Recent Posts

What Coverage Is Included in Commercial Property Insurance?

4/19/2021 (Permalink)

Workers cleaning up building after severe damage. Make sure your building is insured.

As a business owner, you know how important commercial insurance is for your property in Mount Pleasant, TN. Without adequate coverage, you could be responsible for paying for the extensive damages after a fire.

What Should Be Included in a Commercial Property Insurance Plan?

Buildings – All buildings owned by the business must be covered. For example, if you own one main building but also have a small warehouse at a different location, that second building must be included in the insurance plan. Even small storage units should be identified. Get coverage for the premises around the building as well. This includes outside furniture and other fixtures, landscaping and fencing.
Manufacturing Equipment – The equipment used in manufacturing, assembling and processing must be identified in the insurance package.
Office Equipment – Computers, printers, furniture, phones and other office equipment should be covered in your commercial insurance plan.
Inventory – If you house finished goods at the premises, this should be mentioned in the insurance package.

What Important Situations Do Insurance Companies Consider?
The location of your building is important to your insurance agent. If there is a fire department nearby and fire hydrants close to the property, this may reduce your premiums. The type of construction used in your building is also a key factor. Fire-resistant materials used in the flooring, insulation and walls keep costs down.
Every business should invest in a well-designed fire alarm and sprinkler system. Fire sprinklers are activated by the heat below, so only those sprinklers in the direct vicinity are turned on during a fire. By comparison, a fire department hose is very powerful and can cause a lot of damage from water. If you are in need of restoration after water or fire damage, contact a fire restoration service as soon as possible.
Talk with your insurance agent to ensure that your commercial insurance plan is able to fully protect you after a devastating fire.

What Fire Extinguisher Is Best for My Home?

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Fire extinguishers isolated on white background. Various types of extinguishers. 3d illustration. Avoid a home fire by learning how to use a fire extinguisher.

Keeping a fire extinguisher in your Spring Hill, TN, home can save you and your property from a small fire. If you're wondering which kind to choose, here is some information about different types of extinguishers.

Extinguisher Classes

Each class of extinguisher fights a different type of fire:

Class A: Wood, paper and trash
Class B: Grease, oil-based liquids and gasoline
Class C: Electrical equipment
Class D: Flammable metals
Class K: Animal and vegetable oils used in cooking

Household extinguishers are rated A, B or C. On the label, the numbers that precede the letters give the rating of the extinguisher's effectiveness against that type of fire. An extinguisher with a 4-B rating, for example, is more effective against a grease fire than one rated 2-B. Higher effectiveness usually means a higher-priced extinguisher. There is no number designation for Class C.

Extinguisher Sizes
You can choose your extinguisher size based on where you will use it. A 5-pound extinguisher is suited for a typical home fire and is easy to pick up and use. A 10-pound fire extinguisher is a good choice for the garage, where a fire may grow before you see it. You can also find stove-top extinguishers that mount above the range.

Best Extinguisher Locations
Safety experts recommend you keep an extinguisher on each floor of your home for maximum fire preparedness. The kitchen is an ideal place because of the enhanced risk of fire in that room. Keep the extinguisher where household members can reach it quickly and easily. The best location is near an exit if the fire gets out of control and you must evacuate.
If you've experienced a home fire and have been through the process of fire restoration, you know that prevention is the best policy. If you have not had a home fire, you can take steps to avoid one by learning to use your fire extinguisher and equipping your home with the correct sizes and types.

4 Ways To Prevent Damage and Prepare for a Winter Storm

3/30/2021 (Permalink)

Insulation covers Insulate your building.

Ways To Prepare Your Business For Winter Weather

A winter storm can be beautiful, but it can also be a nightmare for your business if you are unprepared for it in Pulaski, TN. The heavy snow, wind and ice that accompanies the storm can cause severe damage and costly repairs. When these disasters happen, call your insurance company and a storm damage restoration service immediately to file a claim and begin repairs. While you cannot prevent a storm from coming your way, there are several steps you can take to prevent some of the damage from happening and mitigate loss. Here are a few ways to prepare your business for winter weather.

1. Insulate Your Building
Make sure your building is properly insulated. If temperatures drop below freezing, your pipes could freeze and burst, causing flood and water damage. Routinely inspect your building’s heating system to ensure it is working properly and keep the temperature above 55°F to avoid a pipe break.

2. Perform Regular Maintenance
Keep a regular maintenance schedule to make sure windows, doorways and the outside of your building are in good condition. Over time, building materials can wear down, allowing cracks and gaps to form which can reduce the structural integrity and insulation of your building and make it more susceptible to storm damage and flooding. In addition, you should routinely inspect your roof. Replace any broken shingles and make sure shingles are intact and firmly nailed down to prevent roof leaks and wind damage.

3. Stock Emergency Supplies
Create an emergency winter weather kit that includes snow shovels, ice-melting salt and a first aid kit in case a winter storm comes through unexpectedly. Keep non-perishable food items available in case you are stuck in your building overnight and cannot go home.

4. Watch Local Weather
During the winter months, stay on top of the local weather forecast. Start preparing early if a snowstorm is heading your way, and make sure your staff is adequately prepared.
A winter storm can cause severe damage if you do not take it seriously. Performing routine maintenance on your building and keeping an eye on the weather can greatly reduce damage and keep your business safe.

4 Steps To Take After Water Damage

3/9/2021 (Permalink)

Wet wooden floor Water damage in Columbia, TN.

Take The Following Steps As Soon As Possible

The moments after bursting pipes have caused damage to a home are often filled with uncertainty. Individuals sometimes struggle with what steps to take to protect their property and to minimize expenses. As a general rule, it can help to concentrate on the most serious aspects of the crisis, and then to move on from there. After everyone in the home is safe, the following steps should be taken as soon as possible.

1. Stop the Flow of Water. To reduce water damage, it is important to find the nearest shut-off valve to stop the flow of water coming into the home. Once this is accomplished, the owner or renter of the property can move on to the next step.

2. Call in Restoration Professionals. The sooner a local water restoration team from Columbia, TN, can arrive, the quicker the cleanup process can begin. Trained professionals will arrive quickly with the expertise and equipment needed to remove standing water and take other critical actions. Whether bursting pipes or some other malfunction created the problem, certified technicians will follow a proven process of restoration.

3. Contact the Insurance Company. It is important for residents to know where they stand after significant property damage. A call to the insurance agent can provide important coverage information as well as how to file a claim. Costs to fix broken pipe and replace damaged items are often part of a person's homeowners or renters insurance policy. It makes sense at this time to document any repairs or expenses caused by leaking water.

4. Coordinate With the Cleanup Crew. A professional water cleanup crew will often be able to help with insurance claims by providing proper documentation. This takes some of the uncertainty out of dealing with complicated paperwork.
A professional SERVPRO franchise is always Here to Help. This is true when it comes to dealing with bursting pipes or the efficient handling of an insurance claim.

Advantages of SERVPRO's Electronic Claims and Commitment To Quality

2/19/2021 (Permalink)

Tablet and cell phone. SERVPRO’s electronic customer files are troves of essential data.

Advantages of SERVPRO's Electronic Claims and Commitment To Quality

If your office suffers structural damage from a storm, fire, or another disaster, filing an insurance claim should be less stressful than executing repairs. Choose SERVPRO for a team of masterful rebuilding experts that can return your place of business in Lynnville, TN, back to normal. Besides their overall commitment to quality, these rebuilding geniuses possess a simple filing infrastructure that makes working with them as pleasurable as possible.

Quality Compliance
As one of the most trusted names in repair, SERVPRO is devoted to providing a professional experience from start to finish. You can expect:

  • Safe and effective rebuilding and cleaning techniques
  • Background checks on staff
  • Properly registered and maintained vehicles
  • Excellent insurance

Besides providing dependable service, their sophisticated electronic filing system makes processing any insurance claim a snap.

Electronic Claims
SERVPRO’s Electronic Claims Information System offers multiple advantages. Most critically, a breakdown of assignments is always available for viewing. New assignments, pending jobs, and completed tasks are easily identifiable, providing an instant-read on how repairs are progressing.
Cleaning and construction recommendations are broken down into digestible chunks. Estimates are provided for each item. This is extremely useful when figuring your total cost. Having this figure early on may assist with speeding up your insurance claim. Customer files can also be mailed in printed form. Alternatively, they can be emailed as an Excel spreadsheet.
SERVPRO’s electronic customer files are troves of essential data. Included is the initiating report, photographic evidence of damage and every piece of related paperwork. Having every scrap of information in one location is a strong advantage when dealing with an insurance agent. The quicker you can provide whatever data is requested, the faster your claim may be pushed through.
With everything involved in getting your office up and running after a calamity, filing an insurance claim should be easy. Let SERVPRO’s information gathering abilities make the ordeal as smooth as possible.

5 Types of Leaks That Are Causing Your Water Bill To Spike

2/11/2021 (Permalink)

Leaky faucet A leaky faucet can cost you a lot of money.

Five Ways A Water Leak Can Be Causing A Spike In Your Water Bill

You've noticed that your water bill, which is usually pretty stable, has suddenly spiked and keeps climbing. You haven’t hired a ton of new employees, and you haven't done anything different with the irrigation schedule, so what gives? 

1. Outdated Fixtures
If you bought an older building and didn't replace the toilets or faucets, one of these could be the problem. Older fixtures are less efficient and usually mean older pipes, so a sudden climb in your water bill could mean that the pipes are blocked or that there is a water leak.

2. Problematic Irrigation
An irrigation system is a time-saver, but it can be costly when it breaks. Check for a pipe break or a faucet head that is cracked. If your system is buried, look for unusually soggy patches of ground.

3. Running Toilets
A running toilet can waste thousands of gallons of water and drive your bill sky high. It's easy to check to see if a toilet is running and is often a pretty easy fix. However, if you have a running toilet that is outdated and the hardware store fix didn't make a difference, you may benefit from calling a water damage specialist to investigate whether a pipe break or a leak is contributing to the problem.

4. Leaky Faucets
Similar to running toilets, a leaky faucet can cost you a lot of money. Even little drips add up and often continue to get worse until the actual faucet is fixed.

5. Cracked Lateral Line
The costliest possibility is that there is a cracked lateral line (the line that feeds water into your business). That means the water is leaking out before it gets to you. If you're suspicious that this is the problem, contact a professional for an assessment.
A water leak from a pipe, a running toilet, or a cracked irrigation line can drive up your water bills. When you have unexplained water costs, investigate promptly to save your business money and resources.

4 Ways to Prevent Mold Growth in Humid Conditions

2/2/2021 (Permalink)

Defective plastic window with condensation Regularly wipe away moisture to keep mold from growing around the window sill.

Preventative Measures That May Help You Avoid Needing Mold Clean Up Services

Property owners in Mount Pleasant, TN, know that high humidity is a given. They also know that mold loves the excess moisture it produces. While it can be a challenge to prevent its growth, taking a few preventive measures may help you avoid needing mold clean up services by a mold remediation and restoration specialist

1. Maintain Optimal Temperatures
Going from hot, smoldering days to cool evenings makes it difficult to avoid mold damage. Maintaining an ideal temperature is an easy way to avoid that. When the thermometer rises, ensure the air conditioner is set to 70 degrees. It is also vital to keep indoor humidity levels below 60%. Consider running a dehumidifier on days when the A/C has a tough time keeping up. If the humidity levels outside are lower, letting some fresh air helps enhance airflow and ventilate the property.

2. Check for Condensation
While you may be focused on the high humidity outdoors, there is a good chance there are appliances or fixtures that are prone to condensation, such as windows, pipes, walls and HVAC systems. Ensuring they are properly insulated is necessary to minimize any moisture buildup. It is also important to regularly inspect appliances for leaks.

3. Minimize Moisture Coming Inside
Maintaining a dry indoor environment means staying on top of minimizing outdoor precipitation from making its way in. Regularly inspect gutters and downspouts for debris or damage to ensure the system is draining properly. To minimize a basement getting a slow leak, verify that the grading is sloping away from the property.

4. Consider Using Mold-Resistant Materials
If the battle seems to be ongoing, it may be time to reinforce the property with newer materials. There are various mold- or water-resistant products available. From primers to wallboards and drywall, replacing porous materials may be an upfront investment, but they may provide much-needed peace of mind.
Knowing that high humidity is a constant, taking a few measures to guard against can go a long way.

Reasons To Avoid Driving on Flooded Roads

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

Pickup truck on a flooded street A simple flooded street can cause severe damage to your vehicle

Reasons To Avoid Driving on Flooded Roads

Heavy storms and hurricanes are known for bringing damage and destruction along their path. In addition to strong wind and rain, flooding is also a serious concern when these storms hit in Pulaski, TN. A flooded street may seem harmless, but there are many reasons you should avoid driving through flooded areas.

Flooding and driving are a bad combination and can lead to:

  • Losing control of your vehicle
  • Your vehicle getting washed away or overturned
  • Injury to you or your passengers
  • Engine or electrical system damage

Looks Can Be Deceiving
Flooded roads are often more dangerous than they appear. Just 12 inches of rushing water is enough to wash a small car away, and 2 feet of water can sweep away larger vehicles such as a van or truck. Water can be deeper than it looks, hiding debris and downed wires that can pose a serious threat to both your vehicle and those inside it.

Stay Off the Roads
If a hurricane or major storm is moving through your area, it is always best to stay inside and wait until the storm has passed, rather than attempt to drive through a flooded street. If water is seeping into your home, call a storm cleanup and restoration service for assistance. They will remove water from your home and can help with repairs.

Evacuate if Necessary

If you need to evacuate for any reason, you should exercise extreme caution. Steer clear of areas with rushing or standing water and look up alternate routes in case your normal route is blocked off. Pack a bag with food, water, and clothing if you are unable to return home for a few days. In addition, it is always a good idea to research flood travel tips if flooding is common in your area.

A simple flooded street can cause severe damage to your vehicle and can put you and others around you at risk. Driving during a hurricane or heavy storm should be avoided whenever possible to ensure your safety and the safety of others.

Does a Leaking Toilet Always Require Replacement?

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

Leakage of water from a toilet due to blockage of the pipe Does a leaking toilet require replacement?

Does a Leaking Toilet Always Require Replacement?

When a chronically leaking toilet becomes a problem in your home in Columbia, TN, you may need a new fixture. If your toilet leaks uncontrollably, you risk the spread of bacteria and mold throughout your home. It is critical to take action to minimize the damage from a flood:

  • Turn off the water supply
  • Begin water extraction
  • Sanitize your space

Sometimes a minor repair of an old toilet can address a leak and prevent damage.

Base Ring Replacement

A toilet's porcelain base hides the floor hole through which the waste pipe runs. A wax ring around the hole prevents water from overflowing as it passes through the pipe. The porcelain base can loosen and press against the ring, tearing the wax and causing a leak when the toilet flushes. Sometimes, the wax naturally deteriorates over time. Replacing this critical part by first removing the entire unit from its foundation might extend your fixture's life.

Tank Flapper Replacement
The toilet flapper opens upon flushing to facilitate water movement through the pipe connecting the tank and the bowl. After each flush, the flapper seals the opening that leads the water into the bowl. The flapper can wear out and provide an insufficient seal causing a leaking toilet. A new part may be enough to solve the problem.

Loose Bolts Tightening
The bolts that fix your toilet to the floor can loosen over time and cause water to leak from beneath the porcelain base. Tightening the bolts with a wrench involves removing the plastic caps that cover them. Bolts that do not tighten usually have corrosion and require replacement.
When a slowly leaking toilet leaves you wondering if you need a new fixture, consider that you might solve the problem with a minor toilet repair. A flooding toilet that contaminates your home may require the services of a professional cleaning and restoration company.

How Can You Be Certain Your Commercial Fire Sprinklers Are Ready?

12/28/2020 (Permalink)

No picture available Automatic ceiling Fire Sprinkler at the OfficeFactory roof structure and automatic fire protection A fire sprinkler is the most effective means of protecting life and property in buildings

A fire sprinkler is the most effective means of protecting life and property in buildings. They’re so effective, one study in Texas found they literally eliminated deaths from commercial fires when properly maintained.
But what does it mean to maintain them? It can be a little confusing. Fortunately, the National Fire Protection Association has an easy-to-understand rulebook for this, called NFPA 25.

What Is NFPA 25?

NFPA 25 is the internationally recognized standard for fire sprinkler maintenance and testing. It lays out fire protection system requirements and details for the following mandatory sprinkler system inspections:

  • A simple weekly one
  • An in-depth monthly one
  • A quarterly inspection and test
  • A yearly inspection and test
  • A 5-year complete system inspection

Can I Do My Own Inspections?
Generally, you can do weekly inspections in-house. However, all other inspections require certification in fire suppression system maintenance and repair. Columbia, TN, has strict rules about who can perform inspections. The sprinkler system not only protects the business, but it also protects surrounding structures and the lives of everyone inside. Plus, it reduces insurance claims, so it’s crucial that they be independently tested.

What’s Involved in Each Inspection?
The weekly inspection that you can perform just looks for anything obvious that’s wrong, such as items stacked too close to sprinkler heads or leaks in the system. You can find a simple list here.
The monthly fire sprinkler inspection inspects gauges, alarm valves and all the piping to ensure nothing looks out of place. The quarterly one involves some basic pressure switch tests, a thorough inspection of the risers, and a review of the required system documentation.
The annual and 5-year inspections cover the entire system and spare parts you’re required to carry. The 5-year one will also test the pressure of your system and the accuracy of the gauges.
The good news is that, when well-maintained, your sprinkler system will unlikely ever have an accidental discharge. The bad news is that if it does, you’ll have a fire sprinkler cleanup to deal with. This is covered by insurance, so have restoration professionals inspect the damage and begin the cleanup process.