Why SERVPRO Is a Preferred Vendor
Hail can lead to storm damage in Cedar City, UT.
When your Cedar City, UT, property has been damaged because of failing appliances, natural disasters, or freak emergencies, the last thing you want is to hire professionals to do subpar work. How can you be sure that you'll get great results from cleanup and restoration professionals? One of the best ways to feel confident you've chosen reliable professionals is to get a recommendation from your insurance company. SERVPRO works hard to be a successful part of your insurance company's vendor program.
What exactly does it mean to be a preferred vendor?
Property restoration companies must complete a list of steps to qualify for these programs. After completing all the required guidelines, the company demonstrates:
- Compliance with the Institute of Inspection
- Cleaning and Restoration standards
- Willingness to abide by standardized pricing and discount services
- Adherence with specific insurance company requirements
Some of the steps required to become a preferred vendor include routine background checks for employees, ongoing maintenance for equipment, and completion of multiple training programs.
Why do insurance companies offer preferred vendor programs?
Ultimately, a professional relationship with a restoration company that upholds high standards and abides by strict compliance standards is good for both parties. The insurance company knows that the restoration technicians are trained to do satisfactory work quickly, so repeat repairs aren't necessary. Cleanup crews that work efficiently for standardized prices keep costs down for the insurance company. In return, preferred companies know that they'll get a referral when an insurance agent meets with a homeowner.
Do These Programs Work in Your Favor?
Your insurance agent must balance the insurance company's desire to maintain a balanced budget with your need to pay for property repairs. When restoration professionals offer top quality services for competitive prices, the agent satisfies both requirements. Ask your Cedar City, UT, SERVPRO franchise for more information about how the program works and whether your insurance company uses preferred vendors.
How To Test Your Smoke Alarms
A smoke detector is important for fire safety.
Fire safety should be at the top of every homeowner's list of concerns. While you hope that you never have to deal with fire damage in your home, having a reliable smoke alarm system in place is essential to protecting your family just in case a fire occurs. There are several things you need to do to make sure your fire alarm system staying in good working order.
Check the Age
A smoke detector can last a long time, but like everything else in your home, it eventually wears out and needs to be replaced. The process for checking the age of your detectors is simple:
Remove the detector.
Look on the back for the date it was manufactured.
Return the detector to the wall or ceiling if it's less than 10 years old.
If the date of your detector is over 10 years ago, you need to replace it. Your smoke alarm system is only as strong as its weakest detector, so check the dates at least once a year to make sure they're all still current.
Check the Alert
Even if your smoke detectors are all relatively new, they can still malfunction. Fire damage experts recommend that you check them every month to make sure they are still working. Push the button on the front of the detector. It should emit an alert. If it does not, you need to replace either the battery or the detector itself.
Check the Battery
The battery in every smoke detector in your home should be replaced at least once a year. Your monthly test may reveal that the battery is weak before the year is up, though. If the alert doesn't sound when you push the button, a new battery may solve the problem.
Your smoke alarm system is your first line of defense against being trapped in a burning home. Test your alarms on a regular basis, and replace them when necessary.
Storm Damage Tax Write-Off Benefits Business Property Owners
Severe storm damage can prompt serious repair costs and lead to difficul financial losses.
When your Cedar City, UT, property has suffered from serious storm damage, the recovery efforts and expenses add up rapidly. Fortunately, the losses may be covered by a tax deductible if your insurance company didn't cover them. (If your property is insured, but you didn't file a claim, you won't be eligible for the write-off.)
What type of storms could prompt the qualification for deductions?
Any of these natural disasters could ruin carpeting, drywall, and furnishings. Hopefully, your insurance coverage will provide for most of the cleanup and repair costs, but many property owners are still left with financial losses. This is where the tax write-off comes in; basically, if you can show a direct connection between the storm, you can apply for the deduction.
A Break for Business Property Owners
When rules for claiming this deduction for your business property are a little more relaxed than the rules for private property. For example, residential property owners must subtract $100 and 10 percent of your adjusted gross income from their deductible amount. Residential property owners must itemize to claim the deduction, but commercial property owners can file as nonitemizers. If you're preparing your own taxes, research related IRS publications and specifically #547 which covers casualties, disasters, and thefts.
Natural Disaster Areas
If storm damage takes place in an area that has been declared a Natural Disaster Area by the U.S. president, it is possible to deduct casualty losses from the tax return for the current year or from the previous year. This opportunity to amend a past return allows you to determine which would give you the bigger refund check.
Available Resources Provide Help
Storm damage can prompt serious repair costs and lead to difficult financial losses. You'll find that working with property disaster repair and cleanup professionals, insurance representatives, and tax advisors is a good way to get a clear picture of the available resources. When your Cedar City, UT, property looks like it was hit by a hurricane (because it was,) be sure to use every available resource to rebuild and get back to work.
Restoration Professionals and Preferred Vendor Qualifications
Laundry room flooded in Cedar City, UT home.
When it comes to the professionals who provide restoration services, you want to know how well they will do their jobs. Without information about the cleanup and repair company, how could you possibly tell whether you'll get good results? The good news is that your insurance agent can refer you to a preferred vendor who has met specific qualifications.
All Restoration Companies Are Not the Same
Naturally, some restoration companies require that their employees hold more qualifications than others. For example, SERVPRO professionals must abide by 21 guidelines. This focus on meeting the highest industry standards makes the company popular with many insurance companies. As a result, you can expect good results from SERVPRO in the following areas:
- Customer care
- Compliance checks
- Crew and vehicle safety
- Insurance compliance
- Accurate documentation
- Quality assurance
Ongoing training is an important part of participation in the company's vendor program. Although there are many franchises around the country, including Cedar City, UT, you can be confident of a consistent level of quality service because of the company's high standards.
Why Qualifications Matter
Employers in most industries hire applicants who have valuable qualifications. Certifications, licensing, and other credentials show the applicants' ability to do great work and provide great results. In the cleaning, restoration, and mitigation industry, qualifications tend to show a combination of experience and education. This is one of the main reasons your insurance agent will only recommend a restoration company with high standards and professionalism. Naturally, your insurance provider is motivated to work with partners who offer good results while keeping costs low.
Why Choose a Preferred Vendor?
When your home has been damaged by water, fire, or anything else, you naturally want to work with a company that is going to do the restoration work well. Your insurance agent is likely to provide you with a referral to a cleanup and restoration company that maintains high standards and exhibits compliance with industry regulations. Choosing to work with a preferred vendor increases the chances that repair work will be done well and makes it more likely that the insurance company will cover the costs of restoration.
Understanding Mold Insurance Coverage
Moldy drywall in Cedar City, UT home.
Have you noticed fungus growth in your home, leaving you to wonder about mold insurance coverage? Unfortunately, most homeowner's policies do not cover mold damage in general, but there are specific circumstances where some coverage may be possible. However, to get the full benefit of your policy, it is necessary to understand four aspects of mold insurance coverage.
Mold Insurance Coverage
- Peril coverage
- Mold caps
- Preventable damage
- Professional inspections
When it comes to a typical homeowner policy, the mold coverage is likely limited to listed perils. In other words, if your home develops a mold problem because of a fire or sudden pipe break, then mold removal may be covered, but the specifics will need to be addressed by an adjuster.
There are some policies the will cover a portion of the removal of fungus growth. However, these specific policies likely have strict caps on coverage limits. Therefore, while your plan may include some of the damage, you will typically still be required to pay a portion of the removal and remediation expense.
Regardless of how your policy handles mold claims, a claim is likely to be rejected or denied if the damage incurred is determined to have been avoidable or due to negligence. For example, if you failed to fix a leak or if you didn't clean your gutters resulting in roof damage and leading to mold.
While some insurance policies will cover some mold damage, the best option for homeowners is prevention. Therefore, stick to annual home inspections by a professional remediation company in Cedar City, UT. Being diligent about inspections should allow you to prevent most water-related issues, protecting your home from the risk of mold.
While fungus growth is a common problem for homeowners, it is necessary to understand the most homeowners' policies do not cover mold damage. However, there are specific situations where coverage is possible, but the best practice is still prevention.
Cedar City Smoke and Soot Cleanup
Severe fire damage in Cedar City, UT.
Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.
Smoke and soot facts:
- Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
- Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
- The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.
Different Types of Smoke
There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Cedar City/Fillmore will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:
Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber
- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.
Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood
- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.
Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire
- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.
Our Fire Damage Restoration Services
Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions. We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage. We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.
How To Clean Items After a Fire
Fire damage can be devastating for your business in Cedar City, UT.
The damage to your building in Cedar City, UT, may be your primary concern after a fire, but damage to the items in your building can be just as extensive. Restoring everything in your building starts with a call to fire restoration experts. Whether you need dry-cleaning, ultrasonic treatment or some other process, they know the method that works best for each item.
Items To Clean After a Fire
If your documents have been destroyed by the fire, there isn't much that can be done. If they only have smoke or water damage, however, technicians may be able to salvage them with the right content cleaning process:
- Air drying
- Freeze drying
- Thermal drying
You don't want to leave papers damp as excess moisture can cause mold growth or other secondary damage. Proper restoration can save your important documents.
Curtains and window treatments can make an office feel warmer and more inviting. After a fire, these items are the most likely to hold on to soot and smoke smells. Technicians use dry-cleaning to loosen and release the particles trapped in the fibers. This method also protects your textiles from unnecessary fading and water damage.
When your computers, office equipment or other machines have been in or near a fire, it's important to make sure they are fully restored before you try to use them again. Experts set each piece aside in content storage and inspect it to make sure it's salvageable. Then they clean it thoroughly so that there are no problems when you plug it back in.
Any permeable item probably has smoke trapped inside it after a fire. A machine that emits ultrasonic pulses uses vibrations to release the particles and clean the item. This process can be used on items made of glass, plastic or aluminium as well as certain small electronic items.
Dry-cleaning and other restoration technology can be used to clean items after a fire. Making sure both the building and everything inside it are smoke-free is necessary for full restoration.
3 Ways to Be Rid of Smoke Odors Fast
Fire damage in Cedar City, UT home.
Whether the result of a fire or merely of a guest with a habit, smoke odors can be tough to get rid of. When smoke has infiltrated your Cedar City, UT, home, smoke cleaning is in order. Do you know what to do? Start with these three tips and you’ll be rid of smoke odor fast.
3 Tips To Get Rid of Smoke Odors Fast
What Causes the Smell
Smoke can cause odors by direct contact with materials or via getting into a building’s HVAC system. Smoke can penetrate things like
Smoke smells can be tough to get rid of, but there are a few steps that can help.
Remove the Source
Removing the source of smoke smells is one of the most obvious steps to take. Furniture in an area frequented by a smoker can hold odors and may be a loss. In the event of a fire, items that are extensively exposed in the room whether the fire started can be a big source of smell, so you’ll want to get rid of them as part of your smoke cleaning efforts.
Clean What You Can
Particularly after a fire, it’s tempting to toss out the obviously damaged items and move on. But even things that aren’t destroyed can be reservoirs for smoke damage. Use a wet sponge to wipe down porous surfaces and a dry one for less porous materials.
Use an Odor Counteractant
For the best results, you may want to invest in an ozone treatment. Ozone is what causes the fresh, clean scent we sense after rain. Ozone treatment works by exposing smoke damaged surfaces to ozone gas for a set amount of time. This is typically highly effective.
Air quality can have a huge impact on your quality of life. If smoke odors persist in your home, try the above tips or reach out to an expert in ozone smoke cleaning to get the stink out.
4 Facts You Should Know About Your Commercial Generator
Warehouse flooded and suffered water damage.
Commercial generators, like residential generators, are designed to provide power to your business in case your power ever goes out. Since your businesses in Cedar City, UT, likely has higher power requirements than your home, a commercial model will often have more efficient cooling components, a larger engine, and the ability to produce more power. Understanding how a generator works is important in case a power outage or other emergency causes your business to rely on one.
Facts About Commercial Generator
1. There Are Two Main Fuel Types for Generators
If you’re looking at commercial generators for your business, you will need to choose between diesel and gas fuel types. Diesel models are often more expensive and noisy. However, they require less maintenance and emit less carbon dioxide. Gas generators have a shorter lifespan and are a potential fire hazard, but they are connected to a gas line which means they have a consistent fuel source.
2. The Running Time Will Depend on Your Generator’s Type
When choosing generators, you can go with a portable or permanent model. While portable models will work for many small businesses, their run time is typically only a few hours. Permanent generators can run for very long periods of time, so if outages are common in your area you’ll want to go with a permanent model.
3. Maintenance is Key
To prevent needing to call a restoration company due to damages caused by your generator, it is important that you look for common generator problems like battery failure and leaks before a power outage occurs.
4. Carbon Dioxide Is a Risk
Always keep your generator a safe distance away from the building and allow for plenty of ventilation in order to avoid carbon dioxide poisoning.
A commercial generator is essential for providing power to your building in the case of an outage or black out. Keep these four facts in mind so you can choose the right model for your needs and keep it running in good repair!
3 Ways Electronic Records Can Assist With the Claims Process
SERVPRO is ready 24/7 to help with any type of damage.
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. Here are three ways the Claims Information Center at SERVPRO of Cedar City / Fillmore, can benefit you.
Electronic Records Can Assist With The Claims Process
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 is Here to Help.