Recent Posts

Is That Water Damage Covered?

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

A Photo of a portion of a homeowner's insurance policy with a pencil pointing to the words Insurance Coverage Water Damage Cleanup at SERVPRO of Chesapeake North.

You’ve been cleaning up around the house, your dishwasher has been running and you walk in to the kitchen to find standing water at the base of the dishwasher.  Naturally, you clean up the water mess.  Next day, you notice that the flooring has buckled.  Will your homeowner's insurance cover the cost to fix the flooring?

Most likely because this water damage was sudden and accidental which standard homeowner's insurance policies usually provide this kind of protection.  Same holds true say the water heater ruptures or a water pipe bursts and damages the drywall or the ceiling.  

What May Not Be Covered

  • Damage from an unresolved maintenance issue-the flooring from this dishwasher leak should be repaired or replaced, but if you've had a continuous leak near a faucet or other plumbing fixtures, it may not be covered.
  • The Cause of the Water Damage Loss-Most insurance policies will cover the cost to repair the damage, but you shouldn't count on the insurance company replacing the culprit, like the dishwasher.
  • Sewer or Drain Water Backup- If water backs up into your home through an outside sewer or drain line, more than likely you have no coverage.  You may be able to purchase additional coverage to protect you from this kind of emergency disaster.
  • Flood-No type of flood damage is protected by your standard homeowners’ policy.  Whether the flooding occurred as a result of a storm, or a water surge, it does not matter.  You can purchase a separate flood insurance policy, however, depending on your location, and your mortgage company,  a flood insurance policy may be required when buying a home.

Contact us with any questions or concerns about water damage caused by a flood at SERVPRO of Chesapeake North, 757-465-9700.

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Can Your Business File A Claim for Smoke Damage?

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Fire Technicians Cleaning a Wall and Talking to a Customer Fire Damage Cleaning & Restoration in Chesapeake-Call us at 757-465-9700

Did your commercial building or the suite next to yours recently have a fire and now you smell smoke or have smoke related damage?  Is smoke damage a covered loss on your commercial insurance policy?  Learn more about what you need to know about smoke claims.

Soot Damage and Insurance

Good news is that in most cases, damage from smoke will be covered under your commercial insurance policy.  Remember the sooner you act upon following these steps, could help improve the restoration of your property to its preloss condition.  Your preparedness could also help with your insurance company approving your claim.

  • Get in touch with your insurance company or agent and file a claim, report the smoke damage.
  • Call a professional smoke cleanup company to help assess your loss and provide details of the cleanup process.
  • Take photos of any damaged items, and documents, receipts for any repairs that need to be performed.
  • Know that your insurance company will send an adjuster to survey the damage.     
  • Know that your insurance company will require proof that the money they pay you will be going towards your restoration and repair.     

Smoke damage claims and the efforts to communicate with your adjuster may be challenging.  However, if you have done your due diligence in following these steps, your post-fire experience can be a positive one.

SERVPRO of Chesapeake North is here to help with the fire damage, the soot damage or the smoke damage.

A Fire Escape Plan For Your Home

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

A family standing outside of the house that is on fire. Fire & Smoke Damage Cleaning and Restoration in Chesapeake, 757-465-9700.

When a fire ignites, you may only have a few minutes to safely get everyone out of the house.  It's imperative that you have a rehearsed escape plan before the event of a house fire.  Here are some escape plan suggestions to help keep you and your loved ones safe from harm as quickly as possible.

Install Fire Alarms

Place fire alarms on every floor of your home and inside and outside of every bedroom.  This will help to ensure that the alarm will be heard by most.

Map It

Map out your home's floor plan showing at least two ways to get out of a room.  This is a great visual for children and a second exit option in case one is not accessible.

Discuss & Act on It

Discuss this escape floor plan with your family making special note to point out the exits to the children especially those in their bedroom.  Afterwards, have a fire drill so that everyone is familiar as this will help in getting everyone out quickly and safely. 

Choose a Meeting Place

It's important that everyone knows where to meet after getting out of the house safely.  Places safely away from the fire like a mailbox across the street, a street sign, or a neighbor’s house.

Don't Wait

When you hear the smoke alarm, yell, scream, knock on doors as you are immediately exiting the house.  No items or belongings are more valuable than yours and your loved one’s lives.

Call us with any questions about fire or smoke damage or about making a fire escape plan.  We are "Always here to help." 757-465-9700.

Sources:  National Fire Protection Association

How to Prevent a Dryer Fire

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Image of a dryer fire, lint build up and improper venting Dryer Vent Cleaning in Chesapeake, VA

The U.S. Fire Administration reports that 2,900 home clothes dryer fires are reported each year and cause an estimated 5 deaths, 100 injuries, and $35 million in property loss.  Thirty four percent of these fires are cause by people failing to clean their dryers and most dryer fires happen in the fall and winter months with a peak in January.  Learn how you can help reduce the risks of your dryer setting fire.

Clean the Lint Screen

A good habit to form is to remove all the lint before beginning every load of laundry.

Inspect the Dryer Vent Hose

Look for a bent, or crushed hose and if you have a white plastic vent hose, you should quickly replace it with an aluminum vent hose.  White vent hoses are no longer allowed to be sold as they are considered a safety hazard.

Clean the Dryer Vent System & Dryer

Clean the dryer vent system annually.  Depending on where your system exits will determine if you need a professional to clean from the dryer to the exit point.  It's important to be sure that there are no lint blockages in your vent system.  Regularly use a vacuum to remove any excess lint from the inside of your dryer.

Remove Flammable Materials

Look for paper, clothing or cardboard that may have fallen behind or beside your dryer.  Be sure to keep any flammable materials away from the dryer.

Contact us if you have any questions about dryer vent system cleaning at SERVPRO of Chesapeake North at 757-465-9700.

Sources:  U.S. Fire Administration                               

How to Clean Your Gutter System

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Man on a ladder cleaning his gutters Storm Damage Cleanup in Chesapeake

Gutters have an important job to keep water away from the perimeter of your house. However, they need our help to keep them unclogged from debris so as they can continue to function properly.  If you maintain the cleaning of your gutters, you can help prevent water damage and keep your house looking great.

Safety First 

Make sure that you have a sturdy and safe ladder with ample extension to access your gutters.

Clean the Downspout

Start the cleaning of your gutters at the downspout.  Remove the horizontal extension pipe and shoot water from a water hose down into the pipe to remove any blockage or debris. When clear, the water should run out the other side.  

Remove Debris

Using a trowel or your gloved hands remove any debris that is trapped letting it fall to the ground.

Flush with Water

Use a water hose to remove any remaining debris that could potentially cause a blockage in your gutter system.  If water does not flow out and down the system, you may find a plumber's snake to be useful to loosen and remove the blockage.

Contact us if you experience water damage from a storm or have questions at SERVPRO of Chesapeake North, 757-465-9700.  

Sources:  The Allstate Blog

Image:  GutterStuff

Should You Get Your Commercial Air Ducts Cleaned?

10/4/2019 (Permalink)

Debris and Trash Inside of a Commercial Air Duct System Commercial Air Ducts Cleaned by SERVPRO of Chesapeake North.

Do you have your commercial air ducts in a row?

Your Commercial HVAC and air duct system require regular maintenance and cleaning to maintain efficiency and proper functions.  They are the key to having good air quality in your work environment for you and your employees.

  • Filters should be replaced every 90 days.  Wires, connections, and motors should be inspected for wear or for visible damage and repaired to keep your HVAC system safe and operating properly.
  • Professional Inspections of your HVAC and Duct Work should occur bi-annually, normally before the A/C or Heat are to be turned on in your building.  Inspections involve looking for excessive amounts of dust, debris, feces, odors, or noises.  Some of these findings could mean that you have an infestation of some sort.  

SERVPRO of Chesapeake North will visit your facility and perform a Free Inspection of your duct work system.  We understand the importance of a properly functioning HVAC and Duct Work system in the work environment.  Call us at 757-465-9700 when you need professional cleanup and restoration of your air duct system.

Collect, Protect Essential Records Before An Emergency

9/17/2019 (Permalink)

Container will hanging file folders for Essential Documents SERVPRO of Chesapeake North is "Always here to help." 757-465-9700

Collect, Protect Essential Records Before An Emergency

Family Preparedness

When we advise people to collect and protect important paperwork, we are referring to any important documents and personal data that might serve as proof of your insurance or identity or instruct others on how to help you in an emergency.  This important paperwork includes an Emergency Action Plan, and medical, vital, and immunization records.

The Basics

Copies of medical documents and advance directives should include: Health insurance card, vaccination records, living wills and power of attorney forms, birth & death certificates and adoption records

Personal Id's to include: Passports, driver's licenses, social security cards, green cards

A current care plan for a child with special needs.

User manuals, models, and serial numbers, and contact information for the manufacturer of medical devices, like glucose meters and nebulizers.

Quick Tips

Keep an up to date list of all your prescription medications with dosage amounts, your eye prescription, your medical supply needs and any known allergies.

Save electronic copies of important papers in a password protected format to a flash drive or an external hard drive or a cloud-based service. You should store these items in a fire proof container or with a trusted friend or relative, or even a safety deposit box at a bank.

Pet owners make copies of your pet’s vet records like rabies certificate, prescriptions and a recent photo of your pet(s).

Whatever happens, we’ll be there with you and your community, every step of the way, in your journey back, “Like it never even happened.”

Ahead of the Storm

9/5/2019 (Permalink)

Weather Map showing the hurricane Dorian path up along the East coast SERVPRO of Chesapeake North will help clean up the storm damage in Chesapeake.

Hurricane Prep Guide

Getting prepared for a hurricane in Hampton Roads is not only about buying lots of water or filling up the gas tank.  There are steps needed to help protect you and your family if your home is threatened by a hurricane.

Stock Emergency Supplies

  1. Water & Food at least a 3-day supply for you and your pet
  2. Tools like flashlights, extra batteries, a wrench, plastic sheeting & duct tape, trash bags
  3. Medical Hygiene and Cleaning Supplies like a first-aid kit, necessary medications, glasses, contact lenses, moist towelettes, toothpaste, and personal hygiene products
  4. Personal Items, like sleeping bag for each person and change of clothing
  5. Activities like books, games, playing cards, paper, pencils and pens
  6. Radio for NOAA weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries
  7. Other Items like a whistle to signal for help

Prepare and Protect Your Property

  1. Do a Home Inventory with contents of closets, drawers and cabinets? Store your home inventory lists, photographs and video tapes in a waterproof place off the premises.  Keep receipts of high valued items, which may separate insurance coverage.  Always update your home inventory after making large purchases.

Review Your Insurance Policies

  1. Is everything up to date? If you’ve done any major renovation or made a major purchase, make sure your insurance agent is aware to help determine if your current limits are enough to cover the value.
  2. Coverage for additional living expenses in case you can’t live in your home until it has been restored from damages.
  3. What about flood damage? Do you have coverage?
  4. Do you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy? What happens if a tree falls on it or water, wind or flying debris damages your car?

Plan Your Evacuation

  1. Become familiar with alternate routes in case travel becomes treacherous or traffic congested
  2. If you don’t have a car, plan on how you will leave if you need to evacuate; make plans with family or friends or your local government or aid agencies
  3. Plan what you will do with your pets, leave them with family, take them with you or to a kennel
  4. Keep a road map in your car in case you need another route on unfamiliar roads
  5. Prepare a bag or file with important papers, like your homeowner’s insurance policy, keep it with you.

If you have suffered water damage after a storm, SERVPRO of Chesapeake North is prepared to assist you after the storm to clean up the mess and help restore your home to its pre-storm condition.  We are “Always Here to Help.”  Call us at 757-465-9700.

Document Restoration

7/3/2019 (Permalink)

Document Restoration in Chesapeake

After a disaster, documents, photographs, and books could be lost forever.  SERVPRO® of Chesapeake North knows that a quick response and action is crucial to saving and recovering damaged possessions.  With access to a restoration facility, state of the art technology and equipment, our restoration professionals will help recover your paper goods.

Document Restoration Facility:  

  • We use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing.
  • Documents are managed by HIPPA Master=certified technicians under 24/7 surveillance.
  • We use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents.
  • We can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs.
  • We offer a range of services that include drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorizing.

Types of document item we restore:

  • Paper documents, books and magazines, manuscripts and files, photographs, films, negatives, microfiche, x-rays, blueprints, maps, and parchment.

Document Cleaning & Disinfecting is necessary in instances when documents have been contaminated and exposed to bacteria, viruses, pesticides, or other harmful chemicals. Our gamma irradiation technology is used to safety and effectively sterilize your documents.

Digitizing Services can convert your paper files and photos to help save storage space and enable your access to them with a touch of a button, keeping them safe from a flood or fire.

Need your valuable documents restored?  Call Today- 757-465-9700

SERVPRO® of Chesapeake North Suggests Action Before a Storm Arrives

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

After a storm, damaged trees lay across telephone and electric wires. Residential Storm & Water Damage Cleanup in Chesapeake

SERVPRO® of Chesapeake North wants Virginia Residents to Always Be Storm Ready

SERVPRO® of Chesapeake North encourages everyone to remember the importance of disaster preparedness.  The key to disaster preparedness is having an emergency plan in place before the disaster hits.  Here are a few simple steps that can make the difference in protecting and keeping your family safe and protecting your property from weather related damage.

Stay Informed.  Know your flood zone for your property and your neighborhood and know the evacuation route should your evacuation become necessary.  Listen to your local news and authorities for direction.

Make a Family Emergency Plan.  Disaster may not strike when you and your family are together at home.  Plan now for a meeting place and how you will contact each other.  Visit ready.gov to access a Family Emergency Plan template to help with your planning.

Prepare your property.  You may need to prepare your home for the impact of a storm or hurricane.  Covering all your windows in your home will help to protect it.  Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows; however, the second-best option is to board up the windows with plywood.  Tape will not prevent your windows from breaking.  Trim your trees and bushes that are around your home and clear any debris from rain spouts and gutters.  Secure outdoor furniture, trash receptacles, decorations and anything else not secured and can become projectile. 

Establish a SERVPRO® Emergency READY Profile for Your Business.  SERVPRO® developed the SERVPRO® Emergency READY Program to help business owners create an Emergency READY Profile® (ERP) for their facility, at no charge.  The business owner will collaborate with our rep to compartmentalize relevant building and emergency contact info to access when an emergency strikes.