Recent Posts

Does My Commercial Property Insurance Cover Mold Damage?

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Mold  discovered on baseboard and under carpet Mold growth in Oxford Township, NJ

Any responsible business owner understands the importance of purchasing commercial insurance. Of course, you hope to never need to make a claim, but you're relieved you've got the coverage if you need it. Your policy will cover damage to your building due to vandalism and theft and from some types of weather issues. Mold is another problem that people in Oxford Township, NJ, find in the office. You should understand whether your insurance will pay to clean up this unwanted invader. In many cases, your plan should help cover the costs.

How Mold Grows and Spreads

Finding mold in the office can be unnerving and embarrassing. If you take the right steps, you can keep this fungus from developing in the building. Mold spores are actively in the air, but the bacteria will start to grow under the right conditions. Mold loves the following:

  • Standing water
  • Areas where there are slow leaks such as under sinks and in walls
  • Areas where there is high humidity such as in basements and attics as well as in laundry rooms and bathrooms

When Your Policy Will Cover Mold

If you discover mold damage occurred in your building due to a sudden, unexpected incident, you should have coverage. For example, if a water pipe burst, pouring water onto the floor, your insurance policy should accept your claim. Also, if an appliance such as a refrigerator or water heater is defective and leaks water over floors or walls, you should have coverage.

When it's Not Covered

Commercial insurance will not pay on a mold claim if the damage occurs because of your neglect. If you fail to properly maintain systems, parts and components, you will be responsible to pay for the cleanup, repair and replacements. You could consider purchasing supplemental mold insurance to help take care of the costs.
It's crucial to understand your commercial insurance policy. Before you call a professional mold cleanup team to take care of the issue, talk to your insurance agent about how to file a claim.

The Benefits of Pretesting Assessments

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

Stain on ceiling tiles, water damage to ceiling Ceiling water damage in Mount Hermon, NJ

The Benefits of Pretesting Assessments

Water damage claims can add up pretty quickly, costing thousands of dollars and demanding the need for mass repairs. Working with your insurer, then, can become a tiresome, tedious process, attempting to have approval for everything that arises. Business owners in Mount Hermon, NJ, can save time and price by hiring a water remediation team. Here are three benefits of completing the process.

1. They'll Know How It Started

Once something has started, it becomes about containing it; therefore, the first priority in your inspection is locating the initial source and fixing it immediately. At this time, workers can tear out polluted sections and dry up anything saturated with moisture, stopping it from spreading elsewhere in the establishment. In addition, when you file the insurance claim, you'll need to note the origin of the problem, proving that this issue is covered under policy. This evidence could shorten approval time and reduce the need for additional back and forth communication.

2. They'll Save What They Can

With this step out of the way, the experts begin evaluating property and assets, looking to salvage whatever they can. This stage of pretesting requires that specialists understand the type of exposure. Through tests and knowledge, they can determine whether it's safe to keep and clean objects or whether, for sanitary reasons, items and materials need to go. In addition, they have equipment capable of cleansing paperwork and valuables. This limits how much you'll need to request during compensation.

3. They'll Document and Recommend

When your insurance agent reviews your claim, you want as much support and clarity as possible. This testing, validates your problem and need for services. Furthermore, the company puts together paperwork with photos, illustrating the extent of the loss. This game plan, so to speak, shows a complete overview.
It may be tempting to skip pretesting, thinking you are cutting out a middle step; however, this stage permits employees to mitigate the trouble faster. It guards the location from additional contamination and secures an understanding of the extent of the difficulty.

Ensure a Clean Environment After a Strom

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Clean building and one air mover placed on the floor Cleaning after storm damage in Washington Township, NJ

When a storm hits Washington Township, NJ, some businesses may be luckier than others. If there is any type of flooding, letting employees return to work will depend on the type of water damage. Working with a water damage expert can help make the flood cleanup process easier, especially if the flooding includes black water.

The Differences Between Water

Determining how soon things can get back to normal depends on the extent of the damage and the type of water that has invaded a business.

Category 1 – If flood damage is directly from a pipe or faucet, it is considered sanitary since it has likely not come into contact with potentially harmful contaminants. Employees will be able to return to work after affected areas have been thoroughly dried and sanitized.
Category 2 – This is considered dirty water because it has chemicals such as from a dishwasher or washing machine. Some precautions are necessary for safe cleanup, but returning to work will likely not take too long.
Category 3 – Also referred to as black water, cleanup for this kind of damage requires many more safety precautions before, during and after. This kind of water often includes sewage due to rising floodwaters. It can also can debris, chemicals and other containments.

Count on the Experts
Although there may be anxiety about getting business back on track, Category 3 damage is more time-consuming to clean up. No one should enter the building until affected and nearby areas have been completely cleaned. Along with drying everything out, special equipment is needed to ensure proper cleanup to avoid the growth of mold and bacteria. Depending on the damage, extensive repairs and replacements may be required, such as drywall and carpeting. Air filtration can be used during repairs to allow employees back to work.
While dealing with flooding and black water can mean a temporary shutdown, taking the time to clean it properly will ensure a safe environment.

The Hidden Damage of a Partial Loss Fire

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Soot webs Soot webs after a fire in Oxford Township, NJ

Any fire in or near your Oxford Township, NJ, business can affect operations and leave long-lasting effects. In extreme circumstances, it can result in a total loss. In other situations, it can mean a partial fire loss. For those situations, that often means hidden damage that will require the services of a fire restoration professional.

Types of Hidden Damage

Even if it was a small fire or wasn’t your commercial building that had the blaze, there could still be residuals that can affect your building that isn’t visible. The different types of hidden issues include:

Smoke damage – While some smoke and soot damage is noticeable, depending on the type of fire, smoke residue can begin to permeate into the porous materials in the building without being detected.

Ventilation – Since an HVAC system is the main circulator of air, any smoke or soot that made its way into it can result in a long-lasting smoky odor.
Plumbing and Electric Systems – Accumulation of soot and smoke can eventually find its way into pipes and wiring, negatively impacting how they operate.

Water Damage – Putting out a fire usually means dousing it in water. If the fire is big enough, that can mean a lot of water being absorbed into flooring, walls, carpeting and ceilings.

The Cleanup Process
After experiencing a fire loss, business owners have a lot on their minds. Along with documenting the damage, dealing with insurance and still trying to stay operational, getting the right help is essential to getting back to normal. Using a professional service to restore your business helps smooth the process. During the cleanup, they will have the tools and expertise to salvage as much as possible through dry and wet cleaning processes, as well as ensure lingering odors and damage are eliminated.
Although a fire loss, even if it is partial, can be overwhelming, you don’t have to go it alone. Count on the experts to make it “Like it never even happened”.

What to Know About the IICRC

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

White brick wall that says WHAT IS THE IIRC? The IIRC is a non- profit organization, that seeks to serve the cleaning and restoration community

Few Details You May Wish to Know About the IICRC

The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, also known as the IICRC, is an important organization responsible for setting standards for the property restoration community including those in Washington Township, NJ. Here are a few details about this organization you may wish to know.

1. Who They Are

A non-profit organization, this institute seeks to serve the cleaning and restoration community. There are 15 industry leaders chosen to sit on the board of directors. These professionals help ensure that the organization runs smoothly in a direction that represents the interests and standards of the industry, and help shape the recognized policies.

2. What They Do

The IICRC sets a series of standards recognized by federal, state, and local authorities for the cleaning and restoration industry. These standards are meant to ensure that every job is conducted with the safety of both building occupant and restoration team in mind, and that each project is completed with quality results. This organization also provides education and certificate training.

3. How They Serve

By creating industry standards and providing a mitigation certificate to those individuals trained in these policies through one of the many provided programs, this organization helps insure that those in the industry all work to a set standard. Standards help ensure that there is no confusion about the steps necessary to properly complete a job, and allows clients to know what to expect their chosen professional to do during restoration.

The standards set by the IICRC allow you to know that the professional restoration team chosen to work on your client’s property can perform the job to the same degree of excellence you seek to provide yourself. This non-profit organization seeks to provide globally set standards for every restoration professional to follow, ensuring that every job is performed with quality results. Choosing a certified professional can allow you to know what to expect from any restoration job.

How To Ensure You Find All the Smoke Damage in Your Building

12/23/2019 (Permalink)

Abandoned building after fire Smoke damage in a Oxford Township,NJ commercial property

Smoke Penetrates all Surfaces

If you have a fire in your building or there is a fire in a nearby building in Oxford Township, NJ, you could suffer smoke damage. Getting rid of it requires being aware of where it is, which can be a difficult thing to do. You have to understand how smoke moves through a building and how it damages items.

1. How Smoke Moves and Settles

Smoke seeks out cool areas, so it is most often found in higher areas of the building. If you have a second story, expect to find excessive smoke damage in that area compared to the other areas of your building. Be aware that you must clean even those areas without visible damage if smoke penetrated them. While damage can be invisible to the eye, it usually leaves behind a dry and powdery or sticky residue.

2. How Damage Occurs

Probably the most obvious result of smoke you will notice is soot damage. This usually causes a staining or yellow discoloring on the affected item. Do keep in mind that it may not show up right away. This is especially true when it comes to walls, flooring and other porous materials, such as stone. It may also result in the corrosion or tarnishing of metals.

3. How Important Smoke Cleaning Can Be

You may notice a lingering odor if you fail to get every exposed surface clean because smoke gets locked into fabrics and carpet. Even a small area left uncleaned can make the whole building smell of smoke. Sometimes the only solution is to contact smoke remediation specialists. They will help you know if the tiny smoke particles are so embedded into the materials that you have to remove the items.

After a fire in Oxford Township, NJ, it is imperative to remove all the smoke damage in your building. If you do not understand how smoke moves through an area, it can make this process difficult. However, being aware of what you face in terms of damage allows you to get your building back to its pre-fire state.

Are Burst Frozen Pipes Covered By Insurance?

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

An open pipe due to freezing Burst pipe in Mount Hermon, NJ

Frozen pipes can be an expensive problem, particularly if they burst and flood your Mount Hermon,NJ, home. You may be wondering if you can file an insurance claim to cover your losses. Read on to find out.

When Are Frozen Pipes Covered by Insurance?

In general, an insurance provider pays for damage caused by a “sudden and accidental” discharge of water from pipes. A burst frozen pipe usually falls into this category, provided you have taken appropriate precautions to avoid this disaster.
Your insurance does not cover the cost of repairing or replacing the broken pipe. However, you can use the insurance money to pay for the following:

  • The cost of tearing down a wall to access the pipes
  • Additional living expenses if you have to move out while the repairs are performed
  • Cleanup and restoration services

How Do You Prevent Pipe Freeze?
Your provider may deny your insurance claim if it determines that your negligence contributed to the burst pipe. That is why you should take steps to prevent your pipes from freezing in the first place.
Start by turning up your thermostat when you are on vacation or at work. The inside temperature of your home should be at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit at all times so your pipes stay warm. Since many pipes are located under sinks, you should open the cabinets surrounding those pipes to allow heated air to circulate.
It is not cold temperature alone that causes pipes to burst. This phenomenon results from a lack of heat combined with increased water pressure. You can relieve this pressure by turning on the faucets that are near the outside walls of your home. Let a trickle of water flow through the faucets overnight.
If you follow all of these suggestions and a pipe still bursts in your home, an insurance claim should help pay for the water damage. The money can cover the costs of cleaning and drying your home along with any additional living expenses.

Where Could Mold Grow in Your Home?

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

Wood with black discoloration Fungus can invade your space in a short amount of time, clinging to living and permeable items.

A house is both a place of peace and a financial investment. Mold damage can disrupt both elements, creating the need for timely and expensive repairs; therefore, homeowners should understand how it develops and take measures to prevent it. Consider the following three tips to try and avoid serious complications.


1. Where Does It Grow?


Fungus spores are airborne, floating everywhere. In fact, they are exceedingly common in nature and helpful, breaking down wood and organic material. While outside, the microscopic beings could land on your clothing, shoes and belongings. Then, when you enter your home, they come in too. At that point, they are benign. However, if they make contact with water, they will reproduce; that is when mold growth becomes a problem. They will cling to anything, particularly items such as wood, drywall, paper and carpet. If it's capable of absorbing liquid, it could be there.


2. Can You Prevent It?


While you cannot keep the spores from your home, you can decrease the chance of it spreading by cutting off its feeding source: moisture. Do this by drying up excess liquid and drawing out excess humidity. Mop up spills immediately, and be watchful of any plumbing issues. At the first sign of a leak, call in the professionals to complete repairs. Mold damage occurs quickly. The longer it festers, the more likely you could have trouble.

3. How Do You Kill It?


If you suspect something is wrong, contact a mold remediation company in Hackettstown, NJ to inspect the areas. The employees can test the property, determining the extent of damage as well as proper treatment. The results should even indicate the infestation's species and whether mildew growth is present as well. The crew can then get to work removing any impacted materials and spraying it down to prevent further development.


You can attempt to prevent its advancement by reducing moisture contact, but, if you think it's present, call in professionals to clean it up. Mold damage needs immediate attention.

Is it Safe To Burn Candles in Homes?

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

a red, white, and blue candle Candles bring an open flame into your home, so always practice extreme caution when lighting one.

Lighting a candle is a popular way to set a relaxing mood or make your home smell great, but that doesn’t mean they are always safe to use.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there is an average of 23 home candle fires a day with the most fires occurring during the holiday season. While many people use candles throughout the year without a problem, not being aware of potential hazards can lead to a devastating home fire that requires the help of a fire damage restoration specialist. Avoid a candle fire in your home in Hackettstown, NJ by always being vigilant and following the tips in the guide.

Consider Using Candle Alternatives


Your best bet at avoiding a home fire altogether is to ditch candles completely, especially if you live in a small area like a dorm room or studio. With many different candle alternatives out there, you can still get the same results without bringing an open flame into your home. Here are some options to consider for bringing sweet aromas in your home or adding ambient lighting:

Flameless candles or tea lights
Wax or oil warmers
Essential oil diffuser
Reed diffuser
String lights
Potpourri
Plug-in air freshener
Incense
Fresh flowers

Always Use Common Sense When Burning Candles
If prefer the real deal to candle alternatives, make sure to set basic safety rules for yourself and your family. Make sure lit candles are never left unattended, which includes leaving one burning while you are asleep. Find a location that is out of reach of young children and pets and far away from all flammable objects. If less than half an inch of wax remains, throw it out.


If there are many fire hazards in your home, make sure to use one of the suggested candle alternatives.

3 Ways To Manage a Mold Problem

11/22/2019 (Permalink)

Man checking the moisture levels of a mold infestation Mold spores are everywhere

Mold spores are everywhere, but you can take measures to keep them from multiplying in your home. Address water damage from any source such as a leak or flood before mold growth starts by following these three mold prevention tips.

1. Eliminate Moisture: Mold cannot thrive without moisture present. Call a plumber if necessary to quickly repair any leaks. You should then thoroughly dry the affected area to limit the amount of primary and secondary damage. Take steps to prevent moisture from collecting or lingering in rooms in your home where water is frequently used, such as the kitchen or bathrooms. You may want to run a dehumidifier to dry out porous or semi-porous building materials and contents.

2. Survey the Damage: After water damage occurs, you should survey the extent and come up with a strategy to quickly remove all water and dry wet materials and contents. Keep in mind that items exposed to Category Two grey water or Category Three black water, which may contain contaminants or sewage, will also need to be cleaned. You may want to rely on the expertise of damage restoration professionals to perform this cleanup and prevent mold from starting to grow.

3. Replace or Restore: Determine which damaged materials or items need to be thrown away and replaced and which items should be restored. Perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine the most practical approach. There are a variety of methods for restoring delicate items such as paintings, leather, or upholstery. You may need to tear out and replace carpeting or drywall.

These mold prevention methods can prevent water damage from escalating into mold damage. Keep in mind that mold growth may begin in as little as 24 hours after a leak or flood. Follow these tips and do not hesitate to rely on the expertise of mold remediation specialists in Phillipsburg, NJ. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwarrencountynj.com/.