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Workplace Escape Plans

5/6/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Workplace Escape Plans The best time to plan your evacuation route is now

Evacuation Plan

A fire drill is only one of the many types of workplace escape training procedure. Any number of disasters can necessitate the evacuation of a building, such as a severe thunderstorm or flood damage. Practice the correct methods so that you can maintain your calm in a serious situation.

1. Employer Responsibilities

OSHA and other agencies have guidelines for which businesses in Hanover Township, OH, much have an emergency action plan (EAP). If your workplace is large enough to require portable fire extinguishers or a fire suppression system, then you are probably responsible for devising an evacuation strategy. However, having marked exits and holding the occasional fire drill is only one element of an EAP. Other components include containing hazardous waste, alerting local authorities, and first aid availability.

2. Employee Knowledge

You can't assume that just because your EAP exists on company records that your employees will reliably be able to actualize it. Be sure to review individual response roles with the relevant staff, such as those who are trained in CPR. Make sure that all medical equipment is readily accessible. If any sensitive equipment needs to be shut down in an emergency, have those responsibilities clearly delegated. Should any flood cleanup be necessary, wait for qualified industry professionals and do not attempt to enter the building.

3. Movement

The panic of a crowd can sometimes be more dangerous than the fire or storm damage that lead to the evacuation. The most critical component of any EAP is the process that moves employees from danger to safety. Hold a flood, storm, or fire drill routinely. Ask your local fire department or police station to review your process and make recommendations. Record evacuation times and set targets for improvement.

Remember, a fire drill is only one part of a holistic action plan comprising all elements of your business. Stay prepared by making sure that the right people have the best available information.

3 Ways Electronic Records Can Assist With the Claims Process

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Ways Electronic Records Can Assist With the Claims Process Our team is on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to respond to your emergency.

When your home is damaged, whether it be by a flood, fire or accident, you will likely need to file an insurance claim to cover the cost of repairing the damage and restoring your house. Hiring certified restoration specialists who utilize an electronic claims service can help you file your claim faster and better. The faster you file, the sooner you can be compensated, so this service can save you a lot of worry.

3 ways the Claims Information Center at SERVPRO in Hamilton, OH, can benefit you.

1. Error Reduction

When you have to copy information from one source to another, there is always the chance that you can make an error. One small discrepancy between your claim and the information provided by the repair company can cause your claim to be delayed or even denied. When a preferred vendor such as SERVPRO makes their electronic records available to you and your insurance agent, you don't have to worry about something being written down incorrectly. The fewer hands information has to go through to get to your insurance company, the fewer the mistakes that are likely to be made.

2. Record Retention

Files can easily become disorganized. When records are stored electronically, finding the file needed for an insurance claim is a simpler process. Anyone who can access the records can search for the needed information and find it relatively quickly.

3. Delivery Efficiency

When your home has been damaged, a quick turnaround for getting repairs done and paid for is preferred. Paper-based claim filing can take quite a long time. You wait to get the records from your repair specialists, and then you must wait for those records to reach your insurance company. Electronic records, however, can be accessed and sent immediately, making the time it takes to file your claim shorter.

Getting the money you need from your insurance company is important. When you need to file an insurance claim, SERVPRO of West Hamilton/ Oxford is Here to Help.

The Importance of Quick Storm Services After a Disaster

4/29/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO The Importance of Quick Storm Services After a Disaster If disaster strikes your home or business, SERVPRO of West Hamilton/Oxford is Here to Help. Our team is on standby 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365

A storm in Hamilton, OH can be devastating to a home, and working with a company that is experienced in restoring homes affected by storms is important, though some companies work more quickly than others.

Starting the storm restoration process quickly is often wise for a variety of reasons.

1. Quicken the Claims Process

After a storm occurs, one of the first steps homeowners need to take is to begin making a claim to their insurance. After a claim has been filed, homeowners will be able to begin the restoration process. However, the longer it takes to file a claim, the longer the process of restoring the home will likely take. When a restoration company is able to respond in a timely manner, this can help to speed up both the claims and restoration process.

2. Mitigating the Damage

Storms with heavy winds and rain can affect the overall structure of a home. Often, ceilings, roofs, drywall and even the foundation of a home may need to be replaced or restored, and the longer these areas are left alone, the more likely it becomes that the areas will need major fixes. However, if storm restoration begins quickly, this can decrease the likelihood of major structural damage occurring.

3. Restoring Items

While storms are capable of damaging the overall structure of a home, flood damage can also impact personal belongings within a home. When items are left in wet or damp environments, mold growth often occurs, and it’s not always possible to restore items that have mold growth. However, if there is a quick response to a storm, items within the home are more likely to have sustained less damage, therefore making it more likely that they can be restored.

When storm restoration occurs quickly, the claims process is likely to be fast, damage can be prevented and items will more likely be able to be restored. When homeowners need a reliable storm response, contacting storm damage and restoration professionals is often helpful.

Are Storm Shutters Right for You?

4/25/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are Storm Shutters Right for You? With heavy storms a relative rarity, it’s easy to forget about the damage they can cause.

With heavy storms a relative rarity, it’s easy to forget about the damage they can cause. However, it takes one round of pelting rain and high winds to remind you. One of the simplest ways to protect your property is to install storm shutters. These subtle additions can make all the difference for your Oxford, OH home.

What Are They?

Storm shutters are simply coverings designed to protect your windows from gusts and debris during a storm. Common along hurricane-prone coastal areas, they come in several styles:

  • Bahama style - typically propped open with a pole
  • Colonial style - often decorative and typical in colonial-style homes
  • Accordion style - a seamless version that you can easily pull closed

We know some of the types, but what are their benefits?

They Are Cost-effective

There are plenty of steps you can take to protect your home against storms, such as high-impact windows. However, when it comes to something affordable, it’s hard to do better than window coverings.

They Increase Home Value

This addition is believed to increase your home’s resale value - especially if you live in a storm-prone area. Imagine the relief a potential buyer of your home would feel knowing there are built-in safeguards against the high winds, hail and debris of a storm. An added benefit is that they are attractive and timeless.

They Lower Insurance Costs

Insurance companies are getting increasingly strict about coverage for homes damaged by storms. If you live in a coastal area especially, storm damage seen as preventable might not be covered.
Window coverings are an attractive and affordable addition to your home that also bring the added benefit of protection from high winds in a storm. Whether you’re coastal and face hurricanes or inland and just deal with the occasional storm, any storm cleanup professional will tell you that shutters are one of the easiest and best ways to get your house through the weather intact.

Winter Isn’t Over: Be On the Lookout for Frozen Pipes

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Winter Isn’t Over: Be On the Lookout for Frozen Pipes Keep an eye on your exposed lines and watch for frost.

Cold weather is still present in the first few weeks of March. The temperature may go from 40-50 degrees during the day down to 20 degrees at night. Therefore, frozen pipes are still a concern for many businesses, especially those operating out of warehouse-type facilities, and it pays to be aware of the signs of freezing pipes so that you can be proactive rather than reactive to potential water damage.

1. Frost

The first sign of potential problems is the appearance of frost on your water pipes. Frosting may occur on pipes that are located on or near exterior walls. However, it is also possible that it happens on plumbing located in an inadequately heated facility. If pipes are allowed to persist this way, then the pressure of freezing water will likely result in broken pipes and flooding.

2. Odor

Odor is another sign of freezing water lines. As water freezes, it does not allow for proper ventilation which can lead to gases and odd odors coming back up through floor drains and sinks. These smells are a significant sign of pending water damage and disaster.

3. Lack of Water Pressure or No Water

The last sign of frozen lines is the reduction or complete loss of water pressure. If you notice that the faucets in your facility have limited to no flow, then you should call a plumbing specialist in the Hamilton, OH area before a thorough water cleanup is necessary. No water means that there is a blockage, and if your facility has experienced frozen lines in the past, then you are likely dealing with a complete freeze, which can lead to burst pipes and flooding.

Water damage caused by freezing results in more than flooding; it causes damage to the plumbing itself. Unlike a backup where water overflows, freezing creates breaks, cracks and splits, meaning that repairs are extensive and costly.

Don’t let the spring thaw calm your nerves about the winter cold. Keep an eye on your exposed lines and watch for frost. Pay attention to strange odors and call for help if you have a sudden loss of water pressure.

Can You Be Insured for Mold?

4/11/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Can You Be Insured for Mold? Your commercial property is likely insured for a variety of possible circumstances.

Can You Be Insured For Mold?

Your commercial property in Oxford, OH is likely insured for a variety of possible circumstances. Your liability coverage covers any legal costs that you may have due to incidents that occur in the building. Your flood coverage covers damage done by major flooding. Fungus removal isn't always covered under a property policy, but you may have limited coverage due to an exception. Here is how your insurance coverage likely breaks down when it comes to mold remediation.

Limited Coverage

If you let a problem go unresolved for a long time, your commercial insurance provider is likely to view this as neglect and deny your claim for mold remediation services. If, however, you take action to resolve a leak as soon as you notice it, your policy may cover the following expenses:

  • Pretesting for mold growth
  • Removal of damaged materials
  • Cleanup of damage
  • Replacement of unsalvageable items
  • Post-testing to confirm complete remediation

Be advised that your policy is unlikely to cover more than $15,000 for fungus removal per year. If the problem is extensive, therefore, you may incur some out-of-pocket expenses to fully mitigate the damage.

Mold Exclusion

When you see a mold exclusion in your coverage, that doesn't automatically mean that you are completely on your own when it comes to paying for remediation. Many companies place these exclusions in their policies to avoid confusion when it comes to legal issues regarding mold and mold cleanup. To fully understand the circumstances under which a mold problem would be covered by your policy, you should discuss it with your insurance agent. Then, if you decide that you do not have adequate coverage, he or she can suggest additional coverage for your commercial package.

The bottom line is that it's important to know if fungus removal is covered by your commercial policy. Your insurance agent can answer any questions you have about your coverage so that you can make the decision that is right for your business.

Storm Services: How Can They Assist Insurance Agents During Times of Disaster?

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Storm Services: How Can They Assist Insurance Agents During Times of Disaster? Professional flood technicians can create one comprehensive damage report for each company to make filing claims simpler.

Storm Services: How Can They Assist Insurance Agents During Times Of Disaster? 

When powerful storms strike Oxford, OH they can affect a variety of businesses and create an influx of work for insurance agents and claims adjusters. These professionals must inspect each property, help the owner file a claim and ensure it is processed properly. Having a storm restoration company on hand can give these agents the support they need, especially in a large city or after a serious natural disaster.

Assessment of Damages

Storms that contain heavy rains and high winds can cause an array of damages to businesses. Properties may require significant repair and might include the following:

  • Broken windows
  • Damaged roofing material
  • Flooded drywall and carpeting

When storm response teams work in tandem with insurance agents and adjustors, they can streamline the assessment process by reporting which damages will need to be repaired right away. They also help determine the type of restoration service that is needed and the cost of associated with it.

Faster Claims Processing

When multiple businesses in the same area suffer damage due to flooding or high winds, insurance agents may have a difficult time processing claims at a rate that helps owners recover quickly. This can be especially true in the case of flood damage, where the claims process can be extensive. Agents that work with a restoration service may be able to offer a faster turnaround. Professional flood technicians can create one comprehensive damage report for each company to make filing claims simpler.

Less Confusion

Insurance agents that collaborate with a storm restoration service may be able to work with multiple customers in the same area with more efficiency, even when the damage to each property is similar. Detailed reports and repair estimates may help agents avoid confusion in the aftermath of major flooding.

The storm restoration process can be daunting for business owners in Oxford, OH. However, when their insurance agents are supported by knowledgeable storm repair experts, the claims process may not be as difficult for them.

How to Prepare For a Visit From Your Home Adjuster

3/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage How to Prepare For a Visit From Your Home Adjuster In the event of damage to your home, it is best to contact your insurance company as soon as possible.

How To Prepare For A Visit From Your Home Adjuster

In the event of damage to your Oxford, OH home, it is best to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. This helps the process go more quickly and will get you living comfortably in your home again sooner. Before the claim can be approved, you will need to meet with a home adjuster who will help assess the damages. Here are a few things that you can do to prepare for the visit.

1. Keep Track of Damaged Areas that Need to Be Shown to the Adjuster

Before the adjuster arrives, you should examine your home and locate any areas with damage related to the claim. Depending on the cause of the damage, this can include broken or missing roof tiles, cracked or warped walls or flooring or flooded areas. This information can help determine how much it will cost for a damage remediation specialist to make repairs.

2. Make a List of Damaged Belongings

It is likely that the structure of your home is not the only thing that was affected. If there has also been damage to your personal belongings, then you should keep track of that as well. You should create a list of items that have been destroyed or damaged that you will provide to the adjuster. Taking pictures can be helpful as well. Be sure not to throw out any of the damaged items before meeting with the home adjuster.

3. Fill Out Any Necessary Paperwork

When you file an insurance claim, there will likely be quite a bit of paperwork that you need to fill out. You should complete this as soon as possible to get the process finished more quickly. If you have any questions, the adjuster can help.
Because meeting with a home adjuster is an important step in filing a claim, you should make sure that you are prepared. If the visit goes smoothly, it will make the whole process go more easily.

3 Tips for Preventing the Spread of Mold

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 3 Tips for Preventing the Spread of Mold As soon as you know you have a black mold problem, make the call so that the professionals can start work on it.

3 Tips For Preventing The Spread Of Mold

If you have ever had a mold problem in your home in Oxford, OH you know that it can get out of control in a hurry. Left on its own, this fungus will continue to grow as long as it has air flow, moisture and food. The best way to prevent spreading mold in your home is to deny it access to the elements that exacerbate it. Here are three ways to do that.

1. Enlist Professional Help

A patch of mold that's no bigger than an inch on a countertop can usually be cleaned with detergent. For larger problems, however, you need to call mold remediation experts. These specialists know exactly how to contain mold so that it doesn't get sucked into your HVAC vents and spread further. They also can do a thorough job of drying out the affected area to deprive mold of moisture.

2. Avoid Amateur Troubleshooting

Many homeowners who are concerned about spreading mold think that spot cleaning a problem area before professional help arrives will halt its growth. The truth is, however, that disturbing the mold growth without first blocking off the area the way the experts will do it can actually cause the spread you're hoping to avoid. Mold spores cannot be seen with the naked eye, so it's impossible to see if it's spreading.

3. Don't Delay

Mold growth will get bigger if you let it. It may be tempting to wait for a more convenient time in your schedule to have work done on your home, but this is not an issue that can wait. As soon as you know you have a black mold problem, make the call so that the professionals can start work on it.

Fungus growth is not something you should ignore. The most effective mold remediation is quick, professional attention. Follow these tips to prevent spreading mold.

The Claims Information Center: Helping Streamline the Insurance Process

2/19/2019 (Permalink)

While the insurance claim process in the Hanover Township, OH, area is no cakewalk for homeowners, insurance agents don’t necessarily have it any easier. The job of an agent or an adjuster is to verify the information provided on a claim and to ensure that all information is reliable and accurate. Thankfully, a disaster restoration expert has created a solution for all your claim woes. SERVPRO has created a claims system that will likely reduce research and approval time.

1. What Is the CIC?

The CIC stands for the Claims Information Center, and it is a culmination of claims organized by type, cause and response times. Additionally, the system provides an insurance agent with insight into the performance of the company against other national performers.

2. How Is It Useful?

The CIC allows agents to research a similar insurance claim to the one they are working on and to track its progress. This tool essentially operates as both an encyclopedia and a project manager, allowing insurers both accuracy and dependability.

3. What Is ReportER?

ReportER is SERVPRO’s corporate database and is, through the Management Dashboard, essentially the access point to the CIC. This is the area where agents can research and check on any current projects. The database is routinely updated, providing insurers with accurate and timely information regarding their current outstanding claims.

It is true that the insurance claim process is no cakewalk, and that insurance agents take on the brunt of the work. However, the CIC system allows an agent to research and verify information in a more accurate and reliable way. Through an innovative dashboard design, they are able to access information in the ReportER database and answer questions about project completion and corporate efficiency. Agents can now understand the whole picture by visiting one comprehensive and straightforward site. The Claims Information Center has truly streamlined the insurance process.