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3 Things to Know About Preferred Vendor Qualifications

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Things to Know About Preferred Vendor Qualifications Our technicians meet the IICRC standards

Importance of Vendor Qualifications

When clients have property restorations needs, an insurance agent in Upper Montclair, NJ, may choose to recommend a preferred vendor to make the repairs. Choosing a preferred vendor allows the insurance company to know the team of professionals have the qualifications to perform the job, and also will meet a set of standards in the process. Vendor qualifications can be important because they

1. Let Clients Know What to Expect

A preferred vendor must agree to certain guidelines in order to be recommended by an insurance company. This means that the client knows what to expect from the professional restoration team, such as SERVPRO, working on their property. Knowing the guidelines also allows the client to ask questions about the steps involved if desired.

2. Allow the Client to Work With a Certified Team

The insurance agent processing the claim will often recommend that their client work with a certified professional. This gives the client the ability to look up any relevant qualifications and feel comfortable that their restoration team has the tools and knowledge to properly perform the job. It also allows the insurance company the ability to ensure that all restoration work meets the IICRC standards.

3. Ensure Quality Work

A vendor program teaches the participants how to properly conduct restoration efforts in a variety of circumstances. These may include mold, fire, water, and storm damage restoration. Participants are taught the proper procedures and how to ensure quality work every step of the way. In many cases these professionals are also taught how to clearly communicate with the insurance company so that all claim information remains up-to-date.

When an insurance agent recommends a preferred vendor for a job it’s because they trust that team or individual to do the job correctly. These professionals have been trained and certified to industry standards, take pride in quality work, and because of this the client can know what to expect in the restoration of their property.

How Does Storm Damage Differ From Flooding?

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How Does Storm Damage Differ From Flooding? Severe storm caused flooding in this Upper Montclair, NJ home

Property owners may have a hard time differentiating storm damage from flood damage. Commercial properties can sustain water damage from either source. There are a few major differences to keep in mind that may help you manage these risks.

Storms Versus Floods

The most general distinction is that storm water comes from above, whereas flood water usually overspills natural bodies or courses of water and covers at least two acres of ordinarily dry land. Storm damage to a commercial property may originate from a variety of causes such as

  • High winds
  • Heavy rain
  • Hurricanes
  • Snow
  • Tornadoes
  • Tropical storms

Most business insurance plans provide protection from damage caused by storms. Property owners will need additional coverage to offset the expenses of flood damage. If your property is located on a flood plain, you should make sure you carry the policies necessary to protect your investment.

Flooding occurs when water overflows a body of water or watercourse such as

  • Beaches or coasts
  • Canals
  • Creeks
  • Dams
  • Lakes
  • Stormwater channels

For water to be considered a flood, it must not only cover two acres but affect at least two properties. If a commercial property is located in a high-risk zone and the owner has a mortgage from an insured and federally-regulated lender, he or she is required to maintain flood insurance. Damage resulting from either flooding or storms can cause severe problems and should be planned for, prevented, and handled as soon as possible. Regardless of the source of moisture, the risk of mold and other secondary damage within a building can be just as severe.

Restoring Damage From Storms and Floods

Restoration specialists can help property owners determine the precise causes of damage and the best solutions. If a commercial property in Upper Montclair, NJ experiences flood damage or sustains damage during a storm, contact a commercial damage restoration company as soon as possible.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Every Type of Fire?

2/5/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Every Type of Fire? Most homeowners insurance policies cover accidental fires.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Every Type of Fire?

Different types of fires may or may not be covered by homeowners insurance. Most accidental fires and even some fires for which liability is a factor are covered perils. The legal term for an intentional home fire is arson. These fires are not covered by insurance and may result in criminal penalties. Find out more about the fire coverage available through most homeowners insurance policies.

Accidental Fires

Most homeowners insurance policies cover accidental fires. Several features distinguish this type of fire:

  • May be caused by an electrical short or heating malfunction
  • Could result from the actions of a policyholder or another person
  • No intention to destroy

An investigation will probably be necessary before an insurer will cover restoration costs. The one exception to this general coverage is a vacant home fire. Policyholders should obtain an endorsement or an additional vacancy policy for a vacation home or residence that will not be occupied for more than 30 consecutive days.

Fire Liability

Some fires start due to gross negligence or casual disregard on the part of a policyholder or another occupant of a residence. These fires may or may not be covered, depending on how the home fire started and whether any evidence of intentionality is present.

Intentional Fires

Insurance does not cover fires started deliberately to harm a person, damage property, or commit insurance fraud. Intentionally starting a fire may result in one or more of the following criminal charges:

  • Arson
  • Criminal mischief
  • Destruction of property

Reckless burning
Investigators will search for indications of intent to destroy property. An intentional fire may result in a prison sentence.

Most accidental fires and even some fires in which liability is evident should be covered by homeowners insurance. Intentional fires or fires in vacant properties without sufficient coverage are not covered. Insurers prefer to work with home fire damage restoration experts in Montclair, NJ.

Four Pieces of Equipment Needed For Mold Remediation

1/26/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Four Pieces of Equipment Needed For Mold Remediation Specialist wearing protective equipment

During the removal of mold, it is important that you keep yourself safe and prevent mold from spreading by using the proper protective equipment. Here are some of the items that should be used while dealing with mold in your West Orange, NJ home.

1. Face Masks
To keep from breathing in mold or mold spores, you should use a mask or air-purifying respirator. These masks filter out any mold particles and other impurities so that you are breathing in only clean air. They are one of the most important pieces of protective gear.

2. Disposable Gloves
To prevent mold spores or particles from getting on your hands, it is important to wear protective gloves. As well as keeping mold from getting on your skin, this also makes it easier to prevent spreading mold from one area to another since you can simply remove and dispose of the gloves once you are finished.

3. Safety Goggles
Along with wearing face masks over your nose and mouth, you should wear safety goggles to protect your eyes. This not only keeps out mold but also other particles that could cause eye damage. It is especially important to wear goggles if you are using any chemicals during the mold remediation process.

4. Disposable Clothing and Covers
In order to prevent mold spores from clinging to your clothing or hair, you should use disposable covers. Like with disposable gloves, wearing covers over your hair and shoes can make it easier to keep mold from being spread throughout the house and creating more mold damage. You can also wear Tyvek suits over your clothing for simple cleanup.


Because mold spores are too small to be seen and are easily spread, using protective equipment like face masks is necessary to keep them from going anywhere you don’t want them to. A mold remediation specialist can help you determine the best way to remove mold from your home.

What Will Your Homeowners Insurance Cover When a Pipe Breaks?

1/21/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What Will Your Homeowners Insurance Cover When a Pipe Breaks? Water loss from a broken pipe leaving carpet soaked in a Upper Montclair, NJ home

Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell what will be covered under your homeowners insurance and what won’t. If a pipe breaks in your Upper Montclair, NJ home, your insurance will likely cover most of the damage caused by a resulting flood, but there are some things that you may still be responsible for.
What Does the Insurance Company Consider?
When determining whether or not they will cover the damage caused by a broken pipe, there are a few things that your insurance company will consider first.

  • Was the break easily preventable?
  • Was the incident sudden and accidental?
  • Was it the result of negligence?

If it is determined that the pipe was broken as a result of something that was your fault, you may be denied coverage for the damage even if it causes a flood. However, if it was something that you could not have done anything about, then any damage should be covered under your insurance.

What Will Your Homeowners Insurance Cover?

If it is determined that the break is not your fault, then the insurance company should cover the damage. This can include replacing affected property as well as any needed water damage repairs. Depending on the extent of the damage, this might include replacing walls, flooring, or furniture.

What Will You Need to Do?

While the insurance coverage will apply to any damage done to your property, you will more than likely be responsible for replacing the damaged pipe. Unless the pipe burst due to something other than normal wear and tear, your insurance will not cover it and you will need to fix the broken pipe yourself.
Broken pipes can cause your home to flood, so you should do whatever you can to prevent it. If you don’t and your insurance company determines that you are at fault, it can end up being quite expensive to repair. However, if you keep up with proper maintenance of your home, then any accidents should be covered.

How Water Damage and Fires go Hand in Hand

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial How Water Damage and Fires go Hand in Hand SERVPRO of Montclair/West Orange can handle water and fire cleanup

If a fire starts in your Montclair, NJ, office, your first priority is to get everyone out safely without harm. You also trust fire crews to put out the fire quickly to minimize damage. Ironically, the very thing firefighters use to eliminate the blaze can cause further problems to your office space and equipment. Water cleanup is part of the recovery process.

Firefighters’ Response

Water is a firefighter’s best friend, as it will, in most cases, control and put out fires in offices. However, crews may use so much water on the flames that flooding and other damage will require massive water cleanup.

  • Firefighters pump out large volumes of water from their hoses.
  • Smoke in your office will trigger the sprinklers on the ceiling, which can spray gallons of water on the floor.
  • The crew’s most immediate concern is to eliminate the fire, not worry about issues water will cause with the floor, walls, ceiling or equipment.

Potential Problems

In the wake of a fire, smoke cleanup isn’t the only matter professional restoration teams handle. With the amount of water firefighters use to battle fires, flooding can occur. You may also see major damage to carpet, hardwood floors, sheetrock, furniture and electronics.

What the Pros Will Do

A professional company can handle water cleanup and fire cleanup all at once. The team will tear out and replace carpet and other flooring and will also remove damaged walls and ceiling tiles. The professionals will then clean and sanitize the affected area in order to prevent the growth of mold.

Why Call the Pros

You wouldn’t trust a novice to put out a fire in your office, so you shouldn’t call anyone other than an experienced expert to clean up water and the effects it can have in your building. The professionals have proven experience, state-of-the-art equipment and effective techniques to do the job correctly.

Be aware that water cleanup and fire come in tandem. If you want to avoid costly and time-consuming processes, call a restoration company you can trust.

How To Safely Salvage Your Business After a Flood

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

How To Safely Salvage Your Business After a Flood

When a business sustains water damage, the cleanup process becomes a top priority. But as you begin to restore your flooded company, it’s important to observe established cleaning guidelines designed to protect you and your staff. By following a few simple precautions, you’ll ensure that your business in West Orange, NJ, is up and running again safely after a flood event.

  1. Invest in protective equipment. Standing floodwater can develop deadly bacteria in a matter of hours. To reduce the risk of infection, insist that anyone working in or around the water-damaged area wear goggles, knee-high rubber boots, waterproof coveralls, gloves and a face mask.

  2. Practice good hygiene. Frequent, thorough hand washing is the first line of defense against waterborne illnesses. Any personal items that come into contact with floodwaters must be disinfected, and contaminated clothing should be washed in hot water and then taken to a reputable dry cleaning service.

  3. Enlist professional help. It’s imperative to discover the source of damage to your flooded company so that future dangerous water events can be prevented. A reputable water damage expert can determine the best way to repair a broken pipe or leaking roof, allowing you to move forward knowing your business is secure.

  4. Toss hazardous items. Anything inside your business that can’t be completely cleaned and dried within 48 hours is a potential breeding ground for mold and dangerous microorganisms. Remove high risk objects from the building and contact your insurance carrier for details on how to file a claim for the losses.

Cleaning up your flooded company after a catastrophic water event can feel overwhelming at first. But keeping a few basic safety guidelines in mind while you begin the restoration process will preserve the health of everyone who is working to rebuild your business. Take the cleaning process day by day, and soon you’ll be ready to reopen your doors to customers.

4 Steps To Replace a Toilet

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage 4 Steps To Replace a Toilet Toilet replacement in a Montclair, NJ home

4 Steps To Replace a Toilet

Replacing a leaking toilet is not difficult, but it does require planning, preparation, and the proper tools. Follow these four steps to determine whether replacement is necessary and complete the job.

1. Make Sure Replacement Is Necessary

If a toilet is leaking, check to see if the closet bolts can be tightened or the wax seal under the toilet needs to be replaced. A toilet that keeps running may need to have the float or flapper chain adjusted or the fill valve replaced.

2. Choose a New Toilet

If a leaking toilet cannot be fixed, it is necessary to replace the toilet. Measure the distance from the wall behind a toilet to the closet bolts and water supply lines. You may also want to measure from the bowl to the sidewall.

3. Remove the Old Toilet

Turn off the water supply line. Flush water from the tank and remove the remainder with a sponge. Disconnect the line before unscrewing the nuts on the bottom of the tank and lifting the tank off of the bowl. Next, loosen and remove the nuts attaching the bowl to the floor. Remove the bowl. Underneath the toilet, you will need to remove the wax ring, any excess wax on the flange, and the closet bolts.

4. Install the New Toilet

Install new closet bolts. Turn the new toilet bowl upside-down and install a new wax ring onto the outlet. Place the toilet bowl over the closet bolts and install cap bases, washers, and nuts. Cut off the excess bolt with a hacksaw and snap on caps. Install bolts and a rubber gasket on the bottom of the new tank. Set the tank in place and tighten the nuts. Hook up the water supply and check for leaks around the supply line and base. Install the seat and put the top on the tank.

If a leaking toilet results in water damage, contact a mitigation and restoration service in Montclair, NJ. You can also hire a plumber for toilet repair or replacement.

When To Clean Away Dryer Lint: 3 Tips for Preventing a Fire

12/30/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage When To Clean Away Dryer Lint: 3 Tips for Preventing a Fire Clean the lint screen of your dryer

3 Tips for Preventing a Fire 

Having a washer and dryer at your Upper Montclair, NJ, home can make the chore of cleaning your clothes convenient and affordable. There are no quarters to save and no tedious weekly trips to the local laundromat. However, there are a few dangers that come with owning these large appliances, especially when it comes to clothes dryers. The risk of a lint fire can grow if the dryer is not cleaned properly, so it is important to perform daily, weekly and monthly maintenance to reduce this risk.

1. Daily: Clean the Lint Screen

It is helpful to get into the habit of cleaning your dryer’s lint screen after each load is complete. Pull the screen out completely and dispose of the lint into a lined, lidded trash can so it cannot blow around the room with drafts and regather in corners. Make sure the can is placed well away from any electrical outlets and heating vents. Rinse away stubborn dust and lint by placing the lint screen under running water.

2. Weekly: Vacuum the Lint Trap

Over time, clothing lint may become trapped in the area under where the lint screen sits, and this accumulation can increase the risk of fire damage if it ignites while the appliance is running. To prevent this, vacuum the lint trap weekly, either with a handheld unit or a shop-vac with an extendable hose. This step is especially important if multiple family members use the dryer during an average week.

3. Monthly: Perform a Deep Vent Cleaning

A lint fire can ignite almost anywhere inside the dryer, from the drum to the hoses. However, performing a monthly deep cleaning of all the unit’s parts can prevent a damaging dryer fire. Have a fire remediation and restoration service help you unhook your dryer and perform the deep cleaning to ensure it is completed safely.

Having a dryer in your Upper Montclair, NJ, home can increase the chances of a lint fire. Knowing when and how to clean the unit could lower this risk and keep your family and property safe.

How to Deal with Mold After it Has Been Discovered

12/26/2018 (Permalink)

Do not be fooled. Mold is not a good thing to have within your home. This substance consists of millions of microorganisms that will ruin your home over a long period of time.

If you want to keep your your property in good condition, then you will need to know how to deal with bacteria after it has been discovered in your home. The following material will explain how this done.

Where is mold normally present?

The short answer is that mold, fungus and mildew are usually present within a home where there is a lot of moisture. This means that the bathroom and kitchen areas are two places where fungus and microbial growth can be found.

Fungal and microbial growth is common when an area of a home is sitting in water or excessive moisture. This type of condition provides optimal microbial growth. Fungus in bathroom is not that uncommon and neither is mildew. If people do not conduct any type of mold cleanup procedures this substance will usually be found in these areas of a home.

What can be done to get rid of mold?

People can get rid of mold by calling in professional environmental hygienist to get rid of the problem. Most mold growth can be stopped in its tracks. However, an environmental hygienist should be called in for large microbial growth issues. People can also use basic cleaning steps to get rid of fungus and mildew.