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Why Thorough Fire Damage Documentation Matters for Insurance Claims

4/15/2024 (Permalink)

Employee smiling for a photo. Our experienced team not only specializes in fire damage restoration but also assists you with navigating the insurance claims process.

Experiencing a fire in your home or business is a traumatic event that can leave behind extensive damage and financial strain. In the aftermath of a fire, one of the most critical steps you can take is to document the damage thoroughly for insurance purposes. Proper documentation not only helps expedite the insurance claims process but also ensures that you receive the compensation you deserve to rebuild and recover. In this blog post, we'll explore why proper fire damage documentation is crucial for insurance claims and provide tips for documenting the damage effectively.

Maximizing Insurance Coverage

Proper documentation of fire damage is essential for maximizing your insurance coverage and ensuring that you receive fair compensation for your losses. Detailed documentation, including photographs, videos, and written descriptions of the damage, provides concrete evidence of the extent of the loss and helps support your insurance claim.

Facilitating the Claims Process

Insurance claims can be complex and time-consuming, especially in the aftermath of a disaster like a fire. Thorough documentation streamlines the claims process by providing insurers with all the information they need to assess the damage and process your claim efficiently. This can help expedite the payment of insurance benefits and enable you to begin the restoration process sooner.

Ensuring Accurate Valuation

Accurate valuation of fire damage is crucial for determining the amount of compensation you are entitled to under your insurance policy. Proper documentation helps ensure that all aspects of the damage, including structural damage, contents damage, and additional living expenses, are accounted for accurately. This prevents disputes with insurers and helps ensure that you receive fair and adequate compensation for your losses.

Protecting Against Disputes

In some cases, insurance companies may dispute the extent of the damage or the validity of your claim, leading to delays or denials of coverage. Thorough documentation serves as evidence to support your claim and protect against disputes with insurers. By providing clear and comprehensive documentation of the damage, you can strengthen your position and increase the likelihood of a successful claim outcome.

Preserving Evidence for Future Reference

Proper documentation of fire damage is not only essential for insurance purposes but also for your own records and reference. Keeping detailed records of the damage, including photographs, estimates, and correspondence with insurers, can help you track the progress of your claim and ensure that nothing is overlooked during the restoration process.

How SERVPRO® Assists with Insurance Claims

At SERVPRO, we understand the challenges you face in the aftermath of a fire, which is why we're here to support you every step of the way. Our experienced team not only specializes in fire damage restoration but also assists you with navigating the insurance claims process. From documenting the damage to communicating with your insurance provider, we handle the administrative tasks, allowing you to focus on rebuilding and recovery. With our expertise and attention to detail, we strive to ensure that you receive the full compensation you deserve to restore your property to its pre-fire condition. Let us take the stress out of the insurance claims process so you can move forward with confidence.

In conclusion, proper documentation of fire damage is crucial for insurance claims, facilitating the claims process, ensuring accurate valuation, protecting against disputes, and preserving evidence for future reference. By taking the time to document the damage thoroughly, you can maximize your insurance coverage and expedite the recovery process after a fire. If you need assistance with fire damage documentation or restoration, don't hesitate to contact our team of experts at SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth, Edgecliff Village for professional assistance tailored to your specific needs.

Home Fires and Smoke Damage Aftermath

5/23/2023 (Permalink)

garage after fire, photo taken from back wall toward the open bay door Call SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth / Edgecliff Village at (682) 708-1004, for a free fire damage consultation.

Fire Damage Consists of More Than Flames

The damages from flames after a fire are not the only damages incurred. Flames can move throughout the home quickly, burning and ruining every item in their path, but once the flames have been extinguished, the home is left with soot and smoke damages, too. Smoke damage can completely devastate a home if not properly and swiftly addressed. In fact, smoke damage can occur in rooms where the flames were not even present.

With so much attention placed on the flames, people often overlook the dangers linked to smoke damage. The following are some of the most common issues of smoke damage after a home fire:

  • Toxic air
  • Smoke odor in upholstered furniture, drapery, clothing, carpets, and in the air
  • Charring
  • Warped plastic
  • Warped wood
  • Yellow stains on walls and ceilings
  • Household textiles covered in soot

Salvaging items that have smoke damage is a complicated issue. A smoke damage expert will need to assess the home and the impacted items to determine what can be saved. In addition, smoke damage experts will tackle lingering smoke in less obvious places like crevices and cracks where particles may linger, since the smell can last for months following a fire.

Smoke Damage is as Dangerous as Fire Damage

During a fire, the materials that burn produce toxic smoke filled with microscopic particles known as soot. These tiny particles become charged from the extreme heat and migrate to cooler air found in other parts of the house, forming soot webs. Because this smoke is often scorching, it can cause additional damage by melting plastics, scorching fabrics, and textiles and spreading toxic gasses that will kill any living thing in its path. That's why smoke alarms throughout your home are critical to saving lives.

Don’t Grab, Just Go.

The Department of Homeland Security says, "In less than 30 seconds, a small flame can [...] turn into a major fire…Most deadly fires occur in the home when people are asleep. If you wake up to a fire, you won't have time to grab valuables because the fire spreads too quickly, and the smoke is too thick. There is only time to escape."

Call Us Today for a FREE Fire Damage Estimate

Restoring smoke and fire-damaged items costs less than replacing them. We love when we can restore your belongings, especially items with sentimental value. Call SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth / Edgecliff Village at (682) 708-1004, for a free fire damage consultation. We have helped hundreds of families recover from house fire damages and our fire damage repair and restoration specialists have years of experience.

What Services SERVPRO Offers?

3/22/2023 (Permalink)

SERVPRO technician in hazmat suit SERVPRO can help you with biohazard, vandalism, and crime scene cleanup.

Comprehensive Solutions for Every Situation

At SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth / Edgecliff Village, we pride ourselves on offering a wide range of services that go beyond fire and water restoration. We understand that emergencies come in all shapes and sizes, which is why we're here to assist you in any situation that arises. Whether it's tackling biohazard cleanup, resolving vandalism issues, or handling crime scene restoration, our dedicated team is well-equipped to handle diverse challenges and restore your property to its former glory.

Expert Biohazard Cleanup: Ensuring Safety and Peace of Mind

Dealing with biohazards can be both challenging and risky. From the aftermath of a traumatic event to the presence of bodily fluids and hazardous substances, we have the expertise to manage these situations with utmost care. Our professional technicians are trained in biohazard cleanup, ensuring that your property is thoroughly decontaminated and restored to a safe environment. We understand the importance of eliminating health risks and providing you with peace of mind during difficult times.

Crime Scene and Vandalism Restoration: Restoring Security and Normalcy

Discovering a crime scene or facing vandalism can be distressing and disruptive. At SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth / Edgecliff Village, we specialize in crime scene and vandalism restoration to alleviate the burden and restore your peace of mind. Our highly skilled team is experienced in handling the aftermath of these incidents, including removing fingerprint powder, evidence-gathering chemicals, and residues from tear gas or pepper spray. Our goal is to restore your property to its pre-incident condition, ensuring that you feel safe and secure once again.

Arson and Graffiti Cleanup: Erasing Signs of Destruction

Arson and graffiti can leave a lasting impact on your property, affecting both its appearance and value. As SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth / Edgecliff Village, we understand the importance of restoring your property's integrity and eradicating signs of destruction. Our expert technicians are equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to remove spray paint, clean up broken glass, and bring your property back to its original state. We take pride in revitalizing the aesthetics of your property and helping you move forward from these unfortunate incidents.

We are committed to being your reliable partner during challenging times. Our dedicated team is always ready to provide exceptional service and restore your property with care and precision. If you ever find yourself in need of our services, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Trust us to handle the restoration process and support you every step of the way.

Prevent Water Damage While on Vacation

3/22/2023 (Permalink)

7 Steps to Preventing Water Damage

According to a study done by the Insurance Institute, homeowners' highest insurance claims are water damage. Leaky pipes and, in often cases, appliances cause millions of dollars of damage in freezing weather and storms. While you're on vacation, it's no surprise that a leaky pipe can burst and cause hundreds of dollars of repairs.

Step 1. Check for Leaks Before Going on Vacation

Check pipes under your sinks and the water heater for any rust, cracks, or damage. You should check the seals by your windows to make sure there are no cracks that might cause water damage. Additionally, check the exterior of your house and see what condition your roof shingles are in. If any show damage, getting them replaced before leaving for vacation is a good idea.

Step 2. Inspect Your Major Appliances

You must inspect the hoses connected to essential appliances in your home, such as dishwashers, washers/dryers, and refrigerators. If there's any damage, you should get the hose replaced before you leave to prevent extensive water damage.

Step 3. Clear Out Your Gutters

Make sure to get any debris out of your rain gutters before leaving for vacation. This way, you won't have any blockages that can cause damage while you're away.

Step 4. Inspect Your Sump Pump

Make sure it is in good condition and clear any debris from clogging the pit. Run a few tests, listen to the sounds it makes, and make sure that the pump's water is going outside. Install a battery-powered backup in case there is a power outage while you're away.

Step 5. Insulate Exposed Pipes

If you plan on being away from your home during the winter, it can be a good idea to insulate any exposed pipes. This will prevent them from freezing while you are away.

Step 6. Get Someone to Check on Your Home

Call a friend or hire a professional house sitter to check on your home every week while you are gone. Instruct them to ensure that the heat is always on if your vacation is during the winter. Also, show them where the water main is in case of an emergency.

Step 7. Turn Off the Water

Lastly, if you cannot find someone to check on your home, you should turn off the water main. Drain the pipes so that they do not freeze or burst during the colder months. To do this, run the water and flush your toilet after you turn off the water. Open the cabinets under your sink to let the warm air surround the pipes. 

If you experience water damage while you are away from your home, contact SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth, Edgecliff Village as soon as possible.

Everything You Need to Know About Flood Damage

3/22/2023 (Permalink)


If there's any good news about flood damage, most people know it could and probably will occur in advance. While flash floods and other water damage from leaks and burst pipes are often unpredictable, flood damage from storms is almost easy to predict.

Storm surge, torrential rain, and rising water levels cause massive water damage for those who live along the coast or in other low-lying areas. Flood damage is terrible in every instance, but the good news is many homeowners and business owners have enough time to adequately prepare their home and/or business for the impending water damage as best they can.

When a storm ends, and it's safe to return home or to work, many people are shocked to see how much water in the home or water in the business they find. It seems impossible water levels can rise so high, but it's entirely possible. When floodwater causes the water in a home or water in an office to damage things, it's devastating. Before anyone decides to handle this situation, they must learn how to properly handle this kind of water damage.

Do Not Go Back Without Permission

Anyone who evacuated would like to know how much water is in the property or the kind of water they're dealing with; never return to the property without being notified first that it's safe to return. Flood damage is hazardous, and it's easy to forget it's so much more than just water on the road or in a home. Water in a home is dangerous, water in a business is dangerous, and water is dangerous. Wait for the green light when proper authorities give it. No one ever knows if a power line is down, active, and just waiting in the water to electrocute the next person who walks through.

Beware of the Many Dangers

Before anyone enters a home or office with water damage to begin the water cleanup process, they must know how much danger potentially awaits. The water cleanup process should begin as quickly as possible to prevent more damage from occurring, but it cannot be done until people check for proper dangers. The first is live electricity. Don't assume just because the power is out in a specific neighborhood or city; there's nothing to worry about. The power could come back on at any given moment, which means it could cause serious bodily harm to anyone working out of their home or office. Turn off all electricity before entering any building with standing water.

The second danger is what might be waiting for people in the water. There could be alligators, snakes, dangerous water creatures, or even bacteria or other harmful stuff. Always let the local authorities do a neighborhood sweep before beginning the water cleanup and drying process.

Call the Pros

Finally, anyone can do the most crucial thing when water damage occurs and call a professional restoration and mitigation company to handle the drying process. Restoration companies have powerful equipment designed to allow adequate drying to occur in minimal time. Professional mitigation and restoration are imperative because any missed moisture leads to much larger problems.

It's not uncommon for people to want to begin the water cleanup and drying process independently. Still, it's the help of a professional restoration and mitigation company that provides the best possible results. Restoration is designed to clear out all the water in places others might not realize it's hiding. The more prolonged moisture sits in a home or business, the more dangerous it becomes. It can cause mold to form; it can cause further damage to furniture, flooring, and even walls. Call for professional restoration and mitigation rather than handling the drying process without a pro's help to remove water in a business or home. For additional information, contact SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth, Edgecliff Village.

How to Find the Source of a Leaky Roof

3/22/2023 (Permalink)


After a significant storm, it's a good idea to inspect your damaged property as quickly as you can. Your home's main line of defense is your roof, and it takes a beating. Pay attention to dings in your gutters or tears in your window screens, which indicate hail damage. You may also see missing shingle tiles from the ground, but those don't always represent a need for whole roof replacement. Usually, the leak is coming from a more minor roof feature.

At SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth/Edgecliff Village, we:

  • Find the source of the leak
  • Stop the leak &
  • Clean the water damage.

Find the Leak

During storms in Florida, wind damage can let rain in through your roof. From the inside, look for water stains on your ceiling and walls that indicate the leak.

Common places to see leaky roof damage:

  1. Vents and fans
  2. Chimneys
  3. Window dormers
  4. Vent pipes
  5. Unsecured nails and nail holes

Dealing with Water Damage

  1. Check for discolorations and rotting wood, wet drywall, and insulation.
  2. If you haven't found mold, start drying any wet materials immediately. Complete drying is critical to preventing mold, and it may take longer than you realize. 
  3. If you find mold, remain careful to not spread it during cleanup. Mold grows on wet, damaged materials in as little as 48 hours. A mold remediation professional creates a containment area while working on the water and mold damage. Specialists have monitoring equipment that they use to ensure materials are dry.
  4. For more assistance, call a local construction, restoration, and mold remediation crew like SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth/Edgecliff Village at (682) 708-1004.

Preventing Flood Damage: 3 Steps

3/22/2023 (Permalink)


According to the National Flood Insurance Program, flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, causing $2.7 billion in losses between 2001 and 2010. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding, so it may be necessary to buy a separate flood policy for your home.

Three Key Steps

Here are a couple of tips to keep water from entering your home during a heavy rain event:

  1. Fix foundation leaks that may allow water to enter your home.
  2. Make sure your roof is secure and protected.
  3. Clear gutters and drains.

If water ever floods your home, getting someone on-site as soon as possible is key to keeping the amount of damage to a minimum. 

SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth, Edgecliff Village is ready to respond at any time and also provides a free assessment!

Protection from Wind Damage

3/22/2023 (Permalink)


Many areas of the United States have experienced heavy winds and storms this season, and the strong, powerful winds can cause significant damage to your home. Wind damage can cause a range of destruction to your property, from broken windows and fallen tree branches to severe damage to the roof, garage, or car. It can happen from the strong wind or indirectly from the wind blowing debris into your house.

Wind Damage from Different Types of Storms

Thunderstorms are the most common source of wind and storm damage, but winds from hurricanes or tornadoes are stronger and can cause severe damage. It can produce many types of bad weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, straight-line winds, flooding, etc. Thunderstorms are responsible for wind damage cases in the U.S. However, storm damage repair may be costly for hurricane or tornado wind damage. Billions of dollars are spent on wind damage repair and storm damage restoration each year; understanding the nature of wind damage can help you limit the amount of damage to your property and save on restoration and repair costs.

It's important to know when a storm is approaching your area and what type of storm it is so you know the potential and level of damage to expect. These wind damage facts will help you better understand the potential for wind damage and how to prevent it. Here are some steps you can take to minimize the risk of damage to your home when severe weather strikes.

Preventing Wind and Storm Damage

Most wind damage starts by flying debris either from plants or other structures unsecured. If a storm is approaching your area, make sure any potential debris in your homes, such as patio furniture, toys, garbage cans, and other objects, are either secured or brought inside. Secure your doors and windows to help minimize the potential storm damage to the home.

Roof damage reduces during the construction phase when the roof deck, shingles, or membrane is applied over the decking. A well-designed roofing system will anchor the trusses and decking to the walls and foundation to keep the entire roof from lifting off the building in a strong wind. Roofing material should latch to the deck.

Loosely connected shingles will lift from the deck. Siding damage reduces at the construction phase. Fastened siding isn't as likely to lift off a structure in strong wind. Building codes will likely direct the minimum standards for connections. You, your architect, or your contractor may decide to exceed these minimums for a stronger storm-resistant structure.

Falling trees and tree limbs are another significant type of damage to structures in a windstorm. Tree maintenance to remove dead limbs or identify and remove weakened trees will reduce the likelihood of structural damage. Mitigating damage after a storm closes any openings made in the structure by the wind. Roof openings and broken windows are the most common problem.

Keep a roll of plastic sheeting that cuts to size and nails over the opening. Your insurance policy will likely cover the cost of an emergency close-up. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed. Falling trees and tree limbs can open a structure with sudden violence. A tree on a structure is a serious personal and structural safety issue.

Trees, at times, won't shift positions. It can shift and cause serious injury to the unwary. Fallen trees may mask severe other safety issues, such as downed electrical wires. The wires may still be alive, and the tree itself energized. Contact your agent or claims center to report the damage and seek advice on how to proceed.

Suppose your home or business sustains wind damage during a storm. In that case, it is important to contact a storm damage restoration professional as soon as it is over to help limit and repair the damage. SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth, Edgecliff Village can respond immediately to storm and flooding conditions. Our quick response will help prevent secondary damage and help reduce restoration costs.

Why is My Smoke Alarm Beeping?

3/27/2022 (Permalink)

In addition to potentially causing significant fire damage, flames and smoke can endanger the lives of everyone inside your home. A properly functioning fire alarm can alert you to danger and help save lives. For this reason, every household should have this lifesaving device.

Sometimes, however, a smoke detector may act sporadically, chirping loudly or going off despite the absence of smoke. Often, there is a simple explanation for this erratic and—let’s be real, annoying!—behavior.

Why Is My Smoke Alarm So Annoying?

Weak Battery

Batteries have a limited lifespan. A chirping alarm may indicate that your device needs a new battery.

Improperly Installed Battery

A loose battery or terminal obstruction may cause your fire alarm to chirp intermittently. Use the self-check button on your smoke alarm to ensure the battery works after installing.

Dirty Sensing Chamber

Dust and dirt can sometimes obstruct the sensing chamber, resulting in a false alert. To help prevent this problem, you should routinely wipe your detectors with a dusting cloth.

Interference From Steam

Steam can also interfere with your detector’s sensing capability. This may be a particularly challenging problem for units located near bathrooms. To help reduce the likelihood of an inadvertent alert, close the bathroom door while showering and turn on the fan.

Interrupted Power Supply

An interrupted power supply may also cause erroneous beeping. You should examine each detector’s wiring for loose connections. If you notice lights dimming spontaneously, especially when an appliance is in use, contact a licensed electrician to help you inspect your home’s wiring.

End of Lifespan

Did you know your smoke detector can essentially expire? The average lifespan for most smoke detectors is 8 – 10 years. After this period, the unit’s sensing capacity may diminish, reducing its effectiveness. If an older device is chirping, it may be time to replace it with a new one.

A fire alarm may not spare your home from a destructive fire or smoke damage, but this valuable safety device may one day save your life. To help safeguard your well-being, you should promptly investigate a chirping detector and replace batteries, or the entire unit, as needed.

Call SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth / Edgecliff Village if you have smoke or fire damage, (682) 708-1004.

Rug Cleaning for Fire Damaged High-Quality Carpet and Upholstery

3/20/2022 (Permalink)

production technician bending over in a hazmat suit cleaning a fire, the walls and ceiling and floor are covered in soot Protect your high-quality carpet and upholstery investment.

Rug Cleaning for High-Quality Carpet and Upholstery After a Fire

The highest-quality carpet and upholstery can show soiling over time, especially after experiencing fire damage. These pieces of functional decor can be priceless, timeless, and a large investment. Protect your investment by having your Persian rugs maintained by a professional service.

SERVPRO of South Central Fort Worth / Edgecliff Village offers several cleaning options to match any type of carpet and upholstery:

  • Bonnet Cleaning, a less aggressive method for short pile carpets
  • Hot Water Extraction, a more in-depth cleaning method for all carpet types
  • Deluxe Precondition and Rinse, to restore deeply soiled areas
  • Showcase Premier Cleaning, the most thorough cleaning method in the industry
  • Dry Cleaning, used when color-fastness is an issue

After a fire, more than carpets and upholstery are damaged. That is why, as cleaning professionals, we have equipment to clean varieties of surfaces and materials.

Cleaning vs. Replacing

Heat can burn flammable materials inside a structure, forcing removal and replacement of those materials, but the smoke coming from the blaze can also cause soils, soot residues, and intense aromas that are easier to restore. 

Our experienced and trained SERVPRO team knows that mitigating fire damage includes a variety of replacing, restoring, and cleaning techniques. Various fire residues adhere to each surface in your home differently, and we can help with it all.

Dry Smoke

Most fires go through stages of creating both wet and dry smoke. However, usually fires will have more of one type than the other. Dry smoke is created by fast-burning, oxygen-rich burns. Dry smoke is also usually created when organic materials like wood, paper, or natural fabrics burn.

Wet Smoke

Whether a fire produces a majority of wet or dry smoke depends on the amount of oxygen present, the combustion rate, and the type of substance that is burning. When the fire is starved of oxygen and burns at a lower temperature, it produces wet smoke. Wet smoke is also created when synthetic materials such as rubber or plastic burn. Wet smoke usually adheres strongly to surfaces and is difficult to remove. 

Cleaning Techniques

When our SERVPRO technicians work with hard surfaces, we can use water based-detergents and other wet cleaning methods. However, for porous surfaces, wet techniques could cause the soot to soak deeper into the material. Dry cleaning methods that use agitation can prove useful in these cases.

Dry Cleaning: Light Agitation

SERVPRO conducts the dry cleaning agitation technique with softer tools such as dusters or brushes. Special vacuums are also useful when removing some soot residues and using compressed air to blow off the soot.

Dry Cleaning: Medium Agitation

Residues that adhere to some of your contents and building surface materials could work better in medium agitation cleaning techniques. Dry sponges are an example of a medium agitation method, and they can be useful when removing soot residues from drywall. Dusting cloths or crumbling cleaners that work like a pencil eraser are also useful.

SERVPRO has the necessary tools, techniques and knowledge to save your rugs after fire damage. Protect your high-quality carpet and upholstery investment. For professional assistance after a fire, call us at (682) 708-1004, 24/7.