common occurrence. Condensation may form on the inside of a window when it's cold outside and warm inside. Homeowners may not recognize these sources of mold as problematic until real damage has taken place.

Why Is It Important To Hire Professionals?
Mold's ability to thrive is one of the main reasons it's so important to hire mold cleanup and restoration professionals. Every trace and spore must be removed, or new growth will occur. Chlorine-based products may treat the symptoms caused by a mold colony, but these products aren't sufficient for removing the problem. Professionals have access to personal protective equipment and non-toxic cleaners.
Whether there's an obvious black mold problem or homeowners have recently noticed a musty smell from the attic, it's important to take quick action. Professionals can determine the extent of the growth and locate the source of moisture before taking steps to correct the issue.