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How to File a Storm Damage Insurance Claim

12/1/2022 (Permalink)

Ceiling collapsed in a living room of a house Storm damaged house in Marina del Rey, CA.

What Steps To Take When Filing a Claim After a Storm?

The aftermath of a storm can be devastating. Not only do you have to deal with the damage to your property, but also any other losses that might come from it. Luckily, homeowners’ insurance can help cover many of these costs and get you back on your feet. But you need to know exactly what steps to take when filing a claim after a storm — and how to do it right away. Here are some tips…

Confirm Your Deductible

It’s important to know your deductible amount before you file a claim. If you haven’t already, confirm this with your insurance company.

The deductible is the amount of money that you must pay before the insurance company pays for storm damage repairs. Typically, deductibles are expressed as a percentage of the total value of damaged property or as a flat fee. You will have to pay this amount before they start making payments on your behalf to cover costs associated with cleaning up from and repairing storm damage caused by high winds, hail, lightning strikes, etc.

Find Out If The Damage Is Covered By Insurance

You can do this by calling your agent or company representative and reviewing the policy. If it's not covered, you may have to pay for the damage yourself.

If you can file a claim, start by reporting any storm-related damages as soon as possible. Your insurer will likely ask that you submit photos or videos of the damage and make a list of what happened so they can assess its extent.

Document The Damage

With your insurance agent in tow, take photos of the damage and write down an itemized list of damaged items. If possible, don't move any furniture or appliances until you have a repair estimate from a contractor or repairman.

When you have estimates for repairs and replacements, be sure to make copies with the name and contact information for the contractor or repairman in case you need to get more work done at a later date.

Take Pictures

The next thing you need to do is take pictures of the damage. This will help you prove your claims and avoid disputes with the insurance company. Take photos of the entire building, including any parts that are or were damaged during the storm. You should also take photos of everything inside your home at this time (and keep them for reference).

You should also take photos of any personal belongings that were damaged or destroyed, as well as any other property damage caused by the storm (such as cracks in walls or floors). If there is no visible evidence of damage on a piece of furniture or electronics item, but it still seems like something is wrong with it.

Notify Your Mortgage Company

It's important to notify your mortgage company of any storm damage. If the damage is severe enough, they might foreclose on your home if you don't tell them about it—even if you've already filed a claim with an insurance company. You may also need to pay for repairs yourself and then get reimbursed by your insurance company. If that happens, wait until all the repairs have been made before submitting another claim with your property insurer so that both are covered by the same policy at once.

Call Your Agent or Company Representative Immediately

If you have a claim, call your agent or company representative immediately. Tell them what happened and ask them what to do next. If they are not available, leave a message on their voicemail or send an e-mail with the following information:

  • The date, time, and location of the damage
  • A brief description of the damage
  • Information about any people or pets involved in this loss

If you’ve suffered storm damage, it’s important to file a claim as soon as possible. This will help you get the money you need to repair your home and property in Marina del Rey, CA.

How to Avoid Water Damage While on Vacation

11/7/2022 (Permalink)

Water gauges pressure, main valve shut off, shut down. Make sure you shut off the water at the main valve.

Are You Going on Vacation and Worried About Water Damage?

This article is here to help! Here are some top tips for how to avoid water damage while away from home.

Check for Leaks Before You Leave

1. Check for leaks in the basement. Make sure that all pipes are disconnected and that there's no water pooling in any area of your home. If you're leaving a property manager or landlord to take care of it, make sure they know about any problems so that they can fix them before your return date.

2. Check for leaks in the garage. 

3. Check for leaks in the attic. As with basements and garages, check behind storage boxes and furniture to ensure there aren't any hidden sources of moisture (which could lead to mold). 

Don't Forget To Turn Off the Water

You should also make sure you shut off the water at the main valve. It might be a good idea to use some tape or a marker to mark this valve, so you don't forget where it is when you leave, or if someone else is helping with your vacation preparations. The last thing you want is for someone in your home while on vacation to turn on the faucet in their bathroom and get into trouble because there's no running water!

Don't forget about your hot water heater either — the last thing anyone wants is for their water heater to malfunction while they're away from home.

Know Where Your Water Shut-off Valves Are

If you're not sure where the water shut-off valve is, call a plumber. If it's not available on your property, you can look at an online map of your home to find out where it might be.

If there are children or pets in the house, make sure that someone stays with them and monitors their behavior for any signs of illness following a flood situation.

Turn Off and Disconnect the Dishwasher and Washing Machine Hoses

The first step is to turn off and disconnect the dishwasher and washing machine hoses. To do this, you'll need to locate their water supply valves (usually underneath them) and turn them off. You can also just turn off their main water supply valve if they're connected to one.

Next, there are two ways to disconnect: by sliding the hose out of its housing or by unscrewing it with a wrench (or both). If you opt for the latter method, remember that you'll need a large enough wrench that will fit around your hoses' connections—you don't want them falling apart on you.

Finally, remember that even though these appliances have been unplugged from regular power sources for days now, turning off their water supplies does not mean they are "off." They still contain residual energy in their motors and pumps which could cause damage if not properly stored away from other objects or people.

The last thing you want when on vacation is to come home to a water-logged house. To avoid this from happening, be sure to check for leaks before leaving and make sure that all hoses are disconnected from the washer and dishwasher. Also remember not to forget about your drains! It may seem like common sense, but if left unattended these problems can drain your wallet as well as your home's foundation.

Fire and Water Damage

10/13/2022 (Permalink)

Firefighters putting out a fire in an apartment building Commercial fire damage

Fire Damage and Water Damage

The damage caused by fire can often be more than just the smoke and soot that is noticed in your business after a fire. The water used for fighting the fire may have damaged walls, roofs, and other surfaces, causing leaks and flooding. These problems should be cleaned up quickly by professional restoration companies. Our team at SERVPRO of Marina Del Rey/Westchester/El Segundo has the equipment and experience to handle any mess caused by water damage or flooding.

If a fire occurs in your business, you will also likely have water damage from the firefighting efforts.

The second reason to hire a professional remediation company is that the water damage from firefighting efforts can lead to mold and mildew growth, which will cause further damage. If you've ever seen mold growing on your walls, you know that it's not something anyone wants to deal with. Additionally, water damage can cause rot, warping and rust in furniture and other items if they're not properly dried out. This can also be costly to fix later if the problem isn't addressed immediately after the fire occurs.

It's important to hire professionals who are trained in working with various types of fires because they know how best to handle each situation without causing additional damage or making matters worse than they already are (which would end up costing you more money). You should also make sure that you hire a company that can guarantee their work.

The fire may have damaged your walls and roof, causing leaking and flooding.

Water damage can cause mold to grow, which is dangerous and expensive to remove. The best way to avoid water damage is by preventing it in the first place.

SERVPRO has years of experience cleaning up messes caused by fire, smoke, flood, and other natural disasters. We have a team of trained professionals who will be able to clean up any kind of mess your property may have after a disaster like this one.

You may need fire damage and water damage repair services.

Fire damage repair services include removing smoke and soot from walls and ceilings. Water damage repair services include drying out the building, removing water from the building, and making sure that no mold grows inside of your home.

Professional cleanup is always recommended after a flood or leak.

Most of the water damage is caused by a lack of maintenance. When water leaks or floods, it can destroy the structure of your property and cause expensive repairs. If you've experienced flooding, we recommend hiring a professional mold remediation company to help you properly clean up and repair your business.

Mold remediation requires expert techniques to remove all traces of the fungus from your building. Mold growth usually takes place within 24 hours after an area has been exposed to moisture, making it important that any affected areas are dealt with before mold grows out of control and into unseen places throughout your space. The longer you wait, the more damage will be done!

SERVPRO of Marina Del Rey/Westchester/El Segundo has the equipment to clean up any mess caused by the fire.

Our team of specialists is trained to clean up fire and water damage, and we have the expertise to get your home back to normal as quickly as possible. When you contact us after a fire, we’ll work with you to figure out the extent of damage done to your property so that we can develop a plan that will restore it back to its pre-fire condition in no time.

SERVPRO of Marina Del Rey/Westchester/El Segundo can also help you get back to business as soon as possible with our water damage repair services. If you need help, contact us today!

Why Is Professional Upholstery and Fabric Cleanup Necessary During Fire Damage Restoration in Los Angeles?

12/28/2021 (Permalink)

Fires damage all areas of your business, from drywall to upholstery. SERVPRO has the know-how, equipment, and experience to restore your property.

SERVPRO Ensures Testing and Advanced Cleaning Is Done for Satisfactory Restoration of Your Fabric Items

Upholstery items and fabrics such as draperies are significantly affected during a fire. Even when they survive the flames and heat, they are likely to end up heavily soiled. You can save some upholstery items at your premises with a thorough cleaning.

The sensitivity of fabrics and upholstery items to factors like heat, chemicals, and moisture makes cleaning them during fire damage restoration at your Los Angeles property challenging. However, a professional team from SERVPRO can complete the task faster and safely.

Cleanup by professionals is unique because:        

  • Several methods can be used to clean an item
  • The materials are pretested before cleaning
  • Specialized cleaning equipment is available

The level of soiling and the materials that make up an upholstery item are the two main factors influencing the outcome of a cleaning exercise. Although you can read labels to determine the materials used to make an item, sometimes you might not get accurate information since labels mostly describe the filling material rather than the fabric. Our SERVPRO technicians overcome this by testing the fibers before starting cleaning. With the correct details, it is possible to expedite cleaning.

Some Practical Evaluation Procedures Before Cleaning Fabrics Include:

  • Doing a burn test
  • Doing a chemical test
  • Confirming dye stability

How the cleaning is performed also influences the outcome. For instance, deciding to wet-clean a fire damaged item might not be ideal since water can dissolve the loose soils like soot on the surface of an item, causing them to set. Professional cleaning is done in stages preventing such outcomes. Our SERVPRO technicians first pre-vacuum draperies and upholstery items before starting other cleaning procedures to remove loose soils. We also have specialized upholstery cleaning machines that do thorough cleaning without over-wetting or aggravated agitation.

SERVPRO of Marina Del Rey / Westchester / El Segundo can help with the advanced cleaning resources needed to restore your upholstery or draperies after fire damage. Call us at (310) 333-0654. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Which Mold Remediation Approaches Help Marina Del Rey Properties When Contamination Recurs?

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

If not properly remediated, mold growth can recur. Don’t DIY. Call SERVPRO!

SERVPRO Delivers Long Term Results by Focusing on the Sources That Keep Triggering Mold Growth in a Property

If the mold problem in your Marina Del Rey property keeps recurring, there is a chance the problem is failure to identify the mold triggers. So even if you keep changing remediation approaches, it might be challenging to get long-term results.

Mold manifests differently, so it is essential to note all the signs before implementing mold remediation in your Marina Del Rey property. You may be dealing with a musty smell, dark patches on surfaces such as walls and ceilings, or even stains on fabrics. Whatever the sign is, it is crucial to note that mold grows in an indoor environment with favorable conditions, so SERVPRO focuses on early identification.

The main conditions that favor mold include:

  • Abundant moisture
  • Minimal natural light
  • Sufficient organic food sources

When mold keeps recurring, there is a chance that the remediation procedures you are using are not drying materials thoroughly. Leaving heavily contaminated porous materials in place after remediation can also cause problems since the mold hyphae penetrate deep into such materials minimizing the effectiveness of cleaning and other procedures to eliminate them.

You can only realize long-term results if you investigate what triggers mold in your property before starting remediation processes. Our SERVPRO technicians use different tools to confirm there is no moisture problem in your house. For instance, thermo-hygrometers help ensure that relative humidity levels in all your rooms do not exceed 60%. Thermal cameras help establish hidden moisture or leaks in wall, ceiling, or floor cavities.

After dealing with moisture, it is essential to perform the other necessary remediation processes, such as removing mold debris. Our SERVPRO technicians use thorough methods such as HEPA vacuuming and damp-wiping surfaces with antimicrobial products.

SERVPRO of Marina Del Rey / Westchester / El Segundo prioritizes long-term outcomes of mold remediation processes, thus addressing the contamination in your house, "Like it never even happened." Call us at (310) 333-0654.

Why Does Water Mitigation Depend on the Materials in Los Angeles Properties?

12/7/2021 (Permalink)

Water damages areas far from the leak. SERVPRO's training allows our techs to handle any unexpected outcomes.

SERVPRO Looks Out for Materials That Exhibit Peculiar Water Damage Signs

You may notice many peculiar things in the aftermath of water intrusion in your home. A wet ceiling when the leak is at the floor level is puzzling. Wet wall materials might take longer than you expect to dry, which frustrates you. Such cases require unique water damage mitigation approaches.

Before attempting water damage mitigation in your Los Angeles property, understanding the characteristics of different materials in the house is crucial. That way, it is possible to direct the appropriate efforts towards specific restoration tasks. 

SERVPRO's training allows our techs to handle any unexpected outcomes. The instruction psychrometry, which explains how water, air, and temperatures interrelate with wet materials.

Some of the unique characteristics in materials that cause the unusual outcomes include:

  • Vapor barriers
  • Hygroscopic properties
  • Permeance

A vapor barrier occurs when a material with low permeance covers a porous material. You may notice the impact of vapor barriers if some of your walls are covered in gloss paint or wallpaper. While the bare walls dry faster, drying those with the gloss paint layer or wallpaper can take too long. Our SERVPRO teams find ways to neutralize the barrier, such as perforation or stripping off.

Another noticeable aspect of permeance is the changes to the affected materials. While carpets and wood are all porous materials, wood tends to exhibit physical changes such as swelling and warping, but carpets retain their physical form. Carpets have higher permeance and thus release water fast. Wood, on the other hand, tends to accumulate water, thus leading to swelling. When wood no longer absorbs water, different sections on the same piece may release moisture at varying rates unless drying is controlled, thus leading to warping.

SERVPRO of Marina Del Rey / Westchester / El Segundo provides trained technicians to handle any unexpected water damage outcomes. Call us at (310) 333-0654 for solutions that manage the loss, "Like it never even happened."

The Benefits of Zoning Marina Del Rey Homes During Water Restoration Processes

11/30/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO techs adjust the temperature, humidity, and airflow, to promote faster drying of wet materials and prevent other issues.

SERVPRO Creates Separate Drying Zones for Better Management after Water Intrusions

Water intrusions rarely affect an entire home. Even when damage is widespread, the intensity in each section of the house is likely to differ, so the restoration efforts needed still vary. Zoning the damage helps ease some restoration processes, such as drying your Marina Del Rey home.

Performing water restoration in Marina Del Rey homes means adjusting various things, including temperature, humidity, and airflow, to promote faster drying of wet materials and prevent other issues like aerosolizing contaminants. Our SERVPRO crews zone your property by erecting physical barriers separating the different sections.

Zoned restoration has many benefits, including:

  • Improving the efficiency of drying equipment
  • Better control of processes needed in each section
  • Allowing utilization of unaffected areas of the house

To realize the full benefits of this approach, you need to do it right. Our SERVPRO technicians help establish the different dynamics at your loss site and determine which areas need to be separated. The factors we consider include the type of materials and the level of wetness.

Some crucial aspects of zoning a water-damaged property include: 

  • Identifying rooms that share the same airspace
  • Sizing each zone appropriately for better control
  • Creating airtight barriers

Within each zone, it is possible to circulate sufficient air for sustained evaporation. Exhausting warm air from dehumidifiers into the area also keeps temperatures at appropriate levels. Another unique advantage is the assurance that the humidity levels in the zoned area cannot be diluted by humidity from other sections of the house. Therefore, whether the goal is speedy drying of upholstery or controlled drying of wood, it is possible to achieve the desired goals.

SERVPRO of Marina Del Rey / Westchester / El Segundo offers superior water restoration services by focusing on better management and advanced technologies. Call us at (310) 333-0654. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

What Are Common Issues Faced by Marina Del Rey Residents Affected by Flood Damage?

11/12/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is your complete flood damage restoration team. We can handle the entire process from water extraction to reconstruction.

Local Residents Impacted by Flood Damage Often Deal with Several Serious Problems

Although Marina Del Rey generally has much less severe weather than the East Coast, it still experiences some coastal storms and a rainy season between December and March. During this period, local inhabitants sometimes must contend with flooding and its life-changing effects.

Every year, SERVPRO helps homeowners in the coastal community of Marina Del Rey restore their flood damage. Our emergency water damage services include water cleanup, biohazard remediation, and water damage repairs. The flood victims we assist often have suffered one or more of the following problems:

  • Persistent, foul, flood-related odors that permeate every part of their homes and could make them unlivable
  • Small-to-massive pools of standing floodwaters that need extraction from their residences
  • Large amounts of hazardous waste that a professional remediator must cleanup
  • The loss of prized personal possessions and furnishings because of floodwater inundation and moisture-laden air
  • Mold growths on their walls, deteriorated wall coverings and drywall, warped walls, and buckled or sagging floors
  • Completely collapsed parts of their residences that need to be reconstructed

In helping to clean up and restore such damage over the years, SERVPRO technicians have gained invaluable, wide-ranging experience that has enabled them to perfect their skills. As a result, SERVPRO has become both faster and more effective at what it does.

So, when looking for a good flood damage remediator, remember that your friendly neighbors at SERVPRO of Marina Del Rey/Westchester/El Segundo are always around to help you overcome your flood-related troubles. Considering this, don’t hesitate to contact us at (310) 333-0654 when you need emergency flood services.

How Can Fire and Smoke Cleanup Services Help Restore My Marina Del Rey Home?

11/3/2021 (Permalink)

Fires start from many sources. No matter the size or scope of damage, SERVPRO can handle all your fire damage restoration needs.

Fire and Smoke Cleanup Removes Airborne Particles and Residues from Your Residence

Every year, various mishaps cause residential fires around the Marina Del Rey area. These fires are often caused by failing to keep a watchful eye on cooking food or simply falling asleep with a lit cigarette. Whatever their cause, though, rest assured that our restoration team can overcome the effects of these accidents.

SERVPRO precisely knows what fire and smoke cleanup in Marina Del Rey require. Our highly skilled smoke remediation and fire damage restoration experts have successfully remediated thousands of fire damaged homes around the local area. Moreover, they have all the most advanced tools to do house fire cleanup and fire restoration work the right way.

A few of the ways our technicians help restore your residence are by:

  • Clearing smoke particle-laden air from your interiors with air movers and high-velocity box fans
  • Further cleaning impacted air with sophisticated air scrubbers and ozone machines
  • Preventing the further spread of airborne smoke particles around your home by using specialized HVAC cleaning systems to sanitize air ducts
  • Employing dry, wet, abrasive, and innovative techniques to remove damaging acidic residues from materials and surfaces throughout your home
  • Reconstructing irreparably damaged structural elements, rooms, and other interior areas
  • Fully deodorizing your living areas and household contents with powerful, fogger-dispensed, EPA-approved deodorants

It is clear to see why your neighbors at SERVPRO of Marina Del Rey/Westchester/El Segundo are among the best fire and smoke cleanup experts in the region. So, regardless of the severity of your fire-related issue, remember that we are always just a phone call away. Call us anytime at (310) 333-0654 for assistance.

What Types of Mold Can Mold Remediation Cleanup Eliminate in Los Angeles?

10/27/2021 (Permalink)

Our SERVPRO mold specialists are trained to locate and remove fungal growths from your business. Call us today!

Mold Remediation Cleanup Services Like SERVPRO Can Remediate Most Types of Mold

Various types of airborne mold spores are naturally present in Los Angeles, and they are just waiting for the appropriate conditions to grow in your business facilities. Fortunately, effective remediation services are available nearby whenever these spores find the right conditions for growth and impact your commercial enterprise.

SERVPRO, a commercial mold remediation cleanup service in Los Angeles, has skillfully dealt with most types of mold that impact local businesses. Our mold specialists have been expertly trained to look for and successfully address the excess interior moisture that fosters these troublesome fungal growths. Moreover, they have ultimately been able to perform mold removal on different types found on affected structural elements and contents.

Some kinds of mold SERVPRO has been able to remediate are:

  • Aspergillus (the most common indoor mold) - appears in many different colors and can be found in HVAC systems, crawlspaces, ceilings, walls, and subflooring
  • Alternaria (often resulting from water damage) - is brown or dark green and can often be found under leaking sinks, bathtubs, or showers during bathroom mold removal efforts
  • Aureobasidium - starts as a black, brown, or pink growth that turns dark brown as it develops under wallpaper or on wooden surfaces
  • Cladosporium (capable of growing in either cold or warm conditions) - is often found on indoor materials like carpets, fabrics, and upholstery
  • Stachybotrys (popularly known as “black mold”) - proliferates in areas that sustain high humidity levels for long periods and it often requires extensive black mold damage repairs

So, if you ever need commercial mold remediation cleanup, don’t hesitate to call your helpful neighbors at SERVPRO of Marina Del Rey/Westchester/El Segundo. We are always ready for your call at (310) 333-0654.